PARIS – Day one of the 2017 Paris Air Show (PAS 2017) is in the books, and it was a blockbuster day for Boeing in particular, who eschewed its usually timid approach to the big summer airshow and won the order battle on the day (by our accounting).

In all, four manufacturers announced orders and commitments for 353 new airplanes on day one of the show from 13 unique customers (GECAS ordered both the 737 MAX 10 and A320/A321neo).

The volume of orders perhaps doesn’t quite match up to that of airshows past, but the number of different carriers involved (mainly on the Boeing side) is notable.

Recent market conditions for new aircraft purchases have pointed towards an overall slowdown in the pace of aircraft orders, and 2016 was a rough year for both of the two global powerhouses.

The early part of 2017 was not any better with January through May yielding anemic returns of 205 net orders for Boeing and 73 for Airbus.

In one fell swoop on day one of PAS 2017, Airbus more than doubled its order book while Boeing it grew firm orders by 50% (and including commitments it too doubled up its order book).

If the rest of PAS 2017 plays out with similar volume, both Airbus and Boeing will leave the airshow much happier than when they arrived.

Boeing opens with a bang – nine new customer orders announced (plus two MAX 10 conversions)

The big news of the day was Boeing’s announcement of the 737 MAX 10 variant Monday morning. Per a brief press conference to open the day, Boeing will reveal at least 240 orders and commitments for the MAX 10 across 10 different customers throughout PAS.

Of those, 149-167 (the number of MAX 10s in Tibet Financial Leasing’s order is unclear) and 7 of the customers were revealed on day one, including three of the four primary names that were most strongly linked to the MAX 10 in pre-show market intelligence.

The one exception is Chinese lessor CALC, whose MAX 10 order will likely be revealed later in the show. There will be some hand-wringing about the fact that so many of the 737 MAX 10s announced on day one were conversions, but our view is that the 100+ commitments are strong validation.

Moreover, the 737 MAX 10 isn’t necessarily just meant to solve an overall 737 MAX orders volume problem – it is also meant to help Boeing regain share in the middle of the market. Even order conversions help achieve that goal.

737 MAX 10

Boeing also won a major order for its 787-9 Dreamliner from lessor AerCap for 30 787-9s. Once CDB Aviation firms up its order for 8 787-9s of its own, Boeing will have officially outstripped its 2016 Dreamliner order book less than halfway through 2017.

There isn’t much left for Boeing in the way of new orders that were signaled pre-show. Only Vistara’s rumored 777X order and potentially a Jet Airways 737 MAX buy linger as substantial possibilities.

New Orders and Commitments


Airbus features A320 interior; A380 plus – but a big day two is coming

Airbus had a quieter day one, with the focus on interiors for its A320 family jets and the A380plus upgrade.

The Airspace interior for the A320neo family is actually a non-trivial upgrade, as it enhances the A320 family’s passenger experience edge over the 737 family by increasing seat width even further (along with further upgrades).

Airbus executives claimed that they were in talks with “several customers” for the A380plus which can be technically true and still not mean much. We do not expect the plus upgrade to make or break any new A380 purchases.

It also announced orders for 112 A320neo family aircraft, trying to steal some thunder from Boeing and the MAX 10, mostly without success. As usual, John Leahy was good for a pithy quote or two.

But Airbus does have four order press conferences lined up for day two, and we still believe that it will end up winning the orders battle at PAS.


New Orders and Commitments

Bombardier wins a small Q400 purchase

Bombardier did win a small order from Phillippine Airlines for its Q400 turboprop, but the real question is whether it can recapture order momentum for its CSeries jet.
The CSeries has not starred recently at the summer air shows in Paris and Farnborough (its 2016 surge occurred in the early winter and spring), and our current market intelligence does not point to any new orders at PAS 2017.

New Orders and Commitments

ATR gets rare Chinese turboprop customers

ATR announced an interesting pair of orders, totaling 13 ATR 42-600s from Chinese customers. The development is interesting because China is a relatively untapped market for regional aviation and could be poised for growth in the sector, though infrastructure constraints around air traffic control are problematic in the eastern half of the country.
The big headlines for ATR at the show will come when the IndiGo order for 50 ATR 72-600s is presented.

New Orders and Commitments

Other manufacturers – QSuite is the highlight

It was a quiet day outside of those four manufacturers.

The biggest business was probably with engine makers CFM and Pratt & Whitney, who won more than $3 billion in new purchases on the day.

Mitsubishi held an MRJ briefing but it will not see any real momentum until scope clause issues in the critical US market are resolved.

Embraer didn’t announce any orders but gave a briefing on Sunday where it expressed confidence in regaining order momentum and showed of its strong execution on the EJets E2.

The Russian manufacturers are quiet at the moment.

Probably the biggest news was the unveiling of Qatar Airways’ new business class product, the QSuites, which feature private doors, the ability to turn central seats into “double beds” and the ability for four passengers traveling together to dine facing one another.