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Few orders for the A350 and 777X

Airbus and Boeing struggle to sell their flagship widebodies

Airbus and Boeing have collected fewer orders at the Paris Air Show than in previous years. The flagship widebodies A350 and 777X were particularly disappointing.

At the Paris Air Show, IAG stole the spotlight by signing a letter of intent to buy 200 Boeing 737 Max. The other big news was Airbus’ launch of the A321 XLR. The new jet seemed to be what airlines were waiting for. Airbus landed more than 200 orders and letters of intent.

In total, Airbus collected 149 firm orders and received 214 letters of intent and options. Boeing landed 50 firm orders and 217 letters of intent. This is significantly less business than in previous years at one of the industrys most important trade fairs. According to the analytics company Air Insight, in the first four days of the fair, all aircraft manufacturers received slightly more than 800 orders. At the Farnborough Air Show in 2018, the number of orders was more than 1400, and in 2017 Airbus and Boeing managed to seal more than 1200 deals.

Slow Business for long-haul aircraft

That’s not the only bad news. Both Airbus and Boeing weren’t able to achieve much in long haul business. The Europeans managed to get orders for a total of 30 widebody aircraft, all of them Airbus A330 Neo. Boeing reported 47 orders or letters of intent – for 787 (35 units), 777 (one unit) and 777 F (11 units).

Particularly striking: Both aircraft manufacturers have not received a single new order for their flagship product. Boeing wasn’t able to get any airline to commit to buy the 777X. This year, the US manufacturer only received one order for the modernized version of the long-haul classic, the British Airways’ February order for 18 777X. Airbus did not sell an A350 at the Paris Air Show. The manufacturer collected 41 orders for the A350 in the current year, including orders from Lufthansa and the German Government. However, this is offset by 42 cancellations.

Airbus wants to reduce costs

Airbus has already announced what it intends to do to sell more A350. The company wants to reduce production costs. It is putting all processes and expenses to the test, as Michael Schöllhorn, the new operational head of the civil aircraft division, explained to Bloomberg. The companys complicated structure with factories in several countries is also being analysed.

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