Airbus leaves Boeing reeling at Paris Air Show

Editor's Corner 

Again, may be the top brass and R&D at Boeing haven't gotten it yet, but the demand for fuel-efficient planes is seemingly the deal-braker now, with regard to plane orders in the high-stakes aerospace industry.
France jet maker, Airbus has just sealed a huge deal with AirAsia (Malaysia's low-cost carrier) to buy 200 of its A320 neo jets, in a deal worth around $18b. 
Coming on the heels of an order by India's IndiGo for 180 of the same planes, Airbus continues to rack up orders at the Paris Air Show (PAS), while Boeing languishes far behind.
The newer A320 planes are in very high demand due to the low-cost appeal (with the attendant and proven Airbus quality) of its revamped fuel-efficient engines.
Analysts posit that the healthy demand from buyers at the PAS may be evidence of a much needed upturn in the aviation industry, powered primarily by the emerging markets in Asia.
To add further salt to Boeing's injury, prominent and popular American airline, JetBlue Airways, among others, also announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that entails the purchase of 40 A320 neos.
The MOU will also purportedly allow the New York based airline, the option of converting 30 of its current orders for the A320s to the larger A321 model with its enhanced wing-tip devices (Sharklets).
Airbus which is owned by EADS, has left Boeing essentially reeling, at the Paris Air Show.
While Airbus has taken firm orders for close to 600 aircraft worth around $56b and a further $30b in provisional orders, Boeing has only taken in firm orders for just 47 planes to the tune of a 'paltry' $7.5b with a further $15b in provisional orders.
Airbus Chief Sales Officer, John Leahy is confident that the EADS owned jet maker will ultimately reach the 1000 orders plateau at the event and one only wonders how Boeing will come out, at the end of it all.
The dilemma for Boeing is a rather 'simple' one. The high cost of fuel is driving the demand for more fuel efficient planes and unlike its American competitor, Airbus is giving its customers and potential clients, exactly what they want, quality coupled with requisite cost efficiency, a seemingly long-lost American business mantra.
While the A320 neos burn upto 15% less fuel and are 30% cheaper to maintain, Boeing continues to struggle with the fact that its A320 rival, the 737, has a design 'complication' that makes 'retooling' with regard to fuel efficiency (in particular), next to impossible, but not impossible.
It would require a proposition (a new undercarriage) that in addition to being diificult, is extremely expensive and time-consuming. 
Will Boeing ultimately dare to compete? That is the question that begs a decidedly optimistic answer.

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