What a difference a year makes.
The 2012 Farnborough Air Show could not have presented a starker contrast with the 2011 Paris Air Show on multiple levels—the number of announced orders for new commercial aircraft (far fewer), attendance (noticeably down from 2011 PAS), mood (subdued, if not down right glum), and weather (soggy virtually the entire time ).
For the industry professionals who were unable or chose not to attend Farnborough, Aviation Week will put the bi-annual event into perspective in an analysis that will appear in the June 23 edition of the magazine. For now, suffice it to say that the two major commercial airframe manufacturers have a big problem on their hands. It’s spelled c-r-e-d-i-b-i-l-i-t-y. Speaking for myself, I can’t remember when it has sunk so low.
There are reasons for it, which I will explore in the commentary in the book of the 26th. More to the point, it has the potential to stunt the current ‘up’ cycle if is not properly addressed by the OEMs. In the words of the president of one company critical to the supply chain, the credibility, or lack thereof, could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Accompanying the commentary will be more news-analysis articles by Aviation Week editors who covered the show.
Farnborough and Paris typically generate a lot of industry hype by suppliers of all sizes looking to put the best face on their operations and their future business prospects, regardless of the economic climate and/or recent setbacks. But as a popular radio and television news commentator and analyst likes to say as he introduces his show, the spin stops here.