The 52nd Aeronautics and Space Fair is held all week at Le Bourget, near Paris. It opened its doors Monday, June 19 in the presence of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron. A show under surveillance, marked by the international situation in the Gulf and a civil market not very dynamic, because cheap oil slows down the renewal of the fleets of airliners.
It is the first exhibition since the Paris bombings in 2015. Some 350 000 trade visitors are expected until Friday. An air bubble has been set above the site and each visitor is entitled to at least a double search.
The demonstration was placed this year under the authority of the prefect of police of Paris, specify the organizers. But for Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault and president of GIFAS, which brings together the aerospace and aerospace industries, Le Bourget remains the world’s first aeronautical fair and will attract many foreign delegations this year.
“There is an attractiveness of Paris, which is a beautiful capital and which also attracts the business community … As for the military aspect, France also attracts, especially with a new president and a new government, because it knows how to tie Strategic partnerships with a number of countries, “says Eric Trappier. He cites as evidence the example of India, which is the last country with which Dassault sold and whose Indian Prime Minister came to Paris in early June after the election of Emmanuel Macron. ” There is a strategic relationship between France and India. So, clearly, diplomacy is a spearhead in armaments sales, “he said.
Major Politico-Military Maneuvers
This diplomatic dimension is also found in foreign exhibitors. Everyone passes his messages. Thus Japan exhibits its latest anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the Kawasaki P1, a very modern aircraft, brand new in its pale blue paint. Japanese drivers easily engage in conversation and hand out souvenirs.
Far from Le Bourget, the plane was designed to track down Chinese submarines, from the China Sea to the Pacific. This is the first time that the Japanese have exposed war material on the European continent.
Jealously guarded behind a double row of metal barriers, the United States presents its F-35, the “stealth” fighter-bomber manufactured by Lockheed-Martin called to become the standard NATO Threat that Russia could pose. It has already been adopted by five European countries: the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark. Originally, Ankara had programmed to buy a hundred, but the Turkish industry also aims to manufacture its own combat aircraft, the FX-1.
Tensions in the Gulf and a sluggish civil market
Airbus has already announced the year 2017 very slow in terms of orders. Boeing opened the ball on Monday by announcing contracts involving several dozens of planes. At the Paris Air Show, Boeing is expected to race ahead of Airbus this year. Especially since the uncertainties in the Gulf could weigh on the activity of the European manufacturer. This is particularly true of the measures taken by the countries of the region to isolate Doha.
“On Qatar, during the first few weeks, we saw reservations falling in the order of 20 to 50% depending on the air routes. These are mind-boggling figures!” Said Yan Derocles, a financial analyst with Oddo Securities. ” Qatar Airways represents only 1.7% of the backlog of Airbus. But program by program, it’s almost 10% of the A350, since the company had participated in the launch of the latest Airbus, “he said.
Qatar Airways, the head of the airline Akbar al-Baker, said on Monday that it was considering seizing the international tribunals for compensation after Saudi Arabia and its allies had shut down their airspace.
Qatar Airways operates Boeing as well as Airbus. In the region, Emirates is the world’s largest user of A380 aircraft, but the United Arab Emirates company is now considering using less expensive aircraft. Airbus has made efforts in this area by proposing some aerodynamic refinements intended to reduce a little the consumption of the giant air.
In another category, the American Boeing launched on Monday its 737 Max-10 and could take advantage of the show to give details on its future Boeing 797, a long-range jet in the course of definition intended to replace mainly the 757 and 767.