The Chinese Airliner Takes Flight at Singapore Airshow As Airlines Struggle for More Planes

Asia's largest air show is set to take place in Singapore next week, marking the first time since the end of COVID border restrictions that the event will be held. Regional travel is on the rebound, and the military aspect of the show will be particularly notable, with nervous arms buyers and a range of defensive systems on display. However, a supply crunch and macroeconomic headwinds are testing the expected full return of civil demand in Asia, particularly in China, the world's second-largest aviation market. 


Geopolitical tensions are also a concern, with weapons in the spotlight. According to Subhas Menon, the head of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, supply chain issues are hindering the ability of numerous airlines to upgrade their fleets and service their aircraft. During the biennial show, COMAC's narrow-body C919 will make its first appearance outside of Chinese territory. Attendees will be interested to see how the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) positions itself as a viable alternative to the dominant planemakers, Airbus and Boeing, both of which are struggling to ramp up production and meet the demand for new planes. 


Adam Cowburn of Alton Aviation Consultancy noted that clients are increasingly including the C919 option in their fleet evaluation, but cautioned that only four of these aircraft are currently in service in China and that the plane is only certified by Chinese regulators and relies on international supply chains. Nonetheless, China's aviation authority has said that it will promote the plane internationally this year and seek certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Airbus and COMAC will be flying their commercial planes at the show, but Boeing will not send a commercial aircraft this year. This is the first major international industry event since last month's 737 MAX 9 door plug incident, which pushed Boeing into its second safety crisis in five years. 

Cheap flights with cashback

Analyst Sash Tusa of UK-based Agency Partners observed that the aviation industry used to avoid discussing aviation safety publicly, out of concern that any mention would undermine confidence, but that this omerta no longer seems to apply. The air show will also address aviation's environmental impact, and Singapore will unveil a plan to make its aviation sector sustainable. The global aviation industry agreed in November to reduce fuel carbon emissions by 5% by 2030, with the aim of achieving "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050. Adam Cowburn pointed out that Asia will be a key driver of the industry's Fly Net Zero goals by 2050 since it will remain the largest aviation market. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production is seen as a critical factor in achieving these targets, but it costs three to five times more than traditional jet fuel, and there are concerns about how to sustainably meet demand. Sami Jauhiainen of refiner Neste, which started refining SAF in Singapore last year, observed that awareness of aviation's climate impact has been increasing and that questions about the industry's license to operate have been raised without a credible path for addressing that problem. Although Singapore is not a major venue for new plane orders, some businesses may coincide with the air show. Delegates suggested that there is demand for new freighters. Regional defense budgets are on the rise due to escalating tensions over Taiwan, disputes over South China Sea sovereignty, and a surge in North Korean missile tests. The air show will feature systems of all kinds, from small drones to complex sub-hunting aircraft, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms for monitoring adversaries. The war in Ukraine, which has seen extensive use of high-end air defenses, as well as repeated attacks on Red Sea shipping, may also stimulate interest in systems that can intercept missiles and drones. Six air forces, including those of the United States, India, and Korea, will perform flying demonstrations.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90