The Airbus A320neo (for “new engine option”) is “the fastest selling aircraft in history” and the manufacturer set itself the target of accruing “over 500” commitments by this week’s Paris Air Show, according to chief operating officer (customers) John Leahy. By early April, the company had booked more than 330 orders and “commitments” and this prompted it to accelerate the program by six months.
Paris Air Show
Anticipation of a substantial flow of new airliner orders is building as the 2011 edition of the biennial Paris Air Show prepares to open on Monday, June 20. Airbus and Boeing sales teams are battling for at least half a dozen major new contracts, all of them with airlines based in the fast-growing Asian market.
Later this morning I’ll hop on a train for my biennial pilgrimage to the Paris Air Show. Thanks to the tunnel beneath the Channel connecting the UK to the mainland of Europe, and the speedy Eurostar train, it is not a long or arduous journey–not least because it no longer involves having to endure one of London’s accursed airports.
Industry pundits expect the mood at this year’s Paris Air Show (June 20-26) will be markedly more positive than what prevailed during the last show in mid-2009, at the low-point of the aerospace industry’s most recent downturn. The global economy might be experiencing a fair degree of trepidation, but aircraft makers–at least in the civil air transport sectors–are seeing significant increases in demand and are ramping up production again.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 will eventually welcome a new, larger sibling, possibly one as large as 130 seats in capacity, but not until the original SSJ100-95–on display here at Le Bourget–loses some weight for Aeroflot and gains some range for Latin American launch customer Interjet of Mexico.
The aerospace industry is in recovery, and if you don’t believe that come to this year’s Paris Air Show and see for yourself. That is the optimistic message from the organizers of the biennial event, which will be staged for the 49th time at Paris Le Bourget Airport from June 20 to 26.
An Airbus-led partnership with Air France and the air navigation service providers from the UK, Canada and the U.S.—respectively, NATS, Nav Canada and the FAA—plan soon to begin Transatlantic Green Flight (TGF) trials with an Air France A380 on revenue flights from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG).
First came the Middle East carriers on Monday, then yesterday it was the turn of Asian and Latin American airlines to keep the Farnborough airshow cash registers ringing with deals done covering roughly $6.5 billion in new business for Airbus.
Paris Air Show commissioner Louis Le Portz wants nothing but the best for this week’s Farnborough International show, while predicting that next year’s Paris show will be as successful as its 2009 edition in terms of the number of exhibitors and country delegations expected. “Le Bourget and Farnborough are crucial for our profession; the industry needs us both,” he said.
Former Boeing president Phil Condit once famously said, in so many words, that there is no point having aircraft at airshows. What he meant was that Boeing didn't really see sufficient value in bringing its aircraft on the international show circuit to offset all the risks and costs associated with this. But the U.S.