Boeing and Airbus are preparing to offer carriers billions of dollars of loans to try to offset what is widely expected to be “a very, very tough” 2009 for aircraft manufacturers.
The two aviation giants are trying to set up financial packages in anticipation of a forecast slump in aircraft orders and deliveries, according to Giovanni Bisignani, the head of the International Air Transport Association. Industry sources close to The Times newspaper have confirmed that the big two manufacturers are trying to buoy their customers to avoid a collapse in orders.
Airlines are being also hit by a double whammy of As well lower revenues due to capacity, coupled with the withdrawal of funding from lenders caught up by the credit crisis.
IATA, whose members represent 93 per cent of scheduled international air traffic, has cautioned that the world airline industry is facing the worst revenue crisis since the end of the Second World War and that only US carriers, which rapidly cut capacity before airlines elsewhere, would make a profit in 2009.
Mr Bisignani warned that the global airline industry was already hampered by a large amount of debt, owing a combined $190 billion: “In this climate it is not going to be easy to fund their needs to buy new planes. It is going to be very, very tough for those large players.”
The predictions come within a week of an announcement by China’s Civil Aviation Administration urging its own carriers either to cancel or to reschedule a number of new aircraft that they are due to take delivery of next year.
The airline industry is also struggling to cope with a sharp decline in freight revenue with air cargo down 7.9 per cent in October alone. Such a drop is likely to raise questions over the future of Boeing’s freight orders with its new 777 freighter and for its 747-8 freighter, which is being developed.