Boeing overtakes Airbus orders at Paris show

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

LE BOURGET, France, June 14 (AFP) - Boeing overtook Airbus Tuesday in the race for aircraft orders, grabbing the lion's share of their combined 10.4 billion dollars (8.6 billion euros) in deals announced in the first two days of the Paris Air Show.

LE BOURGET, France, June 14 (AFP) - Boeing overtook Airbus Tuesday in the race for aircraft orders, grabbing the lion's share of their combined 10.4 billion dollars (8.6 billion euros) in deals announced in the first two days of the Paris Air Show.  

Boeing surged ahead in the afternoon, notching up a deal valued at 2.9 billion dollars in list prices. The rivals had been neck-and-neck in the morning with European aircraft maker Airbus at some 3.6 billion dollars and Boeing at 3.9 billion.  

Airbus meanwhile downplayed turbulence on the production side of its new super-jumbo A380, the star of the show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris.  

Two weeks ago the company announced a delay in delivery of the A380 of up to six months, affecting launch-carrier Singapore Airlines, Hong-Kong based Cathay Pacific Airways and Air France/KLM. The delay could entail financial penalties from customers.  

Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard, asked at a news conference about the financial effect of the delays, said they "won't have any significant impact" on the company's 2006 results.  

Forgeard attributed the delays to electrical problems and "a very tight schedule" that the company had set, knowing "that this would be hard to match."  

Airbus and Boeing have signalled that Asia and the Middle East are key growth drivers in the global aviation market, and the orders announced at the 46th biennial show reflected this.  

Boeing fired the first shot Tuesday: an order for 20 Next-Generation single-aisle 737s from US aircraft leasing company GE Commercial Aviation Services valued at 1.1 billion dollars. The 20 737s are scheduled for delivery to GECAS from 2006 to 2008.  

Then Boeing streaked ahead in the afternoon with a firm order from another major US lessor, International Lease Finance Corporation, for 20 Next-Generation 737s and eight 777s, valued at nearly 2.9 billion dollars.  

Alan Mulally, the head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the company was in "intense negotiation" with ILFC on an order for the new fuel-efficient 787. A deal was seen this year.  

The biggest private airline in India, Jet Airways, landed in the order books of both Airbus and Boeing.  

Jet Airways signed a letter of intent with Boeing to buy 10 777s and 10 737s and took options on 10 777s, in an agreement worth about 2.8 billion dollars. The Indian airline said it had ordered six of Boeing's new long-haul 777-200LRs, four 777-300ERs and 10 Next-Generation 737-800s.  

With Airbus, Jet Airways signed a letter of intent to purchase 10 A330s valued at some 1.65 billion dollars, and took an option to buy 10 more.   Airbus also announced a commitment from Kuwait-based international aircraft leasing company ALAFCO to buy 12 of its future A350 aircraft.  

The intention to order, valued at some two billion dollars, includes an option to buy six more aircraft, Airbus CEO Forgeard said.  

The planned long-haul, medium-capacity A350 now has won 102 purchase agreements, in orders and commitments, Airbus sales chief John Leahy said, topping the company's target of 100 A350s set for the air show.  

Delivery of the 12 A350s to ALAFCO, most of them A350-800s valued at 160 million dollars, will begin in the third quarter of 2012, the company said.  

Forgeard said there was strong demand for the planned A350, announced in December.  

Airbus expects to have "110 to 120 orders by the end of the week... and about 200 commitments by the end of the year," he told another news conference.  

The delay in the industrial launch of the A350, announced last week by Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), was decided to allow "a maximum amount of time for a negotiated solution" in the subsidy dispute between the European Union and the United States, Forgeard said.  

The EU and US procedurally blocked each other's lawsuit Monday at a preliminary hearing at the World Trade Organization. The US objects to state aid for Airbus while the EU contends that lucrative US military contracts awarded Boeing should also be considered a government subsidy.   

EADS holds 80 percent of Airbus and the rest is owned by British group BAE Systems.   Forgeard said Airbus had lifted its forecast for aircraft deliveries this year to "at least 360" - compared with a previous 350-360 range - and forecast a 10 percent rise in 2006.   Next year's deliveries should be "way past 400", Forgeard said.  

The week-long show ends Sunday, with the final three days open to the public.


Subject: French News

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