Plane order battle hots up

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Plane order battle hots up

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Ahead of next week’s Paris Air Show, order news is starting to build.

Hong Kong Airlines has said it plans to buy an as-yet-unspecified number of Airbus A380s as Chinese travel demand soars.

The orders should help the airline in the future when Hong Kong is squeezed by delays in building a new runway at the cities airport.

Meanwhile, a row was brewing over what make of planes Air France-KLM should buy.

The airline is currently negotiating with Boeing and Airbus and their engine makers over future fleet expansion.

Now more than 100 members of the French lower house of parliament have signed a petition calling on Air France-KLM to buy from Airbus and not Boeing.

The choices for the long-haul planes – carrying between 250 and 300 passengers are the Airbus A350, which is still in development, and Boeing’s 787 which is due to go into service later this year.

Air France-KLM has said it will buy planes based on meeting the needs of the group’s two main networks and the order will probably be split between Boeing and Airbus.

The attempted political intervention comes ahead of next year’s French elections. Aerospace is a major source of high-tech jobs in France.