STRIKE AND SUPPLIER BOTTLENECK HITS BOEING
Striking machinists and a supplier bottleneck combined to crush Boeing's financial performance in the third quarter, as net income dropped 38% compared with the same period a year ago. The Chicago-headquartered airframer will not provide an updated financial outlook until the ongoing strike by the International Association of Machinists ends. Overall sales in the third quarter declined 7% to $15.3 billion. But the strike contributed to a disproportionate decline in profits, which fell from $1.1 billion to $695 million. The financial results reflected a 23% decline in commercial airliner deliveries. Deliveries for certain widebodies were also slowed by galley supplier Sell's production problems.
STATE-BACKING SORT FOR SUPERJET PRODUCTION
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and engine manufacturer NPO Saturn are seeking additional financial backing from the state to launch serial production of the Superjet 100. In a joint application to the Russian legislature and government, the two firms have requested that the treasury allocate an extra Rb4 billion ($152 million) for the Superjet project. Over the past few years, Sukhoi and NPO Saturn have secured more than $1 billion between them for related work with the bulk of funds in the form of direct budget support and government-backed commercial loans. Citing higher prices of key materials and other supplies, Sukhoi wants the treasury to extend Rb3 billion and NPO Saturn Rb1 billion in additional aid.
R-R CREATES LEASING PORTAL FOR V2500
International Aero Engines joint venture partner Rolls-Royce is setting up an engine leasing portal for IAE V2500 customers. Operators of the engines powering Airbus A320s that are customers of leasing arm Rolls-Royce & Partners Finance will have access to the portal, which is designed to supply up-to-date information about V2500 availability worldwide. R-R says the portal allows customers to reserve an engine for short-term lease rather than "having to spend valuable time scouring the market for alternative sources".
AIRFRAMERS TO UP CUSTOMER FINANCE
Airbus and Boeing will both significantly increase the amount of vendor financing they offer next year. According to the Financial Times, Airbus will double the amount of vendor financing it offers to about €2 billion ($2.62 billion) in 2009 to support commercial aircraft sales and maintain deliveries. Boeing says it anticipates providing at least $1 billion in customer financing next year. However, the combined value falls well short of the $5 billion predicted by industry analysts and other observers that will be provided by airframers next year. There still will be a $20 billion funding gap next year, according to investment bank JP Morgan and consulting firm Ascend.
VUELING RECOVERY GATHERS MOMENTUM
Spanish low-fare carrier Vueling Airlines says the best part of its €90 million ($119 million) improvement plan has been accomplished. The carrier has cancelled 24 non-profitable routes over the past 12 months and reduced its fleet by eight aircraft. In its third quarter results to 30 September, it booked €4.13 million in restructuring costs, which correspond to aircraft redelivery costs generated by a fleet-reduction programme and are non-recurrent. Third quarter operating profits improved before restructuring costs to €25.4 million while revenue grew to €154.7 million.
Source: Flight International