Paris Air Show: notable orders other than A321XLR and 737MAX

By Vincent Valery

June 24, 2019, © Leeham News: The A321XLR launch and IAG’s 737MAX order gathered most of the attention during the 2019 Paris Air Show. Nevertheless, other significant orders were placed by airlines and lessors.



After the A220 Maximum Takeoff Weight hike, Airbus secured a firm order for five more A220-100s from Delta Air Lines. The carrier will become the first operator of the higher MTOW variant. JetBlue Airways placed a firm order for another 10 A220-300s.

Airbus also secured a letter of intent from Air Lease Corp (ALC) for 50 airframes of the -300 Variant. It is the first major lessor order for the former Bombardier aircraft in many years, showing greater confidence in its prospects. Nordic Aviation capital also signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 A220-300s.

With an order for eight A330-900neos, along with six on lease from ALC and six options, Virgin Atlantic Airways will become the first airline to operate both the Dreamliner and A330neo.

The carrier’s largest shareholder, Delta Air Lines, likely had a major influence in the decision. The A330-900neos will replace the A330-200s and A330-300s currently on lease. Their main usage will be leisure routes to the Caribbean and USA. Virgin Atlantic might also take advantage of the common pilot rating with the A350-1000 to facilitate crew rotations on destinations with multiple daily flights such as London Heathrow to New York JFK.

Cebu Pacific Air signed a memorandum of understanding for 16 A330-900neos. The cabin configuration will be all economy with 460 seats, 20 more than in Lion Air’s A330-300. The carrier targets unit costs as low as possible in the price sensitive Philippines market. Airbus hasn’t published the payload-range diagram for the A330-900neo yet, but the aircraft should be able to fly missions up to 10-11 hours in such configuration.


Korean Air Lines placed a follow up order for 10 787-9s, as well as 20 787-10s (10 directly with Boeing and 10 from ALC). Those aircraft will most likely replace aging 777-300s, 777-200ERs, A330s as well as two 747-400s. Twenty-three airframes in total among those types were delivered in 2000 or before.

The 787-10 will most likely be used on high density passenger and cargo intra-Asia routes. The 787-9 will feature on some intra-Asia routes but mostly expand the carrier’s long-haul network further after the joint venture agreement with Delta Air Lines.

A need for fleet rationalization led the carrier to place a follow up 787 order rather than going for the A350. Korean Air feels it has enough recent large capacity aircraft (10 A380s, 10 747-8s and 25 777-300ERs) to pass on the 777X or A350-1000 for now.

Boeing managed to secure 12 more 777 Classic orders: a firm order for five 777Fs from Qatar Airways, a letter of intent for six 777Fs from China Airlines and a letter of intent for one 777-200LR from Turkmenistan Airlines. Given the GE9X issues that will likely delay the 777X entry into service, these orders will be of great help to Boeing to fill the production gap between the Classic and X.


The Embraer E2 program got a major shot in the arm with the order for 15 E195-E2s from KLM for its Cityhopper subsidiary. This includes a letter of intent for 20 more airframes. The E195 E2 has enough range to fly across continental Europe from Amsterdam.

Binter, a Spanish carrier, also firmed an order for two E195-E2s.

The US Scope Clause-compliant E175-E1 also received two orders: 20 from United Airlines (with 19 options) and two from Fuji Dream Airlines. The Chicago-based carrier continues its strategy of aggressively expanding its regional network from its continental hubs.


Mitsubishi’s M100 SpaceJet secured a tentative launch customer, with a memorandum of understanding for 15 airframes from an unidentified North American customer. Deliveries would start in 2024.


ATR managed to gather numerous orders during the air show, including for its new ATR42-600 variant optimized for short runways.

Nordic Aviation Capital signed a letter of intent for 35 ATR72-600s. The order also includes 35 options and 35 purchase rights.

An undisclosed customer ordered 22 ATR72-600s. The 18 orders for the ATR42-600 are from Elix Aviation Capital (10), Air Tahiti Nui (2), Easyfly (1) and an undisclosed customer (5).

ATR and the Airbus A220 are probably the two programs that gathered the most orders compared to pre-Paris Air Show expectations. No Airbus A350 or the Boeing 777X orders were announced during the show. Thai International Airways might publicly announce a major widebody order later this year, pending government approval.

