Regardless of whether this week’s 50th Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23) sees a surprise fly-past by the newly airborne Airbus A350XWB widebody, the biennial event will open with expectations of yet more airliner orders further bolstering backlogs. Both Airbus and Boeing, which will display two 787 Dreamliners, are expected to announce further orders. Attention will also be on Bombardier and its soon-to-fly CSeries, as well as on emerging narrowbody rivals such as Russia’s Superjet SSJ100 and MC-21, Ukraine’s Antonov An-158 and China’s Comac, which will be under pressure to explain lengthening delays with its C919 and ARJ21 programs.
Last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing will announce launch customers from Asia, Europe and the U.S. for its proposed new 787-10 widebody, which, with 320 seats, would be the largest version of the Dreamliner. The airframer downplayed expectations of a program launch, confirming simply that it is in continued dialogue with prospective operators for the new version of the long-range twinjet.
Paris exhibitor numbers, with almost 2,200 companies from no fewer than 44 countries, are at a decade-long high, having increased by 30 percent since 2003. A key trend over this period has been for some larger companies to reduce the scale of their exhibits, with space being filled by an increasingly diverse array of aerospace firms from around the globe, many of them small- and medium-sized enterprises. Approximately 350,000 visitors are expected at the Paris show this week, with industry professionals accounting for more than 150,000 of them. This year organizers will receive 290 official delegations, with a growing number of these groups on the air transport side of the business as aerospace firms scramble to bolster their civil portfolios in the face of falling defense budgets.
Regardless of whether you are in Paris this week, you can count on AIN for full coverage of news from the airshow online at www.ainonline.com.