Asian Airlines: The Winged And The Wounded

For some, the recent crisis provided opportunity. Others are still fighting for altitude

When aircraft suppliers set up their displays at the 1998 Singapore air show, during the height of the Asia crisis, the atmosphere was doom and gloom. Asian carriers were too busy trying to stay aloft to think about upgrades or expansion. But this year at the six-day Asian Aerospace 2000, airline executives arrived with checkbooks open and pens poised. Hong Kong Dragon Airlines inked its biggest single order ever, for 10 planes from Airbus Industrie. Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Malaysian Airline System (MAS) expressed interest in buying more than 100 new planes between them. "The mood is definitely more upbeat," says beaming Airbus Senior Vice-President John J. Leahy. "I've had more discussions in one day than I did at the entire show two years ago."

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