This year poses a stiff test for the debate about whether business aircraft manufacturers need to be at both the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) and the biennial Paris Air Show. The gates will open at the French capital’s Le Bourget Airport on June 18, just 16 working days after EBACE closed in Geneva on May 24.
Paris Air Show
Two of Signature Flight Support’s top managers in Europe will be making it to this year’s Paris Air Show on just two wheels to raise money for children’s charity Starlight Foundation. David Best (left), the FBO group’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will be cycling from London to Paris Le Bourget Airport, along with Steve Gulvin, Signature’s regional director for Europe and the Middle East.
The times, they are a changing. Years ago, during the heyday of new product introductions within a few years of each other and a plethora of international aerospace manufacturers, airshow exhibitors tripped over each other trying to outdo the competition.
The French military has run Le Bourget’s air and space museum since it opened in 1919. In recent decades, a French air force general at the end of his career has traditionally held the top post.
The mammoth A380 made a triumphal arrival on the Paris Air Show’s center stage here yesterday morning. Airbus’ long-awaited double-decker airliner drew exhibitor set-up staff from the halls and chalets to marvel as it gracefully (and almost silently) appeared on the Le Bourget horizon.
Embraer is preparing to mark the centennial next year of the first flight of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s 14 Bis biplane with a display at its Le Bourget static exhibition of the first of three 14 Bis replicas built in Brazil. The first replica is next to Embraer’s Legacy business jet and will remain throughout the Paris Air Show.
France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
Fractional ownership operator NetJets has increased its flights to Le Bourget airport by 70 percent since the last Paris Air Show in 2003, the U.S.-based company announced here on Monday. NetJets figures show a jump from 1,400 movements over the five first months of 2003 to 2,400 movements over the equivalent period this year.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines will place an order for Airbus A380s at the Paris Air Show today, according to officials with the carrier contacted in Mumbai yesterday. According to various Indian press reports, Kingfisher will place an order for five of the superjumbos, along with a mix of 15 other airplanes, reportedly A330s and A350s.
Some 20 new aircraft, including the world’s largest–such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-200 Long Range–are among the 200 types on display here, making the Paris Air Show an exceptional showcase of flying hardware. Also making their first appearances are the Dassault Falcon 7X and Gulfstream G450 and G550 business jets, Embraer’s new 195 regional aircraft and Kazan Helicopters’ Mi-38.