Odds and Ends: Germans withhold Loans on A350; CSeries; SPEEA update

A350 Loans: The German government is withholding repayable loans (aka launch aid) for the Airbus A350 in another one of its regular snits over work share. Airbus ought to forget these loans and either self-fund or go to the commercial markets. The German government scuppered the merger with BAE Systems. Forgetting government loans would give Airbus more freedom to do what it wants with less government interference. It would also get the US off its back.

Speaking of Corporate Welfare: Read this article about Boeing, others and Oklahoma.

CSeries: AirInsight has a 13 minute podcast with the head of the CSeries program, talking about the assembly of Flight Test Vehicle (FTV) 1 and the program’s status.

SPEEA Update: The engineers union at Boeing seems to be gearing up for a strike, according to this article.

Speaking of Unions: The IAM is back at Boeing’s Charleston plant with a union drive.

16 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Germans withhold Loans on A350; CSeries; SPEEA update

  1. IMO re Speea/BA – zip will happen until after the election. Major sticking point will be – is the health care issue. If Obuma care stays, ALL BA retirees can kiss their BA related health care good bye. Nothing personal- just business

    • SPEEA already got Boeing to withdraw the proposal that would have allowed them to kill the retiree medical. Cynicism of the company is warranted but this one would appear to be dead for now.

      • INSIDER-? While the company may be blocked from dropping the early retiree medical or until medicare age via contract – there is nothing- repeat Nothing stopping them from dropping the Medicare supplemental for ALL retirees- previously union or not. The Boeing supplemental has NEVER- been a contract issue.

        Most people are clueless as to how that can happen. But put it this way – currently, the Boeing supplemental to medicare costs two of us about $6K/year,taken from pension check.( taxable to me unless I can beat the 7 percent income number with medical plus premiums ) BA supposedly pays (tax free) about the same amount.
        If Obuma care stays in force, the company will have to make a choice- pay a $2000/person fine ( not tax free) for dropping me/us – or continue to pay 6K tax free.

        And for non union- they can simply drop the employees and pay the same fine .

        And by the way- try to find doctors who will take medicare patients- becoming scarce, since under current( long stan ding) rules, they cannot take private insurance ( not medicare qualified ) or cash for such patients. They can quit the medicare payment and go totally private, and forgo taking ANY medicare . . . but they cannot do both.

        And remember – Obumacare is a TAX –

  2. At long last FREEDOM from the German’s. next step the French gov but it will take a drop forge to crack them.

    • So Airbus should become another company that puts more effort into managing their share values than their projects ? Think again.

  3. Bombardier wont acknowledge a delay unless the first airplane is not, or at least not expected, to be delivered on time. That is, before the end of 2013.

    It is all tied to the actual duration of the flight test program versus the time it would normally be expected to last. If BBD can compress the normal schedule with some credited time from its ISTCR rig, it could shorten the flight test program and possibly allow them to recover some of the lost time towards first flight.

    In other words even if the maiden flight only occurs say in February or March 2013, the aircraft can still be certified before the end of that year; provided enough flight test time can be saved by allowing virtual flight test time in the ISTCR rig, which is part of CIASTA, to be credited as partially equivalent to actual flight testing.

    My understanding is that BBD is presently negotiating the terms of this scheme with the Canadian and American certification authorities.

  4. My conclusion is Bombardier announced a delay of at least 3 months for first flight.

    They softened the message with lots of pictures, good news and videos.

    • If you arrived at that conclusion keesje it is because Bombardier gave you all the necessary elements to construct that scenario. But it seems they did it without all the spin that often accompany this kind of public releases.

      BBD gives me the impression of being both honest and secretive at the same time. It’s almost contradictory in terms. I suppose they just want to be prudent; therefore they reveal only a little bit at the time. But what they say is verifiable to a certain extent. If there is an obvious enthusiasm, especially on the part of Rob Dewar, the project manager, it comes with very little fanfare. This is quite unsettling, but also refreshing.

      I think many of us share that enthusiasm. Not only do we have a courageous new player trying to make an entry into the major leagues, but it does it with a fantastic product. The category that the CSeries is trying to conquer has not been successfully represented since the days of the DC-9. But the gap is still there.

