• Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

Lack of order bonanza at Farnborough reflects mood in airline industry | Newsletter

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Jul 22, 2022

While Qatar Airways did its best to change the narrative of the usually calm fourth day of the Farnborough Air Show on Thursday, it remained that the event did not deliver the order bonanza that some were expecting.

Notably, all pre-show talks about a flurry of Asia-Pacific orders – with Indian carriers among those earmarked for announcements – had come to naught as the trade portion of the show drew to a close.

Delta Air Lines caught the eye with a deal for 100 737 Max 10s and Boeing no doubt showed some much-needed momentum, but the event’s total order count was still far lower than seen at any time. gathering of Farnborough or Paris since the start of FlightGlobal records in 2013.

As if aware of gaps in the schedule, there were seemingly random reaffirmations of orders that everyone was already aware of, including VietJet’s deal for 200 Boeing 737 Max – a deal that dates back to 2016 .

There was also a sense that, particularly in the case of Airbus, there was little desire to turn the show into a festival of orders.

As Airbus Commercial Director Christian Scherer pointed out on Wednesday: “We have exceeded 500 orders so far this year and we are very pleased with that.”

These orders include a huge commitment from Chinese carriers for A320neo aircraft, announced on the eve of the show.

And Scherer adds that Airbus was undertaking many discussions with potential customers behind the scenes at the event.

In many ways, an orderless event seems fitting for an airline industry still emerging from its greatest crisis ever while facing a series of new economic and other challenges.

Speaking about those challenges as United Airlines announced its second quarter results on Wednesday, chief executive Scott Kirby said: “It’s good to get back to profitability – but we face three risks that could increase over the next six months. to next 18 months.

“Industry-wide operational challenges that limit system capacity, record fuel prices and the growing possibility of a global recession are each real challenges we are already facing.”