Pontifications: Looking ahead to 2016

Jan. 4, 2016, © Leeham Co. Let’s take a walk through our outlook for 2016.

Boeing is 100

The Boeing Co. is 100 years old this year. July 15, to be precise. This is the last day of the industrial portion of the Farnborough Air Show.

There will no doubt be all kinds of celebrations at the Air Show. To the extent possible, I would imagine Boeing will try to have a whole lot of orders to announce there. There will be all kinds of run-up to the 100th anniversary. Few throw a party as well as Boeing. (Just don’t sing “Happy Birthday;” I never have liked this song.)

It’s a great achievement and we should all celebrate with Boeing for the next seven months.


Speaking of celebrations, EMB will roll out its first E-190 E2 Feb. 25 in Brazil, on schedule. The aircraft is planned for entry into service in 2018.

Oil prices

Oil prices fell through 2003 levels last month, the level at which the Boeing 7E7 was launched in December 2003. I spoke a few days ago with the president of a West Texas oil company, who told me he believes prices will fall to around $18 in the first or second quarter this year. (Goldman Sachs predicts oil will drop below $20 soon.) After that, this president says it will take about 18 months to rise to about $65.

LNC sees marginal credit airlines deferring new airplane orders and retaining older aircraft longer with these low prices, but we don’t see the likes of United, Southwest, Ryanair or other “blue chip” customers deferring.

New airplane orders slowed last year for Boeing but remained healthy for Airbus. With production rates reaching record levels—into the upper 700s per year at these two OEMs—we don’t think it matters if new orders don’t reach a 1:1 book to bill because the backlogs are around 10,000 airplanes.

But having said that….

Tough times ahead for A380, 747-8 and 777 Classic

I don’t see any recovery of orders for the Airbus A380, Boeing 747-8 or the Boeing 777 Classic. Production rates have to come down for each—it’s just a matter of

Artwork via Google images.

when. Boeing announced a rate cut for the 747-8 from 1.5/mo to 1/mo, effective this March, but it’s hardly enough. Another rate cut is necessary (actually, the program needs to be terminated). The previously announced rate cut from 8.3/mo to 7/mo for the 777 Classic isn’t enough, either, in our view. Boeing is counting on a recovery in the cargo market to support both programs, and it’s not happening.

The A380 should have a rate cut, but Airbus doesn’t have its costs down enough to support one. The backlog is thin, with a large portion of positions ordered by dicey customers. An A380neo would breathe some new life into the program, but Airbus is in no hurry to launch the program.

Big orders this year?

I don’t see much in the way of big orders, but one to watch for is the delayed decision by Emirates Airline for either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus A350-900.

Photo via Google images.

Though all parties deny it, I still think there is a link between this and the prospective A380neo.

Bombardier has to pony up some blue chip, quantitative orders for the CSeries this year. Last year was devoted to getting new management and restructuring the company. Certification was received in December. Now it’s time to convert MOUs and LOIs to sales and to get new orders from quality customers.

One deal to watch: the oft-talked about United Airlines requirement for 100-passenger airplanes. The A319neo and 737-7 aren’t really competitive in this sector. The CS100 and Embraer E190/195 are the planes to watch. EMB’s chief commercial officer, John Slattery, is going to aggressively try to win this deal—he’s got a major incumbency at UAL and doesn’t wasn’t to give it up. BBD is aggressive with the price after it wrote off $3.2bn in development costs on the program. UAL officials said they will likely stick with Boeing or Airbus, but if I were United, I’d buy the CS100. It has the ability to grow into the CS300. As good as the E-Jets are, and they are very good, up-gauging is limited.


And speaking of BBD, entry into service for the CS100 is scheduled around May (no firm date has been announced) with Swiss International. Industry eyes will be watching how smoothly the EIS goes and what kind of support BBD will have (BBD’s product support reputation, whether fairly or not, isn’t all that good.)

Certification of the larger CS300 is planned for this year, followed by EIS.


Roll-out and flight testing of the A350-1000 is slated for this year.

With the delivery delay last month of the A320neo (not entirely unexpected in this corner; I started hearing of this possibility months ago), eyes will be really focused on whether Pratt & Whitney has its engine issue resolved with the GTF. This is PW’s 20-year bet to return as a major player in the commercial engine market.

