HOTR: What Delta and Qatar Airways have in common

By the Leeham News team

Oct. 6, 2020, © Leeham News: Apart from a few exceptions, airlines have had to take steep losses since the beginning of the COVID-19. The pain is compounded for two major airlines: Delta Air Lines and Qatar Airways.

Both airlines invested sizable amounts of money into other airlines. Qatar did so with external financing and Delta via reinvestments of profits. With the COVID-19 crisis, both airlines have had to record significant losses on those investments.

Paper losses on more than half money invested

Qatar Airways published its financial accounts as of March 31st, 2020. The airline expected to take a loss of 1,449m Qatari Rial ($398m) on its failed investment in 49% of Air Italy. The figure represents the loss on the investment and the expected liquidation charges.

However, the airline’s losses are significantly higher on its other stakes. The carrier owns 49% of RwandAir, 25.1% of IAG, 10% of Latam, 9.99% of Cathay Pacific, and 5% of China Southern Airlines, as well as a stake in Jet Suite X. Qatar Airways lost 11,918m Qatari Rial ($3273m) between Mar. 31, 2019, and Mar. 31, 2020 on those investments, or a -58% annual return on investments.

Wiped out on three investments

During the second quarter of 2020, three airlines Delta invested in ran into serious financial difficulties: Aeromexico (owns 49%, US Chapter 11), Latam (owns 20%, US Chapter 11), and Virgin Atlantic (owns 49%). The airline depreciated all three investments to zero, losing $2,245 in the process.

Delta also recorded losses on its 9% stake in Air France – KLM ($248m), 3% in China Eastern Airlines ($92m), as well as $98m in receivables from partner airlines. Surprisingly, Delta had a positive return on its 15% stake in Korean Air ($280m). The carrier also owns 25% of Wheels Up and 49% of Unifi. The losses are since Dec. 31, 2019.

Update on airline tracking

Below is an update on our airline COVID-19 list tracking. We include airlines that either announced an end to operations or are undergoing (or already went through) a court-supervised restructuring. We add the fleet count at the time of the announcement.

58 Comments on “HOTR: What Delta and Qatar Airways have in common

    • they both get big fat checks from the government

      one though likes to give lectures about the virtues of the free market during good times

  1. You’ll probably soon be able to add Malaysia Airlines to your CoViD-19 misery list, per the article on Reuters last week.

    And it won’t be long before the patchwork of national travel restrictions within Europe cripples carriers such as Norwegian and Ryanair.

    How many other airlines can take another 9 months of this?

    • I’m surprised to see you added Ryan Air to your list, I thought they were well financed.

      • They are. But they also received zero state aid, they have one of the largest fleets in the world, and foreign vacations in Europe have essentially fallen to zero. They have months of traffic famine to look forward to.
        Who can survive that unscathed?

        • I don’t see Ryan Air going down. Hurt yes, down no.

          And as recovery begins, lots of white tails to pull out of Boeing surplus. Happy Ryan air, good deals.

          Alaska Airlines looks to be giving up the Airbus line, including the A321 if I am reading the press releases right. I thought there was a 50% chance they would keep the A321.

          But they can sell them and MAX will be easy to get on good terms.

          • Ryanair is a baggage flying service with a passengers service on the side ( and just as packed as the baggage).

            Its likely that Ryanair is propped up by Boeing somehow , could be over financing when it gets new planes to give it cash. Its just below the same passenger numbers as Southwest ( around 150 mill per year) and put them together its 25% of the 737 production over the last 5 years ( although SW had been buying used 737-700s , which I think Boeing refitted, after the structural early retirement of the last of the classic fleet)
            The US has a much higher fare environment than Europe so SW revenues are 3x greater, probably from the longer flight distances as well.
            Ryanair operates at half the costs of SW, from smaller employee numbers and lower european wages, SW is slighter higher at 5 flights per day per aircraft. SW has 750 planes to Ryanairs 470 and SW 61,000 employees to 17,000.

          • @TW
            Since none of the whitetails are the MAX-200 (with 2 extra exits), I doubt that Ryanair will be interested in them. O’Leary has always made a point of getting as close as possible to 200 pax per frame, because that works out best in terms of cabin crew staffing (1 per 50 passengers).

