On Monday, Airbus scored another high-profile victory over a struggling Boeing (NYSE:BA), announcing that Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corp. (NYSE:AL) has just placed orders for 25 of its new A350 XWB airliners, to be delivered after that plane begins flying sometime next year.
The order, which consists of 20 A350-900 models and also five units of the A350-1000 model -- the biggest A350 Airbus offers -- would be worth $7.4 billion if sold at list prices (which these things never go for). In the event that Air Lease exercises the option for five more A350-1000s, the list-price value of this order would surpass $9 billion.
In a statement touting the Air Lease order, Airbus noted that the firm's orders lift A350 XWB orders past the 600 mark, to 617 planes now in backlog.
In related news, Airbus noted that Air Lease has also converted the 14 A321neo options that it took out at last year's Farnborough Air Show into firm orders. This brings total orders from Air Lease for A320neo "family" planes to 50. Thirty-four of these are said to be A321neo models, with the balance being A320neos. In all, orders from Air Lease for this smaller plane should be worth about $5.6 billion more, at list prices.
Still, the more significant orders are the ones for the larger A350 aircraft. Not only are these all "new" orders, as opposed to the A320s, most of which are arguably "old news." The timing of the A350 orders also seems significant, given that they come at a time when Boeing has seen the bulk of its competing 787 offering grounded by order of federal and foreign regulators.
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