Boeing wins Paris order title as Airbus's Leahy announces retirement

The 737 MAX 10 is aimed at the biggest part of the commercial airline market - single-aisle aircraft for medium-range flights - and scooped up 326 orders worth almost Dollars 40 billion at list prices as the jet promises even more fuel economy thanks to improvements to aerodynamics and engine performance.

During the first three days of this year's Paris Air Show, Boeing announced orders and commitments for a total of 571 commercial aircraft, valued at $74.5bn at list prices.

XAutoplay: On | Off But Vertical Research Partners said Wednesday that "a staggering 64%" of Boeing's total orders at the show are nonfirm agreements.

In a statement yesterday, Malaysia Airlines managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bellew said the airline has chose to convert some of its 737 MAX 8s to 737 MAX 10s, which offer greater flight efficiency and additional capacity. "This is probably one of our busiest air shows".

Boeing Co. outsold rival Airbus SE at the Paris Air Show, with the world's top two plane makers combining to secure $114 billion in deals.

Boeing also said the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in its history. "Yes", Leahy told a news conference.

Airbus on Thursday signed deals with AirAsia, and privately-owned Iranian carriers Zagros Airlines and Iran Airtour.

United Continental (NYSE:UAL) will become the largest MAX 10 customer after reaching a deal to buy 100 737 MAX 10s, replacing its previous order for the existing MAX model.

Chinese low-priced carrier Ruili Airlines inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 20 737 MAX aircraft valued at $2.2 billion at list prices.

Analyst Richard Aboulafia, of Virginia-based Teal Group, said commercial activity had been better than expected and was reminiscent of shows in 2009 and 2011, when the aircraft industry had bucked a retreating world economy.

Leahy said he had expected the new Boeing plane to make more of a splash.

Malaysia Airlines was another carrier converting a previous 737 order, this time from the MAX 8 to the MAX 10.

While he did not expect the MAX 10 to be a viable competitor to the A321, Leahy said the Boeing plane's launch could result in price pressure. The aircraft lessor's CEO John Plueger said "With these additional 12 units, ALC's growing 737 MAX order book now stands at 130 aircraft - and we are placing them rapidly".

The A321 is larger than any previous member of the 737 family, a gap that the MAX 10 is meant to close.

  • Zachary Reyes