Asian nations shopped for aircraft at the region's biggest aerospace bazaar on Tuesday with new orders and the increasing international row over the European Union's carbon emissions scheme expected to dominate the commercial side of the show.
Aircraft and weapons manufacturers, military officers, arms dealers and airline executives rubbed shoulders as the 2012 Singapore Airshow kicked off in a vast hangar near Changi airport.
Deals worth about USD$10 billion were announced at the last show in 2010 and the number could well be higher this year as Asian nations ramp up military spending.
On the civilian side, Boeing signed its largest ever order for commercial aircraft, a USD$22.4 billion deal with Indonesia's Lion Air. The deal was originally announced in November.
Boeing said Lion Air, Indonesia's largest carrier by passenger volume, has ordered 230 planes, including 201 737 MAXs and 29 next-generation 737-900ERs. Lion Air will also acquire purchase rights for an additional 150 planes, Boeing said.
EU CARBON CONTROVERSY
Europe's carbon emissions scheme and defects plaguing the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are other issues likely to dominate the show.
The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, introduced on January 1, has drawn howls of protest from airlines around the world, with China banning its carriers from taking part.
Europe's plan to charge airlines for carbon emissions could trigger a full-blown trade war with implications for aircraft deals and Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
Gravity always wins!