Which Commercial Airshow Was The Biggest In 2023?

Hundreds of thousands of people attend the events, where fantastic flying displays are often accompanied by groundbreaking deals. 2023 has already hosted some of the world’s largest airshows. The gatherings are notable for the announcement of aircraft orders, partnerships, and new products. As we prepare for the Dubai Airshow later this month, let us explore some of the key statistics from this year’s previous shows.

Australian International Airshow: February 28 – March 5

Said to be the largest airshow in the Southern Hemisphere, the Avalon Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition is held roughly an hour from Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. The event is hosted every other year, and this year’s festivities marked the first since the pandemic. Almost a quarter of a million people attended, with increases across all categories of spectators.

While there were few significant commercial announcements, the show provided a crucial networking opportunity for aviation professionals in the region. Almost 800 companies participated, a gain of 14%, while the number of official delegations rose by half. Justin Giddings, CEO of event organizer The AMDA Foundation, described the 2023 Australian International Airshow at Avalon Airport as fantastic:

“The crowds – 248,000 people over the six days, just seeing joy on people’s faces, seeing kids, we had kids here which were free, 15 and under for the first time, there were heaps of mothers wheeling prams around.”

The move to allow children to attend for free is intended to inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts and has been echoed at several other airshows worldwide this year.

Paris Air Show: June 19-25

One of the most high-profile events in the aviation industry took place in Paris this summer. Approximately 300,000 visitors came to the Paris Air Show, known as Salon du Bourget, shattering all previous attendance records.

The event is held on odd years at Paris–Le Bourget Airport and returned for its 54th outing, and first since 2019. Simple Flying attended the event and was present at several of the significant announcements

Some 150 aircraft were displayed at the event, with spectacular air shows and flypasts every afternoon. Most notably, $150 billion worth of contracts were signed during the Show, representing the sale of 1,300 aircraft. Almost 2,500 exhibitors were on hand from 48 countries, bringing a dizzying number of new projects and products.

Notable deals include an order by IndiGo for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Oshkosh: July 24-30

Often considered the largest annual gathering of aircraft and aviation enthusiasts, the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention this year took place from July 24th to 30th. Each year, the skies above Wittman Regional Airport are filled with aircraft coming in for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s big event, and this year was busier than ever.

Over 10,000 aircraft flew into Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. One-third of those were showplanes, including 1,497 vintage aircraft, 1,067 homebuilt aircraft, 380 warbirds, 194 ultralights, 134 seaplanes and amphibians, 52 aerobatic aircraft, and 41 rotorcraft. EAA’s CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton noted just how exciting this year was:

“There was so much going on during the week that encompassed the entire world of flight, from the presence of the U.S. Air Force Training Command and NASA, to magnificent aircraft restorations and exciting new flying technology. Oshkosh was again the place that brought the aviation world together.

“We had record-setting totals of campers, exhibitors, volunteers, and more. It was also a challenging year at times with weather, logistics, and other factors, which makes me even more proud of the efforts by our volunteers and staff to organize an outstanding event.”

“We had record-setting totals of campers, exhibitors, volunteers, and more. It was also a challenging year at times with weather, logistics, and other factors, which makes me even more proud of the efforts by our volunteers and staff to organize an outstanding event.”

Still to come this year is the Dubai Airshow. The biennial event will be held from November 13 through November 17 at Dubai World Central Airport and feature 1400+ exhibitors from 95 countries, 180+ aircraft, and over 300 speakers. In 2021, the event welcomed over 100,000 attendees from across the world.

Next year, the renowned Farnborough International Airshow will return from July 22-26. The Bahrain International Airshow will also take place from November 11-15.

By Mian Saeed Ahmed Khan