Airbus has record show

Airbus has had quite a Paris Air Show — its best ever for the number of aircraft sold here at the show.

In fact, it’s a record for orders taken by any commercial aircraft manufacturer at any air show ever, Airbus says.

The European planemaker took orders and commitments for 730 aircraft from 16 customers worth $72 billion at list prices.

“We had customers decide on the spot to sign a MOU (memo of understanding) here,” Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders said to a packed auditorium for Airbus’s wrap-up news conference.

Today is the last day of the trade show portion of the Paris Air Show. Tomorrow, the show opens up to the general public.

Many of the orders were for Airbus’s upgraded A320 single-aisle aircraft, the A320neo (for new engine option). That means Airbus now has more than 1,000 commitments for the plane.

Boeing is studying whether to upgrade its 737NG single-aisle plane, which competes with the A30, or upgrade it with new engines. It plans to announce which way it will go by the end of the year. Boeing says Airbus is catching up with its 737 offering with the neo.

That prompted Enders to comment during the news conference.

“If after this, our colleagues in Seattle still maintain that the neo is only catching up , then I have to ask what stuff these guys up there in Seattle are smoking,” Enders said.