Flying displays by the Sukhoi Su-35 in its overseas debut and the back-in-service Boeing 787 will be among the highlights at this year's Paris air show.

Boeing and Qatar Airways are expected to bring examples of the Dreamliner to the 50th edition of the biennial industry spectacular, say organisers.

However, the show will not feature the Airbus A350 and Bombardier CSeries, even though both types are due to make their flying debut around that time. The Lockheed Martin F-35 will be another notable absentee among soon-to-be-certificated programmes.

The Sukhoi fighter will be joined by the Irkut Yak-130 combat trainer in what show director Gilles Fournier calls "the proper return of the Russians to Paris for the first time since 2001".

The show will also feature "all the regional aircraft manufacturers including the new ones like Mitsubishi, Irkut and Comac", as well as "the return of business aviation", with five of the big six airframers exhibiting - Cessna being the exception - despite the proximity of May's EBACE business aviation show in Geneva.

With more than 2,200 exhibitors, the show, which takes place from 17-23 June, has been sold out since January, and the earliest exhibition space has been fully booked, says Fournier. Exhibitor numbers are up by 30% over the past decade, he says.

Organisers concede that part of the reason for the rise in exhibitor numbers has been a reduction in the footprint taken up by large manufacturers looking for "strict return on investment". This has freed space for small and medium-size companies, which have taken up the opportunity, says Fournier.

Northrop Grumman is again the only notable absentee among large US contractors, despite fears that defence cuts in the USA would force the sector to drastically cut marketing spending.

"As defence budgets decrease in the US and Europe, Paris is a perfect platform to promote products and find customers outside," says Fournier. "Northrop has not been followed by other companies."

Source: Flight International