Farnborough Air Show

Look for the 737-8 MAX to be there. Look for Qatar Airways’ own mini-air show display, as usual. Will Emirates be ready to announce its deal here? Will Airbus make a decision on the A380neo?

No Middle of the Market airplane for FAS. We look for this next year.

It’s Boeing’s birthday. Deservedly, the show should be Boeing’s.

Mitsubishi MRJ

Flight testing of the MRJ90 was supposed to start in earnest this year. Given the issues announced by Mitsubishi on Christmas Eve, it’s not going to happen.


Roll-out of the first C919 should happen this year.


101 Comments on “Pontifications: Looking ahead to 2016

  1. Pingback: Boeing Company News

    • Is the ANA deal simply taking up the Skymark white tails at a massive discount?

      • Strange how “they won’t place them anyway” turns into “pah – not big news” once they apparently have been placed.
        Anyway – I don’t think any specifics have been released, although it seems fair to assume that ANA’s A380s will be at least the two Skymark frames, plus one Skymark frame that only went into pre-assembly.
        One fact rings a bit strange about this, though – the reported EIS of 2018. Surely the cabin configuration on the existing Skymark A380s could be done more quickly than that?

        • The first part could actually read:
          “Airbus won’t place the Skymark frames anyway” and “ANA will never take a single A380″ combined suddenly turn into “Pah – not big news”.

          That said, of course, the deal hasn’t been confirmed by Airbus or ANA yet. So strictly speaking it’s possible it’s not going to happen at all – or (at the other end of the spectrum) that the three rumoured so far are just the ex-Skymark ones, with more new-built ones to also form part of the deal.

          • [i]The Japanese financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. Hence, deliveries of the first ANA A380 could commence as soon as Q2, 2017.[/i]

            Ah – thanks for that. Would make a bit more sense.

          • @anfromme

            I’m sorry, but I was being a bit hasty.

            The 2018 fiscal year in Japan starts on 1 April, 2018 – so, if what being reported is accurate, then the first A380 delivery for ANA would occur no sooner than Q2, 2018.

    • @Ariel: The column was written before Christmas–we took all the holidays off. But to your point, we’re not all that excited about the ANA A380 deal. Three isn’t a big number and the transaction may well have been tied to the Airbus support for ANA’s Skymark deal.

      • It would only be a big deal if ANA took options for 6 or more A380s. The japanese airlines are the outliers regarding asian carriers and the 380, so they remain a likely order prospect , but financially only ANA could do it.

  2. I like this comment:

    “LNC sees marginal credit airlines deferring new airplane orders and retaining older aircraft longer with these low prices, but we don’t see the likes of United, Southwest, Ryanair or other “blue chip” customers deferring.”

    This bodes well for Bombardier’s C Series. Despite low oil prices “blue chip” airlines will be placing orders for new aircraft and a segment game-changer like the C Series is well poised to capture many of these orders.

  3. Boeing 100 Years! That’ll be a party, looking forward!

    Airbus in 2016 will be totally focused on keeping promises on A320NEO, A330NEO and A350 ramp-up / -1000.

    ANA A380, frankly this one has been coming for years. ANA said yrs ago, they’ll order if competitors take market share / passengers prefer it. Both is happening. I expect a real order (including the 3) to be for 10+5 or so for the Star hubs + LHR, CDG etc.

    BBD should get the CS300 rolling ASAP. And open up some future windows towards CS500 plans, to strengthen the case for airlines. Even if EIS is after 2019. They need perspective / scenarios.

      • Yes. It seems unusual after the war that the Junkers name ( he was an anti nazi but died in 1935) was subsumed into a group run by Messerschmidt ( the arch nazi).

          • Well – Junkers still exist. They just produce heating-related products now, rather than airplanes. 😉

          • Yes, the circle closes.
            Junkers commercial activity started with water and air heaters.
            ( and a calorimeter for scientific/industrial use )
            And he financed most of his initial research into aero and engine things on that way. Proficiency in working thin sheet metal also ..
            IMHO Junkers as an engineer/scientist created his widely scoped toolbox with great care.

      • Do you know if there still a group within Airbus that can be traced back to Junkers via EADS, DASA, and MBB? It’s unlikely but has happened before. I was once part of a smaller company that was absorbed into a large corporation, but the “DNA” of the group remained persistent and is still present today.

