SEP 2018


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TRENDS SEPTEMBER 2018 20 CompositesWorld In the lead-up to the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow (July 16-22 in Farnborough, UK), aerospace industry pundits were asking a lot of questions. Not the least were those centered around how the UK's impending exit from the European Union will affect the global aviation supply chain. More questions surfaced in the wake of the more recent rise of the US/China trade war and impositions of tariffs, about what effect these might have on aircraft deliveries. How will aircraft manufac- turers, they wondered, respond to increasing production and delivery pressures, and potential supplier- related delays and/or price increases? None of that seemed to matter following the first days of the show, given the enormity of the industry numbers that emerged. According to Farnborough's organizers, on the show's first day alone, US$46.4 billion in deals were announced, surpassing the previous high first-day figure, in 2016, of US$23 billion, with orders placed for 311 civil aircraft across the show. More than US$2.8 billion (USD) in engine orders also were announced on that day, said show officials. The Boeing Co. (Chicago, IL, US) announced first-day orders from eight airline or cargo customers, and Airbus (Toulouse, France) also reported eight major orders. These, of course, add to existing production backlogs for each, which are straining both OEMs in terms of meeting delivery commitments. One Airbus customer, a new US airline start-up, announced a commitment for 60 Airbus A220- 300 aircraft to serve its "skinny" routes, with deliveries to begin in 2021 (the A220-300 is the former Bombardier C-Series, the regional jet program in which Airbus acquired a majority interest in October 2017 (see endnote)). The new airline is backed by a group of investors led by JetBlue (New York, NY, US) founder Brexit and US/China trade war aside, aeromarket to surge AEROSPACE

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