Paris Air Show Analysis: Day 1

Day 1 of the Paris Air Show is over, and here are the results:

Boeing: 46 total orders (6 today)
  • 6 x 777 Freighter (GECAS)
  • 40 x 737-900ER (Lion Air - these had already been ordered but the customer was unidentified until today)
Airbus: 342 total orders (310 today)
  • 3 x A320, 80 x A350, 3 x A380 (Qatar)
  • 60 x A320, 10 x A330, 22 x A350 (US Airways - 20 of the A350s had already been noted on Airbus' order sheet)
  • 8 x A380 (Emirates)
  • 30 x A320 (Jazeera)
  • 60 x A320 (GECAS)
  • 12 x A350, 7 x A320 (ALAFCO - the A350 had already been noted on Airbus' order sheet)
  • 2 x A320 (Nouvelair)
  • 25 x A320 (S7)
  • 2 x A380, 18 x A320 (Air France)
In other words, an excellent day for Airbus, which has seen its high-profile models, the A350 and the A380, struggle recently. Both of the models saw strong sales today. And the A320 family continues to be a serious competitor to the 737 family. Airbus' success today has garnered a lot of media attention - rightfully so.

But Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing at Boeing, thinks that Boeing's relatively paltry order numbers aren't indicative of much. In his latest blog post, entitled 'The long run', he says, "So keep in mind it’s just one week out of 52." Translation: just because Airbus is doing so well here doesn't mean that they'll be in the lead when it comes to year-end totals. "We don’t save orders to score points in an artificial battle for the week," said Tinseth, referring to Airbus' practice of 'saving' orders for events like the Paris Air Show. "Other companies" - cough cough Airbus - "might have a different approach – and maybe that works for them," he said.

Tinseth has a point. Today's orders are good news for Airbus, but the folks in Toulouse can't let their 'newfound' success go to their head. Boeing has seen strong sales so far this year, and both companies will continue to battle it out after the air show is over. Even though they are interesting and important, there is a tendency for people to get carried away with the numbers. For Airbus: congratulations. For Boeing: it's only the first day of one week.

Looking forward to tomorrow!