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Farnborough Report – Day 2

Photo: (Boeing)


After a ferocious start to this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, many observers suggested the pace on day 2 would be somewhat slower and so it proved to be the case.

But while the orders may not have materialised quite as quickly as yesterday, there was still plenty in the way of news as manufacturers continued to capitalise on resurgent leasing and air cargo markets.

Boeing once again kicked off proceedings, this time with a multi-faceted package with Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group and subsidiary CargoLogicAir that firms up an order for five 747-8Fs and adds a commitment for 29 777Fs.

Volga-Dnepr’s offshoot CargoLogicAir has ordered 29 777Fs as part of a wide-reaching deal with Boeing. (Boeing)

The package of agreements also includes a commitment for both companies to explore other freighter solutions, such as new-production 767Fs or converted cargo jets such as the 737-800BCF.

Boeing followed this up with a deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for up to 35 additional 737-800BCFs (20 firm orders plus 15 options), increasing the lessor’s orderbook for the type to 50.

The US manufacturer also secured a commitment for up to 78 aircraft from Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corporation. The deal, valued at $9.6bn, consists of 75 737 MAX 8s (20 of which are firm purchases) and three 787-9s. The deal expands ALC’s MAX portfolio to 213 examples and increases the total number of Boeing jets ordered by the lessor since 2010 to 361.

Fellow lessor Aviation Capital Group also got in on the act, announcing an order for 20 737 MAX 8s, while Singapore Airlines and Tata Group joint-venture Vistara outlined its plans to acquire six 787-9s (plus four options), a deal that will make the carrier the first in India to operate the stretched Dreamliner.

Vistara has placed a commitment for up to ten Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. (Boeing)

Airbus enjoyed a similarly successful day, unveiling commitments for 100 A320neo family aircraft (75 A320neos and 25 A321neos) from one undisclosed customer, and eight A350-900s from another.

International Airlines Group subsidiary Level also added a pair of A330-200s, due for delivery next year and increasing its fleet to seven examples.

Japanese LCC Peach Aviation, meanwhile, was confirmed as the Asian launch customer for the A321LR after converting an existing order for two A320neos. The incoming jets are due to join the Osaka-based operator in 2020.

Peach Aviation will become the Asian launch operator of the A321LR. (Airbus)

In the sub-150-seat sector, Airbus continues to build up a head of steam behind the new A220 (formerly the Bombardier C Series), adding to last week’s 60-aircraft order from JetBlue with another 60-aircraft deal, this time from another David Neeleman-founded carrier, known under the working name Moxy.

Airbus built on its 60-aircraft order from JetBlue with another 6-jet deal from fellow David Neeleman carrier Moxy. (Airbus)

Neeleman commented: “After years of US airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction. The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions. With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model.

It was, however, Embraer that stole the headlines with a remarkable 40-minute press conference held mid-afternoon during which it announced the sale of 300 E-Jets valued at $15bn. Having set the ball rolling 24 hours earlier with a 25-strong order from United Airlines, the Brazilian manufacturer followed this up with a barrage of orders, continuing the theme of “momentum” much-lauded by Embraer Commercial Aircraft’s president and CEO John Slattery.

The highlight was undoubtedly the 200-aircraft commitment from US carrier Republic Airways, its letter of intent covering the firm order of 100 E175s with purchase options on a further 100, all of which can be converted to the E2 variant.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Republic as one of our largest and most valuable customers,” Slattery remarked. “With a relationship spanning 20 years, we are immensely honoured to continue being an integral part of their success as they expand their fleet with additional E175s. Republic is a critical component of Embraer’s history and we are absolutely committed to providing a product that appeals to their customers while delivering solutions that increase profitability.”

Embraer very much lived up to the promise laid down at last year’s Paris Airshow of “expanding its global footprint”, also announcing deals with Helvetic Airways (an LOI for 12 E190-E2s plus 12 options), Wataniya Airways (a firm order for 10 E195-E2s plus 10 options) and Azul (an LOI for 21 E195-E2s, growing its total commitment for E2s to 51). The firm also placed a pair of E175s into Africa via a firm order from Mauritania Airlines, while an unnamed Spanish carrier signed a letter of intent covering the acquisition of up to five E195-E2s.

Be sure to check out or follow us on Twitter on @_airlinerworld for all the breaking news and stories from day 3 of the show.

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