Airbus secures $2.3B order at Farnborough

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP A Boeing 787 Dreamliner made for Qatar Airways lands during an aerial display on the third day of the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

FARNBOROUGH, England — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus scooped up the only firm order so far on the third day of the Farnborough International Airshow, in a further sign that airlines are concerned about the global economic outlook.

And with governments around the world on a cost-cutting drive, many airlines appear to be operating a wait-and-see approach, especially when compared with last year’s show in Paris — Farnborough, which is south of London, alternates for the annual sales event with the French capital.

Boeing Co. had no firm deals to trot out, but a 787 made in Everett, Wash., for Qatar Airways made its third and final flight at the expo. The 787 also is made in North Charleston.

Earlier in the day, Avolon, a leasing company made a commitment for 10 737 MAX 8s and 5 737 MAX 9s, as well as 10 737-800s, Boeing commercial airplanes marketing chief Randy Tinseth said on his online journal.

“As the orders and commitments keep stacking up this week, the 737 MAX continues to grab all the headlines,” he wrote.

Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS, got a firm order from the aerospace division of CIT Group, a transport finance and leasing company, which has ordered 10 mid-sized long-haul A330 aircraft, in a deal that has a list value of $2.3 billion. The deal includes five that were ordered earlier this year, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014. With this new order, CIT now has a total order book of 162 aircraft scheduled for delivery through 2019, of which 89 are for Airbus aircraft.

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“The A330 is already the market’s favorite long-range aircraft, but we don’t stop there; we are continuously improving the A330 with, for example, new weight variants which offer more payload-range capability,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus’ president and chief executive.

Though the first two days of this year’s airshow were littered with some headline-grabbing orders, many of the deals announced have been commitments, including Boeing’s $9.2 billion deal with GE Capital Aviation Services, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric. Most commitments do become firm in the end but uncertainties remain.

Airbus revealed that China Aircraft Leasing Co. has committed to buy 36 current-generation A320 short-haul aircraft, in a $3.1 billion deal.

The Post and Courier contributed to this report.