Airbus fired the first shots at the Paris Air Show yesterday, a vital battleground for the European plane maker and its US rival Boeing, with news of big orders from Middle Eastern clients.
Qatar Airways, Kuwait's Jazeera Airways and Dubai-based Emirates, as well as the Russian airline S7 announced new business for the European manufacturer, which is looking to shore up confidence in its aircraft following production and design problems.
By lunchtime at the Paris event, Airbus had announced orders and agreements worth more than US$30 billion amid a public relations blitz that included another giant deal with US Airways.
The week-long Paris Air Show sees Airbus and Boeing, the world's biggest manufacturers of civilian aircraft, go head-to-head in a commercial and marketing contest.
The companies use the event, which features deafening air displays as well as deal-making, to clinch new business and announce orders for their latest aircraft.
Despite appearances, the European group lags far behind its US rival Boeing for new orders this year and recently launched a radical restructuring plan after making a loss for the first time in its history last year.
At the end of last month, Airbus had reported 201 new orders for planes this year, while Boeing had 429 at the beginning of this month.
Among the Airbus deals that were announced yesterday, Qatar Airways said it would buy three A380 superjumbos and confirmed a previously announced order for 80 mid-sized A350s.
Emirates is to buy eight more A380s, and Jazeera Airways placed a firm order for 30 single-aisled A320 planes.
S7, the second biggest Russian airline after Aeroflot, also signed a firm order for 25 Airbus A320 single-aisle planes. The order is worth US$1.8 billion, and the short-haul jets are to be delivered starting in 2009, Airbus said.
Separately, US Airways announced it had signed a letter of intent to buy 92 Airbus aircraft, including 22 mid-sized A350 planes.
Boeing, whose 787 mid-sized plane has so far eclipsed the A350, was expected to hit back at Airbus with news of jumbo orders later yesterday or during the week.
The US firm announced yesterday that Indonesian airline Lion Air had placed a firm order for 40 additional single-aisled Boeing 737-900 ER planes worth more than US$3 billion at catalogue prices.
Aircraft leasing group GECAS also said yesterday that it had placed a firm order for six Boeing 777 cargo aircraft.
The Paris Air Show began yesterday for industry professionals, but opens its doors to the public for three days from Thursday.
About 400,000 people are expected to visit the event at the Le Bourget airfield on the outskirts of Paris.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters