Penny-pinching by airlines is raising the anxiety among their employees over a perceived erosion of safety standards, according to a new survey by UK-based aviation consultancy Ascend. The second annual survey gathered input from around 200 aviation industry professionals from 41 countries, who gave their views anonymously.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » April 24, 2009
Indices used by airframe manufacturers to adjust the prices of airplanes on order have proved unhelpful lately to the OEMs, as the global recession suppresses commodity and retail prices along with wages. In Boeing’s case, margins dropped 7 points, to 4.9 percent in the first quarter, largely due to the unfavorable movement within the economic indices it uses to set increases in prices for its airplanes, according to Boeing CFO James Bell.
Airbus COO for customers John Leahy often points to a coming wave of airplane retirements when questioned about airlines’ appetite for new equipment, even during a time of severely slumping traffic and mounting industry losses.
First-quarter production activity essentially kept pace with last year’s rates at the major airliner manufacturers, as Boeing delivered 121 airplanes (compared with 115 in 1Q/08) and Airbus shipped 116 (compared with 123 in 1Q/08).
By early in the year it seemed obvious to all but the OEMs themselves that significant production rate cuts would have to happen, but it would take until this month before Boeing would reach the same conclusion, as the company announced that it would curb output of its 777 line by around 29 percent starting next
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