Pontifications: Don’t lose sight of the future, says top Boeing exec

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 7, 2020, © Leeham News: “It’s really important that we stay in tune with the market dynamics, making the adjustments we need to do and not lose sight of the future. Which is absolutely we are not doing.”

Greg Smith, the of Enterprise Operations and chief financial officer for The Boeing Co., added, “We haven’t lost sight of the importance of making investments that are critical to the future of the business. So, when we think about future product strategy, we’re continuing to reprioritize and streamline our R&D investments to CapEx.

“When we were in pursuit around the NMA, we asked the team to step back and reassess the commercial development strategy and determine what family of aircraft to be needed for the future. And that team continues to work and they’re building off the work that we did on NMA.”

Smith made the remarks at last Friday’s Credit Suisse annual conference.

Changing market

Smith amplified his response about a new product from Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Now, obviously, the environment has changed, with COVID in the dynamic marketplace and in the competitive landscape. We’ll continue to do that work and we’ll make the right call when we need to make it.

“But this is a portfolio that we feel good about and we’ve invested a lot in,” Smith said. “I think what it brings to the marketplace has been evident and it’s evident in the backlog. But we’re not losing sight of any other market opportunities we may have. And we want to position ourselves to win in those marketplaces.

“While all this is going on, the team is continuing to reassess the product development strategy and where opportunities may exist and in what timeframe those opportunities may or may not exist. And we’ll make the appropriate decisions based on that, but we’ll ultimately be informed by our customers.”

Customers have spoken

However, despite the public statements by Smith, CEO David Calhoun and others at Boeing, the market already has spoken about the product line up. The Airbus a321, whether the previous ceo or the current neo, greatly outsold the 737-900/900ER/MAX 9 and MAX 10. This was true well before the MAX grounding or the COVID pandemic.

Sales of the 777X have been stalled for years; the backlog is going in the opposite direction with cancellations. More are likely. This is also true, pre-dating COVID.

Boeing’s single-aisle market share was down to 39% pre-grounding, counting all airplanes offered in the 125-220-seat sector. Airbus had nearly 55% of this sector.

777X demand

The 777-8 was down to about 35 orders. The 777-9, occupying the +400-seat sector all by itself, has only about a dozen customers and fewer than 300 orders, a number that is shrinking.

“We get asked often about the case for continuing the Boeing 777X,” said Robert Spingarn, the aerospace analyst for Credit Suisse. “Obviously right now, there’s not much demand for very large airplanes.” Does the early, COVID-prompted retirement of four-engine airplanes boost the case for the 777-9?

“I think it creates opportunity, certainly, because a lot of those aircraft weren’t planned to be permanently retired necessarily this year,” Smith said. “They’ve been accelerated. I think it does [create opportunity].

When you’re looking at a trade of retiring something a lot less efficient these are well-positioned products, intentionally positions by us in the investments we’ve made in them. So, I it could create some opportunities for us over the long term.”


155 Comments on “Pontifications: Don’t lose sight of the future, says top Boeing exec

  1. Mr. Smith is a nice reminder of the fact that it’s possible to talk without actually saying anything.

    • @Bryce

      It is remarkable – he wanders about and around and gets nothing

      Contrast his remarks with Scott’s – the difference between PR (Corporate Compliance) and analysis

      • Well, Mr. Smith’s hot-air language does turn out to be right about one thing: continuing the 777X program does indeed “create opportunity”…to throw good money after bad 😉

        • Bryce:

          Spot on, I am reading the words and its like a deathly silence of anything both that BS word spin.

          If this was an aircraft it would spin into the ground as nothign was being done.

          • Someone did not read analyst comments.

            If there is a future for airlines, which is a question at this point with probable election to US Administration of your fellow travellers who are against airplanes because they are climate catastrophists, then the new version of the 777 will be needed. Why not finish the job?,

    • It is sad to see a bean counter opining about airplane development for a once great engineering company. I would rather see him working on closing the monthly books.

  2. I looked into the issues surrounding deicing on the 777x folding wingtips. At some airports, the deicing fluid would need to be applied with wingtips folded, due to space limitations. The fluid is heavy and adheres to horizontal surfaces, but would drain away from the vertical folded wingtip.

