While at first glance the 2013 Paris Air Show might look much the same as previous editions, it promises new wrinkles for attendees. This time around, the biennial gathering at Le Bourget Airport will focus on attracting young people into the aerospace workforce and on business-to-business opportunities, said the show’s new chairman and CEO, Emeric d’Arcimoles. Speaking at a show organizers’ news conference last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., d’Arcimoles lamented a seeming lack of interest in aerospace by young people.
Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show organizers are promising an improved experience for visitors and exhibitors at next year’s event (June 17-23). There will be a new smartphone app to help visitors, and road and pedestrian access is being rethought, although showgoers should not expect Le Bourget’s infamous traffic jams to miraculously disappear.
Cathay Pacific Airlines has confirmed its plan to replace its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet with Airbus A350-1000s in a new $4.2 billion deal signed at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday. The Hong Kong-based carrier has placed new orders for 10 aircraft, and will convert 16 existing orders for the A350-900 into the larger variant.
A flurry of commercial activity in steamy Singapore yesterday marked a busy opening day for the 2012 airshow. Kicked off by the conversion to firm status of a record commitment for 201 Boeing 737 MAXs and 29 737-900ERs placed last November by Indonesia’s LionAir, the day would prove very lucrative for both Western OEMs and a relative newcomer from China.
GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) announced last month that it placed an order for another two ATR 72-600s, along with options for a further two, from the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer. The order follows Gecas’ first-ever ATR order placed in June at the Paris Air Show and brings the total number of ATRs ordered by the leasing company to 17, along with options on another 17. Gecas expects to begin taking delivery of the new airplanes late this year.
The first 21-meter-long front fuselage section for the Airbus A350 XWB has begun to take shape in Saint-Nazaire, France, where mechanics have begun joining the forward fuselage and nose sections, the European manufacturer announced today. The exercise will continue over the “coming weeks,” said Airbus.
Since the Boeing 787 entered service last month, the spotlight has turned toward Airbus, which is working hard on the competing A350XWB.
The new Western European launch customer for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100, Italy’s Blue Panorama Airlines, expects to convert its Paris Air Show memorandum of understanding covering 12 SSJ100s into an order for eight aircraft (plus options on four) next month, once it has reached an agreement with SaM146 engine supplier PowerJet, a Snecma/NPO Saturn Franco-Russian joint venture.
Steven Udvar Hazy’s Air Lease has delivered its first new Embraer aircraft from the direct order placed at the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, the company announced last month. The delivery involved the first of six E190s scheduled to go to Brazil’s Trip Airlines.
The backlog for Airbus’s A320neo family seems to grow on a daily basis of late, most recently with today’s conversion of an MOU signed in June during the Paris Air Show by CIT Aerospace to a firm order for 50 of the re-engined narrowbodies. Airbus plans to start deliveries of the airplanes to CIT in 2016, following delivery of another 32 Airbus jets the leasing company ordered in June 2007.