The Farnborough International Airshow 2008 which opens today, 14 July 2008, will be the biggest event ever in the airshow’s history in terms of exhibition space and exhibitor presence.
When the show opens, visitors will be able to see the full extent of a sales campaign which has seen applications from exhibitors up on the previous show, and a final figure for exhibition sales just under 15% higher than in 2006. The total number of exhibitors at the show is over 1,500 - a 5% increase on the last show; 39 countries will be at the show, with 29 international and regional pavilions, while there are likely to be 140,000 business visitors coming to the show from Monday to Friday.
Farnborough has also enhanced the experience for all business visitors: from Monday to Friday, a free shuttle bus service will operate between the three principal local railway stations and the show site. The Farnborough website has offered a meeting booking system for exhibitors which will be put into practice on day one of the show. The website will also be broadcasting full day’s television coverage of each of the first four days of the show, thanks to a partnership with AINtv.com
New exhibiting companies are coming to the show for the first time from emerging industry sections which reflect growth market areas for future shows, and which are of increasing interest to the Farnborough trade visitors. Particular pavilions have also increased in size and presence, with FIA 2008 displaying an enhanced AUVSI Pavilion, and more exhibitors than ever before in the Kallman Worldwide Pavilions in Halls 2, 3, and 4. High level commercial and military delegations from 39 countries have been invited to attend the show.
The Business Aircraft Park is consolidating on its success in 2006 and has improved its facilities by increasing the permanent hard standing pads for the aircraft. The opportunity to create a dedicated, specialist area for business aircraft has been taken up enthusiastically by exhibitors who have made the most of the proximity of the J Row chalets to the Aircraft Park. Show organisers have seen significant movement from K Row to J Row on the part of small frame manufacturers with a business aviation focus looking to make the most of access from the chalets to their aircraft in the Business Aircraft Park. Dassault has moved from K Row to J Row; Hawker Beechcraft will have presence there for the whole trade week, and the maximum number of chalet units are being used. Gulfstream will be taking a meeting room in the Business Aircraft Park reception area, and Bombardier will be welcoming Lewis Hamilton to their pavilion as part of the celebrations of the first flight of the Learjet in 1963, and the launch of a the new Learjet B5 this year.
Amanda Stainer, the Airshow’s Exhibition and Events Director said, “The 2008 Airshow is going to be a great event. This year’s show will deliver an incomparable business service for our exhibitors and their customers, ensuring that they can gain maximum benefit and opportunity from attending Farnborough Airshow. We have listened carefully to precisely what our customers have told us, and we have innovated accordingly. Exhibitors new and established will be able to see for themselves the way in which the show has evolved since 2006 to ensure that Farnborough International Airshow 2008 will deliver maximum return for all our business visitors.”
One major exhibitor, Qatar Airways, will have a luxurious chalet at the event featuring a reception area, lounge, dining and private meeting rooms. The airline is also expected to use Farnborough to make a significant announcement.
“Farnborough Air Show is one of the key events on the aerospace industry calendar, where we are able to meet our industry colleagues from the aircraft manufacturing sector and discuss our future aircraft needs,” said Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker. “At a time of doom and gloom facing the global aviation industry, Qatar Airways is showing its commitment to what it believes is an industry with a vibrant future.”