Farnborough Airshow 2022: Boeing, Airbus Steals Eye Balls

The airshow opened on a positive note despite transportation disruption and weather warning. While aerospace companies will be demonstrating the strong civil demand, the industry in the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will seek attention to rising defence spending

By Girish Linganna

Civil Aviation, Top Stories

As the aerospace industry swelters at its most significant event since COVID-19 this week, an attempt to support the troubled 737 MAX 10 and 777X jetliners was made by Boeing with orders officially worth over $15 billion from Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines.

At the Farnborough Airshow 2022, which opened on Monday, July 18, 2022 – the company striked earlier, after months of negotiations on its largest 737 with Delta, the American planemaker, competing to hold onto its duopoly with Europe’s Airbus.

Back in March, media reports revealed that a purchase of around 100 MAX 10 was under consideration by Delta while in the previous week, the airline was reportedly in talks for ordering around 12 more Airbus A220s in a deal which would be revealed on Tuesday, July 19.

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Despite the worst downturn in their history as Britain melts, Aerospace companies will try to demonstrate that civil demand is still strong while the industry might gather in the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that raises attention to rising defence spending 

On the other hand, Lufthansa of Germany is most likely to lock a deal for 10 large Boeing freighters, including seven of the 777x cargo version which were recently introduced, as per sources.

None of the parties had earlier commented before the show that was going on despite a transportation disruption and weather warning brought on by forecasts for record-breaking high temperatures.

Despite the worst downturn in their history as Britain melts, Aerospace companies will try to demonstrate that civil demand is still strong while the industry might gather in the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that raises attention to rising defence spending.

Earlier Intimations

Boeing revealed forecasts for largely stable civil airplanes on Sunday, July 17. As per delegates, despite this, many agreements will be formal or tentative signings of business already underway while for reduction in emissions in support of a shared goal of net zero emissions by 2050, almost all will be marketed as contributions to the same.

With this, the 56 Airbus A320neos, recently purchased by EasyJet, was also expected to receive shareholder approval, putting the airline on Farnborough’s radar. Etihad has ordered around seven A350 freighters although no word was yet given on whether they will be unveiled at the show.

What’s about the Airshows?

Usually, Airshow conferences are dreary and most of the aviation journalists, by and large, come up with timid and even tame questions. This majorly happens because of them sharing close buds with top corporate echelons and the entire thing sums up as a bit of a charade since the reworked press release is about par for the course. On a general base, pretty much bland and vanilla; rewrite a few words and let us get to the chalet for lunch. There are more scoops in ice cream than there are in the reportage of an airshow.

On largely two occasions, this predictable course changes, these are Press conferences conducted by Airbus and Boeing. At the end, some juicy quotes, less tension on the superlatives and higher on slanging each other off. It is a heady combination of scorn, facts and the casting of doubt while there is a standing room only. Usually, these two events occur on a common day and offer much excitement and hilarity and if one or both descend into the realm of mockery or rudeness, that is the high spot for potentially the five-day airfest.

However, a mess of the old dynamics have been made in these past four years and even there is paradoxically this massive surge in traffic and demand, the industry faces issues that were never on the cards. That is exactly what turns this airshow into an unusual milestone as it comes up as much a pilgrimage and also a reality check.

Carrying The Story Ahead

Poland’s LOT is reviewing the proposals from its current suppliers, Embraer, Airbus and Boeing and engine companies but might be unable to come to a conclusion at the show. This refutes a rumour that the airline has already chosen Airbus, said source close to the negotiations.

However, a mess of the old dynamics have been made in these past four years and even there is paradoxically this massive surge in traffic and demand, the industry faces issues that were never on the cards. That is exactly what turns this airshow into an unusual milestone as it comes up as much a pilgrimage and also a reality check 

The demand for jets remained strong after reaching its peak in 2016 until the COVID-19 pandemic’s wrath was witnessed by air travel. Now that the travel is picking up pace and passengers have long lines, some jets have again coined them in the list of high demand.

However, apart from Delta’s anticipated MAX order, the bigger orders that notably dominated the previous events are now becoming comparatively less frequent as airlines strengthen balance sheets damaged by COVID-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions.

Boeing and Airbus representatives flew to India, before the event, in a hunt of a potential $50 billion blockbuster from the Tata Group that stands as the owner of Air India. It is looking at 30–70 widebodies and 200–300 narrowbodies from different suppliers, but sources said that for the time being, hopes of a sizzling order to match this week’s temperature are on hold.

Hence, The MAX 10 and 777X, which Boeing intended to fly in a scaled-down Farnborough display, somewhere garnered the most attention.

Major Turbulence

Both the aircrafts are causing a lot of trouble for Boeing as it struggles with regulatory issues following a two-year safety crisis that was brought on by crashes of a smaller MAX.

Unless and until the Congress waives it, Boeing has until December to secure an approval for the 737 MAX 10 which has met new cockpit alerting requirements and is the most prominent member of its single-aisle family.

However, apart from Delta’s anticipated MAX order, the bigger orders that notably dominated the previous events are now becoming comparatively less frequent as airlines strengthen balance sheets damaged by COVID-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions

On the other hand, Chief Executive Dave Calhoun had said that the 737 MAX 10 could be scrapped. This could heavily affect the entire industry including Airbus, Boeing’s long-term rival, which does not want to be drawn into a premature race to develop new aircraft.

On Sunday, the head of Boeing’s commercial division, Stan Deal told the reporters that it is “not a high probability path” to cancel the MAX 10, which as per the analysts is essential to compete with Boeing’s rival Airbus’ A321neo’s strong sales.

According to the deal, Boeing is almost ready to ship its first 787 in a year, following a string of production and regulatory issues.

Leaders in the aerospace industry will face pressure this week to address issues with supply chains and a rise in the inflation that casts severe doubts on both consumer demand and input costs.

The current market leader Airbus continues its plans to further accelerate the production of the single-aisle A320neo to 75 jets per month by 2025 from its current 50, despite concerns from some suppliers.

– The writer is an Aerospace and Defence Analyst & Director ADD Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd (An Indo- German Company). The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda

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