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Back in July the Bermuda and Hong Kong-based satellite operator ABS cancelled a satellite order with Boeing citing problems that Boeing had in obtaining financing for the deal from the US Export-Import Bank. The bank’s ability to lend or underwrite projects is currently on hold pending the renewal of its Charter to Operate which expired on June 30th.
Now it emerges that a second operator, Singapore-based Kacific Satellite, which wants to build a geostationary satellite to cover the Pacific islands with improved broadband connectivity, has also written off Boeing as a potential supplier. Kacific’s craft would cover most of the Pacific Ocean and include New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
Boeing spokeswoman Gayla Keller said Kacific notified Boeing that it could not compete for the satellite order without financing backed by the US Ex-Im Bank. “This is another example of how the lapse in Ex-Im’s charter is having a direct impact on our business – not only in commercial airplanes but in satellite orders,” Keller said.
Boeing said in August that it will cut as many as several hundred employees in its satellite business, citing the uncertainty regarding Ex-Im financing as a contributing factor.
The news is currently all bad for Boeing, in that it also emerged (September 15th) that one of its major aircraft engine suppliers, GE, would be shifting up to 500 jobs out of the US because of the banking finance problems.