People generally leave major international airshows exhausted after a week spent traipsing around vast sites trying to get an unrealistic amount of work done. This was probably true for aerospace executives departing the 2010 edition of the Farnborough International show, which had its final trade day today, but they may well also have left with a new sense of exhilaration from the unexpectedly high volume of new airliner business announced during the event.
With more than a full day’s trading still to go, the sales tally was close to topping $40 billion, with most of this being airliners. In many cases, deals involved firming up earlier provisional commitments, meaning that purists would dismiss this as not amounting to new business. This interpretation misses the point: the fact is those deals could not be firmed up until the carriers concerned could be sure that demand is strong enough to merit the fleet growth and that they could secure the financing to make the purchases (a factor that has been all too evidently absent since the last Farnborough show in 2008).
A lot of the new business came from, predictably, the Middle East, but also from Latin America and Asia–providing a welcome reassurance that these key emerging air transport markets are still kicking in with more growth even if Europe and North America are still sluggish. Full details of all the Farnborough news can be found at www.ainonline.com.