Pontifications; Does the pandemic change the airliner market dynamics?

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 19, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Airbus and Boeing have dominated the world’s airliner market over the last 30 years. In the next 30 years, will this change?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer was no. The only viable competitor, the Chinese aircraft industry, would need more time to catch up. But the pandemic has changed the dynamics in the world.

For China COVID-19 is history. For the rest of the World not. China’s society and most noteworthy its travel industry are back to normal. September’s domestic flights were 103.5% of 2019 levels and passenger numbers were at 98% while the rest of the world is busy throttling back network plans from already low levels. We know that airlines in China are stimulating traffic with discounted fares, taking losses in the process. However, they have the backing of the government and it is traffic that ultimately drives demand for aircraft.

The Chinese system handles the crisis magnitudes better than the free world. Will the newfound Chinese self-confidence spread to bootstrapping the in-house air transport industry even further to capture the increased airliner demand?

The Chinese rule the world’s largest post-COVID market

The Chinese airline passenger market became the world’s largest as it passed the US market in April this year. IATA had forecasted this would happen in 2024 but the pandemic brought it forward four years. With China’s domestic market now back to the pre-COVID levels it leads the US with a large margin, now and in the future.

All western airlines are cutting down capacity forecast to new lower levels as the virus catches the North Hemisphere in a second wave. Forecasts now say we will recover in 2024 instead of 2022. It might take longer. Vaccines will now be generally available on a worldwide basis at the end of 2021, not before say the experts. It was early 2021 the last time we asked.

And they might help like the flu vaccines, one season. The immunity might last three months or one COVID season. We don’t know but the first re-infections are there. In short, the scientists are now saying we will live with SARS-CoV-2 for a long time.

While the free world and its travel industry grapple with how to handle this, China’s domestic travel industry is back to normality. The result of all this will be a change in market dynamics. The Chinese market will dominate the demand for new airliners going forward more than before COVID.

Will the Chinese government accept that this world unique demand is filled with Airbus and Boeing airplanes? With new self-confidence from mastering the world’s largest crisis since the Second World War better than any other nation, will it allow this to happen?

China’s leader, Xi Jinping’s policy is to build a China which is a world leader in high technology industries. What is more high tech than civil airliners? Military airplanes. Where China in 20 years has gone from producing Soviet copies with imported engines to fielding the World’s fourth stealth fighter, the J-20, flying with an indigenous engine, the WS-10, and an indigenous phased array radar.

Yes, the ARJ-21 regional airliner took forever to materialize, and it’s a copy of an MD-80 with an Antonov wing. And the C919 is years late. But the C919 has 300 firm orders and 700 options. These orders are not dependent on its fuel economics being better than the Airbus A320neo or Boeing’s 737 MAX. They just depend on the aircraft being certified and produced. China’s government decides what aircraft is sold on the world’s largest airliner market.

If the Chinese industry can deliver, it will get the orders. Performance and reliability just have to be good enough. This will grow the industry and it will finance a second try and a third. Until COMAC can compete on the world market.

China is learning about airliner production and in-field support through the ARJ-21. The three major Chinese airlines now operate the type. Not because it’s the best. Because it’s Chinese. And the government has decided that this is the way for COMAC to expand its knowledge on how to support a type in service.

The Chinese government with its power is bootstrapping COMAC in the field the western industry says will be the hardest learn, airliner operations support. And it will continue to bootstrap its industry in every field necessary until equality is followed by supremacy.

Yes, this is probable. But it will take time was the pre-COVID consensus. A long long time.

Time to think again

It didn’t take a long time for the Chinese to advance to stealth fighters or learn how to handle the pandemic better than anyone else. China is also at the forefront of the vaccine race. Will the focus that produced the world’s fourth stealth fighter or that managed the pandemic better than the free world accelerate the Chinese airline industry much faster than we all forecast?

No-one would have forecasted the US, the world’s richest and medical technology-wise most superior nation, to be the worst hit by a new virus, and China, where it spread first, being the least hit.

Take this analogy to the highest tech civil market and re-evaluate the situation against this background. Yes, Airbus and Boeing are technology-wise, production-wise, and support wise way ahead of the Chinse civil airliner industry.

But their home markets are no longer the world’s drivers for new aircraft, China is. At least for the next five years. Probably as long as we can forecast. Won’t a more confident Chinese leadership use this to surge its air transport industry to a position equal to Airbus and Boeing in record time? And then challenge it?

It’s time to think again.

248 Comments on “Pontifications; Does the pandemic change the airliner market dynamics?

  1. I do agree that the market dynamics have changed. If you look at what China is doing in Africa and South & Southeast Asia, it is clear that after the introduction of C919 in domestic market the Chinese will sell this aircraft to those markets where it is already in infrastructure business and where it can influence local governments and their airlines. Little bit of arm twisting and there you are. Latin America will follow. It will be tougher sell to European airlines but not impossible. We will see in the next 10-20 years of time how much COMAC can penetrate foreign markets.

    • The devil is in the details.

      And its not simple, so yes China could force an in China solution. And hobble their Airlines with lots of ARJ21 and C919 that sit on the ground while the foreign competitors have 99% dispatch reliability.

      And you get no improvement unless you really compete. Soviet era cars only sold because there was no alternative and they were awful.

      Stealing and copying technology is a different skill set than designing original. If you understand the fundamentals you lead, if you don’t you follow.

      Take Russian jet engines. While they worked and worked well, they wore out and failed at an high rate. Sure you can have hundreds or thousands of spares, but at what cost?

      To be successfully you don’t copy, you teach people the underlying fundamentals of metallurgy and then they can work up a process to build a fan blade. Its not just the metals mix, its how its treated and processed at each stage.

      You may come up with a blade that works, but then you change the thrust and it fails.

      And its the infrastructure of support as well. Chinese government factories don’t get that (the private ones may or may not – it seems to be a mixed bag)(

      What I have seen is the successful China operations in tech are the ones owned and run by a modern company to specified standards.

      Japanese made tools back in the day were cheap, and they broke. American made tools by brand were not and seldom did and had a warranty (usually lifetime).

      A Japanese tool (and they did come along in the form of Micrometers) eventually were as good as the US. But those were private companies that learned, hand tools are not a good markets, precision tools are.

      Support is huge and COMEC responds to the government, not to customers.

      The C919 failed its certification process so it will not be sold outside China (given away is a different story). But allowed to fly into Europe or the US?

      We are seeing the meltdowns starting on the C929. China wanted the tech and the certification that Russia has that they don’t.

      By the time it flys (if ever) then the next generation of Airbus (maybe Boeing) will be in the design stages and its two generations back.

      During the Korean VCR era, I saw a major board change every 3 months. You could not keep up with the SAMS or repair them, so they were throw away.

      Aircraft are not VCR that you can re-design endlessly until you get it right . One shot and its it.

      China has failed twice now and its 15 years or more into it.

  2. It’s worth paying attention to the explosive rate at which China developed its own high-speed trains: not as complicated as a commercial airliner, but not a walk in the park either.

    Apart from China itself, it should be remembered there’s a whole collection of countries that fall within its sphere of influence — particularly developing countries that it has “hooked” with development projects. Such countries may also consider buying COMAC products. Moreover, disenfranchised countries (such as Iran) don’t really have another option, do they?

    That sounds like a relatively big market to me.

    • “It’s worth paying attention to the explosive rate at which China developed its own high-speed trains: not as complicated as a commercial airliner, but not a walk in the park either.”

      Some may remember that Boeing themselves took a crack at rail vehicles over 50 years ago. Supposedly their attitude was roughly, “we build jet airplanes, how hard could this be?”


      Suffice to say it did not end well.

      “Before they were delivered, Boeing claimed the US SLRV would be reliable and virtually maintenance-free. From their earliest days of service, however, the SLRVs proved to be a major financial and mechanical nightmare…”

      • The trains are copies of western ones. The infrastructure is of course remarkable achievement in a short period.

        • Nope they developped a few models in paralel to reduce risks.

          The idea all non western products are either inferior or copied has been comforting but misleading.

          • Certainly it’s more fashionable nowadays to paint a bleak picture and call those outside are criminals and rapists.

            From Bloomberg
            “But there’s a better way to look at the history behind this; one that casts things in a very different light.

            Instead of being tricked, Alstom, Siemens, and their rivals Bombardier Inc. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. agreed to hand over some of their most precious intellectual property with their eyes wide open. The vast majority of the trains sold under the 2004 and 2005 contracts were built in China, with explicit technology transfer terms written into the agreements to allow that. Alstom, for what it’s worth, has long criticized Siemens and Kawasaki for including their most innovative high-speed rail know-how in those deals.”

          • The USA “stole” rocket tech from the Nazis, by assimilating Werner Von Braun…

          • I would say the US earned that technology, by fighting a costly world war to prevent its use against them, as well as against others. And defending the NL in the process, as I recall.

          • @Rob
            Well, then, on a related note, I’m sure that the Chinese feel similarly entitled to steal western technology, to compensate for the humiliation and suffering inflicted upon them in the Opium Wars.

          • This argument is absurd, as is your reasoning on patents. Rocketry was used as a weapon against the Allies in the war, thus they inherited the technology upon winning the war and defeating the aggressors. It was not stolen.

            There is no analogy with Chinese theft of technology being based on past wars that had nothing whatever to do with that technology. That reasoning could be used to justify anything, going back to the beginning of recorded history.

          • Of course the argument is “absurd”…because it doesn’t fit into one of the neat little OCD boxes that you set out for yourself on this subject.
            Things don’t have to be identical in order to be equivalent. What’s the equivalence here? Easy:
            “Aggrieved party steals technology from warmongering party”.

          • Bryce:

            It really is absurd. The morale choice for giving Van Braun and his group (as well as others) a free ride certainly is a topic for discussion. It took a lot of years before the US propaganda on that was proven to be just that.

            But using Werner? No issues. Reality is that the dead end centrifugal jet engine from the UK was not the patch forward, it was the Axial Jumo that was.

            If you are saying there is no difference in the Chinese stealing intellectual property vs the US taking it as a result of a war?

            Then indeed we are at war with China and should act accordingly.

            Of course we could have just ignored all the German tech the Russians were taking and we would live in much different world.

            But it was not stolen. You take someone on and loose, its part of what goes with it.

            In fact the US had a vastly better vision tan the Europeans and restored Europe to recovery (including Germany) so this cycle did not repeat. Mostly successful other than creating a problem with co-dependency.

            Was it in our best interests? Yep, no one else ever did that though did they. At least at the time it says volumes about the US.

            And when Yugoslavia turned into a mess, it was not Europe that resolved it.

            I have no idea if its the US detachment from the mess or a lot more vision, but in that case Europe failed again. Libya much the same.

        • @DofU
          If you are going to argue like that why not go back in history and find out that all trains are copies of earlier trains built originally in England

          The point about such industrial era infrastructures is that they are copiable – in fact are made to be copiable, are more useful when adopted by more countries –

          By releasing the technology the original inventor is able to move onwards and upwards to higher level technologies

          The English themselves went around the world building better and better trains

          Playing tit for tat we invented this hands off is foolish and against one’s own interests

          • Exactly.
            Even more examples:
            – The British invented the tank…and everyone else copied the idea.
            – The French invented the hot air balloon…and everyone else copied the idea.
            – The Chinese invented fireworks and silk…and everyone else copied the idea.
            The list is endless.
            The whole purpose of patents is that, in return for a short monopoly, the inventor publishes enough details of his invention to enable it to be copied…and then refined/improved by others.

          • @Bryce

            This will interest you – as if the bug is a whole dimension ahead of your game

            It must be depressing to think that by hard labour you did eradicate him in your back yard, but then he comes back in through the front door

            As Aus- small economies rely on large in ways they had forgotten and are now finding out once again the hard way (War on China imposed on them by US, China retaliating, Aus playing piggy in the middle)

          • For sure Trump invented to drink Chlor and some, now dead, trusted him.
            Trump invented Dickson’s job too and still many fools, not dead yet, are trusting too.

          • This again is a false equivalence. The objection is not to China using the concept of an airplane to build an airplane. The objection is to filling it with the intellectual property of others, rather than their own. That is why we have patent and IP law, which China does not respect.

            Even years ago, construction and farm equipment appeared from China with patent infringements on Cat and Deere. That has never really ceased. Same thing with NC milling machines and tools. In the US and Europe, the owners could challenge the infringement. In China and most of the third world, nothing could be done.

            China can do this and get away with it, but it’s one of the limiting factors that will hold them back from world competition. Eventually they will need to respect international IP law.

          • @Rob
            Are you quite sure that the aggrieved companies secured patents in China…or even filed them?
            If not, then the production of the products concerned is not protected in China. The products themselves may run into difficulties in the country of import, but that’s an issue for the importer.

            Up to 15 years ago, many companies didn’t bother much with Chinese IP: so they can’t subsequently complain if their products became a free-for-all in China.

          • @Gerrard White
            I’m very much aware of the extent to which certain countries in Asia have effectively cut themselves off from the outside world. Just this week, the Chinese were expressing concern at the fact that frozen goods coming into the country were contaminated with CoViD — reason enough for them to stop importing goods from certain countries (such as Brazil).

            And if a practicable vaccine doesn’t come, they’ll either have to resign themselves to staying cut off ad infinitum…or they’ll ultimately have to allow the virus to run its course.

          • @Bryce

            Both China and the NZ share this fear of imported food, did not China say an outbreak in Beijing had been ascribed to imported salmon?

            I think the bug loves to be frozen and can survive up to a month in the cold

            All food imports will have to be t&t, tested, certified – or at least will be subject to threats to do so – for human to animal and back again transmission seems established in one or two instances so far

            As clever as this bug is, when he sees quite how fragile the whole international food chain is he’ll exploit that –

            China has also used this crisis to question certain imports from Australia, subsequent to the foolish Aus gvmt campaign both against local Chinese, and for serving as a stand in for the US in requiring an international investigation into the origins of the virus

            As for a vaccine, many say there is and will be none of any much against a coronavirus

          • @Gerrard White
            Another headache for the Chinese is animals.
            In NL, we’ve already had at least one instance of CoViD transmission from a mink to a human…which is why all minks at infected farms are now being culled as standard practice. We also know that CoViD can infect cats and dogs, although there isn’t any recorded instance of animal-to-human transmission in that case –YET. All China needs now if for infected animals (such as macaques) to start crossing into its territory from its neighbors…

            Here’s a neat list of animals that can potentially be infected by CoViD, based on analysis of their genomes (as of 25 August):

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for this link and report

            This human-animal-human transmission may develop, if so it will be an added headache for those countries raising livestock in ind ag conditions, and especially for those who rely exporting livestock

            It would appear to be a potential problem for tropical countries where living in contact with monkeys is not uncommon, well mainly in the eating of them, but these countries tend to be largely bypassed, so far, by the virus – at least in Africa

            The article does not mention pangolins, much vilified at the first outbreak as the link between the bats and the humans – I’m glad he’s off the hot list, there is hardly a more gentle animal

          • Bryce, there is no need for the originating companies to apply for Chinese protection of their IP within China. The whole point of international IP law is that countries respect the IP protection of other countries. So this is yet another falsehood you’ve put forward. The US does respect those laws, China does not. That is the bottom line here.

          • @DofU
            The foreign partners are not idiots, are they willing to transfer their “state-of-the-art” tech?? According to the Chinese, the tech from KHI (Kawashaki) was good for up to 200kmh. In 2010, FT reported that the Chinese was building trains that can go up to 380 kmh connecting Beijing with Shanghai.

          • @Bryce A new report on the expected effectiveness of the proposed vaccine

            Which confirms suspicions that a corona vaccine is not going to be of great use

            It seems the pharma involved think so too, being unwilling and incapable of testing for real world benefit

            ‘ None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.’


