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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Slower Farnborough Order Books Reflect Sluggish Global Economy

by Emily Feliz

Rivals Airbus and Boeing tallied billions of dollars in new aircraft orders at this week’s Farnborough Air Show, but concerns about the global economy keep the total aircraft sales below last year’s Paris Air Show.

Boeing was the big winner in the order race. Over the past week, Boeing announced orders and commitments for 396 airplanes, valued at more than $37 billion. Among the big orders, United is buying 150 737s, including 100 of the new 737 MAX 9, worth $14.7 billion. United is the North American launch customer for the 737 MAX 9.

"United and Boeing share a rich history together and we are delighted United has chosen the 737 for its future fleet, renewing our partnership for decades to come," said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We believe the 737 provides unsurpassed quality and value in the market and will provide efficiencies and other benefits to United's operations."

Other big Boeing order came from Air Lease Corp., TUI Travel PLC, Avolon, ALAFCO and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).

Airbus booked a potential $6.35 billion in orders on Thursday. The four deals, if completed, take Airbus’ total for airshow to $16.9 billion for a total of 115 aircraft. Among the big buyers for Airbus were Cathay Pacific Airways, CIT Group, China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC), Avolon, Middle East Airlines, and Arkia Israel Airlines.

“The quality of orders at Farnborough has been high at the show, with significant endorsement from leading customers of our strategy to continuously innovate and improve our products,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus CEO. “With the recent announcement last week to build an A320 production line in America, coupled with the start of production for the A320neo in Toulouse, Airbus is cementing its leading global position.”

The $45.3 billion in orders for this year’s show falls short of the 2011 total amassed at the 2011 Paris Air Show.

Among the other big announcements at Farnborough:
–– Rockwell Collins announced a new program to bring a series of innovative technologies to the flight deck of Boeing 757/767 airplanes.
Jointly developed by Rockwell Collins and Boeing, the advanced flight deck technology will be available for retrofit on existing Boeing 767s and 757s. Supplemental type certification is expected in the second quarter of 2014, Rockwell Collins said. More

Rockwell Collins also announced avionics contracts with several airlines, including Iberia Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, COPA Airlines and Aeromexico.

-- Thales introduced new innovations to its interactive cockpit design, ODICIS. With its touchscreen-based display concept, ODICIS can be configured to provide more freedom in how the display space and touchscreen surface are used, enabling information to be presented in new ways across all types of aircraft, Thales said. More

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