Boeing came to the Paris Air Show 2019 in a contrite mood over the two fatal crashes of its 737 Max which led to the global fleet being grounded.
In the inevitable Paris Air Show orders race between Boeing and arch-rivals Airbus, the US manufacturer was slow out of the blocks, with Airbus leading the charge in terms of new orders.
The European plane maker scored an impressive order for its A330neos, with Virgin Atlantic buying 14 with an option for six more.
During the Paris Air Show, Airbus also announced the launch of its new A321XLR single-aisle plane that is seen as an economic solution to airlines who want to serve long distances between smaller cities. The new aircraft proved a popular offering with multiple orders placed including: 27 from Air Lease Corporation; 50 from American Airlines; 32 from Indigo Partners; and further purchases from Lebanon’s Middle East, Philippines’ Cebu Pacific Airlines, Qantas Airways and British Airways parent, IAG.
Qantas in particular has inked a deal for up to 36 of the A321XLR jets, due for delivery from mid-2024, by trading up from 26 of its previous orders for the less long-legged A321neo and adding ten more aircaft to its shopping list.
“We’ll take a decision closer to the time about which parts of the Group will use these aircraft, but there is plenty of potential across Qantas and Jetstar,” said Qantas group CEO, Alan Joyce
“It can fly routes like Cairns-Tokyo or Melbourne-Singapore, which existing narrow-bodies can’t, and that changes the economics of lots of potential routes into Asia to make them not just physically possible but financially attractive,” Joyce said.
Despite a slow start, Boeing hit back with Korean Air announcing they are purchasing 30 more 787s and further orders were placed for Boeing’s 777 freighter model by China Airlines and Qatar Airways who bought six and five respectively.
Despite the controversy surrounding the aircraft, IAG issued a letter of intent to purchase a total of 200 737 Max aircraft. CNBC speculated that the British Airways parent company may have negotiated a significant discount on the list price for the aircraft.
In addition, GECAS signed up for ten 737-800 converted freighters and Air lease Corporation made a commitment to buy 5 wide body 787 Dreamliners.
Despite the slow start for Boeing, both it and Airbus were estimated to have walked away from the Paris Air Show 2019 with close to $35bn in new sales.
Embraer, Mitsubishi and ATR
Of the smaller manufacturers displaying at the Paris Air Show 2019, Brazilian firm Embraer saved the best until last with a Wednesday evening deal to sell 15 of its E195 E2 jets to KLM. The Dutch airline, who will use the planes on its sister airline “Cityhopper,” also has an option to buy 20 more.
Meanwhile, the Japanese planemaker Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation announced it’s in discussions with an unnamed U.S. airline over the sale of its SpaceJet M100 aircraft.
Franco-Italian manufacturer ATR has received a letter of intent from Nordic Aviation Capital. The leasing company wishes to purchase 35 ATR72-600s with the option for a further 35. Delivery of the first batch is expected between 2020 and 2025.