Farnborough comes alive!

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 23, 2010

Boeing's Jim Albaugh (centre-left) and Air lease Corp's Steven Udvar-Hazy (centre-right) at Farnborough 2010. (Boeing)

The Farnborough Airshow once again returned to its glory days this year, with a number of major aircraft orders and commitments announced during the week from lessors and airlines.

Following is a summary of orders and commitments made at Farnborough by manufacturer and type:

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Commitments

* AIRBUS A320 FAMILY: LAN Airlines signed an MoU for 50 A320 Family aircraft including 10 A321s. Virgin America signed an MoU for at least 40 and up to 60 A320s.

* AIRBUS A330: Hong Kong Airlines committed to acquiring an additional 10 A330-200s. Thai Airways International signed an MoU to purchase seven Airbus A330-300s.

* AIRBUS A350: Hong Kong Airlines signed an MoU to acquire 15 A350s. The A350 order represents the conversion of 15 existing A330 orders.

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* EMBRAER E190: Republic Airlines has signed a letter of intent to order 24 Embraer E-190s

* SUKHOI SSJ: Orient Thai Airlines signed a letter of intent to buy up to 24 SSJ 100s. Bermuda based Pearl Aircraft Corporation signed an MoU for 30 SSJ100s and 15 options.

Virgin America signs for 40 Airbus A320s with Airbus CEO Tomas Enders (centre-right) and COO John Leahy (right) while Virgin head Sir Richard Branson looks on. (Airbus)

Firm orders 

* AIRBUS A320 FAMILY: Berlin-based Germania ordered five A319s, which will be delivered from 2011. Lessor GECAS ordered 60 A320 Family aircraft, with the breakdown not yet specified. Lessor Air Lease Corporation ordered 31 A320s and 20 A321s.

* AIRBUS A330: Garuda Indonesia ordered six A330-200s for delivery from the second quarter of 2012. Aeroflot has firmed an order for 11 A330-300s.

* ATR: Lessor Air Lease Corporation ordered 10 ATR 72-600s with options on a further 10 of the type. Brazilian carrier Azul placed an order for 20 firm and 20 options for ATR 72-600s, making it the launch customer for the -600 series in South America. Swedish regional carrier Golden Air ordered two ATR 72-500s, which will be delivered in August and October 2010. Lao Airlines has purchased two ATR 72-500s, which will be delivered by the end of the year.

* BOEING 737: Lessor Air Lease Corporation ordered 54 737-800s with options on a further six. New lessor Avolon has been identified as the customer for 12 737-800s sold in December 2009 and attributed to an undisclosed customer. Norwegian Air Shuttle exercised purchase rights for 15 additional 737-800s. Lessor GECAS ordered 40 737-800s. Chinese carrier Okay Airways placed an order for 10 737-800s.

* BOEING 767: Azerbaijan Airlines has ordered one Boeing 767-300ER and two 767 Freighters. The order replaces a previous order for two 737NGs.

* BOEING 777: Reunion Island based Air Austral has ordered two Boeing 777-200LRs, for delivery in mid 2011 and 2012. Emirates ordered 30 additional Boeing 777-300ERs, 18 of which were previously attributed to an unidentified customer.

* BOEING 787: Royal Jordanian ordered an additional three 787-8s, which were previously allocated to an undisclosed customer.

* BOMBARDIER Q400: Qantas exercised options on seven Q400s

* EMBRAER E-JET: Air Lease Corporation signed a letter of intent with Embraer for 15 E-190s and options on a further five. Brazilian carrier Azul has ordered five E-195s. TRIP Linhas Aeras of Brazil ordered six E-175s.

* SUKHOI SSJ: Indonesian carrier Kartika Airlines has firmed a tentative agreement to order 30 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s. Russian operator Gazprom Avia has also signed a firm order for 10 SSJs, with deliveries commencing in 2012.

In addition, Boeing announced orders from Alaska Airlines and American Airlines away from the Farnborough Airshow.

One of the most influential buyers at the airshow was Air Lease Corporation, the new lessor founded by former ILFC CEO and industry stalwart Steven Udvar-Hazy. The company recently raised US$3bn (A$3.36bn) in debt financing, most of which is expected to go towards the orders placed. While the lessor placed large orders for both Boeing and Airbus narrowbodies, the Embraer and ATR orders were somewhat more surprising, particularly the latter as Udvar-Hazy never ordered turboprop aircraft while he was at ILFC.

While the airline orders were outshone by those placed by lessors, there were a number of commitments announced at the airshow, possibly signalling that airlines are once again moving to restock their fleets after many reduced their capacities during the downturn. A number of Boeing’s orders had already been taken but not announced, while Airbus took a number of memoranda of understanding which are yet translated into firm orders. This could indicate that some airlines are still experiencing difficulty financing their aircraft purchases and are waiting for finance approval before firming up their orders.

Also surprising was the activity around the SSJ100, the first of which should be delivered by the end of the year. While the sales were not to well known operators, that could be about to change as SCAC has been in discussions with Alitalia on a possible order for the aircraft.

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