A raft of orders and memoranda of understanding on Sunday at the Paris Air Show yielded several billion dollars worth of business for airframers and engine makers, making the first day of the show even more lucrative than many expected. Led by Boeing’s projections for orders covering at least 240 of its newly launched 737 Max 10 and a firm order for 100 Airbus A320-family narrowbodies from GECAS, the sales punctuated a day of frenetic business activity at a hot and steamy Le Bourget Airport.
Further narrowbody deals came from Los Angeles-based Air Lease, which inked a firm order for 12 A320neos, bringing the total number of Airbus orders to 279. Meanwhile, ALAFCO committed to twenty 737 Max 8s worth $2.2 billion at list prices.
In the widebody sector, Boeing enjoyed a monopoly on orders, signing deals for thirty 787-9s from AerCap, eight from CDB leasing and 15 of the same Dreamliner variant from China Eastern. GEnx-1Bs will power the China Eastern airplanes.
Still, with a preponderance of narrowbody orders, engine manufacturers such as CFM enjoyed a bounty as well, including a $1.7 billion deal with China’s Spring Airlines covering 60 LEAP-1A engines to power A320/A321neos and a $1.1 billion contract covering 80 more for ICBC Leasing's Airbus A320neos. Of course, as the sole engine supplier for the Max, CFM also collected all the propulsion business on the Boeing narrowbodies. Still more business from CFM came from International Airlines Group, which placed an order for 110 LEAP-1As to power 55 A320neos scheduled for entry into service with British Airways and Iberia in 2018. Separately, rival engine maker Pratt & Whitney landed an MOU with IAG covering 94 PW1100Gs to power A320neos.
Although both Airbus and Boeing seemed to enjoy grabbing their fair share of yesterday’s order value, an international air show as prominent as Paris virtually always highlights friction between the companies. Notably, Airbus COO for customers John Leahy issued a not-so-subtle jab at Boeing’s enthusiasm for its Max 10 commitments. “We tend to focus on incremental orders,” he said in reference to the fact that several of the Max 10 orders or MOUs involved conversions of previous orders for Max 8s and Max 9s.
For the time being, Canada’s Bombardier didn’t engage in any sniping over Boeing’s complaints over what the Chicago-based company called “dumping” of the C Series in the U.S. market. Rather, it highlighted Philippine Airlines’ decision to exercise purchase rights on seven Bombardier Q400 turboprops. The latest deal brings Philippine Airlines’ total firm order count to 12 Q400s, five of which it ordered last December.
Another turboprop deal came in the form of an letter of intent covering 10 ATR 42-600s from China's Shaanxi Tianju Investment Group. The contract calls for first deliveries to start “as soon as possible” in 2018. A final order for ATR came from Xuzhou Hantong Aviation Development Company of China, which signed an letter of intent for three ATR 42-600s. Again, schedules call for delivery in 2018.