Boeing regains altitude with 737 Max orders

Boeing 737 Max. ©
Boeing 737 Max.

Could Boeing have broken its 737 Max (pictured) curse? The plane is still grounded worldwide following two fatal accidents in the past year and it remains an open question when it will fly again, says Bruno Trevidic in Les Échos. Yet the second day of the Paris Air Show brought an “enormous coup de théâtre” in the form of an unexpected order from IAG. The parent company of British Airways and Iberia plans to buy 200 of the troubled planes. The deal is worth $24bn.

Airbus has been doing brisk business too, say Robert Wall and Andrew Tangel for The Wall Street Journal. The European aircraft maker has used the biennial show to announce plans to develop the A321XLR, “its longest-range single-aisle plane yet”.

Airlines have traditionally focused on making passengers take connecting flights through big hub airports, but a new generation of long-distance, smaller planes will provide more direct connections than ever before. A route such as Barcelona to Chicago doesn’t have enough demand to fill a whole jumbo jet, but there are enough passengers for a “midsize” plane. “Midsize” will be a lucrative market segment in coming decades, and with Boeing still procrastinating about whether to develop its own model “Airbus is likely to beat its rival to the punch”, say Wall and Tangel.

The announcement of a new Airbus jet was an exception to the rule in Paris, says Gwyn Topham in The Guardian. The usual “plethora of new products and big-money orders” has been “dampened” by concerns about slowing global growth and the US-China trade war.