Palexpo, Geneva; Cointrin Airport, Switzerland
21-23rd May 2013
This year’s Geneva show was generally upbeat in the exhibition halls but the overall atmosphere was one of concern for the industry, particularly in the Eurozone. Visitor numbers held up but the visiting aircraft park was sparse in comparison to past years; one assumes delegates came by surface or scheduled flights.
All the major players were in evidence though rotary exhibits had reduced. Two reasons come to mind; the enlargement of the upper hall removed the platform parking area and the rise of ‘Helitech’ as a rotorcraft show in its own right.
There were fewer general aviation exhibits except for Beechcraft. the star news item was the launch of the Pilatus light jet as a concept with an impressive mock-up on show. They chose not to feature a Turbo-Porter but numerous PC-12s on the field show how established they are on the world stage. The lack of progress on the other light jet projects so optimistically described last year suggests the market is adjusting. Instead of tempting piston owners to trade up the midsize jet operators might soon be forced to step down in size to mitigate the political ‘attitude’ in the USA against corporate biz-jet extravagance.
The VVIP market still seems relatively healthy with Embraer, Airbus and Boeing showing corporate airliners over and above the established Gulfstream and Bombardier offerings. The G650 certainly attracted compliments from many quarters on its EBACE debut.
Once again the weather was inclement for the time of year but Geneva’s friendly welcome still attracts, heralding the start of another aviation rich summer.