Report: Farnborough Airshow 2010

Middle Eastern airlines steal the spotlight once again.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.
Farnborough 2010.

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Middle Eastern airlines made a splash at this year’s Farnborough Airshow, with the likes of Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian playing a central role in the US$47 billion worth of orders that were announced at the bi-annual exhibition.

And while the 2010 order book is somewhat deflated in comparison to the record highs at 2008’s Farnborough – which reached a staggering $88 billion – it still provided a cause for celebration, especially in the aftermath of a crippling economic recession.

“Farnborough International Airshow 2010 has been very successful and the figures demonstrate the mood of strong optimism that has been around the show this year,” states Ian Godden, chairman of Aerospace, Defence and Security (A|D|S), the parent company of organiser Farnborough International Limited (FIL).

“To see over $47 billion worth of business done at the show, and the quality of business transactions, its testament to the endurance of our sectors, their position contribution to world trade, as well as the significance of the show itself.”

While the multitude of purchase announcements have now brought Farnborough back to 2006 levels, when $46 billion of orders were revealed, the event over-performed in terms of exhibitors this year, with 1450 companies showcasing their products and services in comparison to 1393 from the 2008 exhibition.

Organisers have also reported the success of visitor numbers, with 120,000 attendees on trade days and 160,000 on the public weekend – almost on par with the grand total of 285,000 from 2008, although the slight decline was somewhat expected within trade circles due to the economic climate.

The show also contributed approximately $30 million to the local economy around the British town of Farnborough, according to Shaun Ormrod, chief executive of FIL. “We thank all our guests at this year’s show for attending and contributing to a successful airshow. We hope very much to see them again in 2012,” he concludes.

Fresh from its record purchase of Airbus A380s at the Berlin Air Show earlier this year, Emirates continued its spending spree at Farnborough, with an order worth $9.1 billion at list price for an additional 30 Boeing 777-300ERs.

With a signing ceremony that was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Emirates – together with Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh - the new order adds to the fleet of 71 777-300ERs previously ordered, of which 53 aircraft are currently in service. Boeing scored again with a Royal Jordanian order for three additional 787s.

Also stealing a considerable share of the limelight, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker hosted two press conferences to reveal additional aircraft orders for his corporate jet division, Qatar Executive, and announce further details of Boeing 787 deliveries and confirmed orders for additional Boeing 777s.

The carrier rounded off its participation with a show-stopping presence at the static display, attracting large crowds to its passenger aircraft, including the Boeing 777-300.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways and Airbus participated in a handover ceremony at the exhibition to celebrate the first A330-200 freighter aircraft to be produced, attended by James Hogan and Tom Enders, the respective chief executives of both companies.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is the launch customer of freighter model, which will enter service for Etihad Crystal Cargo in September this year.

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Etihad handover ceremony for A330-200 freighter
Etihad Airways and Airbus participated in a handover ceremony at Farnborough International Air Show to celebrate the first A330-200 freighter to be produced.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline is the launch customer of the A330-200 freighter aircraft, which will enter service for its cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in September.

“Over the last quarter, there was an 18% increase in cargo tonnage carried by Etihad, reflecting the strengthening recovery in our industry. We are focused on taking the right steps to achieve strong expansion and growth,” says James Hogan, CEO of Etihad.

“The new aircraft will become a key part of our freighter fleet and make a major contribution to building the strength and network of our cargo business. The additional capacity will help significantly expand our footprint in Asia and Europe, including China, as well as enhancing our worldwide charter services.”

Etihad’s A330-200 freighter aircraft can carry up to 64 metric tonnes of cargo and can fly up to 7,400 kilometres non-stop , according to Tom Enders, CEO and president of Airbus.

“This aircraft will allow Etihad’s cargo business to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets,” he says. “Overall, the recovery of freight traffic is gaining significant momentum and this aircraft gives operators like Etihad Crystal Cargo the best product for maximising returns.”

Emirates reveals US$9.1 billion Boeing 777-300ER order
Emirates placed an order with Boeing for an additional 30 777-300ER aircraft, worth approximately US$9.1 billion in list prices.

With a signing ceremony at Farnborough airshow that was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Emirates – together with Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh - the new order adds to the fleet of 71 777-300ERs previously ordered, of which 53 aircraft are currently in service.

“Our latest deal signals Emirates’ confidence in the growth of the thriving aviation sector and our commitment to building a modern, environmentally efficient fleet for tomorrow,” says Sheikh Ahmed.

The 777-300ER will be operated in a three-class configuration, with eight first class suites, 42 business class seats and 310 economy class seats.

