Paris Day 3 brought the signing of the first of two expected narrowbody mega-orders as Indian carrier Indigo firmed its commitment with Airbus for 180 A320 jets — 150 A320neos and 30 non-neos — reportedly the largest-ever commercial aircraft order by number of aircraft. That record is expected to be broken tomorrow with a 200-unit A320neo order from Malaysia-based AirAsia, but for today, Indigo can enjoy its moment in the limelight.
Another expected big order that has so far not been signed is a deal between Airbus and Qatar Airways for 50 A320s and five A380s. Not as big numerically, but still significant, because Airbus very much wants to be able to book at least one order for its superjumbo before the week ends. Whether or not it will be firmed before the end of the Show, and if it is, whether it will be accompanied by an announcement of an A330 P-to-F program (as Cargo Facts has predicted) is still unclear.
And a final note before we get to today’s orders: Unconfirmed reports indicate that the unidentified customer that signed a firm order with Boeing for 15 747-8Is on day one is China’s rapidly-expanding Hainan Air Group, which will put the big jets into service with Hong Kong Airlines. Neither Boeing nor HNA has confirmed this, but Cargo Facts subscribers may remember that we captured an image of a 747-8I in HKA livery on Boeing’s “Who’s Flying The 747-8” website a few months ago. That picture was only on the site for a couple of hours before Boeing removed it, but…
As for orders, the best way to sum up Day 3 is that it was a Very Good Day for Airbus. The European manufacturer announced orders and commitments for 367 airplanes today, all but six for its A320 Family narrowbodies. The big order, as mentioned above, was from Indigo, for 150 A320neos and 30 A320 non-neos. Other orders were from Republic Airways Holdings (parent of US-based Frontier Airlines) which signed a tentative deal for 40 A319neos and 40 A320neos, Avianca TACA which signed an MoU for 33 A320neos and 18 A320 non-neos, and Chile’s LAN Airlines which firm-ordered 20 A320neos. Airbus also announced a firm order and an MoU from Kuwait-based lessor Alafco: The MoU was for 30 A320neos, the firm order for 6 A350-900s.
Boeing had a quiet day, announcing just one order. That was from Russian carrier UTair for 33 737-800s and 7 737-900s.
ATR also received some love from customers, as Ecuador-based TAME ordered 3 ATR42-500s and lessor Nordic Aviation Capital ordered 10 ATR72-600s plus 10 options.
To sum up, Airbus announced 367 orders and commitments today, bringing its 3-day total to 732; Boeing announced 40, bringing its 3-day total to 138, and ATR announced 13, bringing its 3-day total to 28. Bombardier and Embraer booked no orders today, but have totals of 20 and 22, respectively.