It was expected that Paris Air Show would bring more new aircraft unveiling than sales or orders, but in reality, it became the duel between Boeing and Airbus (once again). Both companies unveiled the newest additions of their classic models – 737 for Boeing, A380 for Airbus – both presented their newest Big Data analyzers and both forecasted the bright future for the aviation in the next 20 years. It is Boeing that has won.
Airbus announced $39.7 billion worth of new business during the 2017 Paris Air Show. It won commitments for a total of 326 aircraft, including firm orders for 144 aircraft worth $18.5 billion and MoUs for 182 aircraft worth $21.2 billion.
“A320 Family aircraft sales and commitments were robust” the company states, with business accounting for a total of 306 aircraft worth $33.8 billion. This total comprises 132 firm orders worth $14.7 billion, and MoUs for 174 aircraft worth 19.1 billion. In the Widebody segment, Airbus won business for 20 aircraft worth $5.9 billion, comprising 12 firm orders worth $3.6 billion and MoUs for eight aircraft worth 2.3 billion.
Boeing began the show with a bang when it launched the 737 MAX 10 with more than 361 orders and commitments from 16 customers worldwide. Together with other plane models, commercial customers announced incremental orders and commitments during the week for a total of 571 Boeing airplanes, valued at $74.8 billion at list prices.
There might be, and probably is, many reasons why Boeing sold much more than over Airbus, but the first one that comes to mind is the revealing of the new model. And here, as BBC notes, Boeing put more effort, leaving Airbus to only blame itself: “Despite being on home turf, Airbus could only manage adding some wingtips to the A380 in a fairly desperate bid to drum up orders for the superjumbo, which have totalled precisely zero for more than 12 months”.
One of the greatest hopes in Paris Air Show was that Mitsubishi would present its regional jet MRJ, putting not only Russian MC21 or Chinese C919 to contest, but also challenging Boeing and Airbus. Mitsubshi did bring the regional jet. It was presented. But it slid on without a boom – or even a puff.
Despite Mitsubishi vice president’s claims otherwise and big ambitions, it might just be that unveiling of MRJ was postponed just too many times, scaring off buyers and diminished appeal.