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Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates covers top industry events to bring you the latest news, highlighting how it impacts Boeing and its competitors.

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June 21, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Au revoir from the Paris Air Show, 2013

I have 15 minutes of free wif-fi at Charles de Gaulle airport to say goodbye from Paris. My phone battery is almost out of juice so I cannot transfer any more photos. I stayed at Le Bourget long enough to catch the A350 fly by at the beginning of the afternoon flying display. It looks great….

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June 21, 2013 at 1:45 AM

PARIS AIR SHOW 2013: The President of France goes for a walk at Le Bourget

Arriving down the tarmac at Le Bourget at 9 a.m., I walked into someone coming the other way with quite an entourage:

François Hollande, president of France, on walkabout.

François Hollande, president of France, walks up the tarmac Friday morning at Le Bourget, surrounded by security and media photographers

François Hollande, president of France, walks up the tarmac Friday morning at Le Bourget, surrounded by security and media photographers

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June 20, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Washington state delegation declares success at the Paris Air Show

Washington's stand at the Paris Air Show emphasized the 100-year legacy of aerospace in the state.

Washington’s stand at the Paris Air Show emphasized the 100-year legacy of aerospace in the state.

More than 100 people from Washington state attended this Paris Air Show, the largest group ever, trying to capture some of the aerospace work burgeoning globally as both Boeing and Airbus ramp up their production lines to rates never seen before.

“A tremendous amount of business was done,” said Alex Pietsch, director of Gov. Inslee’s Aerospace Office, as the trade portion of the show ended Thursday. “There’ll be deals that come out of this that we’ll realize in the years to come. It was really exciting.”

Pietsch said more than a dozen companies, mostly European, either approached the delegation or came to one of about 500 pre-arranged meetings “looking for access to the Boeing supply chain and the skilled workforce in the state of Washington.”

“We’ll be helping them try to match up with partners,” said Pietsch.

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June 20, 2013 at 7:35 AM

In Paris, Boeing sells more planes, but Airbus matches on value

An Air India 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show

An Air India 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show

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.

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June 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Ryanair’s O’Leary lives up to reputation in Air Show appearance

Michael O’Leary, the devil-may-care head of Ireland-based European budget airline Ryanair, made a rare Air Show appearance in Paris Wednesday and lived up to his reputation for colorful language and unmediated disrespect for legacy flag carriers and government bureaucrats.

O’Leary came to seal a deal announced earlier with Boeing for 175 current model 737NGs. He attracted a full house of journalists well aware of the soundbyte possibilities, and he did not disappoint.

Arguably the most hard-nosed operator in the airline world, he offered nuggets of wisdom on the state of the airline world, mixed with his routine invective and only a single passing use of the F word.

O’Leary was of course full of praise for the “phenomenally reliable” jet he was in Paris to sign for, the Boeing 737-800. By this summer, he’ll have a fleet of some 300.

“Boeing has always made great aircraft,” he said. “Ryanair has the highest technical reliability and is the most on-time airline in Europe. None of that would be possible without a great aircraft like the 737-800.”

He has not yet bought the next version, the 737 MAX, but he said he’s weighing that plane against the rival A320neo and hopes to seal an order of at least 200 airplanes by year end.

While O’Leary described the neo as “a serious airplane,” he provided a detailed argument for why the MAX is likely to win his favor.

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