Bjorn’s Corner: Do I get COVID in airline cabins? Part 9. Stay hydrated.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 3, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In our Corner series about flying during the COVID-19 pandemic, we examine how cabin humidity affects the risks of getting COVID-19.

The extensive research around the seasonality of flu infections gives us tips for our behavior during flights, now and when the pandemic has left us.

Figure 1. The air conditioning system of an airliner. Source: Leeham Co.

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Restoring capacity with the A330ceo or A330neo, Part 3

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

July 2nd, 2020, © Leeham News: In the previous section, we saw that low lease rates on Airbus A330-200s could hurt demand for the newer and more fuel-efficient A330-800. Sell-lease back transactions can counterweight this at times as this gives the airline a cash injection during these difficult times.

We will now turn our attention to the other variants of the A330 family, the -300 and -900.

Summary
  • From barely trans-Atlantic;
  • To fully-fledged long-haul aircraft;
  • Mixed A330-900neo commercial success;
  • A330neo succeeding on one aspect;
  • A330-900 versability.

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Looking ahead for 2020 and 2030 decades: COMAC

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Third in a series.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

July 1, 2020, © Leeham News: COMAC stands for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. It was spun off from the equally state-owned military and civil aeronautical giant AVIC in 2008. COMAC’s charter is designing, producing, and supporting civil airliners for China and, ultimately, world markets.

It presently runs three airliner programs, the 90 seat ARJ21, the 160 seat COMAC 919, and the Chinese part of the Joint Venture 280 seat CR929 widebody. Russia is the Joint venture partner for the CR929.

Summary
  • COMAC’s strength is a large captive home market and unwavering support from its owner, the state.
  • Its weakness is lack of experience in designing, certifying, producing, and supporting airliners.
  • It will learn in all these areas when delivering to its captive market, China’s state airlines.
  • When ready and with a next generation of aircraft, it will become a force to reckon with on the world market.

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Airbus cuts 15,000 positions in its “COVID-19 adaptation plan”

June 30, 2020, © Leeham News: Airbus held a press call with its CEO Guillaume Faury today, where he elaborated on Airbus announced “COVID-19 adaptation plan”. 

Over the next 12 months, Airbus needs to reduce its airliner business workforce with 15,000 positions worldwide. Other parts of the company like Helicopters and Defence and Space are not affected by this plan.

Redundancies are not ruled out, but Airbus will work with its social partners to limit these by using available social measures such as voluntary departures, early retirement, and long term partial unemployment schemes offered by governments.

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HOTR: Aircraft lease rates, values continue to plunge in virus environment

By the Leeham News Staff

June 30, 2020, © Leeham News: Fifteen year old aircraft values and leases plunged compared with six month ago, according to the latest analysis by Ishka.

Ishka is an aircraft appraisal and consultancy.

The aircraft are assumed off lease and immediately available. Mid-life maintenance status is also assumed. Rates and values will continue to decline, Ishka believes. Aircraft on-lease have higher values and lease rates.

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How much life is left in the Boeing 737 MAX after recertification?

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By Scott Hamilton

Introduction

June 29, 2020, © Leeham News: As Boeing narrows in on recertification of the 737 MAX, one of the questions that is unanswered, but forward-reaching is, how much life is left in the airplane?

In this context, the question is not about “useful life.” This is the length of time an airplane can economically be in service before passenger carriers retire the aircraft. Then there is the potential as a cargo conversion airplane. The useful life may equal or exceed the useful life as a passenger airplane.

How much life is left in the MAX in this context means how long will it be before Boeing pursues a replacement design—and how long will MAX remain in production?

Summary
  • 737NG program launched in November 1993. EIS: December 1997. Production ended late 2019.
  • 737 MAX program launch, July 2011. EIS: May 2017. Boeing contract with Spirit Aerosystems for fuselages extends to 2033.
  • A321XLR, MAX grounding killed NMA.

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Pontifications: Recertification flights for Boeing 737 MAX appear close

By Scott Hamilton

June 29, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing may be set to begin recertification flights of the 737 MAX as early as today, The Seattle Times reported last week.

Testing will take three days, if all goes well. But Boeing still has a lot of work to do to fully satisfy regulators.

According to The Times, Transport Canada and Europe’s EASA require additional modifications to enhance safety on the MAX. The additional changes may not be required for certification but must be done within a year, the paper reports. The MAX 10 must have the changes before it is certified.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Do I get COVID in airline cabins? Part 8. Boarding and deboarding.

June 26, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In our Corner series about flying during the COVID-19 pandemic, we look closer at the boarding and deboarding part.

We have identified it as possibly the most troublesome part of a flight during the COVID pandemic. We look at the findings from simulations by boarding/deboarding experts.

Figure 1. Deboarding of a single-aisle airliner. Source: The Conversation

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Restoring capacity with the A330ceo or A330neo, Part 2

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By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction  

June 25, 2020, © Leeham News: Last week, we started looking at the Airbus A330-200 market and whether to hold on to one’s A330-200 or restoring capacity after the COVID-19 shut-down with the newer A330-800.

We looked at the history of the A330-200, the reasons it sold 642 units to date, and why the sequel, the A330-800, is not selling well.

We dig deeper into the replacement question today. In a post-pandemic world, is holding on to or even leasing an A330-200 for long-range operations the better alternative, or should we take delivery of a new A330-800?

Summary
  • The A330-200 was Airbus’ best aircraft for long and thin routes.
  • As the A330-300 and later A330-900 grew its range, the A330-200 and A330-800 market shrunk.
  • For long and thin routes, is keeping/leasing an A330-200 or taking delivery of an A330-800 the better alternative?

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Looking ahead for 2020 and 2030 decades: Boeing

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Second in a series.

By Scott Hamilton and Vincent Valery

Introduction

June 24, 2020, © Leeham News: “Airbus’ widebody strategy is a mess.”

This is what Kostya Zolotusky, then a VP with Boeing Capital Corp., said a few years ago on the sidelines of a major aerospace conference.

Today, it may be going too far to say there is increasing opinion in the industry that Boeing’s product strategy is a mess. But it’s fair to say it’s seriously challenged.

Even setting aside the 737 MAX grounding, Airbus clearly outpaced the MAX with the A320neo family. The A321LR and XLR thrust Airbus into dominance in the single-aisle, 150-220 seat sector.

Airbus fell into a winner with the acquisition of the Bombardier C Series. Boeing’s 737-7 MAX has captured fewer than 100 orders since the program launch in 2011. Demand for the 777X is weak.

Boeing critics, and there are many, see little but doom and gloom ahead. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, Boeing faced years of recovery from the MAX grounding.

There’s no doubt Boeing has a deep hole to climb out of, exacerbated by the COVID crisis. The question is, what does Boeing do after the MAX is returned to service and the virus crisis is over?

Summary
  • Airbus is clear leader in single-aisle sector.
  • Boeing’s product strategy for New Midmarket Airplane, Embraer role is over.
  • Former CEO Jim McNerney said, “no more moonshots.” But is this just what Boeing needs to regain its position?

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