"Airbus Is Very Much Back In The Market"
Ah, Paris. That familiar phrase should be echoing throughout the
halls at the Toulouse headquarters of Airbus for some time to come,
after the European planemaker -- better known recently for its
strife, than its success -- leaves the 2007 Paris Air Show at Le
Bourget with 425 firm orders throughout its product line, and
another 303 purchase commitments.
Those figures include 13 new orders for the planemaker's A380
superjumbo, bringing the total orders and commitments for the A380
to 173. Delivery to launch carrier Singapore Airlines will take
place in October this year.
The oft-delayed A350 XWB program also received a needed shot in
the arm, with a total of 141 firm orders from five customers during
the week. The customers include Qatar, Aeroflot, Singapore Airlines
and lessors Alafco and CIT. In addition, the A350 XWB also received
commitments for 52 aircraft from four additional customers -- US
Airways, Kingfisher, Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah.
This brings the total orders and commitments received so far for
the all new A350 XWB, which was launched in December last year, to
232 aircraft, including 154 firm orders and 78 commitments.
Granted, that's a far cry from the over 600 firm orders Boeing has
for its 787 Dreamliner, which will fly at least five years sooner
than its Airbus rival... but it's an impressive gain for the Airbus
"This airshow has confirmed that Airbus is very much back on the
market, continuing to satisfy customers with the right products,"
said Airbus CEO Louis Gallois. "Especially the A380 and A350 XWB
have been the highlight of the show, receiving tremendous customer
endorsement.... This should give us further incentive to pursue our
efforts to turn the company around in order to be able to deliver
on our promises."
The planemaker's A330/A340 Family received 132 orders and
commitments, buoyed by the "stand-in" role those planes will have
with carriers awaiting their A350 XWBs. The new A330-200 Freighter
won as many as 46 firm orders, from five different customers around
And, of course, there's Airbus' popular single-aisle A320
family, which gained 390 orders and commitments in Paris. Those
numbers include a Memorandum of Understanding for 50 planes, signed
by Singapore low-cost carrier Tiger Airways Thursday.
The orders from Paris give Airbus over 600 firm orders for the
year, giving it the current lead in its annual sales race with
Boeing. To date, Boeing has signed 510 firm orders for 2007.