Boeing's leasing arm insists that calls by operating lessors for single-aisle production to be slashed in the wake of the economic crisis are "self-serving", and that customers have so far indicated they intend to take all the aircraft scheduled for delivery this year.

Boeing Capital's managing director or capital markets, Kostya Zolotusky, says that while he is aware of the urging from major leasing companies like International Lease Finance to slow single-aisle output this year, he asks how he should oblige if he has customers for the aircraft.

"We have contracts that stipulate that we have to deliver aircraft, and we have airlines saying they want to take their aircraft," he says. "And these [airlines] are not shy people in coming forward and torturing us if they want to defer their aircraft."

The requests to slash production are "very self-serving comments", Zolotusky says. A similar view was expressed recently by Airbus's chief salesman John Leahy, who indicated that lessors did not want their own orders to be among those cut.

Although the credit squeeze is threatening to disrupt funding for new aircraft, Zolotusky says Boeing has carefully scrutinised the financing situation for each of the 480-485 jets it plans to deliver this year.

While there is a shortfall, he says, it is manageable. "If that's the case for us then we'd expect it's the case for Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer too," he says.

Even in the face of the softening air transport market, Zolotusky believes that demand for new aircraft deliveries will hold up due to the increasing need for replacement of older, inefficient jets. "Because of the [long-running availability of] cheap oil, airlines have allowed their fleets to get as old as they've ever been in the history of aviation," he says.

Source: Flight International