Orders soar at Airbus, which makes jets where the side doesn't fall off

With post-pandemic demand for new jets growing and the competition in bad shape, Airbus is picking up the slack. The Wall Street Journal reports that the European plane maker is shattering records for orders. It can't keep up with demand and is sold out for a decade.

The jump in orders included some mega deals, including a 500-aircraft order from Indian discount carrier Indigo and a 470-jet order from a rejuvenated Air India that was split between Airbus and Boeing near the start of the year. In December, the company booked a 220-plane order from Turkish Airlines, and sold 153 planes to Britain's EasyJet and 100 jets to leasing company Avolon.

"Travel is back and there is serious momentum," said Christian Scherer, who has led Airbus's commercial aircraft sales team since 2018 and is the company's newly appointed head of its planemaking business. He said the company had been expecting travel to recover to prepandemic levels between 2023 and 2025 but that Airbus had seen a surge in demand for its single-aisle and wide-body models.

The story is quite bullish on Boeing, all the same, which can still claim a healthy order book. But the discussion around it is very grim. The company is one crash from being a basket case: it cannot be allowed to fail because it's a key defence contractor, but MBA types bean-counting safety and engineering to the bone have brought it to the brink.

Elon Musk claims that DEI, not mismanagement, is responsible for Boeing's problems. At best "not even wrong" and coming from the same K-holed brain that praises antisemites and racists, it's very much of the moment. But bear in mind that he is himself the founder and majority shareholder of SpaceX, a military contractor that competes directly with Boeing. There's a lot to gain.