The news yesterday the Boeing resumed delivery of the 787 is good news, not just for Boeing and the airlines, but for all the stakeholders.
Although Boeing did not stop or slow production of the aircraft during the grounding, had the grounding continued for six months instead of 3 1/2 we saw, Boeing may well have had to slow down the supply chain.
The 50 airplanes in the field are slowly returning to service. The last are to be carrying passengers by next month.
Now it’s back to taking care of business.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9-R9S1m4dA&w=420&h=315]
The launch of the 787-10 was pushed to the right during the grounding. We fully expect this launch to come soon, perhaps at the Paris Air Show. The 777X received its Authority to Offer last month. We anticipate formal launch by year end, perhaps at the Dubai Air Show with a huge order from Emirates Airlines. We also think there will be some commitments announced at the Paris Air Show, by Qatar Airways, which always likes to make a splash at the European event.
Production for the 787 is ramping up toward the 10 per month goal Boeing set for the end of this year, and despite skeptics (we included), it looks like this will happen. But Boeing needs to go beyond 10/mo to 14 to accommodate the 787-10 and demand for the current offerings. With a planned 2018 EIS for the -10, there’s plenty of time to bring the supply chain into line for this.
Over at Airbus, the A350 MSN001 has been painted and is prepping for handover to flight test.
The big question is whether the airplane will fly before or after the air show, and if it flies before whether it will make an appearance.
Airbus execs say they aren’t pushing to fly before the show, but we believe the French government dearly wants to have the newest bird there. Certainly so would showman John Leahy, Airbus’ COO-Customers. It would be nice, of course–but even if the plane flies before the event, can Airbus afford to idle the airplane for a week from the test program when the Entry Into Service timeline is already pressing? Every day counts. Is a show-and-tell more important than satisfying delivery schedules? We think not.
At Bombardier, they’re pushing to maintain schedule over pizzazz for its CSeries. BBD, too, is mindful of the PAS and would dearly love to fly before or even during the show to be able to crow about the progress. There is no thought of bring the plane to the show–that will be saved for Farnborough next year (or Dubai this year?). But it’s entirely possible CSeries won’t fly until the end of the month, which is what officials have been saying all along.
Embraer doesn’t have a bird in the hand to show at the PAS, but it does want to make a splash with some commitments for its re-engined E-Jet.
The Paris Air Show won’t be as exciting as we hoped late last year because of the absence of the A350 and CSeries, but the remainder of this year is going to be.