Boeing gets boost from United and lifts demand forecast | Reuters

By Giulia Segreti and Matthias Blamont
| PARIS

PARIS Boeing won an endorsement from United Airlines for the latest model of its best-selling 737 jet as it struck an upbeat tone on Tuesday, raising its 20-year industry demand forecast despite recent signs of a slowdown.

A day after the launch of the 737 MAX 10 at the world’s biggest air show in Paris, United said it would convert an order for 100 737 MAX planes to the new model.

Gerry Laderman, a senior executive at United, said the MAX 10 had “the best economics of the family,” in a boost for a plane Boeing designed to plug a gap in its range at the top end of the market for single-aisle jets after runaway sales of Airbus’ A321neo.

Despite the interest in the MAX 10, analysts expect passenger jet orders at the Paris Airshow to fall short of recent boom years, as airlines digest a flood of deliveries and manufacturers focus on production targets.

But over the longer term, Boeing sees an industry in rude health, forecasting 41,030 passenger and freight plane deliveries worth more than $6 trillion over the next two decades, up from 39,620 in a similar projection a year ago.

Boeing’s projection includes a 5 percent increase in the 20-year forecast for deliveries of single-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families, the cash cows of the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers.

Boeing now expects 29,530 deliveries in the medium-haul single-aisle category, which is popular with low-cost airlines.

In a sign of that interest, aircraft leasing company Avolon announced a provisional deal to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s worth $8.4 billion at list prices and said it would have a “hard look” at possible orders for the MAX 10.

Airbus, meanwhile, agreed a provisional $5 billion deal with low-cost carrier Viva Air for 50 A320 jets, confirming a Reuters report.

Boeing’s head of airplane developments also told Reuters he was “very optimistic” of…

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