Singapore Airshow 2014 to highlight the rise of Asia
Asia's largest aeronautical and defense airshow is set to commence next week, and with Singapore's strategic position both – regionally and as a brand – the show is expected to highlight Asia's booming potential as a major growth market.
"The industry is growing; the economic scenario looks probably on positive side in 2014. So that creates momentum in the industry," said Subhranshu Sekhar Das, Singapore-based Asia Director of Aerospace and Defense at Frost & Sullivan.
(Read more: Squabbling Asia is compromising its growth potential)
"So considering that, this airshow will have a tremendous influence on this ecosystem; in terms of orders, in terms of joint venture partnerships, or in terms of discussing some strategic initiatives," he added.
Orders are expected to ring in the buzz, but not all analysts are upbeat. Brendan Sobie, Chief Analyst at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said there could be a few small orders or potential surprises, but he doesn't expect any major orders this year.
"The Singapore show doesn't usually get a huge number of orders or new orders because it comes at the beginning of the year and Airbus and Boeing always have a push to close their deals and announce them by the end of December, which leaves kind of little on the plate when it comes to February," he said.
Aerobatic flying displays and static showcases are set to draw the crowds.
Airbus will present its all new A350 XWB, a modern mid-sized, wide-bodied aircraft, which will make its debut on the runway. This appearance will mark the A350's very first international air show display.
Qatar Airways will also feature its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, while Silk Air shows off its new 737-800.
Some exhibits on the defense side include the V-22 Osprey, C-17 Globemaster III, and the P-8A Poseidon. A flying display will see the F/A18F Super Hornet featured.
And that's not all; technology, maintenance, repair, and overhaul products (MRO) will feature extensively as well.
According to Sobie, engine and maintenance companies might be in focus this time around. "There's a lot of activity around the engine companies, the maintenance companies are all going to be exhibiting in Singapore, in Asia specifically is a big MRO market, drawing the airlines from the region and from outside the region as well."
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"This is about Asia, this is about the overall industry, this is about a lot of opportunities in Asia for the whole supply chain," he added.
With meetings anticipated to take place and business looking to be done, expectations are flying high, but will deals signed at this year's airshow match up to 2012's $31 billion total?
For now, the verdict on that is unpredictable, but at least that's what Asia's aviation industry is hoping for.
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