With a definitive Brexit deal still nowhere in sight, investors have raised concerns about the uncertainty of operating European airlines from the UK after Britain crashes out of the European Union.
Aware as it might be of the negative impact Brexit may have on European industries, the aerospace giant Airbus clinched billions of euros’ worth of deals with Chinese, Indian and Taiwanese airlines at the Farnborough air show that kicked off outside London on Monday, Agence France Presse reported.
At the same time, Taiwan's Starlux Airlines plans to buy 12 A350-1000s and five A350-900s.
The deals come in addition to more than $17 billion at catalogue price for the planes, if all orders are confirmed, and prior to large discounts traditionally offered to buyers.
Not to be outdone, Airbus' US rival, Boeing, has also announced a bevy of lucrative deals, including 14 777s jumbo jets to DHL for $4.7 billion, and 30 737 MAX to Jackson Square Aviation for $3.5 billion.
This year’s Farnborough airshow is overshadowed by a looming trade war between China and the United States, as well as London’s stuttering Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Airbus, which employs some 15,000 people in Britain, has warned it would invest elsewhere if the UK leaves the EU in 2019 with no deal.
The show’s organizers have warned that planes would stop flying if London fails to ink a satisfactory Brexit deal with the EU.
Trying to play down concerns, Prime Minister Theresa May struck an optimistic note in her opening speech at the show that even though Britain was leaving the EU to forge a new future for itself, “the UK remains one of the best places in the world for aerospace companies to do business."
In a last-ditch attempt to unite her divided Cabinet on Brexit, Theresa May, who is under increasing pressure from EU officials, companies and some lawmakers to move forward with negotiations to leave the EU, has come up with a plan of “facilitated customs arrangement” to free up trade and offer Britain more freedom to set tariffs after Brexit.
The new plan will see Britain closely mirror EU rules, use technology to determine where goods will end up and, therefore, which tariffs should be applied.