Channel NewsAsia

Singapore Airshow kicks off with largest number of exhibiting firms

The fourth edition Singapore Airshow 2014, Asia's largest and one of the most important aerospace and defence exhibitions in the world, kicked off on Tuesday at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

SINGAPORE: The fourth edition Singapore Airshow 2014, Asia's largest and one of the most important aerospace and defence exhibitions in the world, kicked off on Tuesday at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew launched the week-long event.

Several trade deals involving billions of dollars were clinched on the first day of the Singapore Airshow.

Turkish Airlines announced a US$560 million deal to outfit engines to 25 of its new aircraft.

VietJetAir placed a firm order for 63 Airbus A320 jets with a list price of US$6.4 billion in a massive expansion drive by the privately-owned budget carrier founded only in 2011.

The deal also covers rights to acquire or lease additional A320s potentially boosting VietJetAir's current fleet of 11 A320s tenfold.

The low-cost carrier currently has a fleet of 11 leased A320s plying domestic routes, as well as services to Bangkok, Seoul and Kunming in China.

Myanmar's national carrier also signed a contract with US firm GE Capital to lease 10 Boeing aircraft worth nearly a billion dollars in a major makeover for the largely domestic airline.

Organisers said they do not expect total deals to hit the US$200 billion mark seen at the Dubai Airshow. But they are hoping that this year's total deal can reach up to 70 to 80 per cent of the US$31 billion seen at the previous Singapore Airshow.

The airshow will see the largest number of exhibiting companies, 1,000 companies from 47 countries, including more than 60 of the world's top 100 aerospace companies.

Mr Jimmy Lau, Managing Director of Experia Events, the organiser of the airshow, told Bernama news that the airshow is set to be "our biggest yet and promises exhibitors, delegates and visitors an excellent experience."

The airshow features 22 country/group pavilions, including new pavilions from Hong Kong and Malaysia, he told a media briefing.

The airshow will also see increased participation from Japan. Besides the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Chubu region will also set up pavilions, featuring aerospace companies from their regions.

New exhibitors at the airshow include Alpha Star Aviation Services from Saudi Arabia, Aero AT (Jiang Su) Aviation Technology from China, ExecuJet Aviation Group from Switzerland and Jetcraft from the United Kingdom.

Visitors can also look forward to a world-class flying display, with a record number of flying display participants in the history of airshows in Singapore. The flying display includes performances by three aerobatic teams from Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia, with the key highlight being the Airbus A350XWB, which marks its first full display at an international airshow.

There will also be solo aerobatics performances by the Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Air Force and the Yak-130.  

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna