Airbus fights back after shock Boeing order at Paris Air Show

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 19, 2019 - Duration: 01:49s

Airbus fights back after shock Boeing order at Paris Air Show

After Boeing won a shock order from British Airways owner IAG for its troubled 737 MAX jets, Airbus fought back Wednesday with more big sales of its own.

Julian Satterthwaite reports on this year's Paris Air Show.

Airbus fights back after shock Boeing order at Paris Air Show

This year's Paris Air Show was supposed to be a relatively sleepy affair.

Airlines haven't been ordering many new planes this year.

Boeing seemed beset by the grounding of its 737 MAX jets following two fatal crashes.

Then came a 24 billion dollar shock.

Late Tuesday British Airways owner IAG signed a letter of intent to buy up to 200 of the troubled jets.

It was a coup for Boeing, and a big vote of confidence.

Earlier in the show the focus had all been on the fallout from the grounding.

Qatar Airways' chief one to say he wanted some money back: (SOUNDBITE) (French) QATAR AIRWAYS CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AKBAR AL-BAKER, SAYING: "We will ask for compensation because we have aircraft that are on the ground and it has been on the ground for an extended period of time." Boeing likely offered big discounts to win the IAG order.

On Wednesday Airbus was fighting back.

Early in the morning it announced more big deals for its new A321XLR.

Qantas and U.S. private equity firm Indigo Partners set to take as many as 86.

The jet is supposed to beat its U.S. rival to a growing market for smaller aircraft that can fly long haul.

Overall, industry watchers say talk of an order drought may have been overdone: (SOUNDBITE)(English) HEAD OF GLOBAL AEROSPACE & DEFENCE PRACTICE AND MANAGING DIRECTOR AT ACCENTURE, JOHN H.

SCHMIDT, SAYING: "If we look at what's driving kind of passenger growth, it's coming out of Asia and to some degree the Middle East, and there seems to be no signs of that slowing down.

Every year the revenue of passenger miles continues to go up." Smaller players including Mitsubishi and Embraer also won orders this week.

In all, manufacturers had announced about 500 commitments by Wednesday (June 19) morning.

That's less than half the number seen at the last Paris show, two years ago.

But with a total value of around 70 billion dollars, it's the kind of slowdown many industries would kill for.

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