        • Junkers probably has the most diffuse post WWII history of the bigger names in German aerospace.
          Afaik one group continued around Baade ( with the Baade 150 jet transport, abortive )
          another group joined what used to be Blohm & Voss Flugzeugbau at Hamburg-Finkenwerder. ( HFB 320 HansaJet, Noratlas, Transall later all the Airbus stuff.
          Some non mil parts were bought by Bosch.

          Junkers @ Dessau today is just a museum aside the remains of their big wind tunnel. Recently been there in October.

          • And Messerschmitt- Bolkow -Blohm ( MBB) survived them all to be swallowed up by Deutsche Aerospace.

            “On 6 June 1968, Messerschmitt AG merged with the small civil engineering and civil aviation firm Bölkow, becoming Messerschmitt-Bölkow. The following May, the firm acquired Hamburger Flugzeugbau (HFB), the aviation division of Blohm + Voss. Also there was VFW which included Focke Wulf and Weserflug.
            They all combined to form Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB)”- Wikipedia.
            Wily old Willy Messerschmitt kept his name going till very late.

          • Actually it was even more convoluted as Fokker entered the melee too. Before that one step was “Entwicklungsring Nord” ( adding beyond others Focke-Achgelis in Bremen )
            Some interesting research to be done if you want to show the pedigree of Airbus ( or european aerspace industries at that ) . Aditionally ownership changes and the complementary engineering workforce movements also went completely different ways. afaik a big bunch of turbo engine people went to france while one junkers engine big wig set up production for one of the US manufacturers.
            The Dessau Museum has a wall full of Junkers people biographies covering the inter war period to well beyond WWII ( mostly till death of the person 1990.200*)

    • Let’s hope the A320NEO delay is not a sign of things to come for the NEO/MAX marketing ploy? Rolls could be challenged with the A330NEO, and we’ve read about the GE issues with MAX? 2016 could be known as the year that the little engine that could but could not? Boeing 100 years old at the same time as the industry attempting to explain away that the 6,000 aircraft sales were vapor? This could be a fun year? Naw will not happen, maybe Junkers might not be alone?

  4. Another great comment:

    ” but if I were United, I’d buy the CS100. It has the ability to grow into the CS300. As good as the E-Jets are, and they are very good, up-gauging is limited”

    I hope United takes Leeham News advice!

    Beyond the CS300 lets not forget BBD has the ability to grow the C Series into the CS500 (very easily with a simple plug) as well as the CS700, CS900, CS1000.

    Currently, for any major airline looking long term the C Series is the natural choice. Only a cashed strapped (3rd world?) airline would consider the glut of aging single isle airliners that can be picked up for a song.

    These low oil prices are not going to last forever! Two of the largest oil producers in the world – Iran and Saudi Arabia – look like they are ready to go to war with each other!

    • “Only a cashed strapped (3rd world?) airline would consider the glut of aging single isle airliners that can be picked up for a song. ”


      I remember NWAC buying all kind of cheap good, paid for aircraft. 9-11 came & they parked DC9’s/DC10 instead of A320/777s.
      That made a difference. They also made sure the cabins & exteriors were neat & clean and everybody got good ff points and smooth, punctual transfers. A&B know you have to have a very good story selling them new aircraft. It seems Delta inherited the tricks / CEO / fleet strategy.

      • It would be very interesting to know the relative operating costs of the C100 as opposed to the NEO/MAX. Is there a substantial fuel saving at differing oil prices and does that make up for the low purchase costs that both NEO and MAX will be offered at?

        I am guessing that BBD will be doing a few loss leader deals to ensure they bag a big one or two operators. If they have 600-800 quality orders and a solid EIS it makes the whole programme look so much more credible. Then they can start selling the benefits of C100/300 with confidence and focus on quality a bit more than price

        • C100 vs A320/737 is a 50+ seat difference. Too much for an airline to consider for the same network requirements. Regardless of seat mile operating costs.

          Looking at the CS100 and E195E2, I think the E195E2 will fly less far, with less load. And cheaper too.

          “Quality” is feel good stuff on higher prices. Both simply have to meet the requirements.

