Boeing Deals With Air India, Lion Air, and Emirates Not Without Controversy
In July, American Airlines ordered 460 planes, but divided the order between Boeing and Airbus, stating that neither aircraft maker could provide 460 planes in the desired time frame. There was some amount of protectionist and quasi-jingoistic sentiment expressed both in online aviation-related forums such as FlyerTalk.com and the U.S. business press because American gave part of the order to Airbus, a “foreign” company. (What is “foreign” these days, anyway?)
Now the Lion deal comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) against the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., which backs funding for orders such as the Boeing-Lion deal, seeking to block a multibillion-dollar support package for an Air India order of Boeing aircraft.
The ATA has argued that the Export-Import Bank’s loan guarantees put U.S. airlines at a commercial disadvantage. The suit includes Delta and US Airways, but AMR/American Airlines and United Continental are not parties to it.
At the signing of the Lion Air deal, U.S: President Barack Obama, who was in attendance, credited the Export-Import Bank for playing a critical role in the deal.