As the Red Arrows flew past to open the show, the Farnborough International Airshow got off to a confident start with prime minister, David Cameron, making a significant announcement and orders and commitments totalling approximately US$41.9 billion – over three times that announced on the first day of 2012.
In what can only be described as the event’s biggest in a number of years, the prospects for the rest of the week are looking extremely positive.
During his visit to the show, Cameron announced a £1.1bn investment in capabilities for the armed forces and set out the action plan taken by the Defence Growth Partnership of industry and government, as part of the long-term economic plan to improve competitiveness, boost the UK defence sector which is vital to economic growth, and make sure our Armed Forces have the best equipment in the world.
The first day of FIA 2014 saw a flood of orders and commitments for new commercial aircraft and engines and also the launch of the Airbus A330-800neo and the A330-900neo as well as the launch of the Trent 7000 which will be the exclusive engine on the A330neo.
The launch of the new aircraft was followed by an announcement that Air Lease Corporation had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 25 A330-900neo aircraft, becoming the first launch customer for this new widebody.
Air Lease Corp also announced a firm order for 60 A321neo aircraft.
Speaking about the day’s closing figures, chief executive for airshow organisers, Farnborough International Ltd, Shaun Ormrod said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and reflect the upbeat mood and return to economic growth we have been anticipating.”
FIL also confirmed a very different look to the show this year with many exhibitors increasing their presence.
While exhibitors numbers have remained consistent, there has been a significant increase in international participation, up 15 per cent, with over 100 exhibitors new the show.