Airliner manufacturers fight the 2015 Paris Air Show “4-day war”
|Monday 20 July 2015||Text by Uresh Sheth under Commercial air transport|
The head to head battle for commercial aviation orders between Boeing and Airbus continued at the 2015 Paris Air Show, held at its historical Le Bourget venue 14 through 19 June. Airbus spent the previous month boasting and teasing about what they will be revealing at the airshow while Boeing kept it a bit more low key in the weeks leading up to the show.
Day one showed a few surprises but on the whole was a typical first day at the bi-annual air show. Airbus, which usually saves up order announcements for the big summer air shows (Farnborough or Paris), went out to a quick lead by announcing 115 firm orders plus a 30-aircraft letter of intent (LoI).
The surprise was Garuda Indonesia signing LoIs for 30 x 787-9s along with the 737Max and A350. No one saw that one coming and it’s nice to see the 787 picking up another major customer when this order is finalized. Despite the A350 order from Garuda, the airline’s widebody fleet is mostly equipped with the A330 with a few 777-300ERs.
Another surprise was Qatar’s firm order for ten 777X. Saj Ahmad of Strategic Aero Research says that this is not the 777X order that Boeing had booked the week before along with the fifteen 787 cancellations. In fact he confirmed my suspicion that Etihad is the source of the 777X order as well as the 15 x 787 cancellations (though the order is attributable to an unknown customer, it is Etihad’s). By the end of the show there wasn’t any announcements from Etihad and, when Boeing released it’s month end order and delivery report for June, the fifteen 787 order attributed to an unidentified customer was not listed any longer.
Boeing’s order book exploded with a number of 737 orders that were announced on the second day of the show. Airbus posted three orders, the largest coming from Korean Air for 30 x A321neo. With only two full days left for all the commercial manufacturers to make a splash, the only major manufacturer remaining quiet was Bombardier with the C-Series. Coming on the heels of news that their aircraft was beating weight and performance specs, the company wasn’t yet posting a sale for the CS100 or CS300.
On the 787 front there were no new orders but there was an apparent cancellation by Aeroflot for the 22 x 787s that they ordered a few years back. Apparently things have “changed” and they no longer needed the aircraft. Given the political climate between the US and USS… er… Russia this is hardly a surprise. No word on their orders for the A350 and if they’re going to be cancelled. I do believe that the slots that Aeroflot has given up can be quickly filled given the demand for near term delivery slots for the 787.
One bit of positive news is that ALC will be leasing 10 x 787-10 to Vietnam Airlines thus complementing their 787-9s.
Day three brought more widebody orders for Boeing, especially a nice shot in the arm for the 747-8. Volga-Dnepr signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 20 x 747-8F that will be partly purchased direct or acquired via lease. Another shot in the arm came in the form of Ethiopian taking up 6 early build 787-8 airframes which I reported earlier but just confirmed by the airline and Boeing on this date. This leaves Boeing with only 4 early build 787-8 left to sell: line numbers 4, 5, 17 and 19 (the last 3 are GE-powered airplanes).
Airbus booked a couple of major MoU for the A320neo but that was about it.
Talking about pulling your nuts out of a fire at the last minute, Airbus was on the verge of being embarrassed on their home soil until a last minute deal with Wizz Air for 110 x A321neos saved their chestnuts on the fourth and final day of the show.
There were two bright spots for Boeing. First, they were able to hold their own with Airbus in terms of Air Show orders this year and apparently the Wizz Air order could have easily gone in Boeing’s favor. Secondly, Boeing did beat Airbus on widebody orders.
However, everyone knows that this is just four days out of 365 and we have a whole other six months plus coming up that will see some major fleet contests being decided including the Emirates decision widely expected in November.
Paris 2015 Order Book
- AerCap – 100 x 737 Max 8 (Firm)
- Ethiopian – 6 x 787-8 (Firm)
- Eva Air – 5 x 777F (LoI)
- Garuda Indonesia – 30 x 787-9, 30 x 737 MAX (LoI)
- Korean Air – 30 x 737 Max 8 (LoI), 20 x 737 Max 8 (Options), 2 x 777-300ER (LoI)
- Minsheng Financial Leasing – 30 x 737 Max and NG (MoU)
- Qatar Airways – 10 x 777-8X (Firm), 4 x 777F (Firm)
- Ruili Airlines (through AVIC Leasing) – 30 x 737 Max (LoI)
- SMBC Aviation Capital – 10 x 737 Max 8 (Firm)
- Sriwijaya Air – 2x 737-900ER (Firm), 20 x 737-800 (Options)
- Unknown Customer – 1 x BBJ 737 Max 9 (Firm)
- Volga-Dnepr – 20 x 747-8F (MoU)
- ALC – 1 x A350-900, 1 x A321ceo, 3 x A320ceo (Firm)
- Eva Air – 4 x A330-300ceo (MoU)
- Korean Air – 30 x A321neo (Firm), 20 x A321neo (Options)
- Garuda Indonesia – 30 x A350 (LoI)
- GECAS – 60 x A320neo (Firm)
- Peach Aviation – 3 x A320ceo (Firm)
- Saudi Arabian – 20 x A330-300, 30 x A320ceo (Firm)
- Synergy – 62 x A320neo (MoU)
- Unknown Customer – 60 x A320neo (MoU)
- Wizz Air – 110 x A321neo (MoU), 90 x A321neo (Purchase Rights)
- VietJetAir – 6 x A321 (Firm)
- Air Madagascar – 3 x ATR72-600 (Firm)
- Air New Zealand – 1 x ATR72-600 (Firm)
- BahamasAir – 3 x ATR42-600, 2 x ATR 72-600 (Firm)
- Binter Canarias – 6 x ATR72-600 (Firm)
- Braathens Aviation – 5 x ATR72-600 (Firm), 10 x ATR72-600 (Option)
- Cebu Pacific Air – 16 x ATR72-600 (Firm), 10 x ATR72-600 (Option)
- Japan Air Commuter – 8 x ATR42-600 (8 Firm, 15 option)
- Unknown Customer – 2 x ATR72-600 (Firm)
- WestJet Encore – 6 x Q400
- Ping An Leasing – 50 x C919 (LoI)
- Puren Airlines – 7 x C919, 7 x ARJ21 (LoI)
- Air Castle – 30 x ERJ-190E2 (15 Firm, 15 Option), 30 x ERJ-195E2 (15 Firm, 15 Option)
- Colorful Guizhou Airlines – 17 x ERJ-190 (7 Firm, 10 Option)
- Skywest – 8 x ERJ-175 (Firm)
- United Airlines – 28 x ERJ-175 (Firm)
- Yakutia Airlines – 3 x Superjet 100LR (Firm)
About the author: Uresh Sheth is a bond analyst who started “All Things 787” blog in 2008. He is a residential mortgage bond analyst during the day and a 787 blogger and at aviation enthusiast at night (when his family allows it). Uresh resides in Syosset, NY USA. He was born in Liverpool, UK in 1967.