“Emirates is today one of the world’s leading airlines, thanks in part to the 777. Its ambitious expansion plans have established itself as a global force in the aviation sector,” adds Albaugh.

“Emirates has played an important role in the 777’s success with its significant support of the programme and valuable feedback over the years. Today’s order serves to underscore the airline’s confidence in the airplane, which forms the mainstay of its fleet.”

Qatar Airways orders Boeing 777 aircraft at Farnborough airshow
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker hosted two press conferences at Farnborough International Airshow 2010, announcing additional aircraft orders for its corporate jet division, Qatar Executive, and confirming orders for two additional Boeing 777s.

The Doha-based airline also revealed a revised delivery schedule of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with the first to arrive from the fourth quarter of 2011 to help meet early aircraft requirements.

Speaking at the exhibition, Al Baker explained that the airline was continuing with its ambitious growth plans, undeterred by the difficult global economic situation.

“Air travel demand is continuing to rise in the Middle East and it is becoming clear that international demand is returning as the global economy shows signs of recovery,” he says.

“We continue to invest in new aircraft and new routes and will be well positioned for the upturn in air travel with a fleet fully optimised for economic and environmentally friendly operations.”

The national carrier rounded off its participation at this year’s Farnborough Airshow with a show-stopping presence attracting large crowds at its passenger aircraft on static display.

“The Boeing 777 has become the cornerstone of our fleet. It is a tool for profitability, but also a platform for delivering the highest customer satisfaction,” says Al Baker.

“The additional two Boeing 777-200 LRs will help us open up new ultra long-haul markets as we expand and identify new opportunities further.”

Royal Jordanian makes B787 order at Farnborough
Boeing and Royal Jordanian signed an order for three 787-8s at Farnborough International Airshow. The purchase is worth around US$500 million at list prices and was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website.

“The superior economics and range capability of the 787 will allow us to competitively serve North America and other destinations in our network from Amman,” says Hussein Dabbas, president and CEO of Royal Jordanian.
“The unique passenger appeal of the 787 will enable us to provide a competitive advantage in the markets we serve.”

Royal Jordanian, which was the first airline in the Middle East to order the 787 Dreamliner, has committed to 11 of the aircraft.

The national carrier placed its first orders for four 787s in 2007 and also has arranged to lease two airplanes each from CIT Aerospace and International Lease Finance.

“This commitment to the 787 by Royal Jordanian will allow for expanded routes and a customer experience second to none,” states Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will work closely with Royal Jordanian as the airplane prepares to enter service and delight passengers.”

Bahrain Civil Aviation renews Farnborough alliance
His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, chairman of Bahrain International Airshow’s Supreme Organising Committee, signed an agreement with Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) to formalise a partnership for the joint organisation of the next Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS), which will take place between 19 – 21 January 2012 in the Kingdom.

“Bahrain is proud to be extending its partnership with Farnborough International Ltd following the success of this year’s inaugural Airshow,” states Sheikh Abdulla.

“The 2012 Bahrain International Airshow will continue to deliver a personalised event, focused on the industry itself, free of traditional flying and demonstration limitations due to the airshow’s unique location and bespoke facilities.”

The event, which made its debut in January 2010, is designed to deliver access to high-level delegations and provide opportunities for various demonstration flights from Sakhir Airbase, the airshow’s purpose-built home.

“Aside from Bahrain’s historic association with aviation, BIAS has continued to forge even stronger links between Bahrain and a number of international aerospace organisations who, like many other global businesses, see Bahrain as a natural gateway to the Gulf’s trillion-dollar market,” continues Sheikh Abdulla.

“Bahrain’s own investment in aviation is growing rapidly; from aircraft to training and maintenance to airport infrastructure, the Kingdom continues to embrace the economic advantages of this rapidly growing sector and BIAS has a significant role to play in strengthening this focus.”

Gulf Air has once again been signed as official carrier for the airshow and Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) as ground handling service provider.

Mubadala Aerospace to Form MRO venture in Abu Dhabi with Goodrich
Mubadala Aerospace has signed a an agreement with Goodrich Corporation to establish a joint venture company for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work on landing gears in the UAE.

Completion of the agreement is anticipated within the next 12 months, with the target of having the Middle East’s first dedicated landing gear facility fully operational by 2012.

“This agreement emphasises the continued development of Mubadala Aerospace’s global MRO network. In Goodrich we have a relationship with one of the world’s top aerospace companies that brings their expertise to a new regional hub in the Middle East,” says Homaid Al Shemmari, executive director of Mubadala Aerospace.

“The region already has the world’s largest concentration of wide body aircraft and the new facility will deliver much needed landing gear capability for our customers.”

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