Farnborough: First-day sales of 212 commercial jetliners may mean commercial aerospace is back on track

FARNBOROUGH, England, 20 July 2010. The first day of the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England, saw a flurry of passenger aircraft-buying activity, as four major commercial aircraft manufacturers announced purchases of 214 commercial jetliners -- 41 of them widebodies.

Boeing and Airbus sold 207 of those aircraft at Farnborough Monday, which more than doubles their purchases at the Paris Air Show one year ago. Paris and Farnborough stage air shows on alternating years, and are two of the largest air shows in the world, which often see major aircraft purchases.

Experts say that aircraft purchases at Farnborough in the hundreds, rather than fewer than 100 as was seen at Paris last year, may be an early indicator that the commercial aerospace business is back on track after several years of stagnant sales.

Airbus led commercial aircraft sales Monday with 122 purchases. Aircraft leasing specialist GE Capital Aviation Services LLC in Stamford, Conn., bought 60 Airbus A320 narrow-body passenger jetliners; Russian flag carrier Aeroflot bought 11 Airbus A330-300 widebody aircraft; and Air Lease Corp. in Los Angeles ordered 20 Airbus A321 and 31 A320 narrow-body aircraft.

Boeing, meanwhile, announced sales of 85 aircraft Monday at Farnborough, with Norwegian Air Shuttle ordering 15 Boeing 737-800 narrow-body jetliners, GE Capital Aviation Services ordering 40 737-800s, and the Dubai-based Emirates air carrier ordering 30 777-300ER widebody aircraft.

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer announced that Brazilian air carrier Azul ordered five Embraer 195 narrow-body airliners, while Canada-based Bombardier confirmed it had sold two Global 5000 regional jets in March to Qatar Airways.

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