Herald news services
Airbus pulled ahead of Boeing in the order tally Tuesday at the Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. after announcing a major deal with AirAsia. After the airshow’s second day, Airbus led with 227 aircraft orders with a sticker value of nearly $30 billion, compared to Boeing’s 127 orders worth $14.3 billion.
Jetliner sales campaigns are almost always drawn-out dances that extend over months, sometimes even years. Announcing order agreements at big industry shindigs is typically more about marketing.
The Russian cargo company Volga-Dnepr Group gave Boeing’s beleaguered 747-8 program a slight boost when it committed to acquiring 20 of the jumbo freighters. The deal follows up on an initial agreement announced at last year’s Paris Air Show.
It will mean additional work for Boeing’s 747-8 line in Everett, which is reducing its production rate in September to assembling an airplane every month to one every two months. However, just how much more work remains to be seen.
The order total includes four airplanes already delivered to Volga-Dnepr. It also could include airplanes built for other customers who have deferred delivery.
The two companies did not disclose the financing or delivery schedule.
Airbus has struggled to sell its super-jumbo A380. The European airplane maker said Tuesday that it expects to deliver fewer of the behemoths starting in 2018. It expects to deliver 12 A380s that year, compared to 27 in 2015.
Demand has been soft lately, and airlines including Air France-KLM indicated they don’t plan to take all the A380s they have ordered.
While sales of huge jets have slowed to a trickle, executives from both Boeing and Airbus publicly say the dip is temporary, and that demand will recover — at least in part, if not fully.
Asian airlines fed the flurry of orders at Farnborough. Economic growth throughout the region continues to fuel demand for new routes and more flights. That, in turn, has airlines, especially low-cost operators, adding to already huge order backlogs.
Through the first two days, they ordered 330 single-aisle airplanes from Boeing and Airbus and only 21 widebody airplanes. That does not include Volga-Dnepr’s finalized order.
Most of the single-aisle orders have been for the newest versions from the rival airplane makers.
Airbus landed 212 orders for single-aisle jets, including nearly 200 orders for its A320neo and A321neo. Boeing has bagged 118 new orders for single-aisle jets, including at least 78 for its 737 MAX variants. Most are for the MAX 8 and MAX 200, a stretch of the MAX 8.
Order announcements typically slow down after the first two days at the Farnborough and Paris shows, which occur in alternating years. More orders could follow Wednesday or later, though.
India’s SpiceJet Ltd. is considering ordering as many as 100 737s or A320s, and Spain’s Air Europa Lineas Aereas is expected to acquire 20 737 MAXs.
Orders through first two days:
Some orders include previously undisclosed deals. Values are in list prices.
Boeing:Xiamen Airlines: 30 737 MAX 200s, $3.39 billion
Donghai Airlines: 25 737 MAX 8s, $2.75 billion; 5 787-9s, $1.32 billion
unidentified Chinese client: 30 737s (mix of current models and MAXs), $3 billion
Kunming Airlines: 10 737 MAX 7s, $902 million
TUI: 10 737 MAX 8s, $1.1 billion; 1 787-9 Dreamliner, $265 million
Standard Chartered: 10 737-800s, $960 million
Air Lease Corp.: 6* 737 MAX 8s, $660 million
Airbus:AirAsia: 100 A321neos, $12.6 billion
Go Airlines India: 72 A320neos, $7.73 billion
Virgin Atlantic: 12 A350-1000s, $4.4 billion
Air Lease Corp.: 3 A350-900s, $924.3 million; 1 A321, $114.9 million
Germania: 25 A320neos, $2.68 billion
Wow Air: 4 A321s, $459.6 million
Jetstar Pacific: 10 A320s, $980 million
* Includes three orders previously attributed to an unidentified customer.