Editor’s Comment: Low-fare leads the way

Following her first Farnborough International Airshow, LARA’s Kimberley Levey provides a summary of the key announcements from low-fare airlines.

The sun is shining, school’s out for the summer and we’re reflecting (and recuperating) from a busy week at Farnborough International Airshow that saw a total of US$192 billion in deals and more than 1,400 commercial aircraft ordered (valued at $154 billion).

While Boeing and Airbus were slugging it out on the order front, in our eyes the low-fare airlines were the true winners, with a high profile that saw them involved in many of the major orders and commitments for new aircraft and engines.

VietJet in particular waved the flag for LCCs at the airshow, placing a series of large orders with both Boeing and Airbus.

The Vietnamese airline’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing for 100 B737 MAX in a $12.7 billion deal doubled its fleet size, and its MoU with Airbus for an additional 50 A321neo single-aisle aircraft took its backlog of orders for the A320 family up to 129. The carrier also made a deal with CFM for LEAP-1B engines worth $2.9 billion.

Airbus announced that Japanese budget carrier Peach Aviation is set to become the first Asian operator of the Airbus A321LR aircraft, following the conversion of an existing order for two A320neo aircraft.

Meanwhile, Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus firmed up an amendment for 25 incremental A321neos and upsized 16 conversions of A320neos to the 240-seat A321neos to their existing purchase agreement.

The regional airlines also had a high-profile presence, with Silver Airways particularly unmissable with its flamingo-pink livery on static display. The airline will be the first North American customer for the new ATR-600 series aircraft, and is set to receive eight 42-600s between now and the end of 2018 after taking delivery of its first aircraft.

As my first airshow I can’t end this recap without reflecting on how great it was to be visiting the aircraft that so much has been written about recently, with the eye-catching E190-E2 aircraft with its shark livery and the MRJ90 regional jet making its debut flight my particular highlights.

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