            I always thought that the A321 would be a good plane for O’Leary. It can nominally hold 244 seats (more revenue per flight), and the LR/XLR variant would allow O’Leary to experiment with longhaul without having to buy a subfleet of widebodies. The fact that the hull is wide enough for containerized cargo might even allow him to quickly load/unload some cargo during turnaround, thus generating extra revenue.

            As regards the future of Ryanair, anything is possible in the current environment: its “peer” AirAsia is already hurting badly (AirAsia Japan has ceased operations, and AirAsia X is looking to shed aircraft).

          • “”Alaska Airlines looks to be giving up the Airbus line””

            Alaska has 30 A320neo on order and not A321neo.
            Isn’t that interesting. Lets talk XLR, I mean A320XLR.
            The 321ceo is 93.5t MTOW. It gained 3.5t for the A321LR (180 pax, 4000nm with 3 ACT) and will 4t more for the A321XLR.
            The A320ceo is 78t. The A320neo gained only 1t and is also able to fly 4000nm with 122 pax with only 1 ACT.
            Why only 1t more on the A320neo. could it be increased to 3.5t same as on the A321neo?
            180 seats on the A321 cabin equals in space 139 seats on the A320 cabin. 17 pax more from 122 to 139 are only 1.7t, for 150 pax it’s only 2.8t more.
            The A320neo has much potential, an A320XLR might fly 5500nm with 150 pax. Interesting?
            I would never give up A320neo slots.

          • Leon:

            Alaska has options for 30 more A320 variants.

            Virgin got a great deal on the 10 x A321 that AK took. So they have 10 owned A321 and that is the number listed to get rid of.

            Don’t read this as anti Airbus or A320 series. Its just one I have been watching. Alaska is dropping leases and looks to sell the A320 series they have.

            Otherwise they would firm up those 30 slots they can take (and I assume they were a good deal as well).

            As a barometer it seems that AK has too small a fleet to have two types. Though we have to be clear that the Horizon Arm operates Embraer and DH aircraft.

            AK has moved to the -9 as its future and I thought the A321 might well fit up on top of that but it looks like no.

            Size and route structure would be what would drive that.

            Equally having Airbus and Boeing bidding is a major help for AK size operation.

            Covd and the MAX debacle may have cemented in good deals on the 737MAX that negates that.

    • Investments in other airlines is money already spent, the write downs dont effect cash flow. If interest rates were rising it might be another matter.
      The reports on airlines financial situation should reflect ‘earnings’ based on cashflow rather than the accounting profit or loss with changes in value of investments and planes value writeoffs.

  2. There are always downturns, 9/11, 2008, 2020.
    Now would be the time to invest in airlines on the cheap or for Boeing to do share buybacks, not earlier when prices were high.
    I know, hindsight 🙂 but those ocasions happen from time to time, again and again.

    Qatar is also in the leasing business, they leased planes to RwandAir and Air Italy and own airports. That’s just the nature of the game wearing big boy pants, they can earn much and lose much. It depends how much they earned before, but it seems they got hit hard because of the language they used for Boeing.

    • Leon:

      Idea of share buy backs is to drive stock prices higher.

      1. Between MAX debacle, 777X delay and the associated issue for all the BCA products with Covd, it won’t work.

      2. You have to have profits to do share buy back, Boeing only borrows money to paid dividends when no profits. (grin)

      Air Asia Japan ceased ops and the parent company is in deep trouble (has been for some time)

  3. On an interesting note, Airbus is selling the A220 as a business jet, its both a natural and a nice offering – I can see it eating into the 737 BBJ market.

      • Yeap. A real sweet spot I think. Better than an A319/-7 economics wise and all the benefits of a LCA systems that last a long time.

        I can see the A220-300 it eating into the -8 area and the future A220-500 even more so.

        Due credit to Boeing for originally opening that market up, but it also shows what a brand new offering does.

        Boeing can count its past lucky stars its solid in the freight market.

        • I like the subtle naming change
          ACJ Twotwenty

          The other ACJ still have numerals.
          The flight time is up to 12 hrs and they claim its in the same ballpark as the large/longrange bizjets for purchase cost but with lower operating costs, ( no mention of fuel but max engine thrust is about the same, but a bigger fan size) 3x more cabin area and taller cabin height.

