February 20, 2014 17:49:00
By P. Carroll
Unlike previous Singapore air shows there was a stronger military presence from exhibitors. On the surface it looked like 50% more participation on the military side with less civil participation. Delegations from the Japan Air and Maritime Self Defense Force were present to see what was on offer. Japanese aerospace primes were also exhibiting in their own right with smaller Japanese component manufactures grouped under the JETRO umbrella. For Japanese industry the emphasis was on civil aerospace and regional jets. Notwithstanding this the underlying impression at the air show was foreign manufacturers and the organizers were expecting arms sales to increase due to the increased tensions in the Asian region.
In Business Aviation Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer and many others were present, but even here there was a shift towards military with the Beechcraft King Air shown in gray with the title “special missions” and the Viking Twin Otter was being offered also for “special missions”
Boeing and Airbus were competing for orders, signing significant orders, and both showed their new widebody jets (A350/B787).
Flight Global stated that they could see in the short term Airbus planning the A380 upgrade and both Airbus and Boeing planning to replace the A320/B737 as early as 2020. International industrial participation would be expected as normal shared out in each country in return for orders. Today Airbus is perceived as a cheaper product than Boeing and this is reflected in the net asset values. Despite airlines and operators still having older aircraft, which was considered negative in the past, they are finding ways to still generate reasonable profit levels and extending further the life time of these aircraft. The future customer base is expected to increase to 50% through leasing customers and the leasing customer split to be about 50% sale and lease back and 50% direct.
From China AVIC and COMAC were both present with a grouping of Chinese civil aerospace component and service companies.
AVIC who purchased Cirrus Aerospace and TCM Continental were exhibiting both a Continental piston engine plus a Cirrus aircraft.