Dashing off a quick note here, since we’re still on hiatus.
IAM 751 successfully achieved a complaint and hearing from the National Labor Relations Board filed a year ago against Boeing, alleging that the October 2009 decision to establish 787 production line 2 in Charleston (SC) was retaliation for the 58-day strike in August-September 2008. Boeing, in October 2009, was clear that it wanted stability and a long-term contract to keep Line 2 in Seattle, but that the union made unacceptable demands in the form of a guarantee of future airplane work in Seattle; and Boeing neutrality in all IAM efforts to organize labor at any Boeing plant nationwide. Boeing wouldn’t agree to either demand.
It’s stunning news: Boeing may be shelving, at least for now, the prospect of a new airplane widely anticipated to be announced at the Paris Air Show.
Boeing previously shelved the prospective 737RE (Re-Engine).
Buckingham Research, a boutique New York investment bank with a good track record of forecasting Boeing moves, issued a note today in which it said Boeing is rethinking the new airplane. Buckingham writes:
Boeing’s messaging on the 737 against the Airbus A320neo has changed subtly in recent weeks. Does this signal a slight shift in Boeing’s intentions whether to proceed with a new airplane in the 737/757 class?
Boeing dismisses the business case for the A320neo, until recently saying the 737-800NG has only a 2-3% cash operating cost deficit today versus the projected NEO economics. By the time the A320neo entered service what was originally announced as Spring 2016, Boeing officials were confident that they could improve the economics of the 737-800 by at least that amount, retaining a fleet advantage of one engine type and a lighter airplane.
Max Kingsley-Jones, editor of Airline Business, has this amusing take on Airbus COO John Leahy and Leahy’s view of his latest toy, the A320neo.
Last week we received a couple of inquiries and comments about the investment Airbus has made in the NEO and whether this will be worth it. Figures publicly issued by Airbus were that the investment in NEO is about $1.5bn.
What is not discussed but which is widely known within insider circles is that the engine makers, Pratt & Whitney and CFM, are footing most of the bill. We don’t know the split between the engine OEMs and Airbus, but we understand the engine share is not insignificant. Thus, the actual financial risk to Airbus is, by R&D standards, pretty small. We remarked to one who inquired that NEO will probably have one of the best ROIs for Airbus of any program.
Aviation Week’s Robert Wall has this story about the NEO, emerging from the Airbus 320neo briefing last week.