PARIS: Boeing kicks off show with quiet order day

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Boeing opened the Paris air show with a quiet day for new firm orders and a key commitment for a new variant of the 787 that remains unlaunched at least for another day.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker signed the only firm order for a Boeing aircraft on Day 1 of the show with a contract for two 777-300ERs to be delivered next year. The agreement does not add tail numbers to Boeing's overall backlog, however. Qatar replaced orders that had been cancelled by another airline, Al Baker says.

The Qatar order includes options for another seven 777-300ERs, and Al Baker adds that his airline "always" converts its options into firm orders. Indeed, Qatar has already received 35 777s, including 22 777-300ERs, and now has nine firm aircraft in the delivery queue with Boeing.

Boeing still has not launched the double-stretch 787-10X model, but it now has commitments by two customers. General Electric-owned lessor GECAS signed a commitment to buy 10 787-10X aircraft, joining a similar, previously announced commitment by Singapore Airlines for 30 of the type.

Meanwhile, the 737 Max received a new boost from Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines, which committed to buy four of the type. UK-based tour operator TUI Travel also ceremoniously confirmed its previously announced commitment to order 60 737 Max aircraft, with deliveries to begin in 2018 if confirmed.