          • @Rob
            I suggest you brush up your (extremely inadequate) knowledge of “international patent law” before you start making statements about others spreading falsehoods. To start, you might be interested to hear that there’s no such thing as “international patent law” — patent law is something that’s regulated on a country-by-country basis. The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) is a mechanism that facilitates applications for patent applications in multiple countries — but it to reverts to national law after the initial application phase. Companies/parties still need to protect products/processes on a country-by-country basis…that’s the way it always has been.

            More OCD.

          • @Gerrard White
            Thanks for the link…very informative.
            At this rate, it looks like poor China and NZ are going to be living in isolation for a VERY long time 😉
            And remember that pre-natal, pregnant and nursing women have been excluded from all phase III trials up to now…so those groups aren’t going to be benefiting from a vaccine anytime soon at all.

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for SK link on the vaccination problems

            The Koreans are disciplined – and have some reason to trust their gvmt: if something like this happened with the bug vaccine in the US, or UK even, where many – apparently up to 50% or more – say they will take no vaccine, and hate their lords and masters in any case – then there will be bite back

            Essentially what the BJM article states is that the vaccine will live tested on the populations in real time to see if it is of any use, and to see if it is defective

            This is poor science and poorer healthcare, but perhaps what passes for politics in the ‘democratic west’ – confuse, instill fear, crack down, stir, & repeat until the patient is dead

          • Bryce, you’ve typically misunderstood & mischaracterized the law here. Publication of a patent defines the state of the art and that must be respected by all countries. This is the role of government in issuing, honoring, and protecting patents. It’s why governments have this exclusive power, and not other entities.

            China is at the top of the list for violations of IP property rights of other nations, and has been for a very long time. That is totally beyond question or dispute, regardless of your increasingly bizarre defense of their actions.

            “If we believe it’s important for our business to actively defend our patent in court in order to prevent unauthorized copies or imitations, then we have to nationalize the patent, which makes it valid in other countries.”

            “When I make an innovation public in Germany by initially registering a patent, I’m actually defining the state of the art. It then becomes impossible for anyone else in the world to patent that innovation.”




          • @Rob
            I’m not defending Chinese practices at all: I’m pointing out China is not the only country to steal technology. More OCD boxing!

            You still are manifesting an extremely deficient understanding of the patent system. Publishing a patent appication in country A in no way provides any form of IP protection in country B: it can prevent a competitor from patenting the same invention in country B, but does not curtail his commercial activities there.
            I have more than 100 patents to my name…I know what I’m talking about.

          • Bryce, please, you have defended China throughout this thread. And the whole point of respecting IP protection is that you don’t need to go country to country.

            If your interpretation was correct, there would be multiple holders of every patent all over the world, which would be a complete and total mess.

            The truth is that for countries that respect protections and encode that into law, the applicant for a patent must show that it doesn’t infringe on any other existing patent. This is why patent searches are expensive. This has been true since the 18th century.

            And if it can be shown that your IP infringes on someone else’s, then the courts decide precedence, and you must obtain licensing from the other holder if they have precedence.

            Unless you are China or other countries that don’t respect these rights, then you allow use of the IP without licensing or payment, regardless of precedence.

            You can argue and invent convoluted reasoning all you like, it doesn’t change the facts or the reality.

          • @Rob
            “the whole point of respecting IP protection is that you don’t need to go country to country”

            Since you project yourself as a bookworm, it might have been a good idea to read up on the subject before pretending to know something about it.

            As regards defending China: presenting the motivation underlying China’s current behavior is not the same as defending it. Analogy: we all know why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, but that doesn’t mean that we defend the decision. You really need to brush up on your interpretative reading skills! You can start by reading about the Opium Wars, and the way they affect the current Chinese mindset.

          • Bryce, as you yourself mentioned:

            “The U.S. is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which streamlines the process for U.S. inventors and businesses to file for patents in multiple countries. By filing one patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), U.S. applicants can concurrently seek protection in up to 153 countries.”

            Also none of this addresses the original point, which is that China is #1 on the Watch List for piracy, counterfeiting, and violation of IP rights, and has been for many years. The entire world knows this, as several have commented here. They are excluded from many activities because of it.

            You claim their actions are justified, because “Opium Wars”. But that is not a defense, right? Good luck with that argument.

          • @Rob
            Still wrong.
            The PCT gives a mechanism for an INITIAL patent application in a whole series of countries, but that application disintegrates after 21 months (or 31 months, in some cases) into a series of national patent applications, that each has to undergo its own national granting procedure. Since each of those procedures has to be paid for separately, and since each typically costs about $10,000 up to grant, there are VERY few companies in the world that use anything but a VERY limited list of countries in which they ultimately file. Up to about 10 years ago, most companies didn’t bother filing in China — and if you don’t file there, you’re not protected there.

        • The principle involved here is theft of intellectual property. There is no equivalence between China’s long and established record of doing this, and the US acquiring rocket technology from the defeated Nazis after the war. That assertion is absolutely absurd.

          You know this or you wouldn’t be resorting to insults again. There is no need to do that with a valid argument.

          • Rocketry, as a field of engineering, did not initiate in Nazi Germany at all. Robert Godard, considered by most as “the father of modern Rocketry” was a full-blooded American. Wernher von Braun and his team only perfected liquid-fuel rocketry, but all the basic components had already been pioneered by Godard. To quote Wernher von Braun speaking about Robert Godard: “His rockets … may have been rather crude by present-day standards, but they blazed the trail and incorporated many features used in our most modern rockets and space vehicles” and “Goddard’s experiments in liquid fuel saved us years of work, and enabled us to perfect the V-2 years before it would have been possible”.

          • @Rob, the US kind of respect civil intellectual property rights, but for military applications other rules apply. Just check the Hakan Lans story.

          • Claes, there is no equivalence between the Lans story and the decades long Chines behavior of not respecting IP rights.

            In the first Lans case, the court found that he had deceived his attorneys, which then erupted into litigation between those parties.

            In the second case, variations of the technology had been addressed in earlier patents and licensing agreements. The reexamination process found that sufficient prior art existed to void the patent. The challengers argued that the patent excessively restricted the parallel developments and variations that had been ongoing at the time of issuance.

            You could argue that one either way, Lans certainly made major contributions and many of the existing technologies used his innovations. It seems unfair for him to have lost out totally. It’s tough when there are many variations on a theme, do you give control of the theme to just one person? The court in this case ruled no, nobody gets control.

  3. Great article.

    Nitpick: The flu is not a coronavirus, the common cold is

    • And it’s the common cold which does best at avoiding vaccines by mutation rarely & killing the carrier. Last part very relevant to Covid, most people never know they have it until they’re tested. We don’t just need a vaccine but it has to be used widely immediately, otherwise in six month the population of no longer immune will get the better of us.

      • ‘Common cold’ is caused by many different viruses of different types. It is not possible to have just one vaccine for ‘common cold’ – you would need a hundred. So it is just not going to happen.

        • Covd is also (3 lethal now?) virus

          We are fighting Covd- 19 right now.

  4. I think to predict that the US would do pretty badly with the pandemic, was not that difficult. The US might have the technology, but your health system is out of reach for a good part of your population. Combine this with the attitude towards making a personal sacrifice for the community and you have a recipe for disaster. Lead by a uniquely astonishing president. I was actually surprised, that the situation did not get more out of hand than it is.
    Also the rise of the Chinese is not totally surprising. There are many examples where they have succeeded to transform from being just cheap labor to the current state where they start to understand complex technology. Given the rate of engineers churned out by the education system, it is just logical, that this will lead to progress. And basically all Chinese I know or meet (and as I live in Hong Kong, that’s not few) are hungry for success, very motivated and eager to advance their career. There is no complacency or the kind of laziness that sets in when you have it all already. And the bullying of the US in the last few years only seems to motivate them further to “show” the world.
    And who would have expected for Airbus to dominate the civil airliner market by a margin 50 years ago?

    • China is willing to put out a compromised Vaccine into a population that has not choice.

      Cutting edge guinea pigs is the MO. You (mostly) cannot do that in a democracy.

      Russia has a vaccine as wel (two now I think) l. No thank you.

  5. China can exercise control over its own markets, but not outside. This means that to the outside world, the Chinese market could become insular and closed off, being supplied by indigenous manufacturing. This was true also for the Soviet-bloc nations during the Cold-War. And is true to a lesser extent for nations where heavy sanctions are in place.

    As was seen in those cases, competition in the free world led to continually improving products. which remained desirable both in the free world markets and the closed world markets. Closure of those markets did not produce competitive products. Like the Soviet bloc, China is large enough that it may not matter internally, they can provide for their own needs. But outside, the competitive products will still have a market.

    China has moved forward rapidly by copying innovation, often illegally or in some cases by theft of IP. Inside China the government will allow this, but outside in the free market, competitors have legal options if others adopt the derived technology.

    China has also moved forward in defense, again largely by copying. But in terms of quality, there are still significant differences, and those are likely to remain in place due to competition from which China will either isolate itself, or be isolated if they are perceived as a threat. Their response to that so far has been to compensate with quantity to balance quality.

    As far as China dealing with the virus, we have to remember they also created the circumstances that fostered it. Their “improved” handling of it comes from their authoritarian style of rule, largely closed borders established well before the pandemic, as well as the sequestration and lack of mobility within much of their society. This is why their solution can’t be exported elsewhere, it would be wholly unacceptable. Whereas solutions from the Western world, based on knowledge and learning and skill, will be exportable.

    In the West, our freedoms and mobility have worked against us in containing the virus, but you can’t project that result onto other aspects of the economy and production. For all other & normal cases, those things are strengths and not weaknesses. And in time, we will learn to handle the virus, and future problems like it, much better than we have this time.

    Lastly, the virus occurred at a time of extraordinarily weak leadership in parts of the West, but that will not last forever. We had leaders in denial mode who themselves contracted the virus. We had leadership that created doubt and confusion, then tried to capitalize on it for their own political well-being. People will remember this and look for different qualities in future leaders. There are some bright examples and others will follow. Already happening now.

    • Lets not underestimate the effect to the bottomline of Boeing and Airbus if china closes their market to them. That plus the lower wages in china can go a long way to even out any advantage in developement budget.

      • What are really only chinese parts on the C919, the frame?
        The other foreign systems might not be cheap.
        Do they have certifying problems?
        I would rather buy used A320ceo and could get more A320ceo than Comac could produce C919.

        • nofly:

          The US is actually listed as the best balance for aircraft parts and production.

          Cheap does not cut it in high tech production areas.

          When I was working, our go to Bearing supplier had bearings sourced all over the world (and the US). We had bearings made in Bulgaria. No issue using them as they were under the brand name we knew was good.

          None came from China. Yes they could have setup a factory in China, but at what price? The state in your factories trying to steal your tech full time?

          A Boeing Classic is as good as a C919 (and its certified!)

    • Worked with a few techs who have done jobs in Chinese shipyards, they say the quality of Chinese military shipbuilding is first class, far ahead of US shipyards, who have notorious QA. Spend money and do it well. So yes, if they keep funding COMAC, esp if they can keep linked up to Russian designers, they will be an international plane builder with their next generation of aircraft.

      • I have seen that work for ships.

        But the market for ships has alwyas gone to the low cost labor country.

        What we never see is how reliable is the tech going into them?

        As I recall the Soviet Union ICBM had 25% ready on a good day.

        You can impress with numbers but are 3/4 broken at any time?

        So far the Aircraft model has not followed the ship model.

        • Commercial shipping has always been cost dependant, it’s the toughest commercial industry on the planet. My comment was about vessels built for the Chinese military, they are a quality product, no expense spared. They can deliver a good product, if they keep the money flowing for another 20 yrs, and long term thinking is something that they are culturally good at.

          • The point is, China has a major ship industrial base to draw on.

            The US does not, we have military only shipyards (mostly). A small production of Tugs, Oil service boats and ferry.

            And as well, a warship is not a hull, its systems in that hull. Each has to work. That means testing.

            How well China does its testing vs the US and its testing is the real tech battleground.

            The UK Type 45 is an example that may work in all other areas like air defense but its propulsion system is badly flawed and only 2 out of 6 are available (and we don’t know how reliable)

            That we can see, China I have not seen an availability index for.

            One way to overcome that is to use proven propulsion systems which the latest Chinese Frigate does. 4 diesel engines.

            Mostly the US uses turbines (less maint, complex and engineering crew) and diesels as supplemental.

      • That will happen eventually, but only if their markets remain open. The nature of the free market is it always makes room for quality and innovation. So they will derive market share in proportion to their ability to innovate and deliver quality.

        But while Boeing and Airbus may give up market share, they won’t be driven out or marginalized. Rather they will adapt and continue to bring new products, features, and improvements forward.

        If China closes and protects their markets, then they won’t have the innovation and quality that are needed to compete on the world stage. We’ve seen this over and over again within authoritarian societies. Their market isolation means they don’t remain competitive without access to the free market pool of innovation and progress.

        If they remain open, they have a good shot at becoming competitive but then will also have to allow competition from others. This was the part of the article that was not realistic, the idea that they can somehow remain closed, develop superior products internally, then break out on the world stage and dominate the free markets. It just doesn’t work like that. Or at least it never has in the past.

        • > So they will derive market share in proportion to their ability to innovate and deliver quality.

          Not so fast…
          + price
          + marketing

          Examples of an inferior but “good enough” technology winning in the market are not that uncommon. Especially true where network effects dominate. The poster child for this is Betamax vs VHS.

          • True, but difficult to see that COMAC will out-market Boeing or Airbus. They may have an advantage on price, with government support. But as we’ve seen with Boeing and Airbus, that advantage will be hotly contested.

            Obviously a lot of factors go into the purchase decision. The existing players will have the advantage there for some time to come.

            When O’Leary or Ryanair says that COMAC could replace McDD to reestablish a triad in the market, that’s true but McDD also offered innovation. COMAC for now, is still in copy & learn mode. They will get there in time, if their home market remains open. That was the point of my comment.

        • My experience is that China is both, you have goverment controlled businesses and you have highly competetive private and public companies where the best are making inroads in the export markets with the help of Alibaba. Machines are often designed in the west but made in China. Hence if you make them and importers and customers complain and want better function and reliability you can often make improved versions each 6 months and see how your competitors across town are improving their similar product. I agree that highly political Products are decided who gets to make them with what banks Money and where, but the limits are coming up and free competition creeps up as well pretty quick. The main issue will be over land ownership and political praties. China historically had private land and the process of giving/selling it back will be a massive legal/auction undertaking.

      • I was in China back in 2011, lived in a brand new apartment, took a shower and then water marks could be seen outside the bathroom wall, future mold. Many parts in the bathroom got rusty after 2 weeks.
        Sometimes there was no water because cars broke the pipes under the street.
        Tianjin has a small harbor city maybe 40km away. When I went to that city I saw 50 new 30 floor apartment buildings only on my way, there might be 500 … all new trash.
        Later there was this huge explosion, same kind of what happened in Lebanon this year.
        The best was a bus ride in that harbor city. The bus driver was fighting every other car on the street, better than in a race, people standing in the middle of the bus were falling on the floor because holding with both hands wasn’t enough. Even older people falling down.
        Crazy stuff is going on in china … producing good chinese planes is wishful thinking. Don’t expect something normal, you can’t imagine what’s going on there.

        • That is where assessment is hard, Russia had junk but its rockets are still very reliable.

          China builds reliable rockets as well.

    • Rob:

      I agree with most of it.

      I disagree that people learn, keeping in mind the system in the US allows a minority candidates to take the election.

      Democracies will continue to stumble along the way they always have.

