Airbus scores big at Farnborough air show

FARNBOROUGH, England - Airbus beat rival Boeing (BA) in the aircraft order stakes at this year's Farnborough International Airshow, garnering nearly twice as many orders and commitments.

Airbus said Thursday that its orders and commitments for 496 aircraft were valued at $75 billion. Demand for its A320neo, or "new engine option," was particularly strong.

One of the orders came from aircraft lessor Hong Kong Aviation Capital, for 70 A320neo jets.

Boeing, meanwhile, secured business worth $40.2 billion for 201 airplanes. The Chicago-based aircraft maker bagged orders and commitments from carriers including Qatar Airways and Hainan Airways.

"The orders and commitments we've received at this record-breaking Farnborough for both the A330 neo and A320 neo families are together an unequivocally resounding endorsement for these most cost-efficient aircraft," said John Leahy, Airbus' chief operating officer.

The A320 new engine option incorporates the latest technology together with sharklet wing tips that help deliver fuel savings.

Airbus' orders intake included the largely updated versions of its A330 wide body aircraft, which launched this week. Airbus says the plane is more fuel efficient and has a longer range to help it compete against Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus closed out the show with the announcement that Hong Kong Aviation Capital is to buy 70 of the A320 neo family aircraft. No financial details were disclosed. Another deal was announced with Transaero Airlines, Russia's second largest airline, for 20 A330 aircraft -- again financial details were not disclosed.