PARIS --- An unexpected order from Singapore Airlines, disclosed late Friday afternoon on the last trade day of the Farnborough Air Show, helped Airbus close in on Boeing in the race for new orders.
Going into Farnborough, Airbus had logged only 117 orders for new aircraft during the first half of the year, significantly less than the 487 announced by Boeing.
However, Boeing only announced 17 new orders at the show – the others were included in its first-half tally, although the identity of the customer had not been revealed – while Airbus said it had bagged 90 orders at Farnborough, plus 92 options or commitments.
The two companies’ order book for the year now stand at 207 for Airbus and 504 for Boeing, which still enjoys a comfortable, although diminished, lead over its European rival.
Firm orders announced by Airbus comprise India's Go Air for 10 A320s (with options on ten more), Air Caraïbes for an A330-300, a private customer for one ACJ, Aegean Airlines for three A320s, ILFC for six A320s, Malaysia's Air Asia for 40 A320s (with options for 30 more), CIT Group Inc. for five A330-200s and four A320s, and European Wizz Air for 20 A320s.
Singapore Airlines signed a Letter of Intent for 20 firm A350s and 20 options, and also placed a repeat order for the A380, adding nine to its initial order for ten. In addition, Singapore will lease 19 A330-300s.
Other commitments announced by Airbus include Libya's Afriqiyah for three A319s and six A320s (with options for five more) as well as for three A330-200s (plus three options); Spanish travel group Grupo Marsans for 12 A330-200s (plus ten options), and Germany's Blue Wings for 20 A320s.
Significantly, only four of Boeing’s new orders were for its latest 787 Dreamliner, whereas Airbus logged 30 orders for its latest aircraft: ten for the A380 super-jumbo and 20 (plus 2 options) for its re-designed A350, now known as the A350XWB (for Extra Wide Body).
Boeing’s new orders at the show included four 787-8s (two from ILFC and two from Pegasus AFC), two 777-30ERs (ILFC) nine 737-800s (six from ILFC and three from Futura) and two 747-400ER freighters from Load Air Cargo.
Boeing also announced a commitment by Emirates Sky Cargo to buy ten 747-8 freighters, by Flyington Freighters to purchase four 777 Freighters, and from Futura for three more 737-800s.