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Boeing is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft, rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
Boeing is organised into two business units: Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Supporting these units is Boeing Capital Corporation, the Shared Services Group and Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology.
Boeing’s main commercial products are the B737, B747, B767 and B777 families of aircraft and the Boeing Business Jet. New product development efforts are focused on the B787 Dreamliner, 737Max, 777X and the B747-8. The company has nearly 12,000 commercial jetliners in service worldwide, which is roughly 75% of the world fleet.
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Pressure from having to pull capacity from Venezuela and overall economic weakness in many regions within Latin America pressured Copa Airlines’ financial results for 2014; but the airline still delivered a respectable 19.8% operating margin for the year and posted a decrease in unit costs.
Many of the elements that dragged down Copa’s financial results in CY2014 remain intact – continued pressure on yields by moving a significant amount of capacity from Venezuela and weakened economies in Latin America. The airline has not made any adjustments to its projected 7% capacity growth for CY2015, but its expansion of supply is at a lower rate than 2014, and most of the growth stems from network changes Copa undertook in CY2014.
Although Copa’s yield and unit revenue challenges will persist in the near future, overall the company remains in good financial shape to withstand the macroeconomic pressures weakening its results.
Canada’s WestJet Airlines delivered strong financial results for 4Q2014 and CY2014 driven by healthy revenue growth, and some benefit from falling fuel costs. Although the weaker CAD against the USD diminishes some of the benefit for Canadian airlines of lower fuel expense.
As it moves fully into 2015 WestJet admits to seeing some pressure in its southern markets, particularly the Caribbean and Mexico, from capacity increases that are outstripping what it characterises at still healthy demand in those regions.
Similar to some of its US peers, WestJet is projecting 1Q2015 unit revenue growth of flat to slightly negative, likely driven in part by some pricing pressure created from the capacity expansion in some winter destination markets. The airline is not offering guidance as to when unit revenues may start an upswing, but feels reasonably confident about overall demand, and has no plans to change its growth targets.
For Hawaiian Airlines, after a solid financial performance in 4Q2014 and CY2014, a combination of currency headwinds and industry capacity increases on North American routes are creating unit revenue headwinds during 1Q2015. The airline’s guidance projects the deepest decrease reported by any US airline.
The capacity pressure is driven by additions from both Hawaiian and its competitors on routes to the US mainland. During 2014 Hawaiian opted to redeploy some capacity from long-haul routes that were eliminated back to the US west coast, and still believes that the decision is producing favourable results despite the current capacity pressure.
As it navigates through some revenue challenges in 1Q2015, Hawaiian’s capacity growth is slowing from previous years, and it is also forecasting a decent cost outlook for CY2015, welcome signs that some of the headwinds it has faced in the past are starting to subside.
January, as befitting the two headed Roman God who gives his name to the month, is a time for reflection and expectation.
So Oriel, CAPA's partner in leading fleet data, has put commercial aircraft values under the spotlight. With the usual turbulence in the industry compounded by the multiple flow on effects of the oil price slump, 2015 looks likely to be another year where staying agile - and knowledgeable - will be essential.
This report covers the outlook for each of the main categories of aircraft: in-production narrowbodies; out-of-production narrowbodies; in-production widebodies; out-of-production widebodies; widebody freighters; regional jets; and turboprops - along with a global overview.
Delta Air Lines recorded a strong financial performance for 4Q2014 and YE2014 – excluding special items – driven by continued strength in its domestic entity and a solid cost performance as non-fuel unit costs remained essentially flat throughout 2014.
Delta is starting 2015 with headwinds due to the appreciation of the USD against some weaker currencies, but remains confident of meeting its stated financial targets that include ROIC of more than 18% and operating margins of 11% to 14%.
An anticipated significant USD2 billion in fuel savings during 2015 will also help blunt some of the effects from currency weakness; but Delta is stressing that it will use the savings to slash debt, and pending board approval, possibly increase shareholder rewards.
Southwest Airlines is starting to show some middle aged girth, with its cost base climbing and employee relations not what they used to be. But Southwest began 2015 with a celebration: completing the integration of AirTran Airways after the latter’s final service flight in late Dec-2014. The merger integration was a lengthy four year process, reflective of Southwest’s historically slow approach to such huge undertakings.
At the time it unveiled its acquisition of AirTran, Southwest outlined three major benefits it would derive from the purchase of its smaller rival – access to Atlanta, an ability to tap small markets and instant access to international markets in Latin America and the Caribbean operated by AirTran.
As the merger unfolded, Southwest’s objectives in some of those areas changed, particularly in its small market philosophy and the decisions it made to alter operations in Atlanta. It is tough to determine if Southwest would be worse off if it had not opted to participate in US consolidation; but its financials are no worse for wear after closing the AirTran chapter, with a very decent 19% ROIC for the 12M to Sep-2014.