Sunday, June 23, 2024

Farnborough Airshow Day 2: Who Will Make All These Planes On Time?

By Bikram Vohra

It was impressive. The Boeing 777X take-off and perpendicular climb triggered a collective gasp. Show the power. With the A350 adding to the display’s thrill, these visuals underscored more sales on Day 2. And South Korea’s Black Eagles joined the Red Arrows to end the day on a roaring note.

Airbus would be happy over a $10 billion probable deal for 30 A330neo widebodies for Malaysia Airlines and a possible 60 A220s for Poland’s LOT. But both manufacturers and carriers like Brer Fox lie low and say nuffin. At one time LOT had been seriously considering the Embraer Ejet-E2 family with the E195 spearheading the assortment but that seems to have slipped off the reckoning 2.

Boeing had a big day 1 and contented itself with the release of its forecast, indicating the coming 20 years will produce a spend of around $15 trillion: of which $6.3 trillion will be for aircraft deliveries.

It upped its Delta sale from Day 1 and added 75 orders today. The agreements include 74 options. Between the silence in committing details by all those and the slightly vague interpretations given to MOUs, options, intentions, negotiations and advanced talks, it isn’t easy to get a handle on what exactly is sold and who has done the selling the buying. As such, the fancy figures of over $25 billion in sales aren’t written in stone.

And when the fat lady has sung, and the party is over, the breakdown of sales and purchases tends to change. Suffice it to say, with demand definitely up and dramatically, the problem is actually an embarrassment of riches. There is so much to go around that there is really no competition; the combined capability of all the manufacturers, including Boeing and Airbus, falls far short of the need.


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