Airbus's chief operating officer for customers John Leahy has offered a rationale for lessors' strong contribution to order activity at the Paris air show.

"The airline industry has slowed down a bit," Leahy told FlightGlobal at Le Bourget yesterday. "The airlines themselves have made a lot of purchases over the years and they are slowing down."

Leahy indicated in January that he expected Airbus's book-to-bill rate to fall below unity this year, and reiterates that prediction.

"In previous years we were selling book-to-bill way over one. You can't just continue that – it just doesn't make any sense," he says. "This year the book-to-bill will be less than one, and we're chewing down the backlog."

Just over 1,000 order commitments had been announced at the air show by the end of its second day, and lessors accounted for about half of them.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard