17 SEPTEMBER 2012
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ILA Berlin this year, which closed yesterday (Sunday 16 September), must go down as one of the weirdest aviation gatherings of all time. Previously held in the spring it was moved to accommodate the opening of Willy Brandt Berlin International Airport which uses the same runways. In actual fact, much to the embarrassment of the Germans, the new airport was not open and the aircraft that did take part in the show were able to use the runways at their leisure.
Airbus usually dominates the show, which is normally slanted towards customers from Eastern Europe. Not so this year, with Boeing making an appearance for the first time this century. In any event Toulouse made a statement saying that, as a matter of policy, it was not announcing orders (which nobody believed – there are no orders to announce with just four A380s sold this year) and if Boeing expected airlines to sign up now that Lufthansa has the Boeing 747-8 in service, they were mistaken. The 787 Dreamliner is impressive and for most it was the first time to see it close up.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel did put in an appearance and officially opened the event which attracted some 1,200 exhibitors. www.ila-berlin.de
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