A full recovery in the commercial aviation market is in the air at the UK’s Farnborough International Air Show.
After the financial crisis, the Icelandic volcano and other hiccups, there are signs of a turnaround.
Passenger numbers are on the up. The International Air Transport Association (IATA)recently forecast global industry profits of 1.93 billion euros this year, after a 7.2 billion euro loss in 2009.
Euronews tracked down the world’s two biggest aircraft manufacturers at Farnborough and asked them the same question: “Is the downturn over?”
“The future is very hard to predict, but I would like to think so,” said Jim Albaugh, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO.
“A lot of people talk about a double dip, we don’t think that’s going to happen. But again, the point I want to make is that recovery is uneven. We’re seing parts that are recoverying must faster than others and we’re seing a lot of people coming back into the market place we haven’t seen in a lot of years. And that tells us that the traffic is improving. People want more efficient airplanes, the liquidity is there to buy planes. I hope, as all of us do, that the recovery is under way.”
Airbus CEA, John Leahy, said: “We believe the downturn is over at the present time and the big question is the slope of the upturn. But so far in the first half of this year we have 131 orders. I predict by the end of the show we’ll double that. That means that the downturn is pretty much over.”
The opinions may be slightly nuanced, but it seems that the wind has changed and, albeit slowly, the commercial aviation market can foresee a new take-off.