Yes, it’s that time of year again. The International Paris Air Show returns. 106 years old and 50 shows on, number 51 is here and it promises to be another great show.
For those who don’t know, the Paris Air Show is a bi-annual event, with the Farnborough Air Show filling in the gap year, in which aircraft manufacturers from around the world, both civil and military, showcase their latest and greatest models to potential buyers and the viewing public; that is the ones that can afford to go. But don’t worry, if you can’t attend, World Airline News will be giving you day to day coverage of the new aircraft orders that are due to come in next week.
Here is a preview of what is to come.
We’ll start with the “home team”. Airbus comes to the show with a line up of commercial aircraft. With its A319, A320, A380 and A350-900 XWB all being on the static display, the Toulouse-based manufacturer will also fly its long-haul aircraft, surprisingly all in the grey and burgundy livery of Qatar Airways (below).
Above Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways Airbus A350-941 A7-ALA (msn 006) is seen at Frankfurt, its first destination from Doha.
The A319 and A320 aircraft are not part of Airbus’ official roster, with both showcasing Qatar’s all business class cabin and the A320 displaying the Doha-based airline’s newly upgraded cabins including its 180-degree lie flat-beds, new 15.4 inch smart monitors and touch-screen remote control handsets as well as power, USB ports and connectivity for smart devices in Business Class.
Last time around, Airbus secured $68.7 billion worth of business for a total of 466 aircraft, which shows the resilience of the commercial aviation industry. The deals comprise Memorandum of Understanding agreements (MOUs) for 225 aircraft worth $29.4 billion and firm purchase orders for 241 aircraft worth $39.3 billion. The previous time around, the A350 was a brand new airliner and only made a cameo visit, flying briefly over Le Bourget Airport as a treat to the public. This time it’s goes into next week with three of new type in service with Qatar Airways and others soon to be delivered to Vietnam Airlines, Finnair and TAM respectively.
Video above: Airbus. Before the show, Airbus is featuring the first Airbus A330 delivery to Tunisair. More videos are expected next week.
For the A380, it may be “make or break” time. With orders for the Super Jumbo slowing down (none in the past year) and also with the delaying and deferring of delivery dates by some customers, Airbus will be hoping to attract new orders for their double-decker giant or more from their established customers. Airbus is reported to be looking at a revamp of the aircraft towards the end of this year. Could an A380neo or sharklet equipped variant be in the cards for next week? Seems a bit desperate in my opinion. The aircraft isn’t 10 years old yet. It took the rest of Airbus’ in service aircraft 27 years (A320) and 24 years (A330 – expected neo introduction) to introduce a major upgrade to its DNA. Either the A380 takes off again or it doesn’t (pun intended).
Airbus will also be looking to get some firm orders for it’s newest project, the A330neo. Since being launched at the Farnborough Air Show last year the new wide-body only has seven customers in Avolon, AirAsia X, Delta Air Lines, CIT Group, ALC, Hawaiian Airlines and TransAsia Airways. Other guaranteed orders will be for the Airbus’ A320 and A320neo types, with the latter due to have its first delivery by October of this year with Qatar Airways.
Above Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VN-A861 (msn 35151) arrives back at Paine Field near Everett, Washington in Vietnam Airlines colors after a test flight.
The other side of the aviation coin, U.S. manufacturer Boeing comes to the show with three of it’s aircraft: The Boeing 777-300 ER (in China Airlines livery) and both variants of the 787 Dreamliner. The 787-9 makes it’s Paris debut in the colors of Vietnam Airlines (above), with the aircraft set to join the carrier soon after it leaves the show.
Photo Above: Boeing. Boeing 777-36N ER N5017Q (msn 43980) lands at Le Bourget Airport today. It will eventually become B-18002 for China Airlines.
As previously reported, the aircraft manufacturer released this stunning practice video (above).
The other two aircraft will be in the livery of China Airlines and guess whose colors the other is wearing? If you didn’t guess Qatar Airways, you need to keep up with the latest trends. Qatar Airways is really stealing the show this time around.
Boeing recently released figures predicting a demand for 38,050 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year’s forecast. As we previously reported, Boeing released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO) on June 11, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at $5.6 trillion.
Do the manufacturers stack up potential orders and MOUs prior to the show to release them during the show? The “numbers game” is important to the manufacturers.
