Farnborough faces fewer jet orders, as Boeing turns 100

Fri Jul 8, 2016 1:59pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher and Victoria Bryan

FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) - The aerospace industry is preparing to celebrate major milestones at the Farnborough Airshow next week as Boeing turns 100 and Canada's Bombardier marks the entry into service of a new jet designed to challenge the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus.

The July 11-17 event, which alternates with the Paris Airshow as the industry's premier showcase, will see new jets displayed including the world's most expensive warplane, the Lockheed Martin F-35, but is not expected to produce the flood of civil jetliner orders seen in previous years.

After a record multi-year sales bonanza for efficient new models, sellers remain on the road drumming up more business for the show. But analysts say many airlines are reluctant to make decisions as doubts over the economy disrupt the traditional self-confidence and big money usually displayed at such events.

"The issue is how do you as a manufacturer survive the ill winds blowing from the outside world," said Richard Aboulafia, vice-president at Virginia-based consultants Teal Group.

"It is getting grimmer out there."

Despite the uncertainties - including Britain's shock decision last month to leave the European Union - jetmakers are expected to confirm bullish 20-year outlooks. They face some doubts over key Asian demand, though there could be surprise orders from one or two of the region's low-cost players.

"GDP and traffic growth are pretty positive but there are unknowns," said Eric Bernardini of consultancy AlixPartners.

"If China’s slowdown spreads to the rest of Asia, the neighboring countries suffer and then traffic in Asia could slow and that could lead to deliveries being delayed or halted to some Asian companies."   Continued...

The logo of Boeing (BA) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo