Posted by John Keller
In the continuing grudge match over passenger aircraft sales at major global air shows, Airbus in Toulouse, France, has prevailed over Boeing Commercial Airplanes at this week's Dubai Air Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. By rough count, Airbus sold a total of 296 passenger aircraft, while Boeing sold 214.
While taking the passenger jetliner sweepstakes at Dubai, the high-profile competition between the world's largest aircraft manufacturers was nothing like the blowout last June at the Paris Air Show in LeBourget, France, where Airbus sold 730 aircraft to Boeing's 142.
At Dubai, Airbus continued with healthy sales of its future fuel-efficient A320neo single-aisle passenger aircraft with deals for 160 of the so-called new engine option aircraft. The A320neo was the star of last summer's Paris Air Show, when Airbus inked deals for 667 of the new aircraft, which will enter service in 2015 or 2016.
Dubai, however, was a different story in global competition to supply the next generation of narrowbody passenger jets for commercial airlines around the world. At Paris, Airbus rival Boeing still had not announced a new aircraft to compete directly with the A320neo. At Dubai, however, Boeing had rolled out its future 737 MAX, which will enter service in 2017.
This past week Boeing closed deals for 201 of its 737 MAX aircraft, besting Airbus in this crucial class of standard jetliners designed for fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly operations. Dubai was among the first chapters of what promises to be a lively and hard-fought competition over the next several years for the single-aisle aircraft market.
So, with the numbers in for Dubai, Boeing sold 201 737 MAX aircraft, 58 777-300ER long-range widebody aircraft, 29 long-range 737-900ER narrowbody aircraft, six 787 Dreamliners, and two 777 freighters. In contrast, Airbus sold 160 A320neo aircraft, 44 A320s, five giant A380 jumbo jets, and five A330-200 widebody aircraft.
This high-profile competition will continue to heat-up over the next year, and the next high-profile match will be at the Farnborough International Airshow next summer in Farnborough, England.