18 Comments on “Paris Air Show: notable orders other than A321XLR and 737MAX

  1. I think the Virgin order goes a bit deeper.

    After enthousiastically closing the 787 contract a long time ago, Boeing overpromised when they knew better, and let down Virgin during the Dreamliner troubles. VS were a smaller customer & priorities had to be set.

    Guess who came to the rescue. And again in recent times, VS 787 could be seen parked at the tarmac. Who saved the day?

    VS found out A330 operating costs, capabilities & cockpit / MRO commonality were real positives in difficult times. Delta has little to do with it. VS just moved forward with lessons learned.

    • What’s Delta up to? All those agreements with Virgin, KAL and A220. It’s setting itself up to carry traffic into the heartland.

  2. Blame Rolls Royce for those Keesje. Guess what are the engines for the A330neo neons.

    • improved Trent1000s 🙂 Not it matters for Branson, it’s the 787 & A330.

      • Yea, the Trent 1000 et all needs all the help it can get. Who did RR bribe this time?

        Double down on a bad engine, yep, that is real good thinking.

        Now NZ, some smarty folks, more 787s and they went with the good engines.

        Well with link up with Delta they probably will have enough spares to keep things running.

        • FAA like it does for Boeing , protects GEs back. When they had to replace large sections of a lot of GEnx engines , its was allowed to pass under the radar as ‘upgrades to engine life’

          Still waiting for final report of Air France A380 that blew an engine apart over Greenland… Engine Alliance are likely sitting on any expensive changes.
          Its been close to 2 years now!

  3. Regarding the Cebu Pacific order:

    1)Are 460 pax actually allowed or will there be an exit limit for less pax?
    2)Will the A339NEO actually be able to fly 10-11 hours with 460 pax? That’s rather impressive if true.

    • Cebu has no plans to fly 11h with 460 pax (would feel sorry for the pax if they did); these are for shorter routes where they need capacity.

      “We are not doubling our widebody fleet to go and fly lots of places long-haul. Yes we will want to do long-haul, yes we may do the [US] west coast, but that is not our priority,” says Szucs.

      “Our priority, we see it more as a big bus in these very very slot-constrained markets, where the only way we are going to grow is through extra seat capacity. There will be some long-haul routes for sure, but about 75% of the flying of the widebodies will be in the short-haul regional market around Asia Pacific.”

      • Japan Airlines is using A350-900s for internal routes with 370 seats, some of their 777-300s had 500 seats.
        often its not so much more seats per row in economy , but just a tiny business section and a lot more seats rows just for economy.

    • Yes, I thought it was 110 per door pair. Could the 777-9 have a 460 limit with four doors. I’m curious as to the details of adding to the exit limits.

      • IIRC the B777-9 can go higher than 460 but IRRC it needs 5 doors. IIRC 460 is the limit with 4 doors.

    • If you want to see the number of pax an aircraft is allowed to take, you should look at the Type Certificate Data Sheet, published by the regulatory authority.

      For the A330-900 it can take 440 pax, so long as it has a minimum of 9 cabin crew and all eight of its pax doors are Type A.

      This goes down to 400 with 8 cabin crew and down to 375 if the door configuration is A-A-I-A.

  4. Maybe we can get approval for shape charges to blow open sections of h the fuselage for egress?

    460 in an A330, insane

    • @TransWorld

      Insane only on long-haul routes, but short-houl 460pax in A330 totally understandable. Asians are rather tiny than big.

      A330 will have “plus” emergency exits from A350 to meet the requirements. I read somewere about it.

    • Your charter trip in the future might be in one, or getting home when the A321 is out of service and the airline needs capacity quick I would not be surprised if HiFly get 6-12 of these ASAP and solves AOG’s for all different Airlines.

  5. Interesting that we have no analysis on CFM savaging P&W there. The french are making a killing there.

    What an engine drubbing. As delta said to P&W, do not take your eyes from the ball with that yet again mother of all merger.

  6. Regarding ATR sales:

    “An undisclosed customer ordered 22 ATR72-600s. The 18 orders for the ATR42-600 are from Elix Aviation Capital (10), Air Tahiti Nui (2), Easyfly (1) and an undisclosed customer (5).”

    I believe you mean to reference “Air Tahiti” rather than “Air Tahiti Nui.”

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