      Democracy is a successful system in the long term if it survives, China is not stable but how long can they force it to be? Only history will tell us.

    • “China can exercise control over its own markets, but not outside. This means that to the outside world, the Chinese market could become insular and closed off, being supplied by indigenous manufacturing.”

      I think you keep underestimating the Chinese, they are the worlds factory already, including high tech & keep developing markets. .

      • Yes, but only because the Western world has fostered that economic growth in China. To keep that going they will need to have open markets and allow competition. The Western world is not afraid of competition, they rely on it for innovation and growth.

        It’s not a question of underestimating a people or race, the Chinese are as fit as we are to compete. It’s just a consequence of economic reality. China has progressed rapidly by opening up economically while also maintaining authoritarian rule. They have walked a fine line to do so. But that would need to either continue or improve, in order to become even more competitive in the aircraft market.

        • Its not the Chinese people we are competing with, is the Chinese government.

          As for the Western World not afraid ? Hmm, forced to is more like it. Reality is that a lot of the move to China was forced on people.

          I am neither a unlimited capitalist nor a close society advocate. Government should do what they can policy wise to keep industry and jobs.

          When one country has sound environmental policies and another does not, that in fact is a cost to the people and jobs in the regulated country.

          There alwyas should be offset (proportionally) to ensure that we don’t transfer jobs to a non regulated area. While the averages may work out if its your job and living that is lost, it hurts deeply and angers people.

          We are seeing the consequences of those actions and hopefully it sinks in and people do remember and vote accordingly.

    • @Rob

      ‘solutions from the western world’ – what solutions?

      What has been tried so far in the west has, by more or less common consent, failed

      All these measures, as far as I know, have been common to the rest of the world, none invented in the west

      i.e. lockdown/quarantine, t&t, masks, distancing

      Perhaps I am wrong

      If any country in the ‘west’ has been as successful as any in the east it has been by the application of eastern style lockdown, no qualm totalitarian full up China style martial law – one reason why, perhaps, this may work once or twice, but not in the long term – the countries referred to are in the ‘east’

      The only technology I know which is unique, perhaps, to the west, are those Hepa filters the DoD likes so well

      The failure of the ‘west’ is not technological, it is administrative political and social

      But I would like to know what the solutions from the western world are that you refer to, and why they have not yet been adopted

      • Gerrard, much of the science, research, treatments, and even equipment and hardware, for the virus have come out of the West, and can be exported. Eventually we will have a vaccine, or multiple vaccines, and the scaling of those for large populations will also come largely from the West, and will be exported. This is not to say that China or Russia won’t also produce their own vaccines.

        The authoritarian rule of countries that have used it effectively to enforce cooperation, cannot be exported to the democratic countries.

        I know you and others here feel that any use of lockdowns or restrictions represents authoritarian rule, but it’s wholly different when the government acts with the voluntary consent of the people. In a democracy, in the absence of that consent, the measures just don’t work because the people ignore them. That does not happen under authoritarian rule because the alternative is incarceration.

        I also know that you dismiss New Zealand, but they did suppress the virus in the context of a democracy, with the consent of the people, who have ringingly endorsed those policies in free elections.

        A huge difference there for anyone who is willing to consider it.

        • @Rob

          ‘Treatments’ invented in the West – what treatments have been invented?

          The ‘science, research and the hardware’ for the virus – do you mean to say that we know this virus is a virus because of western science?

          Which ‘we’ exported? This is a curious notion of science as a commodity

          Well, ok, maybe, but this does not take anyone very far towards ‘treatments’

          The vaccines, if they are invented, will be invented by many in east and west – you appear to think that western vaccine production will be more exported than any other, well let’s wait and see before chalking up that ‘export’

          What are you left with from the west that now can be exported? No technology no science, no ‘measures’ that have or will be exported

          What the west can export is failure – ‘how not to contain a pandemic’

          The lockdown has not worked in the west, partly because of the failure of gvmts or elites to obtain democratic consent – these lockdowns, for the most part, in the west were enacted under various ‘states of emergency’ declared, were not ratified democratically

          They were also at best only semi lockdowns – which managed to destroy normal life and activity but failed to contain let alone eradicate the virus – this is the worst of both worlds

          As for NZ – again emergency Health Act powers used – yes the PM was re elected, but I wonder whether this endorsement will last – as it becomes clearer that local eradiction is either a chimaera or a prison, or both – back to the worst of both worlds

          Similar measures in Aus, Victoria, have been relatively successful, but have resulted in a great deal of anger and resistance, as the lockdowns look set long to continue and to be enforced in a style not in keeping with the country’s traditions, except those pertaining to the origins as a penal colony

          • Gerrard, the West has made many contributions to the worldwide COVID effort.

            The tracking platforms and big-data technologies we use to monitor the virus have largely come from the West, are unprecedented in scope, and are used heavily throughout the world.

            Lower-cost rapid-testing methods have been developed in the West and there are already active programs in place to assist with distribution and training in their use, for smaller countries.

            The list of antiviral treatments that are being evaluated largely come from the West, and their costly testing & approval will be avoided by smaller countries who can use those results. Some are already being distributed for emergency use. Western philanthropic and healthcare organizations are gearing up to distribute those treatments that are found effective, including an eventual vaccine.

            I know you will say there are none approved yet, but a huge effort is ongoing and it takes time to do things well and correctly. The learnings of the West are freely published and available to the world. That has driven our understanding of the virus.

            High-tech healthcare equipment such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators are being distributed around the world, over 1,000 from the US alone. Also lower-tech PPE, although that has been limited for everyone by the worldwide shortage.

            The US spend rate and donations-in-kind for foreign COVID & healthcare assistance is projected at $20B in 2020. That doesn’t include use of the military to provide medical training and humanitarian assistance.

            I don’t have total numbers for the EU, but I’m sure they are right up there. Even though Trump withdrew from the WHO efforts, those efforts have continued with increased funding from the EU, and the US has conducted a parallel effort instead. They may merge again after the election.

            The USAid State Department program has been a leader in distributing healthcare resources around the world, in over 120 countries. Their funding and activity level is well into the billions for FY2020.

            The West is not alone in this, China has committed $2B in assistance, Russia has used the military to make COVID aid deliveries around the world, and both Russia and China have pledged availability of their respective vaccines, when ready.

            I know you will likely dismiss and deny the value of these contributions, but they are significant. They are exportable to the entire world, and they don’t require authoritarian action or forms of government. Voluntary action & cooperation never do.

          • “… the West has made many contributions to the worldwide COVID effort.”
            Which major developed country of the West threatened to withdraw from WTO?
            Which G7 country refused to join global vaccine effort (Covax)?

          • As a New Zealand citizen. We did not enjoy the first lock down, (I am an extrovert) nor the second. But we have got internal infection under very good control. (Mostly zero cases). Churches & sports stadiums now fully open. And the Government was re-elected with a stunning margin. Our economy has taken a hit but exports are now back to normal. Internal air travel back to normal. International will be a while away.
            The only people opposing the suggestions of the Director General of Health were quoting US sites..

          • Pedro, you are right about the US, I was talking about the West in general.

            The US has pursued independent initiatives, so have not stopped giving due to withdrawal. There is a good chance the withdrawals may be reversed after the election, as I mentioned. They were executive actions that did not require approval.

            Harry, thanks for injecting some sanity into this discussion. The NZ lockdowns were not popular but the government showed good leadership by doing the best thing for the country. As a result, they now have both popular support and an open economy.

            On the COVID response, the US has been a bad influence and a bad example. We didn’t have the quality of leadership that you do. But many of us are very hopeful that is about to improve.

        • It’s very hard to achieve democratic consensus / voluntary consent for draconian measures when it’s becoming clear to more and more people that this virus represents nothing more than minor risk to (well) more than 85% of the population…at least in countries that don’t have a severe obesity problem.

          • Bryce, you’ve had the virus and it didn’t kill you. That’s really great, but it may not be true for others who gain exposure from those like you, who are equally not seriously affected.

            It comes down to a balance of responsibility for yourself, and for others. The WHO has said that to ignore the risk to others is not ethical. You keep pointing to complicating factors as if to imply those lives are worth less. They are not. You seek to assign blame for vulnerability. That also is not ethical, the term for it victim-blaming.

            If you can assure that no additional lives will be lost from allowing widespread infection, then your position has ethical merit. In the absence of that, it doesn’t.

            I advocate the safety of air travel because the evidence supports the notion that the risk can be minimized to an extremely low level. Also, those who feel they are at risk have the option to not travel by air. If you can provide the same level of safeguards to the general population, I would support that as well. At present, I don’t see how that could be done, without a vaccine.

          • @Rob
            If your goal is to try to save every single possible life, then you’re living on the wrong planet. In the real world, everything is a tradeoff. Normal flu kills millions of people each year…but we just accept that as part of life, instead of doing lockdowns every flu season. Heart disease kills far more people in the west each year than CoViD has done this year…but you don’t see governments forcing obese people to slim down…or smokers to quit smoking. HIV kills a million people every year…but no governments have introduced bans on sex.
            Time to get real.

          • Except that you don’t have the right to make that determination for others. If they decide voluntarily to pass on, in order that you might enjoy the life you believe you are entitled to, then that would be ethical. But only they can make that choice, it can’t be made for them, within any ethical construct.

            The fallacy of your construct is that it must be a choice of either/or (lifeboat scenario) but that is not true. We can find a balance that protects others while also moving forward and making progress. But that relies on accepting and using the science, as I’ve pointed out.

          • @Rob
            That’s right, I don’t have the right to make that determination. But I don’t have to make that determination, because the virus itself makes it. And public administrators / governments have every right to let that happen. Just like they let it happen for all those other death causes. And just like they send droves of soldiers to war when they deem that necessary.

            And on the subject of choice: why should masses of young people be forced to put their lives on hold so that a much smaller group of people who already have one foot in the grave can try to milk a few extra months out of their existence?

            “Accepting and using the science” also means looking carefully at the infection demographics of this virus. And it means realizing that, in the greater scheme of things, the extra deaths due to this virus are nothing more than a “statistical blip”.

          • Bryce, even knowing you as I do, some of the things you say are beyond belief. Wow.

            Your rational is that we expose everyone to the virus, and then it decides who it kills? And that then relieves you of responsibility for the exposure?

            Why not just kill off all people who have vulnerabilities, since they have one foot in the grave anyway? What right do they have to the remainder of their lives, if that interferes with yours? Lives are not statistical blips to those who lose them.

            I wonder if you would feel the same if your own illness had been life-threatening. Would your death be ok and an unavoidable cost to reduce the inconvenience of your presence for others?

            Or would you maybe want to hang around a while longer, and not have that decision made for you by the behavior of others?

          • @Rob
            Your OCD-driven need to compartimentalize the whole world into neat little boxes is becoming tiring…and it’s impeding your ability to read cogently.
            I’m not “advocating” anything: I’m *observing* what is happening, e.g. in Sweden and NL, and what is being increasingly expressed by an increasing population of people.
            And letting people die is something that happens every day, in every country: never heard of palliative care?

            If you’re unhappy with the situation, write a letter to your Congressman and complain to him. The world isn’t going to change just to help you feel more comfortable.

          • Bryce, you were not observing, you made a specific statement about what you believe should happen. Your meaning was quite clear, and it was not pretty. Deflecting it onto me doesn’t alter that. You don’t have the right to make those decisions for others, and you wouldn’t allow others to make that decision for you. I just pointed the contradiction.

          • @Rob
            And I told you already that I’m not making that decision for others — Governments are. People are also: many of the seniors dying of CoViD in NL are specifically opting to die with dignity in their own beds rather than isolated and alone in a completely pointless IC attempt. The ones that are opting for IC are generally straightjacketed by religious considerations.

            Of course, certain countries in Europe are more sophisticated than the USA in the way they view death — after all, it was here that euthanasia was first made legal. Just this week, NL introduced laws making euthanasia available to children aged 0-12…something that was already available in Belgium. In Europe, a careful distinction is made between “life” and “existence”…and this virus is predominantly killing people in the second category.

            To the average USA mind, all this is an abomination. To the European mind, it’s a completely natural acceptance of the fact that death is an intrinsic part of life.

          • Bryce, here is a different viewpoint. This woman survived with hospital care, even after being denied the ICU. The article asks if the true death rate is even known, if people don’t get the full range of care. Like all countries, NL has an excess death rate that is not fully explained by COVID.

            Lack of facilities should not be a reason to send people home to die. Doctors should be honest with patients about their chances for survival, but ultimately it should be the patient’s family decision, not made by others or expected of them.

            Perhaps as you say, this is a cultural difference, but still the collective should not decide for the individual.


          • @Rob
            The health services here aren’t anywhere near saturation point.
            Only 11% of our hospital beds are currently occupied by CoViD patients, and only 41% of our ICUs.
            Nobody here is denied access to an ICU — though plenty of people are (correctly) advised against it, in addition to plenty of people who opt out voluntarily. So, in that regard, either your Al Jazeera article is inaccurate, or the woman concerned didn’t understand her options…which is quite likely, seeing as most occupants of nursing homes here have some degree of dementia. Moreover, media in Muslim countries generally have great difficulty with European attitudes to death (and a lot of other things), and regularly try to discredit our laws relating to euthanasia (in particular).

            Everyone in NL has broad, automatic access to excellent healthcare at low (or zero) cost…something that can’t be said about a lot of other countries. But that doesn’t mean that doctors will go to any length to extend someone’s existence: projected quality of life and prolongation of suffering pay a major role in ethical decisions here.

            And it will shock you to the core to hear it, but the collective decides for the individual every day…that’s the whole nature of democracy and rule of law. A simple example: if you want to drive on the left in the USA, then you’re out of luck, because the collective has determined that that’s not allowed.

            On another point that you raise: the statistical excess deaths here now stand at about 11,000 since February…comparing to about 6,800 registered CoViD deaths. So there actually is an accurate figure for death rates here. The most up-to-date death rate due to CoViD in NL is about 0.3% for the population as a whole…and at least a factor 10 lower for people under 30.

            If you want to complain about the high level of CoViD deaths in the USA, stop blaming POTUS and start blaming obesity… which is causing a much lower average age of CoViD fatality in the USA than in the rest of the world.

          • Bryce, reporting is that NL are moving ICU patients into Germany, as they have at other times of the crisis as well, due to the lack of ICU beds for COVID patients.

            “The Netherlands has the capacity to treat just 1,150 patients in intensive care units at once. NRW, which borders the Netherlands, has a similar population size, yet sufficient ICU capacity to treat about 6,000 patients.”

            As of this week, the total moved was expected to be 100 to 200. I’m sure that is precautionary to preserve enough open ICU beds in NL for emerging conditions. But it lends credence to the notion that COVID patients may be discouraged for ICU treatment.

          • I am a Dutch living in Singapore. We have cases down to around 10 a week over with a population of over 5.5M. Infection rate 0.027 per 100,000 or effectively NL 2,200 times more infections per day. This is achieved without “draconian” measures. “Test, Trace and Isolate” works (most people forget the “isolate” bit). It is achieved with everyone doing their bit. I am wearing a mask every day and everywhere since 13 April (we are used to it and you figure out which one is comfortable and fits your style) and there are some places still closed like night clubs, but for the rest life feels pretty normal. BTW we have 28 deaths (death rate of 0.03%) since January versus 6k+ in the Netherlands with one third of the Dutch population.

