If reports from the Paris Air Show are anything to go by, the
global commercial aviation industry has clearly booked its ticket
for an upward flight after a prolonged cessation due to an anemic
macroeconomic environment and spending cuts by big-ticket
players. So, is the beleaguered Aerospace industry getting back
to its hay days?
Latest data from the exhibition reveal that jet engine makers had
booked orders and service contracts worth $24 billion, signifying
an avid interest in the industry to replace fuel-guzzling
aircrafts with fuel-saving jets as gasoline reserves get hollowed
out each day and environmental safety issues take the driving
In addition, the industry is likely to face increased demand
as the International Air Transport Association trade group
projects that passenger traffic is expected to grow at an annual
rate of 5% in the near future.
Consequently, aircraft manufacturers across the globe are
focusing on introducing new plane designs, which will further
push the envelope of flight performance and efficiency measures,
through technological innovations and automation of factories.
Experts believe that in the next few years, highly skilled
aircraft manufacturing jobs could be done by machines and engine
parts could be delicately fabricated by an industrial 3-D printer
or a paint job could be applied by a robot.
As the industry gets flooded with a huge order pile, more and
more companies are gearing up to open their wallets for
investments in automation to produce high volume at low costs.
Industry players foresee that such initiatives could eventually
help in delivering over 35,000 jets in the next 20 years for a
cumulative value of about $4.8 trillion. Aviation expos like the
Paris Air Show, which is one of the world's oldest and largest
aviation exhibitions, have emerged to be such an avenue to turn
the tide in favor of the aircraft manufacturers and generate a
buzz in the industry.
Leading jet manufacturers like Airbus and
The Boeing Company
) have garnered healthy business at the exhibition for 908
aircraft, estimated to be worth $134.7 billion at list prices.
While Airbus raked in orders for manufacturing 466 aircrafts,
Boeing was not too far behind at 442.
CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture between Snecma S.A.,
a French multinational aircraft manufacturer and subsidiary of
); and GE Aviation Systems, an operating unit of
General Electric Company
), procured an aviation contract worth $13.06 billion, bringing
its tally for the show to $15 billion to date.
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Others in the fray included Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary
of diversified business conglomerate
United Technologies Corp.
), which generated significant customer interest for its
diversified helicopter fleet. Even Pratt & Whitney, one of
the other operating segments of United Technologies, booked large
orders for manufacturing engines for various aircraft.
However, despite the encouraging findings, critics are cautious
about the ambitious production plans of the industry and remain
wary of the fallouts of huge investments failing to justify the
returns. Nevertheless, we believe that a potential global market
will shield the aeronautical sector from regional shocks, and the
bullishness is here to stay.