By Bjorn Fehrm
In a recent visit to Embraer in Brazil we got a thorough brief on the background and decision making around the E-Jet and E-Jet E2 programs. We have written about these programs before but we will now cover how they came about, what was the program objective when the decision was taken and how it panned out. Both programs have had and will have a profound influence not only on Embraer but the whole civil aviation segment between 70-150 seats. It is worth looking into how Embraer, once an also-ran in the regional market, rose to the top three spot in civil aviation after Airbus and Boeing and how EMB intends to stay there.
Update, 2:30PM PDT: Boeing confirms that Tuesday is the target day for 787-9 first flight, time TBD and subject to weather and other factors.
Update, 3:30pm PDT: Bombardier says 9:30 EDT Monday is the scheduled first flight for CSeries. Twitter follow is #CSeries
It looks like it will be a busy week in aviation news. Bombardier plans the first flight of the CSeries tomorrow, weather permitting (it looks good). Exact time hasn’t been announced. Reuters reports Boeing plans the first flight of the 787-9 Tuesday, though we haven’t seen notice from Boeing on this yet. And we’re waiting any day for Lufthansa Airlines to announce its long-awaited wide-body order.
Lufthansa said to split order: Lufthansa Airlines reportedly will split its order for widebody airplanes between Boeing and Airbus, according to this Bloomberg report.
Air Force One: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a 42 slide photo display of Air Force Ones, past to present, that’s quite interesting.
Update: “Small Airbus:” If you listen carefully, someone at the end of the video notes that the CSeries “looks like a small Airbus 320.” We couldn’t help but chuckle at this.
Airbus will “win” the air show: We did this preview for CNN International.
Jim McNerney Interview: Aviation Week has this long one.
Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times will be blogging from the Paris Air Show. You can follow him here. He has several reports worth reading.
Meantime, he reports that the Boeing 787-10 may be built in South Carolina, not Boeing’s main plant at Everett.
NYC Aviation has an interesting pilot perspective on flying the Boeing 747-400F and the 747-8F.
PNAA Conference: The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance holds its annual conference Feb. 12-14 in Lynnwood (WA), north of Seattle. This event is now the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and the first or second largest of its kind on the West Coast. The top airframe manufacturers present, along with key aerospace analysts (including the ever-entertaining Richard Aboulafia) and key suppliers. There is a Suppliers Fair and this year for the first time a focus day on the airline industry. Follow PNAA @pnaalliance on Twitter.
American-US Airways merger review: This should be concluded within weeks, says AMR CEO Tom Horton.
UAVs in USA: Rules on the use of UAVs within the US are emerging and vary widely throughout the world.
SPEEA and Boeing: A reminder that SPEEA contract negotiations resume with Boeing next week on January 9. Based on conversations with SPEEA, we don’t expect things to go well. SPEEA told us–and pretty much anyone else–that it believes the gap between it and Boeing is so wide that it expects talks to break off quickly. A strike vote will follow and a target date for a strike is February 1. SPEEA filed another Unfair Labor Practice complaint this week over Boeing taking pictures of SPEEA marchers at the Everett plant.
The year ahead, Part 2: Earlier we posted our Leeham.net look at 2013. Here’s what we did for CNN.com, in a somewhat broader look.
Embraer v Bombardier: While Airbus and Boeing gain the most attention and headlines, there is another hotly competitive sector: Embraer and Bombardier in the 90-125 seats market. Bloomberg has this item examining the competition here.
Boeing Delivers 601 Aircraft: Buoyed by 46 787s, Boeing delivered 601 aircraft last year, which by this metric means Boeing will best Airbus. Airbus won’t announce its 2012 results until January 17, but is expected to finish with around 580 deliveries.
Boeing ended 2012 with 1,203 net orders, including 914 for the 737 MAX and 1,124 for the 737 family. Through November Airbus recorded 585 net orders. Even with the famed “fifth quarter,” when Airbus is known to announce a whole slew of orders that in the past has overcome Boeing’s apparent lead, we don’t see John Leahy pulling this rabbit out of his hat this time.
Just as 2011 saw Airbus record record orders with the A320neo success, Boeing’s total was boosted by converting commitments to orders. The MAX program ended the year with 1,064 orders. The A320neo has more than 1,500 orders through November.
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.
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.
Air India: FlightGlobal has this article that details the cost of Boeing’s 787s to Air India.
British Airways: Two pilots on a flight from London Heathrow nearly passed out
Kansas: Gov. Sam Brownback unveiled incentives today (Jan. 9) for Bombardier to bring jobs to Wichita, which politicians will view as very positive in the wake of Boeing’s decision to close its defense operations there. Considering Brownback’s stance on Boeing and the air force tanker competition, he continues to diversify Kansas from just Boeing. Wichita is the self-proclaimed “Air Capital of the World,” with presence from Bombardier, Hawker Beechcraft and Airbus. Boeing, of course, was the anchor, having been in Kansas 80 years.
More on tankers: Flightglobal has an interesting piece that 10 years ago, Embraer was prepared to join Airbus Military in the development of the A400M.
Guessing Game: The mysterious nine customers for the 737 MAX continues to confound observers. Actually, there were nine before Aviation Capital Group signed up, so ACG was #10.
Three more; we have three of the names but not confirmed.
Airbus A350 delay: Airbus announced a delay of six months; we think it prudent to add 3-6 more.
Aviation Week has a comprehensive table of neo vs MAX orders.
Boeing 787 Deliveries: All Things 787 reports there will be only two more deliveries this year and why.
Boeing 737 MAX: Note the wording in the Boeing press release about Aviation Capital Group’s commitment for the MAX: “ACG first leasing company to announce commitment for 737 MAX.” Not that ACG is the first lessor to commit; it is the first leasing company to announce its commitment. We understand two other lessors have committed. One is GECAS (no surprise, given the family-engine connection). We haven’t identified the other one with enough confidence to publish its name yet.
Bombardier: There remain three unidentified orders announced by BBD: one in Europe, two in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern ones should be revealed at the Bahrain Air Show. (This probably gives you a hint who they are and why they weren’t revealed at the rival Dubai show.)
Also, with some aerospace analysts increasingly speculating the CSeries entry-into-service will slip to 2014 (and, for the moment, BBD says ’tain’t so), we’ll remind everyone that the AirInsight CSeries Business Case report of December 2010 assumed a 2014 EIS.
Embraer: EMB has teamed with Alcoa to offerer advanced metals on the E-Jet RE, to lighten weights and reduce maintenance. EMB isn’t using composites (BBD’s CSeries has an aluminum-lithium fuselage and composite wings), but the E-Jets at 2×2 seating and 2,000 mile range are lighter than the CS-100 with which they will compete. Ninety percent of the US domestic flying is less than 2,000 miles (other areas of the world are likewise), so the operating costs vs the 2×3 seating, heavier CS100 will be interesting to watch.
YouTube: We’ve added a YouTube category in the right hand column, with links to OEM You Tube channels. So far we have Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace, CFM and Embraer. As we find more, we’ll add them.
Here we go, the first fall-out of the Airbus-Boeing trade Interim Report. Brazil (Embraer) complained to the European Union about launch aid by Canada to Bombardier for the CSeries and asked the EU to force Canada to cancel the package. Predictably, Canada invited Brazil to…do…something.