At Wings of the Future 2016, Moscow
An intense time of the year for airline industry watchers in Russia, after "Travel Tech Conference Russia", it was the turn of "Wings of the Future" (the conference was previously known as "Wings of Russia"), organized by ATO Events, and the largest forum for the commercial aviation industry in Russia.
Here are some highlights of this conference, whose attendee list reads a bit like a who's who of the Russian commercial aviation industry:
Amadeus presented a study it has sponsored on the state and future of travel distribution. The study, that has been elaborated by the London School of Economics states that the travel industry may be underestimating the speed at which structural changes, driven by technology, are taking place across the different travel distribution channels.
Mobile, collaborative economy, personalized marketing...some of it will not sound really like "breaking news" for those that follow technology trends in travel, but nevertheless, it is a good work of reference that allows anyone interested in this topic to get the whole picture of what is going on.
Commercial aircraft market
United Aircraft Corporation, the holding the groups most of the government-owned aircraft manufacturing companies in Russia, presented its forecast and market vision for its up and coming Irkut MC-21 mid-sized airliner, whose official presentation in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, we had the chance to witness first hand.
Irkut expects to get at least 3% of the mid-size single-aisle airliner market, which would mean between 770 (according to Flightglobal's estimates) and 980 aircraft (as per Irkut's own projections) for the period running until 2035 (after that, it is assumed that new brand-new aircraft concepts will be in the market).
Also interesting was the "beauty contest" between the representatives of both Bombardier and Embraer, that were presenting their CSeries and E2 families respectively.
No need to say, this is a market segment where they have a locally-strong competitor in the form of the Sukhoi Superjet.