Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., on Sunday (07/08/07, not coincidentally), an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people.
Airbus CEO John Leahy confirmed at the Paris Air Show that the company has the first firm commitment for its giant A380 airliner for conversion to an executive/VIP role. Leahy declined, however, to reveal the name of the buyer, saying only that he was not American or European and the airplane would be for his personal use.
At the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in late May, a representative of Airbus expressed frustration at the difficulty in finding sufficient slots at independent completion and refurbishment centers to do executive cabin work at the same pace the company is producing airplanes.
The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is growing stronger. At the show’s inception in 2001 there might have been some who doubted the viability of an annual European business aviation show along the lines of the firmly established NBAA event in the U.S., but the 2007 edition, held May 22 through 24 in Geneva, weighed in as the biggest and best so far in the show’s seven-year history.
As a sign of possible things to come for business aviation, the European Commission and the FAA announced on Monday a joint initiative to reduce aircraft emissions and combat climate change.
This week’s spate of large-airliner orders, many confirming previous announcements, continued on Wednesday as Airbus and Boeing unveiled further business. More new deals could be revealed today. For example, International Lease Finance Corp. is talking to Airbus about its unresolved requirement for about 16 A350 XWB aircraft.
Adding to impressive sales tallies announced here this week, engine maker CFM said it landed South America’s Avianca as a customer for the CFM56B-5B engine to power 33 Airbus A319/A320s in a deal worth $500 million.
EADS Socata said Airbus has selected it to manufacture the nose fairing for the A330-200F freighter. Socata has supplied the airplane’s belly fairing for almost a decade.
Germany’s Blue Wings has selected IAE International’s V2500 engine for 20 Airbus A320s on order. The deal was valued at $350 million.
The rival contenders for the huge U.S. Air Force KC-X competition for a new aerial tanker have been briefing the relative merits of the KC-30 and the KC-767 all round the show this week. But political considerations apart–and there are plenty of those–it all boils down to a simple fact: size matters.