Boeing Co. isn’t waiting for next month’s Farnborough Air Show to unveil blockbuster aircraft deals.
The Chicago-based planemaker is poised to bolster its backlog with orders valued at $14.4 billion thanks to two transactions announced on June 25. That’s a break from an industry practice of stockpiling sales for the biggest annual trade expo, which alternates between Paris and Farnborough, outside London.
Bamboo Airways, a Vietnamese startup, signed a commitment for 20 of Boeing’s twin-aisle 787-9 Dreamliners, the companies said. That’s a deal of about $5.6 billion before customary discounts. Earlier in the day, Jet Airways India Ltd. announced it was purchasing 75 of Boeing’s 737 Max single-aisle planes, a transaction valued at $8.8 billion based on list prices.
The two deals underscore the tilt to the aerospace market in Asia, where airlines are stocking up on aircraft to serve a rapidly expanding middle class. The latest purchase brings Jet’s backlog for the narrow-body plane to 225, the company said in a statement. The Mumbai-based airline had already placed two 75-plane orders, the most recent in April, with the first 737 Max delivery arriving last week.
Jet and its Indian rivals are expanding fleets as demand for domestic flights surges. Rival SpiceJet Ltd. has ordered more than 200 single-aisle aircraft from Boeing, while market leader IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., is the biggest customer for Airbus SE’s competing A320neo plane.
Bamboo Airways made a deposit in mid-June to reserve the carbon-composite Dreamliners, which are tentatively scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021. The carrier plans to begin commercial service next year from its base in Hanoi, Vietnam, flying first within the country before expanding to markets such as China, South Korea and Japan.
By Julie Johnsson, Benjamin Katz and Anurag Kotoky