Heard on the Ramp: Boeing has its 777X sales challenges; Airbus A330neo appears to be next

Heard on the Ramp

We introduce today a new feature, Heard on the Ramp. This column contains news briefs LNA picks up in the market that aren’t expansive enough for stand-alone articles but which are items of interest. Publication will be on an as-needed basis.

By the Leeham News staff

March 10, 2020, © Leeham News: Last year revealed Boeing 777X order problems, with a small customer base and cancellations or deferrals. Perhaps this year will be the Airbus A330neo’s turn.

Out of 337 orders, 156 A330neos are with airlines in trouble or can’t take aircraft (AirAsiaX, Iran Air, HNA), or 46%.

This is without counting the second level of trouble airlines and lessor orders, which may have challenges placing aircraft in today’s unsettled market.

A321neo production woes get worse

While Boeing gets all the headlines, it’s clear airlines and lessors are plenty unhappy with Airbus, too. It’s widely known that Airbus has production delays with the A321neo due to integrating the Airbus Cabin Flex into the Hamburg production lines. LNA reported in December that Airbus forecast it would take to 2021 to sort out the mess.

At last week’s industry event in Austin, a major airline and a major lessor revealed that it will now be 2023 before the production lines are humming smoothly. Lessors see delays of up to one year and airlines see delays of 5-6 months from Hamburg and 2-3 months from Mobile.

Why less time at Mobile? The fuselage comes already stuffed, so the final assembly is equated by one airline as “snap together.”

Boeing should do a new airplane—or not

The prevailing view on the sidelines of the Austin event is that Boeing has to proceed with a new airplane to recapture its position in the market. But there was also strong sentiment among some that Boeing should not proceed. LNA will have more on this topic in the future.

Southwest’s “second” fleet type

Southwest Airlines will go through the exercise this year or next of evaluating adding another fleet type, but the buzz is that don’t expect any change from its reliance on Boeing. The carrier is scouring the market for 737NGs and MAXes for expansion. The collapse of India’s Jet Airways and Air Italy offer some near-term MAXes.

Consensus is that as long as Gary Kelly is with Southwest, there won’t be any deviation from the Boeing 737. Kelly is now chairman. He’s been with the carrier since 1986. He’s 65, but he shows no signs of preparing to retire.

Boeing 737NGs remain scarce

The grounding of the MAX continues to render availability of the 737NG scarce. Lease rates for the NG were tens of thousands of dollars higher than the MAX before the grounding due to a supply-demand imbalance in the lessor community of the MAX. This is anticipated to continue after the grounding is lifted.

Returning 737 MAX to service

June 15 is the highly unofficial target date for FAA recertification of the MAX.

COVID-inspired repossessions

Some airplanes grounded in Asia by the coronavirus are already being repossessed by lessors.

One Year after ET302

Today is the one year anniversary of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302. This is also the first day when the groundings of the Boeing 737 MAX began, with China. By March 13, the entire MAX fleet had been grounded globally.

Nobody expected a year-long grounding. It’s now clear this continues beyond a year.

Certification flights for the Federal Aviation Administration are supposed to begin next month, but this could change.

The FAA now told Boeing a wiring bundle on the MAX—which had been is use since the 737 NG days—isn’t compliant and most likely will have to be altered. EASA and Transport Canada have their own issues.

Even if the FAA recertifies the MAX by mid-year, how these outstanding issues will be handled—and how long these will take to resolve—are a question.

Technically, it’s possible to give Boeing and the airlines a future deadline to comply with some of these at maintenance intervals. Politically, is this possible?

There’s no point guessing. Everything remains too fluid to forecast anything.

 

80 Comments on “Heard on the Ramp: Boeing has its 777X sales challenges; Airbus A330neo appears to be next

  1. A330neo gets a MTOW bump to 251 tonnes.
    It is a trans Pacific aircraft from Wuhan to LAX.

    • Airlines and airline manufacturers have had decades of warning about air quality and the need to limit the opportunities for communicable diseases to spread on aircraft. Now the chickens come home to roost, from Wuhan to LA.

      • Scott:

        Like automated cockpits, ref FLCH, there are flaws and holes.

        Those of us who are serial offenders (me) just suck it up.

        Context check doesn’t work either or it tells you that is not write (pun) – but you know that any good author would shut it off.

