Airbus announced a series of aircraft orders overnight but still found itself trailing well behind rival Boeing as a relatively subdued Farnborough Airshow headed toward its conclusion.
For the week, the European manufacturer said it took in firm orders for 54 aircraft valued at US$11.1 billion and won commitments for another 61 aircraft worth US$5.8 billion. Boeing easily outpaced those totals, winning orders and commitments valued at US$35.5 billion.
Airbus also fell well short of its mark from last year’s Paris Airshow, where it sold 720 aircraft valued at US$72 billion. But Airbus officials insisted that they viewed Farnborough as a success and had not expected a repeat of last year’s record sales, which were led by strong demand for the company’s A320neo.
“I believe this is a good show,” Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier told reporters at the show, according to Reuters. “We weren’t expecting 700 orders.”
Mr Bregier also brushed off revelations of new production problems with the A350 widebody and weak sales of the A380 superjumbo jet, saying both programs were on solid footings.
The orders announced overnight included the following:
- South American holding company Synergy Aerospace placed a firm order for nine A330 Family aircraft, including six passenger versions of the A330-200 and three A330-200 Freighters;
- Russian carrier UTair placed a firm order for 20 current-generation A321s, which will be configured in a single-class layout seating 220 passengers;
- Lebanese flag carrier Middle East Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding for five A320neo and five A321neo aircraft, plus options on an additional eight A321neos;
- Irish leasing company Avolon signed a memorandum of understanding for 15 A320neos.