The boom in commercial plane orders of recent years appears to be giving way to a more sustainable pace of demand at the 2015 Paris air show
The boom in commercial plane orders of recent years appears to be giving way to a more sustainable pace of demand at the 2015 Paris air show, with jetmakers increasingly focused on lifting production to meet their record backlog of sales.
A visitor takes pictures of the Airbus A 400M on the tarmac at the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget on June 16, 2015 AFP PHOTO
U.S. planemaker Boeing and European rival Airbus unveiled a steady stream of deals on Tuesday, day two of the aerospace industry's main annual gathering.
Boeing announced the biggest firm order of the event so far, with Dutch aircraft leasing company AerCap buying 100 737 MAX 8 jets in a deal worth $10.7 billion at list prices, confirming a Reuters report.
Cabin crew of the Russian airline Aeroflot walk past. AFP PHOTO
Korean Airlines split a $6.9 billion deal for 60 narrow-body jets between Boeing and Airbus, also confirming what sources close to the matter had told Reuters.
(From L) Gabon's President Ali Bongo, French aerospace industry group GIFAS President Marwan Lahoud, French President Francois Hollande, CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier and Chairman and CEO of Dassault Group Serge Dassault applaud as they watch demonstration flights. AFP PHOTO
However, the number and size of the deals to date is below that of many recent trade shows, when cheap borrowing costs and strong growth in passenger numbers encouraged airlines to splash out on new, more fuel-efficient planes.
The ESA Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle IXV is presented at the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget on June 17, 2015. This IXV was launched atop a Vega rocket on February 11, 2015 from Kourou. AFP PHOTO
"The market is definitely slowing," said Sash Tusa, aerospace and defence analyst at UK's Agency Partners. "There are fewer orders this week than there have been at any air show in recent years. Manufacturers are going to have to fight much harder for what's available."
A visitor looks at the Rafale jetfighter. AFP PHOTO
Some moderation in demand had been widely anticipated. Industry sources told Reuters on the eve of the show that, barring any last-minute surprises, Airbus and Boeing might struggle to announce 500 orders between them, compared with 697 at the Farnborough event last year, with which Paris takes turns.
Airbus helicopters and an Airbus A380 airplane of Qatar Airways. AFP PHOTO
There seems little prospect of a sharp deterioration in demand, however. Airbus raised its 20-year forecast for jet sales on Monday, citing the rapid expansion of airlines in Asia and the Middle East and echoing a similarly upbeat outlook from Boeing last week.
Picture taken on June 16, 2015 during the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget shows the first class area of a Qatar Airlines' A350. AFP PHOTO
The biggest challenge facing planemakers now is to ramp up production to meet the record $1.8 trillion of orders they have booked for the coming decade.
Boeing is already planning to increase output of its popular 737 narrow-body jet to 52 a month in 2018 from 42 currently.
Stewardess of Qatar Airways stand on the inside stairs of an Airbus A380. AFP
Its commercial airplanes chief, Ray Conner, said on Tuesday the company would be cautious about taking any decision to raise production towards 60 a month -- a level mooted as possible for both Airbus and Boeing.
The lounge of the first and business class of an Airbus A380 of Qatar Airways. AFP PHOTO
PRUDENT ON PRODUCTION
"We are going to be very prudent in how we approach any rates above 52. It feels like the demand is higher than that, but that can be short-lived. So we are ... going to see how things progress," he told reporters.
Picture taken on June 16, 2015 during the International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget shows the first class area of a Qatar Airlines' A380. AFP PHOTO
"The worst thing for any of us is to oversupply; our intention is to not oversupply."
Conner also issued a warning to Airbus following reports the European group might apply for government loans to develop a revamped version of its A380 superjumbo.
Turbine of an Airbus A350. AFP PHOTO
"Whether they go forward with that, we will address as it comes along. That would not be in line with what the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said," he said.
A French Dassault Rafale fighter jet performs over Le Bourget airport. AFP PHOTO
The United States and Europe have been in a long-running trade dispute over mutual accusations of aircraft subsidies, with the row now evolving into one over whether each side has complied with WTO rulings.
An Airbus A350 XWB performs. AFP PHOTO
In a bid to revive flagging sales of the A380, the world's biggest passenger jet, Airbus is in talks with customers about possibly adding new engines or making a version with about 50 more seats.
Korean Air CEO Cho Yang-Ho and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner pose after a press conference. AFP PHOTO
Away from passenger jets, Airbus said on Tuesday it would start a two-year development phase for a new helicopter aimed at improving fuel-efficiency and comfort for civilian customers in markets such as search and rescue and the energy sector.
French Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (2-L), Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Airbus Group, Marwan Lahoud (3-L) and Head of the Military Aircraft division of Airbus Defence and Space Fernando Alonso look on during the unloading of an armored military vehicle from the Airbus A400M. AFP PHOTO
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin said it would team up with Raytheon and Canada's Bombardier to develop a new surveillance and command and control aircraft fora future U.S. Air Force competition.
French President Francois Hollande (3rd L) listens to the explanations of Dassault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier, as he visits the Dassault stand. A Rafale model is visible at foreground. AFP PHOTO
The Grizzly2 A400M Military airbus performs. AFP PHOTO
The French Patrol performs. AFP PHOTO
A full-scale mockup of an Airbus helicopter H160. AFP PHOTO
Dassault's Rafale jetfighters are moved on the tarmac. AFP PHOTO
Dassault's Rafale jetfighters are moved on the tarmac. AFP PHOTO
An Airbus A400M is brought in to land as an Airbus A350 XWB is prepared for take off. AFP PHOTO
A full-scale mockup of an Airbus Helicopter H160. AFP PHOTO
Paris Airshow in Pictures