Boeing announced (08-Apr-2010) the following aircraft orders and deliveries for the three months ended 31-Mar-2010:
Boeing receives 100 aircraft orders, 108 deliveries in 1Q2010
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Delta Air Lines: reaping rewards, but building balance sheet strength has no set endpoint
Few would challenge the conclusion that Delta has one of the soundest balance sheets among US airlines. Its reductions in adjusted net debt and leverage ratios garnered their just rewards in 2016 when the company secured coveted investment-grade rating from Fitch and Moody’s.
During the time Delta has significantly improved its balance sheet metrics it has also steadily increased its shareholder rewards, and has reiterated its commitment to increasing dividends. The airline's position is that continuing to drive the importance of its dividend performance is a key component of the company’s valuation proposition.
Similarly to many other US airlines, Delta is facing unit cost inflation in 2017; but the company’s unit costs growth for the year should fall below 2016 levels. Those costs are inflated due to a new pilot contract that joins a number of new contracts that US airlines inked in 2016, which are resetting industry pay scales.
Lufthansa and Etihad bedfellows - at last - but unions may make marriage a distant prospect
There can be no understating the symbolic change in mindset of Lufthansa agreeing to partner with Etihad. Lufthansa has spent the better part of a decade rallying against Gulf airlines to the press, lobbying in Europe's power corridors and seeking a range of aeropolitical measures to wind back new competitors. Etihad has been the prime target for its investment and ongoing top-ups in a range of European airlines including Lufthansa's home competitor, the failing airberlin. Despite that, it is not well known that the two have come close to a liaison before, suggesting that each sees an intrinsic logic in a relationship.
The partnership has potential to be more significant than Emirates-Qantas, Qatar-IAG or Etihad-AF-KLM. But for now it is limited in scope and caution should be exercised in extrapolating too far at this stage.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is seeking new growth platforms that sidestep the flagship business' uncompromising unions who would seemingly prefer a status quo that exists only in memory. Their support will be necessary if the partnership is to work and grow. Then Lufthansa, which has rallied the Star Alliance and JV partners against Gulf airlines, will need to explain its change of heart. For now Lufthansa will not partner on Etihad's beyond-Abu Dhabi network, a move that would embrace the fundamental business plan of Etihad and peers. That upside remains a matter for speculation.