PARIS: Airframers net order bonanza

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Monday saw a bumper start to the show for commercial aircraft orders, with manufacturers announcing total commitments for 287 aircraft, including 213 firm orders.

AIRBUS

Airbus had a successful first day at the show, netting 106 firm orders and MoU/options for 61 aircraft, with the A320neo dominating the orderbooks.

First out of the gate was lessor GE Capital Aviation Services with an order for 60 A320neos, all powered by the Leap-X1A engine from CFM International, in which GE is a 50% shareholder.

This was followed barely an hour later by a deal with Scandinavian carrier SAS for 30 of the re-engined twinjets with a further 11 options.

Again CFM ran out the winner in the engine battle, with its powerplants set to equip all 30 aircraft.

Steven Udvar-Hazy's fast-growing new leasing business Air Lease then pitched in with a memorandum of understanding for 50 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft, including 14 options. No engine selection has been declared for the type.

The lessor, established a little over a year ago, has also ordered 11 A330s and an A321.

Almost lost in the flurry of Neo orders was a contract with Middle Eastern carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines for another four Airbus A330-300s, following an order for eight placed three years ago.

The carrier had placed options for four additional A330s when it made the original deal. As with the previous aircraft, the new batch will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

BOEING

Boeing enjoyed its own order successes on the first day, announcing 43 firm new orders and 13 other commitments. The US airframer followed up the high-profile arrival of its 747-8I at Le Bourget, with 17 orders for the passenger variant from two unidentified customers (one for two aircraft and the other for 15).

It increases the firm backlog of the 747-8I to 50, plus five conditional orders from Air China. The order for 15 is the largest Boeing has received for the 747-8I since the December 2006 launch order for 20 from Lufthansa.

Meanwhile, Udvar-Hazy also had his cheque book out at Boeing, with Air Lease committing to five 777-300ERs and four 787-9 widebodies. No delivery schedule was disclosed, or engine selection for the 787s.

It formed part of a 33-strong commitment from Air Lrase, which also included 20 firm orders and four options for 737-800 narrowbodies.

Another regular air show shopper, Qatar Airways, opened its Paris account with an order for six more 777-300ERs. The Doha-based airline had already in April placed orders for five 777s, comprising two 777-300ERs and three 777 Freighters. It operates a 25-strong fleet 777s and has a further 15 on order. The fleet includes a mix of 777-200LRs, -300ERs and 777Fs.

EMBRAER

Total orders for Embraer's E-Jets have comfortably passed the 1,000 mark after it unveiled firm orders for 39 of the regional aircraft, worth $1.7 billion

Top of the heap was Indonesian carrier Sriwijaya Air, which has ordered 20 E-190s, with a further 10 as "purchase rights".

Meanwhile, Kenya Airways will take 10 E-190s, with 10 as options, lessors GECAS and Air Lease will take two and five E-190s respectively and Air Astana has ordered two E-190s with a further two options. Embraer's commercial aircraft backlog now stands at 270.

BOMBARDIER

Bombardier, meanwhile, has secured a top-tier carrier as the launch operator for its Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered CSeries twinjet. The order for 10 CS100s plus six options is Bombardier's third CSeries order this month, and represents its sixth customer for the 110/130-seat narrowbody. The new customer "has requested to remain unidentified at the present time", said Bombardier, which added that the operator is a "major network carrier".

ATR

GECAS signed its first contract with ATR with a firm order for 15 ATR 72-600 turboprops plus 15 options. Four of the aircraft will be delivered in 2012 and 11 are scheduled for handover in 2013.