          • Recently a CS100 made ​​Riga / Montreal with a headwind of 6329 km. Even if the plane was not full of passengers, we can already imagine CS100, 300 and 500 open new routes between cities on the east coast of North America and European capitals, right? And why the quality of recognized Global Express does she not be reproduced, possibly in the CSeries ?

          • I was suggesting that operators could look at picking up C100s as a precursor to larger orders of c300/500 in the future. The operating efficiencies would give scope for operators to consider a more nuanced approach to their fleets rather than saying ‘lets buy a fleet of MAX 800s cos the small one is too inefficient’

  5. ‘BBD’s product support reputation, whether fairly or not, isn’t all that good.’

    Is this true for the commercial side or on behalf of business aviation ? And then, is it that your opinion is the same knowledge that the CSeries with the AHMS (Aircraft’s Health Management System), an unique stuff just for Bombardier ?

    • @Scarlet: We only follow commercial, not business, so this reputation relates to what we hear in the market place on only the commercial side. Product support relates to all aspects of the airplane, not just AHMS, including EIS product support.

      • Is Embraer durability and support any better than Bombardier? Air Canada and Jetblue have not been happy with the E190 dependability and I’ve heard them called flying tin crap by some. Is there some sort of gap here between regional and mainline planes?

  6. I feel the Embraer 195E2 will have the upper hand. Wide acceptance of the current models, early EIS, a proven frame and the sweet spot in the number of seats. The other Johnny come lately’s, CS100, MRJ,and the Chinese and Russian offerings will not gain traction in sizable orders. Too many delays mean declining confidence by the large airlines.

    • No. There are a hundred variables that go into a decision process to buy an aircraft of this size. Process that extends over a period of 20 years and a resale value. And E2195 remains an aircraft designed in early 2000…with delays to refresh…

      • E2 will have wings & engines newer then CSeries. The fuse /cockpit seems right. And 1200 flying around, as Steve says, that helps. I’m sure BBD realizes 110 seats Was a good idea.

        • Wings will be no better, engine same P&W GTF. Ergo, its a wash.

          The big issue is what is the upside and the C series has it hands down there.

          It may not push C Series over other edges, but the E series is boxed in for the future.

          C Series buy opens up future options that do not exist with E.

          • BBD graphics show the cockpit with HUD for both pilots. I can see this sort of of integrated feature enabling more landings in marginal weather- something that isnt typical for 110 seaters ( 2 cl).
            If you have a major hub like O’hare and you are the only airline flying in when others are grounded, the word soon gets around.
            To me this would be the primary selling feature for Cseries in North America and Europe.

          • I don’t think that’s a major issue, nice bonus maybe.

            You can always spec more stuff for your aircraft.

            What you can’t do is make something that is maxed out take more seats.

            C Series covers the low end where its moving to with a major amount of upside.

            Its going to be a very interesting year for that program.

  7. Hardly earth shattering news ..
    Airbus held their annual emd of year clearance sale on all remaining merchandise. .
    They finally found a taker in ANA…
    I’m sure they’ll have plenty to chose from still on the tarmac..! !

      • What about Boeings 747-8 white tails ?
        Two 747-8Fs that had sat around for a year left the factory on Nov 2015 for their russian owners/operators. Asiana didnt want them. The first KAL passenger version sat around for a long time too before they started taking their order for 10.
        Cant be doing Boeings finances any good if they build them but dont make delivery for a year.

        That leaves 3 white tails at the desert, 2 more at the factory( Transaero) and one in Seahawks livery, plus 3 “unallocated” but are scheduled for final assembly

        • Well Boeing is trying to peddle them just as Airbus is try9ing to peddle the Skyamrk A380s and doesn’t want to see the Malaysian ones hit the market.

          Price is right (like a 737 cost at discount) then maybe….

          • You miss the point, its a business asset that has to earn its keep.
            Boeing ( like others) has to be careful about selling its new planes cheaply as they will affect the residuals of its existing customers planes – which may have financial guarantees.

    • As I indicated elsewhere, ANA apparently, has 3 different four-class seating configurations for their 777-300ERs – all being extremely premium heavy (i.e. 212, 247 and 264 seats, respectively). The 212 seat configuration has only 112 seats in economy class. while the 264 seat configuration has the old 7 abreast configuration in business class.