    Therefore Boeing applied for an exemption for 777x operations with ice present on the folding wingtips. The FAA granted it for a period of two years for testing and certification purposes. It will require another application after certification for commercial service.

    The FAA concurred with the Boeing analysis that ice on the wingtips did not pose a flight risk. But they requested further analysis of the pilot and groundcrew procedures and training for deicing with folded wingtips.

    ALPA filed the sole comment, raising concerns about long-term exposure of the hinge and wingtip locking / latching / sensor mechanisms to deicing fluid Also requesting inspection after deicing and flight performance calculation adjustments.

    So these may be some of the issues being examined now. I also revisited the earlier information I had read, they had wondered whether loss of one or both wingtips in flight was recoverable, the answer was in theory yes, but moot because shearing the wingtip would destroy the wing, the hinge is very strong.

    Second question was whether ferry flights were possible with one or both wingtips missing. Answer was again in theory, but again moot because a new wingtip could be shipped and installed, so Boeing would never ask and FAA would never approve. Dispatch is not allowed with wingtips folded or damaged or unlocked / unlatched.

    • Interesting Rob,

      Any idea what the tolerances are between the main wing, and folding wingtip ?

      If the tip was folded, and snow / ice built up in any area not covered by deicing fluid, I wonder how that would affect latching of the wingtip.

      I’d love to see the solution up close, and personal. Seems like a nice simple idea, just fold the tips of the wings … I’m sure it’s a lot more complex than that.

      I’d really like to look at a Sto-Wing on a Grumman TBF Avenger or Hellcat, it looks like a very interesting solution to folding wings. I think there are Avengers at Duxford, and the Fleet Air Arm Museum here in the UK, but I don’t know if they’re the version with Sto-Wing. I think Hellcats are only in US museums.

      • JakDak, here is a link to a description of the operation with mechanism. It appears to be a rotational hinge with locking bolts that extend through the joint, internal to the wing & wingtip, when the wingtip is lowered. Similar to a deadbolt lock. Then there is a separate latching mechanism to hold the bolts in place and the wing in the lowered position.


        The Sto-Wing design story is interesting, apparently worked out in one day with paper clips. Lunar module as well. Excellent design.


        A friend works at Wright-Patterson and I’ve done some consulting work there, they have these aircraft in the Air Force museum, but the wings are not stowed.

        • Thanks for the links Rob. I am a huge fan of simplification of problems, and solutions.

          I didn’t know about the paper clip design, I think I’ll need to look into Roy Grumman some more.

          Maybe at some point in the future when the pandemic is more controlled I’ll be able to visit the USA again, I have a large list of places / museums I’ve not yet visited.

          • Gerrard, this article was reported and discussed here at the time it was published.

            The first condition has been met everywhere else in the world. The second condition depends on MAX simulators, which we know are being set up in China by training contractors. The third condition is the release of the Ethiopian final accident report, which has not yet occurred, but is expected soon.

            We also know Boeing has positioned teams in China to work with CAAC and their airlines. We also know that airlines are upgrading their MAX’s in accordance with the FAA/EASA AD’s. So at least that portion of the recertification has been accepted by the Chinese.

            Finally we don’t know what role politics and trade plays in the decision, but some of those tensions may be easing soon.

            So we do not have a date certain, but the indications are favorable for certification. The Chinese are opaque on this as on most things. CAAC is on record saying the MAX is very much on their minds. You can read from that what you will.

            Similar to EASA, I don’t think China would establish conditions for recertification, if they were not seriously considering it. It’s possible they may impose other requirements, as EASA also has. We just have to wait and see.

          • Gerrard, asked and answered. You are welcome to your own view. The premise of mine was an easing of tensions with the departure of Trump. Obviously much depends on future relations.

          • @Rob

            Tensions may ease with the new President

            However it seems unlikely that sanctions against Huawei will be lifted

            Huawei is a lesson in China having to rely on US tech for a significant program

            COMAC would be advised take heed and act accordingly : what do you think BA/FAA could say to persuade COMAC/CAAC to the contrary ? ‘Trust us’ ?

            Just like the US made many noises about re shoring essential industries when the covid crisis laid bare US dependence on China in particular areas of medicines and medical supplies – it would be absurd to argue against this necessary program

          • @Gerrard
            The Chinese were already snugging up to the Russians, e.g. with regard to the C929 widebody aircraft under joint development.
            I suspect that the relationship between the two may now get even snugger. After all, the Russians have a long history of turbofan manufacture…though that sector has been dormant for some time. Nevertheless, the Russian manufacturer NPO Saturn has a 50/50 joint venture with the French Snecma to manufacture engines for the Sukhoi Superjet.
            Another possibility is that Rolls Royce might do something for the Chinese…who knows? After all, the Chinese are building 2 nuclear power stations for the Brits.

            Bottom line: CoViD has started a large-scale disentanglement of prior globalization trends.

          • Bryce,

            A little clarification on the Chinese building two Nuclear Power Stations for us Brits… the only Nuclear Power Station now under construction in the UK is Hinkley Point C.

            The type of reactor is an EPR (European Pressurised Reactor), and it’s being built with funding from EDF (Électricité de France), and CGN (China General Nuclear Power Group).

            There is a proposal for another EPR reactor Sizewell C to start construction next year. Also funded by EDF, and CGN.

            The Chinese have built EPR reactors at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant. Despite beginning construction of their EPR reactors after both Finland, and France began theirs, they connected their EPRs to the grid in 2018, and 2019. Both Finland, and France have yet to connect their EPR reactors to the grid. France, and Finland expect this to happen in 2022.

            The Chinese do want to build a Hualong One at Bradwell B starting construction in 2025, and connecting to the grid in 2030. The reason that they are hoping to do this is that if the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation passes their design, and it is built in the UK, they would be able to export to anywhere in the world (with the USA the possible exception).

      • @Rob

        Recent news tends to show that you are right about future China US relations : and hence for Boeing’s Max re cert prospects and upsurge in sales to China : if WS has anything to do with it a very much closer relationship is planned

        « The premise of mine was an easing of tensions with the departure of Trump. Obviously much depends on future relations. »


        « « Hunter Biden acknowledged today that he has been notified of an active criminal investigation into his tax affairs by the U.S. Attorney for Delaware. Among the numerous prongs of the inquiry, CNN reports, investigators are examining “whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.”

        The allegations at the heart of this investigation compel an examination of a fascinating and at-times disturbing speech at a major financial event held last week in Shanghai. In that speech, a Chinese scholar of political science and international finance, Di Donghseng, insisted that Beijing will have far more influence in Washington under a Biden administration than it did with the Trump administration.

        The reason, Di said, is that China’s ability to get its way in Washington has long depended upon its numerous powerful Wall Street allies. But those allies, he said, had difficulty controlling Trump, but will exert virtually unfettered power over Biden. That China cultivated extensive financial ties to Hunter Biden, Di explained, will be crucial for bolstering Beijing’s influence even further. » »



        The common interests are the same old, but there is one very powerful new tie up – increased access to China’s financial markets

        “Wall Street groups including BlackRock, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase have each been given approval to expand their businesses in China over recent months. »

        Almost as many as the tie ups between Biden and WS

        • @Gerrard
          You listen to Tucker Carlson of Fox TV??

          Guan Video caters to young Chinese nationalists with programs on politics and foreign affairs that are widely watched on Chinese social media platforms. Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin, who also spoke at the Guan Video event, dismissed Di’s claims, commenting multiple times on Trump’s tweet.

          “There are some Chinese scholars who like to brag and spice-up tales about their ties with high-level figures to seek attention and promote oneself,” he wrote. “It’s unserious to judge China-U.S. relations with stories told by these kind of people.”


