U.S. News

Airbus, Boeing Clinch $8 Billion in Plane Deals


An order from Malaysia's AirAsia worth more than $3 billion for Airbus planes capped a busy day for the planemaker and rival Boeing on Monday, with three deals worth close to $8 billion at list prices.

AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes visited London to sign a deal with Airbus Chief Operating Officer for Customers John Leahy for fifty A320 series planes plus options on fifty more.

The five-year-old budget carrier already has 100 Airbus aircraft on order and had indicated last Friday that a deal to double that figure was in the works.

Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) announced deals worth $2.8 billion for 40 single-aisle airliners as it selected 20 Airbus A320 series aircraft and 20 Boeing 737s.

The company, which was acquired for $965 million by Bank of China last month, said that the Boeing aircraft would be bought by converting existing order options and purchase rights.

The planes are to be delivered from the second quarter of 2009 until the first quarter of 2012.

SALE said the Boeing aircraft would be powered by engines from CFM International while the Airbus engine selection was still being evaluated.

Airbus also separately announced a deal for 12 wide-body A330s with options for ten more from Spanish tourism and transport company Grupo Marsans. The deal is worth about $1.97 billion at list prices excluding the options, though both manufacturers regularly offer discounts. Airbus announced a tentative deal with Grupo Marsans in July at the Farnborough air show near London.
Annual Order Race

The AirAsia order will go into Airbus' 2007 total as the France-based planemaker tries to counter surging demand for planes from rival Boeing.

Boeing reported 1,044 net orders for 2006, a company record which is expected to win it the annual orders battle versus Airbus for the first time since 2000.

The SALE and Grupo Marsans deals are part of 2006 annual totals for Airbus and Boeing.

Boeing's deal with SALE is part of some 175 orders to unidentified customers which were part of Boeing's 2006 total. Airbus is scheduled to announce its 2006 orders total on Jan. 17.