Richard Anderson knows how to apply pressure. The chief executive of the U.S. carrier Delta noted recently that he wasn’t willing to pay more than $10 million, or €9.2 million, for a 10-year-old Boeing 777-200.
“We can buy those airplanes and take parts off of them even if we don’t end up flying them,” he said.
But some question whether an airplane for which airlines paid an average of €200 million should be sold for parts after only 10 years of service.
Mr. Anderson’s statement caused a stir in the aviation industry. Boeing promptly countered that the 777 holds its value relatively well, and that the aircraft should still be worth more than $50 million after several years of deployment. But the Delta chief executive isn’t backing down. Three days ago, Mr. Anderson tweeted that he had acquired a used 777 for only $7.7 million. He didn’t mention how old the plane was.
The case shows that the market for used airliners is under pressure. The production boom at Boeing and Airbus, underway for several years, is creating a glut of used airplanes. The risk of an oversupply is growing, with far-reaching consequences.