MIAMI — We’re a little under one week away from the start of Farnborough 2014! As we pack our bags and prepare to head on over (and stayed tuned on Friday for some exciting news on how we’ll be getting there), we’ve got our previews and predictions ready to roll. In short, we expect a modest show with a steady, but not crazy, stream of orders.
Most of the talk is surrounding the A330neo, no surprise here. Many expect Airbus to launch the A330neo at Farnborough. We’re not quite as sure, given that internal and external rumblings from Airbus don’t appear to have reached the stage that would indicate a full public launch. However, we believe Airbus will definitely formally move forward with the A330neo later this year, aimed at a 2018 first flight, and entry-into-service (EIS) by 2019.
If it does launch carriers such as Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa Group (despite an A350 order), or one of the Chinese airlines could be amongst those announced, and as with any aircraft program, the MEB3 (plus Turkish Airlines) could involve themselves.
We expect that the A320neo family will continue to win orders at a reasonable clip. The A350 will make its airshow debut at Farnborough, so John Leahy is likely to make a push to announce at least one reasonably sized order for the airframe. A380 orders are unlikely.
There is the possibility of new orders for the ATR, but the launch of a 90-seat ATR turboprop is unlikely given that Airbus owns 50% of ATR and could block any development that would compete with Airbus’ product lines as 90 (and subsequent 110 and 130-seat) turboprops would.
The 737 MAX will likely constitute the bulk of the action from Boeing through the week.
We could see a handful of new 777X orders, less than forty total would be our guess. However, many of the “commitments” that Boeing announced last year at Dubai are likely to be firmed up. As we mentioned briefly in yesterday’s Q2 Boeing deliveries article, the company will certainly be crossing its fingers for some 777 classic orders in order to bridge the production gap. Whether that pulls through is another matter.
The 787 could see a small number of orders, and Boeing hasn’t won a customer for the 787-10 since Paris last year. An announcement of an order for the 787-10, even if just a conversion, is reasonably likely.
We’re hopeful that recent optimism from Boeing could indicate a few 747-8 orders during the show, though that optimism was repeatedly couched in caution. Thus we’re not convinced it’ll break double-digits.
If past shows are any indication, it won’t be a spectacular showing for the Canadian firm. We can expect some Q400 orders; probably a few CRJs too.
As for the CSeries, the airplane remains grounded since its uncontained engine failure in late May. If it gets any orders we’d be surprised. More interesting will be if we receive any updates on the program and any additional information surrounding the engine incident.
The off-the-wall possibility for Bombardier is the announcement of a tie-up with COMAC built around the C-Series. We’d put the chances of that occurring at Farnborough at less than 1%, though the prospect is increasingly likely for reasons that we’ll outline later this week.
There is the possibility of some orders for the E-Jet E2 and bridge orders for the current-generation E-Jets, otherwise it should be pretty quiet for Embraer.
Other OEMs and Engine Firms:
Engine firms Pratt & Whitney and CFM are likely to announce a slew of orders for their engines (tied of course to orders for airplanes). Other OEMs (Mitsubishi, Irkut, et. al) are unlikely to do anything other than the COMAC bit we noted above.
Of course half the fun is seeing the actual airshow. The following aircraft are at least going to make an appearance on the static flight line:
Airbus: A350, A380 (A320 via Qatar)
Boeing: 787-9, (787-8 via Qatar)
Bombardier: CRJ900, Q400
Embraer: E190, ERJ145
Sukhoi: Superjet 100
It is expected that Airbus will fly the A350 and A380, and Boeing will demo the 787-9 (make sure to visit to see the photos!).