Airbus, Boeing climb close to $100 billion in air show deals

Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:16pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher and Victoria Bryan

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) and Boeing (BA.N: Quote) climbed close to the $100 billion mark for plane deals at the Farnborough Airshow on Wednesday, demonstrating demand for new passenger jets despite concerns raised by their already record full order books.

Recent profits warnings from airlines such as Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) and Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA: Quote) have stoked fears of a sharp slowdown in demand for new aircraft or even cancellations.

However, shares in Airbus closed down 2.5 percent after the company told analysts it may have to cut output of its best-selling twin-aisle A330 passenger jet to get through a three-year transition toward an upgraded model launched at the show.

Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier acknowledged on Monday that his company's demand forecast implied that average production over the expected lifespan of the revamped jet project would be lower than the current 10 a month.

Airbus gave further indications to analysts at a meeting on Wednesday that production would slip, participants said.

Reflecting the flurry of activity in the first three days of the show, the biennial event has already outsold the 2012 show, which saw $72 billion of orders and commitments. The tally hit $135 billion at last year's Paris Airshow.

Such deals range for provisional letters of intent to firm orders, and can include the announcement of transactions that may have been listed in order books to unidentified buyers.

Europe's Airbus has racked up over $60 billion in orders and commitments, boosted by demand for its re-engined and more fuel-efficient A330.   Continued...

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft sits at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow in Farnborough, southern England July 13, 2014.    REUTERS/Kieran Doherty