The orders continue to flow at Britain’s Farnborough Air Show with European planemaker Airbus benefiting particularly on the second day of the event, but a trend has emerged. It is the industry’s growing reliance on Gulf oil money, as frugal spending elsewhere signals the end of a three-year plane-buying boom.
The day’s biggest order – for 100 planes – came from leasing company Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, firming-up an earlier draft deal. US leaser Aviation Capital Group is having another 23 planes from Airbus and Tunisair, placed orders for 16 planes, expanding its fleet to fly transatlantic.
Announcing an agreement with Qatar Airways for the purchase of six planes, Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders, put the best spin on the industry’s situation. He said: “This air show is so important. It clearly demonstrates that our industry is not doom and gloom all over. It demonstrates that strong carriers are still ordering fuel efficient modern aircraft.”
Though Airbus and Boeing are the big dogs in the skies, there is fierce competition in the market for so called regional airliners, seating up to 100 passengers.
At Farnborough, Canada’s Bombardier officially launched its C-series. Brazil’s Embraer booked 17 orders and the Italian-Russian joint venture Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has received 24 orders for its plane under development, the Superjet 100. The first of those is due to be delivered next year.
Russian civil and military plane makers are an increasing presence at Farnborough as the country’s aviation industry tries to regain its Soviet-era glory days.