The orders race now enters it's stride.
Airbus is *leading* in widebody sales (63 versus 52), with overall sales trailing less than 60 aircraft behind Boeing and then..there's that huge British airshow is just around the corner. (Grin)
Airbus says booked 49 jet orders in June
By Chris Stetkiewicz
(recasts, adds detail, analysis)
SEATTLE, July 5 (Reuters) - Airbus Industrie [ARBU.UL] said on Wednesday it booked 49 firm orders for new passenger jets in June, boosting its total for the first half of 2000 to 239, below rival Boeing Co.'s (NYSE:BA - news) unofficial count of 295.
The European consortium said Trans World Airlines Inc. (AMEX:TWA - news) had ordered 20 narrow body A319s in June and also announced 20 jet orders from unnamed buyers, including 5 wide body A340s.
The remaining 9 orders came from British Midland [BMID.CN] for 2 narrow body A320s and 2 wide body A330s, Korean Air Lines Co. for 3 A330s and
International Lease Finance Corp. for 2 A319s.
Boeing lists 6 cancellations on its Web site, trimming its totals to 289 net orders. The Seattle-based aerospace group will report official first half totals on Thursday, but industry sources said the current numbers would likely stand.
Airbus, whose parent company European Aeronautics Defence and Space Co. (EADS) plans to go public on July 10, was on almost the exact pace as in 1999,
when it convincingly outsold Boeing 476 jets to 391.
Both manufacturers played down market share comparisons, saying they were pleased with their performance.
``This business is based in trends of years, not months. We're very happy with where we stand,'' said Mary Anne Greczyn, a spokeswoman for Airbus, which has
set a long-term goal of matching Boeing's market share.
Boeing shares closed 1-1/8 higher at 42-15/16 in trade on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
Three of Airbus's four parent companies -- DaimlerChrysler AG's Dasa unit, France's Aerospatiale Matra and Casa of Spain are merging to form EADS. Britain's BAE Systems Plc (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BA.L) owns 20 percent of Airbus.
Wall Street analysts said the mid-year order totals showed surprisingly solid airline demand for new jets, a positive sign for both manufacturers -- the Western world's last remaining producers of big passenger aircraft.
``Regardless of who's actually getting the orders, it's clear there is a lot of interest and demand for the additional airplanes, which indicates that the cycle is perhaps more positive than some would believe,'' said Sam Pearlstein, an analyst at First Union Securities.
SG Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr, who had already boosted his forecast for combined 2000 orders to 700-800 from 600-650, said the 534 first half orders
justified even more optimism.
``It's a very solid environment and better than expected,'' von Rumohr said. ``Frankly, both these guys would have to slow down an awful lot to reach the new estimate.''
But von Rumohr noted that many of the 2000 orders had been for cheaper single-aisle jets, meaning revenues might not pile up quite so dramatically.
Narrow body list prices range from about $30 million apiece to $80 million, before standard discounts of 25 percent or more. Wide bodies retail at $100 million to $200 million.
Of Airbus's 239 sales, only 63 were for wide bodies. At Boeing, which last week unveiled a blockbuster order for 94 single-aisle 737s from Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV - news), the 295 orders included just 52 wide bodies.
But that trend may reverse in the years ahead, von Rumohr said, citing an economic rebound from a late 1990s slump in Asia, where carriers need wide body aircraft for long-haul flights over the Pacific Ocean.
New longer-range models of the A340 and Boeing's 777 should spur wide body sales growth, he added.
``Twin-aisle planes will eventually move up and that's where the profits are,'' von Rumohr said. ``The 747 is below a normalised (orders) rate and you'll see the 777 and bigger product for both (manufacturers) tend to move up.''