Airshow China A Huge Success

Sales at China’s biennial air show skyrocketed this year with the show closing with total sales valued at around US$4 billion. There were concerns that the global financial crisis would affect the show negatively. Now, it seems, those concerns were completely unfounded since there was around a US$1 billion increase in total sales compared to the last show.

The seventh edition of Airshow China closed on Sunday with a record increase in deals and sales. The event was held in the city of Zhuhai on the southern coast of China and saw deal makers and aircraft manufacturers from across the globe in attendance. The previous Airshow China held in 2006 saw fifteen deals signed involved a total of 98 aircraft, the sum value of which was US$3 billion. The 2008 Airshow China took a giant leap forward from this previous mark, with sixteen deals signed for a total of 102 aircraft, the value of which amounts to US$4 billion. The six-day show also proved to be a great launching pad for the country’s fledgling aerospace industry into more main-stream airplane companies. It was the first time ever that a Chinese commercial aircraft was sold to a U.S. Company.

It seems that the record-breaking U.S. deal came about as a possible answer to the financial crunch that has been affecting the global market. Both Boeing and Airbus were among the 600 civil and military manufacturers and parts suppliers that attended the air show. Many of those in attendance had hopes that China’s bustling aviation market would be able to help cushion the already devastating impact that the world financial crisis has had on the industry. By the end of the show, it seemed Airbus had found a potential answer to its problems; it secured an order for 20 A320 aircraft from the aviation leasing arm of the Bank of China. The deal amounts to roughly US$1.1 billion. General Electric also crunched a major deal, making an agreement under their aircraft leasing arm to take five of the domestically produced jets made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. The deal amounted to US$732.4 million and General Electric still has the option to buy 20 more of these aircraft. This is China’s largest export aircraft deal ever.

So it seems that while other parts of the globe are fretting, China’s aerospace industry has gotten off to a great start. The next Airshow China will be held in 2010 in the same city and no doubt will also be a massive success.