Airbus and Boeing receive huge orders at Paris Air Show

The Paris Air Show saw an early order surge from Garuda Indonesia, with the Asian carrier committing to about US$20 billion in aircraft from Airbus and Boeing to rejuvenate its fleet and serve booming travel demand.

Boeing signed a memorandum with the airline for 30 787-9 Dreamliners with a list price of about $7.7bn, together with 30 shorter-range 737 Max 8 airliners worth about $3.2bn. Airbus signed a letter of intent with the carrier for 30 A350 wide bodies, the European manufacturer’s newest model. That agreement has a list price of more than $9bn.

Airbus also announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines will become the first customer for a regional version of its A330-300 airliner, and will buy 20 of the planes, together with 30 single-aisle A320s with current-generation engines. The European planemaker has sought to gain a bigger slice of the wide-body market, which has historically been a Boeing stronghold, and both companies have brought their newest aircraft to the event to showcase their capabilities.

The Paris show, which alternates with the Farnborough expo southwest of London, is set to provide a further order lift for both companies in the narrow-body market, the backbone of most global airline fleets.

The largest transaction could be for 100 Boeing Maxes for lessor AerCap Holdings, people familiar with the matter said. That would be valued at more than $10bn, based on the $106.9 million list price for the top-selling Max 8.

Airbus is close to a sale of 60 A320neos to General Electric’s leasing unit, other people said. Lessors are prized buyers because they place planes with multiple customers. GE Capital Aviation Services has previously bought Maxes and the neo, while AerCap had neos on its books but none of the new Boeings. GE is the sole engine supplier on the Max.

Among the first leasing companies to place orders at the show was Air Lease, run by Steve Udvar-Hazy, which said it will buy one additional A350-900, as well as one additional A321ceo and three A320ceos. Customers typically get steep discounts on aircraft orders and don’t pay full list prices.

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