Farnborough Air Show, July 13: 737 program analysis

Michael O’Leary got his airplane.

Boeing today announced it will offer a 200-seat version of the 737-8, all but assuring that O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, will become a customer of the MAX model. O’Leary has yet to order the MAX and has been pushing Boeing for some time to expand the capacity of the 737 to 199 passengers, one shy of the 200 that would require another flight attendant.

Just as Airbus previously announced revisions to the interiors of the A320 andA321 to push to 189 and 240 passengers respectively, Boeing had been studying similar changes.

Continue reading

Odds and Ends: CNBC reporter says Boeing’s McNerney among top 25 CEOs; 757 replacement; BBD earnings; Spirit Air

CNBC and Boeing’s McNerney: CNBC reporter Phil LeBeau, who covers aerospace and automobiles among other topics, thinks Boeing CEO Jim McNerney deserves a place in CNBC’s Top 25 CEO list. Here’s why. Aaron Karp at Air Transport World has his own take on Boeing’s position in the market today.

757 replacement: Airchive has an analysis on the need fora Boeing 757 replacement that is well worth reading. Our analysis was last October. Richard Aboulafia of The Teal Group said last week he also believes a 757 replacement is on its way (with a launch in 2018, as we previously suggested). Bloomberg has this article from the Singapore Air Show on the topic.

Bombardier earnings call: BBD reports its fourth quarter and year-end financial results Thursday. It will be interesting to hear of the impact of the latest CSERiesdelay, of 9-15 months. Here is a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail on what analysts thought in advance of the call.

Spirit Air CEO profile: The Associated Press has an entertaining profile of the CEO of Spirit Airlines, the notoriously unfriendly US airline that rivals Ireland’s Ryanair for fees and an apparent dedication for pissing passengers off.

Odds and Ends: Middle East carriers high on 777X; Airbus’ Japan ambitions; Low fare airlines

Boeing 777X: Reuters has this article on negotiations between Boeing and Etihad Airlines for the new 777X.  Reuters reports that up to 30 777Xs could be ordered, along with a follow-on order for the 787. Emirates Airlines is expected to order between 75-100 777X. Qatar Airways will almost certainly place a 777X at some point.

The Boeing Board of Directors is expected to give the go-ahead for the 777X this month, with a public launch at the Dubai Air Show next month. Emirates is widely anticipated to place its order there, though its president, Tim Clark, has been quoted in the press that it’s possible he won’t be ready by the air show. Because this air show is in Dubai and the home base for Emirates, it’s quite possible the Etihad and potential Qatar orders would come outside the air show.

Lufthansa Airlines has already ordered the 777X, subject to formal program launch.

Airbus in Japan: Having achieved a major breakthrough with a large order for the A350 from Japan Airlines, Airbus has set some ambitious goals to increase its market share in this country, reports Bloomberg News.

Low Fare Airlines: Images and myths surround low fare airlines. We’ve written many times in the past that the USA’s Southwest Airlines, which built its image since its founding in 1971 at the low fare airline, often isn’t any more. (In fact, we were years ahead of the mainstream media in discovering this.) You can usually get lower fares on the legacy airlines, though bag fees and change fees, if you have check bags or change your flight, destroy the savings. If you don’t have to do either, it’s usually cheaper to fly the legacy airline than Southwest.

In Europe, Ryanair is viewed as the cheapest airline to fly. The base fare is ridiculously low but fees are imposed for everything except using the loo, though CEO Michael O’Leary would like to charge for this, too. This article calculates that in fact Ryanair isn’t the cheapest way to travel. The article rates the top 20 low fare carriers and Ryanair comes in #4.

Mid-size, Twin-Aisle forecasts: the changing numbers; more Odds and Ends

MId-Size, Twin-Aisle Forecasts: The Blog by Javier has an interesting post about the changing mix in twin-aisle, mid-size aircraft from the Boeing Current Market Outlook over the years.

The author works for Airbus, but his opinions and his alone and we find his stuff quite analytical and balanced.

Ryanair and MAX: Talks between the Irish discount carrier and Boeing for a 737 MAX order may go into next year.

Boeing workers hurt by outsourcing: The government agreed with the IAM 751, Boeing’s local Seattle union, that workers laid off by the company have been hurt by outsourcing.

Odds and Ends: Change fees; Two ex-NTSB members rap Boeing, FAA, current NTSB

About those change fees: Last week we reported from the US Airways Media Day and among the topics was that of change fees. US Airways matched United Airlines to charge $200 if you change your ticket. Here’s an article about how to deal with these fees.

Here’s another article about change fees, and how they’ve soared in recent times. If you think fees in the US are bad, look at the table and note in particular Ryanair’s fees–this carrier is notorious for charge for everything, and at steep prices, something subject to this funny video:

Why are fees becoming so prevalent? Because this is where airlines are largely making their profits. US Airways said last week it expects to earn $600m from fees this year. This is more than its entire profit from 2012. This means airline operations lose money and profits come from the fees.

Also on US Airways: we also reported last week about some outstanding labor issues between the IAM at US Air and the TWU and American Airlines. An agreement over the weekend was reached about merging these two workforces under one union banner, according to Terry Maxon at the Dallas Morning News.

Ex-Members Rap FAA, NTSB: We bet they won’t be invited to a reunion. James Hall and John Goglia, former members of the National Transportation Safety Board, had harsh words to say about the FAA, Boeing and the NTSB over the certification of the Boeing 787 and the subsequent fix. Hall said the FAA needed to recertify the airplane, not just the battery.

