Replacing 757s; Bombardier’s Scott and Delta; pricing engines

AirInsight, in a burst of prolific writing, posted three pieces of note today:

32 Comments on “Replacing 757s; Bombardier’s Scott and Delta; pricing engines

  1. It is interesting the B-757’s demise will be because of its economics and not any real compititon in this unique airplane’s outstanding capabilities and performance. These fine airplanes will go to an early grave becuse of that, except for the few that are converted to freighters. But, time marches on, and the B-757, like the airplane it replaced, the B-707 will go down in avaiation history as one of the very best designs. Neither the B-737-900ER, A-321, or A-321NEO will ever be able to do that because the trends in design today are solely based on economics and not as much on capabilities. High performance has little place in today’s airplane designs.

    I am sad to see that Gary Scott was forced to retire because of personal family issues. But, he deserves all the respect in the world for putting his family first, and his career second. I truly wish him and his family well.

    The cut-throat business of airplane engines has been going on for as long as airplane OEMs have been doing the same thing. Boeing seems caught up in a big circle by only offering GE engines on many products, and GE or RR engines on just a few others. They seem to have abandoned P&W, with those engines only being offered, for commerical aircraft, on the now out of production B-757, the still in production B-767, and early B-777s. But, their military side of the house still is almost exclusvily P&W with the C-17, KC-46, EA/F/A-18 and F-15.

    • The 757 is not “high performance” but rather a brute force solution based on cheap energy.
      That is why that type is going / will be going down fast in the future.
      With fuel prices mushrooming and environmental concerns increasingly making a cost impact even freight carriers will think twice about a future for the 757 type.

      • Yeah, that is why FedEx is snatching up every B-757 they can get.

  2. If what Addison suggests is true, that the GTF has much more room for performance as compared to the LEAP-X, I wonder if, or how, this could affect Boeing’s business case over the next decade. If gas prices continues to rise at an ever expanding rate, the financing clout of GE could eventually not be able to overcome the recurring costs of the extra aviation fuel required for the LEAP-X engine compared to the GTF.

    Could that eventually leave Boeing on the outside looking in while P&W is busy dealing with its other customers?
    How does this affect GE? Is it a wise business plan to make such a large investment on an engine that supposedly will be outperformed in say 10 years, already has an estimated 20% maintenance cost disadvantage, and is only really being sold due to the generous financing terms being offered by the entire GE organisation?

    Then there is the question of what RR has planned for the next decade?

  3. One piece of constructive criticism: when putting discrete numbers in an Excel-chart that are “yearly” (means a data point for 2000, 2001, 2002) or quarterly, do not use Excel-spline. When using spline Excel interpolates the data between two quarters, giving the illusion of continuously sampled data. That can make sense for data that has continuous character (like the speed of a vehicle).
    Cost data, especially operating cost, are not continuous, the data is discrete. Straight lines are OK.

    • Hi Schorsch – thanks for the guidance. I am happy to say there were no gaps in the data for Excel to spline. I like curved lines over straight ones which is why I used this. Your suggestions are much appreciated though. Addison

  4. KC135TopBoom :
    Yeah, that is why FedEx is snatching up every B-757 they can get.

    Oh, you are right there.
    To replace even more fuelguzzling types like the 727.
    Still a problem outside the US.

    • IIRC, FedEx retired all thier B-727Fs, I believe all or most were gone long before the first B-757CF arrived. The DC/MD-10Fs are just about gone, as are many of the A-300Fs and A-310Fs. They are being replaced by MD-11Fs and new build B-777Fs. FedEx is talking to Boeing about converting some B-767-300ERs, or new build B-767-400ERFs. UPS is still getting converted B-747-400BCFs, and they have 7 (remaining) new build B-747-400Fs, still getting new build B-767-300ERFs, they have lots of (then new build) B-757PFs, and are also looking for MD-11Fs. They retired all of the DC-8F and B-727Fs. I would not be surprised to see UPS getting some converted B-757BCFs.

      You do know that DHL is still getting converted B-757CFs, too? They are mostly outside of the US.

  5. Wasn’t one of DHL’s B-757s involved in the deadly and tragic mid-air collision over Germany a few years ago? Sorry, I forgot most of the details, but I believe it was an ATC error.

  6. Pratt & Whitney need a new organization like GEGAS/GE AVIATION because it’s the new financial reality to sell engines…What is the future of International Aero Engines (IAE) ? The post-era Scott at Bombardier (Scott, a good industrial executive for the industrial stage of development for the C-Series) must be a vendor/financial one. My choice is Ben Boehm, an incredible iron man. The future of Bombardier Aerospace are here: who’s the next CEO for Commercial Division ?

