During the first three days of the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Airbus have announced orders totaling nearly $100 billion.
Before the event, some analysts said they expected a ho-hum show for orders.
According to Reuters, however, this year’s orders have been higher than in 2012, the last time the event was held.
On Wednesday, Boeing announced it has finalized an order for 50 777-9X widebody commercial airplanes from Qatar Airways, a deal valued at $18.9 billion at current list prices.
The 777X order was announced as a commitment at last year’s Dubai Airshow.
Now, the airline is planning to double that order as well.
Qatar Airways announced a commitment for 50 additional 777-9X purchase rights, Boeing said Wednesday.
If exercised, Qatar’s order tally for 777-9X long-haul airliners will total 100 airplanes valued at $37.7 billion at list prices.
It also announced an intent to order four 777 freighters, with options for four more.
Boeing also announced that it and Hainan Airlines are finalizing terms and working toward a purchase agreement for 50 737 MAX 8s.
The commitment is valued at $5.1 billion at current list prices. It is subject to the approval of the Chinese government.
Hainan Airlines has an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet of aircraft.
Until now, Boeing has lagged behind Airbus for the number of orders announced at the Farnborough show.
Speculation is growing that the United Kingdom could be interested in the Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, Defense News reports.
The P-8 is based on Boeing’s commercial 737 airliner. Spirit AeroSystems builds the plane’s fuselage.
A Boeing official earlier this month told Defense News that it did not rule out a lease deal on new maritime patrol aircraft.
Boeing has 53 orders for the P-8, it said.
Airbus features the A350
Airbus is showing off its new A350 widebody airplane to members of the media at the show.
Inside, the plane is loaded with special test equipment to monitor test flights. There also are large tanks of liquid – so that the weight can be transferred for testing to simulate passengers on board.
The A350 is expected to be certified in September and delivered by the end of the year.
Five airplanes are flying.
“It’s a lovely airplane to fly, and it looks nice,” said Peter Chandler, the chief test pilot for the A350.
It flies similar to the Airbus A320 and A330 airplanes, he said, making it easy for pilots to fly the various Airbus models.
Spirit AeroSystems builds parts for the aircraft in its North Carolina facility. It also has an assembly facility in St. Nazaire, France, dedicated to the A350 program.
A bigger Dreamliner
Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner, a stretched version of the 787-8, is one of dozens of airplanes on display at the Farnborough show.
Boeing delivered the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand earlier this month.
The plane on display at the air show was a test airplane and is still filled with test equipment. But it will soon be refurbished and delivered to a customer, Boeing officials said.
Spirit AeroSystems builds the Dreamliner’s nose section in Wichita.
A name change
Spirit AeroSystems is changing the name of its aftermarket business to Global Customer Support & Services to reflect the division’s focus on customers, the company said Wednesday.
It formerly had been called Spirit Aftermarket Customer Support.
“This name change better represents the services we provide to our global customers. GCS&S is focused on providing the best customer support anywhere, anytime around the globe,” Bill Brown, senior vice president of Spirit Global Customer Support & Services, said in a statement. “This is not just a name change it is how we conduct business. We are committed to delivering the highest level of quality, reliability and customer service for our customers.”
Spirit offers a diverse line of products and services for aerospace design, build, support, spares and maintenance and repair needs, the company said.
It’s the manufacturer of thousands of spare parts sold directly to customers through a licensing agreement with the original equipment manufacturer, it said.
And it has repair capabilities for a wide range of commercial planes, with expertise in repairing composite nacelles.