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  • - [Jaden] This parking lot in California

  • is piling up with empty Boeing and Airbus aircraft,

  • planes that, until recently,

  • were busy flying people to places,

  • and then suddenly people stopped flying.

  • Daily traffic is down some 80% from its peak in 2019.

  • Airlines are fighting for survival

  • as airport activity has fallen to near zero.

  • Meanwhile, industry giants, Boeing and Airbus,

  • have seen order cancellations

  • and furloughed or laid off staff.

  • - I don't believe the industry

  • has ever seen anything like this,

  • and because of that, there's no one you can turn to.

  • We're literally all learning as we go.

  • - [Jaden] Boeing, already weakened by the 737 MAX crisis,

  • saw its stock drop more than 70% in February and March

  • while Airbus' fell about 65% in the same period.

  • The plane makers employ hundreds of thousands of people

  • in several countries,

  • and they're major economic players,

  • often at the center of global politics.

  • - Both those companies are in many ways too big to fail.

  • - [David] Nobody has an interest in retaining

  • government equity in their company.

  • - We can recover from this crisis.

  • - So as the coronavirus pandemic shakes up the industry,

  • we wanted to know,

  • what will it take for Boeing and Airbus

  • to survive this unprecedented crisis,

  • and what does it mean for the future of aviation?

  • - Before coronavirus,

  • Boeing was already struggling to get regulator approval

  • to return its 737 Max to the skies,

  • as the jet was grounded after two deadly accidents

  • linked to a faulty flight control system.

  • In another blow, Boeing recently dropped

  • its 4.2 billion dollar bid to team up

  • with Brazilian jet maker, Embraer,

  • which was supposed to transform the aviation industry,

  • and Airbus had already overtaken Boeing

  • as the world's top plane maker in terms of deliveries.

  • - We think our capacity to compete

  • and be strong on the long term is intact, if not improved.

  • - [Jaden] I wanted to get a better idea

  • of how well-positioned the plane makers are

  • to withstand this crisis

  • so I called Addison Schonland, a partner at AirInsight.

  • - It appears as we sit here right now,

  • there's an advantage to Airbus

  • given its particular tools available to airlines.

  • Boeing is at a disadvantage now

  • because of the MAX grounding

  • and the incompletion of the Boeing/Brazil project.

  • - [Jaden] Now, the coronavirus pandemic

  • has forced the companies to draft survival plans.

  • - We will be suspending all travel

  • from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.

  • - [Jaden] Air passenger volumes fell more than 90%

  • sending airlines into crisis.

  • In February, major airlines like Delta and United

  • started to cut their losses by canceling some flights.

  • Only weeks later, the collapse in air travel

  • had already trickled down to Boeing and Airbus,

  • with many orders being postponed or canceled.

  • In the first three months of 2020,

  • Boeing saw customers cancel 196 of its aircraft orders.

  • Airbus had 66 cancellations

  • and said almost all of its customers have approached it

  • to discuss deferring or canceling orders.

  • - We're accustomed to bad years like 9/11

  • or the SARS year, Gulf War One,

  • but at the end of the day this is just an unprecedented

  • freezing up of the end user market.

  • - Even in this crisis, both Boeing and Airbus

  • have a key customer they can count on, governments.

  • They're some of the world's biggest defense contractors,

  • with the U.S. Navy even ordering new planes

  • from Boeing amid the pandemic.

  • - The ultimate safe haven right now is defense,

  • particularly U.S. defense programs.

  • - [Jaden] Through their history,

  • Boeing and Airbus have become ingrained

  • in defense, industrial development, and geopolitics.

  • Boeing has worked with the U.S. government

  • to build military planes since World War I,

  • and Airbus' very inception

  • is deeply rooted in European politics,

  • as it was formed as an example of how European countries

  • and companies are stronger when they come together.

