As Boeing lays low, Airbus pile on orders


Boeing have wisely decided to lay low at Paris as Airbus continue to sweep up orders for the A321XLR, A320neo and A330-900neo. On top of that it’s even made headway with the A220.

Boeing has been concentrating on PR, with its admission of communications mistakes and mishandling of the 737Max disasters over the weekend, and an email blast to those signed up to its news site saying how its commitment to safety and people would always come first. Well you might believe that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

So in something of a first, the whole Paris Show seems to be leaning very much in Airbus’ direction, although I can’t help but think Boeing will announce something big right at the last minutes.


Boeing has been doing business. For one its signed a maintenance and supply deal with IAG to support British Airways 777-9’s, including a landing gear exchange service for life, parts and supply by express delivery – not just for the 777-9, but the A320 families as well. Both manufacturers do this and compete against each other, Boeing though is remarkably better at it than Airbus.

Boeing did gain an order from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS); they signed an agreement at the Paris Air Show exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF).


Oman Air is so hacked off with Boeing, and they’re not alone, that its threatened yesterday to go direct to Airbus at the show and buy aircraft there and then if it didn’t get a response from Boeing over its 737Max issues. Boeing’s problem is it’s so mired in demands and has so few answers it doesn’t know what to say.


Meanwhile, Cebu Air placed an order for 16 A330-900’s, ten A321XLR;’s and 5 A320neo’s. It also placed options for 10 more A321neo’s. There’s also a growing shift with asian airlines from the P&W engine, Cebu didn’t say it would go with it again, and they’ve not be alone with Indigo ordering 100 more A320neo’s and swapping engine supplier.


MEA, based in Beirut, Lebanon, also swapped some of its A321neo order to A321XLR – 4 will be delivered and it will become the launch customer.

Yet despite these orders, and no doubt a small amount of smugness at Airbus – something they’re desperate not to show, it’s all been fairly low-key. None of these orders are vast, nobody has ordered an A350 for example.

On the supply and engineering side, it’s a different story, and defence contractors – Boeing among them, have many deals tidied away on the sidelines…