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Will the mystery buyer of 14 of these A330-900 NEOs please come forward[/caption]
The 2016 Singapore Airshow was thought to have been likely to produce at least two or three major orders for new jets as recently as six months ago, but an abundance of caution has led to few orders of size from airlines.
"The market is holding up well", meaning no-one has cancelled anything yet, has become the common message from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer, in the most 'nuanced' of the big bi-annual airshows for the last two years.
There were significant contests said to be underway for Airbus A350s or Boeing 787-10s with purchases potentially approaching as many as 100 such jets.
However so far as larger airliners go, an undisclosed buyer order for 14 Airbus A330-900 NEOs
(a new engine technology version of the A330-300) is, as of early Wednesday, the only sale made in that category. Emirates and Philippine Airlines have in recent months been regularly reported as moving close to deciding on medium sized wide-body airliner purchases.
has reported a bold yet cautious call from Boeing
on its making a decision as to whether to go ahead with a Middle of the Market or MoM jet by the end of this year. Bold
because this is an insider account of a meeting by Boeing to actually do something to a deadline about a project that has in various forms been discussed in the technical media for at least five years. Cautious
because the meeting decided that Boeing might decide to go for an all new design, or extend and revise its existing 737 MAX program, or do nothing at all for the time being.
A decision on an MoM was being reported in recent months as being likely by the middle of the year Farnborough Airshow in the UK.
This new Flightglobal report on the MoM was overlaid by a Boeing sourced story saying airlines in eastern Asia were "more cautious" when it came to fleet decisions than elsewhere, a caution that has clearly only recently overtaken massive Asian enthusiasm for new jets for upbeat predictions of growth that far exceeded the requirements of aging fleet replacements.
Anxiety about the risk of an economic bubble in SE Asia, notably in Singapore and China, has become apparent in the region, and was firmly dismissed by the aircraft makers in the Singapore Airshow briefings to date.
The highest value contest for new airliners in the world and in Asia in particular is in the larger capacity single aisle market dominated by Airbus and Boeing. That's the contest that readily eclipses the market for wide-body jets and gives the big two jet makers unshaken confidence in the underlying strength of their businesses.
An excellent up-to-date infographic on the state of play has been published by Flightglobal
Airbus subsequently announced an MoU with Philippine Airlines for six A350-900s plus purchase options for a further six of the new design twin engined widebodies. Intended routes include daily year around full load non-stops between Manila and New York City and new European destinations for the airline.
Boeing announced a further commitment by China carrier Okay Airlines for 737 MAX jets, for eight 737-8s and three 737-9s which will take its fleet for the new technology upgraded single aisle jet to 17. Okay also took a further eight MAX options. The 737-9s should become the first of this largest member of the MAX family to be flown by a PRC carrier.
Since this morning there have also been announcements of deferred orders by various carriers. It won't be clear for a day or so whether orders delayed to dates to be fixed outnumber new commitments, memorandums of understanding or signed and sealed deals.