            China was “Draconian” in Wuhan only, the rest of the country it was not. For the record, we had 5 staff in Wuhan at that time as it was Chinese New Year and they were all severely affected. They have now a reasonable normal life. Korea is similar. There is nothing authoritarian or draconian about this. It is “be fast, be decisive”. And Confucius (not communism) has established 2500 years ago that the the welfare of society has priority over the welfare of an individual. This (religious?) priority of society over individual makes people behave fundamentally different than in the West. Xi Jinping has nothing to do with that. You can not see East Asia through Western eyes.
            Het “gezeik” in Europe is killing lots of old people. My parents have been officially told by their doctor that if they get COVID, they are to stay at home and die as treatment is not worthwhile. Unlike what you state, it is not their choice, it is what they are told by a “democratic government”. Is that democracy?

            I know a lot of Europeans here in Singapore and they are all highly embarrassed about the failure to handle this properly in Europe. To be frank, many countries in Africa do a much better job. In when I talk to East Asians (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam etc), they have lost all respect for Europe and US and this is going to be a long term big issue. East Asia and especially China are realising that EU and US are not perfect and the confidence boost they have now will have very big implications in future business and diplomacy.

            As a Dutch I have to say that Holland is an embarrassing disaster with RIVM grossly incompetent. And lets not talk about the King going on holiday in Greece at a time when the ICU in Amsterdam is running out of capacity, how anyone can be so stupid is beyond me.

          • @Rob
            Once again, you need to brush up on your interpretative reading skills.
            The fact that people in a certain category are *discouraged* from going into an ICU does not mean that they are *denied* access to an ICU. People coming off a two-week stint on a ventilator are so weakened that they require months of rehabilitation afterwards…and old/sick people basically have zero chance of surviving that. There are plenty of them who try it, but without success.
            As regards moving patients to Germany: patients are also moved around internally, so as to spread the load on hospitals. Germany has the highest number of IC beds in the EU, and has agreed to take a trickle of IC patients from the busiest hospitals, so that they can continue offering regular healthcare. It also happened back in March/April: about 20 IC patients were moved to Germany.

          • @NdB
            You are completely correct in your criticism of the RIVM.
            It’s also sad that the Europeans weren’t able to achieve what Singapore achieved…but, as said elsewhere, it’s much easier to achieve that type of result in a small, relatively isolated nation than in a sprawling block of 750 million people. Singapore has just one land border — basically two bridges across the Johor Strait — so it can easily regulate what’s coming in and out of its territory. It also has a very authoritarian government (a good thing, in this instance) and a very disciplined population — both of which are essentially absent in overly-left-wing Europe. HOWEVER, Singapore now realizes that it’s facing an existential crisis if it can’t reopen its borders to visitors from abroad…so isolation also has a downside. Don’t forget, also, that Singapore experienced a huge upsurge after its initial success in February/March, due to migrant workers and dorm outbreaks.

            As regards Africa: they essentially don’t have any fruit for this virus to pluck. The vast majority of fatalities from this virus are in people over 70 with multiple underlying conditions…but in Africa, such a population essentially doesn’t exist. In essence, this virus is a “nursing home bug”.

          • @NdB
            For your information: some statistics here from the RIVM.
            The last graph is particularly telling (age distribution of CoViD deaths). Further reading will reveal that at least 75% of those who died also had multiple underlying conditions, and the vast majority were in care homes.

            More interestingly, this graph shows why there are relatively few CoViD deaths in low-income countries:

          • @Rob
            Some more info here on the transfer of IC patients to Germany.
            If you don’t want to translate the Dutch in this link, you can just skip down to where the numbers are: 463 people in Dutch ICs at the moment, out of a total of 1400 IC beds:

            And here’s a link in English that discusses the challenging rehab required post-ICU:

          • Bryce, in reading further on this I found there is a debate in NL about the ethics of care exclusion. I was disturbed by your initial comments because they seemed callous, but it appears you are not alone.

            When NdB says parents were informed by doctors they would be sent home, that appears to be a reference to some doctors calling older patients, to plan final care arrangements in advance, in the light of COVID-19. Although the government denied it was to preserve facilities, some patients felt they were being excluded based on age alone, before illness. That has triggered some publications where doctors argued the ethics of using age as a basis for exclusion, and proposed guidelines.

            Partly that was driven by the period in April when 1,400 ICU beds in NL were occupied. There was concern about bed rationing and how to make those decisions.

            Also I read that some NL patients request foreign ICU beds for fear the culture and environment may result in doctors making final decisions for them, by withholding care.

            However you live there and I do not, so if you say these things are not happening, I will accept it.

            There is still a bit of culture shock. In the US many people have living wills, that make their wishes known, or designate a proxy, in the event they lose the capacity to decide for themselves. That seems like a very clear method, the decision remains with the patient or their family. Most of those wills are meant to prevent meaningless life extension.

          • @Rob
            Most older people in NL also have “life testaments”, and many carry DNR tags. As you correctly point out, doctors pre-explain to older patients what their realistic survival chances are, but nobody is excluded against his/her will.
            As regards some people seeking to be treated abroad: in many cases, that is religiously motivated. For example, many Muslims have a huge problem with one gender being treated by doctors/nurses of another gender…something for which allowance is made in Muslim countries, but not in most other countries. Also, many immigrants want to die and be buried in their homeland, and the current lack of air cargo capacity does not lend itself to flying corpses around.

            The Dutch are number 5 in world rankings when it comes to happiness and quality of life. The USA doesn’t make the top ten.

            I think you’d better spend your time worrying about the ICU situation in California…which has a similar per-capita number of ICUs to NL, but a three-times-bigger obesity problem, and a HUGE number of homeless people. Will the 50.000 homeless people in LA have access to ICUs in BelAir, Beverley Hills and Santa Monica? Or will they just die in their shopping carts under an underpass?

          • Bryce, the critical difference is that I don’t defend those things, I agree they are wrong.

            I didn’t say that homeless people have one foot in the grave, so why should they milk a few more months out of their existence. But that was your defensive statement with regard to the elderly.

            The devaluation of life is at the core of most evils that exist in the world, so it always needs to be answered and tempered with compassion.

        • @Rob

          To your list of the science and technology exports out of the ‘West’ you should add-

          Modern and science based industrial agriculture : largely invented and perfected in the US with help from the Europeans, and exported around the world

          Enquire of the science, or the history of science, to learn how this has produced viruses in greater numbers than ever before, with concurrently poorer health in humans, this on display very notably in the US


        • @Rob

          Regarding NZ, isolation and eradication

          A ‘third wave’ has landed there, as the NZ wanted to import foreign fisherman from Russia and Ukraine, to help them catch fish

          Oops – the problems of isolation and eradication in a synthetic industrial globe are without end

          I think the NZ exports a lot of sheep and animals – will they be required by importers before contract validation to test them, T&T them, certify them and indemnify the importer in case of …..

          As Aus is finding out, no matter what a small economy is dependent on one or two larger economies – lockdown quarantine isolate all you want and find out others will tit for tat


          • Gerrard, NZ has a handful of new cases that prove their strategy is working. As their health minister said, they expect that new arrivals may have the virus, so they test and screen and quarantine as needed, to protect the general population.

            The notion that this is somehow equivalent to the infection rate and consequences in the rest of the world, or that it proves your point about the futility of their endeavors, is beyond ridiculous. They are and will remain, very successful. Under 2,000 total cases in 10 months, with 25 total deaths.

          • @Rob

            Please moderate your language – there is no point in treating a different point of view as ‘beyond ridiculous’

            The point is, and I have said this more than once, is that no matter how small and far away an island your country is, it is intimately and at many levels dependent on human and animal exchanges with the rest of the world – and one which will, at some stage, impose their own preferences

            The notion of an autonomous nation state at this level is a fantasy

            In this wider world there are huge numbers of people contaminated with the virus, so that-: quarantine out and in, constant t&t, reduction of all possible non essential human flows – none of these will, in the end, prevent the bug from finding it’s way back in

            Isolation may be possible for a short while, not for a long while – by taking such a short term attitude they have condemned themselves to all the inherent difficulties of realising they have gotten it wrong – something a ruling élite is loath to do until obliged

            As for your lists of western export achievements in science and technology I will add the two most important which you omitted

            World wide viral infections the result of US export of the sciences and techniques of industrial agriculture

            World wide sympathetic disdain for the current devastated state of current US science, technology, administrative systems and management, the result of US failure to contain or control the bug, accompanied by a risible collapse in the practice of political democracy

            All despite the massive production of PR attempts at covering up such failures, such as, with all due respect, you are engaged in

          • Gerrard, my language is both accurate and appropriate. Your premise is that New Zealand has imposed some terrible fate or burden on their population, by protecting them from the infection and death that has plagued the rest of the world.

            That protected population obviously does not agree with you. No rational person would ever conclude that success is actually failure.

            You have your own interest in doing so, dismissal of progress has been a running theme of much of your commentary here. But most of the world wishes they had those conditions. I have never heard or read anyone assert your position, except for you.

          • @Rob

            You address, as always, the short term, symptoms and results – you gloss the general failure even to outline a coherent policy, in the west, and preach imminent happy endings as sentimentally as any Disney cartoon – there is a world far away where happiness etc etc

            You should look harder at what this virus is and this involves looking at it’s means of production – something you fail to discuss

            NZ has had temporary respite, only, at the expense of heavy long term cost, both in illness and lives

            Are you incapable of understanding that the virus will infect the rest of the world to the point of a state of saturated equilibrium, whether or not vaccines are discovered and prove as effective, or not, as coronavirus vaccines are ever likely to be ?

            And that this state of recurring infection will last for many years – to wind up the eventual equivalent of a nasty cold

            NZ has two options :

            Isolation – maintenance of a level of quarantine t&t distancing and so forth while reducing contact with the outer world to a very narrow minimum, this over many years

            Opening up – complicated by a lack of exposure to the virus this will become harder to do with every passing month and year – to attain an equivalence with the rest of the world

            When I look at the state of the US, I do not see progress, but a kind of regressive anti modern tribalism smothered in financial adventurism designed only to further weaken the structure and accomplishments of the recent past

            I can understand that from your perspective NZ is all you and your class have got, given your failure and confusion in your own country : to preach such a tiny success story must be galling, but facing up to the reality of your own failure is much worse

          • Gerrard, this is the standard dismissal and denial of the value of action or science or progress. Even in the face of vivid examples, and the views of New Zealanders speaking here, who have confirmed what is obvious: they are better off for their efforts.

            It’s always possible to progress against the virus. The pattern has not been monotonic increase, because measures taken are effective. I have acknowledged the failures of Western nations in terms of consistency and political will. Where that will exists, things improve.

            However you will never acknowledge this because it doesn’t suit your nihilist thesis of tearing down whatever is achieved by others. So this discussion has become pointless. Your view will never be accepted in the wider world, so you are welcome to it, for all the good it will do you.

          • @Rob

            You keep on repeating that science and progress will win in the fight against the virus

            Read this : https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4037

            Your position is the same as those promoters of various never ending wars your country has launched – either real wars, or so called wars – against terror against drugs – here’s another, bingo!

            You are a kind of virus denier – you deny the method by which the virus is created, – it is China! – you proclaim war, and then immediately announce victory through science, when the problems of infection are just beginning to spread

            This is posturing, is cheerleading, whether you are paid to do so or not

            It is a pointless exercise, doomed to failure, which only benefits the rich in your country and which increases the misery of the poor

            As in your defence the ongoing corruption and hollowing out of Boeing, you are a servant of the ruling class, your concern is to protect their interests

            Must the whole world continue to pay for your privilege? Perhaps no longer

          • Gerrard, I read your article. It questions whether the vaccine clinical trial protocols are adequate to establish efficacy, especially for underrepresented groups such as the elderly, who are most vulnerable. And with regard to the degree of prevention of death and/or severity of disease.

            Those points are well taken. Even after clinical trials, we still won’t know the true efficacy until experience with the general population.

            Notably, though, the thrust of the article is not to halt the vaccine development or trials as ineffective, rather to improve them so the results are more meaningful and representative. That is a critically important point, how can we do better, not how futile are those efforts. This is where your view departs from the commonality of the community.

            Even with imperfections in the trials, the primary benefit of the vaccine will be fewer infections, therefore less exposure, therefore fewer infections, and so on. The benefit compounds with time, consistent with epidemiology and herd immunity.

            Even if the efficacy is not as great in the elderly, they will still have less exposure from a less infected population. So there is still a benefit to them, if indirect.

            As far as whether the vaccine will lessen severity or death for those who contract the virus after vaccination, we don’t know. My view is that is secondary to the primary benefit of fewer infections. For the flu vaccine, the trend is that both benefits exist. But we won’t know until the vaccine is widely deployed.

            For now, the main purposes of the trials are to establish that the vaccine has a benefit, and is not harmful to the general population. There will always be adverse reactions in some people, but the incidence must be pretty low, to be viable.

            And that determination cannot be rushed, even under political pressure for results. Just as hopes are raised by the science, they must be tempered by the science as well. The article notes that the developers have pledged to be open with trial results and not seek vaccine approval without consensus.

          • @Rob

            No one, no authority no Health Org nor Gvmt is going to stop vaccine research, even if this does look – objectively and scientifically speaking – un promising : besides Pharma have the prospect of making very many billions, while getting funded to invent/research by gvmts

            Coronaviruses have not in the past been considered treatable by vaccine : I understand that the ‘science’ is clear about this

            But – the same experts and authorities as above recommended lockdown and quarantine : yet they were unable, in the West, to properly organise or administer this, with the resulting mass panick and confusion you are aware of

            So- Early on they latched on to the idea of a vaccine as plan B, ‘just hold on until… ‘ : no one then knew if one was feasible, and no one will know for quite a time, 18/24 months minimum to find out whether one will be effective to need

            So these first vaccines, even if only very slightly effective, will be jumped upon by one and all – by these authorities who will need this at the very least to survive in place without having the face the anger of the crowd, and by the panicked populations desperate for an end to the current chaos and state of permanent fear

            Once again this pretense is not the skilled operation and application of any science – this is grasping at a poor solution to a self inflicted problem, spurred by political and administrative failure, with the silver lining, as always, of profiting from the manufactured chaos

            To resume – first create a virus, by the development and deployment of ind ag in to create the ideal conditions for such, and to weaken if not destroy the good health of the intended victims ; ignore the significance of the first emergences of these bugs, to the extent of failing to reform the conditions of production ; and then, when one gets out of hand, plan out how to profit from any scientific or technical products that can be manufactured to palliate panick, as well as easily to increase/upgrade general surveillance

            This is the science you defend – which you hold to be victorious in one tiny and far off country (Bush2 on the aircraft carrier) – to the cost of ignoring & disregarding true science-

            This true science would be conscious of, and have measured, the dangers of industrial agriculture, have calculated the root causes and diagnosed the necessary corrections.

            So that when such dangers were threatening to overwhelm, this true science would have been able to provide the necessary correctives and modifications to reduce the virulence of the industry, over time of course

          • Gerrard, as I said there can’t be a conversation if the continued response is denial of any and all arguments and evidence.

            I mentioned in an earlier post that the normal progression of science is to raise questions about ongoing work, and try to answer them. That is how scientific consensus is achieved.

            However there are some that latch onto one side of the normal give and take, that serves their purpose, and utilize those statements for their own agenda. This is the politicization of science.

            You and Byrce are the poster children for that practice. You aren’t interested in a truthful resolution as scientists are, you’re interested in disrupting or influencing the public perception of the science.

            The investment in these vaccines is far too large to be stopped by those kinds of actions. Vaccines will be developed, will be deployed, and will be effective to some degree, and that will be a benefit. Those like you and Bryce who don’t want to accept this, can opt not to take the vaccine. It’s as simple as that.

