Airbus sets order record at Paris Air Show
In what it says is a new record for aircraft sales among any manufacturer at the Paris Air Show, Airbus has secured orders for 730 aircraft totaling $72.2 billion. Boeing announced that it had secured 129 orders totaling more than $22.4 billion from 11 customers.
Airbus' activities at the air show include purchase orders for 418 planes and firm commitments for 312 craft. The majority of the buyers were after Airbus' neo line of environmentally friendly aircraft. The manufacturer, which said 667 orders were for neo planes, pointed to the line as the "best selling airliner in the history of commercial aviation." Since its launch in December 2010, Airbus has received orders for 1,029 aircraft.
“Le Bourget 2011 is a strong confirmation of our product strategy. With over 1,000 commitments just half a year after launch our A320neo is a real bestseller,” Tom Enders, president and CEO of Airbus, said in a statement. "I have to admit, I largely underestimated the market demand for neo before this show.”
Airbus also announced 34 commitments for its A320 aircraft, and this potentially justified the manufacturer's decision early this month to shut down the development of an A320 freighter.
While Airbus' environmental line emerged from Paris as the big winner, Boeing also came away with more than 125 orders. As was most likely the case with Airbus, some of these orders had been previously announced as agreements with undisclosed customers. Qatar Airways ordered six 777-300ERs; Air Lease Corporation bought 20 737-800s; and Malaysia Airlines took 10 737-800s.
The big purchase, however, came from UTair Aviation, who ordered 33 737-800s and 7 737-900ERs.
"Our decision to further expand our Next-Generation Boeing 737 fleet is based on its high efficiency," Andrey Martirosov, UTair's CEO, said in a statement. "These airplanes meet today's commercial needs of the airline by their value-for-money and availability of early delivery positions."