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Each year, Europe plays host to one of the world’s biggest air shows. In even-numbered years, the event is held just outside London at Farnborough Airport; in odd-numbered years, it’s in the suburbs of Paris, at Le Bourget.
Regardless of the location, though, these aviation mega-events are not to be missed — last year, for example, Boeing debuted its 737 MAX, while in 2015, we were able to get our first look at Qatar’s fantastic Airbus A350 (which JT Genter has since reviewed).
This year’s Paris Air Show kicks off on Monday, and it’s shaping up to be one the of the most exciting yet. We’re expecting a range of blockbusters, from Qatar Airways’ Qsuite business class to an up-close look at the Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 787-10, I wouldn’t be surprised to walk away with a few thousand photos over the next several days.
So, without further ado, here are the 5 things I’m most excited about seeing at PAS17:
1. Qatar Airways Qsuite Business Class
TPG had a great time checking out Qatar Airways’ latest and greatest business-class product back in March, but that version was simply a mockup at the airline’s convention center booth. Next week, we’ll get to experience the real thing on one of Qatar’s retrofitted 777-300ERs — on the ground, at least. Qsuite is expected to launch on June 24 between Doha and London, followed (eventually) by Paris, New York, Tokyo and Sao Paulo.
2. Airbus A350-1000
We’re big fans of the Airbus A350-900, and the new -1000 variant will be more than 20 feet longer, giving Airbus an opportunity to compete with Boeing’s 777-300ER. The first A350-1000 is expected to make its way to Qatar Airways’ fleet later this year, but in the meantime, it’s making its first public appearance at the Paris Air Show. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an opportunity to step aboard!
3. Boeing 787-10 and 737 MAX 9
TPG and I got to see Boeing assemble its first 787-10s earlier this year, ahead of the wide-body’s maiden voyage on April 1. Now, this extended-length Dreamliner is ready to strut its stuff for the masses at PAS17, alongside its (much smaller but similarly impressive) cousin, the 737 MAX 9.
4. Fantastic New Regional Jets
Wait, regional jets? Really? Yup — this year’s show will give us our first look at two very cool innovations: Japan’s Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and Embraer’s E195-E2, which can fly some 3,000 miles and sports up to 144 seats.
5. The Flying Displays
Most of the Paris Air Show’s MVPs spend the week as “static displays” — but a few actually get to fly. According to the PAS website, we should see a total of 36 different aircraft take to the skies over Le Bourget, including:
- Airbus A321neo, A350-1000 and A380
- Boeing 737 MAX 9
- Embraer E195-E2
- Lockheed Martin F-35
- Douglas DC-3, T28 Trojan and other retro planes
If you’re in Paris for the event, you’ll be in for a real treat. But you can also follow along at home — I’ll be sharing posts on this site throughout the week, and you can catch the action in realtime via my Instagram and Twitter feeds.
And if all that’s not exciting enough, see the Eiffel Tower picture up top? I just shot that through my hotel room window — which is costing me just 3,000 points + $20 per night. It’s great to be back in Paris!
Which Paris Air Show stars are you most excited to see this year?
Know before you go.
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