Paris Air Show - Day 2

Wall Street Journal: The world's commercial-aircraft manufacturers racked up orders for more than 150 planes valued at more than $10 billion on the second day of the Paris Air Show despite growing concerns about the health of the global economy.

After a blockbuster opening day Monday, there was no letup in the pace of orders Tuesday with Airbus and Boeing Co. announcing more huge commitments.

"Airlines are fundamentally stronger than they've been in years," said Jeff Knittel, president of transportation finance at CIT Group Inc., one of the world's largest aircraft-leasing companies. "Consolidation in the U.S. has yielded better balance sheets, and airlines in the U.S. and western Europe are more disciplined on capacity than ever before.

"It's two stories: In the U.S. and western Europe, airlines are replacing older planes. And Asia, the Middle East and Latin America are growth markets."

CIT on Tuesday ordered 50 A320neos at a list price of about $4.6 billion as the fuel-efficient Airbus model once again stole the limelight, snaring the biggest deals of the day in terms of price and numbers of planes. Customers typically negotiate substantial discounts on bulk buys.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV, Tuesday booked orders for 121 aircraft from the A320 family of single-aisle commercial jets after taking orders for 142 planes Monday. The 263 aircraft booked over the first two days represent a value of $26.1 billion at list price and bring to 594 the number of orders booked by Airbus since it launched the A320neo program in December.

The European aircraft builder had predicted that its order book for A320neos would swell to at least 500 by the time the air show ends later this week.

Airbus says that the A320neo—the "neo" stands for "new engine option"—will enter service in 2015 and will offer 15% fuel reduction compared with existing versions of the plane. The reduction in fuel burn is equivalent to 1.4 million liters of fuel a year—the consumption of 1,000 midsize cars—saving 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide per aircraft, or the amount absorbed by 240,000 mature trees, according to Airbus.

CIT ordered 60 PurePower PW1100G engines and booked options for up to 40 more from Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. It also ordered Leap-X1A engines to power 15 A320neos from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France's Safran SA, with an option for engines for another 10.

Other A320neo orders Tuesday included one for 40 aircraft from JetBlue Airways Corp. of the U.S. and one from Garuda Indonesia for 15 standard A320s and 10 A320neos.

There was a firm order from Taiwan-based TransAsia Airways for six re-engined versions of the stretched A321.

Airbus already has bettered its performance at Farnborough, England, last year, when it took in customer commitments for a total of 255 aircraft valued at $28 billion, including 133 firm orders worth more than $13 billion. The order inflow at Airbus is expected to continue. Airbus has scheduled two announcements for Wednesday and possibly one Thursday.

Boeing picked up an order for 15 737-800 aircraft worth $1.2 billion at list prices from low-fare carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, while late Monday in Washington MIAT Mongolian Airlines ordered two 737-800s and one 767-300ER in a $245 million deal. Malaysian Airline System Bhd. exercised an option to buy 10 737-800s for $800 million at current list prices.

Russian carrier OAO Aeroflot will receive eight long-haul 777-300ERs. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's orders and deliveries website.


Post a Comment