Cloudy skies for world's airlines

A pilot runs on the tarmac in front of an Airbus A380 as it prepares for the Paris Air Show


Bill Radke: The Paris Air Show opened this morning -- the 100th anniversary of that event. The mood is not celebratory. The recent Air France crash has cast a shadow, and as Stephen Beard reports, so has the recession.

Stephen BeardL Aircraft makers exhibiting at this years' show were indundated. But not with orders. It poured with rain -- a fitting backdrop for an industry immersed in gloom.

The customers, the world's airlines, are set to lose some $9 billion this year. So they're reluctant to buy any new planes. And with budget deficits widening everywhere, defense spending is under pressure, too.

Howard Wheeldon is aviation analyst with the BGC group. He says that Boeing, Airbus and the other planemakers in Paris won't be bragging as usual about bulging orderbooks:

Howard Wheeldon: The attention this year is very much on the number of order deferrals and cancellations rather than orders. It's a pretty grim, grim picture at the moment. Very sad.

Boeing had hoped to lift the gloom in Paris by flying the much-delayed 787 Dreamliner. But that's now thought unlikely to make its maiden flight until next week.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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