Airbus set a record at Paris last week for the most airplanes ever sold at an airshow by any manufacturer, with 730 orders worth over $70 billion. The A320neo, which promises 15 percent less fuel burn plus more range and payload than the popular A320, led the pack with 667 orders, making it the best-selling airliner ever, Airbus said. Boeing announced orders and commitments for 142 airplanes worth $22 billion. Emerging markets played a major role in piling up sales. AirAsia, based in Malaysia, the largest low-cost airline in the Asia-Pacific region, ordered 200 of the A320neo aircraft. Airlines based in India spent about $23 billion.
"It's been a frenzy in Paris, with orders from India proving that the industry is in pretty good shape," BGC Partners senior strategist Howard Wheeldon told Reuters. "It's all part of the continuing shift in economic power from west to east." Other analysts, however, said India may not be ready to handle that much growth, citing high fuel taxes, poor infrastructure, too much debt, and high interest rates. "As of today, it seems far-fetched that they need so many aircraft, because India does not have infrastructure to handle this," Kishor Ostwal, chairman of Mumbai's CNI Research, told Reuters.