GE Aviation flying toward record air show haul

Key Points
  • Booked $24 Billion in orders for engines/services on day 1 of Paris Air Show
  • That included a the largest engine order ever ($20 Billion) with Indigo Airlines out of India.
  • GE Aviation CEO tells CNBC he expects orders of at least $35 Billion at this show...and likely “north of that” by a substantial amount.

The smile on the face of GE Aviation CEO David Joyce is hard to miss, especially at the Paris Air Show. The aircraft engine and parts supplier is on pace to book a record number of orders.

"We're looking at $35 Billion in new business, engines and services and I'm telling you that's conservative," Joyce told CNBC at the Paris Air Show. "If things go our way this week we could see ourselves going north of that by a reasonable number."

GE Aviation booked the largest engine and services deal ever when Indigo, a low cost carrier based in India, placed a $20 Billion order for CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 280 Airbus A320neo and A321neo airplanes. CFM International is the joint venture owned by GE Aviation and Safran, a major aviation company based in France.

The deal is especially sweet for Joyce since Indigo is flipping its engine business from Pratt and Whitney, a United Technologies subsidiary, to CFM International. Indigo has a backlog of 430 aircraft orders, of which 150 will be powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, with the remainder carrying CFM LEAP engines.

Overall, aircraft orders at this year's Paris Air Show are off to a slow start, with Boeing failing to record a single new order for one of its airplanes on the first day of the show.

Joyce is not worried about the quiet start to the show. He believes the airline business overall will remain robust. "If you look at the fundamentals, 5% demand growth, oil is stable, we're adding a million three departures every year," he said. "This really a positive show for us this week."

—CNBC's Meghan Reeder contributed to this report.