经济学人:航空业 盛宴上的幽灵
日期:2012-09-16 13:13

(单词翻译:单击)

Business.
商业。
Aviation.
航空业。
Ghost at the feast.
盛宴上的幽灵。
Airlines stand to lose heavily should the euro collapse.
一旦欧元崩溃,航空公司必遭致重大损失。
MEETINGS of airline bosses are rarely cheerful events, profits being tighter than leg room in economy. But this year's annual gathering of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) should have been different. For a start, the airlines' umbrella group picked the most promising market to host the pow-wow, which was held in Beijing. Not only is air travel booming within and from China, but the country's airlines also made half of all global profits last year.
通常在利润空间比经济舱的放脚空间还要拮据时,航空公司老板们才会碰头——这鲜有好事 。但今年的国际航空运输协会(IATA)年会本应不同于以往。首先,航空业这一伞状组织选择了最具潜力的市场——北京,来举办这次年会。中国蓬勃发展的空中旅行带动了世界航空业的振兴,并且中国航空公司利润占到世界航空公司利润的一半。
But as IATA delegates assembled for their gala dinner on June 11th at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, there was a ghost at the feast. The topic on most people's minds was not the dozens of airports to be opened this decade in China, nor the quarter of a trillion dollars the host country is spending to become an aviation and aerospace superpower. On the contrary, all eyes were focused on the spectre of financial chaos in Europe.
6月11日在天安门人民大会堂举办的晚宴上,除了汇聚一堂的国际航协代表们,还有一个令人扫兴的幽灵。人们最为关心的话题并不是这个十年里中国将投入运营的几十个新机场,也不是中国为了将自身建设成航空航天超级大国而投入的2500亿美元资金。相反,欧元区金融混乱这个幽灵成为所有人关注的焦点。
The euro zone's troubles have already pushed many European carriers into the red. IATA predicts that there is a "serious risk" of bankruptcies. Indeed, Malev and Spainair, two fair-sized European airlines, have already gone bust. Several big airline groups, notably Air France-KLM, are trying to make deep cuts. The global industry's after-tax profits are forecast to fall from $7.9 billion in 2011 to $3 billion this year; that is just 0.5% of revenue (see chart). And if the euro collapses? "It would be worse than 9/11," says Willie Walsh, the boss of IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia.
欧元区的问题已经使许多欧洲航空公司陷入亏损。国际航协预测(这些公司)存在"极高的"破产的风险,事实上,已经有两家规模不小的航空公司——匈牙利航空和西班牙航空面临破产。数个大型航空集团,尤其是法航荷航集团正在努力大幅削减开支。据预测,全球航空产业税后利润额从2011年的79亿美元降至今年的30亿美元,净利润率仅为0.5%。那么,如果欧元崩溃又会怎样?"那将会比911时还要糟糕"国际航空集团(IAG,控股British Airways and Iberia)总裁Willie Walsh回答道。
Things feel all the worse because 2012 might otherwise have been a good year. Oil prices have moderated of late. Global passenger traffic has risen by 6%, faster than the long-term trend. Freight contracted in 2011, but is reviving in many markets (though not Asia). Asset utilisation is 79%, up from 74% in 2009. Planes are relatively full, especially in America.
让事情感觉更糟的是——2012本来应该是更为美好的一年。最近国际油价已经回落。全球客运量上涨6%,增速快于长期水平。尽管2011年航空货运市场萎缩,但是很多市场正在复苏(亚洲市场不在此列)。资产利用率从2009年的74%上升到79%。飞机空座率也相当低,尤其是在美国。
That said, the industry faces three risks besides a European meltdown. First, an oil-supply shock-resulting from an Iranian crisis, say-would send fuel prices sharply up again and wipe out profits. Some airlines, including KLM, are investing in biofuels, but full commercialisation looks a decade away. Others use financial hedges, but these are pricey and can backfire if oil prices drop. Delta is even now finalising a deal to buy an oil refinery.
这意味着,除了欧洲危机外航空业还面临着三大风险。第一,伊朗危机引发的石油供给紧张可能很快将油价再次推高,带走航空业利润。包括KLM在内的一些航空公司正在投资于生物燃料(的研发),但生物燃料的完全商业化看来要等到十年以后。其他公司则采用金融对冲工具,但这过于昂贵,如果油价下跌,结果还会适得其反。Delta甚至正在敲定一桩购买炼油厂的交易。
The second risk arises from the flood of new planes due to be delivered shortly. Production snags at both Airbus and Boeing have kept capacity tighter than planned. If everyone uses their new planes to expand capacity, rather than to replace clunkers, there could be a lot of empty seats.
第二大风险则源于短期内将有大批新飞机交付使用。由于存在生产障碍,空客和波音的客舱容量都低于原有计划。如果各航空公司都利用新飞机增加载客量,而不是用以替换旧飞机,那将产生许多空座。
The final threat pits ghost against host. The European Commission's inclusion of greenhouse gases from aviation in its emissions-trading scheme (ETS) is opposed by over 30 countries, of which China is the most defiant. If a compromise is not found, European countries must levy hefty fines on offenders and may seize aircraft-which could set off a trade war. On June 12th the China Air Transport Association, which represents Chinese carriers, said that China would retaliate with similar measures.
最后一项威胁是:这个幽灵将与东道国——中国对抗。欧洲委员会针对航空业温室气体排放制定的排放交易计划(ETS)遭到到30多个国家的反对,其中来自中国的抗议最为强烈。如果不做出让步,欧洲国家将会对违反ETS的企业征收巨额罚款,并可能面临禁飞——这会引发贸易战。6月22日,代表中国航空公司的中国航空运输协会表示中国将会采取相应的报复手段。
The Chinese government has forbidden its airlines from participating in the ETS. It has even threatened to cancel orders placed by its airlines with Airbus. No coincidence, then, that this week's banquet was paid for by the European aircraftmaker. The Chinese appear unbowed.
中国政府禁止中国航空公司参与欧盟排放交易体系,甚至以取消国内航空公司与空客签下的订单作为威胁。那么,本周的宴会是由欧洲飞机制造商买单也并非巧合——看来中国并不打算妥协。

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重点单词
  • inclusionn. 包含
  • trendn. 趋势,倾向,方位 vi. 倾向,转向
  • retaliatev. 报复,报仇,回敬
  • greenhousen. 温室,暖房
  • promisingadj. 有希望的,有前途的
  • cheerfuladj. 高兴的,快乐的
  • opposedadj. 反对的,敌对的 v. 和 ... 起冲突,反抗
  • freightn. 货运,货物,运费 vt. 装货于,运送 ad
  • chaosn. 混乱,无秩序,混沌
  • bustn. 半身像,胸部,萧条,破产 v. 打碎