Record orders at Farnborough Air show; outlook 'extremely positive' for industry

Organizers of the semi-annual Farnborough Air Show in the U.K. have confirmed the total sum of orders and commitments agreed to at the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show has reached $201bn, surpassing all previous records set for the show as well as the $150bn in contracts signed at last year’s Paris Air Show.

The figure represents an extremely positive note for the global aerospace industry.

“There is already an order backlog and these additional orders will keep manufacturers in business and people employed for some years to come,” Shaun Ormrod, chief executive for Farnborough International, Ltd., the show’s organizers, said in a statement announcing the record orders. He called the level of orders, “Great news for U.K. business and the economy.”

Across the course of the five days, orders and commitments were agreed to for more than 1,100 aircraft, with a total value of $152bn. Orders for civil jet engines reached 1,600 units with a total value of $34.5bn, and an additional $14.5bn in service contracts. The orders reflect the buoyancy of the aerospace industry, both in the U.K. and internationally, Ormrod said.

While the overall figure exceeded the $150bn in orders signed at the companion air show in Paris last year, the mix was somewhat different. The orders at the Paris International Air Show represented 1,250 aircraft, about 10 percent more than sold at Farnborough.

Boeing 787-9 lands at Farnborough
The positive figures come at a time when European manufacturer Airbus could use a bit of good news. Earlier in the week, U.A.E.-based Emirates cancelled its order for 70 of the company’s new A350 aircraft. That cancelled order – the biggest cancellation ever for Airbus – was worth about $16bn, the company said.

Overall, more than 100,000 visitors attended the U.K. show, in addition to a strong contingent of government officials. British Prime Minister David Cameron opened the show, and other government figures including several Members of Parliament also attended.

In addition to the firm orders and commitments entered into, organizers pointed to networking opportunities as a definite value-add.

“It’s the networking outside of those deals that are just as important demonstrated by the number of exhibitors that have already rebooked for 2016,” Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director for the show’s organizers, said, “The value of bookings for the 2016 show has increased by a massive 1000% compared to 2014.”

The Farnborough Air Show, which is held during even-numbered years, alternates with the International Paris Air Show held during odd-numbered years. Next year’s gathering, the 51st Paris show, will be held from June 15 – 21 at Le Bourget Airport in the northeastern suburbs of Paris.

Photo courtesy @FIAfarnborough
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