Paris air show off to a flying start

Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent for up to 60 narrowbody 737 MAX 8 jets, worth $6.9 billion at list prices, last year.

Airbus's chief operating officer for customers John Leahy has offered a rationale for lessors' strong contribution to order activity at the Paris air show.

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) - Boeing unveiled a new version of its best-selling 737 aircraft on Monday, injecting life into a faltering civil aviation market as French President Emmanuel Macron flew in to open the world's biggest airshow in Paris.

Design changes for the 737 MAX 10 include a fuselage stretch of 66 inches, or about 1,68 metres, compared to the 737 MAX 9 and levered main landing gear, with an expanded capacity to carry up to 230 passengers, or 10 people more than that of the 737 MAX 9.

"These new airplanes are expected to deliver extraordinary efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in their segment market, making them very compelling for us in our fleet growth and network expansion", Okay chairman Wang Shusheng said.

Industry sources also said Airbus would soon announce an order for 10 of its A350-900 wide-body jets, while sources said on Sunday it was close to clinching a deal worth about $5 billion with low-priced carrier Viva Air Peru.

But airlines wanted more seats on the jet and Boeing went back to the drawing board for a new model.

"Our customers told us to build it bigger", Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister told CNN.

The third, Indonesia's Lion Mentari Airlines PT, announced an order for the 737 Max 10 on Monday, hours after Boeing formally launched the latest member of an aircraft family that has flown for a half century. Boeing is promising airlines a 14% decrease in fuel usage, primarily due to its two new engines and aerodynamic improvements.

Avolon chose to lock in deliveries of as many as 125 of Boeing's upgraded narrowbody jets because production slots are "very valuable real estate".

  • Zachary Reyes