The Paris Airshow was our biggest ever. From introducing our Profit Hunter, the E195-E2, to the biggest aircraft we’ve built the KC-390. Read more for my full breakdown.As hectic and exhausting as big air shows can be for many exhibitors, they’re still tremendously efficient platforms where the world can come to see your products and meet your people. Last month’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget was no exception. Of course, it’s wonderful to follow our progress through our news releases, websites, videos and social media, but seeing and touching real airplanes adds a whole new dimension to experiencing our aircraft.
Our participation at Le Bourget was, quite literally, our biggest to date. We featured two of our biggest aircraft, the E195-E2 and the KC-390 military transport. We welcomed visitors in our biggest chalet and in our biggest pavilion where they could check out our new E2 cabin mock up and fly the E2 in our virtual reality simulator.
At any air show, it can be tough to stand out when there are so many aircraft vying for attention. This year, however, we certainly stood out with our E195-E2 and its life-like, hand-painted front section depicting a Golden Eagle. It was such a pleasure to introduce Quintana and Marlon to everyone who visited the static display. They are the talented and creative aircraft technicians from our facility in São José dos Campos who painted the majestic bird. Judging by the huge number of people who took photos of these two artists and the airplane, they were the real stars of the show. You can imagine how impressive the E2 looked as it circled the crowd during the afternoon flying displays!
At the start of the year, I used the word momentum to characterize our expectations for 2017. After announcing commitments for 51 new airplanes last month, I believe that word still applies. Despite a general softening in world demand for new aircraft, we continue to grow our order book with purchases from customers for both our current and new-generation E-Jets.
Momentum also applies to our E2 program. It’s almost hard to believe that in about 12 months we’ll be delivering our first E2, an E190-E2, to Widerøe of Norway. Testing and certification of the E195-E2 and E175-E2 are tracking right on schedule, too.
If you missed us in Paris, you can catch us at the Dubai Air Show this November where we’ll welcome visitors from the Middle East and Africa. The region holds a lot of potential for us. In the Middle East alone, we forecast that the current fleet of 70 to 130-seat jets will nearly triple over the next 20 years as carriers add 220 more aircraft in that capacity segment. That’s about the same number as African airlines are expected to add in the same period.
Whether it’s Paris, Farnborough, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore or Zhuhai, air shows are the ultimate showrooms for new airplanes!