PARIS, France — Airbus was working to pad its lead Tuesday after a resounding first day of the Paris Air Show, when it shut out Boeing in aircraft orders by a score of $13 billion to nothing.
Boeing got in on the action with an order for 20 787s from Korean Air Lines, and Airbus promptly fired back with a deal from Saudi Arabia.
Here are the latest developments:
Boeing breaks drought
Boeing won a 30-plane 787 order from Korean Air Lines. The carrier agreed to buy 10 new 787-10s and 10 additional 787-9s valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices. Korean Air will also lease 10 787-10s from Air Lease Corp. The talks were earlier reported by Bloomberg.
Saudi boosts order
Saudi Arabian Airlines increased its commitment for A320neo jets from Airbus to as many as 100 aircraft, from up to 35 previously. The deal, including 15 of the newly launched long-distance A321XLR, would total about $7.5 billion at list prices.
Next up will be a decision over larger planes: “In addition to the narrow-body order, evaluations are currently under way for wide-body requirements, expected to be concluded within the next few months,” said Saleh Al-Jasser, the airline’s director general, in a statement.
Boeing, Air Lease strike deal
Air Lease Corp. reached a deal with Boeing to purchase five 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $1.5 billion at list prices.
Israel’s Eviation Aircraft made a splash at the show with the unveiling of the all-electric Alice — billed as the world’s first full-sized zero-emission aircraft. The Alice will have its first flight later this year, followed by manufacturing in the U.S. and service entry in 2022. The nine-seat commuter plane has a range of 650 nautical miles and is designed for routes such as Paris to Toulouse and San Jose to San Diego, aiming to reduce costs by as much as 70%. U.S. carrier Cape Air was revealed as the first customer, with a planned fleet of 92 planes.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is in talks with Airbus to buy the latest A321XLR jetliner as it seeks the extra range to serve smaller cities in the U.S. Midwest. The new narrow-body was formally launched at the start of this week’s Paris Air Show.
The discount carrier originally ordered 30 A321LRs, and the total may be reduced with the switch, Bjorn Kjos, its chief executive officer, told Bloomberg Television at the expo.
The country’s largest carrier, Cebu Air, confirmed it has ordered 31 aircraft from Airbus including 10 long-range jets. The deal for 16 A330neo wide-bodies — beating out Boeing — and 15 A320neo-family aircraft includes 10 of the European planemaker’s new A321XLR model. The jets, scheduled for delivery from 2021 to 2026, would be worth $6.8 billion based on the list price.
Prospects for MAX takeoff
France’s Safran, which supplies engines for the Boeing 737 Max through its CFM International venture with General Electric, said it expects to see the grounded jet flying again this summer. But CEO Philippe Petitcolin warned that a delay beyond August would force a further slowdown in production beyond the cut of 10 planes a month — to 42 — that’s already been forced on the company.
“There’d be another reduction, I don’t think we’d have any other choice,” he said.
American Air Mulls Up to 50 XLR Jets
American Airlines Group is considering an order for as many as 50 of Airbus SE’s new long-range A321XLR jets, a person familiar with the discussions said.
The world’s largest carrier sees the plane, which would have the longest range of Airbus’s single-aisle offerings, as a potential replacement for its aging fleet of 34 Boeing Co. 757-200 jets, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. There’s no guarantee a deal will be reached.
Mitsubishi edges toward Bombardier
A takeover by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Bombardier’s CRJ regional jet program has merit, according to an executive at the Japanese company’s aviation unit.
“It would make a lot of sense in the context of developing and delivering global aircraft,” Steve Haro, a vice president at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. The comment raised the possibility that a deal could be reached soon.
Qatar Air nears new investment
Qatar Airways will announce a stake in a sixth overseas carrier in the coming months, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said, as the Persian Gulf operator turns to outside investments to boost revenue and cash amid a Saudi-led embargo restricting its flights.
“We are buying stakes in successful airlines and we will continue to do so,” he said, without naming a target company. “Soon you will hear about another investment.”
–With assistance from Guy Johnson, Christopher Jasper, Cecilia Yap, Kyunghee Park, Layan Odeh and Sohee Kim.