Students of human psychology need look no further than the fable of the tortoise and the hare to understand the situation today in the region’s leasing sector. In the waning years of the boom, a number of new entrants made valiant plays, but some appear to have had to pause to reconsider. Despite the aviation boom in the Middle East, few new major regional entrants into this esoteric business have come into existence and, of those that have, the 2008 bust clearly had a major negative impact.
Boeing announced a firm order from United Airlines on July 12 for 150 new 737 narrowbodies worth $14.7 billion at list prices, rounding out a week in which airlines and leasing companies placed more than $37 billion in orders and commitments for 737s at the Farnborough International airshow.
Boeing’s 737 MAX program picked up further market momentum yesterday as a pair of high-profile leasing companies–GECAS and ALAFCO–committed to a total of 120 airplanes worth almost $11 billion at list prices.
The larger of the two deals, inked by U.S. leasing giant GECAS, covered 75 of the future CFM International Leap 1B-powered narrowbodies, as well as 25 of the current single-aisle 737NGs.
What did last week’s Singapore Airshow tell us about the state of air transport in the Asia Pacific region? Apart from highlighting Indonesia as being a pocket of pent-up demand for fleet modernization, the honest answer is not very much.
Kuwait-based lessor Alafco has announced the selection of the CFM Leap-1A engine for the 35 Airbus A320neos that it ordered here at the show on Tuesday. Aircraft delivery is scheduled between 2019 and 2021. For CFM, the deal is valued at $840 million at list prices. Alafco said it planned to grow its portfolio to 100 airplanes “over the next few years.”
A flurry of commercial activity in steamy Singapore yesterday marked a busy opening day for the 2012 airshow. Kicked off by the conversion to firm status of a record commitment for 201 Boeing 737 MAXs and 29 737-900ERs placed last November by Indonesia’s LionAir, the day would prove very lucrative for both Western OEMs and a relative newcomer from China.
Calculating the value of business announced during airshows is an inexact science, but as the 2011 Dubai Air Show came to an end last week the combined sales tally for airliners, engines and support contracts looked set to have topped $50 billion. Boeing grabbed the lion’s share of this through a $26 billion deal with Emirates Airline covering 50 of its 777-300ER long-range twinjets and options for 20 more.
It’s no mirage, and no longer a dream. The long-delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner has finally made its Middle East debut here at the Dubai Air Show.
Since the Boeing 787 entered service last month, the spotlight has turned toward Airbus, which is working hard on the competing A350XWB.
Another bumper day at the Paris Air Show saw more than $27 billion worth of orders (firm and memorandums of understanding) for commercial airliners placed by airlines desperate to get the best deals they can before the upturn really kicks in. Airbus had another great day with a raft of new A320neo orders to add to its show tally.
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