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Aircraft makers face dropping sales

Stephen Beard Jul 14, 2008
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Aircraft makers face dropping sales

Stephen Beard Jul 14, 2008
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Bob Moon: Another sign of how unfriendly the skies have become at this year’s Farnborough Air Show in the Britain: Aerospace companies are forecasting a drop in orders.

But the two biggest plane makers, Boeing and Airbus, aren’t worried, as our Stephen Beard reports from London.


Stephen Beard: No one predicts a spending spree at Europe’s largest air show. Any hopes of a bonanza have been dashed by the soaring price of fuel. Twenty airlines have already gone bust and most of the carriers in the U.S. and Europe would struggle to buy many more planes.

Some big orders are expected from the Middle East, but analysts say that overall the number of sales could drop 50 percent from last year and 20 percent of backorders could be canceled.

So are Boeing and Airbus panicking? Far from it, says Kieran Daley of Air Transport Intelligence.

Kieran Daley: Their backlog of undelivered orders now stretches out many years ahead. If you buy a new aircraft now, you are talking about not receiving it until something like 2017. So although the airlines are having a hard time, the manufacturers actually are very relaxed about the situation.

Analysts say the fuel crisis could even play to the manufacturers’ advantage as airlines will eventually be forced to order new more fuel-efficient planes.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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