  • - Airbus doesn't have a hundred years of history,

  • but if you look at what Airbus consists of,

  • all those European aerospace companies

  • that came together that were also very old,

  • brought with them amazing amount of knowledge.

  • - Boeing and Airbus both spend millions of dollars

  • on lobbying every year.

  • They've criticized each other

  • for getting unfair government subsidies,

  • and they're both massive employers

  • with roughly 161,000 and 134,000 employees respectively,

  • so a major hit to one of their bottom lines

  • means a potential hit to a lot

  • of American and European jobs.

  • When the U.S. government was crafting

  • its two trillion dollar coronavirus stimulus package,

  • a big part of the bailout was focused

  • on the aviation industry.

  • The bill included 17 billion dollars

  • for companies deemed essential to national security,

  • which could potentially include Boeing.

  • Here's the thing, as of early May,

  • some airlines had applied for government aid,

  • but Boeing hadn't,

  • and the idea of Boeing getting bailed out

  • by taxpayer money is sensitive.

  • - You can imagine that those companies,

  • the management is going to fight tooth and nail

  • to prevent the government saying,

  • "Here's 60 billion dollars.

  • "By the way, here's the warrants

  • "and here's the stuff that we're taking.

  • "We own you."

  • - [Jaden] Any loans offered by the government

  • would likely come with strings attached,

  • like limiting stock buybacks, layoffs,

  • and giving the U.S. government a stake in the company,

  • something Boeing CEO suggested he wouldn't be open to.

  • - [David] I don't have a need for an equity stake.

  • If they force it, we just looked at all the other options,

  • and we've got plenty of them.

  • - So what are the options for Boeing and Airbus

  • to keep the cash flowing?

  • In May, Boeing raised 25 billion dollars

  • from private investors and said it didn't expect

  • to need anymore funds, including government aid.

  • But Boeing has already suffered a number of new setbacks.

  • It's now facing civil and criminal scrutiny

  • over the 737 MAX crisis.

  • It suspended its dividend,

  • is offering staff buyout packages,

  • and plans to cut its workforce by 10% this year.

  • - Airbus and the border (mumbles) sector,

  • we emerge from this difficult period eventually.

  • - [Jaden] Airbus also needs to cut spending,

  • but after the pandemic, analysts expect the market

  • for smaller planes to grow

  • because domestic travel is expected to bounce back first,

  • and Airbus can offer its direct competitor to the 737 MAX,

  • its best-selling A320 family.

  • That includes the A321LR, a single-aisle plane

  • that's capable of transatlantic routes.

  • - Boeing really doesn't have a competitor to that jet.

  • - [Jaden] And both companies will likely face

  • a big supply chain issue.

  • Boeing and Airbus rely on a massive network

  • of smaller companies that are struggling to survive.

  • - The million parts that you see flying in close formation

  • that is actually an airplane,

  • all those parts come from all kinds of places

  • around the globe.

  • Some of these places,

  • the companies that make these small parts,

  • are literally family-owned, they're tiny.

  • They don't have the resources

  • if the system is shaken up like this.

  • How do you protect them?

  • - [Jaden] Analysts say it could potentially

  • take several years before the aviation industry recovers,

  • but whenever people will need new planes,

  • they'll likely come from Boeing or Airbus.

  • Not that there are many alternatives.

  • The duopoly makes up about 99%

  • of all large commercial plane orders,

  • with China's state-run plane maker

  • believed to be 10 to 20 years out

  • from becoming a real competitor.

  • - Will the companies be different

  • at the end of this pandemic?

  • Probably, the longer it goes,

  • the more that there will be some kind of structural change,

  • but neither of those companies,

  • based where they are, are dispensable,

  • so I think that whatever happens, we come through this,

  • and they may be different,

  • but they will remain the two top dogs in that industry.

  • (light music)

- [Jaden] This parking lot in California

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ボーイングとエアバスは生き残れるか?| WSJ (Can Boeing and Airbus Survive? | WSJ)

  • 11 4
    day に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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