      Hence, ANA-operated A380s would be able to be configured with a similar 77W-sized first and business class sections on the upper deck of the A380, while making room for a tripling down below in the size of the economy class over what’s possible with their 77Ws.

    • Honestly it’s because NH wasn’t calling Airbus for production slots or of the like. It’s old inventory that needs to go somewhere and since NH owned__% of Skymark, it’s in their best interest to do so. I seriously doubt that if the Skymark A380 deal went south, NH wouldn’t be so keen to buy t h r e e A380’s.

      • It’s quite obvious/likely that the deal as rumoured would be tied to Airbus’ support of ANA’s Skymark deal. So yeah – an opportunistic deal for sure.

        And yet – ANA is a new operator, and an operator at that who many had said would never, ever operate the A380 at all. It doesn’t help production rates, of course, but – assuming rumours are correct that the deal covers Skymark’s two completed frames plus one frame that was in pre-assembly – it does get two planes off Airbus’ yard and lets them finish one incomplete frame. It also gives Airbus a door in with ANA for future A380 (CEO/NEO) business. Nothing more, nothing less (unless details of the finished deal, once released, deviate hugely from current rumours).

  8. The E190/195 E2 are a mismatch of a big wing with too small a fuselage. At that size and weight, a five abreast fuselage is a better solution.

  9. The earlier post is correct re ANA, they were considering the 380 long before the Skymark situation!
    They had indeed stated they woukd order it if they were losing market share and passengers preffered it.
    ANA are well aware of the loss of premium traffic on the Tokyo Singapore route to SIA since SIA introduced the A380 on that route.
    So the Skymark/Airbus deal gets them cheap 380s, also very valuable slots at Haneda.

    • Yes, if ANA wants a greater share of the Japanese origin/destination economy market, extremely premium heavy 777-300ERs won’t cut it. The A380, on the other hand, can hold the same number of first and business class seats as their 77Ws, while having enough space for 50 percent more premium economy seats and up to 200 percent more economy class seats than their 77Ws.

  10. Boeing should be treated just like I was on my birthday.

    One day, big whoop, what did you do for us now? I made it this far without subsidies, shouldn’t they?

    Boeings good stuff is in the past and unless it changes its ways th4e future is not good.

  11. Well, airbus fan rejoice…So convenient how they managed to squeeze in the order on the last day of the year..
    Congrats to leahy, who kept insisting he’s got 30 a380 orders all wrapped up..
    So if 3 parked a 380’s count as a major turnaround for the program,
    Kudos to him…!!

    • Well, airbus fan rejoice…So convenient how they managed to squeeze in the order on the last day of the year..

      Hate to rain on your parade, but it’s not an official order yet. So it may not have been signed at all, or if it has been, we don’t know on what date.

      Congrats to leahy, who kept insisting he’s got 30 a380 orders all wrapped up..

      He didn’t. He and Brégier, when alluding to a potential total of 32 A380 orders in Dubai, explicitly said the orders may slip into early 2016.

      So if 3 parked a 380’s

      Only two parked, one in pre-assembly.

      And just for the record – all a rumour so far.

      In short: It’s a bit early to get out the champagne – or indeed the sarcasm.

  12. “I don’t see much in the way of big orders, but one to watch for is the delayed decision by Emirates Airline for either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus A350-900.”

    I think 2016 will grow awareness the 787-10 is an excellent aircraft, but it’s 787-8 wing restricts range and/or cargo. Same for 777-8, very capable but very heavy/ expensive.

    Something competitive must be developed in between the excellent 787-9 and 777-9.


    • There is a plane there its the 777-8.

      Plus for 2017 remove the 747-8I, the last passenger versions for Korean are either in final assembly or not far off.

      The 787-8 is still being built but not much recent sales, so it cant be in production past 2018-19. It seems like it will follow its bigger brother 777-200 in only having a short life in volume production apart from a trickle.

      Boeings list of widebodys looks a lot smaller as a result, but will be better for production costs

      • The 777-8 is a heavy C-market aircraft that seems to be perfect for URL flights between the Gulf States and South America. It doesn’t seem to be suitable for much else, though. IMJ, Boeing needs a 777-8 sized B-market aircraft in order to compete fully with the A350-900 and A350-1000.

