The Paris Air Show begins on June 15 and we’ll be there.
We’re attending the EADS media day on the 13th and will extend our stay through Tuesday (the show runs through Friday). We don’t expect much in the way of orders. The biggest anticipation will be whether Boeing will fly the 787 before or during (not “at”) the show.
Here are things as we understand them going into the show:
- Airbus: don’t expect much. Word on the street is that there will be an announcement out of the Middle East from Airbus, but we also get hints that this might be another announcement of a previously announced deal for which a firm contract is now signed. Airbus drives everybody crazy with these reannouncements, but in this economic environment you take what you can get. There appear to be a few more announcements on the boards for Airbus. We think these might be “original” announcements. Airbus was widely expected to announce the test results for A320 blended winglets at the Air Show. The company said at its Airbus Innovations Days press briefing that results were being reviewed and should be ready in 4-6 weeks, timing that worked for for the Air Show. We understand now this analysis may or may not be completed by then. But we understand it is unlikely (as this is written) that there will be any winglet program launch at the Air Show.
- Airbus, Part 2: Unfortunately, the Air France A330-200 disappearance over the South Atlantic will certainly be a topic at the press conference.
- Airbus, Part 3: With the EADS military transport unit now part of Airbus, somewhere, someplace there ought to be a discussion of the program status of the KC-330 MRTT being developed for Australia. This may come up at the EADS media day instead of the Air Show. The program has further delays. Delays in MRTT will likely be a bashing point on behalf of or by Boeing in the new KC-X tanker competition–the RFP is expected in July. So Airbus/EADS/Northrop Grumman and Boeing may talk about this. In fact, Northrop almost certainly will: it has scheduled a tanker briefing that is, unfortunately, at the same time as the Boeing IDS briefing.
- Boeing: Will it or won’t it? It would be great to see the 787 fly before or during the show, giving Boeing some great headlines. But we don’t think so. We still think the bird is more likely to fly after the show, closer to the end of the month. Expect a few orders to be announced, but not many customers and not many unit numbers. Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has publicly stated he’s been negotiating with Airbus and Boeing for 200 single-aisle airplanes, but Airbus’ John Leahy has now twice said the are no negotiations at Airbus. We don’t get the sense at this time that a Boeing order is close enough to a Paris announcement, though.
- Boeing, Part 2: With the KC-X program gearing up again (see Airbus, Part 3), Boeing’s tanker plans will clearly be a point of discussion: KC-767AT, a tanker based on the 767-400 or one based on the KC-777 (answer: “it depends on the RFP.”) Delivery, or lack thereof, of the KC-767J and KC-767I will also be a topic. Boeing IDS also took a big hit in the proposed US DOD budget, so look for questions here.
- CFM International. The company at Farnborough made some good news by extending for 40 more years the partnership between GE and France’s Safran/Snecma; the development of the LEAP-X; and a number of orders. There will be a product update and some orders.
- Rolls-Royce will likely give an update of its Open Rotor research and other designs for the single-aisle airplane successor.
- Pratt & Whitney: it’s all GTF all the time.
- Bombardier: we don’t know if it will be ready for the Air Show, but the company does expect more CSeries orders this year. We can say there will not be one from Delta Airlines (NWA) at the air show or even likely this year.
- In addition to the Airbus Middle East order, we expect a major announcement at the show involving the Middle East.
Overall, this should be a pretty boring event.