          • @Rob

            You appear to treat science as if it existed in an elevated realm outside of society, outside of politics, a purity above any judgement, a latter day sanctity : however any discussion touching on life in the real world is political and such discussion is the privilege/obligation of the citizen, which he surrenders at his own expense

            The opinions among the scientific community, epidemiologists, all point to ind ag as the root cause of such virus production – you fail to address this

            The scientific community, outside of those unduly influenced by politics or by the profit motive, state that corona viruses are not liable to be treated with vaccines – you fail to address this

            The scientific community are very hesitant as to the possible effectiveness of the vaccines under trial at this moment- your ditto failure

            The public in your country, in any case, so distrusts your public health authorities and ruling class, and indeed perhaps your ‘science’ as well, that a majority say they will not take a vaccine – you wish to ignore this consideration –

            However this alone should be enough to make you understand that the ‘science’ may (or may not) develop an effective vaccine, but if the majority are so disabused as to refuse it, the ‘science’ has in practice proved itself ineffectual, perhaps the ‘science’ fails to convince, perhaps the scientists or your public health authorities fail to convince, perhaps the people recognise the practice of your ‘science’ as a rip off

            I do not think you will find that I deny that vaccines are being developed and will be deployed and possibly improved : in fact I state that this is the case – but that within the scientific community optimism as to the speed of deployment and effectiveness is considerably less than you wish to proclaim

            And I rather than you am in denial of the facts/evidence ?

            Do you propose a similar condemnation of the majority in your country who say they will not take the vaccine, as if their opinions are not to be counted : who do you think will be able to order them to ‘follow the science or else’ as you do with such facility to those who disagree with you at Leeham ?

            I have no interest in influencing the views of this majority, I am however interested to counter your pseudo sentimental appeals to a (supposed) authority you pretend to elevate above the realms of politics and the concerns of the people, what you call a disinterested ‘science’, which should be followed without question

            It turns out that that part of the ‘science’ you appeal to is as corrupt and as fakedup as the engineering of that company you so faithfully if somewhat arduously defend – many here thought you so craven in your defence that the only explanation was that you were paid to parrot – it would be foolish of you to make the same mistake twice

          • Gerrard, no mistake here in identifying your thesis or what you represent.

            I’m fine with readers here drawing their own conclusions, that’s why I try to present the objective facts, to make that possible.

            The group that thinks me “craven” is the same that don’t like those facts, because facts upset their agendas. So that is no surprise, and has never been a concern of mine.

            They are welcome to present their own facts that support their own views, as are you. But I find they chiefly engage in denial of the facts, rather than presentation.

          • @Rob

            It is unlike you to concede, but I notice there’s a Boeing thread opening up here so that your attention is required elsewhere

            As with Boeing this virus issue is not going to go away, it’ll get worse, the stakes higher, so there’ll be many occasions for discussion

            – meanwhile, please read up about ind ag and epidemiology : you’ll learn that root and branch is the only solution that is ever acknowledged, with PPP stand in as per interim and emergency only

          • @Rob

            PS – By the way when I said that many on the posting thought you were craven in your defence of Boeing I did not include myself

            I do not think you are bought or employed – but I think you are one of those who always tries to be in compliance : part of being in compliance is to explain defend, proselytise and preach

            Compliance is a non negligible part of any industrial system – and provides an essential base line of function : with the disadvantage that these certain assumptions are, sometimes, taken for granted or misunderstood ; consequently easy to ridicule

            By definition compliance is not formatted for situations where the system fails to the extent it did in the case of Boeing or in the case of the US and the ‘west’ per this bug : and those systems practicing such compliance are unable, very usually, to admit error and to correct

    • “As was seen in those cases, competition in the free world led to continually improving products.”

      It’s almost comical to read this. Remind me who is so fearful of competition that they have to try so hard to squeeze the little guy C-series out from a market that is rightly judged that they don’t even compete in.

      Action speaks louder than words. So true.

      • The comment was made in the context of innovation within a closed society vs open. Bombardier did compete with Boeing and Airbus, did innovate, and did offer an improved product, all within an open society. The A220 is not a Chinese or Russian product. And the Airbus interest in it is based on the competitive market potential it has, especially for larger versions.

        Boeing perceived a threat to the MAX-7 market based on the low initial offering cost of the C-Series. That was the basis of their claim, the cost, as well as the perceived benefit of government support of Bombardier.

        Their claim was rejected due to little or no overlap in the market at that time. Yet today, we see many here predicting stretches of the A220 that will compete with the MAX=7, especially in light of the downsizing of the market to smaller aircraft.

        Boeing’s failure to work with Bombardier, rather than working against them, was a major strategic blunder. Even with the rejection of Boeing’s claim, Bombardier was in trouble and the government support was not sufficient to alter that. Boeing could have stepped in as Airbus did, they had the same opportunity.

        However Boeing’s basic understanding of the C-series as potential competition was correct, and we will likely see the manifestation of that in the near future.

        • “”Boeing’s basic understanding of the C-series as potential competition””

          How can the Good CSeries be in competition with the Bad Faked MAX which is 96% self-certified under monkey pressure.
          There can’t be competition between a real plane and a faked one.

          • Leon:

            Despite world wide scruitny, the MAX acualy fatal flaw was one program in the whole aircraft.

            Other areas were idenfied that wee not compliant (and correcly they had to fix) – but 99.999% of what went into the MAX was solid.

            Its not an A220 for sure, but then only an all new one could be and it would have your same issue (sans the fatal MAX crashes)

            That said, Boeing identifying the C series as a competitor, yea, we all did that. I guess that means all of us should be on the board! (personally I want to be CEO)

            Failure to do something about it like so much other Boeing management debacles is the problem.

          • “”Despite world wide scruitny, the MAX acualy fatal flaw was one program in the whole aircraft.””


            one program for now, the rest of the 96% self-certification we don’t know yet.
            I think Ewbank was it who mentioned that “landing with spoilers only” was introduced with the MAX, it’s in the manual. Boeing must have recognized that elevators could not be used.
            What we know is that Boeing did a reckless job. They never did QC too, that’s why so many 787 need to be checked. Thank God there was a whistleblower otherwise a 787 could have crashed already. Imagine this how close another crash was.

          • Leon, you are speculating again. We’ve discussed before that Boeing self-reported the problems, as documented in FAA statements. One news outlet reported a whistleblower. If that is true, we should know when the results of their investigation are released.

            Boeing grounded 8 aircraft for compromised load strength. Nothing crashed or was about to crash. The FAA was/is not concerned about immediate flight safety issues, otherwise they would have issued their own grounding order.

  6. Ryanair is still on. The 737MAX saga and Airbus refusal to discount/ build a 200 seater did probably strengthen it.


    As Bjorn says, the Chinese government deciding spending a few billion to have Ryanair refleet with C919 as a good long term investment, is not un-imageable. They couldn’t care less about pushy stock holders.

    • Ryanair don’t specifically need a 200-seater: they need a seat number that is an integral multiple of 50, for maximal efficiency in cabin crew staffing.
      The A321neo has a nominal 244 seats, which is probably close enough to 250 for O’Leary. Plenty of discounts going at the moment also. And seeing as O’Leary’s competitors (Easyjet, Wizz) operate A321s, it would allow him to compete better. So, with any bit of luck, we’ll all be surprised one of these days: Santa will come early, Ryanair will ditch the MAX and announce an order for A321 neos instead 😉

      Apart from that attractive possibility: I’d prefer to take my chances flying in a COMAC than in a MAX.

      • I can’t imagine that. Boeing owes Ryanair probably still a lot of money for the grounding of the MAX. As Boeing doesn’t want to shell out cash, they will dump more MAXes on Ryanair for cost or probably below. Even more so, to prevent Airbus get into Ryanair.

        • Bryce:

          Sans MCAS 1.0, 737 has a very good record equal to Airbus (the crashes each have had prior were a coin flip though I tend to Airbus as far as controls philosophy)

          I sure would not take a C919 over any 737, including the originals!

          Reality is its not certified nor has a path so its not flying in a Western country and very few other countries (internal Cuba and Zimbabwe)

          • “”Reality is its not certified nor has a path””

            What went wrong? I read wiki but couldn’t find it, maybe china deleted it.

          • There have been a series of problems found in test flights, each one preventing further certification testing until they are fixed. The result being that it still has only about a quarter of the needed certification flight hours and testing.

            1. Cracking of the horizontal stabilizer assembly due to aerodynamic loads.

            2. Cracking of an engine-mounted gearbox due to vibrational issues.

            3. Insufficient load strength in the engine mountings, due to design/math errors in the data sent to the engine manufacturers.

            Also there is some hostility between COMAC and the regulators over past disputes, which hasn’t helped their cause.

            The Chinese sometimes struggle with Western safety standards. When I was a grad student, a Chinese Ph.D. researcher was using a hot oil bath for an experiment. Rather than purchase the expensive but approved silicon-based oil that has no volatility at high temperatures, he saved the drained motor oil from his car and used that instead. Heating about 10 gallons of it to 400 F. The building had to be evacuated and hazmat called in. He was really angry and didn’t understand what the fuss was about.

          • As I understand it, its not that they found flight test problems (that many is unusual of course)

            Its that the supporting documentation was not there.

            They could not prove (and were not) following the process and no outside authority can follow it unless they do, ergo, you can’t certify.

            You also cannot trust anything that occurs.

            Ergo, a complete bust.

            Speculative but they were winging it (pun intended) as they had a higher authority to answer to (the Chinese govt)

            That of course is a double hit, could you trust them to follow future process and that information to be valid?

            The FAA gave up, I believe EASA took a look at it and have not heard anything on that end in a 1.5 years roughly.

            The overall concept is your data is good and you can hone in on areas of concern either from the data or a review of the data in focused areas.

            If the data is fudged, missing, pencil whipped, then the whole is corrupt and you can’t proceed.

            You can contrast that with the A380 wing break failure.

            Yes it broke a bit sooner than it should have, but it broke where the data said it would and they could beef up that area and the rest of the data was valid.

          • “”If the data is fudged, missing, pencil whipped, then the whole is corrupt and you can’t proceed.””

            Thanks TW,

            so the ARJ21 won’t fly in Europe and US too, right.

            Why are we even talking about chinese planes?

          • Because there is no speculation unless you ignore reality!

            Bjron has focused on the China market, others spin that to the rest of the world.

            Essentially, unless it is World allowed certifications an aircraft that is not built to a recognized cross agreed certification (US, EU, Japan, Brazil, Canada) can’t fly into those countries that require it.

            It can fly inside a country that does not mandate that or ignores it and it can fly between two countries that don’t have that in law.

            Very limited. a C919 could not fly to Taiwan so it would be limited to internal China (no idea on Burma)

      • “”Plenty of discounts going at the moment also. Ryanair will ditch the MAX and announce an order for A321 neos instead””

        If I have orders of work for a decade, I don’t need every new order and especially not at discounts. Why should covid cause discounts.
        There are some airlines I wouldn’t do business with. Ryan could buy used A321 and I wouldn’t sell repair parts to them.

        • If your factories are operating at a significantly reduced rate, then you can certainly take new orders. And if the cost of a discount is lower than the cost of stalling facilities and/or laying off personnel, then you can certainly offer a discount.

  7. In short time it should benefit Airbus. With US government hell bent on economic war I doubt Chinese airlines would order Boeing. And their growing market still needs new aircraft before home-grown models can take over.

  8. nit pick – 4th production stealth fighter…. F-117, F-22 (and YF-23), F-35 (and XF-32) all came before the first chinese stealth fighter

    • F117 was not a fighter and the US has another stealth bomber

      • Of course its a fighter, just ask the USAF!

        We acualy have two stealth bombers now (one still in build)

        Well maybe 3, the F-35 is not much of a fighter either (but it is very stealthy so it theoretically just needs to carry the arrows)

        The F-22 is a so called 5th generation fighter (and a true fighter)

        F-117 is a good catch as its a 4th (an odd one but 4th).

        The J-20 seems to be more an F-111 type with self defense capability.

  9. “The Chinese airline passenger market became the world’s largest as it passed the US market in April this year.” But isn’t this just an anomaly due to Covid? Also, the C919 and the AR21 are less efficient than the MAX and A320 NEO series and the A220 series respectively in comparison. But I would concur with the general premise that Covid has slowed down the West; and Government investment does help the industry. But the WTO can look at this industry in China, just like it looks at Boeing and Airbus and their relations with the US and the European Union. Also, as an aside, it would be a bigger concern if that AR21 wing was carbon fiber…

    • I don’t know but the question is one I have as well.

      How many aircraft does the US or the EU have vs China?

      There is some apples to oranges there due to High Speed Trains.

      But China does not have much in regional.

    • “”Also, the C919 and the AR21 are less efficient””


      did you see a payload-range figure of the ARJ21?

      • Awhile back I saw the comparisons between these planes and the general consensus implied that the Chinese planes did not go far enough with the latest technology as did the NEOs, Max and A100…

  10. Do not forget the SSJ100 experience in all of this. It is a very modern plane, however how is the repair portion of this plane while in service.
    How many people speak and read aerospace Russian, that are not in Russia?
    China is going to have the same problem as it tries to leave its domestic sphere with their aircraft. Why are there no Chinese cars outside of China? You will need to know how the service them if they break down.
    When you have the government dictating what to do, what happens when someone says that they do not understand what you are explaining, when not in China, let alone in a different language?
    Japanese speaker here and pictographs are tough.

    • One of my poster child’s for what happens.

      And the Super Jet is certified!

      China in two tries has failed.

      And we don’t know how well the J-10 works until its been in combat.

      And its engines are still no where near as good as the Russian engines that they still can’t match.

    • “Why are there no Chinese cars outside of China”
      I see their exports of chinese made cars are around 70k-100k per month. One of my neighbours has one, ( Chinese made but MG badge) although they are more common as light commercial vans and such.

    • @JB

      There are a lot of Chinese trucks all over Africa

  11. Well, obviously further complicates life, and scary is that the panicdemic shows emotionalism is ruling – even Bjorn has fallen for that in the climate scam.

    Deep pockets and safe agility should help. For example, an airline has trialed sightseeing flights, though I’d prefer a high-wing turboprop.

    In other realms, some hotels in Victoria BC are contemplating offering RV parking in their lots, with access to hotel amenities. RVers are flocking to southwest BC, especially as Marxism-based xenophobe politicians forbid going south, and of course climate is not frozen as it is everywhere to the east and north. Smart. (RV parks are full, whereas many have space in winter as full-timers go south.

    PS: The xenophobes are Canadian, US reciprocates but is much more open to relaxing restrictions. Some of the rants against furriners are scary because the bleeps get a vote, vandalism of vehicles has occurred.

    “The Chinese system handles the crisis magnitudes better than the free world.”
    “With new self-confidence from mastering the world’s largest crisis since the Second World War better than any other nation…”
    “It didn’t take a long time for, …, or learn how to handle the pandemic better than anyone else.”
    “Will the focus, …, that managed the pandemic better than the free world accelerate the Chinese airline industry much faster than we all forecast?”

    Serious questions:
    Is Taiwan part of the (free) world? Is Japan part of the (free) world?

    This article is very much in line with CCP talking points.
    If China had handled the crisis well, there wouldn’t be a worldwide crisis.

    • What Julian said above. ^^^ A bit surprising from Bjorn as he is normally very grounded and immune to speculation. Perhaps a reaction to the Chinese domestic recovery while the West still flounders around.

      As TW says, democracies are messy when there is not broad consensus or agreement, and right now we are struggling with a ton of mis/dis information. Much of that may be planted by foreign interests who want to see the West in turmoil. China may be among those actors.

      Showtime had a series “The Comey Rule” which depicts a conversation between Russian agents about how to use social media, and their amazement at the impact a single false statement could have. It was like igniting a forest fire, eventually someone comes along to put it out, but the damage is done and lasts for years.

      And the damage is also used by Western actors who see it as an advantage, despite the lack of factual basis. In fact those actors can become the primary spreaders, through talk radio and cable TV, as well as social media. Or even through the White House, which is amazing in itself.

