Boeing (NYSE:BA) had some good news at the Paris Air Show, announcing that U.S. plane leasing firm CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) had ordered 30 of the aircraft manufacturer’s new 737 Max 8 Aircraft — a deal that amounts to $3 billion and comes just days after the company also announced 737 MAX orders from Skymark Airlines and TUI Travel.
The announcement came at the Paris Air Show, where air was thick with rigid competition between Boeing and its European rival Airbus. Though Boeing can boast a solid book order, it still lags behind Airbus in new plane orders.
But Boeing’s deal with CIT helped the company relay the message that despite a number of technical setbacks that caused it to face the three-month delay of its Dreamliner fleet’s takeoff, it stands committed to competing with Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer which recently reported an $8 billion deal for 20 of its double-decker A380 superjumbos.
Boeing isn’t giving up. It has racked up $29.2 billion in firm orders or purchase agreements against Airbus’s $36 billion, and this new deal is only helping keep optimism high. Reuters explains that the deal “comprises 10 new aircraft and the conversion of 20 existing 737 orders, with deliveries due in 2019 and 2020.” The 737 MAX is the modernized version of the older 737 and when it comes into service, it will mark a new generation of planes that consume less fuel and allow reduced cost for airlines. Airbus’s A320neo and A350, and Boeing’s Dreamliners will also be a part of that generation.
Boeing also attracted CIT’s attention with its 787-10 aircraft that it launched on Tuesday. The leasing firm now has a total order book of 164 aircraft, including next-generation 737′s and 787′s. It already has operating lease and financing agreements for 128 Boeing planes and also ordered Airbus’s next-generation A350 earlier this year.
The 50th edition of the Paris Air Show was also momentous this year for the smaller competitors, especially European aerospace company EADS and Italy’s Finmeccanica, whose joint venture, ATR, marked one of the biggest orders of the week. Brazil’s Embraer also launched a new family of regional jets along with 100 orders, with 215 other intentions to purchase the aircraft.