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Looking to the skies

Looking to the skies

Nothing big is expected from the Paris Air Show this year, as the global airline industry is going through a turbulent phase because of the financial crisis.

June 15, 2009 11:27 by

The 100th Paris Air Show starts on Monday, even as industry players and analysts predict a gloomy picture of the airline industry because of the financial crisis. The event is also overshadowed by the crash of an Air France Airbus A330 into the Atlantic two weeks ago, which killed all 228 people on board, and left investigators questioning the technical systems of the A330.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airline revenues will fall by $80 billion, or 15 percent, this year, to $448 billion, with passenger traffic volume down 8 percent and cargo traffic down 17 percent. The IATA has also forecast global losses of $9 billion this year.

“All we need is a plague of locusts to complete the scenario,” the BBC quotes Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce as saying.

“From the end of World War II through last year, there was not a single year without some growth in global GDP,” James McNerney, CEO of Boeing, said recently. Until this year, “global businesses have been flying with a favorable tail wind,” he said. But now “we have gone to flying into the teeth of a fierce head wind.”

“We still lack visibility on 2010, and the airlines lack visibility even more,” said Thomas Enders, CEO of Boeing’s rival, Airbus.

According to the Associated Press, Boeing has taken orders for 73 planes this year, but with cancellations of 66, the net order intake is only 7 jets. Airbus has booked only 32 orders, but seen fewer cancellations, and has a net order of 11 jets.

However, both the airline makers have order backlogs of around 3,500 planes.

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