Paris Air Show opens under cloudy skies for planemakers

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 17, 2019 - Duration: 02:09s

Paris Air Show opens under cloudy skies for planemakers

Planemakers gather at the Paris Air Show from Monday, but the industry's outlook isn't as festive as in some past years.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.


Paris Air Show opens under cloudy skies for planemakers

The world's big planemakers gather at the Paris Air Show from Monday (June 17).

Airbus and Boeing may hope it will focus on the future, and not dwell too much on the present.

Boeing's 737 MAX 8 jets remain grounded after two fatal crashes.

On Monday it still couldn't say when they'd fly again: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, BOEING, GREG SMITH, SAYING: "We're committed to learning from this and have teams working 24 hours, seven days a week to ensure that we're meeting the needs and the priorities of our regulators and our customers around the globe." Airbus is still smarting from the decision to end output of its flagship A380 superjumbo.

And both firms are grappling with a slowdown in orders.

They may prefer talking about a brewing contest over new medium-sized jets capable of flying long distances.

On Monday Airbus launched its offering.

The A321XLR is a long range variant of its best-selling A320 family, and can fly about 4,700 miles: (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS SALES CHIEF, CHRISTIAN SCHERER, SAYING: "It is therefore, by definition, for a range it's like this, the lowest risk investment deployment for an airline opening new routes in that sector range." Boeing may fight back with an all-new product, so far known only as the New Mid-Market Airplane.

It says a clean-sheet design will make it superior.

But a launch now isn't expected this week.

Zero-emission flight set to be another big theme this week.

Israeli startup Eviation is unveiling an electric plane it hopes to put on sale in around 2021.

Numerous other projects in the works, with aviation under pressure to cut emissions.

On the military side of the show, there's a brewing fight over fighters.

Spain on Monday said it would join France and Germany in a project to design Europe's next combat jet.

Britain hasn't joined the team.

Instead it's seeking partners around the world for its own new warplane.

Even at the Paris Air Show, it's hard to avoid hints of Brexit.

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