MIAMI — Airbus is on top at the 2014 Singapore Airshow, commanding a healthy lead in orders over rival Boeing, along with everyone else. At the end of day two in the Singapore heat, the company has posted a total of 113 orders including options; more than double the next closest manufacturer, ATR.
The largest order for the European aircraft manufacturer came from low-cost Southeast Asian operator VietJet Air. The roughly nine billion list price deal is split between 42 A320neo, 14 A320ceo, and seven A321ceo airplanes for a total of 63 firm aircraft.
It also includes options for up to 30 more, for a total of 93. Deliveries are set to begin in 2014 for ceo aircraft (powered by CFM 56 engines), and 2016 for neo (powerplants still undecided).
Airbus’ other big win came from Amedeo, previously known as Doric Lease Corp, which ordered twenty Airbus A380 aircraft. The deal extends the seemingly improbable continued existence of the ultra-jumbo-jet, which has been repeatedly marked off for dead only to receive continued leases on life. The last A380 order came from Emirates at the glitzy Dubai Airshow in November, for a whopping 50. Neither Amedeo or Emirates have specified engine selection yet.
Technically, none of Airbus’ Singapore orders are new. Amedeo and VietJet Air penned their orders provisionally last year at the Paris Airshow and Aviation Expo in Beijing, respectively. Since neither had been firmed until this week in Singapore, the orders were not reflected on Airbus’ 2013 books.
Airbus’ primary competitor, Boeing, has barely registered as a blip on the order screen thus far. Still, the Chicago-based aerospace giant pulled down a commitment (ie, not a firm order) for fifteen 737 airplanes from Thai budget carrier Nok Air. The $1.45 billion list price deal includes eight -800 next-generation (NG) and seven MAX 8 airplanes. The carrier currently operates fourteen 737NG aircraft in addition to four ATR 72 turboprops.
Speaking of ATR, the French turboprop maker is presently in second place for the show’s order tally, at 54. The bulk of that tally stems from an order from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), for up to 40 ATR 72-600 aircraft – twenty firm with twenty options. The deal, worth just under $1 billion, represents the first foray by the Middle Eastern lessor into the regional market and its first big move since nearly going under in 2009.
Meanwhile, Bangkok Air placed a firm order for six ATR 72-600s while retaining two options. Spanish regional carrier Binter Canarias also placed a firm order for six of the 72-600 turbo props. Both carriers presently operate ATR 72-500s.
Bombardier also chalked up two orders, though details of both have remained somewhat vague. The big one was for twelve CRJ900 NextGen regional jets, whose buyer wished to remain unknown. Separately, the company announced that an existing customer placed an additional firm order for three CSeries airplanes. Like the CRJ9 order, the customer declined to be identified.
The anonymous order pushes the CSeries’ firm order count past 200 for the first time in program history. Company officials have cited a desire to reach 300 by the airplane enters service, which is now expected in 2015. Bombardier finished out the Dubai show in 2013 in similar fashion: a respectable number of orders, but not the CSeries performance it likely hoped for.
In either case, the sum story has been the continued growth of low cost budget carriers in Southeast Asia. Between Nok Air and VietAir Jet, the two made up 61% of the total orders thus far. The bulk of the 108 orders have gone to Airbus, continuing a trend in the region in which the company has outpaced Boeing nearly two to one.
The region has exploded as the middle income has grown and more people in the extremely populous region find themselves with dollars to spend on travel. Airbus predicted earlier in the week that Asia-Pacific will need 7,000 single aisle airplanes in the next decade.