Last time around in Paris, Boeing fell to second place with firm and provisional orders for 442 aircraft valued at more than $66 billion, narrowly behind Airbus. That was the year Boeing launched the 787-10 and 777X projects and will be hoping to rack up huge orders for their new long-haulers; with the stretched Dreamliner only having seven customers in ALC, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, International Airlines Group/British Airways, Etihad Airways, ANA-All Nippon Airways and GECAS.
Image above: Boeing. Qatar Airways also has placed an order for the new 777X.
The 777X is doing just as well with only six customers in Lufthansa, Etihad, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and ANA.
Boeing’s narrow-bodies are another miss for the show but you can guarantee an order for the 737NG and 737 MAX will be flying in (again, pun intended) and most likely carrying Boeing’s orders.
Another big miss for the show is the Boeing 747-8. The type is in the same situation as the A380, with orders slowing down and production most likely set to slow down once more from the current 1.5 aircraft per month. It’s quite surprising the manufacturer isn’t trying to advertise their “Sky Queen” to the best of their ability.
The eye catchers of the show are, without a doubt, Bombardier. Trying to steal Qatar Airways’ thunder by bringing along their CRJ1000 variant for the third show running, the Q400 NextGen and both of it’s CSeries family: the CS100 and the CS300, are both making their Farnborough debuts and are being included in the flying display.
Video above: Bombardier. The first CS100 in Swiss livery heads to Paris.
The first delivery of the CSeries Family will be to Swiss International Air Lines. The first copy is due to happen next year, and the CS100 will pay a visit to Zurich shortly after the show as a sample of what’s to come for the Lufthansa subsidiary. The CS300 will also visit Bombardier’s Belfast facility on June 19 where Bombardier’s employees and partners eagerly await the arrival of the first CS300 aircraft. It will mark the first time the CSeries aircraft and its Belfast-produced wing will fly on site. Last time around, Le Bourget Airport wasn’t a happy hunting ground for the Canadians, with the CSeries failing to capture a single aircraft order, the CRJ only capturing one order from Arik Air, and the Q400 only securing orders from Alaska Airlines (Horizon Air) and Arik Air. Bombardier will hope for a major improvement and for this year to be more like Farnborough of last year, where a total of 74 orders were captured.
Video above: The Bombardier CS300 ferries to Le Bourget Airport.
Video above: The Q400 in Falcon Aviation livery heads to Paris.
Video above: The CRJ manufacturing at the Montreal Mirabel plant.
The rest of the major players: ATR, Embraer and Sukhoi, will display one aircraft each. With the Brazilians displaying their ERJ 135, the French-Italians showing off their ATR 72-600 in the colors of Air New Zealand Link, and the Russians exhibiting the Superjet 100 in the colors of Interjet, marking the second anniversary of the first aircraft being delivered to the airline.
For ATR it’s more of the same, marketing their ATR 42 and 72 products. Le Bourget 2013 went down as the best show in ATR’s history, with the turboprop manufacturer announcing orders for 173 planes, including 83 firm orders, with the total value of the contracts exceeding $4.1billion; creating a new record for them. Unless they’re planning a shock reveal of the ATR 42/72-700/800/900, it will be business as usual.
Video above: The building of Lion Group’s 50th ATR 72-600.
For Embraer they will hope 2015 is just as good for them as Paris 2013 was. Two years ago, the E-Jets E2 was officially launched and they were the standout performers of the show, taking Day 1 by storm with the E2 dominating the orders when they announced the sale of over 300 customers, with the majority belonging to SkyWest Airlines and ILFC, and the rest going to unnamed customers around the world. For them, it is a case of gaining more orders for the E2 and maybe current generation of E-Jets.
Video above: Embraer. Embraer E2 – The Power of 2.
For Sukhoi, it’s the same situation. 2013 only got the SuperJet one order from Ilyushin Finance, with two of those aircraft going to VLM at some point next year. They will hope to go one better than the big zero they got last year at Farnborough.
The non-flying aircraft of the show: the Irkut MC-21 and the COMAC C919, may bring in a few orders at the show but only time will tell.
The Financial Times told us not to expect much from this year’s aviation event; but don’t let that deter you from keeping up to date on proceedings at Le Bourget Airport. We’ll be watching in anticipation and ready to update you on anything and everything. Nous vous verrons la semaine prochaine.
Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.
Video below: Boeing. Boeing is celebrating its historic relationship with the United Kingdom prior to the show: