Nov. 23, 2015, (c) Leeham Co. An Airbus A321 is blown out of the sky over Egypt.
Two Air France jumbo jets are diverted due to bomb threats.
ISIS stages multiple, simultaneous attacks in Paris. Additional attacks are thwarted. Police raids in Belgium take place.
ISIS is declared a clear and present danger in Europe and the US.
The worries on a global basis are obvious. Being far more parochial, given the focus of LNC, what is the impact and potential impact on commercial aviation?
Airlines are rerouting flights to avoid ISIS war zones and security of passengers and baggage is stepped up.
The last time the global airline industry, Airbus, Boeing and the related parties had major repercussions from terrorists was 9/11. So far, there doesn’t appear to be much of an avoidance factor by passengers. But as I write this, I am scheduled for a quick Seattle-California trip. My wife said, “I’m glad you’re not going very far.” I’ve already been thinking about how I will travel to the Farnborough Air Show next June: the convenient non-stop British Airways flight from Seattle to London? Or perhaps via a routing that is intuitively far less likely to be a terrorist target? Not Delta Air Lines through Amsterdam. Not Lufthansa through Frankfurt. How about Icelandair through Reykjavik?
My wife and I are hardly a scientific polling sampling for global travelers. But our thoughts are very different than they were not that long ago.
After 9/11, passengers stayed self-grounded for months and years. Terrorists are very open about their desire to blow up airplanes. ISIS took credit for the bombing of the Metrojet A321 over Egypt. The prevailing theory is it was the work of a suicide bomber. I can’t speak about airport security overseas, but it’s been published here that the Transportation Security Administration failed 95% of the time to detect materials in security tests.
After 9/11, airplane orders fell off dramatically. Orders are down today, but for reasons having to do with normal market cycles rather than any geopolitical factor.
After 9/11, Airbus and Boeing were urged to cut production in the aftermath of drastic drops in passenger traffic. Today there are worries about over-production due to market forces, not (as yet) geopolitical events.
Should Airbus reverse its decision to take A320 production rates to 60/mo by 2019? Should Boeing halt considerations of taking 737 rates beyond 52/mo?
Probably not yet. But the “worry-level” is increasing every day.