Boeing and Airbus Compete over Billions in Orders at the Farnborough Air Show

Aerospace giants continue to grapple over who gets to be top dog in the aerospace sector, with Boeing winning this round.

The Farnborough Airshow near London, England is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world. The biennial week-long trade show features more than 1,500 trade exhibitors and 150 aircraft, and attracts about 150,000 stakeholders and public visitors. It alternates every other year with the Paris Airshow, and only the annual Dubai Airshow matches the scale of this event.

It is also one of the most significant events since Boeing and Airbus reshaped the aerospace market over the past year. Boeing took a controlling stake in Embraer`s commercial jet arm in a move that is regarded as a response to Airbus buying a majority share of Bombardier`s CSeries commercial jet program.

Boeing and Airbus dominated at Farnborough, raking in billions in new orders—but analysts are calling Boeing the winner. Boeing announced orders and commitments for 676 aircraft, while Airbus garnered orders and other commitments for 431. However, Boeing didn`t land any orders from the rapidly growing Chinese market—while Airbus secured more than 70 from China.

As usual, the most popular Airbus and Boeing products were their narrow-body airliners. However, wide-bodies also received a fair amount of attention: Airbus garnered commitments for 67 wide-bodies, while Boeing secured commitments for 112 of the aircraft. This is good news for both aircraft makers as sales for that class of passenger jet have been sluggish.

Also at the airshow, Airbus debuted the new A220, formerly the Bombardier CSeries, while Boeing generated buzz for its proposed New Midsize Airplane (NMA), unofficially known as the 797, which is still in the planning phase.

Aviation blogger Sam Chui highlights the best of the Farnborough Airshow 2018.

Boeing and Airbus dominated an event that saw impressive returns for the aerospace sector as a whole. Farnborough generated the highest amount of sales in five years, with over 1,400 aircraft orders and commitments totaling around $192 billion—the largest since the 2013 Paris Airshow.

“This show brings the global aerospace world together for an intense but important week,” Farnborough International chief executive, Gareth Rogers, said. “Six months’ worth of meetings can take place in a week, it’s a highly productive place to be.”

Not all the news was good, though. British Prime Minister Theresa May made an appearance at the airshow to try to reassure the industry that her highly-criticized Brexit plan won’t disrupt their business. Aviation leaders have expressed frustration over the lack of clarity on how Brexit will affect trade relations.

Despite concerns over Brexit, though, the Farnborough show indicates a strong aerospace sector that promises to continue growing.

Read more about developments in the aviation industry at Boeing Vs. Airbus: Boeing Buys Controlling Stake in Brazilian Aircraft Manufacturer.