Planemakers are flagging strong aircraft demand despite economic headwinds. Grace Pascoe reports on the first day of the Singapore Air Show.
Planemakers must deal with both the yin and the yang. Whilst the global economy falters, demand for aircraft remains strong. At Singapore's biennial airshow Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier remains confident in the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS PRESIDENT AND CEO, FABRICE BREGIER, SAYING: "People try to project themselves into the future and the impact of air traffic. As a matter of fact, we don't see it, our competitors don't see it, our customers don't see it, we have never been so healthy, this is the reality. And we are planning for more efficient aircraft for deliveries as you can see, which go well beyond 2020." Neither Airbus, nor Boeing expect delay to deliveries or cancellation requests. And production lines are loaded for rapid growth After a boom in orders has defied the industry's growing number of sceptics. Airbus COO John Leahy says middle class spending is driving aviation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS COO, JOHN LEAHY, SAYING: "They fly for business, they have disposable income they fly for pleasure, and they're the ones who are sitting in the seats of airliners around the world. And the middle class in Asia Pacific will be driving the world going forward. And of course there is also South America and parts of Africa, etc. other parts of emerging markets. This is the key, this is the growth engine, that's driving our industry." No large orders have been placed yet at the airshow. But with oil at multi-year lows, and airline balance sheets strong New orders may be on the cards.