The tally of plane orders by the close of third day of the Farnborough Airshow has passed the $25 billion mark, as a resurgent commercial aviation sector offset severe cut backs to government defence expenditure.
Though the show remains a long way off the record-breaking $88.7 billion of bookings announced at Farnborough in 2008, sales are well above the $7 billion placed at last summer’s sister airshow in Paris.
Airbus enjoyed the bulk of today’s bookings, including Thai Airways making a commitment to buy seven A330-300s worth around $1.5 billion, as well as sales to Berlin-based Germania, which signed a contract for five Airbus A319s.
Indonesian flag carrier Garuda has purchased of six long-range A330-200s, worth $1.1 billion at catalogue prices, to expand its new premium service “to more international destinations in a profitable and efficient way.”
Boeing’s sales included Air Austral ordering two long-range 777-200s, worth $501 million at catalog prices. Qatar Airways had ordered two 777-200LRs for the same price.
Qatar also revealed that it was taking earlier delivery of Boeing’s 787 jetliner to meet increased demand.
“Air travel demand is continuing to rise in the Middle East and it is becoming clear that international demand is returning as the global economy shows signs of recovery,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Bombardier picked up an order for seven Q400 turboprop airliners from Qantas Airways, worth $218 million at list prices.
New leasing company Air Lease Corp. has so far signed the biggest deals, dividing orders for 115 planes worth $8.6 billion between Boeing, Airbus and French-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR.
More than 1,000 exhibitors from 38 countries have signed up for Farnborough, with delegations from Egypt, Taiwan and Morocco attending for the first time. Organizers also cited stronger interest from major players China and Russia.