  4. The Boeing 737 Max is going to join the National Geografic programme Aircraft that never flew?????

    • The training can’t be scheduled until the requirements are known. As that has not been released yet, it makes sense for the training to be pushed back.

      The FAA had allowed for two public comment periods, 45 days for the MAX and 15 days for the training. However a fair fraction of the responses to the MAX NPRM were about training, so the FAA will want to consider those concerns before posting the training NPRM.

      Then the 15 day period will allow another round of commentary. So we really wouldn’t know for sure before November 1 at the earliest.

    • That is funny. I think it will and be fine but Boeing sure earned the jabs.

  5. FAA has released the new 737 training guidelines as of end of business today. Here is the link to the draft, the MAX-specific training is at the end in Appendix 7:

    There are also 3 additional proposed changes to the NNC for Unreliable Airspeed:

    The comment period has been extended to 28 days, so that helps explain the training push back from November.

    The difference training is almost entirely focused on achieving the desired pilot responses to the accident events. They will practice all the critical events and demonstrate proficiency.

    There is an emphasis on manual trim scenarios in all aspects of flight. Those scenarios can be carried out in an NG simulator. The MCAS and flight software training must be in a MAX simulator.

    • We can hope the Manual Trim fidelity is right now.

      Previously it was modeled in, that would be one that should be real world data from real flights.

      Still a gaping question on how it got modeled out and not longer was valid. That is subject to huge fines as the Sim is out of certification (and yes I spent many a tense hour with one of those hulking over me).

      Each Sim flight would have been in violation. Not sure if pilot certification’s is affected but any Sim flight that was done with Manual Trim that was out of compliance would have an invalid pilot certification’s.

      FAA should have an investigation going and have heard nothing.

      • As we’ve discussed, the cause is known to have been the sim not being calibrated at conditions outside the normal flight envelope, but that arose in the Ethiopian accident.

        Those conditions would not have arisen in normal flight training. The sims are correctly calibrated for those conditions now, so no need to hope.

        No intent and no investigation and no violations and no invalid certifications and nothing out of compliance. Those are pure inventions on your part and have no substance in fact.

        • “”the sim not being calibrated at conditions outside the normal flight envelope””

          The sim was used to certify the MAX, same as it was used now for certification again. FAA learnt nothing.
          What was the intention to forget the not normal envelope when sims should be there especially for the not normal envelope.
          There is a reason why Boeing is in the sim business.

          • Leon, the simulator would not be calibrated for speeds that exceed the safe operating speed of the aircraft. That would make sense. The purpose of the simulator is for flight training within the normal flight envelope, which it successfully did.

            Note that n the new MAX training requirement, there is no requirement for pilots to test outside the flight envelope.

            The extended range was added outside the flight envelope, in order to accurately simulate the Ethiopian accident flight. That simulation was were the inaccuracy was discovered.

          • The purpose of the sim is to provide flight training within the normal flight envelope. It did that correctly.

            The issue was found during the attempt to simulate the Ethiopian accident, at airspeeds up to 400 knots. For that case the forces were not accurate, as they did not continue to increase at the correct rate outside the normal flight envelope. So the modeling was extended to accurately include that case.

            Note that the new MAX training also does not require simulation time outside the normal flight envelope. The focus of training is inside the flight envelope, as it has always been.

          • “”the simulator would not be calibrated for speeds that exceed the safe operating speed of the aircraft. That would make sense.””

            ET302 had multiple alarms going on, wrong alarms and false information, about speed too. Why, because Boeing was TOO CHEAP during development to fix this.
            And as it was reported by Lemme and Ewbank many systems still rely on single AOA data because Boeing is TOO CHEAP and FAA are Trump’s submissive soldiers.
            Watch Dickson, he is biting his fingernails. Wikipedia says that people with Neurosis and Psychosis bite fingernails. That would indeed make sense.

          • This comment has left the realm of sanity. The FAA has said that the two AoA sensors are compliant with the regulations for the configuration of the MAX. Three sensors are required for voting, which the MAX does not do.

