Tue, Mar 10, 2009
But Upcoming Quarters Hold "Dramatic Challenges"
The coming months will be even more
difficult for airlines, and manufacturers of commercial aircraft...
as credit markets are expected to shrink even more than they
already have, cutting off available financing for deliveries of new
planes. That spells potential catastrophe for the record order
backlogs claimed over the past three years by Boeing and
Despite the storm on the horizon, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
CEO Scott Carson expressed some (very) measured optimism Tuesday...
telling Dow Jones customers should be able to secure financing on
new aircraft purchases this year, and into early 2010. After that,
however, all bets are off.
"We face dramatic challenges for the next several quarters,"
Carson (right) said in a speech at the JP Morgan Aviation and
Transportation Conference. "We're watching each of our customers on
a daily and weekly basis."
So far, it appears Boeing won't have to dip too deep into the
"backstop" funds the planemaker has set aside to assist with
financing of subprime aircraft deals. "The draw on us this year
will be relatively minimal," Carson said, adding the company is
working with airlines needing to replace older aircraft models with
more efficient planes.
Carson also reiterated Boeing's timeframe on first-flight of its
troubled 787 Dreamliner, currently slated to occur sometime Q2
2009. And despite the current economic crisis, Boeing still
believes there's a market for some 27,000 large aircraft over the
next 20 years.
"We're humbled by our mistakes but optimistic about the products
we're bringing into the marketplace," Carson said.
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