Farnborough Airshow Sees Dogfights and Power Games for Aero Firms

There will be a barrage of orders to demonstrate the pulling power of the show, which starts today.

Both EADS and BAE Systems are struggling to appeal. BAE's decision to exit civil aviation by selling its 20pc stake in EADS to dig itself deeper into the American defence market has produced a cold dose of reality. The valuation of ?2.75bn ( pounds 1.9bn) placed on the stake by NM Rothschild, the independent arbitrators, was 20pc below BAE's expectations and left EADS and its reluctant shareholder dismayed. Airbus has been tarnished by the six-month delay in deliveries of the A380, costly in terms of prestige and in the compensation that will now be paid to its frontline customers, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.

Top management has paid the price with the departure, under protest, of Noel Forgeard, joint EADS chief executive, and Gustav Humbert, head of Airbus. But the opportunity presented to scrap the dual chairman and chief executive roles at EADS to create a simple and single line of command, was missed because of the impasse between the two big German and French shareholders.

Meanwhile, the compensation queue will grow longer before A380 production gets back on track as Airbus ensures that the aircraft's 500 kilometres of wiring deliver all the sophisticated services promised by the salesmen.

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