One can sense the mood at the show and on social media – where are the Airbus orders at the air show?

To be clear, Boeing is having an excellent show.  They needed this boost. As Airbus CCO Christian Scherer noted on Boeing’s orders this week: “It was about time for Boeing to pick up some steam“.  He went on to say at their easyJet announcement: “We don’t need to make a lot of noise. This is a public room, but in the private rooms it has been quite active.”

Orders expectations for this show favored Boeing.  Bank of America noted: “Airbus came into the air show with a backlog of over 7,000 total jets, and Boeing is already pushing the limits of its operational capability with a 737 MAX backlog of ~3,365. Most airlines saw the current hike in demand beforehand, and have already locked in their aircraft needs at lower rates. Additionally, supply chain issues ensure that current orders will likely not be met until well into the future, well beyond current demand constraints.”

Orders from India had been floated but have not emerged. Why? Most likely the Indians are trying to squeeze the big OEMs and part of that squeeze will be around delivery slots.  This clearly favors Boeing, especially for single-aisles.  Look at the backlog numbers above.  Even with Airbus at higher rates than Boeing, they simply can’t produce fast enough.  At the conclusion of the Dubai show last year, a senior Airbus official told your correspondent “We simply don’t have delivery slots”.  Moreover, Airbus came into the show with several big wins, especially in China. They are at 500 gross orders YTD.

So not to dismiss Boeing’s success at all, they won several great deals. One gem emerged when the Azerbijan 787 order was announced – Azerbaijan CEO Jahangir Asgarov desperately called on Boeing to bring the 757 back.  It’s the kind of statement we’d expect from Mr. Al Baker.  The statement reflects what so many in the industry say – the bigger MAXs don’t offer what they need in a 757 replacement.

Airbus may have fewer orders than Boeing at FIA22, but this is a small window in the year.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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