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Boeing hits turbulence

By Graeme Kennedy

Friday 23rd May 2003

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Boeing chairman and CEO Phil Condit has defended the company's disappointing 2002 result and warned there are no signs of an early improvement in the struggling aerospace industry hit by the Iraq war, Sars and a weak global economy.

The Seattle jet-builder's profit for the year fell 18% to $US2.32 billion on revenues 7% lower at $US54 billion.

The Sars outbreak was a severe blow to the industry, which had expected gradual recovery after the Iraq war, Mr Condit said.

It continued to stifle air travel and forced many airlines including Air New Zealand to cut capacity while others have deferred orders from Boeing and European rival Airbus.

"Sars is still an unknown. Obviously if it became a global epidemic it would be a big deal but right now it is a classic reaction to the unknown which is sidelining passengers."

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