Global Investing

The final frontier market

The present may be pretty bleak for investors, but that has not stopped one firm from looking decidedly at the future – privatised space travel. Fortis Investments reckons space tourism will one day become all the rage with travellers willing to fork out thousands upon thousands of dollars for the adventure.

SpaceIn the latest issue of Fund Expert magazine, Fortis looks at the nascent industry and reckons that the price of a space trip Рroughly $200,000 to begin with Рshould come down substantially as a result of competition. There is already some Рincluding Virgin Galactic, which is aiming for launch by next year, and Rocketplane, which should go up the year after.  They will start modestly, just sticking their noses out of the atmosphere.

The new industry, however, eventually should mean a boom in new employment, requiring commercial astronauts, flight attendants, tour operators and so on. But the flight operators may also be licking their lips at the prospect of getting government military and scientific research contracts. Fortis – whose Brussels headquarters coincidently is located on Avenue de l’Astronomie — reckons that a NASA flight currently costs the U.S. government $1.3 billion a pop. So outsourcing would be attractive.

To boldly go, in effect, looks set to become more than just Star Trek’s mantra and the world’s most famous split infinitive.

Boeing hopes a $2,500 signing bonus will seal the deal

It’s been three years since the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers last agreed to a contract with Boeing, the end result of a strike at the aerospace company that lasted about a month.

Boeing said the 2005 strike caused it to deliver 29 fewer planes than expected that year, translating to about $2 billion in lower revenue. Boeing 787 Dreamliner fuselage

Ahead of the long weekend, the IAM rejected Boeing’s “best and final”. Now the scenario is playing out for another confrontation, with one difference: Boeing’s popular 787 Dreamliner program has no more room for delays.