• Air Freighter Demand Rises, Another Spending Bill Passes, Ford and Rivian Split

    Qatar Airways, already a Boeing customer, may buy the company's newest air freighter. (Boeing)
    Qatar Airways, already a Boeing customer, may buy the company's newest air freighter. (Boeing)

    By Richard Lawson, CoStar News

    Air Freighter Demand Rises

    Boeing could be filling its Washington state factory with orders for more of its new freight version of the 777 jetliner as demand for air freighters surges with the shipping ports clogging up and trucking having difficulty keeping up.

    German airline Lufthansa has been in discussions with Chicago-based Boeing to buy the company’s 777X, which would be made at its factory in Everett, Washington, Reuters reported. Emirates Airlines in the United Arab Emirates ordered two and Qatar Airways is considering buying the new one to replace older versions.

    That would build on orders Boeing landed for air freighters during this month's Dubai Airshow. DHL Express ordered nine 767-300BCF and Iceland’s Icelease ordered 11 freight versions of the Boeing 737.

    During the airshow, Boeing announced that the strong demand for freighters prompted the company to draw up plans for three sites to convert passenger planes into freighters. One would be at Boeing’s location at London’s Gatwick Airport and two at Canadian-based KF Aerospace’s maintenance, repair and overall facility in British Columbia.

    Its rival Airbus, a European consortium, also scored orders for cargo planes during the airshow and launched a freighter version of its A350. Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corp. was the first customer, and a French-shipping company, CMA CGM, followed with an order.

    Airbus showed flat demand for passenger aircraft in its latest global market forecast but it said the delivery of freighters over the next 20 years would increase 2.9%.

    Another Spending Bill Passes

    The House passed a more than $2 trillion spending measure called the Build Back Better Act that targets climate change, expands social programs and pushes for construction of affordable housing.

    It gives President Biden a victory, at least for now, following the signing of an infrastructure bill into law a week ago that added $550 billion for projects that include improving roads, bridges, rail, ports and expanding broadband internet in rural areas.

    The latest measure is considered “soft infrastructure” and includes $555 million for programs to reduce carbon emissions, encourage consumers to shift from fossil fuels to alternative energy and help bolster electric vehicle manufacturing.

    Beyond that, the bill expands federal assistance for childcare, Medicare benefits and food assistance programs. It also includes funding to promote construction of new affordable housing, an issue that has become more troublesome across the country with home prices hitting record highs.

    But it’s off to the Senate, where not all Democrats are on board.

    Ford and Rivian Split

    Ford Motor Co. and Rivian reportedly parted ways in their venture to jointly develop an electric vehicle.

    Ford, which is a major shareholder in Rivian Automotive, has been pursuing its own EV plan and both sides agreed to scuttle plans for development, CNBC reported.

    The initial agreement was made when Ford invested $500 billion in Rivian two years ago. Rivian rolled off its first customer vehicle in September.

    Rivian went public two weeks ago and its market value exceeded Ford’s on the first day of trading.

    By the end of last week, Rivian was valued at $109.6 billion while Ford was at nearly $77.5 billion. But Ford's stock in Rivian is valued at about $10 billion.

    Source: www.CoStar.com