Dreamliner wows crowds, but A320neo the big hit

Boeing's graceful new long-haul jet, the 787 Dreamliner, landed at Le Bourget aerodrome to woo crowds of admirers at its first Paris International Air Show yesterday.

Paris is home turf for the US giant's European rival Airbus, and Boeing was determined to show off its most modern plane at a time when the duelling pair are vying for an important order from Air France-KLM.

The airline is due to decide whether to buy the Dreamliner, which is due for delivery to its first client in September, or to stick with France's Airbus and face a wait for its rival A350 long-haul carrier.

Boeing's new long-haul jet, the 787 Dreamliner, lands at Le Bourget aerodrome for its first appearance at Paris International Air Show.
Boeing's new long-haul jet, the 787 Dreamliner, lands at Le Bourget aerodrome for its first appearance at Paris International Air Show. Photo: AFP

Industry sources expect the giant flag-bearer to pick a mix of the two planes, despite political pressure in France to make the patriotic choice.

There was a headlong rush of major aircraft orders on the second day of the Paris International Airshow as rivals Airbus and Boeing fought to grab the headlines.

The day was dominated by the Airbus A320neo, the upgraded, more fuel-efficient medium-haul workhorse which appeared to get the better of Boeing's venerable 737 series, the world's biggest-selling plane.

The Airbus A320neo (for New Engine Option) is proving popular at the Paris International Air Show.
The Airbus A320neo (for New Engine Option) is proving popular at the Paris International Air Show. 

The medium-haul market is the single most important segment of the industry and will likely account for nearly half of all commercial aircraft sales by value over the next 20 years, according to Boeing.

The figures do not include memorandums of understanding or letters of intent for aircraft of which there were several on Tuesday, mostly large potential orders for the Airbus A320neo.

(Figures in US dollars)

Airbus:

- 60 A320neo aircraft, the updated and more efficient version of the workhorse A320 series, worth some $5.5 billion dollars at list price for Gecas leasing company of the United States.

- 36 A320neos plus 14 options for Aircraft Leasing Corporation which also ordered one A321 and 11 long-haul A330s in a deal that could be worth $6.0 billion.

- 30 A320neos for Scandinavia's SAS Airlines, worth up to $2.8 billion.

- 6 A320neos for Taiwan's TransAsia worth $600 million.

- Four A330-300s for Saudi Arabian Airlines, worth $800 million.

Boeing:

- 14 B737-800s worth $1.1 billion for Aircraft Leasing Corporation.

- Two B747-8, the upgraded version of the original 747 jumbo jet aimed at the Airbus A380 superjumbo, with a list price of $635 million. Another client signed a commitment to buy another 15 of the aircraft.

- 6 B777-300ER for Qatar Airways worth $1.7 billion.

- 10 737-800 for Malaysia Airlines at $800 million.

- 8 777-300ER for Aeroflot, $2.2 billion

- 2 737-800 and one 767-300ER for MIAT Mongolian Airlines, $245 million.

- 15 737-800 for low-cost carrier Norwegian, worth $1.2 billion, plus three 787 Dreamliners.

- 14 737-800 for US leasing firm ALC, $1.1 billion.

Embraer:

- 39 orders for its E-jet series of regional aircraft worth $1.7 billion

Bombardier:

- 10 CS100 regional jets worth more than $600 million.

- 10 Global 8000 business jets for Switzerland's VistaJet, a business aviation specialist, worth $650 million

ATR, a joint venture of EADS and Italy's Alenia:

The company said it had 78 total orders worth $2.4 billion in all among which it detailed:

- 15 ATR 72-600 planes for leasing company GECAS worth some $340 million

- 10 ATR 72-600 for Brazil's Azul.

AFP

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