      • The big question is if Boeing feels the biggest segment, 300-350 seat up to 8000NM, is well covered for them. Or not.

    • How viable is it to add a slightly modified version of 777-8 wings to a 787-10? Perhaps shorten the 777-8 wings a bit at the body join area to get the more optimal wing length you need for 787-10?

      • Technically that probably is not workable.
        As a brain toy though coming from the other end you create a 787 version of the A340NG. i.e. a surprisingly weightwise expensive increase in capabilities. The 787-10 increase in length already comes with rather high cost in OEW increase ( @1.5t/m, A332 to A333 is ~1t/m : quite the surprise )

      • In order to fully compete with the A350-900, a 787-10HGW would need a wing with roughly the same dimensions as the A350- wing, which is about 20 percent bigger than the 787 wing. Re-winging the 787-10 with the 777X wing, which has about 40 percent larger wing area than the 787 wing, would make a 787-10HGW too heavy and therefore not competitive. Shortening the 777X wing by, say, 1 metre at the root, would reduce the wing area by some 6-7 percent. It would still be oversized, though, for a 787-10HGW.

        • I had heard Boeing mention that the new 777X wing was based on the 787 wing, which is what made me wonder about this option for the 787-10. E.g., see


          From Wikipedia, wingspan of 787-10 is 60.1 meters.
          For 777-8, it is 71.8 meters (64.8 meters folded).

          So what if you cut off say 5-6 meters off the 777-8 wing to get the optimal wing length. While adding weight to wings (assuming cabin remains same length), it would also enhance the aspect ratio of the wings and give you more efficiency for long range flights.

          E.g., while it could be pitched as an HGW plane, I would wonder if the longer wings (with and/or without extra fuel) could nudge its range a bit more on long flights to take on more of (but certainly not all) of the a350-9 missions? Or even give you the extra lift in hot climates that Emirates and other ME3 carriers want?

          • Well, the word choice i remember was 777X wing is a “scaled copy” of the 787 wing. which probably isn’t quite true either. Going by the OEW values handed around it is a heavy thing this wing .-)

          • “Cutting” 2.5 to 3 m off each 777X wing at the root – as suggested by you – is not viable. The engine centreline to fuselage centreline is 9.73m for the 787, 9.61m for the 777 and 10.61m for the 777X. So, there isn’t even one metre to play with unless you’d accept a shorter distance for the engine centreline to fuselage centreline.

            In short, therefore, a 787-10HGW would need an all new A350-sized wing in order to become fully competitive with the A350-900, since a slightly shortened 777X wing (at the root) is still way too heavy.

            The A350-900 has more than enough lift capability at hot and high airports – so does the 777-8. The problem with the latter aircraft, though, is that it’s a optimised as a heavy but capable C-market aircraft that will be primarily useful for the ME3 on routes to Central and South America, while being too much aircraft for most other operators.

  13. The 737 is currently the midway point in Boeing’s history. The first Boeing airplane was produced in 1916 (100 years ago) and the first 737 was produced in 1966 (50 years ago). The B-52 (1952) doesn’t beat the 737, for it is no longer in production. But it is still flying in the USAF today. Both the B-52 and 737 are remarkable achievements in their own way. I am not sure why the B-52 is still around, because I am not a military specialist. The longevity of the 737 is easier to explain: the Boeing name. It’s the most famous name in aviation history.

    • B-52 is around because there is nothing to replace it.

      As systems shrunk, you could keep stuffing more self defense stuff into it that a B1, B2 etc. cannot.

      And the US feels it needs X number of bombers and the B1 and B2 got cut off well before those numbers were met. You do the best you can with what you got (A10 aside, AF does not like close support stuff)

      Easily modified, heavy duty, great stand off or direct machine that can carry a boatload of bombs.

      Lots of power to run things.

      Be cool to see them re-engine it to CFMs or PW GTF.

      • Today they lack people with the productivity and project scoped understanding of forex a Kelly Johnson.

        Nowadays you have hordes of cubicle minions with a keyhole view and thumb fisted management types that are not bright enough to get out of the way.

        They are good at accessorizing but fail at big projects that require deeper_and_ wider understanding.
        Result: old frames are hung with new girlygigs and more effort goes into feeling good PR than into design.

