Airbus unveiled a raft of orders at the Paris Air Show on Thursday from airlines in Latin America and Asia for its narrow-bodied A320 and its A330 models.
Airbus and rival Boeing Co. have been unveiling billions of dollars worth of orders since the start of the weeklong air show, held at Le Bourget airport outside Paris, which ends Sunday.
Earlier in the week, Airbus racked up more orders for its A350 XWB aircraft, while Boeing snagged the troubled jet’s original launch customer for its own 787 Dreamliner. The tussle between Airbus and Boeing for customers for the A350 and the 787 is at the heart of the long-running rivalry between the pair.
On Thursday, officials said Jakarta-based Mandala Airlines is ordering 25 A320 aircraft with options for five more in a deal worth $1.9 billion at catalog prices.
Hong Kong Airlines will acquire 30 A320s and 20 A330-200 aircraft, according to a memorandum of understanding being signed Thursday, while Colombia’s flag carrier Avianca, converting options, has signed a firm contract for 19 Airbus planes.
Airbus also signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian carrier Ural Airlines on the purchase of five single-aisle Airbus A320s.
Financial details were not disclosed for the Avianca deal, while the value of the Hong Kong Airlines order, which also includes a corporate jet, is about $6 billion at catalog prices. No value was given on the Ural deal.
In the first three days of the air show through Wednesday, Airbus’ total orders stood at $75.7 billion on the basis of catalog prices. Of the three-day tally, 358 aircraft were firm orders and 190 were commitments likely to be converted into firm orders in the coming months.
In the same time frame, Boeing has announced just $15.9 billion worth of orders at Le Bourget; however, almost all those are firm bookings.
The Avianca contract, which converts options, brings firm orders from the world’s second-oldest commercial airline to 57 Airbus planes. The 19 aircraft consist of 14 A320s and five A330-200s, the company said.
“With this addition to our initial order, Avianca is consolidating its fleet expansion program,” said German Efromovich, president of the Synergy Group which owns Avianca. The latest order is to cover growth opportunities, he said, praising both the comfort level of the aircraft and their “unbeatable economics.”
The deal boosts Airbus’ presence in Latin America. Since 1990, Airbus has taken 54 percent of all Latin American orders for new aircraft.
Ural Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding to buy five single-aisle Airbus A320s. It currently has two leased A320s for use on international routes to Egypt, Europe and elsewhere.
“This deal is a very important step in our fleet development,” Ural Airlines CEO Kirill Skuratov said in a statement.
But Airbus has been fighting an uphill battle against Boeing’s Dreamliner to win customers in the lucrative commercial medium-sized long-range jet market since it was forced into an expensive redesign of the aircraft by unhappy customers — resulting in the extra-wide-body, or XWB, model.
The changes have pushed back the first delivery date of the plane until 2013, years behind the first delivery of Boeing’s 787 due in May 2008, which is now sold out for delivery until 2013.