Airbus outstrips Boeing ahead of the Paris Air Show

June 17, 2011

Airbus has secured commitments for just over 100 of its revamped A320neo single aisle airliner family ahead of next week's Paris Air Show. The European planemaker, which designs the wings of all its aircraft at its Filton plant in Bristol, has now notched up sales and options for its best-selling A320 family of 464 since the turn of the year, when it set itself a target of 500 commitments by the time of the show.

The A320 is the world's best-selling aircraft with more than 4,700 already built and delivered to more than 330 customers worldwide. A further 2,300 are on order. The latest success is with Cebu Pacific of the Philippines which has signed a memorandum of understanding for 30 upgraded A321neo (new engine option) aircraft which will be 15% more fuel efficient than the current family. It has also exercised existing options for seven more standard A320s, increasing to 41 its total firm orders for the single aisle Airbus.
Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei said: "The A320 family has played a key role in enabling us to build an efficient, profitable, value-based business.
"The addition of more A320s and the A321neo allows us to expand further in the Asia-Pacific region, and continue offering our trademark low fares."
Airbus CEO John Leahy, responded: "We are pleased that Cebu Pacific has reaffirmed its commitment to the A320 Family and is also now set to add the A321neo to its fleet. With the A321neo Cebu Pacific will be able to fly more people further at significantly lower cost per seat than any other competing aircraft and with less impact on the environment."

Meanwhile US rival Boeing won its first order on Wednesday for two of its single-aisle updated 737-800 jets from Japan's aircraft leasing company MC Aviation Partners, worth £95m ($153m).


The American planemaker has yet to announce how it will to respond to the A320neo. According to the Financial Times, the US group is more likely to opt for a new jet rather than upgrade the existing aircraft which has already had two redesigns since it first flew in the 1960s.


The head of Boeing’s commercial jet division, Jim Albaugh, said earlier this week that the company had the technology to build an all-new aircraft that could be ready for service by the end of the decade. The market for short-haul jets with a capacity of between 100 and 200 seats is expected to total around 25,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years – around 70% deliveries, This is equivalent to about half the £2.500bn ($4,000bn) worth of large commercial jets the two big expect to deliver.


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