The cosy world of global air shows is going through some big changes. Dubai is building a giant expo centre at its new Jebel Ali airport, where the city’s air show will move in 2009. In typical Dubai style, money will be no object and visitors can look forward to the world’s most lavish aviation gathering to reflect the ever-growing importance of the region’s carriers to the aerospace industry.

Meanwhile, Paris and Farnborough  are staying put, but have reinvented themselves to meet the market’s demands, with shorter, more focused weeks and by broadening their appeal to communities such as unmanned air vehicles and business aviation.

But the biggest change to the current cycle will be in Asia, where the current organiser of Asian Aerospace, Reed Exhibitions (a sister organisation of Flight International), has split with the Singapore government and both organisations will hold rival regional events during the first quarter of 2008.

With a host of other regional and sector-specific shows trying to put themselves on the map – in India, China and South America – it is proving a buyers’ market for companies keen to do business at air shows. The choice and quality on offer can only be good for an industry that is becoming ever more global and discerning in how it spends its marketing dollars.

Source: Flight International