Farnborough show ends with $12bn flurry of orders

Airlines from Asia dominated the third day of the Farnborough Airshow yesterday, as orders for new aircraft topped the $12bn mark.

The taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland was one of the main movers, disclosing that its Aviation Capital unit was the buyer of $8bn worth of passenger jets, taking 52 Airbus A320 planes, and 43 Boeing 737s. RBS was matched by a range of other buyers, including Qatar Airways, Qantas, Thai Air and Garuda, which all signed off on new orders.

"We've raised our orders forecast twice. We might do it a third time," Boeing's commercial boss Jim Albaugh said, while Airbus's head of sales John Leahy said on Tuesday that his company would surpass its own forecast for up to 300 orders this year as well, possibly hitting 400.

Yesterday's orders took the total at the three event up to the $28bn mark, underscoring a revival in the fortunes of the battered aviation industry.

The International Air Transport Association recently forecast that the global industry would make a small profit of $2.5bn this year, after suffering a huge loss of $9.4bn in 2009.

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