Paris—Air France's newest Boeing 777 freighter is on display at the Paris air show.
The air show opened this morning to the media and airline industry. It opens on Friday to the general public.
The 777F is the second plane delivered to Air France from its May 2005 order for five of them.
The twin-engine jet is the most fuel-efficient airplane in its category.
This is the 100th anniversary for the Paris air show.
With the global aviation industry facing unprecedented losses and falling revenue, no one attending the world's first and largest air show was expecting Airbus or Boeing to unveil the raft of new jet orders that have been a staple of the event over the past four years.
But some airlines were still willing to get out their checkbook, including Gulf-based carriers such as Qatar Airways and Gulf Air. Airbus scored its first order of the Paris Air Show from Qatar Airways, which wants 24 jets from the Airbus A320 family.
Qatar Airways' head, Akbar al-Baker, announced a firm order for 24 of the planes, including 20 single-aisle A320s and firming-up of orders for four A321 jets announced last year at the Farnborough Air Show.
He said the deal announced Monday is worth $1.9 billion, which is about the same as the list price. Airlines, however, usually negotiate steep discounts to the list price, particularly during grim economic times.
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce PLC signed a $1.5 billion order with Gulf Air to supply engines for the Bahrain-based airline's new Airbus A330 long-haul aircraft. The British aircraft engine manufacturer will supply Trent 700EP engines to power 20 Airbus A330 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2012.
Canada's Bombardier announced it had won, confirmed or converted a total of 35 firm orders for its CRJ1000 NextGen jets by Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum, in deals worth a total of $1.75 billion.
Boeing set the tone for its air show last week, when its vice president for marketing of commercial aircraft Randy Tinseth warned not to expect a flurry of orders.
Still, Boeing sought to strike a positive tone in face of the ambient gloom surrounding the show, saying key programs such as its 787 remain on track and that the industry's long-term prospects are strong.
"Are we down in the dumps about the status of this industry? Have we allowed the current economic situation to overwhelm us and discourage us from the path ahead? The answer is absolutely no," Scott Carson, president and chief executive of Boeing's commercial aircraft division, said Monday.
"At this point it appears to us that the economic conditions have bottomed," Carson said. "If they have bottomed and a recovery comes next year, I think we have a shot at getting through."
Boeing recently cut its outlook for the commercial aircraft market for the first time in at least a decade, which Carson said was mainly driven by the drop in freight traffic due to the global recession.
Carson said long-term prospects for the industry "are as robust as they have ever been."
However, in answer to some hopeful attendees who thought Boeing might spring a surprise first flight during the show, Carson had disappointing news.