Aerospace company Airbus continues to have a great year as it received US$30 billion in orders for its flagship vessel while overtaking long-time rival Boeing’s 737 aircraft as the best-selling plane ever.
Amid a grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max in March following two deadly crashes, Airbus has seen orders for its flagship A320 airplanes surpass that of its embattled competitor.
Two orders for Airbus’ A350 line coming out of the Dubai Air Show totalled US$30 billion, according to reports. Emirates Airline’s order of fifty A350-900 XWBs airplanes valued at US$16 billion was followed by low-cost carrier Air Arabia’s order for 120 Airbus A320s at a list price of US$14 billion.
Airbus, which has been closing the gap on then-leader Boeing’s 737 for some time, recorded 15,193 orders to Boeing’s 15,136 at the end of October. The Boeing 737 line was conceived in 1964 while the Airbus’ A320 began some two decades later.
Orders for the Boeing 737 Max, the newest installation in its fleet, began drying up this year after it was grounded following a Lion Air plane crash in the Java Sea in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines crash went in Addis Ababa in March 2019. In total, 346 people were killed.
Airbus booked orders for 273 A320neo jets while Boeing sold 200 737 Maxs to European airline conglomerate IAG at the Paris Air Show in June.
Last week, Boeing said it could restart deliveries of its 737 Max planes in December pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and other relevant bodies.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced that they had extended cancellation of flights using the controversial plane model until March 2020.
A malfunctioning automated control system, which prompted the plane’s nose downwards to correct what it thought was an irregular drift upwards, was identified as the reason behind the crashes.