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Who came top at Farnborough?

Despite muted expectations, last week’s Farnborough Airshow proved that the market for new aircraft remains booming. Aircraft and engine makers took $130bn-worth of orders at the show, just $4.7bn less than the bumper orderbook of last year’s Paris Air Show.

The lion’s share of the orders, as always, went to the two big airframers with Airbus scooping 496 orders worth $75bn and Boeing 201 orders totalling just over $40bn.

While Airbus’ CEO Fabrice Bregier crowed that this year was the firm’s “best ever” Farnborough, the boost in orders has simply put the French firm on level pegging with its Seattle-based rival. Ahead of Farnborough, Boeing’s 2014 orderbook stood at 549, while Airbus’ was at 290. Now the two firms are neck and neck with Airbus having 786 orders to Boeing’s 783.

In the regional jet arena, Embraer stole the show receiving commitments for up to 216 E-Jet and E-Jet E2 aircraft. The biggest order – for 50 E175-E2s with the option for 50 more – came from Trans States Holdings, which owns the US regional carriers Trans States Airlines, Compass Airlines and GoJet Airlines.

Mitsubishi’s MRJ, meanwhile, managed one firm order for six aircraft, with options for four more, from Air Mandalay, and one MoU for 45 aircraft from relaunching US carrier Eastern Air Lines.

Bombardier’s CSeries faired a little better. The beleaguered new jet walked away from Farnborough with firm orders for 22 aircraft, options for a further 13 and LOIs for 29 aircraft. Four new customers were announced – Loong Air, Petra Airlines, Falko Regional Aircraft and an unnamed African airline – but none are the big name that would quieten the programme’s doubters.

For the engine makers it was a great show for CFM International, which says it signed deals worth $21.4bn last week. Orders for its LEAP rolled in, with EasyJet, American Airlines and Interjet choosing the new turbofan to power their new A320neos - orders which totalled 240 aircraft.

Meanwhile, Monarch Airlines and Hainan are both buying LEAP-1B engines to power their new 737MAX fleets – Monarch have ordered 30 aircraft, while Hainan Airlines are buying 50.

Pratt & Whitney, under the shadow of two engine failures that prevented the CSeries and the F-35 from appearing at Farnborough, did not do so well. The biggest order made for its PurePower engine came from Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier VivaAerobus, which has selected the PW1000G to power its order of 40 A320neos, with 40 options. Other orders came from Azul for its order of 30 E-Jets and Air Mandalay’s MRJ order. Finally, Philippine Airlines signed an LOI for PurePower engines for 10 A320neos.

Rolls-Royce, meanwhile, celebrated having its Trent 7000 engine chosen as the exclusive powerplant for Airbus' new launch the A330neo, which received 121 orders at Farnborough. Added to this, Kuwait Airways selected the Trent 700 to power its five new A330s and Air Mauritius ordered six A350 aircraft which are, of course, powered by the Trent XWB.

Whatever our expectations were before the show started, as Farnborough closed this year there was plenty to get us talking.

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