Farnborough Airshow orders top $28b
FARNBOROUGH, England — Plane makers notched up orders worth more than $28 billion at the Farnborough International Airshow by the close of the event’s third day, underscoring a revival in commercial aviation even as budget cuts keep the defense sector in the doldrums.
New deals announced yesterday included orders for Airbus jets from Berlin-based airline Germania and Indonesian national carrier Garuda, while Middle Eastern airline Qatar agreed to a deal with Boeing to take earlier delivery of the US company’s fuel-efficient 787 jetliner.
“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,’’ Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways chief executive, said at Farnborough, which ends Sunday.
“Commercial business travel is so dependent on innovation that there will always be opportunities,’’ Baker added. “Each downturn is an upturn somewhere else.’’
Orders at the show are well off the record-breaking $88.7 billion in deals announced at Farnborough in 2008, but the gathering has exceeded the slow orders for commercial planes, about $7 billion worth, at its sister show Le Bourget, near Paris, last year.
The International Air Transport Association recently forecast that the global industry would make a small profit of $2.5 billion this year, after a huge loss of $9.4 billion in 2009 — a quick improvement from its predictions last year of more losses this year.
“The number of orders shows that the economic recovery is on its way,’’ said Max Sukkhasantikul, Commercial Aviation Consulting analyst.
More than 1,000 exhibitors from 38 countries are at Farnborough, with delegations from Egypt, Taiwan, and Morocco attending for the first time. Organizers also cited stronger interest from China and Russia.
Boeing confirmed deals with Air Austral, a French airline, and Qatar worth just over $1 billion total.