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Post-show report: 46th Paris Air Show


46th Paris Air Show was one of the most important shows of the last years with the massive presence, for the first time to the public, after its maiden flight last April, of the Airbus A380 making the biggest attraction for businesses and the general public. Dassault Falcon 7X made also its first appearance after the first flight in 5th May 2005. On the military side, Dassault presented the first model of Europe’s unmanned combat air vehicle (Neuron Drone).

Attendance figures for the 46th Paris Air Show are 12% up on 2003 with 480,000 visitors. The show can also boast 3% more exhibition space than its 2003 equivalent, about 1,500 companies exhibited at the event.

Air Transport

476 orders (include options) were placed during the show with Airbus getting the lion’s share securing 280 orders worth around $33.5 billion while Boeing had to satisfy itself with 148 orders. The A350 model, which until now had received only 30 orders, this year secured 95 models.

The deals take commitments for Airbus’ new A350 airliner to 125 – easily surpassing the company’s prediction that it would have triple-digit sales during the show – with more expected in the coming days. Chief executive Noel Forgeard said that Airbus is now aiming for 200 commitments for the Α350 programme by the end of the year.

They also included a new customer for the double-deck Airbus A380, Kingfisher Airlines of India.

Boeing built on its recent sales momentum for the 787 moving on with a string of orders and commitments for its 737 and 777 models. While it has not announced any new customers for the 787 model, it revealed new business for other types resulting both from the show and over course of the last five days. These deals cover just short of 148 orders or commitments for 737 and 777 aircraft.

In the regional sector, Embraer secured further commitments for its E-190 from lessor GECAS, while the turboprop sector enjoyed an active show, a further sign of a recovery in the sector. ATR announced orders for 20 turboprops during the show, while UK regional Flybe firmed up more Bombardier Q400 options.

  • The most impressive commitment was made by Qatar which placed an order for up to 60 Airbus A350 and 20 Boeing 777 under a renewal plan for its mid-size and high-capacity fleets. Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said that the carrier planned to sign a deal "imminently”. This will cover 60 A350s to be delivered between mid-2010 and 2015, initially to supplement and later to replace the airline’s Airbus A330 aircraft. Qatar Airways values the A350 deal as potentially worth $10.6 billion while the 777 part is worth $4.6 billion
  • Jet Airways disclosed the deals, which cover ten Airbus A330s, six Boeing 777-200LRs, four 777-300ERs and ten 737-800s. It has also secured options for a further ten Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s. Deliveries of the 777s will begin in late 2006, while the A330s will be ready between February 2007 and 2008. Jet Airways will, however, debut the A330 in India in May next year. The 737-800s will be delivered in early 2006. Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal said that "the airline hopes to expand, offering services to destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, some destinations in Africa and the European cities of Zurich, Rome and Milan”. The 777s will be used to operate non-stop services between India and the USA, making it the first Indian operator to provide such a service.
  • Low cost carrier SkyEurope Airlines has plans to equip its 16 ordered Boeing 737-700s with blended winglets. "SkyEurope decided to equip its Boeing 737-700 aircraft with blended winglets to benefit from lower fuel burn, better aircraft performance and lower engine thrust requirements. The winglet technology is an investment which will definitely pay off,” says SkyEurope CEO Christian Mandl.

Paris Air Show orders

Airbus: 280

Qatar 60x A350 incl options
ALAFCO 12x A350
Jet Airways 10x A330
GECAS 10x A350
Tiger AIrways 8x A320
Air Cairo 6x A318
Kingfisher 5x A380
Kingfisher 5x A350-800
Kingfisher 5x A330-200
Air Caraibes 2x A330-300
Indigo Air 100x A320
Interjet 10xA320
TAM 8x A350-900
TAM 20x A320
Germanwings 18x A319
VIP Customer 1xA340-600

Boeing: 148

Ryanair 5x B737-800
Qatar 20x B777-200
GECAS 20x B737NG
Jet Airways 6x B777-200LR
Jet Airways 4x B777-300ER
Jet AIrways 10x B737-800
ILFC 20x B737-700/800
ILFC 2x B777-200ER
ILFC 6x B777-300ER
Air Europa 18x B737-800
Westjet 2x B737-600
Alaska 35x B737-800

ATR: 20

FinnComm 8x ATR42-500
CCM 6x ATR72-500
Air Caledonie 1x ATR72-500
Air Caledonie 2x ATR42-500
AirMadagascar 2xATR72-500
AirMadagascar 1xATR42-500

Embrear: 25

Paramount 5x ERJ-170
GECAS 20x ERJ190/195

Bombardier: 4

Flybe 4x Dash 8-Q400

  • German low cost carrier Germanwings will operate a fleet of around 30 aircraft over the next two years following its decision to acquire 18 Airbus A319s. Germanwings signed a letter of intent for the A319s at the Paris Air Show.
  • Kenya Airways is hoping to develop its presence in western Africa. Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said: "the Air France-KLM tie-up could allow it to build further on its strong presence in east Africa. You will see a number of different routes in Africa over the next two years. With the recent merger of KLM and Air France, it does open up west Africa for us because Air France is very strong in west Africa. We are also hoping to open [more] routes into southern Africa”. But northern Africa he added "is not really in our spotlight. What we are doing is going into codeshare agreements and we’re also looking in west Africa where there is potential to work with credible airlines in the region.”
  • TAM has signed a memorandum of understanding for eight A350-900s as well as options on seven more. It has also signed for 20 A320 family aircraft and secured options on 20 more. TAM president Marco Bologna said "the A350 strategy in seven years’ time would undoubtedly focus on the rapidly growing international network from Latin America. We will use this aircraft to serve more destinations where we see Brazilian business travellers go.”
  • Austrian Airline has signed a deal to install Connexion’s wireless Internet service on board seven long-haul aircraft: four Boeing 767s and three Boeing 777s. Installations will begin early next year and will gradually be rolled out on selected long-haul routes. Austrian says provision of Internet access on board is part of a wider drive to upgrade comfort levels on its long-haul fleet. This includes installation of new seats, personal monitors and laptop power supply. It says the first 777 equipped with the new lie-flat beds and Internet access is due to debut on Australian services next May. Airline CEO Vagn Sorensen says: "Austrian Airlines is proud to be among the first Europe-based airlines to provide its passengers with high-speed in-flight Internet service.”
  • Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group has signed for two new Ilyushin Il-96-400T freighters. Under a contract signed at the Paris Air Show with Ilyushin Finance Company, Volga-Dnepr will take 15-year leases on the aircraft. First delivery is due by the end of next year.
  • Indian low cost start-up Kingfisher Airlines has signed for Airbus A380, A350 and A330 aircraft, in a commitment for five of each type. Deliveries of the A330s are due to begin in the third quarter of 2007. Deliveries of the A380s and A350s are expected to begin in 2010 and 2012 respectively.