The French military has run Le Bourget’s air and space museum since it opened in 1919. In recent decades, a French air force general at the end of his career has traditionally held the top post.
Paris Air Show
The mammoth A380 made a triumphal arrival on the Paris Air Show’s center stage here yesterday morning. Airbus’ long-awaited double-decker airliner drew exhibitor set-up staff from the halls and chalets to marvel as it gracefully (and almost silently) appeared on the Le Bourget horizon.
Embraer is preparing to mark the centennial next year of the first flight of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s 14 Bis biplane with a display at its Le Bourget static exhibition of the first of three 14 Bis replicas built in Brazil. The first replica is next to Embraer’s Legacy business jet and will remain throughout the Paris Air Show.
France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
Fractional ownership operator NetJets has increased its flights to Le Bourget airport by 70 percent since the last Paris Air Show in 2003, the U.S.-based company announced here on Monday. NetJets figures show a jump from 1,400 movements over the five first months of 2003 to 2,400 movements over the equivalent period this year.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines will place an order for Airbus A380s at the Paris Air Show today, according to officials with the carrier contacted in Mumbai yesterday. According to various Indian press reports, Kingfisher will place an order for five of the superjumbos, along with a mix of 15 other airplanes, reportedly A330s and A350s.
Some 20 new aircraft, including the world’s largest–such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-200 Long Range–are among the 200 types on display here, making the Paris Air Show an exceptional showcase of flying hardware. Also making their first appearances are the Dassault Falcon 7X and Gulfstream G450 and G550 business jets, Embraer’s new 195 regional aircraft and Kazan Helicopters’ Mi-38.
An optimistic Louis Le Portz flashed a broad smile as he contemplated the opening of this week’s Le Bourget salon just a few weeks prior to the event. He knows that his first stab as commissaire général, or commissioner, of the biennial Paris Air Show marks a recovery from four gloomy years of aerospace industry decline and a return to something resembling the conditions exhibitors enjoyed prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Airbus took some of the sting out of its rival Boeing’s blockbuster sales announcement yesterday with a pair of significant orders of its own for A350s and A320s.
Paris show organizer SIAE has responded to industry calls to downsize the event to make it more cost-effective for exhibitors, who have long struggled to justify the expense of taking their products and personnel on the international airshow circuit. Organizers have reduced the duration of the Paris show from nine to seven days by scrapping the traditional opening weekend.