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Bill Radke: Boy, 2008 was a fantastic year, full of profits. Well, that’s what the parent of Airbus is saying this morning. It’s beating its American nemesis, Boeing. However, as Stephen Beard reports from London, there are grey skies ahead for both companies.
Stephen Beard: After two years of losses, Airbus’s parent company made a profit last year — $2 billion. The planemaker cut its costs and solved the technical problems dogging its new superjumbo, the A380. Airbus did better last year than Boeing, delivering a record 483 aircraft. But this may be as good as it gets for a while.
Howard Wheeldon is with the BGC Group. He says the global downturn is having an impact. Airlines are starting to withdraw some of their orders for new planes:
Howard Wheeldon: We’ve already seen Air France cancelling two. Other airlines are doing the same or they’re deferring the delivery dates. That causes havoc for aircraft makers. So we could have some worse news to come through 2009.
And he says Boeing, which is still struggling with its new plane the Dreamliner, could be even worse affected.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.