The 53rd Paris Air Show, which opened on Monday, had a satisfactory harvest of orders, but in retreat compared to previous editions. For the first time, the American giant Boeing, jostled by the crisis of 737 Max following the two crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines who have made 346 dead, did not present a quantified balance of the show. "For us, this air show is not like the others," said Ihssane Mounir, commercial director of Boeing Commercial Aircraft. "Our priority is returning the unit to service safely. We hope he gets back to the air very quickly, "he added. However, he said he was relieved to have made a massive order of 200 737 Max aircraft from the airline giant IAG.
Another tone, more positive, in his rival Airbus. The European manufacturer took advantage of Le Bourget to announce the launch of a new version of its long-haul single-aisle aircraft, the A321XLR, for which it garnered 226 purchase commitments during the show. "We ticked the boxes that we wanted to check," welcomed the boss of Airbus, Guillaume Faury.
Airbus wants to take advantage of Boeing's situation
As for the order of IAG with Boeing concerning 200 737 Max, "it's a letter of intent", commented Guillaume Faury against journalists, before adding that Airbus would be "very happy" to make proposals at IAG. In the eyes of Airbus, the game does not seem to be played yet.
Indeed, if Boeing managed to rehabilitate in part thanks to a millimeter communication during the show, it is not over with the crisis of Max. The Seattle giant is hoping for a simultaneous decision from civil aviation regulators around the world for the resumption of flights – perhaps this summer – rather than a scenario where each would make a decision separately, with the risk that the aircraft remains immobilized longer in some regions, including China.