Ethiopian Airlines resumed service with the 787 over the weekend, while Japan’s ANA engaged in a proving flight. This Wall Street Journal article (via Google News, so everyone should be able to read it) references additional measures required by Japan.

Odds and Ends: Post-SPEEA Vote; LionAir and RyanAir; ANA skeptical of Boeing timeline

Post-SPEEA Vote: The ratification of the contract offer by Boeing by the SPEEA technical workers is welcome news. It gives Boeing and its stakeholders certainty at a time when the 787 issues remain outstanding and the developmental programs of the 777X, the 787-9 and 10, the 737 MAX and the KC-46A are at important stages. Although SPEEA took a loss over the pension issue, the union was able to extend the previous contract provisions over economic issues for another four years. Call this a draw for the two sides.

LionAir and RyanAir: On Monday Airbus announced an order for 234 A320ceo/neo family members from LionAir, previously an all-Boeing customer. Today Boeing announced an order for 175 737-800s from RyanAir, an exclusive Boeing customer. There were no MAXes in the order, however. RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary has not been a fan of the re-engined 737.

ANA skeptical of 787 timeline: Reuters has an interview with All Nippon Airways in which it expresses some skepticism about the Boeing timeline of returning the 787 to service within weeks. ANA calls this a “best case” scenario.

On the other hand, LOT, which took the 787 out of its schedule through September, now says the airplanes could be back in service by summer.

Vote in the Polls: All Nippon Airlines has begun its effort to rebuild the 787 brand flying in its colors. Boeing began its effort last week. Is the view of the 787 turning? If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to vote in these polls (scroll down after clicking the link).

Paine Field Pleads its Case: Targeted for closure in Sequester, with a decision to be announced this week, the director of Everett Paine Field pleaded his case to remain open in this letter:  FAA Tower Closure – Paine Field (1).

Well wishes: Daniel Tsang, founder of Aspire Aviation, has been hospitalized in Sydney, Australia, with an unknown ailment first thought to be measles but it’s not. Well wishes to him.


Very un-British report on Ryanair-AerLingus

This amused us a lot–from the free British e-newsletter from Airline Fleet Management.

Talking Point
Pesky pursuer Ryanair claims Aer Lingus is a done deal

Ah, Ryanair. It’s like the Granny no one wants a sloppy kiss from, or the colleague no one wants to sit next to at the Christmas dinner. In fact, many of its hardened customers don’t really like it that much. Bottom of the friends list though is Aer Lingus.

To Aer Lingus, Ryanair is a sleazy old man with relentless ambition and bad intentions. Despite continuous rebuttals, it keeps trying to woo, or win Aer Lingus by force.

Ryanair now says it is “confident” that its €700m takeover bid for Aer Lingus will gain approval from the European Commission, despite the regulator recently sending the airline a list of objections based on rules governing competition.

The carrier said it has devised a number of remedies, including: “new airline bases in Dublin, new entrant competitors on over 40 routes to/from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, as well as specific competition solutions that guarantee increased price competition”.

It has until December 31 to finalise these plans before the watchdog makes its final decision.

Ryanair already owns 30 per cent of Aer Lingus and has had two failed attempts at a takeover. In 2007, the Commission turned down a bid for completion issues and in 2009, Ryanair dropped its second bid.

Poor Aer Lingus, when is it going to convince Ryanair that ‘no means no’?

Mary-Anne Baldwin, Editor, Airline Fleet Management

Odds and Ends: the cost of a 737-800; Planes take off despite ground mishap; ‘We know about this’

Boeing 737-800: Wells Fargo’s aerospace analyst team issued a note today that confirms its previous calculations that American Airlines is paying $40m-$41m for its 737-800s.

Update, August 1: We received this note from Wells Fargo: What was confirmed was AA’s SELLING price to AerCap and ILFC, NOT what AA is paying.

American Airlines: AirInsight has this analysis of the current American Airlines situation.

Speaking of American: Flight Global has this story about how an American 767-300ER and a Ryanair 737-800 brushed each other on the ground all pilots were unaware and both airplanes took off.

One more American: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has this series of 49 photos and airline liveries, past and present, starting with American.

And then there is Alaska Airlines: A passenger snapped this photo on an Alaska Airlines flight. Via NYCAviation’s Tweet.

Odds and Ends: A350 business case, Ryanair, Boeing and more

Airbus A350: Aspire Aviation in Hong Kong has a lengthy look at the Airbus A350 program.

Airbus launch aid: Airbus says it has complied with the findings of the World Trade Organization and cured those elements found to be illegal. It calls on Boeing to do the same. (The case against Boeing is under appeal.) Update: and the war of words continues. Here is Boeing’s response.

Boeing and IAM 751: Reaction to the agreement reached between Boeing and IAM to extend a new contract to 2016, settle the NLRB complaint and put the 737 MAX assembly in Seattle is winning accolades from everybody except some Republicans who was pissed they won’t have an election campaign issue to talk about next year. Never mind what’s good for Boeing.

Plane Talking, the entertaining if somewhat cranky blog from Down Under, has this piece about Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary opining on this and that.

Speaking of Ryanair: Heard in the hallway at the Credit Suisse conference: O’Leary is already circling over the American Airlines bankruptcy, looking to pick up 737-800s cheap if American doesn’t keep payments up and any are repossesed.

Ryanair quits Boeing talks-for now

Ryanair terminated talks with Boeing for an order for 200 737-800s, ending a highly publicized negotiating tactic by the ever-talkative Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

Here is the Ryanair statement.

The Financial Times has this interesting take. (Free registration may be required.)

Bloomberg has this report.

Continue reading