Airbus Industrie is using the show to talk to major regional airlines in the market testing phase of its 555-seat A3XX aircraft programme. One of the carriers involved is Cathay Pacific, which is understood to be interested in becoming a launch customer.

However airlines in the region are concerned about operational flexibility of the aircraft compared with the Boeing 747-400. The latter is used primarily on long-haul routes but can be switched to shorter trunk routes. Airlines are exploring whether the same is true of the A3XX.

Meanwhile, the civil industry is watching with interest to see if Boeing uses the show to reveal more of its plans for the 777-200X and -300X version of the aircraft.

Missile to debut

European missile giant Matra BAe Dynamics is to unveil its new vertical launched MICA 'smart' guided missile at Asian Aerospace today.

The MICA missile is usually deployed as the main armament on the Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft but the new system employs the weapon in the surface-to-air mode to provide area air defence against aircraft, missile and unmanned aerial vehicle threats.

Chief executive Fabrice Bregier and his deputy Alan Garwood are to jointly announce the new product at their press conference this afternoon.

Source: Flight Daily News