Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is 2009 the Year the Credit Crunch Crimped the Aircraft Industry?

2007 was a boom year for the airline industry. The new year is so far characterized by caution and layoffs that are shedding the workers the industry just hired last year.

The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Michaels and David Pearson report that "Airbus, which just finished a record year of plane deliveries, is now preparing contingency plans to cut production if demand for jetliners weakens significantly." They cite Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders as their source.

Furthermore Boeing and Airbus are building plans to offer customers financing, never an appealing choice. This bitter pill is to be swallowed because financing for new plans has dried up along with so much other credit. Mr. Micahels and Mr. Pearson quote Bertrand Grabowski, a managing director of German bank DVB Bank SE, "Airbus and Boeing definitely will have to cut production because there will be aircraft that cannot be funded." DVB Bank SE funds aircraft purchases.

Still more evidence that Wichita's economy is becoming more vulnerable to the global economic forces that have laid most major economies low.

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