    • I agree with your post-era Scott assessment.

      What’s interesting here is that there is a parallel to be made with Boeing who just announced that they have replaced their VP Sales because of recent 737 sales lost to Airbus.

      Bombardier is obviously at a crossroad in the Commercial Aircraft division. The Q400 is not selling well, especially when compared to the ATR. And the CRJ is not doing much better. Add to that the slow selling CSeries and you end up with a crisis.

      What Bombardier needs most right now is someone like John Leahy. Without Leahy Airbus would never have been able to catch up with Boeing. It doesn’t matter how good your airplanes are if you don’t have the right people to sell them.

      Until Bombardier hired Chet Fuller last november they had been more than a year without a VP Sales. Since then another VP opening was left vacant when James Hoblyn passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. They were busy trying to fill that position when Scott left. Add to that the fact that recently Bombardier created a new VP International position and they took Benjamin Boehm away from the CSeries to lead and organize that new office.

      Because of his extensive experience with the CSeries Boehm would be the obvious candidate to head the Commercial division. But do they want to bring him back from China when he has been there only a few months? Since it is part of Bombardier’s strategy to develop long term relationships with the Chinese it might be premature to repatriate him at this time, unless they have someone to replace him right away.

      Inside the company they have another obvious candidate with Chet Fuller. He has been with Bombardier only a few months but he appears to be an exceptional recruit. If they decide to keep Boehm overseas he would be well positioned to head the division where he is already number 2. But if they move him up they would have to replace him in Sales, where there was no VP for a year… As you can see it’s very complicated for Bombardier. They might have no choice but to go outside.

      Whomever they hire to replace Scott, the individual and his team will have to promote the products more aggressively on the marketplace.

      • I agree with you. The analyse is perfectly correct. The next nomination will be extremely strategic for Bombardier. It’s not easy decision because I believe that the real mission of Boehm in China is to negociate a co-enterprise Bombardier/Comac with the CSeries for the first mutual product. With this strategic alliance, COMAC buy time, knowledge manufacturing (the problems with the ARJ21 illustrate the naïve handcraft of the engineers) and international network for pieces and maintenance (MRO). Bombardier will buy a financial arm, another industrial capacity and incredible low cost in labour and materials. Now Bombardier need to move on to the segment of 150-200 seats in NB (after the launching of the Boeing RE737) to get traction. With the CS500, CS700 and CS900 with LEAP-X and GTF (like Airbus) offering (so, this way annonce the dead of C919 and his rebirth in CS500, etc.), the Bombardier/Comac organization will be the next serious player in aviation field like to predict now by the intelligence unit of Boeing and Airbus…And yes, the sale team will have to promote the products more aggressively but this people need a leader like Boehm I think. Watch out after late in autumn, after the officially lauch of the RE737 (or 737-7, 737-8, 737-9). In 2012, may be Mr. Ryan of Ryannair will purchase 300-400 CS700 or CS900 with a terrific price. Speculation all of this ? Think about that: why Bombardier invest one billion dollar in Belfast to produce wings only ? And how many wings/month the Irish installation can produce ?

  7. Uwe :Actually I seemed to remember this having being a 767.Well, alzheimers light for me, then.

    Well, my friend, I guess it is alzheimers light for me too. I didn’t realize it has been that long ago. Thanks.

  8. What an interesting discussion capitainscarlet!

    I find your speculations on the CSeries quite a stretch, so to speak. But interesting nevertheless. I also think it’s a bit premature to declare the C919 dead.

    Bombardier’s cooperation with COMAC is strategic for both partners. The Chinese might be inexperienced but they are not stupid. There is one thing they have in common with Bombardier: they are patient. Both hold a long term view of the business and share mutual interests.

    For COMAC it’s the commercial benefit of the relationship that motivates them. It gives them access to a well established international network. For Bombardier it’s the financial leverage they have secured with ICBC (11.85B US$). When you build an aircraft you have to be able to sell it. And to sell it you may have to be able to finance it as well. So that’s the deal here.

    Another advantage for COMAC is the Bombardier knowhow. Both technical and industrial. For Bombardier it’s the low manufacturing costs they find in China. Time is coming when the CRJ will have to be redesigned. We can therefore anticipate another risk sharing partnership similar to the one they have on the CSeries.

    It was said that it took Bombardier a lot of guts to launch the CSeries. I think it takes even more guts to develop such an extensive business relationship with a partner coming from a totally different culture. I believe that in the future Bombardier will be lauded for it’s vision and audacity.

