"Airbus Says Mideast Unrest May Wipe Out 40% of Projected Orders." So blares Bloomberg this morning. According to this business bulwark, the spark of Mideast revolution is threatening to send Airbus's aircraft sales book up in smoke. But is the situation really that bad?
Bloomberg warns that "unrest" in the Mideast and North African markets could cost Airbus as many as "60 orders in 2011, or 40 percent of the total expected from the world's fastest-growing aviation market." But the emphasis here should fall not on the "40%," but on the other numbers: 60 planes in 2011 alone.
It's true that changes in government in Egypt and Tunisia, and potentially Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and Libya, too, could hurt Airbus's short-term performance. But the European planemaker still expects to make "90 or 100" sales there this year, as the Arab world continues building an alternative to Europe's travel hub. Boeing
The most important point to remember is that, like airplane turbulence, "this too shall pass." As Airbus's head of Middle Eastern operations Habib Fekih reminds us, Qatar's role as host of the 2022 World Cup is sure to spur airplane demand. Plus, "once Egypt in particular stabilizes, the flow of travelers to one of the world's most popular tourist destinations will resume, spurring demand for planes."
Long story short, this is still a growth story -- not a short thesis.
How will Mideast unrest affect Boeing's order book? Keep close watch. Add the stock to your Watchlist today.