9:39 AM

Paris Update

Airbus and Boeing are still locked into the dogfight today, announcing carefully timed orders to keep the world's media happy.

News out of Le Bourget this A.M. showed Airbus making a strong comeback:

Airbus signed Russian airline Aeroflot in a firm deal for 22 of the revamped A350 aircraft and received commitments from India's Kingfisher Airlines and Libya's Afriqiyah Airways to buy another 56. The firm order from Aeroflot was worth around $3.2 billion at list prices.
And it seems the media really wants Airbus to come out on top, trying anything to squeeze out something resembling good news:
Airbus, which headed to Le Bourget on the back foot after a management upheaval prompted by the A350 difficulties and problems with its flagship double-decker A380, attempted to cement a comeback with a raft of timed orders on Monday. It continues to hold a strong lead in the overall tally at Le Bourget so far. Aeroflot also signed a contract to buy five A321s on Wednesday and Etihad Airways agreed to buy four A340-600s, five A330-200s and three A330-200 freighters in a deal worth $2.2 billion at catalog prices.
But while the media was sipping Merlot and noshing on Bleu Cheese on the veranda over in France, the U.S. media dropped a bombshell on this side of the pond that is sure to resonate all the way back to the Airbus “booth” at the show:
ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines is considering “a massive Boeing order over a long period of time” and announced today they may order as many as 125 new 787 Dreamliner jets by the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Since scraping themselves up off the bankruptcy court floor, it now appears Delta can begin writing some serious checks that may actually cash. That will be good news for the guys/gals in Everett, who will now be busy building Dreamliners until their young children are graduating college.

Yesterday, the 787 line was sold out through early 2013, and this possible new order from Delta will further compound that situation. If this trend continues, one of the biggest problems Boeing will have – along with those annoying trips to deposit checks in the bank – will be how to ramp up their 787 production lines to keep the world's appetite satisfied for what may end up being the most successful airliner of all time.

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