Air Transport World

Maintaining a future focus: all air shows say lets's look at the future, but this Paris Air Show will say it with even more enthusiasm. (Air Show).

The last time the industry met at Le Bourget for an air show, it was of record-breaking size, the world and the airline industry of 2001 being very different places than they are today. Economic and traffic downturns had been noted by the time of that show, but from all appearances they would be nothing out of the ordinary; planning for the future continued with optimism.

That optimism was unwarranted, as we now know, and plans have been recast around the world to deal with the current realities. Staggering under the sequential blows of economic malaise, bankrupt business models, terrorism, toughened security, war and disease, a shrinking airline industry is limping into the 45th Paris Air Show--the first to bear that name officially--looking for signs of hope.

And hope there is, for although projections of air traffic growth during the next several decades have diminished somewhat, growth will be robust over the long haul and will demand the airlines services.

Large aircraft manufacturers at the Paris show absolutely will have that future focus. For them, the important message of this show will be much more about aircraft yet to be built than those seen at the venue. …

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