Boeing’s recent assertion that the appetite of capital markets to fund airliner orders has increased comes as especially welcome news to manufacturers and their customers at a time when other sources of funding seem under pressure. Export credit, in particular, now comes generally at higher interest rates and with tougher equity requirements. At the same time, such government-backed capital has become a hostage to global politics, according to Kostya Zolotusky, managing director for capital markets development and leasing at Boeing Capital.
A major restructuring at Air India has cut loss-making routes to 25 percent of its network in the fiscal year ending March 2013, down from 69 percent in the previous year. The airline attributes the improvement to a series of steps taken to cut costs, restructure loans, strengthen management and liquidate assets, including the spin-off of engineering and ground handling as independent profit centers.
After just a decade of operation, Switzerland- and U.S.-based Comlux (Booth 387) has a lot to be proud about. At EBACE the company is celebrating its 10th anniversary and five years of operations as Comlux USA in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are new VIP aircraft in the Fly Comlux fleet, and completions projects rolling into the hangars on both continents, as well as some intriguing plans for the future.
Here at EBACE, Bordeaux, France-based Otonomy Aviation has announced a recent order for its Parabellum security system and CamHD high-definition camera system for an undisclosed Boeing 747-8 VVIP completion. This latest order brings to 25 the number of completions on which Otonomy (Booth 1826) has installed its security systems and high-definition cameras. “This is a great accomplishment for Otonomy Aviation,” said company CEO Guillaume Daudon.
Asked if business at MRO and completion and refurbishment company Amac Aerospace is good, the response from COO Bernd Schramm was simple: “We can’t complain.” It was also a classic understatement, describing business at a company that saw a 2012 net sales increase of about 30 percent over 2011.
On May 2, CFM International froze the design for the Leap-1B engine that is to power Boeing’s 737Max narrowbody and, eventually, the Boeing Business Jets derived from the airliner. The engine manufacturer, which is a joint venture between Snecma and GE, has said it on track to achieve the first full engine test in mid-2014, followed by initial flight testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. The 737Max is due to enter service in 2017.
Southwest Airlines has triggered the program launch of Boeing’s 737 Max 7 narrowbody by converting 30 options that it holds for the existing 737 Next Generation family into orders for the new model. The U.S. low-cost carrier expects to take first 737 Max 7 deliveries in 2019. In a deal announced Wednesday, it also has exercised options for five more Next Generation 737-800s.
Boeing on Tuesday morning officially delivered the first 787 since aviation authorities around the globe grounded the model nearly four months ago. Plans call for Dreamliner Line Number 83—an All Nippon Airways airplane—to take off from Boeing’s Everett, Washington, production site for Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.
Boeing and Turkish Airlines on Tuesday completed a firm order for forty 737 MAX 8s, ten 737 MAX 9s and twenty 737-800s, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. The deal, originally announced as a commitment last month, includes options for another 25 MAX 8s and amounts to the largest Boeing order in Turkish Airlines’ history.
Airlines are benefitting from growing capital market support for new aircraft financing, with this source of funding expected to account for as much as 15 percent of all transactions this year, according to Boeing Capital. A few years ago, capital markets accounted for barely 2 to 3 percent of aircraft financing.