The Farnborough International Airshow will showcase the most advanced aircraft across commercial and military aerospace designs.
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LONDON – Britain’s Farnborough International Air Show will return next week, as aviation and defense industry leaders prepare to meet against a backdrop of travel chaos and labor unrest.
The five-day trade show, which kicks off on Monday, will showcase the most advanced aircraft in commercial and military aviation.
More than 70 of the top 100 airlines will attend, although Farnborough International has suspended Russian participation, citing the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
Six major themes were put at the center of the action: aerospace, defense, sustainability, innovation, future aviation, and the workforce.
This is the first time that major players in the aerospace, defense and aerospace industries have come face-to-face in a major summer air show since Paris 2019 following cancellations due to the coronavirus crisis.
Now, as the airline industry faces a difficult recovery from the pandemic, the air show is set to provide a global platform for executives to determine what the future holds.
What will happen in the air show?
Visitors to the air show will see daily air shows of the most advanced commercial and military aircraft. There will also be an opportunity to view the products up close.
Besides the shows, about 1,200 exhibitors from 42 countries will attend.
Some companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems are expected to participate in the event.
European aircraft maker Airbus is likely to prepare to sign a deal with US airline Delta Air Lines at the event. Citing two unnamed sources, Reuters reported that Airbus is in talks to sell more A220s to Delta, with an additional order of about a dozen set to be announced at the air show.
It is also believed that Delta may announce an order for at least 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
Airbus and Boeing were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Delta executives declined to comment on reports of upcoming orders for Boeing and Airbus narrow-body jets during a quarterly earnings call on Wednesday.
However, CEO Ed Bastian said: “We have an opportunity in the next three to five years of delivery for some additional acquisitions with a tight, narrow body, and that’s something we’re always talking to with Airbus and Boeing about and whether that’s a used or whether that’s new, There is an opportunity there.”
A worker inspects an Airbus A220 at Airbus Canada’s assembly and termination site in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada in November last year.
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Industry players will be watching to see if China is willing to announce new orders at this event.
At the beginning of July, Airbus secured a huge order from four Chinese airlines in what was seen as a significant breakthrough for the European airline and a setback for US rival Boeing.
Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Shenzhen Airlines have pledged to purchase a total of 292 single-aisle A320 family aircraft from Airbus. This was the largest demand by Chinese airlines since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.
Airbus said the deal showed “positive recovery momentum and a buoyant outlook for the Chinese aviation market”.
At the beginning of July, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Shenzhen Airlines placed an order for 292 single-aisle A320 family aircraft from Airbus.
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In addition to a host of order bookings and deal-making, the UK government is preparing to launch a so-called “Jet Zero” strategy.
This initiative is part of a set of policies designed to help reduce UK emissions to net zero by mid-century.
The UK government is expected to include mandates that will force British-based airlines to use a minimum level of sustainable aviation fuel. This policy is designed to increase demand for a much more expensive product than kerosene jet fuel.
Climate activists have fiercely criticized the UK government’s Jet Zero initiative as fit for purpose, however, arguing that some sustainable aviation fuels do more harm than good and the plan is built on decades of growth out of line with the climate emergency.
The July 18-22 event comes as temperatures soar in parts of Europe and attendees are likely to experience scorching heat at the start of the week. Heat waves are becoming more frequent, intense and prolonged as a result of the climate crisis.
Temperatures may peak above 35°C (95°F) in southeast England on Monday and Tuesday. It provides a sweltering backdrop to the air show at a time when the aviation sector is under tremendous pressure to credibly define plans to cut emissions.
Temperatures could peak above 35 degrees Celsius in southeast England on Monday and Tuesday.
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Climate warming emissions from aviation are increasing faster than any other mode of transportation and are a major contributor to the climate crisis.
At the air show, airline executives called for targeted targets to tackle non-CO2 emissions. These non-CO2 effects – such as nitrogen oxides, water vapor, soot and black carbon – from jet engines were found to contribute twice as much to global warming as carbon dioxide in aircraft and were responsible for two-thirds of the aviation climate impact in 2018.
Another major issue for industry executives is lowering demand as a way to curb the aviation sector’s surging emissions.
Travel chaos and labor unrest
The airline industry has been grappling with a series of challenges in the run-up to the air show sparked by airport chaos ahead of a busy summer holiday season.
Strikes and staff shortages have forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights and led to hours-long queues at major airports. It has dampened hopes of a rebound in air travel in the first summer after the Covid shutdown.
The airline industry has imposed sweeping job cuts and wage cuts as the Covid crisis halted travel around the world, but the lifting of restrictions saw a sharp increase in passenger demand.
Employees are now pushing for better working conditions and better wages amid rising inflation.
Bags were seen unassembled at Heathrow for baggage reclaim. The UK’s largest airport has asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets.
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In a sign that one of Europe’s busiest airports was struggling to deal with a rebound in air travel, London’s Heathrow Airport on Tuesday asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets.
The largest airport in the United Kingdom, it is located in southwest London and About 19 miles from Farnborough, he said he’s limiting the passengers who can leave each day during the peak summer months to 100,000. That’s 4,000 fewer passengers than currently scheduled.
The move sparked an angry response from airlines, with the head of the International Air Transport Association describing the restrictions as “ridiculous”. Emirates Airlines echoed that sentiment. The Dubai-based airline rejected what it called Heathrow’s “unreasonable and unacceptable” demands.
CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.