On the final business day of the Paris Air Show, Boeing emerged the clear winner over rival Airbus, thanks to sales of the 737 MAX. Sales of the 787 Dreamliner could be good news for the Everett plant. But Paris disappointed the newer jet manufacturers, like Bombardier.
On the final business day of the Paris Air Show, Boeing emerged the clear winner over rival Airbus, thanks largely to sales of the 737 MAX.
The 737 MAX 10 successfully launched in Paris was “clearly the star of the show,” said Boeing vice president for marketing Randy Tinseth in a phone interview Thursday from Paris, but he added that additional Boeing widebody jet sales could also help buoy production rates in Everett.
Counting new firm orders and commitments, Boeing won 571 sales in Paris. Airbus claimed 336.
At list prices, the Boeing sales haul in Paris added up to $75 billion. According to market-pricing data from aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the real value after standard industry discounts would be about $35 billion.
However, given that many of the sales were launch orders for a new jet model, the discounts were probably even heftier and so even the $35 billion figure is high.
The Airbus sales were worth about $39 billion at list prices, with an Avitas-estimated real value after standard discounts of $17 billion.
One word of caution: Air Show “commitments” don’t always materialize to become actual purchases.
At the last Paris Air Show in 2015, Garuda Indonesia announced twin sales agreements — one with Boeing to buy 30 Dreamliners and one with Airbus to buy 30 of the competing A350 jet. Garuda later decided it would finalize only one of those agreements and two years later, it’s still negotiating and hasn’t decided between the two.
Robust MAX and 787 sales
In Paris 2017, Boeing announced 147 incremental orders and commitments for the MAX 10.
In addition, a further 214 orders were booked for the MAX 10 as conversions of previous orders for other MAX models.
Boeing also announced 368 sales of other versions of the MAX, including a large purchase agreement signed Thursday for 125 MAX 8s from “an unidentified major airline customer.”
In sales of the larger and more expensive widebody jets, Boeing won 50 sales of the 787 Dreamliner and six of the present model 777 jet.
The 787 sales included an order for 30 from the world’s largest aircraft lessor Aercap, which now overtakes All Nippon Airways of Japan as the largest 787 customer.
Tinseth said the Dreamliner orders “put upward pressure” on the production rate of that airplane.
Boeing is rolling out a dozen 787s per month off its assembly lines in Everett and North Charleston, South Carolina, and has said it would like to raise that rate to 14 jets per month by decade’s end.
It’s been waiting for further orders before firmly committing to do so, and Paris offers a boost to that prospect.
The six orders for the current 777 are also significant, in that they will help bridge the production gap in Everett before Boeing starts manufacturing the new model 777X, Tinseth said.
The one element missing in Paris for Boeing was that it didn’t add any new 777X orders.
But Tinseth said that’s not a concern.
“We have 340 orders and commitments for the 777X. We are three years away from our first delivery,” he said. “Three years out from the first delivery of the (current model) 777-300ER, we stood at just 69 orders.”
“So we have time,” Tinseth said. “We are confident of that market.”
For other commercial aircraft manufacturers besides the two giants of the industry, Paris was mostly a bust.
Bombardier of Canada failed to land a single new order for its CSeries airliner.
Likewise, Mitsubishi won no new orders for its MRJ regional jet. Embraer of Brazil fared a little better.
It won firm orders for 18 planes, including one from an undisclosed customer for 10 of its new E190-E2 regional jets. Embraer also signed a memorandum of understanding with another unidentified airline for 20 E190-E2s.
Information in this article, originally published June 22, 2017, was corrected the same day. A previous version reached incorrect conclusions about the number of sales by Boeing and Airbus.