Air Transport World

It's showtime.(Paris Air Show)

THE 47TH PARIS AIR SHOW (JUNE 18-24) arrives with the airline industry in better shape than at any time since the summer of 2001 and the commercial aerospace industry enjoying a third consecutive year of strong aircraft orders. Add to this the fact that the US government and military will be making their largest appearance at the biennial event since the US and France fell apart over the Iraq war and the result is that attitudes at Le Bourget should be upbeat.

With one exception: Boeing's 787 will cast a giant shadow over the Airbus chalet, even though it won't make its public debut until July 8. Nevertheless, the Dreamliner has the potential to steal the thunder from Airbus at Paris just as Boeing has lifted the sales mantle from the shoulders of the European plane-builder.

It is just two years since Airbus was flying high on the wings of the A380, which made its public flying debut at Le Bourget in 2005 (ATW, 6/05, p. 70). No one knew then that the airplane would be more than a year late, or that two years later Airbus still would be defining its response to the 787. …

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