Despite the mounting crisis within the airline business, the mood at Boeing and Airbus, the two firms that own the market for large commercial aircraft, is oddly sanguine. During past downturns in what has always been a highly cyclical industry, the plane makers have suffered along with their customers. But this time, they think it might be different.
One reason is that both still have bulging order books with production backlogs that will take years to work through. Boeing's head of commercial aircraft, Scott Carson, predicted recently that new orders would continue to outstrip production, so that its $271bn backlog, the largest in its history, will continue to grow. The same is true of Airbus. Its total order backlog is more than 3,700 planes, the equivalent of about six years' production.
Another reason the two are fairly bullish at a difficult economic time is that neither is dependent on the hard-hit American market.
Source: Economist, http://www.economist.com
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