Last-minute deals at Farnborough bring total passenger aircraft sales at the show to about 835

FARNBOROUGH, England, 23 July 2010. A few last-minute commercial passenger aircraft sales waited until the last minute to be announced Friday at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England. As of noon local time at Farnborough Friday, 14 more passenger aircraft were ordered, which by rough count brings the total number of commercial aircraft sold during the show to 835.

On Friday French carrier Air Austral ordered two Boeing 777-200LR widebody jetliners for delivery in mid-2011 and 2010. Air Austral already operates three 777-200ERs and two 777-300ERs. This deal brings total sales of widebody passenger jets at Farnborough to about 80.

Air Austral will use these Boeing widebodies for service between Paris and the short runway on the island of Mayotte off Eastern Africa in the Mozambique Channel. "The 777-200LR is the only widebody airplane that can fly non-stop to Paris with a full payload from our short runway on the island of Mayotte," says Gerard Ethev, chief executive officer of Air Austral, which is based in Reunion, France.

Also on Friday Orient Thai Airlines in Bangkok, Thailand, ordered 12 Russian-made Sukhoi Superjets, with options for an additional 12. Sukhoi President Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk says he expects the Thai Airlines order to be the final sale for his company during the Farnborough air show.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is regional jet that seats 75 to 95 passengers. Sukhoi is building the jet in cooperation with the Alenia Aeronautica subsidiary of Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica.

During the Farnborough air show, aerospace companies sold 212 passenger aircraft Monday, 392 on Tuesday, 121 on Wednesday into Thursday morning, and 14 more late Thursday into mid-day Friday. Sales of widebody passenger jetliners at Farnborough through Thursday have totaled about 80.

In sum at Farnborough, companies booked $47 billion in orders, which is down 47 percent from the peak year of 2008 at Farnborough when companies booked $88.7 billion in orders, report the ADS, the United Kingdom aerospace, defense and security trade organization and its subsidiary company Farnborough International Limited (FIL).

This show saw 1,450 companies exhibiting, up from 1,393 in 2008. More than 120,000 visitors on trade days and an expected 160,000 this weekend this will put 2010 almost on a par with the total numbers for 2008, which were 285,000, show officials say. Visitor numbers on trade days are down around 8 per cent from 2008.

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