Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Sept 2010 Contents Farnborough was "a good show for Airbus and
for the [aerospace] industry", according to Chief
Executive Officer Tom Enders, speaking on the
final trade day as the manufacturer unveiled a
"non-binding memorandum of understanding"
covering a "purchase agreement" with US
carrier Virgin America for 40 A320-series
Firm orders for 130 aircraft announced at the
show took Airbus's business for the year to date
to 261 units.
"The show confirms the strength of the
recovery we have seen in passenger- and
freight-traffic growth in the past couple of
months," said Enders, who expects Airbus
to deliver at least 400 aircraft this year.
Nevertheless, he added, "'cautious optimism' is
the password of the show".
Displaying more optimism, John Leahy,
Airbus's Chief Operating Officer for Customers,
said "the recession is definitely over [and]
airlines are flying full again". The manufacturer's
top salesman added that cargo is recovering
strongly, while passenger traffic -- increasing "in
all major markets" -- is recovering in line with
global growth trends in real gross domestic
product. Even in the worst case, Leahy sees
full-year growth in passenger traffic of just over
Unlike Boeing -- which flew its 787 Dreamliner
home after two trade days -- Airbus kept its
A330-200F cargo aircraft on display throughout
the week, following its handover to launch
customer Etihad Airways. The Abu Dhabi-based
carrier will introduce the aircraft into service in
September on routes to China and Africa.
Fear of jeopardising the new freighter's
market prospects could dilute interest in any
passenger-to-freighter conversion planned by
Airbus. The manufacturer has considered such
an exercise with the larger A330-300, while
arguing that there are insufficient numbers
of available -200 series aircraft to support a
conversion line at its Dresden plant in Germany.
Gulf carrier Qatar Airways is hinting that it
may choose converted Boeing 767s or 777-
200s in the absence of a programme under
which its 16 A330-200s could be converted into
freighters once the first Boeing 787s arrive in a
Airbus appears to have relaxed its design
schedule for the proposed A350-1000 to
concentrate resources on the primary -900
variant. While the former was due to achieve
"design freeze" by about the time of the show
(ahead of detail definition establishment at the
end of 2011), A350 programme head Didier
Evrard now characterises the process as one of
repetitive "intermediate" reviews.
In turn, with A350-900 manufacture now
getting started and with final assembly expected
to begin in about 12 months' time, this model is
absorbing "the bulk of [programme] resources".
Airbus has completed design of the A350's
design-tolerance and electric-structural network,
two exercises that had pushed the schedule
back about three months to August.
The value of business announced at July's
Farnborough International Airshow was US$47
billion, according to ADS, the UK aerospace,
defence, and security trade organisation whose
eponymous subsidiary company organises
the biennial event. That total compares with
US$88 billion worth of orders two years ago
and US$46 billion in 2006.
The show organiser says the "sold out"
event included some 1,455 exhibiting
companies, compared with 1,393 at the 2008
show. Some 70 delegations from 44 countries
attended, with "over 120,000" industry visitors
claimed for the five trade days -- down about 8
percent from two years ago.
More than 150 aircraft appeared at the
show, while nearly 50 companies held 800
meetings with over 150 suppliers during a
two-day business-to-business programme.
ADS chairman Ian Godden says the figures
demonstrate a "mood of strong optimism"
-- encouraging, given the current global
"The quality of the business at the show
is a testament to the endurance of [the UK's
aerospace, defence, and security] sectors, their
positive contribution to UK and world trade, as
well as the significance of the show," Godden
However, not all airliner orders announced
at the show represented new business. Rather,
many headlines identified customers that
previously had committed to acquisitions up to
two years previously.
Many of the 200-plus Boeing orders --
one involving aircraft contracted in 2008
-- represented customers "going public",
but appeared to have been retained for
announcement at the 2010 show. European
rival Airbus also used the show as a platform
to announce orders, purchase rights,
memoranda of understanding or letters of
intent covering 255 machines.
Franco-Italian turboprop airliner
manufacturer ATR reported orders placed
in the first half of the year, but Canada's
Bombardier did not secure a much-
anticipated Qatar Airways order for its new
CSeries jetliner. Bombardier, Embraer, Irkut,
Mitsubishi, and Sukhoi all announced new
The Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East markets figured prominently in new business announcements
at July's Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, providing evidence that these regional markets are
alive and well even as Europe and North America remain less active. Ian Goold reports.
Farnborough business announcements total US$47 billion
130 firm orders
Airbus displayed its A330-200F at Farnborough prior
to its entry into service with launch customer Etihad.
16 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2010
Farnborough Show Report
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