Boeing and Airbus Both Score Big at Paris Air Show

Mike O'Brien

Thunderstorms and downpours marred the start of the 2013 Paris Air Show on Monday, but when the sun finally came out old rivalries between Boeing and Airbus intensified.

Both companies made announcements on Wednesday about landing hefty sales, with Airbus securing a deal to supply 25 A350 jets to Air France-KLM.

The contract is said to be worth $7.2 billion, which represents a major investment for Airbus after reporting operating losses over the past couple of years.

The company said that the wide-body A350, which seats 314 passengers will be central to its plan to operate more long-haul flights after years of struggling against discount carriers in Europe.

Airbus also announced that Sri Lankan Airlines, the country's national carrier, would buy four A350s and six slightly smaller A330 jets in a deal worth around $2.8 billion, the Associated Press reports.

With a list price of $287.7 million, the company hopes it will catch up with Boeing's popular 787 and 777 wide-body jets.

Boeing, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday it had finalized an order for 175 of its short-haul 737s with Irish low-cost airline Ryanair. At list prices the contract would be worth $15.6 billion, but Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary told the AP he's getting a steep discount.

An order worth more than $800 million for 30 of Boeing’s new generation fuel-efficient 737-MAX 8 jets was also announced on Wednesday.

One of the most popular features for visitors from the first couple of days at the event, which ends on Friday, has been the displays by fighter jets. Unfortunately, because of U.S. budget cuts, there have been no American fighter jets present this year.