FARNBOROUGH: Late lessor deal lifts Airbus show total to 115

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Illustrating the live-business nature of Farnborough, Airbus was left waiting today until the last minute to see if it could get a late nudge to its air show order total, before lessor Avolon confirmed an agreement for A320neos.

Up to that point, it had secured 54 firm orders worth $11.1 billion, headed by the 10 new A350-1000s for Cathay Pacific and 10 A330s for lessor CIT - including the launch commitment for the higher-weight A330, for which the airframer is hiking the maximum take-off capability to 240t.

Colombia's Synergy Aerospace firmed up an order for another six passenger A330s and gave a lift to the slow-selling A330 freighter programme with an order for three.

The A320neo programme, the popularity of which has left production slots scarce, nevertheless attracted a notable order from Israel as Arkia took four re-engined A321neos.

Middle East Airlines tentatively agreed to take five A321neos as well as five A320neos, while Druk Air of Bhutan ordered a single A319 equipped with sharklet wing-tips.

Airbus sealed a Russian deal for its baseline A320-family line as UTair signed for 20 A321s, while Chinese lessor CALC committed to 28 A320s and eight A321s through a memorandum of understanding.

The airframer had been awaiting an eleventh-hour commitment from Avolon for 15 A320neos, which was confirmed just moments before Airbus's final press event at the show.

The re-engined A320neo family gained orders and tentative deals covering 29 jets, while the current baseline A320 line took 57 aircraft.

These helped hike the airframer's overall show total to 54 firm orders and 61 commitments, with overall potential value of $16.9 billion at catalogue prices for the 115 aircraft.