As we head into the third day of the Paris air show (our fourth day covering the show), it is interesting to compare the local and global perspectives of the show.
Case in point: the Ryanair and Comac announcement. In Australia the Sydney Morning Herald is running with the headline “Ryanair steals spotlight at airshow”. Let me give you a behind the scenes look at this event: in downtown Paris, a half hour away from Le Bourget, the Ryanair and Comac press conference kicks off…with only one member of the media present.
That journo happened to be my colleague, Ghim-Lay Yeo, who got told by Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, ”You’re the only media here. You must have some influence.” (Cheers. We’ll be expecting lots of interview opportunities.) The air show buzz has a Boeing executive saying they expect to work with Ryanair for many years to come, so form your own opinion of the Comac partnership.
No single event has yet to capture the air show’s attention. Airbus as usual is riding on its stockpile of order announcements while Boeing hopes to woo the crowds with its three new jets: the 747-8F, 747-8I, and 787-8.
The notable occurrences have been Garuda Indonesia’s order of A320neos for its Citilink division, making the carrier the first major 737 customer to go for the neo. Pressed on reasons for the switch, Garuda chief executive Emirsyah Satar made general statements during a press conference.
I got the impression the order was a reflection of Airbus discounting and not a clear-shot capability and performance win over the 737 for the neo. TransAsia and Airbus announced an order for A321neos, adding to the type’s growing popularity in the region.
And then of course there was the meet-and-greet between an A380 wing and a hangar, typical witticisms from Airbus sales chief John Leahy (he said the Airbus employee responsible for a “sloppy” press release should go “work for Bombardier”), and a display poster accidentally left out in the open showing the special livery that will adorn ANA’s first 787.
The air show may change pace on Wednesday during one of the few commercial announcements Airbus has lined up. One of those announcements could be from AirAsia for A320neos in a record-breaking order.
One item this air show has lacked, as far as I’ve heard, is any mention of the ashcloud. Sorry about that.
Global and local perspectives of the Paris air show #PAS11
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