As the business portion of the Paris Air Show closed Thursday, the world’s two great airplane makers could each claim they’d achieved what they came for.
Boeing’s big day came Tuesday, when it launched the 787-10 with an impressive tally of 102 orders from a line-up of blue-ribbon customers. For all its jets, Boeing claimed a total of 285 new firm orders for the week, along with 132 new commitments to buy later.
Thursday, Airbus announced its usual flurry of last-minute deals, claiming a total of 241 new firm orders and 225 new commitments. It also confirmed that its new A350 all-composite jet will swing by Le Bourget Friday around 1 p.m. to cap the Air Show.
Although Boeing sold more jets, that result was skewed by one order: Ryanair’s massive deal for 175 single-aisle 737NGs. However, Airbus sold more of the valuable widebody jets.
As a result, the total value of sales in Paris came out roughly equal, at least on estimated real pricing.
The list price of Boeing’s new firm orders in Paris was about $34 billion. The real value of those orders after typical discounts – based on market data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas – is estimated at about $17.6 billion.
The list price of Airbus’s new firm orders in Paris was about $37.1 billion. The real value of those orders after typical discounts – again based on Avitas data - is about $17.6 billion.
Call it a draw.
John Leahy, Airbus sales chief declared himself “very pleased” with the outcome and said the combination of the A350 flying for the first time and winning 69 new orders and commitments in Paris was a”pretty powerful” outcome for the new jet program.
“We were looking for a big splash with the A350,” Leahy said.
Actually flying the plane “gives us a little street cred” with airline customers, he said.
Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice president of marketing was also buoyant, especially about the successful 787-10 launch.
“We checked that box,” said Tinseth. He added that the 777X program, expected to launch this fall, also moved forward.
“We now have offers in the hands of our customers on the 777X,” he said.
The figures above do not include 29 orders and commitments by Boeing that were not incremental to its order book, but conversions of existing orders to a different model.
Coming out of the Air Show, Boeing now has a net order total for the year of 692 jets. Airbus has a net order total of 734 jets.