FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY – The 17th edition of AERO demonstrated once again the fascination of flight and the thrill of discovering new aircraft. The international aviation trade show gave the industry an important boost during difficult economic times and showed that this major event is bigger and better than ever, with increases in the number of visitors, exhibitors, and the amount of exhibition space used. This year's AERO had 625 exhibitors, which is 12 percent more than at the last show. When brave pilots perform perfect aerial acrobatics, flying fans flock to the exhibition grounds for awe-inspiring demonstrations in the skies over Friedrichshafen. And with more than 46,400 visitors, the European meeting place for general aviation also came through with a perfect three-point landing. Exhibitors showed great satisfaction and even greater relief that trade visitor interest exceeded all expectations, despite a challenging economic climate.
Many manufacturers at the AERO reported sales of business jets. Exhibitors were also successful in the area of high-speed propeller-driven touring aircraft with piston motors. This is particularly significant since it is precisely this segment that has seen the sharpest decline in demand over the past few months. In addition to concrete sales, manufacturers of single-engine two-seaters and ultralights made reference to the many potential customers who are seriously considering making a purchase.
Strong international character
Exhibitors indicated in a survey that they are very satisfied with the trade show: Kenneth Keith from Extra Aircraft said that in addition to meeting aviation specialists from Germany, there were knowledgeable visitors from Brazil, Hungary and Russia at his stand. "This international character makes the AERO very appealing for us.," he said.
Other exhibitors such as Thomas Redder, Technical Director of Beechcraft Augsburg, underscored that although there was a high degree of professionalism among exhibitors and visitors, the AERO still had a very relaxed and casual atmosphere.
"Leading trade show for general aviation"
"With its great success and the enormously positive feedback from exhibitors, the AERO has once again shown that the exhibition in Friedrichshafen is Europe's leading trade show for general aviation," said Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann.
This year the industry meeting place for general aviation was even more international, both in terms of exhibitors and visitors. "The AERO has impressively demonstrated that it continues to grow in a difficult market environment and is an important platform and a major mouthpiece for the industry," said AERO Project Manager Thomas Grunewald.
New themes, in particular the "E-Flight-Expo," with its alternative propulsion concepts, and the Helicopter Hangar, have received an exceptionally positive response from visitors and the media.
Record number of media representatives
The AERO is a big international media event: Media representatives came from countries like South Africa, Japan, Russia, the US, Canada, Israel and the Arab Emirates to attend the event in Friedrichshafen. A total of 14 television crews ensured that moving pictures of the air show were distributed around the world, and 738 journalists from 30 countries set a new record for the number of media representatives. The strong attraction of the AERO is underscored by the fact that one out of every two journalists came from abroad.
Trade visitors, including 70 percent with a flying license, traveled to Friedrichshafen from all five continents and a total of 40 different countries. Thirty-five percent of visitors surveyed came from abroad.
The next AERO will take to the skies next year from Thursday to Sunday, 8-11 April 2010.