ILFC MAY NEED TO CALL ON AIG CASH SUPPORT
ILFC, the airliner leasing giant and one of Airbus's and Boeing's biggest customers, may be unable to pay for aircraft it has ordered over the next 12 months without cash help from its parent company, the troubled US insurer AIG. Any support from AIG would be subject to approval from the New York Federal Reserve, which oversees the controversial US government bail-out of AIG. ILFC, which owned 955 aircraft as of 31 December and has 49 set for delivery this year, is pursuing multiple financing routes, but has drawn the maximum amount available under its $6.5 billion revolving credit facilities, which are due to expire beginning in October.
IATA NEARLY DOUBLES 2009 LOSSES FORECAST
Deteriorating passenger traffic numbers have airlines on track to lose $4.7 billion this year, according to the International Air Transport Association - which has doubled the 2009 losses forecast is made in December. IATA expects a 12% drop in industry revenues to $467 billion, which is far in excess of the 7% dip experienced in the post-September 2001 crisis.
FINANCIAL CRUSH PUTS SPACE JET ON ICE
EADS Astrium has put its suborbital space jet project on hold, blaming the worldwide financial crisis for its inability to raise private financing. The European space prime gave space jet's development a €1 billion ($1.35 billion) price tag when announced in 2007 and claimed it had interested investors.
SINGAPORE AIRLINES 'MAY DEFER' A380 DELIVERIES
Singapore Airlines is not ruling out deferring some later Airbus A380 deliveries. The carrier has received six of 13 A380s it has on firm order. SIA said in February it would "decommission" 17 older 747-400s and 777s in response falling passenger traffic.
EMBRAER MAKES FIRST FORAY INTO PAKISTAN
The Pakistan air force has taken delivery of the first of four Embraer Phenom 100 very light jets on order. The handover marks the first delivery of an Embraer type to Pakistan, where it will be used to transport government officials. The six-seat Phenom 100 has a range of 2,185km (1,180nm), which enables it to fly nonstop from Islamabad to Karachi or to Kathmandu, Nepal.
CREW LAUNCHER TESTING FACES SIX-MONTH DELAY
NASA's first Ares I crew launch vehicle five-segment solid fuel rocket motor firing test has been delayed by up to six-months from 2 April to August or September. Prime contractor Alliant Techsystems says it wants to get the test "right" and it does not foresee any impact on the CLV's development timetable.
UK TRADE BODIES AGREE TO MERGE
Members of UK's Defence Manufacturers Association and Society of British Aerospace Companies have voted to merge the two trade bodies. Pending agreement of final terms a new organisation could be in existence in 2010.
DISCOVERY SUCCESS ON SOLAR ARRAY MISSION
NASA's Space ShuttleDiscovery was set to return to Earth on Saturday 28 March from the International Space Station after installinga fourth and final set of solar arrays that will double the amount of electrical power for experiments.
Source: Flight International