Day one of the Farnborough Airshow brought a boost for Boeing as British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the purchase of nine of its Poseidon marine patrol planes as well as 50 Apache attack he
Day one of the Farnborough Airshow brought a boost for Boeing as outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the purchase of nine of its P-8A Poseidon marine patrol planes as well as 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.
Against the background of Brexit, Cameron made much of how the purchase of the Poseidon submarine hunters – for the equivalent of 3.5 billion euros – will create about 2,000 new jobs in the UK as Boeing expands its maintenance and support operations there.
As Farnborough started both Boeing and Airbus raised their long-term forecasts for new aircraft demand and the European plane maker said Virgin Atlantic had ordered a dozen its biggest twin-engined plane, the A350-1000, despite the uncertainty from Brexit and the weak pound that has created.
Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive Officer, Craig Kreeger said: “We obviously don’t like a weak sterling. And we had taken steps in anticipation of a possible Brexit to hedge or protect ourselves against sterling movements in the short run. But in the end, how that affects demand for travel could certainly be a challenge.”
The heavy rain that grounded the air displays, could be seen as a metaphor for the political and economic storm clouds over the UK and Europe but Airbus and Boeing remain confident about long-term sales prospects.
They have enjoyed years of strong sales, with rising air travel and demand for new fuel-efficient planes raising the industry’s order backlog to a record 13,500 planes at the end of 2015, or near 10 years of production at current rates.