Farnborough 2018: Boeing, Airbus rack up orders as giant airshow opens

Aviation is soaring Traffic is up fuel prices are under control and rising demand is driving aircraft orders. So what could go wrong? A trade war perhaps

"We will take back control of our borders, our laws and our money. We could not have achieved this success without our resilient relationship with Boeing". China needs a positive contribution from the aerospace industry to help fulfil its growth ambitions, while Boeing and its suppliers help generate a huge trade surplus as well as manufacturing jobs in the US.

The order was announced at the Farnborough Air Show. "Our aerospace business thrives on free and open global trade and we're hopeful we're going to find solutions as alternatives to some of the tariff discussions that have been going on".

In the meantime, Airbus bagged a provisional deal with an unidentified customer for 100 single-aisle A320 family jets, worth about $11.5 billion at list prices.

China's Sichuan Airlines said it will be buying 10 A350 long-haul planes with a list price of United States dollars 2.8 billion (2.4 billion euros), while India's Vistara signed a letter of intent to purchase 13 single-aisle A320neo aircraft. Sichuan Airlines Corp. will purchase 10 of the widebody planes. The Max deal is valued at $3.5bn.

"The 777 Freighter is an airplane perfectly suited to DHL's needs, offering an outstanding payload capability, with incredible range to service its extensive intercontinental network and unmatched reliability", said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister.

Boeing's latest order will double the size of DHL's global 777 fleet, the companies said.

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Airbus, which employs around 15,000 people in Britain, warned earlier this month that if Britain left the European Union without a deal - a so-called "hard" Brexit - it could result in production at its factories stopping and aircraft being grounded.

Heading into the show, Toulouse, France-based Airbus was closing in on orders totalling $29bn, based on list prices, from two Asian carriers, Malaysia's AirAsia, and StarLux Airlines. StarLux, founded by former Eva Airways chairman Chang Kuo-wei, is aiming to start long-haul service to North America by 2021. That was hiked from its 2017 forecast of 35,000 new jets.

AirFinance Group Limited, a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited, place a firm order for 20 A320neos to add to its portfolio of 119 Airbus aircraft. The A220 programme got an important vote of confidence from Air Lease founder Steven Udvar-Hazy, who told Bloomberg the A220 is "a more attractive prospect" under Airbus.

"This has changed the whole landscape in terms of its credibility", Udvar-Hazy said.

But both Airbus and Boeing are under pressure to increase orders for some of their wide-body jets due to a recent slowdown in that part of the market.

The week is expected to confirm demand for narrowbody jets from airlines such as Mexico's VivaAerobus, which is shopping for about 40 Airbuses, and lessors like Goshawk, which is interested in jets in the Boeing 737 MAX category.

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