Boeing and Airbus continue to defy gloomy predictions

Farnborough Air Show » 2008
July 16, 2008, 11:12 AM

For the third day running, Airbus and Boeing defied pessimistic predictions of softening demand for airliners with new contracts collectively worth almost $6 billion.
Airbus notched up another order for the A350, with South Korea’s Asiana Airlines placing almost $5 billion worth of firm orders for 30 of the new widebody aircraft and optioning 10 more. Deliveries will begin in 2016 and will include all three versions of the A350. The carrier plans to operate the aircraft on regional and long-haul routes. Orders for the new Airbus now total more than 350 units, from 20 customers.
U.S. lessor Aviation Capital Group announced an order for 15 Boeing 737-700s that by the end of the 2013-15 delivery period will take its fleet to 91. The $934 million total includes 15 jets previously earmarked for Delta Air Lines, from which ACG obtained the delivery positions.

Chief executive Stephen
Hannahs plans to take 737 orders to 100 “in the near future.” ACG has received seven jets to date, including one this month, and will take three more this year, plus 10 in 2009 among its regular receipt of about 25 per year. Hannahs is also “very keen” to acquire more 787s beyond the five already booked.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was identified yesterday as the customer for 35 Boeing 737-800s ordered from the U.S. manufacturer in June. The Kuala Lumpur-based operator also has taken purchase rights covering 20 more such aircraft. The new equipment, to be delivered from September 2010, will replace the carrier’s current 37-strong fleet of 737-400s as MAS expands its core network in the ASEAN economic region through new services (to previously unviable destinations) and increased frequencies.

“Provided the economy stays good and we don’t get [a lot of] cancellations, we’d like to bridge the gap to the [top of] the next cycle,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Scott Carson. “We’re essentially sold out to 2014.”

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