Air Asia led the charge in the airliner orders rush here at the Farnborough International Airshow, announcing orders for 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft late on Tuesday. The new business, valued at around $12.6 billion at list prices, is set to take the size of the Malaysia-based carrier’s overall A320 family fleet to 575 aircraft, and confirming its position as the largest customer for Airbus’s single-aisle family.
“Air Asia Group currently operates close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries,” said the airline’s CEO, Tony Fernandes. “We recorded a robust load factor of 85 percent in the first quarter of 2016, up 8 percentage points from the same period last year, and we are confident of maintaining the momentum going forward. The A321neo will help us to meet ongoing strong demand as well as further reduce our cost per available seat kilometer across the group, which will translate into lower air fares for our guests.”
Earlier in the day, India’s Go Air doubled its commitment to the Airbus A320neo program with a memorandum of understanding for 72 of the new narrowbodies. Last month it took delivery of the first two aircraft from a 72-ship order placed back in 2011. The value of the new commitment, based on list prices, is approximately $7.7 billion.
The deal was one of several significant announcements, so far, at the show, where sales of airliners, engines and associated services were approaching a combined value of almost $52 billion as of the end of Tuesday. Boeing also has further boosted its backlog this week, as have Bombardier and Embraer. The sales tally is still a long way behind the historic $200 billion haul announced two years ago at the 2014 show.
Germania Group signed a contract for 25 of Airbus’s new A320neos, with an approximate value of $2.7 billion. The European carrier is growing a fleet that already consists of 10 A319s and five A321s for flights within the continent and also into North Africa and the Middle East.
“We are totally convinced by the [A320neo’s] technical innovations, as well as by the combination of comfort and economics provided by this aircraft,” commented Germania CEO Karsten Balke. Its A320neos will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.
Icelandic low-cost carrier Wow Air agreed to buy four A321s with an approximate value of $460 million. Two of the aircraft will be delivered in 2017, with the other pair arriving in 2018. The airline already operates several leased Airbuses.
Russian cargo group Volga-Dnepr firmed up a purchase of 20 Boeing 747-8 freighters. Four of the widebodies have already been delivered, and the value of the 16 remaining aircraft is approximately $6 billion.
Boeing also announced an agreement to use Volga-Dnepr’s cargo divisions, AirBridge Cargo Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines, to provide long-term logistics support for the OEM and its manufacturing partners, such as General Electric. The Russian freight carriers will transport aerostructures and components in a mixed fleet of Boeing 747-8s and Antonov An124-100 freighters. According to Volga-Dnepr president Alexey Isaykin, almost a third of the freight carrier group’s operations are flown in support of aerospace industry clients.
TUI Group Airlines signed a $1.4 billion deal to buy ten 737 Max 8 narrowbodies and a 787-9 Dreamliner widebody (plus an option for one more). Following on from previous orders with Boeing, the European operator now has a further 70 CFM Leap 1-A powered 737 Max twinjets to be delivered, and three more 787-9s.
Kunming Airlines concluded a memorandum of understanding covering ten 737 Max 7s. This makes it the launch customer for the type in China.
Air Lease Group placed three new orders for the 737 Max 8. The company also confirmed itself as the undisclosed customer for three more in a deal valued at $660 million.