    • Dear sir,
      You are a very fine connoisseur what is at stake here !Effectively, the Chinese vision is based on patience, mutuality interest with the Western people and their actions are motivated by the long time so they work now for the future in 2020-2030. The Chinese philosophy and culture are based on one or two generation(s) in advance on the Occidental mind. Otherwise, the French Canadian guys at Bombardier are very conservatives, rationals (Laurent Beaudoin, the chairman and ex-CEO is an accountant with vision) and work for the long time because Bombardier is still a big family business. Yes, the ICBC deal is important. Since 1970 or something like that, Bombardier Transportation (trains, tramways, metros, etc.) experiment the joy of learning chinese culture ! Since one generation ! So Bombardier is ready to more partnership with COMAC. And finally, I don’t know if Bombardier is still interesting about the CRJ line. In the future, with more speculations points of view here, I will see the new invention market by Bombardier (don’t forget the fact that Bombardier is the creator of the Regional Aviation (RA), litterately): the Global Aviation (GA). Look the publicity about the new family of Global Express: «I’M Global». Imagine this: American Airlines, United or Delta buy 20-25 Global Express 7000 (with 20 seats) or equivalent aircraft derived from the Global with commercial name and connect small city in the United States to another small city in north of China or in south of India. The GA is the same thing like the RA but with another scale. And what a scale: the world as new playing field. The RA is for the continuators of Bombardier. The GA is perfectly design by and for Bombardier because actualy, no other OEM build a global/regional aircraft like the 7000 with 7300 nm and mach 0.85 ! So may be you are right with the new partnership: not for the CRJ line redesigned but for the new Global… Actualy Bombardier don’t tell us where the new 7000/8000 (and why not, the equivalent in commercial segment like the Challenger 601 transformed in the CRJ 100 and so on) will be manufacturing…Yes, the post-era Scott will be very exciting !

      • GA is a new concept to me. But if we extend it to larger aircraft it is exactly in line with the Boeing philosophy of point to point connections with the Dreamliner, versus the hub to hub that is often required by jumbo aircraft.

        I find the idea of using the new Bombardier Globals as commercial aircraft quite fascinating.

  9. Normand Hamel :
    GA is a new concept to me. But if we extend it to larger aircraft it is exactly in line with the Boeing philosophy of point to point connections with the Dreamliner, versus the hub to hub that is often required by jumbo aircraft.
    I find the idea of using the new Bombardier Globals as commercial aircraft quite fascinating.

    I have doubts that a setup like that will be viable.
    Cost per seatmile will be quite high. ( It could work if it reduces redirection by quite a margin.)

    The only market that had a potentially fitting infrastructure was the US.
    Only with the downfall of the middle class the money to pay for the service is missing. And those with sufficient money already have business jets. Europe has high speed rail and China is not there yet and will later have high speed rail anyway.

    Industrial cooperation:
    Germany’s Volkswagen has wellworking manufacturing capabilities in China for quite some
    time now ( early 80ties ). Successfull cooperation never seemed to have been an issue.

    What doesn’t work in China is the Quarterly Capitalists ripoff style of “cooperation”.

    • That’s right. The economics are not there. But the post-modern society is marqued by more and more mobility, flexibility, etc. For tomorrow, more than now, the point to point connections may be replace by point to point to new-point and re-new-point connections (constantly redirections and less in the model of regular fly) to deserve a little market of people (experts, engineers, less fortunates business men, tourists, etc.). I don’t know but I make a guess: one trend in aviation is for Global Jet (GJ). In the future, I imagine a group of experts to take a GJ from Wichita-Mid Continent Airport (ICT) to Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport (THU) and the same GJ take another lot of people to Ignatyevo Airport (BQS) in Blagoveshchensk (Far Eastern Russian) and, after that, the same GJ take another group to Taupo Airport (TUO) in New Zealand, etc. Last but not least, the question is: in the future the GJ will be viable in commercial segment ?

  10. Like I said Global Aviation is a new concept to me, so I am not here to promote it. But I think it has it’s value.

    BA is apparently quite successful using the A318 from London City to JFK. You don’t know if there is a market until you have tried it. Personally I thought BA was mistaken when they introduced that new service. But I was wrong. Now I think there might be even potential for growth using the ultra quiet CSeries.

    The trend is indeed point to point with a size adapted to the market. The 787 is an excellent example. But the RJ can also be used P to P. And if CASM is too high a switch to TP might be indicated. On longer routes though TP cannot even be considered because of their limited range.

    Very few aircraft have the range of the Globals. But it’s true that their limited size would drive CASM sky high, so to speak. That was my argument using the A318 out of LCY. They say that as the rich people get wealthier the middle class unfortunately gets poorer. Yes, but not all the rich people have a BJ, even if they can afford one. And the middle class can still fly hub to hub on a 380 or 747.

