Continental delays delivery of 737s ? is a trend beginning?

June 18, 2007

Jun. 16--Posted online at 12:48 p.m. Friday

Continental Airlines said this week that it's deferring delivery of six Boeing 737 jets until 2010 because demand is slackening in the U.S. for air travel.

Continental will still take delivery of 24 Boeing aircraft in 2009. The Houston-based carrier, meanwhile, is trying to sell or lease 15 of its older 737s to other airlines to slow its increase in capacity.

Some analysts say the Continental move could be a harbinger of a slowdown in the industry.

Boeing has had two years with 1,000-plus orders, and the company has won 429 orders so far this year, so this small deferral isn't calamitous news.

It might, however, be a indication that the huge upswing in orders for both Airbus and Boeing has peaked and that orders will soften to more normal levels.

John Gillie, The News Tribune

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