Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Paris Air Show: Review

Post Paris commentary is generally of a subdued event, even so an article from www.thisismoney.co.uk: CITY COMMENT by HOWARD WHEELDON: Boeing and Airbus in for long haul points out:
- 2010 Airline industry profits of $18.6bn
- confidence in the Aerospace industry despite headwinds
- 2011 outlook of $8.6bn has been cut to $4bn due to headwinds from the Japanese Tsunami, political unrest in the Middle East and Africa, and the rising oil price.

- majority of orders were for short haul aircraft with the re-engined A320 (A320 neo) seeming to make some headway against the Boeing 737 with its promised 15% fuel saving
- the first 787 is due for delivery to All Nippon Airways in September
- the 3 year delay on the 787 has allowed Airbus to eat into the 5 years behind (the 787) starting point of the A350
- increasing competition in airframes from China, Russia and Canada.

Looks like Airbus have taken most of the airframe orders with the A350 and the A320 neo. As mentioned in an earlier post: Paris Air Show: Update on Rolls-Royce., Rolls-Royce also seems to have done well with engine orders particularly around the A350 where it continues to be the only engine option and has recently signed an exclusive engine supply deal for the enhanced A350-1000.
However, GE and partners weighed in with $27bn of orders mainly due to 400 engines for Air Asia purchased from CFM (GE's joint venture with Safran). The total splits out to $16bn of engines and $11bn of service contracts. 
The CFM engine is one of the two options available to A320 neo customers the other being Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan

It feels a little bit of deja vu but I hope that Rolls-Royce doesn't regret its decision not to support the update to the A320 after stating that there wasn't a sufficient business case for it.
Airbus took 232 commitments for the aircraft at Paris and now has orders for 594 of the aircraft in total.
I guess the problem for Rolls rests on not having an existing engine for the segment. It has been "studying" its RB285 engine (150 seaters) for some time now without seeming to generate too much interest amongst the manufacturers.

At the end of the year, Boeing is expected to announce its own "next steps" to enhance/replace the worlds best selling aircraft, the 737.
With airline overcapacity, costs, development leadtimes, resource tied up in new widebody aircraft (787), and the fact that Airbus haven't replaced the A320, an enhancement of the 737 would seem more likely, unless the company feels the need for a "bold" step forward.

So with only a share of the IAE V2500 engine for the "older" A320, Rolls-Royce may find itself with a shrinking presence in new sales for the 150 seater segment until a new aircraft is announced.
Here's hoping for another "bold step" from Boeing and that Rolls-Royce will be ready for it.

Article links:
www.thisismoney.co.uk: CITY COMMENT by HOWARD WHEELDON: Boeing and Airbus in for long haul
www.thisismoney.co.uk: Airbus joins Rolls in £2bn show orders
www.rolls-royce.com: Rolls-Royce to power enhanced Airbus A350-1000
www.ainonline.com: Paris Air Show 2011 Report
www.glgroup.com: Rolls-Royce faces losing single-aisle airplane market share

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