          • @ Pedro

            Please keep your hat on – partisan politics in the US is rife with personalised accusations and innuendo that takes the place of realistic discussion of the politics and economics

            You should not join in

            Read the Wall Street and China articles by the FT and others – look at the reports of China’s financial markets being opened to WS, concurrent with the retraction of the HK market, and then reflect if this is not an extremely profitable long term prospect which will match or exceed the US only market

            One that fits like a glove with the previous generation’s off shoring of US industry, which has been so very profitable

            Then decide whether you think that WS is well advised to make sure that the antagonisms tariffs bans and trade wars are to be toned down or up

            This ties in with the other reports ex China, and the reports of Hunter being reeled in for the same use, and by the same people

            Who cares if all credit goes to WS? and that China has no clue of what is happening?

            Ask your self how much Bloomberg (better still do some research) himself is getting ready to invest – before grabbing another headline from his PR machine



          • @Gerrard

            What’s new under the sun??
            Vanity Fair


            The Guardian

            The troubling overlap between Jared Kushner’s business interests and US foreign policy


            Reps of 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties

            The number of foreign governments hints at a significant foreign cash flow to the U.S. president that critics say violates the Constitution.

          • @Pedro

            It is more useful to concentrate on China, the renewal of less turbulent political and economic relations with the US, rather than the mass corruption which pervades every aspect of US politics

            This renewal will benefit Boeing in the near future, which is the subject of this blog

            An incidental and interesting aspect of which renewal is that Stan S gave only vapour when questioned, as quoted above

            If one looks at the role of WS in securing (re securing) a healthy part of the China market for Boeing this is some part of an adequate explanation, although no excuse, for Stan S to have nothing to say about this or any other plans Boeing may have for the future

            It’s all above his paygrade

          • @Gerrard
            It’s Hindi. Also a Czech comedy I believe.

            No wonder the POTUS is considering to “preemptively” pardon himself and his family, just in case.

          • Yah mean like CNN and the Hypington Post in the US? Much fake news and PR and worse.

            You can seek balance by reading the Epoch Times, which is not always right but has opposing stories.

        • I laugh at your ‘globalization’ meme, I doubt there’s much difference from long ago, before telegraph lines under oceans, when surprises arrived on ships.

          Neo-Marxists spout the term but also want everyone to deal with each other (yes, except when

  3. “We’ll continue to do that work and we’ll make the right call when we need to make it.”

    I think Boeing needs to make a leap forward here.

    Making “deliberate” decisions “fully understanding the market” let to late / wrong decisions and seemed driven by indecision and next quarterly free cash requirements.

    “I think what it brings to the marketplace has been evident and it’s evident in the backlog.”

    You wonder if Greg & Scott are looking at the same backlog figures. Or does Greg expect his listeners won’t check / understand?

    It’s fully understandable Boeing s focussed on short term cash flow management. I hope they don’t mix it up with long term strategy.

  4. “When we were in pursuit around the NMA, we asked the team to step back and … ”

    I guess I’m just an old-fashioned person trained by 1950s engineers, but that use of the word ‘around’ signals to me that zero or even less than zero actual thought, analysis, or planning is occurring in whatever situation it is used.

    • Smith I think from media reports at the time was the person in the top executive team roadblocking the NMA development.
      My guess it really was about cash flow rather than design impediments and the risk to earnings if they had the 777X and NMA underway at the same time.

    • Huh? Your comment is meaningless.

      Stepping back can be good.

      I also remind blatherers herein that PD is not a single all-or-nothing activity. I repeat the example of Boeing studying optimum fuselage configuration and common cockpits during the lean years of the 1970s – that prepared them to launch the 767, and the 757 with the same flight deck.

  5. I think the point people miss about the challenges with the competitiveness of the MAX versus the A320 series is that the MAX8 is competitive with the A320 but there isn’t any compelling NEW technology that would allow Boeing to launch a new aircraft that would beat the A321 at its own game. Boeing would essentially spend $10 billion whereas to develop a plane to compete with the A321. Meanwhile Airbus saves its cash and right about the time Boeing comes to market with it’s new aircraft using current technology, Airbus announces its new aircraft using new technology.

    Reality is that Boeing is stuck playing defence at the big end of the single aisle market for the next decade. It will focus on customers where the -8 is the optimum sized aircraft.

