The Paris Air Show attracts not just buyers and sellers of aircraft and related equipment, but also the buyers and sellers of the companies that make them. The aerospace and defense sectors have been hotbeds of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in recent years, and the bankers who guide and cajole these deals have once again flocked to Le Bourget.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
As launch customer Qatar Airways prepares to receive new Airbus A350s next year, the Arab operator will train using an operations department at the manufacturer’s Toulouse factory in southwest France. Until then, Airbus plans to conduct flight-test activities to mirror airlines operations at that facility.
On June 3 the Air and Space Museum, located here in the historical buildings of the former Le Bourget airport passenger terminal, held the grand opening of the restored “Salle des Huit Colonnes” (“Hall of the Eight Pillars”) in art deco style–the spectacular heart of the 1,100-foot-long building. The restoration is part of a €25 million ($32 million) project encompassing the institution’s entire premises.
The 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition–popularly known as Airshow China–will be held in Zhuhai, Guandong from Nov. 11-16, 2014. Started in 1996 as the Zhuhai Airshow, it has since been held biennially. It is the only international aerospace trade show in China with a flying display that is endorsed by the State Council in Beijing.
Gareth Hall, who was promoted to president and managing director of BBA Aviation’s Ontic subsidiary in January, is focused on accelerating the company’s rate of growth to take advantage of the improving aerospace economy. “The market’s coming back strongly,” he said, “and we see ourselves with lots of opportunities.”
The aerospace industries in Morocco and Tunisia still tend to be viewed as embryonic by some Westerners, but the North African countries are starting to capitalize on the desire by European companies to move production offshore and take advantage of the close proximity to these low-cost economies. Both countries have made a commitment to develop an investment framework promoting local jobs, and opportunities for international companies, and this is paying dividends with the constant creation of new aerospace concerns.
As Pratt & Whitney Canada (Chalet (A) 330) saw revenues from its business jet engine segment suffer through one of the industry’s steepest downturns in history, the company’s highly diversified product line has allowed it to, as P&WC president John Saabas put it, “ride the wave” of fortune in other sectors and consolidate its leading position in the small engine business.
Airbus’s choice of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan on the A320neo and Rolls-Royce’s subsequent divesture in engine joint-venture IAE might have signaled to some the beginning of the end of the V2500 turbofan.
The newest version of the Sukhoi Superjet, SSJ100-95LR, first flown in February this year, has the suffix that is an abbreviation for Long Range, but some would argue that “Last Resort” might better describe the situation in terms of its significance to Russia’s aerospace industry.
Pratt & Whitney CEO David Hess doesn’t spend time lamenting his company’s decision to forgo a bid for a place on Boeing’s proposed 777X. In fact, during a recent interview with AIN at his company’s campus in West Palm Beach, Florida, Hess expressed not an inkling of regret, evidently taking comfort in the narrowbody market’s virtually unequivocal acceptance of his company’s geared turbofan platform. “Our plate’s pretty full right now,” said Hess.