        Quit worrying about it, just a thank you and its corrected. Lifes too short to worry about that stuff.

        • Yes, the articles are perfectly clear so network and write more articles instead of spending time spellchecking.

      • @Scott

        Read it again a day after, or better two. Then you will see typos and context errors.

        If you don’t have a such a time, after finishing writing, make something completely different but at whole speed at 100%, to not think about what you wrote – brain will reset then and errors will pop up at sight.

  2. No wonder that widebodies are hit hard and first.
    But Corona problems seems to be a short thing, shorter than expected.
    Great that the Saudi’s can manage oil prices and laugh at Putin.
    Putin will face more pressure. There are forces in Germany which say that natural gas is same bad as burning coal, because of the CH4 Methane slipping in the natural gas production. So the big pipelines in the East Sea could be in question and natural gas won’t have advantages.

    Why can’t the A321neo ACF have an own FAL. Use other FAL for non ACF versions till the deadline when all are ACF. When will Airbus introduce a new A321neo FAL.

    • SA is much more dependent on high oil prices than RU.
      SA has over aged and maintenance intensive oil infrastructure. They also need massive amounts of money to keep their slave empire running and the war on Jemen going.
      ( Now the fracking stuff from the US is even more cost intensive.)
      i.e. with dropping market prices US fracking will founder first then SA ( How will the share value of ARAMCO develop in this scenario?) slave uprising and then civil unrest from the then unserved natives.

      It is strange that Russian gas is bad and the offered LNG ( liquified from good US fracking gas) replacement will be so much better. Wonder who has transferred money to any of the NIMBY organizations in Europe )
      if pipeline gas is bad LNG fracking gas is worse by a magnitude.

      • “”Wonder who has transferred money to any of the NIMBY organizations in Europe””

        Interesting that the CH4 slipping wasn’t recognized before, too many amateurs in this world and these organizations tell the people in power that they are clowns.

        • You assume the new slippage computations are correct.
          There is so much fake science around.

          Whenever some adrenaline soaked new information comes up ( to feed certain interests ) take a cortical pause and look at how things develop.

          Reading some US posters you’d think Europe is on the brink of going down in flames. “facts” that my eyes did withhold from me up to now.

    • Strange that natural gas emissions cannot be controlled better or just that regulations are missing?

      • Nice tidbit Russian CNG losses across their pipelines through the former fringe nations ( Poland, Ukraine, .. )
        are predominantly unpaid gas offtake i.e. “stolen” for private use.
        Especially the Ukraine seems to have been rather active in that domain.

        • Kind of dangerous to steal gas because it can be radioactive. Did Russia deliberately let radioactive gas through to kill the thieves?

          • Speak? 3. German, English, “Niederdeutsch”.
            Never managed Latin as a spoken language.
            ( Though it is rather useful to get a handle on a range of modern languages.)
            reading: with google translate I am fully polyglott 🙂

          • Radioactive Gas:>

            So that is how they get rid of the leftovers from their Nuke Subs.

            Underhanded, nasty typical Putin.

          • Most prominent distributor of nuclear leftovers is the US with abundant use of DU munitions.
            Longtime damage apparently is imense.

            ( And why should CNG be unexpectedly more radioactive that what comes out the metered tap at the end?)
            There are more radioactive materials coming up with drill water and fracking fluids.
            A gas like NG will only bring up other gaseous impurities ( if you need radioactive: Radon for example )

          • “”why should CNG be unexpectedly more radioactive””

            I heard that gas in Germany was contaminated maybe one or two years ago and Putin was appologizing. Gas can be radioactive, it just depends where it comes from, some places have lots of active earth.
            I wonder what Germany did then, obviously you can’t clean it. Maybe they mixed it with clean gas and then let it go through the system.
            Could be Russia is using radioactive gas for domestic use.

          • and not radioactive.

            Unbelievable that even BP buys Russian oil.

          • The US sells LNG from Russia ( convoluted path to hide the source ) as “best buy LNG from the US 🙂 rather amusing.

            The US doesn’t have that much excess NG. Even with fracking.

    • the new FAL for A321 NEO will be operational second half of 2022 (from AIN)
      “Airbus said it will start producing the largest variant of its narrowbody family in Toulouse, ending months of speculation about how the European airframer would use the ‘Lagardère’ hall that now assembles the A380s and whose production will stop at the end of 2021.

