Airbus had a very good Farnborough Air Show, successfully launching the A330neo with a total of 121 commitments from three major aircraft lessors and various airlines.
The A330neo launch gave the European jet maker, which has lagged well behind Boeing in orders this year, some sales momentum. And it gives needed direction to its widebody jet strategy.
At Airbus’s closing press conference, chief executive Fabrice Bregier declared it “the best Farnborough Air Show in Airbus history” in terms of jet sales. “I am personally very happy,” said Bregier.
Boeing had a great sales year leading up to Farnborough, including that massive order from Emirates for 150 new 777Xs, announced as a commitment last year but finalized just the week before the Show.
Though it had fewer orders at Farnborough, Boeing remains ahead in total net sales so far this year.
“We came in with more net orders. We’ll leave the Air Show with more net orders,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of marketing. “We’ve had a good Air Show.”
Here’s how the final figures look:
Airbus had 290 net firm orders for jets before the Farnborough Air Show began. Boeing started far ahead with 649 net orders.
On the final business day of the Show, the sales tallies for the two rivals were complete when Airbus landed a last-minute commitment – not a firm order – to buy 20 jets from Russian airline Transaero.
The bottom line at the end of the Air Show is that Boeing now has 783 net firm orders for the year and Airbus has 648 net firm orders.
The sales tallies announced at Air Shows by both Airbus and Boeing are always full of confusing elements.
There were firm orders at the Show. But that includes orders like the one from Qatar Airways for 50 Boeing 777Xs that was loudly trumpeted when that jet was launched in Dubai last November. At Farnborough, Qatar’s committment then was finalized and booked.
There were also many commitments to buy in the future, not firm.
And Boeing disclosed 22 orders that have been on the books for months and all that happened at Farnborough is that the purchasing airlines were identified.
Bearing in mind that Boeing did not hoard firm orders to be booked this week and so started the Show far ahead of Airbus in the sales race, and cutting through the smoke and mirrors as best I can, here’s the outcome at Farnborough:
Airbus announced 358 firm orders with a total list price of $38 billion. The actual total value of those orders after standard discounts, based on market pricing data provided by aircraft valuation firm Avitas, is estimated at $17 billion.
Boeing announced 106 firm orders with a total list price of $29 billion. The actual total value of those orders after standard discounts, based on Avitas valuations, is estimated at $14 billion.
However, note that this Boeing figure includes 22 narrowbody 737 orders that were on the books before the Air Show. It also includes the Qatar order we’ve known was coming for nine months.
One can go a step further and add to those firm orders, including the previously announced ones, all the commitments and letters of intent and memorandums of understanding announced this week, which in fairness probably will become firm final orders later.
Then the tallies are as follows:
Airbus announced 496 total orders and commitments, worth $75 billion at list prices, or about $33 billion after standard discounts, using Avitas estimates.
Boeing announced 201 total orders and commitments, worth $40 billion at list prices, or about $20 billion after standard discounts, using Avitas estimates. Again, that includes the 22 narrowbody 737 orders that were on the books before the Air Show.