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Paris Air Show 2005: Just When You Thought Boeing Would Bounce Back...

...Airbus Gets 138 New Aircraft Orders

In the horse race for the lead in world commercial aircraft sales, Airbus has retained the front-runner position, announcing a deal for 100 aircraft at the Paris Air Show Thursday.

It's a slim lead, to be sure. With the announcement of that huge sale to IndiGo Airlines, a low-cost Indian carrier, Airbus now has 413 orders for the year. Boeing, with big sales this week to Alaska Airlines, among others, has 401 sales so far. That compares to about half those numbers announced during the 2003 Paris Air Show.

IndiGo, one of several new LCCs emerging in India, ordered A320 aircraft.

"The Indian market is growing rather dramatically right now," said John Leahy, Airbus's chief commercial officer, at a press conference at Le Bourget. "We now see new carriers entering the market."

"This is a show and Airbus is really making it a show," Jean-Edouard Reymond, who oversees about $5.5 billion at UBI Bank in Paris, including shares in Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Company, told Bloomberg News. "It's also a place where customers can meet their suppliers, which leads to a lot of contracts during the week and right after."

Leahy said he expected to garner twice the number of Boeing orders by the end of the air show.

FMI: www.airbus.com, www.boeing.com


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