• Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

The airline industry braces for take-off as Farnborough Airport is ready for post-Covid return

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Jul 1, 2022

When organizers of the Farnborough International Airshow got down to planning their post-Covid-19 return in 2022, they were pleasantly surprised by a new trend among exhibitors: the demand for more space to showcase their latest technologies to buyers, investors and decision makers.

The enthusiasm and abandonment of the small-scale demands and demands presented by companies at the pre-pandemic fair suggests an industry-wide eagerness to expand and enter new spheres in the post-pandemic climate. -pandemic. One of the results is a new 800-seat theater on the site site.

Major players in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries are gearing up for the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, which is expected to draw up to 80,000 people to the small town in Hampshire, south- East of England, July 18-22. About 1,000 exhibitors from across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia have registered to showcase their products and services, and organizers expect that number to rise with the latest additions. minute.

Seventy percent of exhibiting companies come from abroad, although Russian companies will not appear among the rows of stands this year following a ban announced earlier this year.

Airbus, Boeing, Boom Supersonic, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation will be among the companies drawing attention to their latest technologies.

The trade show will take place under unique circumstances, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and amid the recovery of the industry from the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis forced Farnborough to be canceled in 2020, and the Paris Air Show, which is held every other year, was canceled in 2021.

Now, with the industry on the right track to recovery, Farnborough International chief executive Gareth Rogers said the show will serve as a bigger platform for key figures to hold crucial conversations about this the future holds for their sector, as well as a chance to promote their latest technologies. Trade pacts, investment agreements and joint ventures will be struck in the halls of the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Center where representatives from over 60 governments will mingle with business owners, investors, military delegates and innovators.

“Anecdotally, we’re hearing great excitement,” Rogers said. “This is the first opportunity for the industry to come together [in Europe] for three years.”

“I don’t think you’ll see any real tangible difference from what you’ve seen at airshows. [pre-Covid],” he added. “In terms of visitor numbers, again, we’re expecting some of the visitor numbers in what we’ve had at previous shows, so 70,000 to 80,000 markers over the course of the week in terms of people visiting.

“For me, the headline is that the players you expect to see are on the same level.”

The list of speakers includes Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, Charles Woodburn of BAE Systems, Guillaume Faury of Airbus and Mireille Goyer, founder of Women in Aviation. The willingness of key influencers from the aerospace, defense, security and space industries to come forward to speak speaks to the companies’ enthusiasm for working to improve their industries, not just their own businesses, Rogers said.

Guests will be invited to attend lectures in the newly constructed multi-level theater and those wishing to pursue careers in the industries represented at the show can search for opportunities on a job board. The week-long event will also include a flight and demonstration show which will see the most advanced aircraft take to the skies above Farnborough.

Aerospace in the spotlight

Kevin Craven, chief executive of the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Group (ADS) – the trade organization representing these industries in the UK – said an important aim was to promote the show as a UK asset . ‘If the government wants Global Britain, you have no better opportunity to demonstrate that than at Farnborough,’ he said.

As the aerospace industry spanning Britain and beyond is set to play a bigger role in the global fight against climate change, Farnborough offers a golden opportunity for traders to get noticed and find solutions to problems that affect the sector.

Mr Craven said the UK government needed to think ahead and invest in technology which will be vital to helping the country reach its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As fuel d Sustainable Aviation (SAF) will be an essential bridge to achieving this goal, now is the right time to act.

“The small bets you are placing now as the UK government will have a massive effect down the line and it is certainly more than ever the kind of regional competition requirement that is going to happen,” Mr Craven said. “So there are things the government can do.

“To allow the quantities we would need in Britain, the government needs to put the legislation in place this year, really. Contracts for difference and the regulations around it, we need those things in place in order to build the infrastructure to deliver the sustainable fuels that will be needed to bridge the technology.

Aerotron, a Cambridge-based company that uses carbon fiber and fiberglass to manufacture civil and military helicopter parts as well as missile components, will be among hundreds of aerospace names to appear in the lobby. ‘exposure. Neil Hillier, sales manager for the family business, hopes the business will benefit from the exposure the airshow provides as it plans to expand in the near future.

“I’ve been going to airshows for 20 years and I’m pretty happy this is the first post-Covid,” he said. The National. “I think we’ve all been through a really tough time during the pandemic…and now there’s a return to the world.

“For us, we are going to have a delegation from an American company to whom we could supply parts. They will come and visit us at our stand.

Hillier said that, like others in the industry, Aerotron has experienced delays in product deliveries in recent months as the global economy reopens from shutdowns and the war in Ukraine continues. But he pointed out that the company had “a full order book” and was seeing an appetite for business among customers.

Strengthening defense links between Britain and the Middle East

According to organisers, Farnborough will open the doors to increased trade between UK and Middle Eastern businesses, bringing mutual benefits and strengthening ties. A delegation from the United Arab Emirates will be part of the groups coming from the Gulf countries to attend the show.

“Traditionally, the Farnborough Airshow over the past 20 to 30 years has focused primarily on Western Europe and the United States in terms of its major markets,” Mr Craven said. The National. “The world has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. One of our main markets is the Middle East. This is an absolutely major area that we need to focus on in commercial terms for us, but also to understand what they have to say, to understand what they are trying to achieve. They are a major global player like they weren’t 20 years ago. It’s a truly global spectacle and the Middle East is an integral part of it.

Having recently returned from a trip to the Middle East as part of a British delegation aimed at increasing defense trade, Mr Craven said: ‘We have seen huge traffic between the two areas and that is great. to see the British government address this”.

Farnborough organizers have seen renewed interest in all defense aspects of the show as the war in Ukraine continues to dominate geopolitical discussions.

“I expect an increase in demand, resupply, change in style of demand as well as in terms of adapting to new tactics and logistical requirements that we have seen in Ukraine,” Craven said. “And then longer term, I think you’re going to see not just European defense budgets, but other global defense budgets going up. We’ve seen people at the Saudi World Defense Show talking about this already.

British armed police patrol among US military aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow.  Reuters

What’s on the program?

Farnborough will feature a ‘Space Zone’ bringing together some of the industry’s leading innovators and a ‘Global Aerospace Forum’, which will bring together finance, governments, climate experts, start-ups, manufacturers and their chains supply chain to drive action in the fight against the climate crisis.

The “Airline Leaders Summit” will focus on the challenges of the aviation industry and the road to recovery, while the “Research and Development Zone” will focus on opening conversations between universities, industry leaders and promising engineers and scientists.

The week will culminate with “Trailblazers of Tomorrow” day on Friday, which focuses on the next generation of workers to meet the growing demands of the sectors. It will be open to students, apprentices, graduates and young professionals and will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (Steam).

Updated: July 01, 2022, 6:15 p.m.

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