Aviation industry likely to recover in 2010

15:30, November 20, 2009      

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The 11th 2009 Dubai International Air Show, running from Nov. 15 to 19 , has come to an end. Data released by the Airshow Committee indicate that the turnover is not so optimistic or encouraging despite the majority of exhibitors having announced the signing of several large orders. Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy expressed the belief that aviation industry will probably recover in 2010 with a gradual pick-up of global economy.

During the five-day air show, exhibition floor booth has been filled to capacity by about 900 exhibitors from 48 countries and regions around the world. The United States Boeing and Airbus in Europe are among the 114 enthusiastic exhibitors.

In stark contrast with an immense scale in which nearly 5 million visitors were maintained, nevertheless, the number of orders placed during the show diminished or shrinked significantly; there were few ultimate defined orders, and their total value for the deals was less than at the previous shows.

As of Thursday morning, the European Airbus had signed three orders, involving 24 aircraft of various types with a total transaction value of approximately 4.2 billion US dollars. By virtue it once again became the biggest winner of the Dubai Air Show, but there was an apparent decline in term of both quantity and value of the orders attained.

At the preceeding Tenth Air Show in 2007, Airbus's confirmed orders for various types of aircraft were worth 28 billion US dollars, with the outcome jumping out to the front. And as its strongest competitor, Boeing's success in the current fair harvested the order of Algeria's two airlines, which confirmed for 11 Boeing 737-740 aircraft with a total value of about 891 million US dollars.

Airshow organizers told local media in an interview that the latest exhibition and orders are in an apparent low ebb if compared with a total turnover of 110.5 billion US dollars and the delivery of more than 650 aircraft of various types at the 2007 show.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATTA), maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) fell in September 2009 by 5.3 percent year-on-year to approximately 2.3 million metric tons, and the global airline industry was expected to lose 11 billion dollars this year.

Global economy went into drastic decline last year, causing severe problems for the airline industry, noted John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers. Speaking at Dubai Air Show on Sunday, Nov. 15, he however said, there were a "sign of recovery in the industry" next year along with the pick-up of world economy.

Meanwhile, Randy Tinseth, Airbus vice-president of Sales, Marketing and In-service Support, made a similar forecast. "Next year will be a year of economic recovery, 2011 will be a year of profits making, and will probably increase their demand for new airlines," Tinseth said.

With regard to the performance of both Airbus and Boeing, their representatives at the scene of Dubai Airs Show agreed that both companies are likely to deliver the same number or a few more units this year than in 2008, and this could also lay a crucial basis for forecasting a pick up in the global aviation industry.

Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East have become the greatest driving force for the aviation industry to pick up in 2011. "Asia-Pacific region is to become leading aviation market in 20 years, as well as a new center of the world aviation market in the next two decades, predicted Kenneth G. Yata, the vice-president of Business Development Boeing (China) Co. Currently, he noted, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 32 percent of the world's air passenger market and, by 2028, the share is likely to rise to 41 percent.

Moreover, the Dubai Air Show witnessed an interest in the demand for fighter planes owing to the unique regional situation and political atmosphere in the Gulf region over recent years, according to aviation experts. So, military planes displayed at the Dubai Air Show by the United States, Russia, France, Britain and a few other nations aroused public interest of quite a few Gulf countries. For example, the F-22 Raptor Stealth jets from Rockheed Company and Rafale combat jets from France have become a bright spot at the show.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD overseas resident reporter Li Xiao
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