Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Boeing unveils plans for new version of 737 Max

Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:29

Airbus and Boeing will again hog the spotlight at the Paris Air Show with their battle for ever-larger slices of the lucrative pie in the sky.

The plane carries a price tag of $124.7 million each, though buyers get discounts. The plane is likely to be in service by 2020. "As leasing companies are playing an increasingly important role in the world's aviation sector, we are proud to support Tibet Financial Leasing's takeoff and future expansion".

General Electric's (GE) aircraft-leasing unit joined forces with a Canadian institutional asset manager to create a $2 billion global aircraft financing platform, while also agreeing to buy some 120 jets from Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSY).

The Boeing 737 MAX 10 will be launched at the Paris Airshow tomorrow with the backing of at least two Chinese lessors - CALC and the aviation arm of China Development Bank, whose interest in the aircraft emerged earlier this week.

Airbus has clinched a deal for 100 single-aisle A320neo planes in its first big move at the Paris Air Show, where the European planemaker is jockeying with Boeing for orders amid burgeoning competition from China.

Big single-aisle planes have become a sweet-spot for buyers.

"Our customers told us to build it bigger", Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister told CNN. As always, Boeing and Airbus will duke it out for orders and attention by bringing their latest hardware. Around 65% of the European aircraft maker's single-aisle deals previous year were for the largest version.

Airbus has dismissed the case for such an aircraft, saying its A321neo, which can seat up to 240 people in an all-economy layout, mostly fits the gap.

Customers will be announcing order details throughout the week, the company said in a press statement. These are not new orders and do not add to Boeing's order book.

In a phone interview from Paris, Keith Leverkuhn, Boeing vice president in charge of the MAX program, said he's very pleased with the 44 incremental orders and that the conversions reflect the importance of allowing airlines to subsitute other models as they nail down their own fleet planning needs. Now the US plane maker is striking back.

Industry sources said that Airbus would soon announce an order for 10 of its A350-900 wide-body jets from Ethiopian Airways, while it also looked set to clinch a $5 billion deal with low-priced carrier Viva Air Peru. The stretch version is meant to attract operators who are willing to trade off more seats for slightly less range (up to 3,700 miles with an auxiliary tank vs. 4,045 miles for a similarly equipped MAX 9).

Airbus is expected to announce a production cut to less than one plane per month for the A380 beginning in 2019.

Airbus isn't ready to cede its lead, though. A spokesman for Airbus said it doesn't comment on discussions with customers.