Shadows cast by 737 MAX grounding and the China-US trade problems loom over the Paris Air Show, but the world’s largest and oldest air show will not be short on excitement, even though the number of air show orders may end up being considerably lower than that at the Farnborough show last year, or the 2017 edition in Paris.
According to aviation consultancy IBA Group, the Paris air show orders could be half of what the 2018 Farnborough Air Show yielded. Dr Stuart Hatcher, chief operating officer, MD-Aviation Services for IBA, says that firm and MOU orders combined could be as low as 450.
The major reason for the expected steep decline in the number of orders is the worldwide grounding of the 737 Max aircraft, which is Boeing’s bestseller. The company will be more focused this time on damage control and would be looking to reassure the industry that it is only a matter of time before the aircraft is re-certified and back in the air. Another factor that will play into a fall in the number of new orders is that both Boeing and Airbus are already dealing with a huge backlog of orders.
Another issue that will generate a lot of interest and debate at the show is the deal between United Technologies Corp and Raytheon Company to form Raytheon Technologies, which was announced earlier this month. Also among the highlights is France and Germany unveiling a mock-up of a proposed new fighter jet and signing a deal with its development. Industry watchers are of the opinion that development in the areas of electric aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would also garner attention at the event that will conclude on June 23.