Editor’s Comment: Into the shark tank

LARA editor Mark Thomas summarises the latest happenings across the low-fare and regional aviation industry.

It’s the final countdown to the Farnborough Airshow in the UK this week, and much of the pre-show focus is on who will be displaying what and what announcements might be made.

At the centre of attention is likely to be Boeing and Embraer, following the long-awaited big news about their proposed strategic joint venture in the commercial aircraft sector. It’s a non-binding agreement for an 80-20 split in Boeing’s favour, which valued the Brazilian manufacturer’s commercial aircraft operations at a perhaps surprisingly low US $4.75 billion.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of next year – but that’s unlikely to stop it being the focus of many questions during Boeing’s various media briefings throughout show week.

Many believe the JV came about as a direct response to the deal first revealed last year between Airbus and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for the latter’s CSeries programme – a deal that formally came into effect on July 1, and about which much is also expected to be heard during Airbus and Bombardier’s media briefings. Especially so as Airbus has just unveiled the CS100 and CS300 in Toulouse today under the new monikers of the A220-100 and A220-300 with their shiny fresh Airbus paint jobs.

Embraer will be keen to keep itself very much in the limelight at the airshow, and its shark-faced E190-E2 on flying display is expected to be a crowd-please, following on from the success of its tiger and eagle-faced aircraft on show in Singapore earlier this year and Paris last year respectively.

But there are plenty who will attend Farnborough interested in finally seeing Mitsubishi’s long-overdue MRJ90 take to the skies in its official public flight display debut. Some felt the industry’s big sharks might just devour this problematic aircraft project, but LARA for one is delighted that the Japanese manufacturer and its team appear to be making good progress through the extended flight test campaign and finally moving onto the home straight towards entry into service for the aircraft type in 2020.

One thing we know for sure is that there will be plenty of news emerging from the airshow of significance to the low-fare and regional aviation sector, and LARA’s subscribers will be kept up to date via our e-news show dailies all next week. You can also follow our coverage on all our usual social media channels, and you can meet the HMG Aerospace team on Booth 4012 in Hall 4.

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the LARA e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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