Paris Air Show: Airbus’ Successful Week on Home Soil

Paris Air Show: Airbus' Successful Week on Home Soil
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource
By James Field - Editor in Chief 17 Min Read
17 Min Read

As we wrap up proceedings here at the Paris Air Show, let’s take a look back at Airbus’ successful week on home soil.

The European planemaker has stormed ahead with orders, with the sales chief Christian Scherer looking a lot happier than he did in Le Bourget than he did at Farnborough last July.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Airbus’ Mega Order for 500 Aircraft from IndiGo at the Paris Air Show…

Paris Air Show: Airbus' Successful Week on Home Soil
Photo Credit: Jamie Clarke/AviationSource

The vast majority of orders from Airbus came on Day 1 of the Paris Air Show, selling 533 units in a single day.

Of the 533, 500 of that directly goes to Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo who opted for A320 family aircraft, with no overall breakdown of how that order will split up.

This new order, including their existing backlog from previous orders total 1,330 Airbus A320 family aircraft that IndiGo has agreed with the European manufacturer.

Commenting on this historical moment for not just Airbus, but for IndiGo as well, IndiGo’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Elbers, says:

“It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo’s new historic order for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.”

“An order book now of almost 1000 aircraft well into the next decade, enables IndiGo to fulfil its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion and mobility in India.”

“At IndiGo, we take pride in being India’s preferred airline for connectivity in and with India; and by doing so, being one of the leading airlines in the world.”

“This order strongly reaffirms IndiGo’s belief in the growth of India, in the A320 Family and in our strategic partnership with Airbus.”

Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, also said:

“This landmark order marks a new chapter in Airbus and IndiGo’s relationship that is democratising affordable air travel for millions of people in the world’s fastest growing aviation market.”

Air Mauritius Takes Some A350s…

Paris Air Show: Airbus' Successful Week on Home Soil
Photo Credit: Airbus.

During the Paris Air Show 2023, Airbus has also secured an order with Mauritius flag carrier, Air Mauritius for three additional Airbus A350s which will enable the carrier to further expand its European and South Asia services.

Alongside Air Mauritius’ existing four Airbus A350s, this new order will bring their fleet to a total of seven A350 frames, alongside their four Airbus A330s, two Airbus A330-200s and two Airbus A330-900neo’s.

Commenting on their new A350 order, Air Mauritius’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kresimir Kucko, says, “Air Mauritius is proud to renew its confidence in Airbus and its products, continuing a three-decade long partnership.”

“The additional A350-900 aircraft will help us strengthen our European network and secure further growth in other markets. We are looking forward to achieving our ambition objectives together with Airbus.”

Adding to Mr Kresimir Kucko’s comments, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, says, “We compliment Air Mauritius on putting the A350 at the heart of its long-haul fleet modernisation programme.”

flynas Takes 30 more Airbus A320neos…

Paris Air Show: Airbus' Successful Week on Home Soil
Photo Credit: Airbus.

Finally, closing their historical first day at the Paris Air Show 2023, Airbus has signed a new deal with Saudi carrier, flynas, for 30 additional Airbus A320neo Family aircraft.

This additional 30 frames will bring flynas’ orders with Airbus to a total of 120 Airbus A320neo’s including 10 A321XLR’s.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of flynas, Bander Almohanna, comments on the carriers newest order, saying, “As we continue to grow receiving several awards for excellence in operations and customer services and invest in our offering, we are delighted to confirm our latest order with Airbus.”

“The A320neo Family brings unmatched benefits to our passengers, offering exceptional operational performance and environmental benefits, while helping us provide unique travel experiences at low-cost.”

Adding to Bander Almohanna’s comments, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, adds, “Unbeatable economics, longer range capability and the most spacious single aisle cabin have made the A320neo Family the preferred choice of airlines worldwide.”

“That includes in the low cost sector, where carriers operate in especially competitive environments. We look forward to working with flynas as it develops its future fleet and presence in the fast-growing Saudi market.”

Qantas Firms Up for Nine More A220s…

Paris Air Show: Airbus' Successful Week on Home Soil
Photo Credit: Airbus

Starting their second day at the 54th Paris Air Show off, Airbus has announced an order with Australian flag carrier, Qantas, for an additional nine Airbus A220-300s.

This order brings Qantas’ total backlog of the Airbus A220-300 with Airbus to 29 frames.

It is still expected that Qantas will take delivery of their first Airbus A220-300 later this year and the aircraft will initially be used across its domestic route network throughout Australia.

Commenting on the new order with Qantas, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, says, “We are pleased to announce this incremental order from Qantas.”

“Best in class, the A220 will be the perfect platform for a domestic network that includes everything from short hops to flights of five hours and beyond. Combining efficiency, comfort and longer range, the A220 will also contribute from Day 1 to the carrier’s far-reaching Climate Action Plan.”

Philippines Airlines Orders Nine A350-1000s…

Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Finalising their order with Airbus, Philippine Airlines has placed an order for nine A350-1000s, which will be added to its existing fleet of two Airbus A350-900s.

Their new Airbus A350-1000s are set the be delivered between 2025 and 2027. The aircraft will be able to carry up to 380 passengers in a three-class configuration, 42 Business, 24 Premium Economy, and 314 Economy class seats.

During the press briefing, Philippine Airlines executives did mention that over the coming years they will be replacing their Boeing 777-300ER fleet with Airbus A350s, which will most likely be the A350-1000, however, they did comment that they are still assessing options as to whether they will keep and expand their existing Airbus A350-900 fleet, or replace those with more A350-1000s.

Commenting on their newest order with Airbus, President and Chief Operating Officer, Captain Stanley K. Ng, says, “This order will see PAL operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia.”

