July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Industry Wrap

Back in the swing

Hectic Paris Air Show reflects aviation revival

The slew of activity at last month's Paris Air Show seems to indicate a recovery of the aviation business is in full swing. Not only did a record Paris Air Show crowd of about 480,000 visitors attend the week-long event, but the total number of large commercial jetliners involved in announcements for firm orders or purchase intentions was more than six times the number from the last Paris event, in 2003.

According to the French publication Les Echos, Airbus announced agreements that totaled 280 orders and intentions to purchase. Similar agreements for Boeing, which does not save purchase agreements to disclose at air shows, called for 148 airplanes.

One busy week

Here are some of the airlines that disclosed airplane orders or commitments for orders from June 13 to 19, the week of the Paris Air Show. Not all announcements were made at the event.

Announcements for Boeing jetliners
Alaska Airlines: 35 737s
GECAS: 20 737s (plus 12 previously unidentified)
ILFC: 20 737s and eight 777s
Jet Airways: 10 737s and 10 777s
Qatar Airways: 20 777s

Announcements for Airbus jetliners
ALAFCO: 12 A350s
GECAS: 10 A350s
IndiGo: 100 A320s
Jet Airways: 10 A330s
Kingfisher Airlines: Five A350s, five A380s and five A330s
Qatar Airways: 60 A350s

Through May 31, Airbus had recorded orders for 196 airplanes, while Boeing had 279. By June 15, the Boeing total grew to 385 gross orders.

Sources: Boeing, Airbus, news reports

During the last Paris Air Show, the two companies sold only 73 aircraft, Les Echos said. The boom in orders has been attributed to the air travel market becoming more dynamic, thanks to the jump in the number of airlines in emerging markets and an increase in the volume of traffic.

"People see that there is demand for aircraft globally, and that will drive Airbus, Boeing and their suppliers," William Alderman, head of aerospace investment and advisory firm Alderman & Co., said in a Dow Jones news service report.

Among the customers placing jetliner orders were leasing companies International Lease Finance Corp. and GE Commercial Aviation Service. Analysts consider lessor deals key industry indicators because these companies maintain large fleets and are closely in tune with what airlines will need. According to Dow Jones, Banc of America Securities aerospace and defense analyst Nick Fothergill wrote in a research note: "Lessors have been absent for four years, and we believe their reappearance is a significant cyclical indicator."

The global airline segment that was most active at Paris was the Indian segment.

Jet Airways ordered a total of 30 planes, including 10 Boeing 777s and 10 737s. New airline Kingfisher Airlines ordered 15 aircraft, including five Airbus A380 superjumbos. And new Indian low-cost airline IndiGo ordered 100 A320s.These disclosures follow other purchase announcements made this year by Indian airlines. SpiceJet in February ordered up to 20 737-800s. And in April, Air India said it intended to purchase five 777-200LR, 10 777-300ER and 20 787-8 airplanes.

Kingfisher Airlines
Alaska Airlines
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