HOTR: Boeing warns of forward losses on 787, 777X programs

By the Leeham News Staff

Aug. 5, 2020, © Leeham News: In another demonstration of the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Boeing warned that two flagship airplane programs could face forward losses.

Neither the 787 nor the 777X are in forward loss positions yet. A forward loss means Boeing won’t make money on the program.

Despite the 787 incurring more than $30bn in deferred costs, Boeing hasn’t taken a write down. The deferred costs have been burning off since 2015. Other programs have been subjected to forward losses, including the 747-8, VC-25 (Air Force One) and the KC-46A tanker.

But with the production reduction of the 787, down to 6/mo in 2021, Boeing now says there is a risk to a forward loss.

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Boeing’s big opportunity

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By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Introduction

Aug. 3, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing has one of the biggest opportunities in decades.

This is counter-intuitive, given the disaster it faces with the COVID-19 crisis.

But in chaos, there are opportunities.

There are some key assumptions that must be made. But these are not outlandish.

Summary

Assume:

  • Boeing survives the virus crisis.
  • Boeing consolidates 787 in Charleston.
  • 787 demand doesn’t return, reactivating Everett line.
  • Sharp gains in production efficiency.
  • These lead to the Big Opportunity.

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HOTR: NOK Air, 3 more bite the dust in COVID fall-out

By the Leeham News Staff

July 31, 2020, © Leeham News: NOK Air of Thailand is the latest carrier to filed for bankruptcy.

LNA’s monthly tracking of failed carriers adds NOK, Jet Time, Level and Blue Air to the list of carriers in bankruptcy since COVID collapsed the global airline industry beginning in mid-March.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of Hydrogen. Part 2. Ecosystem.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 31, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In our series on Hydrogen as an energy store for airliner use we begin by looking at the needed ecosystem that can produce and distribute Hydrogen.

When I was skeptical about hydrogen as a means to propel our airliners three years ago, the main problem was the lack of this ecosystem. That year, in 2017, 13 transport and energy companies formed the Hydrogen Council, to create this ecosystem. Today the council has 81 members, with 22 joining in the last year, Figure 1. The list reads as Who’s Who in the transport and energy sector.

Figure 1. Members of the Hydrogen Council. Source: Hydrogen Council.

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COVID production rates “firm” up

By Scott Hamilton

July 30, 2020 © Leeham News: Airbus and Boeing refined their COVID production schedules this week slightly downward in some cases.

Airbus largely held to its previously announced production schedule. It dropped the A350 rate by one, to 5/mo from six. The A320 rate remained at 40/mo, as did the A330 rate at 2/mo. The A220 rate is returning to 4/mo in Montreal and 1-2/mo in Mobile.

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Airbus 1H2020; “We have reached the right production level for the pandemic”

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 30, 2020, © Leeham News: Airbus presented its results for the first half of 2020 today. Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury said on the analyst call “We made a large adjustment to lower production rates end April. We are there now and it seems the right level. Except for a small adjustment for A350, from six to five per month, we are happy, we have found the right level for the crisis”.

The group revenue settled at €18.9bn for the first half of 2020 compared with €30.9 a year ago, with deliveries at 196 commercial aircraft (389 1H2019). EBIT adjusted for the first half is €-0.9bn, the size of the COVID-19 extra costs charge.

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Airbus says A350 loans now WTO compliant

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 30, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury announced Friday that it had made the A350 Repayable Launch Investment (RLI) loans fully WTO compliant, to break the deadlock in the 16-year-old fight with Boeing over state subsidies to their airliner industries. The claim was reiterated today during the Airbus second-quarter earnings call.

“We have fully complied with all the WTO requirements. These additional amendments to the A350 RLIs demonstrate that Airbus has left no stone unturned to find a way towards a solution,” said Faury. “This is a clear signal of support to those who are suffering from the severe impact of the tariffs imposed by the USTR, especially at a time when industries are hard hit by the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.”

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Sunset of the Quads, Part 1

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

July 30, 2020, © Leeham News: British Airways announced two weeks ago that it would immediately retire its entire Boeing 747 fleet. Several other operators announced accelerated retirements of their Queen of the Skies fleets. There are now fewer than 100 747s left in passenger service.

While less publicized, airlines have also been accelerating the retirement of their Airbus A340 fleets. Lufthansa put its 10 remaining A340-600s into long-term storage.

So far, Air France is the only airline to have permanently retired its A380 fleet, initially scheduled for 2022. However, Emirates and China Southern are the only airlines currently operating the Superjumbo in passenger service. All but a handful of A380s are in storage, with some airlines not intending to bring them back into service for several years.

Credit: Qantas

The slump in passenger traffic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates the sunset process of the markets operated by quad-engined aircraft. What did the quads bring that was desirable and what changed? Are quad engine aircraft gone for all times?

We look into these questions in this article series, and we start with the Queen of the Skies, and we focus its best selling variant, the 747-400.

Summary
  • Shrinking quad-engine jet fleet;
  • Flying an A340 or 747 will be rare;
  • Uncertain future for A380;
  • 747-400 commercial success;
  • An ultra-long-range route.

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Boeing’s second quarter of 2020; cutting production as revenue halves due to MAX grounding and COVID-19

July 29, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing presented its results for the second quarter of 2020 today. The company revenue is halved compared with the last second quarter with full 737 MAX production, 2Q2018. The reported loss was $3bn but the real loss, masked by program accounting, is close to double this number.

Boeing will now cut production of the cash cow 787 to less than half the pre-COVID rate, producing six planes per month instead of 14, and the 777/777X rate goes from five presently to two per month next year and stays there for 2022.

The 737 MAX production will stay at a very low level until the present inventory of 450 produced MAX has cleared. Present planning is a slow ramp during 2021, with a rate of 31 per month only reached at the end of 2022.

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Aviation veteran journalist Creedy joins LNA

Kathryn Creedy

July 29, 2020, © Leeham News: Kathryn B. Creedy has joined Leeham News & Analysis as a regular contributor, it was announced today.

Creedy is an award-winning veteran aviation/travel journalist and author who has covered every facet of commercial and business aviation.

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