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Sat 4 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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Size mattered at the Paris Air Show

The Paris Air Show has closed its doors for another year and the week-long event was well attended and surprisingly upbeat considering the backdrop of the current economic climate. Prior to the event, the organiser of the centennial Paris Air Show said it expected around 300,000 visitors and it wasn't disappointed.

Size mattered at the Paris Air Show

The Paris Air Show has closed its doors for another year and the week-long event was well attended and surprisingly upbeat considering the backdrop of the current economic climate. Prior to the event, the organiser of the centennial Paris Air Show said it expected around 300,000 visitors and it wasn't disappointed.

Arguably placing quantity before quality, Louis Le Portz, the air show's chief executive, said: "We consider this year a success because we're full." Around 2000 exhibitors were present this year, roughly the same number as were present in 2007 and the mood was one of optimism for the future.

However, there were notable no-shows from business jet makers Gulfstream and Cessna and it did not go unnoticed that other big aviation names who were there had cut back on the size of their stands compared to previous years, presumably in a bid to save money.

It wasn't just exhibition stands that had been downsized. There was much talk of which companies had made staff cuts recently and as the show ran on it came to light that British Airways was asking its employees to work for free and Air India was cutting its costs by up to 16%, although it insisted it would not retrench staff.

Sarah Cowell is the editor of Aviation Business.

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