Nearly 30 percent of airlines worldwide are likely to defer aircraft deliveries as financing conditions deteriorate, a survey by Swiss banking giant UBS said.
Only half of the airlines polled have secured financing for aircraft deliveries this year and early next year, said the survey obtained from industry sources at the weekend.
The survey released this month covered small and large airlines worldwide, including nearly a third of operators with more than 100 aircraft on their fleet.
“Consistent with our prior survey [released in January], nearly one-third of respondents are likely to defer the delivery of aircraft currently on order,” UBS said.
“Nearly all of our respondents are due to take new aircraft deliveries over the next 12 to 18 months, with only half indicating that they have secured financing,” it said.
“Overall, financing looks to have deteriorated from our prior survey, with 60 percent now indicating that they don’t believe financing is currently available,” it said.
This is worse than the 55 percent of respondents who said in the previous survey they did not believe financing was available.
UBS said 40 percent of the airlines surveyed came from Europe, 25 from North America and 15 percent from Asia.
Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst with Standard and Poor’s, was not surprised by the survey’s findings.
“I see it worsening. There’s still some way to go before the situation stabilizes,” he said.
The global aviation industry has been clobbered by the worldwide economic downturn as consumers curtailed travel plans, while a credit crunch has made it more difficult for companies to find financing.
Airline industry group International Air Transport Association has sharply increased its loss forecast for airlines to US$4.7 billion this year, saying it was set to be “one of the toughest years” that the sector has faced.