      Airbus has eight A320 family aircraft FALs globally—four in Hamburg, two in Toulouse, one in Tianjin, China, and one in Mobile, Alabama—although at present the A321 gets assembled and delivered from only Hamburg and Mobile, to mainly U.S. customers. The company said it selected Toulouse for the new A321 line for several reasons such as “overall competitiveness, time to market, investment cost, available floor space, and resources.” A source close to the decision told AIN that the OEM’s new top management, in place since last year, also considered the need to increase industrial flexibility, efficiency, and stability of A321 assembly. The Hamburg site nonetheless will keep most of the model’s production, the person said.

      Airbus expects the Toulouse A321 FAL to become operational in the second half of 2022 and integrate the latest technologies, including a high level of digitization and robotization that will mirror innovation introduced at the Hamburg FAL opened last fall.”

      • MY understanding is that Airbus has a prolonged “processes/configuration” debugging phase around this new expanded options bouquet.
        Currently active on the A321* product. Longtime this will expand to all types on all FAL streams.
        Moving this into a bespoke FAL line does not work towards the target set (fixing bugs).

    • I suspect wide bodies will die. The very technology reducing fuel burn will allow single aisle aircraft to undertake long range missions from modest runways. The proposed Irkut MC21X is a case in point. The MC21 has the widest body in class which not only gives a wide seat to everyone it allows passengers to pass a service trolley thereby negating the so called comfort issue. The basic MC21 has an MTOW of 87 tons but the extended MC21X if developed should reach 155 tons with a range of 5400NM.

      Maybe there will be a 7 or 8 across seating but 9 or 10 across won’t be needed. I expect specialist cargo aircraft to develop.

      • “” The MC21 has the widest body in class””

        Comfort is great, but too much is expensive. I wonder how much fuel needs to be burned for this 0.11m wider fuselage.
        It’s the same with A220, how much better could it be with 0.11m less.
        The point is just not to have fuselage-boeingitis.

        MC-21 is just the same old same as it ever was. Turboprops would have given big advantages. They missed the chance.
        Embraer will be the saviour.

        • t’s the same with A220, how much better could it be with 0.11m less.

          probably below 1%.

    • We all know the Russian kookspiracy is about the problems of Iran,Syria with Israel and a few dodgy privatisations Putin stopped that are resented by western elites that missed out. There are people in the media, finance, politics agitating to start a war with fake news. Left or right, they’re all usefull idiots. Call out anyones nonsense for trying to start a war. Gas leakage can be reduced. The Australian natural gas distribution system leaks at 1/3rd the US rate.

      • We solved that in Anchorage!

        The gas utility tried to charge us for a bill that they could only attribute to leaks so we all were supposed to pay.

        the regulatory group told them, its your leak, you pay.

        So for two years we had gas meter monitors that if your BBQ farted they were on it.

        It may be Jan 2021 before we can do something about it again though. There were regs kicking in to change the leak situation, sigh.

  3. For sure the COVID-19 will impact the A330neo in the coming months and maybe years. But what will happen in the aftermath could be even much worse for the 777X. The first planes to be grounded are the A380 (Airbus took the right decision to stop the program by the way). The biggest airplane on the market is now the 777X. The impact is bigger for big airplanes, the 777X are more and more risky for fleet planners. Small is beautiful, the trend was already there for the A321 and the A220. The global economic situation and the current Boeing woes make obviously the Airbus position even stronger. It’s time for Boeing to make big decisions, maybe to suspend the 777X program and for sure to reassess its whole product range.

    • Money sunk already, no way back. Probably 15B ? It’s an entirely new aircraft.

      • What is an entirely new aircraft? The 777X? The wings and engines yes, but not the rest of it..

        • Dont forget the whole 777X rear empennage is larger and made in carbon fibre and built at Boeings Fredrickson plant near Tacoma. That plant also builds the vertical tail only for the 787. Theres a duplicate 787 tail fin plant in Salt Lake City

          • Think they changed alloy in the fuselage to Al-Li as well?
            Don’t know if they changed APU as well due to more pax?

        • it is a massive revamp all over. Not just “New Wing, Engines”. And tell me which plane type got a new wing, new engines, new mlg, stuff .. , all major changes, without a new basic type certification?

