Odds and Ends: Asia’s LCCs; Fiscal Cliff Deal; Boeing v Airbus; Desert Airplanes

Asia’s LCCs: Aviation Week has this lengthy piece about Asia’s Low Cost Carriers. Update: Financial Times has this in-depth look at AirAsia vs Lion Air. (Free registration required.)

Fiscal Cliff Deal: The can was kicked down the road and Wells Fargo has this assessment on the affect on the Defense Department:

Sequestration Postponed. The bill passed does not prevent the sequestration procedure from automatically reducing defense spending by $500B over the next ten years, including $50-55B of potential reductions from FY2013. Instead, it postpones the deadline for an agreement from January 2, 2013, to March 1, 2013,–a two-month extension. At that time, the DoD will have three weeks to determine how the sequestration will be implemented, with the reductions kicking in on March 27, 2013, rather than on the same day under the original sequestration legislation. The lack of planning time for the sequestration contributed to the uncertainty of its impact, which the new legislation appears to resolve.

Boeing v Airbus: It certainly looks like Boeing sold more airplanes in 2012 than Airbus, but the annual Airbus press conference is January 17 and you never know what last minute orders John  Leahy has up his sleeve. We doubt Boeing is celebrating just yet.

Desert Airplanes: It’s an old story for those of us who follow this sort of thing but the photos are always interesting. CNN has this story, with pictures, of where airplanes go to die.

Looking ahead to 2013 in Commercial Aviation

Last year yielded a few surprises in an otherwise predictable year.

Jim Albaugh shocked the aviation world when he retired unexpectedly at age 62. He was expected to remain in his position as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes until mandatory retirement at 65.

EADS CEO Tom Enders unleashed a surprise merger proposal with BAE Systems. The deal didn’t work due to German government opposition, but he ultimately accomplished a governance restructuring—a key objective of the merger—that will reduce government meddling in the future.

Those were about it. Boeing’s much-anticipated Authority to Offer the 777X didn’t happen. ATO for the 787-10 was stealthily granted. Airbus and Bombardier, to no surprise, delayed the A350 and CSeries by a few months. Boeing came roaring back to become sales leader for the first time in about a decade, on the strength of 737 MAX sales.

What’s ahead for 2013? Here’s what we see.

Overview

With the spurt of 737 MAX sales over, narrow-body sales competition between Airbus and Boeing should return to normalcy. Will twin-aisle sales become the next growth market because of the first flight of the A350 and the program launch of the 7870-10? Will ATO of the 777X evolve into a program launch as well? Will Bombardier’s first flight of the CSeries and subsequent testing validate its claims for the new technology airplane and finally spur a large number of sales of the “show me” crowd?

Here’s our OEM-by-OEM rundown.

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