Frozen orders for Boeing
The first day of the Paris Air Show didn’t go well for Boeing (BA). The company didn’t receive a single aircraft order, CNBC reported on June 17, citing data from aviation consulting company IBA.iQ. However, General Electric’s (GE) aircraft leasing business unit, GECAS, converted a previous order of ten 737-900 jets into freighter models.
Boeing’s performance at the air show is indicative of customers’ lost faith in its troubled 737 MAX jets. The 737 MAX series planes previously accounted for ~70% of the company’s total orders, but orders for the aircraft were frozen following the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.
Regulators around the world have banned the model from flying, while air carriers have denied taking deliveries until safety concerns are cleared. Air carriers across the globe are also skeptical about whether the 737 MAX will receive flying approval by the end of this year.
Boeing is trying hard to restore customers’ confidence in its MAX planes. The aircraft manufacturer is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to fix the issues with its MCAS flight control system. In late May, CEO Denis Muilenburg apologized to the families of the victims of the two 737 MAX crashes.
MAX crisis a boon for Airbus
Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis is a boon for its rival Airbus. The European plane maker has recorded orders and options for 123 planes. The majority of the orders are for its newly launched narrow-body A321XLR planes.
According to CNBC, the world’s largest airplane leasing company, Air Lease Corporation (AL), has placed the largest order for 100 planes worth $11 billion at list price. The total order from Air Lease also includes 27 of the XLR model.
Airbus has also announced that it has agreed to sell 14 A330neo wide-body planes to Virgin Atlantic. The deal is valued at $4.1 billion.
Additionally, according to Reuters, American Airlines (AAL) is in talks with Airbus for the purchase of 50 A321XLR narrow-body aircraft.
Boeing stock has underperformed the iShares US Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA). The stock has gained 10% year-to-date, while the ETF has returned 19.7%. The ETF invests in US manufacturers, assemblers, and distributors of airplane and defense equipment companies.