            However, both FAA and Boeing have agreed to add the third sensor, even though not required. Whether it will be used in a voting configuration remains to be seen. My guess is not, that it will become part of the third set of reference instruments, but I could be wrong, we’ll have to see.

            The comments about Dickson are disrespectful and offensive, but more or less consistent with your commentary here. It’s not Dickson’s mental health that concerns me. Dickson is not ranting and raving about fingernails and conspiracies in Internet forums. For you to make that claim about him is hypocritical in the extreme.

          • “” The FAA has said that the two AoA sensors are compliant with the regulations for the configuration of the MAX.””

            I didn’t talk about MCAS, I talked about many other systems which Lemme and Ewbank mentioned. Many systems still rely on single sensor data, which will cause cascading alarms.

            “”The comments about Dickson””

            I mentioned infos from wikipedia. I know wikipedia is not 100% correct, but it is mostly correct.
            So if you have better sources that people with Neurosis and Psychosis don’t bite fingernails it would be interesting.

            Something must be wrong with Dickson, because he said the MAX will only be certified if it’s safe. How can it be safe after all the damning comments from REAL experts like Lemme and Ewbank? Dickson is not an expert, he’s only a pilot.

          • Dickson is a former VP who managed all airline operations, which included safety, and had an excellent record. He is also a pilot with thousands of hours of 737 experience, again with an excellent record, who has actually flown the MAX, and reviewed all the relevant testing, research and documents. So he is an expert.

            Your premise is that your opinion is more qualified than his. Yet you have no qualifications whatsoever. That premise lies behind much of the criticism presented here. People believe their access to a computer and the Internet qualifies them in the same manner as professional education and many years of a career with professional experience. But it doesn’t.

            Who would ever trust in the commenters here who have been proven incorrect, time and time again? No sane person would. And that is why we listen to Dickson and accept his judgements, unless proven to be incorrect. All of his statements have been backed up by fact and concurrence with other regulators. His whole approach has been based on that.

            Unlike you or TW, he doesn’t ask us to trust his viewpoint alone, as if it were somehow magically correct. He demonstrates that his viewpoint has substantial evidence and support within the air safety community. That is how you conduct yourself in a professional manner. Not in the form of the unreasoned criticism that is so often presented here.

            Peter Lemme is an expert who has offered questions and commentary on the proposed AD. The FAA will respond to his commentary and if they find it to be substantiated, will respond accordingly.

            Curtis Ewbank is a former Boeing employee & whistleblower whose allegations were investigated by the FAA and found to not be substantive. But his comments too will be reviewed by the FAA, along with everyone else who commented.

          • The Sims being for normal flight is not true since AF447 aftermath when they finally were forced to address the failures of the training system.

            The Sim for 4 years have been reprogrammed to abnormal conditions.

            The term is Unusual Attitudes, That includes stalls.

            The Sim sessions are mandated to include those.

            Boeing clearly failed to address that part of the Manual Trim which was taught as part of the system (yo yo to unload)

            To say Boeing was not aware of the issues is absurd. The Yo You was removed in the NG manuals.

            The same as hiding MCAS 1.0, move on folks, nothing to see here.

          • Rob,

            Regarding the third sensor, I too wonder how it will be integrated.

            The software is already complicated enough, having been modified to handle two AOA inputs on the existing hardware.

            I can’t see the code being completely re-written from scratch to work on the existing hardware, and modifying the current software again to add voting I suspect may be a step too far.

            As you say, it may be added as part of the third set of reference instruments.

            There is a possible alternative method, which may be the best option, and that is to add another self contained fault tolerant system (CPU, memory, storage) that accepts input from the two AOA sensors, and the third sensor (whatever that turns out to be), that has the sole function of verifying the angle of attack (possibly by voting), and outputting AOA data to the existing system so that the existing software does not have to be modified / tested / verified / certified again.

          • JakDak, I agree that could be a viable method. It essentially creates a standalone AoA sensing system with 3 inputs. We’ll have to see what Boeing comes up with, and whether that satisfies EASA.

            I think it would still be a significant change as the two AoA sensors are integrated into the two ADIRU’s, so the architecture would have to change. But not impossible if a third ADIRU is added and dedicated to AoA.

