At this week’s Farnborough Airshow, Boeing has been releasing purchase announcements at a rapid clip, giving its ailing 737 MAX new life, although competitor Airbus on Wednesday decided to add to its A320neo order book.
The MAX has more than 100 solid orders from customers, but Boeing still has a long way to go before it can certify a vital new variant in time for the year’s end deadline.
Additionally, Qatar Airways might be amenable to renewing a tentative agreement for 25 MAX that had expired.
“I believe Boeing’s momentum is back,” noted Agency Partners analyst Sash Tusa. “It’s a quiet show indeed, but within that are new possibilities.”
Following approval by the shareholders of the low-cost airline EasyJet (EZJ.L), Airbus confirmed the agreement on Wednesday.
Weeks before the biennial event, which is making its comeback after such a four-year virus outbreak hiatus, the European aircraft manufacturer snagged a sizable order from China for nearly 300 aircraft.
Aerospace executives want to quickly move on from the pandemic and the 737 MAX safety grounding, two incidents that shook the sector.
Instead, supply chain issues, skyrocketing inflation, fuel costs, and increasing pressure to decarbonize highlighted by this week’s record-breaking heatwave in the UK have dominated discussions.
EYE ON INDIAN DEALS, However, Farnborough, which rotates with Paris as the world’s largest airshow, has yet to strike any deals with them, a country with rapid economic growth.
According to industry insiders, Air India is nearing a decision on an order for $50 billion at advertised prices that will be shared between Airbus and Boeing under new owners Tata Group, though it is unlikely to be made in time for the show.
The order is expected to comprise up to 300 narrowbodies and up to 70 wide-body aircraft, including Airbus A350s, Boeing 787s, and Boeing 777s, the two aircraft manufacturers stated.
A judgement appeared “imminent,” according to one source, but another advised caution because the result was still uncertain.
Both manufacturers chose not to comment. A request for information from the Tata Group was not answered.
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun travelled to Asia before this week’s event, according to two sources, as an indication of the stakes involved. Regarding his actions, Boeing declined to comment.
As part of any agreement, Airbus hopes to reroute aircraft initially earmarked for Russia’s sanctions-hit Aeroflot.
Officials from Airbus visited the country last week as well, according to sources who are familiar with the matter, but there was no order at Farnborough.
The acquisition of indebted Tata now has instant access to Air India’s important flying permits and landing positions, particularly for flights to and from locations in the US and Europe.
However, analysts claim that improving the carrier’s finances and service quality will be difficult.
The airline, which had a maharajah as its mascot, was formerly well-known for its opulently adorned aircraft and first-rate service, which founder JRD Tata vigorously promoted.
However, since the middle of the 2000s, as its financial issues grew, Air India’s credibility has suffered.
An order from India’s Jet Airways for 50 Airbus A220 aircraft is also now on hold, according to two industry sources.
A last-minute snag has prevented the two sides from signing the agreement, despite having the general framework in place.
As we near a decision, we will publish our aircraft selection and fleet plans, according to a Jet spokeswoman. She also added that they are in a mature phase of negotiations with leasing companies and (manufacturers) for aircraft, and although the process will take some time—these deals will be beneficial to the U.S. and Europe regions which oversee their respective airlines’ sectors, the spokesperson said.