Posted June 14, 2009 2:35 PM
By Alud Davies
The quietest Paris Air Show for in memory finally drew to a close on Thursday with a last minute LoI from Wizz Air of Hungry for 50x A320's. That the largest order came at the close is as telling as the storm that accompanied the opening ceremony itself. Whilst people spoke of money being available for deals again, and the mood was generally upbeat, the order totals versus previous years was still well down. Take Airbus, effectively on home ground, and traditionally very strong at the show managed to register 56 firm orders vs. the 2007 firm total of 375. The widebody / narrowbody split was telling as well, with the only firm widebody order announced being the long awaited order from AirAsia X for 10x A350 XWB's, and if we were to do the split geographically then we'd be looking at the lion's share of the orders coming from the Middle / Far East, with just a single A319 ordered by Aigle Azur to keep Europe in the picture. Regional Jets and TurboProps fared slightly better in Europe, with orders from Air Nostrum for a mixture of CRJ-1000 NG's and ATR 72-600's, Olympic ordering Dash 8-Q400 NG's and KLM Cityhopper placing an order with with Embraer for Embraer 190's. Boeing on the other hand fared slightly worse, only announcing an order for 2 aircraft, 2 737-800's for MC Aviation Partners/Mitsubishi Corporationvs, vs. 66 firm orders in 2007. Although the temperatures had risen for the close of the show, the skies over Paris were still overcast until later in the evening, when analysts and journalists were long gone and trying to put meaning to the firm order total standing at 134 aircraft, vs. the 1135 aircraft last time around.