The first day of the Paris Air Show was nothing short of exhilarating, and Boeing stole the show with some massive orders and announcements. Airbus, of course, picked up some large orders as well from notable leasing companies.
Boeing Airplanes was perhaps the highlight of the first day, coming out of the gates strong with some very impressive numbers to show.
ALAFCO Announces Commitment for 20 737 MAX 8’s
The first major announcement made by Boeing at PAS 2017 was the announcement of Kuwait-based Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO) and Boeing committing to the order of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which is estimated to cost roughly $2.2 billion at current list prices provided by Boeing.
“As a lessor, we are committed to provide our global customer base with technologically-advanced aircraft,” Ahmad Alzabin, CEO and vice-chairman of ALAFCO noted. “Fuel efficiency, operational reliability and efficiency are key factors for our airline customers and the 737 MAX will help us meet those demands in the single-aisle market.”
ALAFCO is a globally-known aircraft lessor, as they have the likes of Malaysia Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Air Europa, Turkish Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Saudi Arabian Airlines as their primary customers, among others. The order of 20 737 MAX 8 aircraft today adds to the already-purchased 20 737 MAX 8’s bought by the company back in November of 2012.
AerCap, Boeing Announce Order of 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s
The sole major twin-aisle order from Boeing in the first day of PAS was the massive order of 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the middle frame in a series of 3 models of the 787; the -8, -9, and -10, which made it’s maiden flight this year and is also present at this year’s Paris Air Show. The agreement between AerCap and Boeing is said to be worth $8.1 billion, based on current list prices provided by Boeing. This order makes AerCap the largest customer of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
AerCap is the world’s largest aircraft leasing company, with over 1,500 aircraft that are either owned, managed, or on order in its fleet. AerCap is unique due to its comprehensive fleet solutions, and even provides part-out and engine leasing services through the company’s subsidiary, AeroTurbine.
“AerCap understands the value proposition the 787 brings to its airline customers,” said Boeing Airlines CEO and President, Kevin McAllister. “We appreciate their continued confidence in the Dreamliner, and we’re excited to have them become the largest 787 customer in the world.”
Tibet Financial Leasing and Boeing Announce Commitment for 20 737 MAX aircraft
Continuing the massive day for Boeing and leasing companies, China-based Tibet Financial Leasing and Boeing announced commitment for 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The order is said to contain a variation of the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and the newly-announced Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft. The order is said to be worth $2.5 billion at current list prices, which are provided by Boeing.
Tibet Financial Leasing is the first financial leasing company to ever be established in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and was established in 2015 with approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. The firm is registered in the Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone, and has an existing equity capital of RMB $3 billion.
“Our intention to purchase the 737 MAX reflects the strong customer feedback we have received. It is natural to start our aviation leasing business with the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history. We are confident that our customers will be satisfied with the efficiency, economics, flexibility and passenger comfort that the 737 MAX promises to deliver,” Wang Yanjun, president of Tibet Financial Leasing said in a statement.
Boeing and UPS Agree to 767 Passenger to Freighter Conversions
Sandy Springs, Georgia-based United Parcel Service (UPS) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced the agreement to convert three Boeing 767-300 passenger jets into the highly-specialized Boeing Converted Freighters.
Boeing’s current market outlook shows a need for >400 aircraft conversions in the coming years due to a spike in the demand for air freight because of a rise in e-commerce and the express delivery market. UPS’ rival, FedEx, currently operates a massive fleet of 41 Boeing 767 freighters with over 60 more on order, however these aircraft are coming brand new from Boeing’s production center in Everett, Washington. Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) are very common amongst long-haul cargo carriers such as China Airlines Cargo, EVA Air Cargo, and Cathay Pacific Cargo, where previously-passenger operated Boeing 747 aircraft are converted to freighters.
Brendan Canavan, UPS Airlines President, said “The purchase and conversion of these 767’s is a perfect example of how UPS is making smart investments to fuel profitable growth. This extension of our relationship with Boeing will help expand the safe, reliable, and on-time services we provide for our customers all over the world.”
GECAS and Boeing Work Together for 20 737 MAX 10 Order
General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced today the order of 20 brand new Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft, which were announced today, as well. The order is a conversion from 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to the larger 737 MAX 10. The order places GECAS with 170 MAX aircraft on order, the largest customer on the globe.
“This 737 MAX 10 order further enhances our fleet with the newest technology, offering our customers commonality along with increased range and available seating. Combining the increased capacity of the 737 MAX 10 and the CFM International LEAP-1B engines offers our customers many benefits,” Alec Bunger, CEO of GECAS said in a statement.
On Day 1, Airbus lacked the huge orders Boeing was able to obtain, but a big order from GECAS and a new A380 variant have Airbus looking to the future.
GECAS and Airbus Agree to Order for 100 Airbus A320neo Aircraft
On top of the order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the Paris Air Show, GECAS also has signed a firm order for a whopping 100 Airbus A320neo aircraft, each being equipped with the ultra-efficient CFM LEAP-1A engine. The order brings the order backlog for GECAS to 600 Airbus aircraft, 220 of which are of the new “neo” variant.
“The A320neo aircraft is an excellent product. GECAS is pleased to make this additional commitment for A320neos to meet strong customer demand for this type,” Alex Bunger, CEO of GECAS said in a statement. “GECAS’ renewed order of our best-selling A320neo aircraft, underscores the continuing strong market demand for these fuel-efficient aircraft.”
Airbus Reveals the New A380 “plus”
Maybe the single biggest announcement Airbus has made thus far at PAS 2017 is the design and development of the A380 “plus,” which is said to be a more efficient version of the A380 that is in production. Aerodynamic enhancements such as new, split winglets (similar to the split scimitar Boeing has installed on select 737 and 757 aircraft) that are said to allow for 4% better fuel-burn savings.
The A380plus will have an increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes, which should allow 80 more passengers on the aircraft, and therefore allowing for a 13% cost reduction per seat versus the current A380. Perhaps most impressively, the aircraft will able to fly with this load to its’ full range potential, which is a stunning 8,200 nm.
Airbus Launches New A320 “Airspace Interior”
Joining the likes of the Airbus A350 and A330neo, the A320 will be capable of an “airspace interior” retrofit.
Among the features, the largest overhead storage compartment in it’s class will be introduced, coined the “airspace bin.” This bin is very similar to the Boeing “space bins” which are an option on all Boeing Sky Interior-retrofitted aircraft. The new bins can carry up to 8 bags instead of the standard 5 in the normal A320 bin.
Ceiling mood lighting is another addition, with a “fully-customized on-board luminary experience, that begins at the entrance with a welcoming ambiance and continues throughout the aircraft with variable lighting features.”
New lavatory designs are one of the most noticeable changes, with a spacious design and colored mood lighting like the rest of the cabin. Anti-bacterial coatings, automatic aroma dispensers, and sound options are also available with the retrofit, which is said to come online around 2020, assuming development goes as scheduled.