  14. Another issue in 2016: the status of Rolls Royce. Profit warning after profit warning after profit warning, activist investors looking to break the company up etc.

    • Activist investors cant break the golden rule, ie British government holds a single ‘golden share’, which means it has the last say in any selloff or split up.

      • I know. But the golden share is to protect ‘national interest’, which really means the submarine nuclear power part of the business, not commercial. Talk of nationalising this part to allow the rest to go into play began surfacing in earnest during December.

  15. A century flew Boeing aircraft and a page of history is turned symbolically, within a context of greater competition and a period of time which will see the emergence of new aircraft and new players. In predicting the Airbus team who saw, in early 2015 (probably by flattery) COMAC the group in the next decade to become the third largest manufacturer, it would be easy to oppose another player before their technological expertise under control and customer service. Bombardier could still occupy this third. Alain Bellemare yet reported at year end it is expected that a third partner come join the limited partnership established to manage the CSeries program. I think the choice of this third partner (with the Government of Quebec and Bombardier) may surprise us and make headlines.

    No doubt that the second test model of Bombardier CS300, provided a complete configuration to 145 seats, will be a famous marketing tool to monitor. And even before the certification of this latest model, the year 2016 will be even more a year on speculation the most precise launch date of a new model of the CSeries. Financial assistance from the Canadian government will probably come in the form of a repayable grant to research and development of the CSeries and CRJNeo. Fred Cromer, the new ruling head of Bombardier commercial aircraft is a man of action who needs new products to be up to its reputation. In short, beyond the aircraft, as 2016 will be a great year for the new management of Bombardier.

      • Trouble is there are too many companies based in Quebec needing a government handout. Dairy farmers, aerospace, cement factory, the list goes on.
        The absurd situation was the business based in Asbestos Quebec ( no prizes guessing what its product was ) which needed government support as recent as 2011.
        The real problem with Canada is that its culture doesnt seem to be able to say no to a handout. ( Cant blame the business for asking!) If the controlling shareholders in Bomabardier arent putting money into their excellent product, then why should the taxpayers ?

        • Sure we can blame a business for asking, aren’t they always telling us that its supposed to be free enterprise, not free welfare?

          • And Bombardier has gone around setting up manufacturing around the world- Northern Ireland, Mexico, US so theres only a smaller proportion of jobs left in Canada- and good luck seeing any profits paying canadian tax with a global footprint like that.

        • The average rate of corporate tax is 8% in the US and not 30%. This means that there is an array of tax deductions that benefit US companies and are , in fact, the taxpayers’ money. When a Boeing 787 sells at a loss, it benefits from a tax reduction which is , in fact, in less money in the pockets of taxpayers ! I am fascinated to read and reread the hatred of some Anglo-Saxon towards direct assistance to businesses and autism to indirect aid from governments to companies.

    • There are such things as ‘heads of agreement’ which makes the direction they are heading. Its a done deal. The details have to be ironed out but thats a minor consideration. The very last thing they do is ‘make an official announcement’ but by then its not ‘news’

  16. If the A380 deal was going down it was going down at the end of 2015, now its on hold. Closer to the end of 2016 the more likely.

    Why? ANA is in the drivers seat. they can do the A380 real cheap or a 747-8Pax even cheaper.

    Leahy would have been desperate to deal and get something in 2015, now he has until th3e end of 2016.

    So, me thinks that ANA is indeed not decided and if they do it could very well be a 747-8 pax.

    • So ANA has not real interest in VLAs and would only get A380s because of Airbus’ leverage thanks to their support for ANA’s Skymark deal… but at the same time, ANA may end up getting 747-8i instead.
      Doesn’t really compute, does it?

      Also, I’m not quite sure I understand how as this deal wasn’t concluded in 2015 it’ll now be an end-of 2016 affair. That’s not “a thing” for either OEM for any type, and any salesman will be happy to get a deal done whenever it’s ready to be done. Late 2015 doesn’t work? Well, they’ll take early 2016 just as well as a nice start to the new year.

    • The version for passengers is called 747-8I.
      It is a rare version so the official name is not so common.

  17. Why only 3 A380 for ANA?
    Why should ANA order today more A380 than necessary then an A380NEO decession is expected.