“We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to match capacity closely to predicted demand on both the very longest routes to the North American East Coast but also on our prime trunk routes to the West Coast and potentially to Europe as well. At the same time the aircraft will use significantly less fuel than older aircraft of a similar size, which also brings an important reduction in carbon emissions.”

Adding to Captain Stanley K. Ng’s comments, PAL Holdings Inc President and Chief Operating Officer, Lucio C. Tan III, adds, “At Philippine Airlines we are committed to offering our passengers the best possible travel experience.”

“These state-of-the-art aircraft will enable us to give them the convenience of nonstop flights on long range routes in a comfortable passenger cabin where our cabin crew can do what they do best – extend gracious service and world-class Filipino hospitality. The A350-1000 is our “Mission Aircraft” to connect the world and boost the Philippine economy and society.”

Finally, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, says, “This  order is another strong endorsement of the A350 as the world’s long range leader. In terms of non-stop flying capability, efficiency and passenger comfort it is proven to be best in class. It also brings significant reduction in emissions and an immediate contribution to industry sustainability goals.”

“And in the larger widebody category, the A350-1000 has set a standard of its own, with the lowest operating costs and emissions for intercontinental service. We thank Philippine Airlines for its ongoing confidence in Airbus and look forward to working with the airline as the A350 becomes the flagship of its widebody fleet.”

Air India Firms Up Airbus Side of Blockbuster Order from Earlier This Year…

Photo Credit: Airbus

Airbus’ largest order of Day 2 comes as Air India finalises their February order for 250 aircraft, broken down as 140 A320neos, 70 A321neos, 34 A350-1000s, and six A350-900s.

Air India’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Campbell Wilson, says, “Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion programme will see Air India operate the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft across our route network within five years.”

“We are proud to be working with all our partners, including Airbus, in this journey to rebuild a global airline which reflects India taking a more confident posture around the world.”

Adding to Wilson’s comments, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, says, “We are excited to be a key partner in the renaissance of the Flying Maharaja. Under the leadership of the Tata Group and a focussed new management, this is one of the most ambitious projects in the airline business today.”

“We are proud that the efficiencies, comfort and range capability offered by our latest generation aircraft will contribute to the process, as Air India reclaims its rightful position as a world-class premium carrier. The Airbus services package is a perfect future-oriented choice that will form a core element of Air India’s transformation.”

Volaris Discloses A321neo Order…

Photo Credit: Airbus

Airbus’ final announcement of Day 2 at the Paris Air Show is with Mexican carrier, Volaris, for the disclosure of 25 additional A321neos that was from a purchase agreement that was signed with the carrier back in October 2022.

These extra 25 frames will see Volaris’ current backlog increase to 143 A320neo Family frames.

Enrique Beltranena, Volaris President and Chief Executive Officer, comments on this announcement, saying, “These A321neos will support our long-term business viability and sustainability strategy, while moving us closer to operating an all-NEO fleet by 2028.”

“Our 143 aircraft backlog demonstrates Volaris financial strength and will guarantee our growth in the Mexican market as well as in routes to the United States and Central America.”

Adding to Beltranena’s comments, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, says, “The A321neo’s superior performance and efficiency will continue to drive Volaris’ network growth.”

“As the fleet grows the airline will be well positioned to meet future demand, especially in the Mexican leisure market. We look forward to working closely with Volaris as it continues to spread its wings.”

Avolon Orders 20 A330neos…

Photo Credit: Airbus

On Day 3, leasing giant Avolon signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 20 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft at the Paris Air Show.

Deliveries of these aircraft are expected to take place between 2026 and 2028.

Andy Cronin, Avolon CEO, said: “We have been a strong supporter of the A330neo programme since its launch and with our existing widebody orderbook fully placed we are now locking in future growth in a supply constrained environment.”

“Our expanded delivery pipeline allows us to offer our customers the A330neo’s range and reduced emissions to support their evolving fleet needs.”

“Our recent aircraft orders and commitments reflect our confidence in the long-term growth trajectory of the aviation sector, which is outlined in our recent World Fleet Forecast projecting that the global passenger fleet will almost double by 2042.”

“It’s fantastic to see Avolon once again commit additional investment in the A330neo aircraft and lead the lessor market reordering widebody aircraft”, said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International at Airbus.

“Avolon’s vision and timing could not be better with this commitment for a further 20 aircraft to its portfolio.”

“Avolon will benefit from the strong wave of growth and replacements that we currently observe across all markets”.

Undisclosed Customer Orders 4 A330neos…

New York-air, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This order from Avolon (see above) was supposedly made overnight after trading hours at the Paris Air Show, following the initial rumors of a Jet2 A330neo order supposedly being due disclosed in Le Bourget.

However, nothing has come about this, but Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer did confirm this morning that he has signed an agreement with an “undisclosed customer”, for 4 A330neos.

No public announcement was made via press release, with this coming from Christian Scherer himself in the press conference.

It will be interesting to see whether this is indeed a Jet2 order, especially with representatives from the carrier supposedly being in Paris this week.

This came following an announcement from Honeywell that it will provide aftermarket support for auxiliary power units on 34 of its Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.

Overall: Not The Bad Week on Home Soil…

Photo Credit: Airbus.

All-in-all, it was a super week for Airbus, selling a total of 850 aircraft in the space of four days (including orders firmed up from previous announcements).

Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see whether the European planemaker can continue this level of sales momentum beyond the Paris Air Show.

But for now, they have managed to hold their ground on its home soil, and have secured big orders to add to their already extensive backlog.

With the Dubai Air Show coming up in the next few months, it will be interesting to see what other orders they could potentially attract in the Middle East.

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