Safran is predicting a steady increase in its engine deliveries. Speaking before the opening of the show, Safran chief executive Jean-Paul Bchat said the company should deliver more than 1,000 engines in 2006, up from the 820 engines expected to be delivered in 2005 and 730 in 2004.

"The order book is pretty full," he says.

So far this year airlines have placed orders for nearly 600 CFM 56-7 and 5B engines. More orders are expected to be announced during the show. Safran is a 50% shareholder in CFM with General Electric (GE).

Bchat adds that the service business is benefiting from a growing installed base.

The helicopter market is also looking healthy and Bchat says engine deliveries would top 1,000 this year.

He also notes that an Arriel 2B1-powered Ecureuil helicopter recently set a world altitude record of 29,000ft (8,850m) by touching down on and taking off from the top of Mount Everest. Bchat describes the feat as, "outstanding piloting".

Source: Flight Daily News