          How did they actually fix the Center Wing Box design to carry a much higher bending moment across wings?
          As “soul carrying” it apparently was not changed ( basic design, materials )

          All a “My Grand³fathers Axe” thing.

      • You have money on one side and human ressources on the other side.
        Boeing needs both to sort out its current woes and obviously the 777X and the MAX neither one or the other are destined for a brilliant future. Boeing needs brand new designs, then to affect all of its financial and human ressources to this goal.

        • We don’t really know how good or bad the 777X is. Alot depends on its engines how flexible it will be doing medium and long range hops. Does it stay on wing for +35,000hrs and +5,500cy and its systems hang work all time it will be used in all different markets, even as a trans continatal +400 pax shuttle and as a 767 domestic replacement out of O’Hare. If US-China relations get back to normal it could be a replacement for Chinese A330’s, but it can take some time …

          • That would be interesting flights as ‘US Transcontinental and 767 replacement out of O’Hare.’
            No US airline has ordered it , and only at the end of its life cycle did they even order the 777-300ER. Maybe 20 yrs from now they will be replaced by 777X
            The chinese will stick with the A330 for their trunk routes and US airlines will use ‘domestic’ variants of the 787 ( United and American)

          • There ae no Domestic 787 variant.

            They are just standard 787 being used on Domestic flights.

            Japan has 787 two seating setups, Domestic dense pack and interaction, but they are not a variant.

            A330 has a true regional certified that can’t be flown heavy (or they have to pay higher rent)

    • The 777X won’t be a huge seller but has a place due to its size. I don’t see a need for the a330neo in a world where a 787 or even a350 is available in short order. It’s the same size as a 787 roughly, similar pricing, limited engine options, difficult secondary market. The fact that they’re discussing rate cuts tells me the chart above is spot on: no one is taking their orders. Unless there’s a large recovery in travel demand I don’t predict it will be long for this world.

      • @Zoomzoom

        The 777X won’t be a huge seller but has a place due to its size.

        The 777-9 is highly vulnerable to a stretched A350-2000, while the 777-8 appears not to be very competitive with the A350-1000.

        Also, the development costs for the 777X are more than 5 times higher than the development costs for the A330neo. So, Boeing has much more to lose if the 777X programme would be tanking.

        I don’t see a need for the a330neo in a world where a 787 or even a350 is available in short order

        There are around 110 operators of A330 aircraft. There are less than 70 airlines that have ordered the 787 operators (currently fewer than 60 operators) and less than 50 airlines (currently slightly more than 30 operators) that have ordered the A350.

        There are still plenty of airlines, therefore, that might choose the A330neo as a future replacement for their A330ceo fleet, rather than deciding to go for the 787 and/or the A350 over the A330neo.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A330_operators

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boeing_787_operators

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A350_XWB_orders_and_deliveries

        It’s the same size as a 787 roughly

        A330-900: Same size as 787-9 at 8-abreast; higher capacity than the 787-9 at 9 abreast.

        similar pricing

        An A330-900 is cheaper than a 787-9.

        With the A330neo programme costing no more than $2 billion to develop and with Airbus having fully amortised the A330ceo programme costs, Boeing still has more than $2o billion of deferred production costs to amortise over more than 650 787s that are yet to be manufactured — i.e. $20 billion plus of 787 development costs not included.

        Also, the production cost advantage for Boeing when producing 14 units per month from 2 separate final assembly lines, goes out the window when the rate is reduced to 10 per month.

        The question now, of course, is when Boeing will have to indefinitely curtail production on one of the two 787 final assembly lines?

        limited engine options

        Only one engine option on the 737-100/-200/-300/-400/-500/-600/-700/-800/-900/-7/-8/-9/-10 and 777-200LR/777F/777-300ER/777-8/777-9

        The first, second and third generation 737s — i.e. the 737 MAX being the fourth 737 generation — and the 777F and 777-300ER have all been very successful with only one engine option.

        I’m curious as to why it always is so — according to some individuals — that when aircraft that are manufactured by Airbus are being offered with only one engine option, these aircraft are the ones that are disadvantaged, and not the ones from Boeing that are also offered with only one engine option.

        difficult secondary market

        And you’re talking about a secondary market for an aircraft type that only entered into service i late 2018 — how stupid is that?

