On June 3 the Air and Space Museum, located here in the historical buildings of the former Le Bourget airport passenger terminal, held the grand opening of the restored “Salle des Huit Colonnes” (“Hall of the Eight Pillars”) in art deco style–the spectacular heart of the 1,100-foot-long building. The restoration is part of a €25 million ($32 million) project encompassing the institution’s entire premises.
Paris Air Show
The 2013 Paris Air Show–the 50th since the biennial event started in 1909–opens on Monday with its exhibitor count at a 10-year high of 2,200 companies from 44 countries. Much of the pre-show excitement this week has been built on expectations that Airbus might take the opportunity to give its new A350XWB airliner a high-profile public debut.
Paris Air Show organizers have introduced a range of improvements aimed at making the huge biennial trade fair a more user-friendly proposition when it is staged at Le Bourget Airport from June 17 to 23. At an April 30 press conference in London, Emeric d’Arcimoles, chairman and CEO of show organizer SIAE, said that the show has been sold out for several months and that organizer SIAE has two main aims this year: providing more services for exhibitors and an improved experience for visitors.
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 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.