Airbus, Boeing Score Major Deals

Airbus (EPA:AIR) and Boeing (NYSE: BA) bagged a combined $15 billion of plane deals on day two of the Paris Airshow, as their sales teams scrambled for orders after a downturn in business at many airlines and the grounding of Boeing’s top-selling jet.

Airbus extended its early lead in orders at the event with a $6-billion deal on Tuesday to sell 36 planes to Philippines airline Cebu Air, including 10 of the new long-range A321XLR model launched on Monday.

Airbus also struck a deal to sell a further 30 A320neo aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines, worth $3.3 billion at list prices, while Malaysia’s AirAsia converted 253 A320neo orders to the larger A321neo model. Financial terms of the AirAsia deal were not disclosed.

Boeing, meanwhile, gained a much-needed lift after a slow start to the show on Monday as Korean Air committed to buying 20 of the U.S. planemaker’s 787 Dreamliners, worth $6.3 billion at list prices.

Despite the flurry of activity, dealmaking at the aerospace industry’s biggest annual event has been quieter than normal, fueling speculation that a decade-long boom might be coming to an end.

Boeing in particular is suffering after the grounding of its MAX 737 aircraft in March following two deadly crashes.

However, the aircraft maker are confident of continued strong demand for more fuel-efficient jets as emissions regulations tighten and air travel continues to rise, driven by Asia’s growing middle classes. Boeing on Monday increased its 20-year industry demand forecast.

Boeing stock gained $7.09, or 2.1%, to $362.27 in early Tuesday trading.