Business / Industries

Chinese participation at UK's Farnborough Air Show is biggest ever

By Chris Peterson ( Updated: 2016-07-11 19:35

China's participation in this year's biennial Farnborough Air Show, one of the most important showcases for the world aviation industry, is the biggest –ever, according to the organisers.

The show, which runs from July 11 to July 17, will feature a Chinese pavilion hosting some of the country's leading aviation and avionics firm.

Already two deals have been announced, with China's Xiamen Airlines signing a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of up to 30 Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft, worth as much as $3.39 billion at current prices.

But an even bigger deal was between Boeing and Donghai Airlines, which signalled its intention to buy 25 Boeing 737 MAX-8 jets and five 787-9 Dreamliners, an agreement that could be worth as much as $4 billion, and is part of Donghai's plan to transition from being a cargo carrier to a passenger airline.

Wong Cho-Bau, chairman of Donghai, said in a statement: “Under China's Belt and Road initiatives, we will accelerate our fleet expansion plan to satisfy the rapidly growing air travel market and help build our home base at Shenzhen as the transportation hub for southern China."

Those exhibiting include AviChina Industry and Technology Co., Aviage Systems, Western Superconducting Co, China Aviation Industrial base, China Aviation News, China General Aviation Industry, Baoji Titanium Industry, Shaanxi China Aero Industry Gas Spring Co., Tipro International Co, Wuxi Blade Co and COMAC, which builds China's first-ever locally designed and built short and medium-haul jet, the C919.

The C919 made its maiden flight earlier this year, with the first production model due to enter service in 2018. It is powered by two Franco-American CFM International engines

“Participation (at the Farnborough Show) will open many doors for more commercial trade between the Chinese aerospace supply chain and the many global organizations that attend the show," said Amanda Stainer, the show's Commercial Director.

The European Project Innovation Centre will be hosting a conference during the show on aerospace opportunities for China's One Belt, One Road initiative, which envisages maritime and land links with Europe along the lines of the old Silk Road.

Chinese firms have doubled the amount of space taken for exhibitions, lining up alongside the two civilian aviation industry giants, Europe's Airbus Industrie and Boeing Co. of the US.

China plans a major expansion plan, which includes the construction of another 300 airports by 2020, roughly double the existing number.

Chinese participation at UK's Farnborough Air Show is biggest ever

COMAC's C919 model is on display at the Farnborough Air Show, one of the major exhibitions for the world aviation industry, in Britain, July 11, 2016. The show, which runs from July 11 to July 17, features the biggest Chinese participatin ever. The C919 is China's first-ever locally designed and built short and medium-haul jet. [Photo by Wang Mingjie/China Daily]

China is regarded as a major growth area for aviation and Phil Seymour, chief operating officer at the International Bureau of Aviation, an independent consultancy, told the BBC "China's aviation market is looking bright."

Last month Airbus announced it had signed a contract with a Chinese consortium to manufacture its H135 helicopter in Qingdao, the European planemaker's first-ever assembly line outside Europe.

The twin-engined helicopter will be made by China Aviation Supplies Holding Company and Qingdao United General Industrial Development Co, with Airbus forecasting that China will become one of the largest markets for civil helicopters by 2020.

The airshow, staged at Farnborough in the Surrey countryside southwest of London, will see a variety of static and flight displays.

Airbus is showing its giant two-deck jumbo, the A380, already in service with a variety of airlines including Qantas, Singapore Airlines and British Airways, and used mainly on Asia and Australian routes.

Boeing plans to showcase its all-composite 787 Dreamliner.

Farnborough is a major venue for aircraft and engine sales. In 2014, aircraft and engine orders worth $204 billion were made.

There are 22 separate country pavilions and over 1,500 exhibitors at this year's show.

The trade days alone from Monday to Thursday is expected to attract 100,000 visitors, with many more on the three days when the show is open to the public for the flight program, which will include the debut of Britain's first F-35 joint strike fighter, destined to be used on Britain's two new aircraft carriers.

Video was made by Wang Mingjie.

To contact the reporter:

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks