Airbus, in blow to Boeing, to launch new long-range jet

Wreckage of an Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max

The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March following a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash

With a busy day at the Paris Air Show securing orders for 30 Boeing 787s and now possible orders for 200 Boeing 737 MAXs, we could perhaps begin to see a resurgence of orders for the grounded jet as wounds begin to heal and airlines once again draw upon the operational efficiencies of the MAX.

Boeing said IAG, whose single-aisle fleet is now made up nearly exclusively of Airbus A320 aircraft, was turning to the 737 MAX "as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition".

"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.

"We can fly from northeastern Asia into south Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia, and so on", said Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer. The California-based Air Lease Corporation also signed a letter of intent to purchase 27 of the new planes - as well as 50 A220-300s and 23 additional A321neos, worth a total of $11bn at list prices.

The 737 Max has been under a cloud since regulators worldwide grounded the jet in March after a second crash in five months.

The Boeing 737 factory continues to crank out Max series jetliners.

The world's aviation elite are gathering at the Paris Air Show with safety concerns on many minds after the two 737 Max crashes.

The Airbus deals put American aerospace giant Boeing on the back foot at the show, a key industry get-together where companies usually announce a spree of major commercial agreements.

Boeing shares rose more than 4%.

'I'd say we're being open-minded to all the input we get, ' Boeing CFO Greg Smith told the outlet in an interview on the sidelines of the Paris Airshow.

But the deal, covering a period at least four years away when some airlines are already hesitating to commit due to economic risks, will have come at what one experienced aircraft negotiator described as a "spectacular" price discount. But given Walsh's track record, and Boeing's commitment to fix the airplane, Unnikrishnan said he expects IAG will go through.

The flurry of dealmaking could help to soothe investor nerves that a decade-long boom in demand for commercial aircraft is coming to an abrupt end.

Airbus SE will manufacture a new long-range, single-aisle jetliner, the company announced on Monday, creating an opportunity for carriers in markets where demand for global fights may not be enough to fill traditional wide-body planes.

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