Boeing’s sales drought has come to an end. The embattled aircraft maker announced Tuesday that it has sold 30 of its 787 Dreamliner jets to Korean Air, which already had purchased 11 of the wide-body jets for its fleet.
Previously Boeing had not announced any new sales since late March, shortly after its bestselling jet, the 737 Max, was grounded in the wake of two fatal crashes. Tuesday’s sales announcement was made at the Paris Air Show, typically the key event for Boeing and rival Airbus to announce new sales. On the first day of the show, Airbus announced numerous sales for more than 100 jets, while Boeing was left with no sales announcements — only a deal to convert some older passenger jets into freighters.
Although the sale of the 787 Dreamliner was undoubtedly good news for Boeing, Airbus continued to top it in sales at the Paris show.
Airbus announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines had added 30 new orders for the A320neo, Airbus’ rival for the 737 Max. It had previously ordered 35 of the planes. Saudi Arabian Airlines said it could purchase as many as 100 of the single-aisle jets from Airbus.
In addition, discount Malaysian carrier AirAsia announced Tuesday it would convert 253 orders for the A320neo to the slightly larger A321neo version of the jet. And Cebu Pacific, a discount Philippines airline, signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase 16 of the A330neo, 10 of the A321XLR and 5 of the A320neo for a total of 31 planes. But a memorandum of understanding is less firm than a order for new jets.
Airbus has been beating Boeing in orders for single aisle jets even before the 737 Max crisis. But Boeing has been winning in the smaller but more lucrative market for wide-body jets. Earlier this year Airbus scrapped its A380 superjumbo jet. Korean Air had been one of the customers for the A380.
Boeing said that 10 of Korean Air’s most recent purchases will be done through Air Lease Corporation (AL). The list price for 30 of the 787 jets is $6.3 billion.