The opening of the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday saw airliner manufacturers add $43.6 billion to their combined order books, double that booked at the start of Farnborough 2016. This new business was generated by around two dozen varied and complexed contracts either signed or firmed up at the show.
Airbus landed the biggest deal of the day, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an undisclosed leasing group for 80 A320neo narrowbodies worth approximately $8.8 billion at list prices. Not to be outdone, Boeing announced an equally valued order from Indian carrier Jet Airways for an additional 75 737 MAX 8s; however, this deal was previously posted as unidentified on Boeing's orders and deliveries website.
Taiwan’s Starlux Airlines signed an MoU worth about $6 billion for 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s. China’s Sichuan Airlines inked orders for 10 A350XWBs worth almost $3.2 billion. The Chengdu-based operator also is leasing four more of the long-haul widebodies, which are powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engine.
Leasing group Goshawk Aviation placed $2.2 billion worth of firm orders for 20 A320neos. The Ireland-based group is owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate NWS Holdings and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
In an almost identical deal, Australia’s Macquarie AirFinance Group placed firm orders for another 20 A320neos. The leasing group has not previously ordered this version of the narrowbody.
Wataniya Airways of Kuwait firmed up an MoU for 25 A320neos worth about $1.1 billion that it had made an initial commitment for at last year’s Dubai Air Show. After six years spent grounded during financial difficulties, the carrier resumed operations in July 2017.
Also in the Middle East, Omani budget carrier SalamAir, which was launched only 18 months ago, ordered six A320neo aircraft, with five of those being leased from an undisclosed lessor.
India’s Vistara signed a letter of intent for 13 A320neos, powered by CFM International’s Leap 1A engines. The agreement, worth around $1.4 billion, will add to the New Delhi-based operator’s existing fleet of 21 Airbus aircraft. It is due to get another 37 A320neos from lessors.
Meanwhile, orders and options for up to 26 new 777 freighters were the main order of business for the Boeing sales team at the Farnborough Airshow on Monday. DHL signed for 14 of the widebody, with options for another seven, in $4.7 billion deal. Qatar Airways finalized a $1.7 billion order for five 777 Freighters.
Brazil’s Gol Airlines ordered 15 more 737 Max 8s worth almost $1.7 billion. The carrier, which now holds a total of 135 orders for the Max family, also upgraded a previous order for 30 Max 8s to the larger Max 10 model, adding around $384 million to the value of the transaction.
San Francisco-based leasing group Jackson Square Aviation announced a $3.5 billion order for 30 737 Max narrowbodies, in its first direct purchase from any airframer. The transaction had previously been on Boeing’s books but with the purchaser not disclosed.
Similarly, United Airlines identified itself the customer in a repeat order for four more long-range 787-9s valued at $1.1 billion. The order had been logged to an unidentified customer earlier this year.
Romanian flag carrier Tarom announced itself as the customer for a previously unidentified order for five 737 Max 8s worth around $586 million.
Boeing also announced an array of orders and agreements for various support services, collectively valued at around $2.2 billion. These included the following: 20 landing gear exchanges for Atlas Air’s 747-8 fleet; an optimized maintenance program for Emirates Airline’s fleet of 777-300ERs, 777-200LRs and 777-300s; component services for Eva Airways’s 787 fleet; electronic flight bag services for Hawaiian Airlines’s fleet; and a long-term partnership agreement with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen to provide dispatcher training for Malaysia’s Malindo Air.
United Airlines also announced a $1.1 billion firm order for 25 of Embraer’s E175 twinjets, with deliveries to begin in the second quarter of 2019. Earlier this month, Boeing agreed to acquire an 80 percent stake in the Brazilian airframer’s commercial aviation division.
EWA Air announced a $30 million order for a pair of ATR 72-600 turboprop twins. The regional airline is based in the French overseas territory of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean.
Leasing group Gecas and Okay Airways announced a sale-leaseback deal for two more 737 Max 8s worth approximately $234 million. Okay, which last week took delivery of its first 737 Max 8, is China’s first privately-owned aviation group.
Middle East Airlines selected Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan engine to power 11 A320neos that it has on order. The contract covers the powerplant maker’s EngineWise service agreement.
China’s Hongtu Airlines signed a $400 million purchase agreement for CFM56-5B engines to power three A320ceo airliners. The transaction includes a 12-year rate-per-flight-hour support package.
Vietnam Airlines announced the signing of a three-year maintenance agreement with International Aero Engines covering the overhaul of V2500 turbofans in its fleet.
ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector announced new contracts for around $362 million. The agreements with various operators cover work including heavy maintenance, engine washes, and aircraft interior reconfiguration.