From the A380 to A320: Airbus makes its mark on the Paris Air Show’s first day
The A380 literally “owned the skies” during the opening hours of this week’s Paris Air Show, creating an initial “buzz” with a major acquisition announcement that expands lease opportunities for airlines, followed by the rollout of a new marketing campaign for the flagship jetliner, and topped off with display flights of two A380s at Le Bourget Airport – including the first for British Airways.
In parallel, the A320 Family logged two new significant bookings from long-time customers – Lufthansa and ILFC – with combined orders for 150 of the single-aisle aircraft.
The A380’s dominant Paris Air Show presence began in the morning with Doric Lease Corp’s Memorandum of Understanding to acquire 20 A380s, which quickly became the talk of the show. The Dublin, Ireland-based lessor said it already has started a dialog with airlines expressing interest in A380 leases.
In other activity at Le Bourget Airport, Airbus unveiled the A380 “Own the sky” campaign, underscoring the 21st century flagship jetliner’s ability to generate more revenue, stimulate traffic and draw passengers. The new messaging was evident throughout the show grounds, appearing in advertisements for trade and business publications; with online media, including Airbus.com; and even on lanyards worn by visitors.
This new campaign took to the air as well with Airbus’ MSN4 development aircraft, carrying the “Own the sky” message in large letters on its fuselage. In addition MSN4’s participation in the show’s opening day flying display, it was followed in the skies above Le Bourget by the no. 1 A380 for British Airways.
For the new A320 Family business announced today at the Paris Air Show, Germany’s Lufthansa firmed up its order for 70 new engine option (neo) versions – composed of 35 A320neo and 35 A321neo aircraft – along with 30 in the A320ceo (current engine option) configuration equipped with Sharklets. Rounding out the new bookings today was ILFC’s firm order for 50 more A320neo Family jetliners, expanding this U.S.-based lessor’s total inventory to 769 Airbus aircraft, and reinforcing its status as Airbus’ largest customer.