The Pentagon Considers Commercial Rocket Technology for Military Transportation
The Pentagon is revising plans to use new commercial rocket technology to deliver military supplies anywhere in the world. Pentagon officials believe that as rocket launches become cheaper and more reliable, there is the capacity to utilize these rockets to send military equipment anywhere in the world within an hour. SpaceX and similar companies have delivered preliminary plans to officials for cargo services utilizing their rockets. 1
Delta Air Lines To Hire 1,000+ Pilots by Next Summer
In June, Delta Air Lines informed staff that they expect to hire over 1,000 pilots by next summer, with 75 new pilots in the next two months. Delta is planning to meet the expected rising demand for air travel and avoid future staffing issues. Major carriers like American, United, and Spirit have resumed or plan to start hiring more pilots this year, highlighting the recovery of the airline industry and how the major players are planning for future operations.2
Defense Firms Resume Political Contributions
Many defense contractors working with the United States government resumed their political contributions in the second quarter of 2021 after taking a break caused by the turmoil surrounding the election certification and the January 6 riots. Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing resumed their political contributions to both parties after not making contributions during the first quarter. Although the funding gap resulted in reduced funds for political parties and their members, experts believe the companies will make up for the pause in contributions throughout the next election cycle.3
Airbus To Enter the Freighter Market
Airbus is hinting at developing a freighter airplane, which would give them a foothold in the cargo industry. This entry would allow Airbus to expand into an industry that, according to Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, they "underserve." These efforts reflect current opportunities and could lead to a shift of revenue from Boeing to Airbus or another significant player in the industry.4
Rocket Lab USA Announces NASA Contract Win
NASA awarded Rocket Lab a design contract for the Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers mission which will be used in NASA’s 2024 mission to Mars. The purpose of the craft is to study the makeup of Mars’ magnetosphere. Rocket Lab plans to produce the spacecraft for a price far below the usual price of these types of crafts. Previously, a craft like Rocket Lab's Photon would have cost NASA hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. Still, due to the increase in privatized companies contributing to the aerospace industry, these crafts cost just a fraction of the old prices.5
Boeing and Airbus Prepare for Post-Tariff Fight for New Orders
The United States and the European Union have agreed to suspend a 17-year long fight over airliner subsidies for the next five years. This suspension eliminates the threat of taxes holding up or blocking deliveries by the two aerospace giants into their rival’s home market. Historically, these taxes have accounted for roughly 15% of a plane’s price tag. This truce could potentially lead to reduced prices for new aircraft from each company, and each company could see gains from increased sales in the other's market.6
American Airlines Invests in Electric Flying Taxis
Like many other companies, American Airlines is working to develop technology to create eco-friendly flying taxis that will make travel easier between congested areas. American Airlines plans to invest $25 million in Vertical Aerospace Group LTD., a U.K.-based electric aircraft startup. The deal is contingent upon government approval of the aircraft. Vertical Aerospace Group plans for commercial operations to begin in 2024, once European regulators give final approval.7
The Fallout of Chinese Aircraft Made with U.S. and European Parts
Comac, a Chinese government-controlled airline manufacturer, has developed a plane that is mainly comprised of American and European parts. There is concern that this new development will lead to the company stealing and copying the technology from the American and European suppliers. Once capable, the company could seek to produce all the parts themselves, leaving the American and European suppliers dry with no business. In addition, Boeing and Airbus could potentially see the loss of revenues as China converts all of its airlines to Comac planes. 8
Largest Transactions Closed
- Cubic Corporation
- Veritas Capital Fund Management, L.L.C; Evergreen Coast Capital Corp.
- Abaco Systems Inc.
- AMETEK, Inc.
- Sparton Corporation
- Elbit Systems of America, LLC
- Colt Defense LLC
- CZG - Ceská zbrojovka Group SE
- Firefly Aerospace Inc.
- Undisclosed Buyer
- Senior Operations LLC
- PCX Aerostructures, LLC
This report represents transaction activity as mergers & acquisitions, consolidations, restructurings and spin-offs. Targets are defined as U.S. Based companies with either foreign or U.S. based buyers. Transaction information provided is based on closed dates only.
EBIT - Earnings Before Interest and Taxes