    • “”that would beat the A321″”

      and the A321 isn’t even very good, it’s restricted by gate wingspan and the XLR will be even more.

      Gate size should have been adjusted long ago. Most planes flying are restricted by 36m Gate C, instead of allowing more wingspan to save fuel.
      ICAO is sleeping.

      • More wingspan is more weight, so that has a downside for a segment where most flights are 2 hrs and under.
        The 757 had that extra wing area and span and yet it was eclipsed by the 737 NG series and its new wing when that arrived with US transcontinental range.
        The market has decided its fine with the 36m span to fit the C gate – it would next to impossible to change existing airport terminals. Cest la vie

        • “”it would next to impossible to change existing airport terminals. Cest la vie””

          I doubt that. Airports already have unused terminal exits build in to change the configuration. Bridges shouldn’t be difficult to move. But changing the terminal configuration would include all terminal gates.
          Increasing Gate C from 36m to 40-42m would help a lot.
          If new narrowbodies were designed with 42m wingspan, there wouldn’t be enough D gates anyway and E gates would need to be used.
          Better wing designs are impossible because ICAO is sleeping.

    • The 737-8 is by far the best sold MAX, the 737-800 was the best sold for the NG series. I think Airbus could easily launch a A320 Plus, using the better lighter XLR flaps, tanks etc. A fuselage 1 or 2 rows longer than the 737-8, a lean 200 seater.


      I suspect Airbus holds back, because they don’t know what they would trigger on the Boeing/ US side, when they floor Boeing’s -8 cash cow. Better keep things as they are.

      • I doubt it. That would make the A320neo more expensive and better for longer routes, while the Max 8 is already better on shorter routes.
        So it would basically kick the A320neo out to airlines having longer routes on average.
        You don’t want to do that.

        Especially not if you are 60-40 against a very good aircraft (the Max 8 and the NG 800 are excellent) and are winning by far on the upper end.
        So Boeing is in a dog position.
        The overall sales might look 60/65 to 40/35 in favor of Airbus with A220 and A320neo vs. Max, but revenue and turnover wise Airbus is winning by far.
        Max8 orders: 2200
        A320neo orders: 3900

        A321neo + LR + XLR: 3400
        Max 9 + Max X: 720

        A320neo fam. : 7455
        Max fam. : 4129

        A220 fam.: 620

        You see about a 2:1 lead for Airbus in sales now, which is great.
        And as they just kill Boeing on the larger SAs, what do you think the rev. & turnover side looks like?
        For every Max 9 or 10 in the books, Airbus has almost 5!!!! orders for an A321neo.

        In markets that over time tend to lean to the larger versions of the families, that’s huge.

        Airbus is already taking Boeings head and smashing it against the wall.
        Already before the Max grounding and Corona Boeing was in a pretty bad situation competition-wise.
        Airbus can attack the Max8 with an A220-500, free up more production capacity for larger and more expensive A321neos.
        And they might go for the A322 if Boeing starts the NMA.

        Airbus has its own problems with the A330neo losing against the B787, and the A35k not really selling well.
        But with that win in the SA market, they can afford the one or other slight loss in the WBs.
        And there’s no tech jump around to change the situation.
        If Boeing goes with a new plane now, they might run into the A380 problem – it is trouble if a few years after you launched a new generation of engines is available reducing consumption by 10-14%.

        Boeing’s situation is a disaster, and it was already before Corona killed WB sales.

    • “there isn’t any compelling NEW technology that would allow Boeing to launch a new aircraft”

      Well, that’s what the “R” in R&D stands for: Research!

      There is also this saying “innovate or die”, which maybe the C-suite at Boeing has never heard of.

      A high-tech company is never waiting for technology to be ripe for picking. What you do is you create that technology. You invent it. Or at least you put inventions in a new context, like Airbus did with the A320 when they used military FBW systems and adapted it to commercial aircraft.

