Boost for Boeing as BA owner backs grounded 737 MAX jet

READ MOREBoeing cuts 737 production by 10 planes per month

Airbus struck a $6 billion plane deal with Cebu Pacific on Tuesday, extending its lead on orders at a subdued Paris Airshow as rival Boeing struggles following the grounding of its top-selling jet.

Airbus and American Airlines declined comment.

A top Boeing executive apologised Monday for two crashes of 737 MAX jets that together killed 346 people, disasters which have pushed safety to the top of the agenda as aerospace firms gathered for the opening of the Paris Air Show. The agency took a U-turn and banned the aircraft when the incidents were investigated, after countries moved to impose restrictions on the fleet as it faced mounting pressure from home and overseas.

Analysts expect anything from 400 to 800 commercial aircraft orders and commitments at the show, compared with 959 at Farnborough previous year, though it can be hard to identify truly new business against firmed-up commitments and switched models. The company, though, stressed it has no plans to rebrand and the priority is to ensure safe resumption of service for the aircraft, wrote CNN.

"We are very sorry for the loss of lives", Kevin McAllister, president and CEO of Boeing's commercial aircraft, said at a press conference at the industry-wide Paris Air Show.

John Plueger, chief executive officer at Air Lease Corp., discusses the company's order for 100 Airbus aircraft, their fleet of Boeing Co.

While he said Airbus' sales strategy hasn't changed as a result of the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, "there is a capacity need that materialised as a result of this, and naturally you have airlines that are frustrated over capacity, that are looking for answers". "It is a pivotal moment for all of us", he said.

"For passengers, the A321XLR's new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on long-haul widebody aircraft".

Boeing is targeting a 2020 entry into service, but Gulf airline Emirates has said it expects the first plane in June of that year.

Airbus SE will manufacture a new long-range, single-aisle jetliner, the company announced on Monday, creating an opportunity for carriers in markets where demand for worldwide fights may not be enough to fill traditional wide-body planes.

When it comes to autonomous passenger jets, safety is an obvious concern.

Analysts say almost 40,000 planes will be in service by 2038, double the industry's current fleet.

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