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First day of Farnborough shows promise

Ahead of the Farnborough International Air Show it would have been fair to assume that Brexit may have put a dampener on proceedings, but instead it was the torrential downpour that did just that, causing the event to cancel flight displays and close its doors early.

However, despite the weather, many multi-million and -billion dollar deals were penned, several of which involved British manufacturer, Rolls-Royce.

Yesterday (July 11), during day one, the engine OEM announced that it would purchase the outstanding 53.1% shareholding in Industria de Turbo Propulsores, currently owned by SENER, for the huge sum of £7bn. It also won a $900m order from Virgin Atlantic for its Trent engines and TotalCare long-term services for 12 of the airline’s A350 aircraft.

Richard Branson was even on hand to show off the latest additions to his Virgin Atlantic fleet, arriving in one of the airline’s new A350 XWB aircraft, which are 30% more fuel and carbon efficient than the aircraft they replace.  

In a statement released by Branson yesterday, he said: “Our order, valued at $4.4 billion, for 12 of the aircraft is a real investment in the future of the airline, our customers and our people.

It is part of a fleet modernisation programme, which will see 50 per cent of Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft replaced over six years. As Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger added, we will be creating “one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky”.

Several other airlines and lessors including: Xiamen Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Air Côte d’Ivoire and Air Lease Corporation, also marked their commitment to a greener future by purchasing next-generation models like the 737-MAX, A320neo and A350 XWB.

On the same day Boeing announced the largest commercial services order in its history following the news that Norwegian has committed to GoldCare coverage for its 737 MAX fleet. The airline also expanded coverage for its entire 787 Dreamliner fleet.

While Airbus won its first direct purchase contract with Vietnamese carrier, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, after the airline signed a MoU for 10 A320ceo aircraft.

Thus, with business looking good, it was no surprise to hear that both of the major aircraft OEMs have high hopes for the future, with Boeing predicting that 39,620 new aircraft will be needed in the next 20 years and Airbus forecasting 33,000 during the same period.

So, even though Britain is currently experiencing economic uncertainty, the events at Farnborough, so far, certainly show the aviation business to be a strong one.

TAGS: Airframes
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