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June 28, 2011

Paris Air Show Order Wrap-up: Airbus Outsells Boeing for Second Straight Year

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Written by: Brandon Farris
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The 2011 Paris Air Show was the best ever for Airbus, earning firm orders for 418 aircraft worth about $44 billion at list prices, compared to only 47 planes valued at $7.5 billion for Boeing.

Airbus A320 with winglets and new house livery

Airbus also outsold Boeing at last year’s Farnborough show, though by a much smaller margin: 130 planes/$13 billion vs. 103 planes/$10 billion.

Airbus orders by type, including provisional orders

A320 family: 701
A330: 11
A350: 6
A380: 12

The big hit were Airbus’s newly introduced A320neo (New Engine Option) jets, which gained 600 orders in Pari sfor a total of 1,029 orders received. The largest order for Airbus came from AirAsia, who waited until the final media day to announce their firm order for 200 of the new A320neo, with a list value estimated at $18.2 billion.

“If our friends over in Seattle still think that the A320NEO is only catching up to their 737NG, what are they smoking?” asked John Leahy, chief operating officer at Airbus, commenting on the vast influx of A320NEO orders during the show.

Airbus had previously announced that they would be stepping up production rates on the A320 line to 42 per month due to the increase in orders for the aircraft. Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus said, “At this time we will continue to study even more and see if the line and suppliers would be able to keep up if we were to increase the rates even more. But at this time we are going to stick with what we had previously announced.”

Airbus firm orders by customer

AirAsia: 200 A320neo
GoAir: 72 A320neo
GECAS: 60 A320neo
SAS: 30 A320neo
LAN: 20 A320neo
IndiGo*: 150 A320neo + 30 A320
Hong Kong Airlines**: 10 A380
TransAsia: 6 A321neo
Alafco: 6 A350-900
Air Lease Corporation: 7 A330 + 1 A321
Saudi Arabian: 4 A330
Skymark: 2 A380
* Not counted in totals, as order was actually signed before airshow
** Customer not officially identified

Airbus provisional orders by customer

CIT: 50 A320neo
JetBlue: 40 A320neo
Republic: 40 A319neo + 40 A320neo
Air Lease Corporation: 36 A320neo
Avianca: 33 A320neo + 18 A320
Alafco: 30 A320neo
Garuda: 15 A320 + 10 A320neo

Airbus seemed rather surprised with the success that the neo had at its first air show. But Enders went on to say, “This does not change our schedule at all. We have a very strict research and testing schedule that we will stick to. Honestly, no new technological advances will be ready for the narrow body till 2025 at the earliest, so the neo represented the best option at the time for our A320 line family.”

Wait times for new Airbus planes have been pushed back as a result of the increased backlog. Order a new A320 classic today and you’ll have to wait until 2014 for it to show up, or until 2018 for an A320neo, 2013 for an A330, 2018/19 for an A350 and 2015 for an A380.

Some wonder if the A320neo will spell the end for the A320 Classic. Enders would not confirm this other then saying, “We have no plans to stop offering the classic and we are not allowing any airlines to convert past confirmed orders to the neo. However we could have the A320 line producing neo only as early as 2018.”

During the press conference it was revealed that AirAsia has apparently been pushing Airbus to work on creating an A330neo, but Leahy and Enders both quickly shot that down for now stating that Airbus has more than enough on its plate for the current time.

Boeing, on the other hand, took in only 132 orders. Pressure for Boeing to design an updated 737 increased dramatically as several 737 customers made big orders for the Airbus A320neo.

Boeing orders by type, including provisional orders

777: 27
767: 1
787: 4
737: 81
747-8: 19

Boeing firm orders by customer

Norwegian: 15 737-800 + 3 787
Mongolian: 2 737-800 + 1 767-300ER
Malaysian*: 10 737-800
Aeroflot*: 8 777-300ER
Qatar*: 6 777-300ER
Unidentified: 2 747-8
* Previously published in Boeing order book as unidentified customer

Boeing provisional orders by customer

UTAir: 33 737-800 + 7 737-900ER
Air Lease Corporation: 20 737 + 5 777 + 4 787-9
Unidentified*: 15 747-8
GECAS: 8 777-300ER + 2 747-8F
* Widely reported to be Hong Kong Airlines

Embraer received 72 orders for new aircraft with the bulk of the order being for E-190’s. With 20 orders coming from Kenya Airways, Indonesian based Sriwijaya Air ordering 20; Air Astana ordering two and leasing company Air Lease Corp putting in the largest order at 30.

Bombardier squeaked by with 50 orders for their new C-Series aircraft and locked in a launch customer with an order for 10 planes, who will be announced in the near future. The biggest order came from Korean Air, who will be the first Asian customer with an order for 30 of the new aircraft.

About the Author

Brandon Farris



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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for breaking down the sales at each show, as well as the overall order log of each company.  The show numbers for Airbus are outrageous.  I can understand the cause for their bravado, by looking purely at the order sheet.  But, they’ve got to walk the walk now. 

    Leahy’s question about what Boeing is smoking is an eyebrow raiser.  Boeing has ~2300 737s in its order backlog, still outpacing the combined A320 classic/neo backlog.  The big decision is indeed what the future of the 737 is.  Boeing has to get the 787 and 747-8 certified, in-service, and learn from each program to determine how to approach development of a new 737.  Plus, its customers have to weigh in on development of the aircraft.

    Airbus should be more concerned with its widebody platforms, considering that they were outsold 29 to Boeing’s 51.  They’ve got to recoup for the A380, and development and delivery of the A350 is speculative at best. 

    Should Boeing carry forward with a new 737, Airbus is going to have an even bigger problem on its hand.  My suspicion is the bravado is simply a cover for what could soon become a very humbling reality.

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible that Airbus can offer the “newer” plane during sale-pitches to potential customers?  320 vs 737, 380 vs 747, etc?

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible that Airbus can offer the “newer” aircraft to potential customers (320 v 737; 380 v 747; etc)?  Boeing may be perceived as old.