          • Yes the 737 code was completely rewritten
            “Boeing decided to not just rewrite the software for the MCAS flight control system, which is believed to have contributed to both MAX crashes, but the entire flight computer software.”

            The software process for various subsystems for the NG and others is described here, probably for software geeks only

          • Duke,

            Thanks for the links.

            The first article says “Boeing decided to not just rewrite the software for the MCAS flight control system, which is believed to have contributed to both MAX crashes, but the entire flight computer software.”

            I have to say I don’t think that’s quite right. There is a lot to the FCC computer, and a complete re-write would have meant a complete test, validate, and re-certification of all of the functions.

            You don’t change FCC software that has built up so many reliable hours over the lifetime of the 737 to potentially introduce points of failure that weren’t there before.

            I suspect as MCAS appears to be a part of speed trim, that they may have re-written all of the code relating to speed trim, but I don’t think they would have wanted to mess with any area of functionality that they absolutely didn’t have to.

            I do understand that they could have had constraints with the hardware (processing speed / memory), so they may well have gone through all of the code to optimise it as much as they could.

            Would they have had the time to completely re-write the FCC software, and get it all re-certified ? Possibly yes, if they had started the re-write as soon as the MAX was grounded, they might have managed this by now.

            Keep in mind though that they didn’t start out with the idea that the MAX would be grounded until now, they wanted to do only what was necessary to get it back in the air as soon as possible.

            Does anyone have any links to the video of Patrick Ky’s latest press conference ?

            I should note that I have been writing software for well over 30 years, beginning with assembly language, SSG, and COBOL on a mainframe.

          • JakDak & Duke, it’s well documented that Boeing rewrote the FCC software due to changing the architecture to a simultaneous dual monitoring & comparator model. That was separate and apart from MCAS or Speed Trim considerations.

            This was done to address the lack of alarm capability for the extremely remote probability of a memory glitch, that would affect the stabilizer function, while the FCC remained operational (no failover to standby FCC).

            The dual architecture provides for an alarm in this instance. That alarm allows for pilots to have additional time to avoid an accident. Under the review of the MAX systems conducted by FAA and JOEB, any issue that relied entirely on pilot detection & responsiveness, was addressed and corrected. There is now an NNC for this condition as well.

  6. This is a good summation of the 787 quality. Moving to cut the inspectors and not have anything in place proving your quality control system worked is typical Boeing.

    I worked on computer support and any time they did an equipment upgrade, they ran the old system and the new system in parallel for extended periods of time to ensure the new one produced the same proven (audited) results the old one did.

    I saw it fail, but they caught it. Computer mfg got additional units of the old type in and then replaced all the new types with another series as the first group new ones would not do what they said they should (run the same programs as the old ones)

    It remains unfathomable how you wold let this get away but that is Charleston MO since the get go. They clearly do not have the legacy that Everett has (cowering workers won’t speak up?)

    • The article does not contain any substantiation of the headline that quality control data is scarce for the 787. It provided no more information than was known before. As such it represents speculation.

      We do not in fact know that the data are scarce. Since Boeing was able to identify the problems by inspection of records prior to inspection of aircraft, that would suggest that quality control data are available.

      The FAA is right to investigate this and as we saw with the MAX, it’s best to see what the results are before drawing conclusions. There will be enforcement actions against Boeing if that is warranted by the findings.

      • “”does not contain any substantiation … represents speculation””

        What’s wrong with that when Boeing published range assumptions for decades.

        “”Boeing was able to identify the problems by inspection of records prior to inspection of aircraft””

        It was reported that a whistleblower told FAA about dents. The FAA identified the issues when Boeing was still in deep sleep. FAA did Boeing’s Quality Control LOL

        • Boeing and the FAA both said that Boeing self-reported the issues in their statements. Boeing withdrew the 8 affected aircraft from service and notified the FAA. That is the information we have at present.

          If there was a whistleblower, the FAA would protect them, as is proper. This should all become clear in the results of investigation.

          If you already have those results, Leon, please share with us. The FAA said it was too early in the investigation to comment.

          • A web magazin reported about a whistleblower.
            Why was a whistleblower even needed.
            Did he fear he could be threatened too.
            How is it possible to forgtt about this. I mentioned it here at the time, there was the source too. It’s important to get an understanding what’s going on inside Boeing.