      That is permissible in a democracy, but not permitted under authoritarian rule. In that sense, it’s a weakness in democracies that can be exploited. Just as the West has endeavored to get the truth into closed societies, those societies have realized they can use the same methods to get mistruth into the West. Only it’s far easier since some elements of the West will cooperate.

      This is a new threat to democracy, so eventually we will have to learn to deal with it effectively, as we have all the others. Best defense is truthfulness and education.

      With China, we can see their ultimate and true goals in Hong Kong, and with respect to the military buildup around Taiwan. The only threat either poses to China is a free society. So that behavior will remain a limiting factor in their market share, as it should be.

      • Rob:

        Ref: Pogo:

        “Much of that may be planted by foreign interests who want to see the West in turmoil. China may be among those actors.”

        We have met the enemy and it is US!

        As others have commented, if you want to see us sink just sit back and we will do ourselves in.

        Sadly if its of any magnitude it falls in fertile ground.

  13. Third stealth fighter, or fourth stealth fighter? Which is it?

  14. The third stealth fighter (J-20) which is meant to answer the F-22 , and also the fourth (J-31 or 35), which is meant to answer the F-35.

    Neither has the stealth or capabilities of their rivals. But they are 5th-gen fighters that are designed around stealth. Both produced in low numbers at present.

    The F-117 was a stealthy strike-only aircraft, so not a full fighter, as mentioned above.

    • Not easy assessing China with all the copies and mods they have done off Soviet aircraft.

      The J-20 is more analogous at least to 4th Gen and stealth put on top. China never had the Gens that the Soviet/Russian History and the West.

      The J-20 also far less a fighter than a long range attack (ship missile carrier or after AWACs and refuelers) – call it a stealthy F-111 with an air attack mission as well.

      It all is irrelevant unless you know how it stacks up and we can hope that does not occur.

    • Not everything the Chinese do is an answer, reaction to us. Let’s not put ourselves on thrones. The Chinese have their own policies and strategies and internal goals. Keeping the their 1.5B inhabitants happy and healthy, getting resources, and maybe some ideological ones, developing 3rd world countries, not always with evil double agendas..

      • Keesje, the Chinese are on record that the J-20 was a response to the F-22, that it was held up as a rival, and the design was meant to counter it.

        According to their chief designer Yang Wei, it was a shift for China to emulate the US design rather than the Russian designs they had copied in the past. Also the J-31 is a response to the F-35, again according to Chinese officials and commentators. Although the bones of the F-31 are more of Russian origin.

        Has nothing to do with thrones, just simple fact. Also it’s not evil, they’re just developing their national defense, as nations in the West also do.

        • Rob:

          Seizing the South China sea is not an act of an out of control aggression?

          I know politics are not part of this but with other acts on going that China is engaged in, at best its aggressive expansionism (and other aspects) that China used to accuse the running dog capitalists were so (rightly) beaten over the head over.

          Reality is that they are already using that military power to expand into areas that they would and could not sans the power.

          • TW, we agree, I was only pointing out that China has a right to national defense, same as we do.

            How they use those resources is a different story. The Pacific basin nations are very worried about their conduct, for good reason.

            The developing Chinese defensive strategy is long distance stand-off, using the vast distances of the Pacific to their advantage, as Japan also did in WW II. That means they will need to control land masses in their defensive circle, as Japan did as well. Especially if they contain or support US assets. So that is a very real concern if hostilities break out.

            The US and allied nation counter-strategy will be to not let the stand-off circle form, remaining close-in like a boxer. Thus we have freedom of navigation and overflight patrols, and assets scattered across multiple locations within the circle. The lesson from WW II is remembered well, very difficult to win back vast ocean spans.

            Also why China is so unhappy with those activities, they remove much of their strategic advantage. Still, the US wants to develop longer range platforms, to be able to engage from outside the circle if needed.

  15. Quality is indeed a challenge. Remember who (correctly) first grounded the Boeing 737 because of severe quality problems.. And who was last, after begging the president to pardon them. And the role authorities and politics (congress) played over a decade in getting there. Sobering.

    • The Chinese grounded the MAX before the MCAS issues were known, it was a safeguarding action based on two consecutive accidents. Other countries then followed, but at least some would have acted on their own anyway.

      The US rightly delayed because they understood the role of the pilots in the first accident. When the sequence was found to be the same, the US acted as was proper. Accidents cannot be allowed to occur for repetitive reasons, whatever the causes. The head of JATR (former NTSB) commended the US on making that determination before acting.

      The RTS required AD & FSB actions have reinforced what we knew almost from the beginning. MCAS malfunctioned and put the aircraft in jeopardy, pilots then did not respond in accordance with their training. The accidents required both events, neither alone was sufficient to cause an accident.

      So the flaws in MCAS have been addressed, and also pilots will need to demonstrate proficiency in recovery skills from stabilizer malfunctions, before flying again. The focus has been on addressing all causes, as is proper.

      • “” MCAS malfunctioned and put the aircraft in jeopardy, pilots then did not respond in accordance with their training.””


        MCAS did NOT malfunctioned. MCAS was working as it was designed.
        Pilots were trained an hour on a tablet.
        Boeing forgot to install some systems and FAA certified it, or lets say certification was gained under threatening to cut necks.
        Even Sullenberger and many others crashed.


        • Leon, I quoted the actions required for RTS, as the remediating actions are the best indicator of what the true accident causes were.

          MCAS had flaws including the lack of safeguards for false AoA input, which along with others, have now been addressed. Those were design errors but their manifestation was an unexpected activation with resultant malfunction, in a regime of flight never intended by Boeing.

          The mandatory pilot training specifically requires demonstration of proficiency with runaway stabilizer and manual trim. Further, that training can be accomplished in a 737 NG simulator, as it is not specific to the MAX. This is a direct response to the accident events.

          Pilots must complete a sequence with AoA failure on takeoff and approach, with missed approach and go-around. This is a direct response to the accident events, and requires a MAX simulator.

          Pilots must also complete a windup turn sequence which will initiate a legitimate MCAS activation cycle, progressing into a stall, followed by recovery. This sequence did not occur in the accidents but will familiarize pilots with MCAS behavior.

          Pilots must also complete a sequence with trim alarm and MCAS deactivation, progressing through to landing so as to demonstrate the full alarm and reset behavior. This sequence did not occur in the accidents but will familiarize pilots with flight following MCAS deactivation.

          I realize you are unhappy with these results, but this is what has been determined by the regulators, with good reason.

          • @Rob: Did the Corporate engage in a massive PR exercise after Oct 29, 2018 trying to lay the blame on those Indonesian pilots implicating they are not as well trained as those in U.S. or not?

          • Pedro, I don’t believe Boeing made an intentional effort to smear the pilots. I think they had convinced themselves throughout the design & initial accident response, that their expectations of pilot performance were absolutely valid. They hung onto that until the random pilot testing finally laid it to rest.

            As Dickson has said in Congressional testimony, after JT610, the FAA looked at the previous day’s flight JT043, which landed successfully with the same sequence, and concluded that recovery was possible.

            So they knew MCAS was a contributing factor, but also believed pilot actions were involved. That was reinforced by the FDR, which showed clearly that the crew did not follow the expected procedures.

            That was also the basis for the NOTAM and eventual AD, together with the order for Boeing to fix MCAS within 6 months. The FAA believed these actions would be sufficient to prevent another similar accident.

            Then with ET302, the crew made an entirely different set of departures from procedures, which neither Boeing nor the FAA foresaw. Once it was confirmed that the same sequence had occurred, there was no choice but to ground until the issues were fully understood and resolved.

            I suspect in hindsight, the FAA wishes it had considered crew problems in both JT043 and JT610, as indicating that some crews still might not deal with the MCAS problem correctly, even with the NOTAM and AD. Certainly that was borne out by the random pilot testing that followed the grounding.

            I do think Boeing clung too much and too long to pilot error. Even though it had validity, it minimized the contribution of MCAS. After ET302, it couldn’t be minimized any longer, but still they hung on until a month later. And for pilot training, 9 months later.

            That was clueless and tone-deaf, and led to the public perception of dishonesty. That behavior seems to have ended with Mullenberg’s departure. Since then they’ve been more transparent and have announced other problems openly.

            The thing we’ve witnessed all around, is the tendency to focus on one aspect or the other, rather than seeing the accidents as systemic failures due to interaction of related factors. It serves no one to claim it was all Boeing’s fault, or all the pilot’s fault. Either view creates future risk. I’m glad the FAA did not take sides and went after all the causes.

        • Lest we forget the Corporate engaged in a massive PR exercise after Oct 29, 2018 trying to lay the blame on those Indonesian pilots implicating they are not as well trained as those in U.S.

          From WaPo:
          ‘Boeing’s response to the public uproar over the 737 Max follows a historical pattern for the company, according to interviews with 11 former employees, government officials and aviation safety experts, all of whom worked on crash investigations involving Boeing. For decades, the aerospace giant has tried to carefully shape public perceptions around the causes of plane crashes — both to limit its legal liability and to maintain the confidence of customers, employees and investors in the integrity of its planes, those interviewed said.

          The company has earned a reputation in the aviation community for withholding information, favoring theories of pilot errors over product flaws and being slow to make engineering changes to planes that could prevent future crashes, said Jim Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that oversees investigations into all crashes that occur in the United States.

          “In my opinion, they are just not transparent with factual information,” Hall said.’


          • “”The company has earned a reputation in the aviation community for withholding information, favoring theories of pilot errors over product flaws and being slow to make engineering changes to planes that could prevent future crashes””

            Thanks Pedro,

            it’s the first time I read this and I couldn’t agree more.
            For sure Boeing is withholding lots of information, not only to accidents, but to the capabilities of their planes too. Boeing even provides wrong information of these super capabilities of their planes to fool the public. They even put Trolls into the media.

            Maybe that’s the reason why there are no new planes, because Boeing is not competitive even with all their cheating. And now with their lost self-certification business Boeing is even less competitive.

            And to be on topic, China is doing the same. I tried to find a payload-range figure of the ARJ21 which is in service for 4 years and couldn’t find it. Of course the ARJ21 is not competitive, but the question is how much.

          • Ultimately the regulators and investigators evaluate the truth surrounding the accidents. That is what’s represented in the AD and the FSB results, the truth.

            The press had a field day with the many negative opinions about Boeing, and claims regarding their intentional nefarious acts. The referenced article is one of thousands where people speculated and expressed their views, largely without factual basis at the time.

            However none of those opinions or claims are represented in the factual results. Instead, we see the adherence to the basic facts as we first knew them, which have stood the test of time while all the rest have fallen by the wayside.

            Those facts are that poor maintenance, serious Boeing design errors, and pilot departure from training, all played a role in the accidents. And all of those things have been addressed in the results, as is expected from a truthful process.

            What remains now, is whether others will accept those results. The regulators have, the airlines have, people who truly understood the issues have. Others may come around in time, and some never will. But the results stand on their own as testament to the truth.

          • “”Ultimately the regulators and investigators evaluate the truth surrounding the accidents. That is what’s represented in the AD and the FSB results, the truth.””

            The AD after JT610 really spoke the truth that FAA accepted the clown’s bulletin who were guided by monkeys and the final result now is that that was all garbage.
            Even old Trump must have recognized that and set Psycho Dickson in power.

          • The MAX had two crashes within 5 months.

            An NG seldom crashed.

            The NG had the same systems sans MCAS 1.0 that the MAX has.

            So yes Boeing already had issues they did not fix and then became fatal with MCAS 1.0.

            Equally Boeing was fully aware of the issues, both AOA and MCAS as well as the status of pilots (and no one has tested Western pilots into that same scene so we do not know if they would have done better, AF447 failed to handle a known issue with a known procedure not to mention 3 experienced pilots)

            All the eyewash in the world does not cover that up.

        • I wonder why Leeham News allow these kind of posts:

          “”MCAS malfunctioned and put the aircraft in jeopardy, pilots then did not respond in accordance with their training.””

          This post can’t be an opinion because it was proven wrong already thousand times. Even Leeham News must know this, but Leeham News still allow these trollings.

          • Leon, you refuse to accept the role of the pilots, and we all accept your refusal, as well as your continued posts about trolls and clowns and monkeys and fake aircraft and other nonsense.

            That role has been proven right, not wrong. The accident reports have pointed to it, and the training requirements have confirmed it. Other pilots have mentioned it as well. There is no doubt or question about its veracity.

            There is debate on the apportion of blame between the various causes. You come down on 100% MCAS/Boeing. I have avoided that issue because it’s complex and subjective. Like FAA and NTSB, I focus on listing the causes and checking that they are all addressed. That is what matters in the end.

          • Spreading the blame is a well known tactic in corporate warfare (internal and external)

            We can’t fix the world pilot issues and saying that is addressed if truly alternative facts.

            And covering up the MCAS issue does not address anything.

            A layer of safety is to have the ODA go back to the way it was. It may not work, but its a layer of safety that puts anything Boeing does into full display and assessment (overriding your experts also has to stop) FAA need to be split up.

            That is not done. Ergo, you can’t say that the prime cause of the MCAS lethality has been addressed.

            So yes, while Leon may not put it well, anyone outside of Boeing management and yourself do not agree its not going to happen again.

            What has come out of this that is positive is that the world is not going to roll over and accept Boeing/FAA certification’s anymore.

            They will be scrutinized.

            And Kudo to Brazil for at least identifying MCAS as a new system despite the eyewash Boeing put out and rqur4ing training on it.

            Rightly no one is going to trust Boeing or the FAA in the future.

          • TW, the facts stand as to what the regulators found and addressed. You’re welcome to your own opinion, as is Leon. But your opinion has no bearing on official findings and actions, which are the official record of the facts.

            As I pointed out, some may never accept the findings, and that’s fine as well. The facts remain either way.

          • @Rob: From the Seattle Times:
            ‘… the APA president, Capt. Daniel Carey, was incensed at what he saw as a deliberate campaign by Boeing supporters to point to pilot error, which is why on Thursday he issued a statement saying that “Boeing needs to stop dodging responsibility and stop blaming dead pilots for its mistakes.”

            Tajer said that laying blame on foreign pilots — “It’s kind of a dog whistle,” he said — could logically lead to the notion that the MAX should be flying only in America, a position that would harm Boeing’s interests in selling the plane globally.’

          • Pedro, I’m sure you could list many articles like this from that time, that were critical of Boeing over this issue, wherein people expressed their opinions. But opinion is not fact.

            The inference of the article is that Boeing paid for (or organized) the analysis claiming pilot actions were the dominant cause, but that claim is not factually established. I’m not aware of any factual evidence that Boeing mounted such a campaign.

            There are many people today who still argue the pilots were entirely to blame. I see this in comments at all the major news outlets, including Seattle Times. Also in the comments for the proposed RTS AD. Those views too, are opinions, and are equally invalid.

            You could claim that all those people are somehow coerced by Boeing to state those opinions. That same thing has been said about me here. But people form their own opinions, and if they feel strongly enough, they speak out. That doesn’t imply a conspiracy or organized campaign.

            The facts as we know them today, are that pilot actions did play a role. The evidence as listed in the accident reports were that pilot actions were a factor. This was evident in the flight data. Also borne out in the pilot testing. And again by the findings of the FAA and FSB. And again in the testimony of the FAA before Congress (multiple times with multiple directors).

            The criticism always focuses in on Boeing’s assertion of pilot role, as being a defense of MCAS, and scapegoating the pilots. As I mentioned, that is an example of the either/or mentality. The analogous opposing view is that Boeing is blameless, and incompetent pilots are being protected. PR vs PC. Neither viewpoint is/was accurate, it’s not a simple case of one or the other.