      There is nothing between the E-Jets and the 737/A320. There is no particular reason for that other than the normal business hazards. But Nature abhors vacuum; so this void will soon be filled with a vengeance.

  5. Normand agree, I gues BBD has a do’s and don’ts based on recent industries developments.

    Enthusiasm, courage, major league, great product.. brings back memories of a local project 25 yrs ago. A remarkable similar design and market approach..


    • The Fokker 100 is another example of a superb design destroyed by bad management.

      When Fokker became insolvent Bombardier sent a delegation to Holland to examine the books. I thought at the time that it made a lot of sense for BBD to acquire Fokker. Bombardier had recently purchased a string of failing aerospace companies: Canadair (1986), Short Brothers (1989), Learjet Company (1990) and de Havilland Aircraft of Canada (1992). Those acquisitions were all very successful and became the core of what forms today Bombardier Aerospace.

      The interest of Bombardier for Fokker was partially based on the fact that their Short division was manufacturing the wings for the F100. If they could rescue Fokker they would therefore protect there own business interests. But unfortunately they decided not to acquire the company.

      I was very disappointed because I thought that with the acquisition of Fokker BBD would more quickly become a major player. And even politically the deal would have been well received on both sides of the Atlantic because of the special ties that Canada and the Netherlands had developed during the last World War. I still think today that the association of Bombardier and Fokker would have been a marriage made in heaven. They would have learned considerably from each other and also reinforced one another.

      When Bombardier acquired Adtranz from Daimler-Benz Transportation they quickly became the world’s largest train manufacturer. I can only imagine what would have ensued if they had also acquired Fokker from Daimler-Benz Aerospace.

  6. It seems interesting that Tom Enders does not get along with Peter Hintze, the Deputy Mister for Economics and the man in the German Government responsible for aerospace activities, and still tries to go for this EADS/BAE deal. Surely a man in his position should be astute enough to know, or at least estimate, the stance of a man in such a position, especially if they do not seem to have a good working relationship.

    It begs the question if Enders underestimated the power that Hintze holds or overestimated his own?
    Or did he do this with a specific purpose, with the knowledge that it would fail? And if that were indeed the case, to what end?

    • IMHO Hintze is not the brightest light in our current government.
      That makes working with him difficult. Anyway and IMHO he is not much more than a “Muttis Laufbursche”.

      So what we see is Transatlanticists (Enders) clash with Euroemancipationists (Merkel).
      ( After the recent energy poliitcs turnabout here after Fukushima by Ms. Merkel Enders terminated his CSU party membership in a public huff.)

      Exposing EADS/Airbus completely to financial markets would stunt this effort in no time.
      ( Look at Boeing, too busy with shareholder value to bring their products to market in a timely fashion ). Don’t forget the US political influence ( and lockstep of commerce and politics ).

  7. Uwe :
    After the recent energy poliitcs turnabout here after Fukushima by Ms. Merkel Enders terminated his CSU party membership in a public huff.)

    That was of very dumb thing to do for the CEO of EADS. And for Merkel to take an important decision like that based of on personal considerations rather than on national interests is also very dumb. I think on that occasion they both lost their eads. 🙁

  8. BBD gives me the impact of being both sincere and discreet simultaneously. It’s almost contrary in conditions. I assume they just want to be prudent; therefore they expose only a little bit at enough time. But what they say is proven to a certain level. If there is an apparent passion, especially on the aspect of Rob Dewar, the venture administrator, it comes with very little excitement. This is quite disturbing, but also relaxing.

  9. And also most individuals are confused as to how that can occur. But put it this way – currently, the Boeing additional to healthcare health insurance expenses two of us about $6K/year,taken from retirement living examine.( taxed to me unless I can defeat the 7 % earnings variety with healthcare plus rates ) BA apparently will pay (tax free) about the same quantity. If Obuma care remains in power, the organization will have to create a choice- pay a $2000/person excellent ( not tax free) for losing me/us – or keep pay 6K tax no cost. http://www.christmas-loans.org.uk/

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