Boeing lands further airshow deals

FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Boeing Co. and archrival Airbus were caught in a fierce dogfight for orders at the Farnborough Airshow on Tuesday, with both aircraft manufacturers unveiling multi-billion dollar deals — crucial at a time of global economic unease.

Boeing was a big winner for the second day as it touted a further two big orders worth a little more than $11 billion for its remodeled short-haul 737 aircraft, but the deals are not yet firm and could theoretically unravel. Meanwhile, European manufacturer Airbus unveiled its first firm multibillion dollar order at this year’s airshow.

The U.S. manufacturer said GE Capital Aviation Services, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric, has committed to purchasing 75 of the 737 MAX 8s and 25 Next-Generation 737-800s. The deal is valued at around $9.2 billion at list prices but customers rarely pay the full amount when ordering big. Further discussions are needed and hurdles must be cleared before the deal is finalized.

“This commitment confirms the value of the 737 MAX in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive.

Boeing also said Kuwait’s ALAFCO, a company that also buys planes and then leases them onto airlines, has committed to buy 20 of the 737 MAX 8s. The deal, if concluded, is valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices. On Monday, Boeing also struck big with a $7.2 billion deal with Air Lease Corp.

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