Big orders soar at Singapore air show

STORY: Singapore kicked off Asia's biggest aviation gathering on Tuesday (February 20).

The Singapore Airshow comes at a challenging time for the aeronautical industry.

It is dealing with a rebound in post-health crisis travel demand, while facing severe supply constraints.

Over 1,000 companies from more than 50 countries are participating in the air show.

It's led by Western industry giants like Airbus, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

And Chinese competitors such as COMAC and AVIC are also in town.

COMAC posted the first aircraft orders of the event, as Tibet Airlines agreed to take 50 jets.

While U.S. planemaker Boeing saw Royal Brunei Airlines order four 787-9 Dreamliners.

Boeing also held a signing ceremony to mark a recently placed order for 45 of the wide-body planes by Thai Airways.

It's positive news for Boeing, which is under pressure after the mid-air blowout of a cabin panel on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX early this year.

The orders come with travel demand on the rise.

By the end of last year demand had made a near-full recovery from pre-health crisis levels, though it still lagged behind 2019 numbers, mostly due to China's slower rebound.

But major suppliers, planemakers and engine producers have struggled to keep up with the rebound in demand.

The sharp downturn during the health crisis led to job losses, freight issues and an industry skills shortage.