          • I too read that article, but it was not substantiated in any other reporting. On the Internet, people can and do get things wrong, there are not the editorial standards that exist in other media.

            Your own many erroneous statements here are an excellent example of that. The flood of erroneous claims about the MAX are an excellent example of that, as we’ve seen from the actual results of the testing.

          • “”about the MAX are an excellent example of that, as we’ve seen from the actual results of the testing””

            MAX-8 and -9 are grounded but tested was MAX-7.
            It seems you forgot about all the comments too, try to get some Alzheimer pills.
            Boeing introduced a new skill on the MAX, landing with spoilers only. I’m sure Dickson didn’t try it.

            “”erroneous statements””

            You can’t be sure that your statements are true, especially when you knew about the whistleblower, but you keep selling your assumptions as facts. Guess why many people called you a Boeing Troll.
            I rather believe a whistleblower because it’s proven that Boeing and FAA are liars.

            “” Since Boeing was able to identify the problems by inspection of records prior to inspection of aircraft””

            That’s your assumption, but according to the whistleblower it was completely opposite.

          • The premise that Boeing and the FAA are liars underpins all your criticism, and that is why it’s wrong. TW has made that same claim, that they always lie, because that belief is necessary to sustain his viewpoint as well.

            But that’s very obviously incorrect, as substantiated by the other regulators who are also observing this process. They have concurred with the findings and have never made any statements about dishonesty on the part of Boeing or the FAA.

            So that means they are all liars too. right? And as you and others here have said, I am a liar as well. As is anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint. Either you are wrong, or the entire world is lying and conspiring against you and the truth.

            The contradiction involved there should be a major clue as to which outcome is the more likely. But you have to be objective to see it.

          • Of course the FAA and Boeing do not lie, they after all are Sir Galahad. White Knights, Golden Shinning Armor.

            Or you can look at the record. Or the reality of the world. People do lie to protect their power and positions. The less accountability (or none) the greater the lies. That is why we have checks and balances (or supposed to) .

            Calhoun was paid to be a member of the Boeing Board. He claims he did not know what was going on. So they put him in charge.

            Either he was lying, or he is incompetent . Either is autonomic disqualification y to lead the organization, but there he is.

            Equally he stated that it was best to have the Chair of the Board and CEO of Boeing in one position. Now he says its better they are split.

            Both the FAA and Boeing management are corrupt for different reasons but the end result is two MAX crashes.

            Manual Trim is an issue and they are putting it into the training (now)

            So yes its fair to believe they lie unless caught and then they try to spin to obfuscate their part in it.

            The contrast with the NTSB that is totally independent is glaring.

            You want a system that as much as possible ensures that when people go off the rails they are reigned in.

            The FAA is conflicted by its missions. They should not be in that position in the first place. But as empire builders the head won’t say that.

            Boeing is best served by a robust and independent board.

            One way to get accountability is to remove shares as the monetary part of Boeing management. Implement standard accounting would be another one. It too is another tool for not hiding losses.

            Mullenberger walked away with (15 million?) – that is not accountability, that is the old boy network so the next manager can walk away with 20 million.

            Give Calhoun a bonus for getting the MAX back up? Isn’t that his job? Truly amazing.

            I was expected to show up for work and do my job and did not expect a bonus for doing so.

          • “”other regulators who are also observing this process. They have concurred with the findings and have never made any statements about dishonesty””

            Everybody is watching this circus, other regulators, TW and many others, but you forget everything you want to forget, always.

            The vice president of the 787 program, the senior quality manager and the director of delivery were all accused by the FAA of overseeing quality control of the 787 program, a role within the organisation which is only intended to be performed by the FAA’s handpicked ODA safety assurance team. These Boeing senior managers “pressured” and “harassed” employees involved in the ODA to perform safety inspections. One of the senior managers was also accused of “pressuring an inspector to complete a compliance inspection on an aircraft which was not ready for such inspection to occur”. According to FAA findings, the Boeing management continually watched safety inspectors complete their work and threatened them.”
            Is this HONEST ???
            They should threaten a cop and will be shot, 50 times.