            The battle over this is caused by assumptions made on both sides, that are not valid Those in turn are driven by strong emotional reactions, which overwhelm the facts.

            The FAA and other investigative bodies are charged with making determinations based on findings of fact. Thus they considered and addressed all causes, including the pilot’s role. To do otherwise would be negligent, and would create future risk.

        • “”believed pilot actions were involved. That was reinforced by the FDR, which showed clearly that the crew did not follow the expected procedures.””

          Boeing’s Troll PR Gong Show

          Boeing did not expect that the crew would act within 4 seconds. Even on the NG 4 seconds are wishful thinking, so how could they come up with it. Boeing used the 4 seconds not to install better systems and speed up EIS. The 3 pilot JT043 crew needed over 220 seconds!!!
          During development Boeing wanted to improve the system not to have multiple cascading false alarms, but cheap Boeing stopped it because of $$$.
          “Designed by clowns who were oversighted by monkeys” – Boeing’s own words.

          • Not Boeing’s words, the private messaging words of an employee, who has since publicly disavowed them as exaggerations.

            The 4 second assumption has been put forth endlessly, in the context of failure to respond in that time would produce a crash. But that was never true, as shown in all 3 flights.

            The critical factor was preventing deflection of the stabilizer beyond an unrecoverable value. That was done initially on all 3 flights. In the first, the crew was reminded to complete the procedure by disabling the stabilizer. In the second, the procedure was not completed. In the third, the procedure was completed with missed steps, then added steps, and other errors which contributed.

            I don’t expect you to ever accept this, but it’s important to be truthful here. This is why returning pilots will need to demonstrate proficiency in recovery from runaway stabilizer. If your assertions were true, that would not be needed.

            My guess is that many of the pilots will regard that training as unnecessarily remedial, in comparison to their skills. But the point is really to ensure uniformity, to be sure every pilot masters these skills, and has a chance to practice them in the simulator.

          • It could have been so easy to give a short advice after JT610 in the bulletin and AD. But at that time Boeing was still hiding and FAA had no clue. They even had months to correct it but didn’t change it. Even with all the knowledge after ET302 Sullenberger and others crashed in the sim.

            “”many of the pilots will regard that training as unnecessarily remedial””

            They won’t train “landing with spoilers only”.
            Not necessary. Same as it ever was.
            That Psycho Dickson even allows “landing with spoilers only”. If I were AA I would invite Dickson to flight test this landing skill to give him the same chance as the captain of the Titanic.

      • To suggest the US (Boeing, FAA, Politics) acted correctly after the first crash and second MAX crashes, shows a deep subjectivity & denial in my opinion. The reason EASA took back responsibility. But no topic of this article.

  16. Bjorn,

    Good article but this passage is off

    “No-one would have forecasted the US, the world’s richest and medical technology-wise most superior nation, to be the worst hit by a new virus, and China, where it spread first, being the least hit.”

    It was pretty obvious that the Chinese with the surveillance state would be able to deal with the virus better than the “land of the free” where the individual is more important than the collective

    A well managed democracy can deal with this as Germany and South Korea show, but authocracies have a distinct advantage in managing pandemics because the individual doesn’t matter as much


    • Yes, the key is cooperation between government policy and people following that policy. The cooperation can be forced by an authoritarian government, but in a democracy the cooperation is voluntary and requires the consent of the governed.

      There are examples of democracies handling it well, but they are in the minority, unfortunately. That can be the result of either poor policy or lack of cooperation, or both (one fosters the other).

      Also even for authoritarian governments, we’ve seen that the cooperation problem is lessened but they can still fail to be effective through poor policy.

      BBC News has a good article on the balance that the UK has tried to strike between science and politics in a democracy (“Did we ever follow the science?”). Especially the conflicts that arise between local and national governments, which have been echoed in the US.

      Another factor is that normal disagreement between researchers, which is recognizable as routine by the scientifically literate, is seized upon by various sides as evidence for their position, and creates doubt in the public mind as to whether the science is meaningful. Rather than viewing it for what it is, the usual process by which scientific consensus is reached.


      • You keep asserting that “science” is the key to tackling the CoViD epidemic; however, it’s actually just a matter of proper planning (and execution), logistics and discipline.


        The fact that certain US (and Brazilian) politicians choose to ignore/mock science doesn’t mean that that happens in Europe; the fact that Europe hasn’t gotten a lid on new infections is predominantly because of sloppy source and contact tracing, and slack enforcement. In many countries in Europe, an obsession with privacy laws has hampered such tracing to a significant degree.
        It seems that we’ve all forgotten that “a stitch in time saves nine”.

        • Bryce, the science must be the basis of the policy and planning, and also that policy (and hence the science) must be accepted by the population. I’ve said this over and over again. In the absence of either of those things, or any combination thereof, the response is less effective.

          • “The absense of evidence is not the evidence of absense”
            Dr David Freedman,whose work the IATA report was based on, criticises the conclusion. As many of us were trying to say,its ridiculous.

          • @Rob

            You say ‘science’ must be the basis of a solution – this is like saying a solution has to be possible in order to work, in other words the phrase is so vague and so banal to be drained of any meaning

            What you may mean to say is what should be taken are those measures which seem to reflect the most judicious understanding of the best applications of what certain scientists interpret as being the nature of the virus in order to counter or contain

            Given the fact that this virus is new and can not, even by scientists, be said to be well understood – it is best to bear in mind that the ‘science’ is not definitive

            By which it may be obvious that scientific understanding or analysis of a virus, even/especially if not definitive, does not dictate nor lead to certain inevitable administrative social or political measures

            (With regard to this bug) The success or failure of a country or even the ‘west’ can be attributed to many factors – the most obvious and important of these are not ignorance of any scientific opinion or description, but an administrative failure to apply and enforce certain disciplines which have, for the most part, been inherited from history

          • Grubbie, I answered this in the other thread but will summarize again for you here.

            The objection of the researchers was to the assumption that non-reporting of infection represented absence of infection. The point was that unless we tested the 1.2B global passengers, or the 214M US passengers, we cannot say they were not infected. All we can say for sure is that a very small number have been tested and confirmed by tracing to a flight.

            However when the sample size is 1.2B or 214M, the odds of a significant infection rate having occurred in that group, but remaining undetected, are very slim. If we assume the 2.5% average rate, that gives us 30M global infections, which is 75% of the known value. Or in the US, 6M which is again 75% of the known value.

            In the US, where the testing rate is approaching 150M, or 40% of the population, it seems plausible that a significant source of infection among a subset of 214M out of 350M, would have been easily found and traced. But that has not happened.

            When the sample size is that large, the absence of evidence does lend credence to the evidence of absence. And the conclusion that the infection rate is low on aircraft, is supported. Not just by this statistical evidence, but by the scientific study we’ve just seen.

            Bryce used the word “recanted”. but that is not what actually happened. It’s understandable that the researchers don’t want to say their work positively proves this claim, since it does not. But the inference is pretty strong. They have not said the conclusion on flight safety is wrong, they’ve said that it cannot be proven with the data they have produced.

        • @Bryce

          Perhaps the europeans, both people and gvmts, did not take this bug as seriously as they should have, even if only the very sick and very old are considerably at risk

          The only country/gvmt that seems actually to have thought about what to do and how, Sweden, has been disowned

          Otherwise a tiny handful of pols and very PR aware experts, many if not most securely embedded in pharma, have done the running, you could call them ambulance chasers

          Also, it’s possible to think that there’s no lid to be put on new infections, not in the long term anyway, and short term lids seem like a version of the worst reality show you can imagine, endless repeats

          • If the infection rate in NL remains of the current order of magnitude (8000 per day official, probable = x 15), then 70% of the entire population will have had CoVid by Christmas. That’s the threshold usually quoted for herd immunity. Even if antibody longevity is relatively short (with emphasis on IF), it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

      • I take exception to the frequent references to “authoritarian”. You need to keep in mind that there are large differences between people and societies and if you all look through them in the same way, you miss the big picture.

        I see a couple of big differences between successful nations and those who have failed miserably:

        1) The balance between individualism and society: Countries which are highly individualistic, the results have in general be disastrous. In the east,China, Vietnam are good examples and this is not just authoritarianism, but their fundamental belief system. The general public in these countries has extremely high expectations of the government on handling of a collective crisis. People will follow the government approach if they believe it is robust and in many cases it is with politics being sideline and domain specialist setting the direction. But that said, Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) have managed well even though they are probably the most democratic of democracies. Their societies are strong. People might have a lot of negative views about Sweden, but if that same approach would have been tried anywhere else it would have been an absolute disaster. Keep in mind Norway still has effectively closed borders.

        2) Communication. A clear transparent message is absolutely critical. Sorry but some of your “authoritarian countries” were much better in that. I have to admit that having control of the media helps, but the message in itself needs to be absolutely clear and consistent. New Zealand is a democracy which did this exceptionally well. Australian States also did this despite the federal government trying to mess this up by playing politics.
        EU and US are a mess in this regards. In Europe, even with the second wave raging, the newspapers have articles about “these are the countries you can still go on holiday to”. What?!? The message should be “how to spend more time with your family and plan for next year holiday”.

        3) Government financial and other support: You need to have this in place otherwise you can not manage this. When you talk about “draconian measures” where everyone was “locked up”, you also need to remember that within days there was a system in place where everyone (that is millions of people) was provided food an essential items so that they could actually ride through the lockdown. If people have no food and no money, they can not isolate. We had 323,000 foreign workers quarantined because of a major outbreak in dormitories. They were isolated in their dormitories (which is the bad bit which was in the news globally), but all of them were paid full salary for 3 months, received free medical care on par with citizens, each one received 50GB data SIM cards so they could stream movies, chat with friends and family (which is the part which was nowhere mentioned) and thus have an incentive to follow rules and isolate. Today, the outbreak (around 45,000 infections, 0 deaths) is effectively extinguished. If they would have would in the Middle East, they would have been fired and left on their own without a job, money and a flight home. Compare with the UK where if you are on a zero hours job, you can not afford to isolate because there is no food to do so.

        • NdB, thanks for this post and the one earlier in the thread. It’s good to get a perspective from someone with ties to countries with different responses and outcomes. I agree with your points, all those things are important.

        • @NdB

          The use of the word ‘authoritarian’ in Anglo-American english and context is – most usually – a code word

          All discussion is saturated with fear of China, sometimes RussiaChina, and concerned to re affirm the triumph of democracy

          In a forlorn attempt to counter the disarray on display in their failure to deal with the virus a resolute propaganda effort (internal as well as external) is underway to blame China – directly or via the Australian proxy- and to demand restitution

          This involves demonisation, vilification, and many accusations of totalitarianism as a kind of ultimate evil

        • @NdB
          “People might have a lot of negative views about Sweden, but if that same approach would have been tried anywhere else it would have been an absolute disaster”.

          The approach in Sweden is effectively also occurring in The Netherlands…with roughly comparable per-capita deaths. I wouldn’t call what is happening here in NL “an absolute disaster”.

          Contrary to the image that you seem to want to project, there are salary protection schemes here in NL, which have prevented mass layoffs during this pandemic. The only things that are closed here at the moment are bars, eat-in restaurants and competition sporting venues (for a trial period of 4 weeks) — everything else is open. Shops & schools are open as normal. Museums and theaters are open, but with restrictions on the numbers of visitors. There are no restrictions on peoples’ movements, and there’s no curfew. In essence, people are just getting on with their lives…just like in Sweden.

          • I think NbD’s point is that the outcome in terms of infection and death rates are wholly different, which is true and valid.

            What’s also different is the weighting & value assigned to the various elements. You most greatly value the economy being open, NbD is valuing most greatly the reduction in illness and death.

            And he is also pointing out the two are not mutually exclusive. If an investment is made in temporary loss of the economy and public practice of precautions, the economy can be subsequently restored. We now have several examples of this in the world.

            If those things are not done, then the economy can be kept open as you advocate, but only at the expense of additional illness and death.

            I commend NbD for speaking courageously and truthfully here. I only wish more people would listen, instead of arguing for views with dubious moral and ethical origins.

          • [The comment has been deleted for violation of Reader Comment rules.

            Bryce, you previously have been warned by email. One more violation and you will be suspended.


          • @Bryce@Rob

            I think it’s best to shift the discussion away from this ill used word ‘science’, as in ‘the science’, or ‘follow the science’ – as there was a pre established paradigm for a situation which is developing uncertain and diffuse

            People who refer to it in this possessive and grandiloquent way use the word as a slogan, or a cudgel, empty of definition and meaning but supposedly weighty, just as they use the word ‘authoritarian’, to beat you into agreement

            These are often/always the same people who will argue that the top priority of the ruling class is to save the lives of all their people – in other words to give themselves carte blanche to do whatever they want under this pretext – any deaths can then be attributed to the victims’ negiglence and disobedience

            This is how things go wrong – the supposedly temporary emergency orders are not only extended ad infinitum, they are applied stupidly, inefficiently, incoherently, yet with a great deal of righteousness, meanwhile the corpses pile ever higher

            These are often shy of discussing their own country, and what they themselves can do, they disregard their own culture of failure, but prefer to criticise the perceived shortcomings of other countries – I have seen this class described as the PTA class

            So this is a kind of extreme secular and imperialist millenarianism –

            They speak of democracy with bombast, yet flee the practice, and condemn those countries, NL and Sweden, perhaps others, which do attempt to practice democracy and are not swept up in the contest for the longest hardest lockdown (NZ, Victoria, Scotland)

            They also speak as if all is already known, the crisis is already definitive, judgement day is here, to date death/infection rates are decisive – when we should be aware this bug is only just getting going

            There was a report recently in the Asia Times about a South Korean epidemiologist who said

            “If there is a vaccine developed in early 2021 and Korea has 50 million doses then we can call this success, but if there is no vaccine and treatment by this time next year, and if Sweden has formed a high level of herd immunity, you can call Sweden a success story.”

            « However, related officials in Seoul say South Korea does not anticipate a national vaccination program until the end of next year »


            (This akin the WHO rep for Asia I think it was who said right at the beginning, in April or May, well NZ may well eradicate the bug, but then what will they do)

            What should be valued above all is open democracy discussion of ways and means of measures to be taken and above all the ways and means of the expression of consent – the people can/must decide the balance between saving lives and saving their way of life

            This is, notably, easier in the city state than in a nation; as far I remember the old Greek philosophers always/only talked about what could be done in the city state – our use of their language should be as sober and as mindful of limits

          • Gerrard, for what it’s worth, I think your message here is dangerous. You argue against the progress that has been made in various parts of the world, as if those outcomes are somehow bad or stupid. Yet those actions protect people and save lives. And they are based on effective use of science.

            You try to de-emphasize scientific approaches and reasoning, and instead blame science for producing the virus, even though that has been thoroughly debunked. It did not result from industrial agriculture, it resulted from a society that still relies on hunting and gathering and trade of wild meat in an open market, under unsanitary conditions.

            You also try to undermine the development of a vaccine and any confidence that could be placed in it. You point to any evidence of vaccine not being effective or having an issue in deployment. You and Bryce both referenced an article about the flu vaccine in South Korea, yet autopsies of the people who died there have not shown it was related to the vaccine.

            So I think it’s time we say openly, that this campaign of yours is equivalent to that of an anti-vaxxer. It’s propaganda that is meant to steer the discussion away from the scientific truth that is known, and the benefits that can be obtained for all people.

            You mask this in terms of criticism of the governments that have handled the crisis poorly. But while that criticism is valid, those events are precisely related to not following the science, to disregard of the facts and the measures that are known to work. They are not somehow inherent or automatic results of those governments, as NZ and other places have shown us clearly.

