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Airbus and Boeing get $20b orders at Paris expo

President Francois Hollande inaugurated the week-long Paris Air Show, which is expected to draw 315,000 visitors and 2,260 exhibitors from 47 countries.



By (AFP)

Published: Tue 16 Jun 2015, 9:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:45 PM

Paris — Airbus and Boeing got their sales war off to a flying start at the world’s premier air show near Paris on Monday with nearly $20 billion (€18 billion) in orders.

President Francois Hollande inaugurated the week-long Paris Air Show, which is expected to draw 315,000 visitors and 2,260 exhibitors from 47 countries.

France-based Airbus, which ususally groups orders to announce at the show, got the competition going with two big deals: an $8 billion order for 50 planes from Saudi Arabian Airlines, and a $6.4 billion order for 60 of the upcoming A320neos by GE Capital Aviation.

Boeing followed up with the announcement that Qatar Airways had ordered 14 777s worth $4.8 billion.

Hollande praised aviation’s contribution to the French economy, saying it employed nearly 200,000 people and was worth close to €50 billion.

“Aeronautics created 10,000 jobs last year and we hope to create almost the same number in 2015,” he said.

Among the aircraft making their debut at the air show will be new versions of the prototype all-electric plane from European company Airbus, the E-Fan, and its cleaner, quieter civilian helicopter, the H160.

They reflect the increasing focus on green innovations that are a theme this year ahead of the global climate conference being hosted in Paris later this year, and with the air industry committed to being carbon-neutral by 2020.

Fuel efficiency is another big motivator. Boeing’s promise that its next mid-range carrier, the 737 MAX, will offer 20 per cent fuel savings means it has already garnered more than 2,700 orders, even though it will not be unveiled until next year.

The Airbus A320neo, with a 15 per cent cut in fuel consumption, has already racked up a record 3,800 pre-orders before the first one has even left the production line.

Paris is the oldest and biggest air show in the world, having first taken place in 1909.

But several big manufacturers have chosen to market themselves elsewhere recently. — AFP


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