Airbus SE booked a slew of jetliner deals from last month’s Paris Air Show, dragging the company out of one of the thinnest sales periods in its recent history.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus signed contracts for 145 planes in June, taking the first-half total into positive territory at 88, as cancellations had previously outweighed new sales. The results outpaced arch-rival Boeing Co, which logged only nine orders and is down 119 for the year, held back by the grounding of its best-selling 737 Max jet.
Airbus’s Paris total was boosted by the launch of an extra-long-range variant of its A321 narrow-body jet, which accumulated 44 firm orders, excluding conversions from other models. At the same time, the idling of the Max after two fatal crashes in five months has turned a drought at Chicago-based Boeing into a crisis.
Airbus’s June bookings included 30 A320neo-family jets from an order made by Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The planes are destined for Saudia’s discount subsidiary, Flyadeal, which walked away from a tentative commitment to take 50 Max jets.
So far this year, Boeing said customers switched or cancelled firm contracts for 85 737s that had previously been entered into its books.
A surprise contract for 200 Max planes from British Airways owner IAG SA, announced at the Paris show, has yet to be finalised and didn’t feature in the numbers.