With the Paris Air Show coming to an end for 2023, aircraft manufacturer Airbus is commemorating a successful week on home turf with a strong set of aircraft orders from multiple airlines, including a record-breaking purchase.
The French manufacturer is finishing the week with orders for over 800 aircraft from across its range, more than rival Boeing.
Whilst the orders came from airlines based around the world, Airbus’ success at the event was largely thanks to investments from the two biggest Indian airlines which both significantly expanded their fleets.
Easily Airbus’ biggest order not just from this year’s Paris Air Show, but also in the history of commercial aviation, Indian Airline Indigo’s purchase of 500 jets marked a very strong start to the week for the manufacturer.
The historic agreement for 500 A320 aircraft increases the total number of Airbus aircraft currently on order from IndiGo to 1,330, cementing its position as the biggest A320 family model customer.
The order is emblematic of a period of strong growth for the company, registered as Interglobe Aviation, which has already far surpassed pre-pandemic revenue and added six destinations and 174 new weekly flights to its offerings just this month.
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Whilst Air India’s order of 250 Airbus aircraft had already been announced earlier this year, the Indian airline used the Paris show as an opportunity to finalise the purchase, alongside a similarly sized agreement with Boeing.
Including 140 A320neos, 70 A321neos, 34 A350-1000s and six A350-900, the large order is part of the company’s Vihaan.AI transformation plan to expand and renew its fleet.
CEO and managing director Campbell Wilson said: “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.”
Another Asian airline to move forward with a notable expansion of its fleet during the show was Saudi Arabia’s flynas, which firmed up an order for 30 A320neo aircraft.
The purchase joins an existing Airbus backlog for flynas, with its total order taken up to 120 A320neos including 10 A321XLRs.
As evidenced by the number of orders within the family during this year’s Paris Air Show, Airbus praises the A320neo family as the world’s most popular aircraft after over 8,700 orders from 136 customers.
Already the largest airline in Oceania by a significant distance, Qantas will be expanding its fleet even further with an order for nine A220-300s, first announced in February but finalised this week.
The order adds to an existing backlog for the mode, which now totals 29 aircraft, of which the first is set to be delivered to the airline at the end of this year.
Qantas’ purchase of the A220 jets continues its major fleet replacement programme announced last year, which also includes orders for A321XLRs and A350-1000s.
Yet another Asian airline to sign an order for Airbus jets at this year’s show, Philippine Airlines added to the manufacturer’s total with its purchase of nine A350-1000 aircraft.
The long-range aircraft is part of the company’s Ultra Long Haul Fleet project to expand its services to North America.
President and COO Captain Stanley K. Ng said: “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.”
A different type of order to the majority that were placed with Airbus in Paris, Europavia’s purchase of six H125 helicopters marked another step in the two companies’ 60-year partnership.
Europavia, which is a distributor of Airbus helicopters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, will take on the new helicopters over the next few years as it looks to ensure a “flexible availability” of the model for its customers, according to CEO Daniel Eggenschwiler.
The Europavia purchase continues the popularity of the H125 model, which Airbus claims as the market leader in the intermediate single-engine helicopter sector, joining the almost 4,200 aircraft already in action.
Though it marks the smallest order placed with Airbus in Paris this year, Air Mauritius’ purchase of three A350 aircraft will still allow the airline to expand its network across Europe and South Asia.
The three long-range aircraft will join the airline’s four A350s and four A330s already in operation and improve the company’s connections between its home island and the rest of the world.
CEO Kresimir Kucko said: “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 ambitious objectives together with Airbus.”