Air Transport World

The old and the new.

The 1999 Paris air show may see a sorting out of the various proposed consolidations in European aerospace

Call it consummate French timing or dub it good old-fashioned luck, but the 1999 Paris air show, due to open at Le Bourget airfield on June 13, falls at a significant moment in the world aviation industry's turbulent history, when new friends look like falling out and old enemies show no sign of making up.

New friends: The earnest talk behind the scenes in the corporate chalets at this salon will be about how European aerospace manufacturers must get together as one big happy family to counter the clout threatened by consolidations in the U.S. industry.

Many brave words will be flung about but the dream shows only a few signs of becoming reality, especially now that British Aerospace has teamed with another U.K. company, Marconi Electronics, to the chagrin of the Germans, who dearly wanted to see the Brits married up with their DaimlerChrysler Aerospace. A further brake on Euro harmonization continues to be the reluctance of the French government to release its state-owned and controlled aerospace industry fully into the private sector. …

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