New Blockbuster: Paris Air Show

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The International Paris Air Show kicked off at Le Bourget, northeast of Paris, hosting more than 2,100 international exhibitors.

With its 28 international pavilions displaying 140 aircrafts, the exhibition also showcases an exceptional solar aircraft Solar Impulse.

The exhibition also host jobs and training area, alternative aviation fuels, and air and space museum. This year’s show attracts a record of 2,100 exhibitors, both professional and general public visitors, with 59 of the world’s top 100 companies in the industry.

Orders for more than 200 aircraft with a total value exceeding $20 billion were announced on the opening day of the Paris Air Show as airlines sought planes with improved fuel efficiency.

Industry experts believe that Airbus and Boeing together will garner twice as many orders and commitments than were unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in England last year.

Last year Airbus and Boeing built more than 970 aircraft and this year’s total is expected to top 1,000 for the first time.

The opening day also included two mystery deals for the Boeing 747-8 and other for the Bombardier Inc. CSeries.

It is unusual for buyers not disclosing their identity at the event.

Leasing all the way

Leasing companies dominated on the opening day and the largest order came from the GE Capital Aviation Services leasing unit, Gecas. The aircraft lessor committed to acquire 60 A320neo modelsvalued at $5.47 billion at list prices.

Buyers typically negotiate big discounts on large orders.

International Lease Finance Corp. ordered 100 of the planes earlier this year and is expected to announce its engine choice for the rest of its commitments this week. The company already has opted to equip some of the planes with a new engine from the Pratt & Whitney unit of United Technologies Corp.

Air Lease Corp., run by former ILFC chief Steve Udvar-Hazy, made its first order for wide-body aircraft, as part of a 33-plane Boeing commitment that includes 737s, 777s and the forthcoming 787 Dreamliner.

Scandinavia’s SAS AB, which flies more than 70 of the 737 model, on Monday ordered 30 Airbus A320neos, with options for 11 more.

Airbus

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence& Space Co. in the days leading up to the show bagged orders for 72 A320neos from Indian budget carrier Go Airlines (India) Ltd. and for 30 of the A321neo, a stretched version of the A320, from Cebu Air Inc. of the Philippines.

Together, those orders were valued at more than $10 billion.

Airbus jumped in ahead of Boeing with the first aircraft order, selling 60 A320neo jets, a re-engined version of its highly successful narrow body plane, to GE Capital Aviation Services, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE for $5.1bn.

They will be powered by Leap-X engines supplied by GE’s CFM International joint venture with Safran of France.

Airbus now has more than 500 orders for re-engined versions of its A320 family. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2015.

The bullish tone from Airbus was,however, tempered by the announcement of delays for some of its yet-to-fly A350 models and technical problems that spoiled its displays. Airbus also had to pull its A400M military transport from displays because of an issue with its gearbox.

The Zehst

Airbus is working on a Concorde-style design for a hypersonic plane capable of seating between 50 and 100 business travellers and flying at more than four times the speed of sound – more than 3,000mph – at 105,000 feet.

The Zehst – zero emission high speed transport – is being developed with Japanese partners. Airbus says all the necessary technology is in place but the development costs are said to be stratospheric.

The European manufacturer announced orders for 142 aircraft, valued at some $15bn, from four customers.

Military

Airbus Military, has presented its new C-295 surveillance-capable, AIRCRAFT at the Paris Air Show. This model provides a relatively cheap, NEW alternative in a market, where military budgets are under pressure.

The first C-295 aircraft with its Airborne Early Warning and Control rotodomeis the highlight of the Paris Air Show.

The plane is a new cheap European alternative to big surveillance planes, although it is still in the development phase.

Boeing

Boeing received orders for 17 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft, but that was seen as a mixed blessing.

Russian carrier Aeroflot announces purchase of 8 300-ER version 777 long-range jet from Boeing, which is worth $2.21 billion deal. The delivery of the planes are expected to occur between 2013 and 2018.

Mystery

The updated version of the original jumbo jet, which features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck, previously secured only three airline customers. But people in the industry were surprised that the Chicago-based company didn’t name the customers who placed the two orders, for 15 and two planes, respectively.

Qatar Airways

Mideast carriers continued to place large orders. Qatar Airways said it would buy six additional Boeing 777-300 wide-body jets, as the airline continues its rapid growth. The deal, valued at $1.7 billion at list prices, had been booked by Boeing but the customer hadn’t been identified. Qatar already operates 25 long-range 777 aircraft.

Boeing says the plane does not represent a threat to its 737 family but Airbus is making confident noises about taking the order book for the fuel efficient A320 through the 500 mark by the end of the show.

Boeing has arrived at Le Bourget in force, with full order books and the 747-8 passenger jet and wide-bodied 787 freighter making their international debut.

Others

Rolls-Royce was quick off the mark with a $2.2bn (1.36bn) contract to provide Tam Airlines of Brazil with 27 Trent XWB engines for a fleet of A350 aircraft ordered from Airbus, the civil aviation wing of EADS, the European aerospace and defence manufacturer.

Rolls-Royce has also signed a contract with the Saudi Arabian air force to repair and overhaul its T56 engined C-130 transport aircraft and renewed a ten year contract with Macclesfield based Bodycote to make its aero-engine materials stronger and safer.

General Electric, the world’s biggest aero-engine manufacturer, attempted to steal a march on its British rival with a confident forecast that it would pick up more than $10bn worth of orders during the week.

This year the event seems more spectacular.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, Liverpool Daily Post,paris-air-show.com, Xinhuanet.com

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