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17 Jun, 2013 11:19

Airbus and Boeing to dominate orders at the Paris Air Show

Airbus and Boeing to dominate orders at the Paris Air Show

Competition between the European manufacturer Airbus and its key rival - America's Boeing - is set to grab center stage at the Le Bourget airshow in Paris. The two giants are battling it out to win market share in long – haul jets.

Before the show Airbus managed to place itself a step ahead of Boeing, as the maiden flight of its new A350 long-haul plane proved a success. With the introduction of the fuel–efficient A350 Airbus seeks to dominate the long-haul sector, after the company grabbed more than 50% of the market for medium-haul and single-aisle planes. With the presentation of its plane in the end of this week, Airbus hopes to massively add to the confirmed orders with some of the world’s top customers - Qatar Airways, British Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.

Boeing is also entering the show on the upbeat note, hoping to improve the image of its trouble-prone 787 Dreamliner.

Technical problems such as overheating batteries have tarnished the Dreamliner’s reputation after the planes were grounded world-wide.

Boeing will launch the 787-10X, a longer version of the original Dreamliner, with the accommodation for up to 330 passengers.

The competition between the two companies is going to be great, but the airlines will "benefit from the fact that both companies are going to have a good wide-body product line," as Deutsche Welle quote Boeing boss Ray Conner.

"I think we have the better products and at the end of the day, hopefully the better product wins," Conner added.

However, the final outcome remains uncertain, according to Tom Enders, boss of Airbus parent company EADS.

"It's premature to draw any conclusion and it's not necessarily the one who has more products who is also better positioned on the market," he said.

Experts warn that  Boeing's recent technical troubles may damage the company’s performance at the show.

"Airbus can, and will, argue that Boeing's ability to execute is questionable and that the A350 is a better bet in terms of timing and availability," NDTV quotes Richard Aboulafia, a US-based aviation expert.

However, at Britain’s Farnborough show last year Boeing outpaced its European rival. The US firm secured $35.5 billion in contracts, almost twice as much as Airbus did.

The Russian-made Sukhoi SU-35 military jet lands after its preparation flying display at Le Bourget on June 16, 2013 on the eve of the opening of the International Paris Air show (AFP Photo)

What’s there for Russia?

For Russia the 50th Paris air show is expected to become one of its biggest successes. The Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter has already sparked export interest, with delivery contracts due to be signed with China.

“We have an intergovernmental agreement on Sukhoi Su-35 delivery schedule for China to sign,” Lenta.ru quotes Aleksander Mikheev, deputy head of Rosoboronexport.

“We wouldn’t like to assume when we’ll see contracts emerging,” Mikheev added.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner has already secured an umbrella agreement with Ilyushin Finance leasing company. The company plans to buy 20 aircraft, with 15 of them due to be leased to airlines in the Middle East and South–East Asia.

The deals to sell Russian aircraft are planned to come under the governmental programme to support exports of hi–tech products. The scheme provides guarantees to banks that provide credit for the purchase of Russian made planes.