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波音737 Max事件仍在惡化,瑞安航空下調業績預期

Eric J. Lyman 2019年11月10日

瑞安航空公司表示,2020年夏天將接收30架波音737 Max,低于原計劃的58架。

波音737 Max事件對航空業的破壞性影響仍在持續。

11月4日,歐洲最大的廉價航空公司瑞安航空披露信息顯示,波音737Max停飛事件仍在惡化,這已經是該公司停飛737Max的第七個月。由于飛機何時能夠恢復執航仍然存在不確定,瑞安航空因此大幅下調了2020年的增長率,同時將繼續削減部分基地并實施裁員。

今年7月,該公司表示,預計2020年夏天將收到30架波音737 Max,低于原計劃的58架。11月4日,瑞安航空進一步下調了數字。上半年財報中表示:“我們預計最多只會收到20架MAX-200s。”受其影響,公司明年的客運量預計將減少500萬人次,增長率將從7%降至3%。

瑞安航空的困境與不少航空公司類似,這些公司都是737 Max的第一批買家,原本希望購買更省油的窄體機型用于中遠程航線。瑞安航空指出,該機型座位增加了4%,油耗減少了16%,停機維護時間也減少了。公司重申“交付后未來十年將改變公司的成本結構和業務。但由于飛機交付延遲,2021財年之前成本節約無法達到預期。”

自今年3月以來,波音737 Max一直處于停飛狀態,此前發生了兩起致命事故,一起發生在印度尼西亞,另一起發生在埃塞俄比亞,共造成346名乘客死亡。連鎖反應對廉價航空公司的沖擊尤為突出。挪威航空公司10月的報告稱,“波音737 Max停飛已經影響到需求、運營費用和生產。”美國西南航空公司在上個月也報告稱,今年迄今為止波音737 Max停飛已經導致公司損失了4.35億美元的收入。

謹慎展望

瑞安航空表示,由于英國脫歐和波音737 Max停飛,“我們跟其他一些競爭對手盲目樂觀預期不同,對今年剩下時間的前景仍然保持謹慎。”

然而,投資者在11月4日歡呼雀躍,推動該公司股價上漲9% ,隨后開始小幅下挫。市場整體狀況方面,受中美貿易協定談判進展提振,11月4日歐洲股市收于四年來的高點。

11月4日早些時候,瑞安航空公司報告稱,截至9月30日的6個月(今年盈利最豐厚的時期)稅后利潤為11.5億歐元(約合13億美元),與去年同期大致持平。在公司制作的視頻中,公司的首席執行官邁克爾·奧利里和首席財務官尼爾·索拉漢站在秋日紅色背景前發表講話稱,通過為乘客提供更快登機或預訂座位服務并收取附加費用,可以抵消較低票價和較高燃油成本。

瑞安航空還將截至2020年3月31日的全年利潤預期從之前的7.5億歐元至9.5億歐元下調至8億歐元至9億歐元。

波音公司表示,預計12月31日737 Max可以獲準復飛,但歐盟航空安全局(EASA)表示,監管機構的審批過程可能需要更長時間。

瑞安航空最初訂購了135架波音737 Max,預計在2020年夏季旺季之前會收到58架,但奧利里表示,預計屆時僅能收到20架,如果監管機構在今年年底前能夠對該機型重新認證,今年晚些時候還可能收到10架。但他也表示,公司“很有可能”到2020年旺季公司收不到新飛機。

奧利里對歐盟航空安全局緩慢的認證過程表示失望,指責該機構“拖了后腿。” 很少有人公開支持波音的情況下,他表示對“非常相信”波音737 Max的安全性。

奧利里表示,在等待新波音737 Max飛機交付的過程中,公司將繼續削減基地數量,同時裁減飛行員和機組人員。

今年7月,瑞安航空曾經表示,由于新機延遲交付,預計其航班會比正常交付減少3萬架次。(財富中文網)

譯者:馮豐

審校:夏林

The Boeing 737 Max saga continues to inflict damage on the aviation sector.

On November 4, Ryanair was the latest airline to reveal the escalating toll of the 737 Max grounding, now in its seventh month. The uncertainty over when the plane will fly again forced Europe’s largest airline to slash its 2020 growth rate as it sticks with plans to cut back on bases and reduce its work force.

In July, the company said it expected the delivery of 30 Boeing 737 Max planes by next summer—down from a planned 58. On November 4, it downgraded that number further. “We expect to receive only 20 MAX-200s,” the company said in a fiscal first-half trading statement. The net effect, the company said, would be to cut its growth rate from 7% to 3% as it forecasts carrying 5 million fewer passengers in the current fiscal year.

Ryanair’s predicament is similar to other airlines who were among the first wave of eager buyers of the more fuel-efficient, narrow-body aircrafts for mid- and long-range flights. Ryanair notes the planes contain 4% more seats, burn 16% less fuel and require less maintenance downtime. “When delivered,” the company reiterated, “it will transform our cost base and our business for the next decade. Due to these delivery delays, we will not see any of these expected cost savings delivered until FY21.”

The 737 Max has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes, one in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that killed a combined 346 passengers. The ripple effects are particularly acute among the budget airlines. Norwegian Air in October reported “the 737 MAX grounding has affected both demand, operating expenses and production.” In the U.S., Southwest Airlines also reported last month that the 737 Max delays have so far this year cost the company $435 million in missed revenues.

Cautious Outlook

Between Brexit and the Max grounding, Ryanair said “our outlook for the remainder of the year remains cautious. We try to avoid the unreliable optimism of some competitors.”

Yet investors cheered on November 4, driving the company’s shares as much as 9 percent higher, before inching downwards. Overall, European stocks closed at a four-year high on November 4, buoyed by progress in the U.S.-China trade deal talks.

Earlier on November 4, Ryanair Holdings reported after-tax profits of €1.15 billion (around $1.3 billion) for the six months ending Sept. 30—its most profitable period of the year—roughly even with the equivalent period last year. Speaking before a backdrop showing red fall colors in a company-produced video address, company Chief Executive Michael O’Leary and Neil Sorahan, the chief financial officer, said add-ons like fees to allow passengers to board flights faster or reserve seats help offset lower fares and higher fuel costs.

The company also narrowed its profit forecasts full-year, which will end March 31, 2020, to €800-900 million, compared to €750-950 million previously.

Boeing says it expects the plane to be cleared to fly before Dec. 31, but the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, best known as EASA, has said the regulatory approval process could take longer.

Ryanair initially ordered 135 of the 737 Max aircraft. The company originally expected to receive 58 of the high-capacity models of the 737 Max ahead of the 2020 high summer season, but O’Leary said the company now expects to receive 20 of them in that time frame, with another ten possible later in the year if regulators recertify the aircraft before the end of this year. But he also said there was a “real risk” it could enter the 2020 high season with no new aircraft at all.

O’Leary expressed frustration with the slow pace of the EASA certification process, accusing the agency of “dragging their heels.” In a rare show of public support for Boeing, he said he was “very confident” the 737 Max was safe.

As it waits on the delivery of the first of the new 737 Max aircraft, O’Leary said the company would stick with plans to reduce the number of bases it uses while scaling back on jobs among pilots and cabin crews.

In July, Ryanair said the delays tied with the new fleet would mean it would fly around 30,000 fewer flights than it would have flown if the new planes had been delivered on time.

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