Round one of the traditional Boeing v Airbus air show orders bout should soon start. But Boeing has already announced it intends to stay out of the fight altogether.

Boeing vice-president of marketing Randy Baseler says the company won't be announcing many, if any, orders at the show, preferring to announce sales as they are actually placed throughout the year.

Baseler says: "Let's face it, so-called air show orders aren't real orders and we all know it. It takes months or even years to complete a deal – not the two or three days we have at an air show.

"Boeing feels we have a duty to be honest about our business. Anyone can now look at our actual orders on our web site and see for themselves. The site is updated weekly – we have nothing to hide."


Boeing's reluctance to play the air show game comes after it was seemingly KO'd by Airbus's sales announcements at previous shows, notably Paris 2001. But Baseler is quick to point out that all is not what it seems in the murky world of lies, damn lies and air show orders.

"At Farnborough 2000, 369 aircraft sales were announced at the show, but only 39 were firm orders. Boeing announced 139 orders while Airbus announced 230. But by the year end Boeing had actually received a total of 589 orders compared with Airbus's 492 – do the maths!

"It was the same in 2001 – Boeing ended up with 272 orders while Airbus had 274. But 80% of our orders were for delivery in 2002-04, while 50% of Airbus orders were for delivery post-2004. We are not going to play silly games at Farnborough. We may make some genuine sales announcements, but we haven't saved up any big wins to announce. It's the full year performance that matters," Baseler concludes.


But Boeing might get its gloves out for another match – the ongoing fight between the heavyweight Airbus A380 and Boeing's more nimble middleweight Sonic Cruiser.

Airbus sees its future in moving more passengers per flight, while Boeing believes that passengers want to get to their destination faster. Baseler says that Boeing's research shows it is backing the right horse.

"Passengers want to get from A to B with the least possible hassle and in the possible shortest time," Baseler concludes.

Source: Flight Daily News