27 JUNE 2011
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Even John Leahy, Airbus super salesman, will have problems next year. How do you top that? Orders announced by both Airbus and Boeing at the Paris Air show last week guarantee work until 2020, and far beyond. Whilst both are looking over their shoulders at new emerging constructors in the East and Russia they have seen it before. The Soviets attempted, and failed, to get into international civil aviation, and it is an industrial area where the Japanese have disappointed. Convair, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas, BAe, Dornier, Fokker, Saab, and others have all disappeared in the last three decades.
Airbus came away from Paris with orders and commitments said to be worth US$72bn including 667 pledges for the revamped A320 called Neo (New Engine Option, or now perhaps “New Environmental Obligation”). Boeing says it has made no decision regarding its future short/medium haul commitment but an interesting aside from Jim Albaugh, President of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, noted that a twin aisle 150/200-passenger capacity aircraft would add 2/3% to fuel burn, a significant figure but less than expected.
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