        Would you perhaps care to elaborate on how the secondary market for the 777X is evolving?

        The fact that they’re discussing rate cuts tells me the chart above is spot on: no one is taking their orders. Unless there’s a large recovery in travel demand I don’t predict it will be long for this world.

        The question is not if travel demand will recover, but when it will recover.

        Further production rate cuts for the A330neo is really just a prudent, proactive step from Airbus.

        • “The 777-9 is highly vulnerable to a stretched A350-2000”
          A paper airplane with no current engine, and at that end of the market, not a heck of a lot of demand. The -1000 isn’t exactly lighting up the sales world either, and marketed as a capacity improvement vs a range improvement with the 777-8x so they’re not really comparable in role or marketing pitch.

          “There are still plenty of airlines, therefore, that might choose the A330neo as a future replacement for their A330ceo fleet”
          Only a few so far have. Right now the order book seems to be those that want an entry level widebody plane, who in the near future may have the option of lease turn-in ceos that will look more tempting to struggling balance sheets. Looking at the larger customers, almost all are 787/A350 operators or placed orders for one or the other.

          “A330-900: Same size as 787-9 at 8-abreast; higher capacity than the 787-9 at 9 abreast”
          9 abreast A330s will be for charter/ULCC config and untenable for any others. So yes, similar size unless you are a ULCC who already placed an order.

          “An A330-900 is cheaper than a 787-9”

          What’s your source on airline discounted pricing? As I recall, some recent contests the 787 beat the A330neo on price (or so it was stated). Declining build rates cut both builders in this respect.

          “With the A330neo programme costing no more than $2 billion to develop and with Airbus having fully amortised the A330ceo programme costs, Boeing still has more than $2o billion of deferred production costs to amortise over more than 650 787s that are yet to be manufactured — i.e. $20 billion plus of 787 development costs not included.”
          Development costs are sunk costs, already borne out in cash flow which is what investors and companies care about. Boeing I would presume is not making decisions based on deferred costs primarily because cash flow already takes this into account. An accounting write-down isn’t a cash activity and they are highly likely to meet their goal of the accounting block anyways.

          “I’m curious as to why it always is so — according to some individuals — that when aircraft that are manufactured by Airbus are being offered with only one engine option, these aircraft are the ones that are disadvantaged, and not the ones from Boeing that are also offered with only one engine option.”

          It isn’t on the A350, but when the sole engine option has been reworked endlessly for years, it can’t help the situation (T1000/TEN). This is also based on the market it’s in, A350/777x it’s a wash since both are sole source (and if you prefer, A340/777NG also was) and in the same category. The narrowbody market dynamics are apples and oranges compared to widebodies, however I would reference back to the Delta order for A321neos as an example of where it counts even there.

          “And you’re talking about a secondary market for an aircraft type that only entered into service i late 2018 — how stupid is that”

          Not very stupid IMO when you consider half the order book is lessors or operators that will need to finance the planes externally due to limited size. The A330-900 is better than the -800 but the market presence of the 787 means there will be a disadvantage as fewer operators already have the type. As you state, this would also be a 777X disadvantage, however the order book is less skewed towards lessors.

          “Would you perhaps care to elaborate on how the secondary market for the 777X is evolving”
          Similarly poorly, but with the benefit of larger fleets at blue chip airlines and the likelihood that those operators (looking at BA) that will buy and run til scrap who could be more easily convinced to take an orphaned plane with less of the lessor’s shirt.

          “The question is not if travel demand will recover, but when it will recover”

          More important is the rate of recovery and who recovers. As the article states, the order book is full of many small operators and lessors leasing to small operators who are presently struggling.

          The point I am making is that the market preference for 787/A350 exists in the A350/777X segment, but 777-9X has the distinction of still being the largest if that’s what a route needs. Time will tell how large that market is, and near term signs are “not that big.” The point of the article is that both are highly concentrated with only a few operators, which has similar consequences.

      • Even before onset of Corona epidemic Boeing announced a 30% reduction in 787 production output. ( from 14, actually never achieved, down to 12 later corrected down to 10 afair. )
        Quite amusing to see all this ohing and ahing over Airbus A330 production while ignoring the elephant filling the livingroom at home.

