Air Transport World

'900 in '98'

'Nine hundred in '98' may become the rallying cry for people concerned that the world's airlines are rapidly headed toward the same overcapacity situation that arose in the early 1990s. Coined by Annapolis, Md.-based aviation consultant John Walsh, the phrase refers to his estimate of the number of jet transports (50 seats and up) that will be delivered next year, based on current and projected manufacturer production rates and delivery forecasts.

Assuming Walsh is right, 1998 will be a record year for aircraft deliveries, surpassing the previous high of 829 set in 1991 and more than double the average number of annual deliveries between 1968 and 1996.

Walsh tells ATW that measured in terms of capacity, the gap is even larger, because many of the aircraft scheduled to arrive next year are widebodies. …

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