            So I’m going to ask you nicely, to please stop. Most platforms are increasingly banning or flagging this kind of commentary, because it intentionally spreads misinformation, no matter how much the author believes in it.

            The world today just cannot afford to be distracted from the measures that are known to be effective. Yesterday the director of NIH had to go on TV and refute the falsehoods of his own administration, that had been put forth about Dr. Fauci and protection measures, and say emphatically, the thing that stands between us and control of the virus are basic simple practices that are well known and well understood. Also that those who argue against these things do so at the expense of other people’s lives.

            In Chicago yesterday, the director of public health began to openly sob, and had to step away for a moment, as she begged people there to please follow the guidelines, and please have concern and compassion for those that will die because of their actions.

            So Gerrard, I know you have socialist leanings and don’t like the West or capitalism. If you want to go on criticizing those things, that’s perfectly fine, you have every right. But please stop linking it to the veracity of science or virus control measures or the production of a vaccine. That part of your position is not moral or ethical, when people are dying needlessly.

            Scott, if you want to boot me for saying this, I understand. But it’s important to end the dissemination of views that harm others, even when the harm is indirect and unintentional. I don’t believe Gerrard wishes harm to anyone, that’s why I’ve appealed to him to please stop.

  17. Not everything the Chinese do is an answer, reaction to us. Let’s not put ourselves on thrones. The Chinese have their own policies and strategies and internal goals. Keeping the their 1.5B inhabitants happy and healthy, getting resources, and maybe some ideological ones, developing 3rd world countries, not always with evil double agendas..

    • keesje: its not happy that the Chinese govt is after, its control.

      unfortunately China has gone from being exploited to the exploiter.

      I am not saying the Western countries did not, far from it.

      But China goals in the undeveloped world is control of the resources for China gain, not any warm and fuzzzy benefit to the inhabitants.

      Again the US has its own ugly history to contend with (and its current) t What China has done makes us look new fallen snow.

          • As a mechanic/technician/engineer I found no details, just broad statements.

            It acknowledges that Mozambique is corrupt. So does anyone think this is not another way to rake in money the populous does not see or get?

            To focus on the Bridge. How was the project structured? Were there Mozambique workers, firms and engineers involved?

            Or was it all Chinese with a token Mozambique presence.

            Other countries have gone under, response by the World Bank was to lock them out of any credit markets (despite them being the reasons for loans in the first place)

            So, they may get a bridge when formally they got nothing, but the country also become Chinese owned.

            Heart and sole of it is not for Mozambique or anyone else, its for what Chinese govt wants currently.

            Investing countries act in what is perceived to be their national interested, the recipients are stuck with whatever that is.

            When the time comes to pay the piper its the low people on the pole that gets the bill.

    • Cathy was not China, it was Hong Kong.

      While that is changing was a completely separate aspect of China that was not under Communist control in any way (granted routes into China would be an interface area)

      As a result their response to their employees was in line with what China wanted as they were dependent on that market.

      Cathay is caught up in the Hong Kong takeover. What will become of them? Gone or taken over.

      • The offical name of Hong Kong is “Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region of the Peoples’ Republic of China”. So it certainly is China…just with a (temporary) different administrative system.

        • The “temporarily different administrative system” is a free democratic society established by the British, which the Chinese are seeking to convert to their own authoritarian rule. And they are doing this at an accelerated pace, despite assurances given when the British trusted them and voluntarily ceded control in 1984.

          There is a big difference between these governments, which is why protestors in Hong Kong risk life and imprisonment to publicly object.

          • Which still doesn’t change the fact that Hong Kong is part of China…given back by Britain per contract drawn up subsequent to the Second Opium War.

          • “”given back by Britain per contract””


            what’s written in this contract? What is China allowed and what not?

          • @Leon
            The fact that China is now violating the terms of the contract via-à-vis the autonomous administration that it signed up to doesn’t change the fact that Hong Kong has been returned to China. If the UK feels aggrieved about the breach of contract, perhaps it should try to re-acquire Hong Kong and see what happens? The UK itself is also well able to ignore contracts, as we saw in its recent unilateral amendment of the Withdrawal Agreement concerning Northern Ireland.

          • Bryce:

            What we know is China does not honor its agreements.

            So then the logical answer is force on force.

        • @Bryce: HKG, not China, signs separate air agreements with other countries, regions.

          • That’s because HK enjoys a degree of administrative autonomy…but it’s still part of China.
            Scotland also enjoys a degree of autonomy…but is still part of the UK (for now…).

    • @Bryce: “Chinese nationals from Mainland China are required to obtain an entry permit from the Public Security Bureau for any type of visit to Hong Kong (Two-way Permit required for short visits and long visits, or One-way Permit for settlement)”

    • “”SIA is resuming the world’s longest flight on Nov. 9 (3 times per week)…but this time with a regular A350-900 (with 187 ecomony seats) instead of the ULR version””

      Shows how heavy business class seats are.

      But why is Singapore not using a 787-9?
      According to Boeing documents the 787-9 with 200 pax can fly over 10000nm instead of the poor 9700nm with a 173 pax A350-900ULR.

      And the fools at Boeing offered only the 777-8 for Quantas’ Project Sunrise when the 787-9 is so much better and Quantas already have the 787-9.
      Always good to let Boeing speak the truth:)

      • “But why is Singapore not using a 787-9?”

        To start with: they currently only have 787-10s.
        Moreover: unlike Qantas, maybe they feel guilty about forcing people to sit on a 787 for more than 17 hours?

        • “”they feel guilty about forcing people to sit on a 787 for more than 17 hours?””

          200 pax on a 787-9 should be possible with 7-abreast.

          • That’s true.
            But then the economics of the situation go down the drain, and they might as well revert to using an A340, like they did before 😉

          • Ultra long range is always like that.
            Of course a 254t 787-9 with 200 pax would be more efficient than a 280t A350-900URL with 173 pax. But that’s only Boeing’s wishful thinking because 787 can’t do 9700nm. That’s why the 787 wasn’t even in discussions and Quantas knows the capabilities the 787 is able to. Still Boeing is posting on their documents they could do 9700nm and even more range with more pax and less MTOW 🙂

            Makes me wonder why no airline sued Boeing for the inferior capabilities of the 787.

          • @ Leon
            Here’s an interesting link.
            If you look at the tables, there are indications that a 2-4-2 787-8 has worse per-seat fuel economy than a 767 😉

          • “”a 2-4-2 787-8 has worse per-seat fuel economy than a 767″”


            I don’t think fuel burn per seat is good for comparisons. I know it is often used but in real life airlines would load cargo if unused payload is available. In comparisons one plane is always able to load more, so better are comparisons at MTOW.

            The 767-300ER should not have lower fuel burn per trip than the 787-8.
            The cabin of the 787-8 is not much bigger than the 767-400. The 767-400 burns 20% more fuel, so fuel burn per seat on a high density seated 767-400 could of course be lower than on a low density seated 787-8. But that’s an apple to orange comparison, the 787-8 wouldn’t be used without cargo.

  18. When stakes are this high & everybody wants to reach a goal, group thinking & accepting facts too nice to verify is present.

    “They wanted me at that press conference to present the stuff, but honestly I objected to the title they had put on it,” the University of Alabama academic told Reuters.

    “It was bad math. 1.2 billion passengers during 2020 is not a fair denominator because hardly anybody was tested. How do you know how many people really got infected?” he said. “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”


    • Applying the general population 2.5% infection rate to global passengers yields 75% of the known global infections. So it’s plausible & probable that the rate of infection in aircraft cabins is well below the general rate.

      Also in a very large statistical sample (a fair fraction of the world population) the absence of evidence can be inferred as the evidence of absence. It just can’t be positively proven, without uncertainty.

      That was the point of the presentation. The uncertainty cited was valid, but since we didn’t test all those people, and cannot do so now, there is no way to resolve the issue except by statistical inference. The inference together with the experimental study evidence is that the rate is low. That is not altered by objections to the uncertainty.

  19. “Applying the general population 2.5% infection rate to global passengers yields 75% of the known global infections. So it’s plausible & probable that the rate of infection in aircraft cabins is well below the general rate.”

    Disclaimers, saying stuff no one understands, avoid the real issue & know a good percentage won’t admit & go with the flow.

    Perception Management: https://powerbase.info/index.php/Perception_Management

    • Keesje, if you can propose a mechanism by which an infection rate of that magnitude could be missed, or evidence that it has been missed, you’re welcome to do that. In the meantime, the assertion that we can’t infer something is true, because we can’t prove conclusively or absolutely that it’s true, is not valid.

      Every day with millions of people flying adds to the accumulated evidence. In order to statistically change that now, we would have to see a large wave of infections resulting from aircraft. That is extremely unlikely, but we will see what happens.

    • It seems Boeing is thinking about an XLR competitor, a new plane.

    • CAAC has implied they won’t unground the MAX until the investigative reports are complete, so that means the ET302 final report. Ethiopia has said that will be complete before the second anniversary, so possibly February or March.

      That may put the Chinese ungrounding around June 2021. The good thing is that the aircraft and pilots will be ready by then.

  20. “Southwest’s decision on additional MAX 7s or the A220 will be made in the next year or so with deliveries from 2025, says Van de Ven.”

    • There was a reason SW already ordered the MAX-7. Though this order could be from 2013.
      The -7 is bigger than the -700, the A220-300 would better match the 143 seats of the -700.

      • Amazing is that SW doesn’t have the A319neo on the radar.

  21. On a separate note, Delta is about to take delivery of five A220s this week, including their first two A220-300s

  22. On another note, we get the newest spin.


    There are a number of major errors in the report though.

    1. The A321 is not a miner market anymore, Airbus is (was) moving to over 50% of its production. Covd aside, long term that is where the market is going.

    2. With no coverage of the A220 type (realistic) that is an issue as well and may turn out to be major factor long term as Airbus can shift and Boeing can’t.

    3. A P&W GTF in a larger size is easily doable.

    4. Boeing has to do something or quit the aircraft mfg business.

    • I suspect this is Boeing doing what Calhoun said it would do, researching the market for what airlines see as the future path forward. That will have changed significantly in light of COVID. It’s still a very long way from a commercial product, so speculation is mostly unfounded.

      As far as this aircraft competing with the MAX, I’m sure Boeing thinks of it as a next generation product, so replacement as the MAX winds down, rather than competition.

    • Bernstein talks it down because they sold Boeing stocks.

      Would the XLR get a new wing? It needs a new wing, at least 44m wingspan. The F-gate will vanish by time, it could be devided into a 36m C-gate and a 44m small-D-gate. Could be a metal wing, could improve the present A321 too and could be used for an A322. How long would it take to certify a new wing?

  23. From WaPo: “Boeing also gets government help, critics of tariff say

    “The truth is anybody who’s in aerospace receives some type of subsidy, and certainly Boeing is no exception to that,” said Darryl Jenkins, chairman of the American Aviation Institute, an independent think tank focusing on the commercial aviation industry.
    A large percentage of Boeing’s business comes from defense contracts, of which the U.S. military is easily its largest customer.

    ‘ Many of these contracts also cover research and development expenses that can nurture new products, such as a $499 million deal to help the Air Force develop future air vehicles.

    ‘ A week before Tuesday’s decision, Bombardier released a sharply worded statement titled “Boeing’s hypocrisy,” linking to a Seattle Times article that detailed how Boeing has sold the 787 Dreamliner at a loss for years, in the hope that it eventually will make up the difference in future sales.
    “It is pure hypocrisy for Boeing to say that the C Series launch pricing is a ‘violation of global trade law’ when Boeing does the same for its new aircraft,” Bombardier said in its statement.


  24. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2017/10/19/airbus-boeing-and-bombardier-making-sense-of-the-aircraft-subsidy-wars/
    ” Ever since Airbus emerged some 40 years ago to challenge Boeing’s position as the world’s dominant aircraft manufacturer, governments have been accusing one another of illegitimately propping up their respective national champions, while simultaneously professing their own innocence in providing support. Before the U.S. took on Canadian subsidies to Bombardier, it had long been decrying the “launch aid” European governments gave Airbus to help it bring new models to market. The Europeans, for their part, complained about the indirect subsidies Boeing received in terms of inflated defense procurement contracts and NASA research expenditures.

    ” The irony is that the traditional tools of trade governance are particularly ill-suited to aircraft manufacturing. The basic logic behind trade enforcement mechanisms, whether pursued unilaterally or multilaterally through the WTO, is an attempt to “level the playing field,” or to correct the market for the distortions of government interventions. The problem is, when it comes to aircraft manufacturing, there’s never been anything close to a perfectly competitive, distortion-free market: It’s politics and subsidies all the way down. Not only are there tons of subsidies on the production side, but governments are also the most important consumers of aircraft, buying both military planes and consumer planes for publicly-owned national airlines.

    ” … a New York Times analysis of leaked diplomatic cables revealed how American ambassadors and envoys frequently served as Boeing salespeople throughout the last decade.

    • Except that the WTO rejected the claims that Boeing defense contract and NASA research activity represented a subsidy. So that argument was adjudicated and settled.

      The ubiquity of subsidy activity is why there needs to be a negotiated settlement between Boeing/US and Airbus/EU, as to what is allowed, and what isn’t. That is vastly superior to taking each issue before the WTO, in an endless progression.

      Envoys often represent trade interests of their indigenous businesses, that is widespread practice around the world and is nothing new. EU envoys do the same.

      • @Rob:
        That’s not what I recall, the WTO’s appellate body upheld the ruling that Boeing received illegal handouts for research projects and tax breaks, which among other things, enable the plane maker to launch its 787.

        • Yes, the WTO upheld some of the subsidy claims, including limited research and tax incentives that were directly related to the 787 development.

          But not the claim of defense contracts or general research in which NASA and Boeing cooperate, which they still do today. Just as EU governments participate in hydrogen research with Airbus.

          In the end, the WTO upheld claims on both sides, which really only resulted in the tariff standoff we have today, not true resolution. It just shifted the conflict into a different domain.

          As I said, overall the solution is to agree on what is allowed beforehand, so you don’t have both sides making numerous claims against the other, which the WTO then must resolve.

  25. * Atypical: when Boeing reports Q3 earnings on Wednesday, executives won’t take questions from the media in the typical teleconference call.

    • Typically in these calls, there is a shareholder and market analyst question and answer session, followed by a media question session.

      Boeing has shifted the media session to next month, most likely because they want to include and answer questions regarding the MAX RTS, which will receive extensive press coverage. This gives the media better access than a press release.

  26. Boeing has less than 3,400 MAX on order while Airbus has a backlog of close to 6,000 A320 family, giving it a 64% market share.

    • Boeing accounting methods require them to remove orders that have high risk. Leeham did an assessment last month that showed the Airbus orders on an equivalent basis, they were also substantially reduced.

      • @Rob: Airbus follows IFRS. From Leeham News: ” … new international accounting standards, known as IFRS 15. That standard is similar to ASC 606.”

        • If you check out the Leeham article(s) for equivalent basis, it shows substantial reductions over the current order book. Vincent did an excellent job on that and a lot of research to support it, so we should respect his work. Many here also questioned this at the time, but had no refuting work or evidence.

  27. AAL defers delivery of 18 MAX from 2021/2 to 2023/4.

    SWA wants to further restructure MAX order.

    No wonder Boeing’s higher ups go into hiding.

    • They can’t be “hiding” when the meeting is broadcast live on the web, they publish the listen-in phone number and passcode, the transcripts are published in the media, and they take questions from professional and independent analysts. They aren’t preventing coverage, just deferring media questions to a later date.

      My guess is they know many of the questions will be about the MAX and RTS, whichthey can’t answer until they have certainty from the regulators. That is expected to come in November, but also may not, it remains open-ended.