  4. Gary Kelly’s video to the troops regarding Covid-19 is quite stark. He raises the possibility of furloughs, which is shocking enough. He says the drop in revenue is breathtaking, possibly worse than 9/11. He also raises the issue of MAXes and without exactly saying so, clearly puts on the table the possibility of not taking delivery of them. Which is also shocking. If, come the day, Southwest is poor enough condition that it does not feel it can take the MAX, then Boeing would also be in serious trouble.

    So far, this is just a possibility, but someone as sober as Kelly would not make such a video if he did not feel he needed to warn the troops about it.

    https://media.swalife.com/docs/news/public/media/video/swatv/2020/200309GaryCoronaCaptioned.mp4

    • Thats a good point for the Max’s built but not delivered. Boeing might have look for airlines that want actual deliveries in the next 6 months after re-certification

      • O’Leary circuling around Chicago for a “737MAX steal” order?

  5. Southwest deferred their small 737-7 order already before the crashes and started looking for options.

    https://theaircurrent.com/airlines/southwest-wants-a-small-airplane-from-boeing-or-airbus-and-that-could-reshape-aviation/

    500x 3 cabin attendant 737-700’s to be replaced. Take the -800 and you are oversized on many routes & need to hire thousands of extra crew members.

    The largely US/Canada build, Mobile assembled, Pratt powered A220-300 weighs empty 5t less than a 737-7.

    Is cheaper, quieter, savier, more comfortable, certified. But Kelly used to love Boeing so much. That’s really hopeful.

    • How will Mobile be able to produce this many A220’s to Southwest on top of the Delta (95), jetBlue (70) and Moxy (60) orders in a reasonable amount of time?

  6. @ LNA: On a side note, Scott, as the first ones are going full IFR with comments @ VR, congratulation for this interesting initiative!

  7. The A220 can not fly from Denver to Hawaii or deep Central America. Max -7 has 3850 miles range and three toilets.

    • For the 737-8 Boeing is showing 162-178 seats and 3550nm range. According to the payload-range diagram 3550nm range can be reached with 151 pax.

      For the 737-7 Boeing is showing 138-153 seats and 3850nm range. Is this range meant for 128 pax?

    • The first A220’s with the 2.3t MTOW bump will be available later this year.

  8. Looks like conflicting ideas on what Southwest will do for a second plane – if anything. Since they really don’t work with regional airlines, I’d tend to think they could go with an A220, or an Embraer E195… Just a hunch, but it might take new management to move into the “jet” age. [The FAA now told Boeing a wiring bundle on the MAX—which had been “is” use since the 737 NG days…] Suggest using ”in” instead, Boss…

  9. Is there any talk on the ramp of the impact of the MAX re-wiring requirement being mooted by FAA? There are about 800 units to be modified all over the globe.
    What does it amount to in terms of time and $ per hull? Will B need to ship out “tiger teams” to achieve this?

    • In 2009, the FAA said it would review applicability of the new rules to amended type certifications, on a case-by-case basis. Boeing failed to submit the MAX design for review during development in 2011/2012, re-using the basic NG design with some modifications.

      Boeing then self-reported in January during a comprehensive review of the MAX certification, and requested a MAX exemption in February, citing the safety record of, and inapplicability of the 2009 rules to, the NG.

      The FAA is now apparently saying the 2009 rules will apply to the MAX, since the amended certification occurred after they were in effect, and the required review was not undertaken at that time.

      So now Boeing will have to respond to the FAA with a remediation plan to achieve compliance, for their approval. The FAA will then issue an AD to modify all MAXs.

      The plan should establish costs and a timetable. Boeing said they had factored this potential outcome into the mid-summer date for recertification. So we will have to see what they propose now.

  10. C-19 is a short term but huge impact. Give it 3 weeks more and it will start to peak, roll at that level until people adjust then start to fall.

    Then there will be a jump though it will be a few years before it reaches current levels.

    Carbon goes way down.

    Delta is cutting 15%,

    AK is holding for now.

    Industry Travel experts says bookings and cancellation have fallen off a cliff.

    SEATAC is down but not deserted

    My advice to friends and family, get to where you want to be now.

    So it goes.

    • Where will it peak in 3 weeks time?

      Every country will have to go into total lockdown just to get the growth of this manageable.

