Despite orders that came in far below last year's levels, John Leahy, the chief salesman at Airbus, says the sentiment at the Paris Air Show shows the airline industry has turned a corner. In late 2008, he says, "It looked like a situation of free fall. Nobody then was thinking about anything but survival, and in many cases that meant survival for the next two weeks, not survival for the next 20 years." But the orders logged in Paris prove that airlines have begun planning for recovery, he says. "The fact that some airlines are starting to do some forward planning, I think, is indicative of the fact that people aren't in a panic mode anymore."

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