Aircraft orders plummet at Farnborough air show

An Airbus A350 aircraft flies in formation with Britain's Red Arrows flying display team at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, Britain, on Friday. (Reuters)
Updated 17 July 2016

Aircraft orders plummet at Farnborough air show

LONDON: Aircraft orders plummeted this year at the Farnborough air show, where Brexit clouded the horizon and European giant Airbus slashed output of its A380 superjumbo, figures released Saturday showed.
The show organizers said five days of business had yielded orders and options worth $123.9 billion (112.3 billion euros), "defying industry expectations."
The orders included 856 aircraft worth $93.98 billion and $22.7 billion for 1,407 engines.
The intake was however sharply down on the last edition of the world's biggest airshow in 2014, which registered a record-breaking $201 billion in orders.
Airbus clipped Boeing's wings at the show, with AirAsia signing for 100 single-aisle fuel-efficient A380neo jets, worth some 11.3 billion euros at list prices.
Airbus' commercial director John Leahy on Thursday unveiled $35 billion of sales in all — $25.3 in firm orders — for 279 planes.
Boeing notched up 182 sales worth a total of $26.8 billion.
Airbus' announcement late Tuesday that the Franco-German planemaker would halve A380 production to one a month from 2018 caused some turbulence at the show, but chief executive Tom Enders said he hoped the cutbacks would last "just a year or two".
British engine maker Rolls-Royce, a supplier of France-based Airbus, said it was worried about the commercial impact of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Boeing and Airbus were however bullish about their long-term prospects, with Asia and low-cost carriers keeping demand buoyant.
The show attracted on average 20,000 visitors a day before opening to the public for the weekend.


Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

DUBAI: Saudi-based defense contractor Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) plans to invest between $13 million and $16 million over the next two years to build test cells for aircraft engines and establish new production lines.
These expansion activities should complement the company’s objective to localize high-tech repairs and combine them in one roof for the Saudi defense ministry, which is a major customer, CEO Abdullah Al-Omari told Arab News.
Instead of sending aircraft engines and engines modules overseas for further servicing, thus take up more time before military assets return to actual service, localization not only cuts the turn-around period but also reduces Saudi government spending for the repairs.
“We have accomplished more than 1,600 engine and engine modules [since 2001, they] have been maintained totally in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Omari said at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow. “The engines consume 45 percent of what you spend on aircraft.”
The company works on 150 to 160 engines and engine modules every year.
MEPC is the first specialized MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) company operating in the Middle East, according to its website. It has invested over $26 million during the previous two years for the localization of its MRO services.
“We used to send these parts to outside, it takes 6 months to 24 months sometimes … in case of the Apache engines, minimum turn around is 24 months,” Al-Omari said, but their localization efforts have greatly improved their capability by cutting the turn-around period to only 150 days.
The speed at which MEPC is able to repair engines and modules, boosts the readiness of Saudi military, Al-Omari added.
The company is in talks with major defense contractors, including Honeywell for the Abrams talks and GE T700 engines, for possible tie-ups to further improve their capability, he said.
“Currently there is a potential with the Kuwait army to provide them with similar services [being delivered to the Saudi defense ministry],” Al-Omari said, and expects that cooperation would start “within the next two years or so.”