Friday, June 20, 2008

Good Times, Bad Times

Two items tonight illustrate the growing upstairs-downstairs separation in air transportation:

NetJets in $1.9 Billion Deal for New Gulfstreams

The business-jet leader NetJets said it will significantly expand its fleet of large-cabin Gulfstream G450s and Gulfstream G550s. In deal Gulfstream valued at $1.9 billion, NetJets will acquire 40 new Gulfstream jets - four Gulfstream G450s and four Gulfstream G550s to be delivered each year from 2012 through 2016.

NetJets has over 90% of the long-range cabin fractional-share market and is the largest operator of Gulfstream aircraft. NetJets worldwide Gulfstream fleet currently totals 110 -- with 21 Gulfstream G550/V; 55 Gulfstream G450/400/IV-SP and 34 Gulfstream G200s.


Boeing, Airbus Order Books 'At Risk'

Analysts estimate that 25-30% of the commercial aircraft backlog at Boeing and Airbus could be at risk as high fuel prices continue to batter airlines, Aviation Week reports in an article by Joseph C. Anselmo online today at and in Aviation Week & Space Technology's June 23 issue.

Many undercapitalized startups in Asia and Europe have overly aggressive growth plans that could cause the airlines to cancel or defer orders, Aviation Week reports. Robert Stallard, a director at Macquarie Capital, said, "The question that has yet to be answered is not whether there will be a downturn, but how bad it will be."

The article suggests two possible outcomes: the optimistic view that "Boeing and Airbus can afford to lose orders and still make it to the industry's next up-cycle with minimal pain;" and the more negative answer "that a steep change in global energy demand has created a permanent era of high prices and sent the airline industry into uncharted territory."


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