Widebody jet sale blowout so far fails to materialize at Farnborough: market still somewhat cautious

THE FARNBOROUGH BLOG, 20 July 2010. So we're finished with the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow, and we had some big aircraft sales, but not the big blowout in widebody aircraft that I had been expecting.

More than 200 airplanes were sold at Farnborough on Monday, and 41 of those were widebodies -- Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s -- but I'm hoping for more. Experts say to watch the number of commercial passenger jets sold at Farnborough. If these numbers are in the hundreds, then we might have turned the corner on the aerospace economic downturn. We're nearly there, but just barely.

Still, we have four days left of the show, and experts say the first day essentially was for the media. I'm told to watch today and Wednesday, because these are supposed to be the trade days. Perhaps we'll see that big widebody blowout today or tomorrow.

Boeing is trying to make a big splash with its much-delayed 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. All I'm hearing from Farnborough so far is airlines might be leaning toward buying them for long-haul service sometime in the fall. No sales of the 787 -- or of the Airbus A380 super jumbo jet -- here at Farnborough, so far, and that's got to be significant.

The narrow-bodies for sort-haul and regional passenger service seem to be the big news at Farnborough -- mostly involving the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Just a few widebodies, and no 787 sales so far. It feels like the market is still being cautious.

Stay tuned for more jet sales today and Wednesday -- we hope.

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