Airbus bags a $4.2bn deal from Cathay Pacific airline

AIRBUS has bagged itself a $4.2bn (£2.7bn) deal with Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific, the jet maker announced yesterday at the Farnborough airshow.

Cathay plans to buy 10 of Airbus’ new A350-1000 aircraft, worth a total $3.2bn at list prices, and spend an additional $1bn upgrading its existing order for 16 A350-900 planes to the latest model.

Owned by European aerospace giant EADS, Airbus has struggled to gain market share from its main rival Boeing, the US-based jet manufacturer.

Airbus’ A350 competes against Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 777 mini-jumbo, its most profitable plane.

But Boeing trumped Airbus in number of orders at Farnborough, announcing yesterday that GE Capital Aviation Services will buy 100 of its 737 jets, after securing a $7.2bn order on Monday.

The Farnborough airshow got off to a slow start for Airbus, with analysts predicting the Eurozone crisis could see even existing orders delayed or cancelled.

Cheuvreux analysts said Airbus and Boeing would likely take half the number of orders as last year.