Paris Air Show sales yield unsurprisingly low

19th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Paris Air Show yielded only a handful of big sales with airlines not willing to pay billions of dollars in the midst of global recession.

Le Bourget – The Paris Air Show yielded only a handful of big sales with airlines in no mood to shell out billions of dollars in the midst of global recession.

In the four days starting Monday reserved for dealmaking, European manufacturer Airbus announced just three major orders worth a total of EUR 4.3 billion (USD 6.0 billion).

US rival Boeing's haul was limited to two planes at a total catalogue price of USD 153 million.

During the 2007 edition of the biennial show, and well before the onset of an economic crisis that would drain demand for aircraft and air travel, Airbus and Boeing won 800 orders worth more than USD 100 billion.

The show, 100 years old this year, will now open its doors to the general public for three days starting Friday.

Crowds of visitors will inspect planes, helicopters and weaponry on display, craning their necks to watch some of the aircraft in action over Le Bourget, near Paris.

"We were not expecting very much and there wasn't very much, with airlines still hesitant," said analyst Yan Derocles of Oddo Securities.

"There is no consensus on a recovery," he added.

Another analyst, Zafar Khan of Societe Generale bank, said he had been surprised by the fact that "neither Airbus nor Boeing seems very worried about 2010."

Senior officials from both companies earlier this week said they saw hope for a rebound in the global aviation sector next year.

"We find that puzzling, given that the current decline in air traffic is going to lead to net and operational losses," Khan said.

Just ahead of the Paris show, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted an 8.0 percent decline in passenger numbers this year to 2.06 billion compared with 2008 and said airlines could lose USD 9.0 billion, almost double the estimate three months ago.

Khan predicted that under these circumstances, airlines will likely have to reduce capacity, serving fewer destinations less frequently or with smaller planes -- a situation hardly conducive to big ticket purchases.

AFP / Expatica

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