    I doubt that we see any new A380 order before the NEO is not fixed.

    • Ah yes, the ‘non denial denial’ Common the world over. means nothing as they dont deny they are ‘in talks’

      This is why the ‘unofficial stories’ have circulated:
      “The spokesman added that ANA plans to issue its medium-term corporate strategy on Jan. 29.”
      They are working on a possible A380 deal so its ready for a ‘official’ announcement in less than a months time. Its not certain of course, as Boeing will be flying in the big guns to drown this puppy at birth.

    • I believe they did, yes, and they were also members of the original A3XX airline advisory panel*. The LoI was was never consumated following the 2008 financial crisis, though.

      *It should be pointed out that membership on such a panel doesn’t mean an airline will actually order the finished product; Qantas was on the 767-X panel and never ordered the resulting 777.

  18. Rollout of the first C919 already occurred , 11/02/15. Perhaps you meant first flight in 2016.

  19. Of all comments foregoing, talking about the outlook for 2016, I see NIL interest in freighter developments, except somebody’s expectation that a couple of 747-8F orders could save the day for the Boeing VLA, or it’d be doomed ? So we all here are letting ourselves be hypnotized by the continued Boeing vs Airbus (and now : vs Bombardier vs Embraer) paxliner saga where freighter aircraft appear as the ‘parent pauvre’ or a kind of 5th wheel of the car ?

    To me, 2016 should preferably be the “YEAR OF THE ULTRAFREIGHTER”, where efforts @ Pisa University and elsewhere may converge with interest in forwarding spheres and in international shipping to define the precise shape of the Prandtl-configured optimised AGA-liner of the future :



    • Who’ll pump that 30 billion into a market dominated by overhauled, converted 744s doing $50 million? Crowd funding by the ill informed maybe.

      • La Fontaine’s Renard was factually a Maddock figure :

        Le Renard et les Raisins

        Certain Renard Gascon, d’autres disent Normand,
        Mourant presque de faim, vit au haut d’une treille
        Des Raisins mûrs apparemment,
        Et couverts d’une peau vermeille.
        Le galand en eût fait volontiers un repas ;
        Mais comme il n’y pouvait atteindre :
        “Ils sont trop verts, dit-il, et bons pour des goujats. ”
        Fit-il pas mieux que de se plaindre ?

        Prandtl himself wasn’t stopped by a lack of initiative ? Digital protocols (CATIA-based) are ready available as LEGO-type building blocks, eg from the A350-1000, whereby you may save 4 years/7 G$ in the development process. RdM and DdS modules need to be upgraded to account for the additional stress. The aerodynamics of the PrandtlPlane are available in Italy … where do you get those 30 G$ from ? Is a dorsal hatch opening for bridge-crane docking operations of the AGA containers that expensive ?

        I hope 2016 will demystify all these aspects, the industry needs a genuine freighter aircraft, one that’s made on purpose, not another paxliner-F like the 748F, the A332F, the 777F and other ersatz paxtoys.

  20. “where do you get those 30 G$ from ?”

    The conventional, smaller, mass ordered, mass produced 787 costed 30 B$.

    Another generation has learned you don’t develop a great concept for 10 B$ maybe 15 B$ in 5 years, with partners all over the world, with virtual reality working communities, and snap it together in a week. It’s aerospace.

  21. You may be right, keesje : the two Ivy League OEMs have grown out of their own depth, they are overdeveloped, overmanaged, overstructured … everything has become far-fetched, there isn’t a Boss anymore, but a Club of Bosses competing for the power, pulling the cover their way. They can’t agree anymore on where to build the damned thing, assigning what sub-assembly to whom, where, never mind organising the timely, orderly feed into a FAL ?

    So possibly, on the agenda of 2016 we could identify the right Project Management Entity who’ll take charge, reducing Boeing, Airbus and/or Antonov to subcontracting partners … after all, there can only be ONE Ultrafreighter so an international cooperation seems appropriate ?

  22. The herewithin quoted piece of news illustrates the adage “the tool creates the need creates the market” applicable to the Ultrafreighter … the adage applies to A388 as well, although imperfectly. Perishables as a merchandise South-North and East-West and v.v. can be developed tenfold provided the correct tooling is developed, whereof ample reefer-AGA capacity will be a driver for success :


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