Air Transport World

Sunrise over Singapore. (Asian Aerospace '96 exhibition)(includes related articles)

With exquisite timing, Asian Aerospace '96 arrives as the equipment cycle picks up steam

Two years ago, ATW heralded the 1994 Singapore air how as the "Prelude to a Recovery" for the world's airlines (ATW, 4/94). Now, 24 months later, the industry is profitable once more and this month's Asian Aerospace '96, Feb. 6-11 (Trade Days, Feb. 6-9), arrives in time to celebrate the fact that the long-expected recovery in aircraft orders is under way at last (ATW,, 1/96, 12/95).

For confirmation, simply turn to the order books. Jet airframe makers booked orders for 441 aircraft in the first nine months of 1995, far surpassing the total of 350 recorded for all of 1994. Moreover, 1995 included enough significant orders to signal the start of a new equipment cycle. On the narrowbody side were ValuJet's order for 50 McDonnell Douglas MD-95s and SAS's order for 41 Boeing 737-600s, both program launches. Of a number of widebody orders, the largest was Singapore Airlines' order for up to 77 Boeing 777s. Not to be forgotten was the long-awaited order from Saudia for 28 777s and 747-400s, and 34 MD-90s and MD-11s.

Reflecting the increased ordering, Boeing announced its broadest production increases in four years, in mid-December. BCAG President Ron Woodard said the increases reflected "the turnaround that our airline customers are experiencing," as well as the need to make up production lost to the 10-week machinists' strike. Clearly, aircraft builders are reaping the benefit of a recovered airline sector and none more so than in the Asia/Pacific region, whose airlines are in the forefront of the reordering cycle. …

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