When EADS chief executive Louis Gallois briefed the world’s press just before the show he was taking to the podium against a backdrop of confusion over what caused the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 on June 1. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of AF447,” he began. “Even if the airshow is darkened by the accident, I think we have a great show ahead of us.
Six years ago, the team from Airbus Military promoting the A400M came to the Paris Air Show full of confidence and good intentions. Germany had just confirmed its order for 60, finally launching the program after years of negotiations. Italy and Portugal dropped out, leaving a total requirement of 180 aircraft for six European countries (seven, if you count Luxembourg taking one aircraft).
With larger airliners flying longer routes, accommodations that more truly live up to the to the term “first class” are in high demand, and EADS Sogerma (Hall 4 Stand E53) and Lufthansa Technik (Hall 4 Stand E54) plan to fill a niche in that market.
Market conditions have hardly been kind to aerospace these past six months or so, but when a company is celebrating its 250th birthday–as GKN is this year–it can probably afford to take the long view.
Diehl Aircabin (Hall 2, Stand 192), one of the concerns shed by Airbus as part of its Power 8 restructuring program, is investing more than $135 million in production facilities for Airbus A350 cabin components as new 51:49 joint owners Diehl and Thales look to combine their cabin system expertise and develop increasingly integrated airliner interiors.
EADS Airbus Military hopes that by the Paris Air Show next month launch customers Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK will complete a review of their commitment to the A400M military transport.
EADS expects its Airbus unit to capture new gross orders for up to 300 aircraft this year, “even if it is becoming more challenging in the current market environment,” according to a company statement attached to its first-quarter earnings release. Based on a stable delivery assumption and a conversion rate of €1 to $1.39, EADS predicts that revenue should run roughly in line with last year’s.
Daher, the French family-run firm that now owns Socata, is pressing ahead with investments to ensure the maker of the TBM 850 single turboprop is well-placed when the business aviation market emerges from the current financial crisis–a recovery it believes could be 12 to 18 months away.
The number of aircraft delivered in the first quarter of this year paled in comparison with the same period last year, according to numbers released this afternoon by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which cited the global economy’s effects on general aviation.
GKN Aerospace assumed full ownership of the former Airbus wing component and assemblies factory at Filton, UK, on January 5. The UK group acquired the facility from Airbus for £136 million ($199 million).