What a start to the year has it been from airlines.
AirAsia and Jetstar announced world's first low cost alliance. Japan Airlines filed for bankruptcy and hopes to come out as a different airline, with a different alliance altogether (It even hired a monk as a CEO.)
The airlines in the west announced mostly shrinking losses, but Allegiant and AirTran stunned everyone with their record profits. Then last night, at the Air Transport World Global Airline Awards ceremony, Rob Fyfe - CEO of Air New Zealand - left the audience in awe when he stripped on the stage to perform the Kiwi War Dance after accepting his award for Airline of the Year!
So it certainly seems that surprise is in the air for the industry. Hence, we should expect the unexpected from the Singapore Airshow 2010 too.
Here are four wild things to expect at the Airshow.
1. A Return of Aircraft Orders
After dismal outcomes late last year at the Dubai Airshow and the Asian Aerospace in Hong Kong, no one is expecting too many orders at the Singapore Airshow this year. But since then, the tide seems to have turned. The recession bottomed out, and orders might be back. If not, why would Boeing send Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to town, Bombardier fly in a slew of business and regional jets and Airbus fly in the A330F? There's something brewing.
2. Asian Dominance
The Chinese and the Koreans are at the Airshow in full force. The Chinese have flown in their Comac ARJ21 regional jet, and talking a lot about their 919 narrowbody. The Koreans have their FA50 and the T50, along with the Surion helicopter here. Mitsubishi and Sukhoi are here as well. So, instead of just looking at the usual Airbus and Boeing orders, there might be something that comes out of no- It's the Singapore Airshow afterall.
3. Don't Rule Out Cargo Yet
Although cargo traffic are at an all-time low, a brand new Airbus A330 freighter is in town. And it's creating a lot of buzz too. Airlines in the region are propping up their cargo operations - Kingfisher Airlines starting up, AirAsia looking at it seriously and a lot of Chinese carriers looking out to the future. So, don't be surprised if something happens on that front as well.
4. Largest-Ever Social Media Coverage
For the first time in the history of airshows, there's not just press and broadcast coverage, but also social media coverage. That's right, SimpliFlying is covering every single aspect of the airshow, and interacting with the delegates through Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Youtube. You can join in the fun here.
The youngest winner of Global Brand Leadership Award, Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying.com, an award winning blog on airline branding. He tweets at @simpliflying and helps airlines, airports drive revenue and loyalty through social media conversations.