            FAA proposed a penalty against Boeing for failing to comply with its quality control processes on 26 February (2020). The failure exerts undue pressure to ODA members.
            Is undue pressure honest?

            “”And as you and others here have said, I am a liar as well.””

            Sure you are.
            Two days ago you said “Boeing aircraft are competitive and comparable in terms of range and fuel efficiency”.

            Boeing is not responsible for the fuel efficiency provided by the engines, but how is it possible that a heavier metal A330neo is more fuel efficient or at least same fuel efficient as the CFRP 787.

            Boeing insists on comparing A330-900 with 787-10
            I wonder why Boeing insists on this. The 787-10 is bigger than the A359, the A359 is much bigger than the 787-9 and the 787-9 is bigger than the A339.
            I take it a step further, if I compare it with the old A332 the 787-10 looks poor.
            Data for the A338 isn’t out yet, but for sure the 787-10 can’t beat it.

            Against the A350 the 787 looks even worse.
            You would need TWO 787-10 to beat one A350-1000 in pax and fuel efficiency doesn’t even need to be calculated then.

          • Leon & TW, with every word you write, you prove my points. You persist in your beliefs that the world is wrong and lying unless it agrees with your views.

            There’s a reason why you two are bitching in an Internet forum, while Calhoun leads Boeing and Dickson leads the FAA. But you two will never get that, so there’s no point in explaining further.

  7. “The airline depreciated all three investments to zero, losing $2,245 in the process.”

    Some zeros missing from the end of the $ value?

    • I read that Alaska Airbus pilots were already trained to fly MAX.
      They have MAX-9 on order.
      MAX must be very cheap, otherwise why buy Virgin with an Airbus fleet.

      • Not cheap so much as probably Boeing organised 3rd party ‘over financing’
        lease deals which gives Alaska cash in hand and new planes and Boeing cash on delivery of planes it has built.

      • Wikipedia:
        “In September 2016, a lawsuit was filed against Alaska Airlines by consumers to block the merger between the two carriers, which the Alaska Air Group settled in court in December 2016.
        In early February 2017, Alaska Air Group said it was working with GE on an arrangement where it would not take delivery of all 10 ordered jets, in favor of keeping a predominantly Boeing fleet.”

        From Dec 2016 till early Feb 2017, less than 2 months, Alaska made a complete change, from buying and all-Airbus Virgin to get rid of Airbus.
        Seems mangement had no clue or some people were paid during the process.

        • Far more likely that they made a business decision which they found to be beneficial to their circumstances. Duke has pointed out one way in which that might be true. There are others as well.

          Believe it or not, every decision with which you disagree, is not a conspiracy. Nor does your disagreement with others make them clueless (quite the opposite in fact). Nor does every issue come down to a competition between Boeing and Airbus products, there are other considerations in the world.

        • @Leon
          It would seem that Alaska bought Virgin America purely as a quick way of acquiring lucrative (east-west) routes/slots, and capturing a sizeable segment of the Californian market; and concurrently preventing a competitor from doing so. As a “proudly all Boeing” operator, most analysts assumed that it was a done deal that Alaska would try to offload the Airbuses that Virgin previously used. In so doing, of course, they concurrently surrender the possibilities that the A321LR/XLR could have given them…e.g. in exploring new routes to Asia. They’d probably also never go for the A220, despite the fact that it would fit very well in (the nature of) their network.
          It seems they just prefer 1960s-style flight controls to sidesticks and fly-by-wire.

          • Well, not really. Alaska had estimated the increased cost of having a mixed fleet at $25M per year. The potential benefit of that was a price war between Boeing and Airbus for future orders. So they were weighing those options when COVID hit.

            Now, the future bidding war has less weight as they are reducing aircraft. Also they only outright own 10 Airbus aircraft, so Airbus is the logical candidate for elimination. Also they can get better pricing from Boeing at present, for the cancelled MAX slots. So the business case is better for the all-Boeing fleet.

            As I mentioned, it’s a matter of the circumstances being preferable for Boeing right now. Passengers don’t really care which aircraft they fly or whether it has a control column or side stick. Pilots may have a preference for one or the other, but they can easily transition. All pilots begin with control column training in smaller aircraft, so it will always be natural to them.

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