Paris Air Show 2015: preview

Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier to fight it out in the single aisle category as defence companies decide to skip Paris altogether

The Airbus A400M at the Paris Air Show 2013. Airbus has confirmed that the troubled aircraft will be on display at the Paris Air Show 2015 - image courtesy of Wikicommons.
The Airbus A400M at the Paris Air Show 2013. Airbus has confirmed that the troubled aircraft will be on display at the Paris Air Show 2015 - image courtesy of Wikicommons.

The 51st International Paris Air Show 2015 gets underway this week with the much-anticipated showcase of the world’s aircraft, aerospace and military industries running from June 15-21 .

More than 2,200 exhibitors are expected to attend the Paris Air Show 2015, including industry heavyweights Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, and GE Aviation.

Airbus and Boeing are set to face off for contracts during this year’s edition of the world’s oldest air show. Demand is being driven by airlines eager for new-generation, energy efficient planes, which both companies will look to capitalise on during this week’s show.

Shortfall in orders predicted

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity have predicted that a total of around 300 orders will be signed by the two companies.

By comparison, during last year’s Farnborough International Air Show, Airbus secured orders for 486 aircraft valued at $75bn, while Boeing secured orders for 201 aircraft valued at $40.2bn.

Although single-aisle planes are likely to take the lion’s share of the Paris Air Show 2015 orders, Airbus and Boeing will also battle for a slice of the wide body market, with Airbus’ wide-body A350 the star of the last Paris Air Show in 2013.

Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier unveiled its new C Series aircraft yesterday, just prior to the show.

The company will use the Paris Air Show 2015 to showcase its $5.4bn C Series program, with the company’s CS 100 to participate in the show’s high-profile aerial displays each day this week.

The C Series are larger than the regional jets that the company has previously manufactured, with seating capabilities ranging from 100 to 160.

As well as the CS 100, Bombardier’s CS 300, CRJ-1000 regional jet, Q400 turbo prop and Global 6000 corporate jet will also be on display this week in Paris.

Defence companies steer clear of Paris

Defence Israelan system Iron Dome at Paris Air Show 2013 - image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Defence Israelan system Iron Dome at Paris Air Show 2013 – image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Despite interest from airplane manufacturers such as Bombardier, the number of defence companies in attendance is set to be down on previous years.

Companies such as BAE Systems, Eurofighter, Northrop Grumman and Saab have chosen not to attend the Paris Air Show 2015.

The missing defence companies are reportedly following a new policy of targeting smaller shows closer to their customers.

Still plenty to see at Paris Air Show 2015

Among the new attractions at this year’s Paris Air Show are the Dassault Falcon 8X business jet, Textron AirLand Scorpion jet trainer, Cessna Grand Caravan EX special missions demonstrator and the Airbus E-Fan electric aircraft.

Despite these debutants, the overall number of aircraft on display this year, 100, is down from the 150 which were exhibited at the 2013 show. However, as always, a huge range of aerospace industry exhibitors will be showing off their latest new products (see full list here).

The centrepiece of this year’s show is expected to be Airbus’s long-range A350, which will fly displays daily.

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft - image courtesy of Airbus.
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft – image courtesy of Airbus.

Among its many products which feature prominently on display, Airbus will look to sell more of its A380 super-jumbo, after only 317 sales since its launch 10 years ago. The company has also confirmed it will display it’s troubled A400M aircraft, which was involved in a deadly crash last month due to a software glitch.

Aside from new orders, a second major focus of the Paris Air Show 2015 is the environment, with many top industry officials, government ministers and environmental experts meeting in Paris to discuss air travel’s impact on climate change.

In addition, a dedicated area of around 300 sqm at the heart of the show will shine a spotlight on France’s civil aviation community’s innovations in the fields of propulsion, airframes, avionics and on-board energy. This exhibition, titled ‘The Sky of Tomorrow’, is intended to be educational, and will feature various tools helping to explain the major research topics and demonstrating the tangible advances already made, whilst  maintaining a focus on the long-term research goals for 2030 and beyond.