Airbus beats rival to top spot at airshow

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airbus won more business than rival Boeing at this week’s Paris Airshow, helped by a last-minute deal with Eastern European low-cost carrier Wizz Air and buoyed by demand from Asian customers.

Airbus ended the show with orders and commitments for 421 aircraft worth $57bn, against 331 aircraft worth $50.2bn for Boeing.

“This was higher than I personally expected,” Fabrice Bregier, the chief executive of Airbus’s planemaking division said, minutes after announcing Wizz Air intended to buy 110 single-aisle planes following all-night negotiations.

“It confirms the market trend is positive,” he said.

Ahead of the show, which runs from June 15-21, many industry watchers had expected a quieter event, with the focus on how manufacturers and their supply chain deliver a record backlog of orders, rather than on winning new deals.

The show revealed some tensions between planemakers and suppliers. GE said it wanted to secure a record increase in engine production for single-aisle planes before deciding whether it could go higher, echoing comments from partner Safran.

Bregier said suppliers risked losing out on business if they did not wish to go along with still higher production rates and sales chief John Leahy pointed out Airbus had two engine suppliers for its single-aisle planes.