UK airshow off to flying start

Boeing and Airbus take large orders on first day at Farnborough airshow.

    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is one of the show's main attractions [AFP]

    "I think what you're going to find this week is that both Airbus and the Boeing company will be announcing quite a number of orders," Jim Albaugh, the chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said.

    Emerging markets

    Albaugh added that Boeing and Airbus could be facing increased competition from emerging markets for their smaller civilian planes.

    "You've got [plane manufacturers] Comac in China, Embraer in Brazil, Bombardier in Canada, Mitsubishi in Japan and you may have somebody from Russia.

    "Our assumption is that they will be successful in developing aeroplanes. The first aeroplane might not be a great one but by the time they do their second and third one they'll probably have very competitive aeroplanes in the market."

    Farnborough hosts the massive aviation and arms jamboree every other year, rotating with Le Bourget near Paris.

    The star attraction is likely to be the fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a plane now in testing and built from light-weight composite materials.

    It arrived on Sunday, thrilling crowds of aviation enthusiasts. The mid-sized aircraft - Boeing's first new model in a decade - is capable of flying long-haul routes with up to 20 per cent less fuel.

    Airbus will be showing off its A400M military transporter plane and attempting to draw a line under its own delays and cost overruns with a marketing ploy over the plane's name.

    Analysts expect the event to be more upbeat than last year's sister show in Le Bourget, but are not expexting the record-breaking $88.7bn worth of orders
    announced in Farnborough in 2008.

    "A lot depends on if the economic recovery continues, if there is a double dip in the recession, then all bets are off," Raymond Jaworowski from Forecast International said.

    "We should start to see orders accelerate late this year."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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