      How many countries in the Western world do you see doing anything like what China had to do?

      Italy are only now starting to approach the draconian measures China needed.

      The US, due to their dysfunctional health care systems and equating any social action to communism, is completely f-worded. The problem in the US is much larger than just medical – it drives deep into the psyche of those that refuse to countenance an alternative to the current US social system.

      • I put it poorly. In 3 weeks we are going to see its ramp up, 6 weeks how out of control and then reach a peak.

        I fully agree we have one of the worst medical system of any developed country and I suspect Cuba and Mexico have a vastly better basic one.

        Unforlay we have a history of frametned states to start with and then those evil commies came along.

        The overhead in the system is insane. Hospitals each have their own silo with a full staff and getting money from Insurance companies that don;t want to pay.

        Much like aircraft mfgs, actual price is 40% of list, but if you don’t have insurance then you get hit for list and many go bankrupt on a medical bill.

        Bizarrely when you turn (65?) there is a government system (if you have worked enough )

        And congress piggy backed themselves onto the Govt medical system, sweet deal.

        For the first time its actual being talked about though, sadly the turning of a tide takes time and we will have many tides pass before some sanity occurs.

        We are truly fortunately that the Presidents Uncle was a genius and he by osmosis he gets this, so we have the perfect letter (err testing kit, err leadership)

        • “I put it poorly. In 3 weeks we are going to see its ramp up, 6 weeks how out of control and then reach a peak.”

          If you plot the infections “log scale” US numbers Febr. 27 forward are a straight line. ( i.e. perfect exponential growth.) and slightly steeper than Germany, where the numbers show more divergence. US death rate is quite a bit higher than here. The US numbers appear incomplete and don’t quite fit together. IMU number of actual infections are strongly undercounted. That perfect exponential growth looks a bit synthetic too.

  11. Covid-19 is spreading all over the US and is in many latin countries. It came from Europe in cases which I know about.

    Avianca is wobbly and LATAM has lost money 4 years in a row. This could kill one or both of them. AB can deal with the A320 cancelations, the A350 isn’t their bread and butter, but how would BA be affected if 34 slightly used B787s hit the market?

  12. I could have added Norwegian or AirAsiaX’s A330s to the above. The issue is the possible sudden availability of B787 aircraft at a time when BA are dependant on the line to keep the ship afloat.

  13. “Boeing has to proceed with a new airplane to recapture its position”

    Moving now with all of Boeing’s current baggage on display would be a huge mistake in my humble opinion. Calhoun is right on that score. The marketplace can wait. A program is a twenty to thirty year proposition. Boeing’s overpaid executives traditionally dither. But it is a different situation now.

  14. “The carrier is scouring the market for 737NGs and MAXes for expansion.”

    Likely true as of a few weeks ago. Doubt it is the case today.

    • Even better time to buy over the next 4 months. The US travel market will return to previous levels. I would think Virgin USA got out at the right time when sold to Alaska. Maybe some smaller ones will fail

      • Yes, you can get a great deal on a cruise ship to Asia right now too Knock yourself out.

    • @Arnelle: No kidding. I used to say about the MAX crisis, what is true at 10am may not be true at 11am, things were changing so far. Now it’s COVID-19.

    • And the A330NEO was at about rate 3 a month before this hit and Air Asia most recent kicking the plane down the runaway which is a big chunk of the A330 backlog.

  15. At this point I would be wondering if they halve the 787 and A350 production rate and pause production on the 777 and A330 for a year.

  16. old story from wikipedia:
    “At the time of the grounding, Boeing had 4,636 unfilled orders worldwide for the 737 MAX valued at an estimated $600 billion.”
    “Timaero Ireland Limited, a Dublin-based aircraft leasing company was suing Boeing, alleging fraud and breach of contract in deals it signed starting in 2014 for 22 of MAX airliners. The company said it relied on Boeing’s assurances that the planes were safe and would be delivered on time, but as of December 17, 2019, Boeing had delivered two instead of four aircraft and had refused to refund Timaero’s advance payments on the planes. The leasing company demanded at least US$185 million in damages, citing design flaws that led to two deadly crashes and the grounding of the aircraft.”

    How much money is paid in advance by all customers? Did Boeing spend the advanced payments already? Boeing took a loan to pay dividends.

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