It’s day two of the Paris Air Show and the orders are coming in thick and fast for Europe’s Airbus and its U.S. competitor Boeing (NYSE: BA). But both accept their duopoly – particularly in the large commercial aircraft market – is now over
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The world’s other plane makers are also showing their wares at Le Bourget.
Canada’s Bombardier has just announced Korean Air is ordering up to 30 of its C-Series jets.
Howard Wheeldon, an aviation specialist at BGC Partners, says:
“The Chinese will be there, the Russians will be there, I think ultimately although we don’t see it at the moment the Indians will be there, and certainly the Brazilians and the Canadians are there. So there are other players tampering in the market, readying themselves and all on the back of this economic shift of power from west to east.”
China’s Comac are also at the show. They say they won’t be signing orders in Paris but they are hoping to begin marketing aircraft outside China this year.
Chief Executive of EADS, Louis Gallois, has said there won’t be room for 6 plane makers in 2020. That’s leading analysts to question whether the plane makers may form alliances.
Airbus already has an assembly line in China but Gallois says Beijing is both a partner and a competitor
“We have partnership with China but Comac is developing an airplane which is a face to face competitor to the A320. It will be competition. But nevertheless, we are working with them on airplanes; we are working with them on helicopters. We want to work with them on space. It means that that cooperation with China is mandatory because we have to be in this country.”
Some of the biggest orders yet to be announced at the show are expected to come from Asian airlines. And it looks like the ever-increasing number of Asian passengers might – in several years time – also be flying in home-grown jets.
Bottom line: While Boeing and Airbus continue to rack up orders at the Paris Air Show, analysts warn their duopoly could soon be history, as Russia, China and Canada look for a slice of the action.