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Analysis-Jetmakers’ inflation shield no match for soaring costs

By Tim Hepher DUBLIN (Reuters) - Inflation clauses that determine how much airlines pay for new jets have jumped into a "hyper-escalation" band, pushing up aircraft prices but...
Analysis-Jetmakers’ inflation shield no match for soaring costs © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A321 is being assembled in the final assembly line hangar at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama September 13, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Spooneybarger/File Photo

By Tim Hepher

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Inflation clauses that determine how much airlines pay for new jets have jumped into a "hyper-escalation" band, pushing up aircraft prices but still leaving manufacturers unable to fully pass on their soaring costs, industry executives told Reuters.

The hike to the top inflationary band is a rare move in the industry, potentially triggering a rise in airfares by airlines while manufacturers will also be left out of pocket, experts warned during major gatherings over the past week in Dublin, the centre of the global aviation finance industry.

Airlines buy jets at a basic price agreed in confidential negotiations but the final price includes adjustments for inflation during long production waiting times, based on U.S. factory input and labour costs, wherever the planes are built.

For years, these "escalation" clauses discreetly swelled the profits of planemakers as price revisions exceeded their long-term purchasing costs, people familiar with the contracts say.

Now, with key U.S. cost indices rising by the largest amount in over a decade, the price adjustments are steeper and the cushion between escalation and real costs has vanished.

"It's always been a windfall game for the (manufacturers) so long as they're efficient enough to make sure their own costs don't grow as fast as the escalation," AerCap Chief Executive Aengus Kelly told the Airline Economics conference.

The rapid spike means some manufacturers may be left out of pocket as the clauses were negotiated during an era when inflation fears were low.

Yet leasing companies who secured limits to their exposure during that decades-long lull in inflation will be in a more comfortable position than some competitors, Kelly said.

"It's certainly something that we're watching carefully... We're seeing very strong inflation pressures in the United States," said Steven C. Udvar-Hazy, senior vice-president at Tokyo Century leasing unit Aviation Capital Group.

"The inflationary environment in the United States is of concern to us because that can have knock-on effects on escalation in the broader supply chain," he told the Airfinance Journal conference.

SHARED RISK

Inflation is a double-edged sword for aircraft leasing companies that own half the world's fleet.

They benefit from the impact of inflation on the value of aircraft they own. But they must also contend with rising purchase prices, prompting some to insist on escalation caps.

Exact terms depend on the buyer. But in one common type of structure, the lowest escalation band is paid entirely by the airline or leasing buyer and tends to be capped at rates averaging around 3%, sources familiar with the process said.

After that, there may be a second band up to around 5% where manufacturers carry all the additional risk.

When inflation kicks into the highest tier of all, triggering so-called "hyper-escalation" clauses, the two sides typically agree to split the extra burden, they said.

"That is where we are now, in the hyperinflation band, and this is causing a lot of pain for everyone," a senior industry source told Reuters.

In rare cases, preferred clients may have a get-out clause allowing both sides to walk away from the deal entirely if inflation shoots beyond an extreme level, one source said.

Airbus, Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Embraer declined comment on contractual matters. All are said to face tough negotiations over price clauses on future airplane deals.

"We don't see the current high levels of inflation very often but the impact of what is happening is huge. Escalation is going to be a big topic going forward," Embraer Commercial Aviation Chief Executive Arjan Meijer told Reuters.

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22-05-2022 02:45:15 (UTC+7)

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    EUR/USD 1.0562 ↑ Buy  
    GBP/USD 1.2489 Neutral  
    USD/JPY 127.86 Neutral  
    AUD/USD 0.7039 Sell  
    USD/CAD 1.2839 ↑ Buy  
    EUR/JPY 135.05 Neutral  
    EUR/CHF 1.0296 ↑ Buy  
    Gold 1,845.10 ↑ Buy  
    Silver 21.765 ↑ Sell  
    Copper 4.3042 ↑ Buy  
    Crude Oil WTI 110.35 ↑ Sell  
    Brent Oil 112.91 ↑ Sell  
    Natural Gas 8.058 ↑ Sell  
    US Coffee C 216.48 ↑ Buy  
    Euro Stoxx 50 3,657.03 ↑ Buy  
    S&P 500 3,901.36 ↑ Buy  
    DAX 13,981.91 Buy  
    FTSE 100 7,389.98 Neutral  
    Hang Seng 20,717.24 ↑ Sell  
    Small Cap 2000 1,768.35 ↑ Buy  
    IBEX 35 8,484.50 Neutral  
    BASF 48.850 Buy  
    Bayer 63.74 Buy  
    Allianz 195.58 Buy  
    Adidas 172.80 Buy  
    Lufthansa 6.852 ↑ Sell  
    Siemens AG 115.08 Neutral  
    Deutsche Bank AG 9.362 Buy  
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,875/ 6,975
(6,875/ 6,975) # 1,795
SJC HCM6,895/ 6,985
(0/ 0) # 1,800
SJC Hanoi6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Danang6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Nhatrang6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
SJC Cantho6,895/ 6,987
(0/ 0) # 1,802
Cập nhật 22-05-2022 02:45:17
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Sản phẩm Vùng 1 Vùng 2
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RON 95-III29.98030.570
E5 RON 92-II28.95029.520
DO 0.05S26.65027.180
DO 0,001S-V27.45027.990
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Brent $110.60 0 0%
$ Tỷ giá Vietcombank
Ngoại tệMua vàoBán ra
USD23.000,0023.310,00
EUR23.879,5425.217,23
GBP28.128,1029.328,16
JPY176,49186,84
KRW15,8019,26
Cập nhật lúc 18:54:43 21/05/2022
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