Embraer wins big Flybe order for small jets at Farnborough
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer announced on Tuesday a deal to sell up to 140 of its small jets worth a combined 5.0 billion dollars, as the Farnborough airshow order race ramped up.
A day after aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus announced deals to sell more than 200 passenger jets together worth close to 25 billion dollars, Embraer said British low-cost airline Flybe agreed to buy at least 35 Embraer 88-seater E175 jets.
Flybe also has options to buy another 65 planes, and purchase rights for a further 40. The total potential value is 5.0 billion dollars (3.85 billion euros).
The Farnborough International Airshow near London is one of aviation's biggest trade events and renowned for being an arena for major deal announcements for civilian and military planes.
Airlines and leasing companies are snapping up short and long-haul planes to meet soaring demand for air travel across emerging markets, especially in Asia, while also anticipating an upturn in European and US economic growth.
"Flybe ... today announced a substantial order to purchase up to 140 Embraer 175 and E-family aircraft," the airline said in a statement.
"Flybe is procuring this capacity to support its planned European growth," it added.
Also on Tuesday, the second day of the Farnborough show, US aerospace giant Boeing said it had signed a deal to sell three of its mid-sized 787 Dreamliners together worth 500 million dollars to Royal Jordanian airline.
The plane, which can fly very long distances and seat up to 330 passengers, has been beset by production delays but Boeing expects to finally make its first delivery to launch customer All Nippon Airways no later than January.
A fuel-efficient Dreamliner flew to Farnborough on Sunday after making the first test flight outside the United States.
Explaining the purchase of Dreamliner jets, Royal Jordanian chief executive Hussein Dabbas said: "The superior economics and range capability of the 787 will allow us to competitively serve North America and other destinations in our network from Amman."
Airbus is working on a new long-haul plane of its own -- the A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body).
The biggest single order for jets on the opening day of the Farnborough show meanwhile came from Dubai airline Emirates, which bought 30 Boeing long-range 777 aircraft worth a combined 9.1 billion dollars.
Emirates' huge order on Monday came only a month after the airline agreed to spend 11.5 billion dollars on 32 Airbus A380 superjumbos -- the biggest single contract in civil aviation history.
General Electric's aircraft leasing unit meanwhile agreed to buy 40 single-aisle 737-800 planes worth 3.0 billion dollars from Boeing, and 60 A320 single-aisle planes worth 4.5 billion dollars from Airbus.
While defence is also in focus at Farnborough, any major deals for military jets at Farnborough are likely to be at a premium with governments set to slash budgets to help reduce huge public deficits.
© 2010 AFP