Airbus says new airliner's 'unprecedented' range could 'open new world-wide routes'

Wednesday, 19 Jun, 2019

Boeing didn't fare so well, however - the United States planemaker didn't announce a single new order.

Boeing has received a boost for its grounded 737 Max jet after British Airways-owner IAG signed a letter of intent to order 200 of the planes.

US President Donald Trump urged Boeing on April 15 to "Rebrand" its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes.

Another 737 Max crashed in Indonesia a year ago.

The model has been grounded worldwide for three months, and regulators need to approve Boeing's long-awaited fix to the software before it can return to the skies.

The combination of 737-Max 8 and 737-Max 10 planes would cost US$24 billion at list prices, though companies usually strike deals for discounts.

The Belfast plant was given a similar boost in 2018 when U.S. airline JetBlue ordered up to 120 Airbus A220 planes for delivery in early 2020.

Yet it remains unclear when the 737 MAX will fly again, with Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), warning that certification might not come before August. Still while flyers remain skittish - many say they'll avoid the airplane, at least short-term, after regulators clear it - most industry insiders say the airplane will be fine long-term.

A total of 346 people died when the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes went down shortly after take off.

Boeing has said it is open to renaming the 737 Max, its bestselling but also the most notorious aircraft.

At the air show in Paris, Boeing gained a much needed lift after a slow start to the show as Korean Air committed to buying 20 of the USA planemaker's 787 Dreamliners, worth $6.3 billion at list prices.

However, the cabin of an A320-series jet is typically pressurised to the equivalent of 7,000-8,000 feet above sea level, compared to an equivalent 6,000 feet for modern jets such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.

"The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR, which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines", the company said in a media release.

IAG also on Tuesday ordered 14 Airbus A321XLRs for Aer Lingus.

Boeing is trying to win back trust from airlines, pilots, regulators and the travelling public.

"We are very sorry for the loss of lives as a result of the tragic accidents. our thoughts and our prayers are with their families", Boeing's head of commercial aircraft Kevin McAllister told journalists at the air show.

Both Airbus and Boeing face a slowing economy that tempered the mood at the air show.