April 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 11 
Industry Wrap

Socked one more time

Socked one more timeOil prices have surged lately, affecting numerous industries including aviation. And, if the futures market is to be believed, that cost isn't going to fall a lot any time soon.

The price of a barrel of oil has been rising through 2005 and hit $56.46 on March 16, breaking the $55.67 record set in October. During oil price surges, industry observers and news reports generally focus on the immediate-delivery price of oil contracts on commodities markets. However, according to a Wall Street Journal story, the market for long-term oil delivery is sending its own message: Expect a spate of generally high prices for the foreseeable future.

"I used to think, forget it, $40 oil is not sustainable. It has to come down from there. That's what I was taught. But things have changed. The center line for oil prices is clearly moving up," said Fadel Gheit, an Oppenheimer & Co. energy analyst, in the Journal report.


Boeing to sell Rocketdyne and Wichita Division

Boeing's forthcoming sales of its commercial-aircraft factories in Kansas and Oklahoma and its Rocketdyne rocket-engine business reflect the company's continuing focus on large-scale systems integration, aerospace industry observers said.

Boeing said last month it would sell its Commercial Airplanes facilities and assets in Wichita, Kan., and Tulsa and McAlester, Okla., to Onex Corp. of Canada for about $900 million, transfer of certain liabilities and "long-term supply agreements that provide Boeing ongoing cost savings," Boeing said in a statement. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems operations in Wichita and Oklahoma are not included in this transaction.

Separately, Boeing said it agreed to sell its Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power business to Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies company, for about $700 million in cash. Both transactions are subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.



U.S. government questions cost of Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is at a critical point after the U.S. Government Accountability Office last month called the original plan for the project "unexecutable," according to The Washington Post.

The JSF was designed to be a low-cost replacement to the U.S. Air Force's F-16, with different versions also being developed for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and British forces.


Leased jetliner demand on the rise; lessors get better terms

The market for used airplanes has heated up recently. That's created new opportunities for leasing companies to rent their jets.

The post–Sept. 11 glut of airplanes for leasing is gone, The Wall Street Journal said in a recent report. Demand for planes is rising quickly, pushing the cost of buying or leasing planes higher.



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