THE PARIS AIR SHOW BLOG, 22 June, 2011. Even though the Paris Air Show -- and its alternate-year sibling the Farnborough International Airshow -- offer a dizzying variety of new aircraft, aviation products, and major business transactions, the main attraction is the competition for passenger jet sales between aerospace giants Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, and Airbus in Toulouse, France.
For this year in Paris, many of the industry experts predicted Airbus would come out on top of this annual grudge match before an international audience. It is looking like Airbus will prevail in the Paris Boeing-Airbus jet sales competition this year, but I had no idea it would be by this much.
As I write this, we have three of four business days down at the 2011 Paris Air Show, and thus far, by my count at least, Airbus is leading Boeing big, 452 aircraft sold by Airbus to 142 aircraft sold by Boeing.
Now this apparent blowout comes with caveats. It appears that Boeing has the edge in sales of widebody aircraft such as its newest model of the 747 passenger jet and freighter. Boeing has had several announcements involving sales of its widebody jets, while Airbus widebody sales have been few and far between.
To my knowledge, Airbus has not sold a single giant A380 so far at the Paris Air Show, yet has had a few orders for its latest widebody, the Airbus A350.
Nevertheless, in sheer numbers, Airbus is leading the race with Boeing by many lengths as the two companies head into the home stretch of this year's Paris Air Show passenger jet sales competition.
Monday through Thursday this week are the designated business days of the air show, during which most, if not all, of the business is conducted. Little, if any, deals are closed on Friday, which is the first of three public days at Paris. With a lead this big, there's little chance of Boeing catching up by the time the show closes.