    I don’t see what rail, high speed or not, has to do with GA though. For the Globals would mainly be used over the Pacific Ocean and on ultra long routes, if I understand capitainscarlet’s vision.

    When you say <> that is exactly what capitainscarlet and I were trying to convey when we said that Bombardier and the Chinese share a long term view.

    • This Website apparently does not allow cut & paste quotes. So what you should read after “When you say” in my last paragraph is What doesn’t work in China is the Quarterly Capitalists ripoff style of “cooperation”. It was addressed to Uwe.

    • The avantage of GJ is the perfect aircraft for a small airport (vs 380, 747, 787, 350) to another small airport (or a bigger one) at the scale or world. That’s the fundamental principle for GA. From London City to Macau International Airport, why not, or from London City to Manokotak Airport (KMO) Alaska, from Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, Texas to Bogashevo Airport at Tomsk, Siberia for a group of oilmen, etc. I don’t have a good reflexion on this actualy. For now the idea, and only the idea, is more important to keep in mind. And to share this idea.

  11. If you put 20-30 people in a jet, cost per seat are an uncontrolled explosing. Those 20 people have to share the pilot, crew, aircraft, maintenance, fuel, airport, handling costs etc.

    The costs of such an operation are only marginally lower (if at all) then a 70 -80 seater. That’s why it doesn’t exist on any scale.

    All those premium airlines flying 80 up to 180 seats trans atlantic a few yrs ago have all collapsed. L’Avion, Silverjet, Eos Airlines and MAXjet, Legend domestic..

    “Let’s make a very good product, keep costs low, connect business centers and get the best passengers, leaving the tourists behind. ”

    .. and another one bites the dust…you need scale to fill and spread costs..

  12. Legend (LC) didn’t collapse because they had a bad business plan with their 56 seat DC-9-50s. They were crushed by AA who made up a few 56 seat F-100s.

    But, as for does long ranged smaller aircraft, like BA’s 2 32 seat A-318s, NH also operates 2 B-737-700ERs with just 48 seats. The NH B-73GERs have a range of about 5200 nm, compared to the BA A-318 range of just 3100 nm.

    PT operates several B-737NG/BBJs for airlines like LH and KL to several destinations.

  13. Thanks Keesje and KC135. But, is it possible to make a good stretch of the Global Express with a good cost per seat for Bombardier and, at the same time, to reinvent themselves with the application of the RJ Model at the Global Market ? What is the viability for a CGJ100 (40 seats) ? for a CGT200 (50 seats) ? for a CGT700 (70 seats ) with range (7500-8000nm) and speed (0.90) of the new Globals ? Otherwise, what is the future for the Global Aviation ? Smaller airplane with more longer route with new connections (ex:Houston/Stockholm) or more bigger airplane in the airlines for only big cities ? And what will be the capacities of the big airports in ten, twenty years ?

  14. Anything is possible. But I just don’t see a good business case for very many long range and very long range small aircraft like the B-737-700ER, A-319LR, and your CGJ-100 for the airlines. The current long ranged small airliners is nothing more than a very small nich market. As I said, BA and NH only have 2 of these smaller long ranged airliners, and PT only has 7. So, the global fleet is only 11 aircraft. It is already crowded with the 2 models, one from Boeing and one from Airbus.

    There is a much bigger market for the business jets with long range, and that field is also crowded with different airplane models like the various models from Boeing’s BBJ/VIP, Airbus’s CJ lines, Gulfsteam, BBD, and a few others. These models account for several hundred aircraft worldwide. They are used on missions you have suggested. There are also the fractual ownership program and private “airlines” like Net Jets that fly missions like these from a few hundred nms to many thousands of nm.

  15. Using the GX commercially is not a novel idea. It was publicly first announced by Virgin 11 years ago it was being evaluated for “Jetset Airlines” – an all-biz class premium airline, that never “took off”.

  16. Compared to a long haul small aircraft, main line First class probably offers lower prices, bigger seats/ privacy, less noise, better stability, walking room, spacey toilets, galley baked steaks and most of all: frequencies.

  17. We already know those qualities in the B-757, B-737-900ER, and the A-321. We don’t know if the A-321NEO, or the B-737MAX-9 will have those qualities. But for stability, the A-321 and A-321NEO cannot compete with either Boeing product unless the short wingsapn issue is addressed. The A-321 shares the same wing as other family members of the A-32X Family, at only 111′ 11″. The A-321NEO will add winglets which will add some 4′ to the wingspan, bring it to just under 116′. The B-737NG/MAX models still have a slightly longer wingspan at 112′ 7″ (no winglets) and 118′ (with winglets).

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