      That is why you always make your “research teams” (not sure if they exist at Boeing) look for innovative technologies and solutions to future problems. A company like Boeing should always have a few interesting things on their stove so you can start to create a meal in case a surprise guest arrives. (A new competitor, a change in markets, a crisis,…). Drastic reductions on CO2 for example is a no-brainer, as everybody who looks at our future will understand that this will become topic number 1 soon enough. So there should be maybe 2 or 3 groups who compete in finding the best solution for this and develop ideas for future products. Same with CFRP, where we are only at the very beginning of exploring its potential.

      Boeing could also take the lead in trying to convince the world about new gate sizes and then offer the right planes to fit in them.

      On a side note: Making your company future-proof is not possible by maximizing short term profits nor by trying to damage your competitors, but by making your customers happy, today and in the future! That is the only “secret” in long term success. (Think Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Google, Toyota, Volkswagen, Shimano, Stradivari,… 🙂

      • Boeing and Airbus are “constructors” – they package technology supplied by the engine and avionics manufacturers (GE, RR, P&W, Honeywell, Thales, etc.) into an aluminum/CFRP package.

        Boeing is very limited in its ability to build a “better” A321 because it is constrained by existing engines, avionics and gate size limitations.

        They big opportunity would be to go CFRP if they can figure out how to mass produce it and bring the build cost way down.

        • Well considering Boeing has nada that is in the A321 segment, even current tech would be a huge bonus.

          No, lets kludge the poor old 737 one more time and come up with the lame -10. sigh – but it will have a synthesis AOA! Cheers,, the crowd goes wild.

        • It might be cost effective manufacturing that is the big next step together with only one physical pilot, the other one is in the computer software, a bit like cars build by robots and driven by one driver.

  6. In my mind, basically Boeing has two choices. One, design a new aircraft around the current LEAP and GTF engines with a new CFRP wing that folds to 36m. Re-engine in 10 or 20 years if needed. Or two, wait for a new engine if they need a 40K engine, which may extend the EIS timeline another 5 years.
    Looking at Southwest, the ideal 150 seater and the MAX 7 seemed like a good idea in 2012. But then a MAX 8 with 150 people on it seems quite comfortable with 25 empty middle seats. Is a full aircraft really a make or break proposition in the overall scope of costs? Watching that play out, I think the next new Boeing aircraft is a 200 seater with 3,000nm range.
    If Boeing didn’t have the 777-9, then they would risk the A350-1000 being an uncontested success like the 777-300ER. Even if Boeing had a time machine and could go back to 2013 and not do the 777-9, would they take that risk to leave the upper end capacity to Airbus for twenty years?

    • “Even if Boeing had a time machine and could go back to 2013 and not do the 777-9, would they take that risk to leave the upper end capacity to Airbus for twenty years?”

      Why not?
      They did it in the narrowbody segment (no meaningful competitor to the A321, not to mind the A321(X)LR).
      And they did it in the sub-150-seat segment (missed out on acquiring Bombardier; jettisoned a potential Embraer deal).

    • The 150-220 seater market competition between Boeing and Airbus has until now centered upon refining 73X vs A32X series development focussing all aspects of airworthiness excellence to the limit whilst retaining the classic single aisle/six abreast 3+3 cabin accomodation concept. Remaining to be explored with room for further economic (cyclic/trip) optimisation potential are alternative aspects of 73X vs A32X groundworthiness, whereof in particular the five abreast 1+3+1 twin aisle “quick rotation” cabin accomodation alternative, suitable e.g. for network/shuttle operations …

  7. If Boeing had a time machine and could go back to 2013, they would choose to not do the 777X, and use those resources to do a 787-10ER and/or a 787-11 instead.

    • Not so sure of that. They had to do something with the 777 or the A350 would eat its lunch. The 787-10 was announced at Paris 2013 with an order for 30 from Etihad.
      The 777-9 is a much bigger plane than what the 787 or A350 offer and without it the A380 probably would have survived. The big mistake was the 747-8, which had too much development when a new engines only would have sufficed for an interim VLA and cargo hauler.

      • I agree with Meg, investing in a more capable 300-350 seats, 8000NM 787 variant would have prevented the A350 taking over so many 777-200ER/-300ER customers. A significant 787 wing upgrade would have been required. Behind this might have been that GE didn’t have a suitable engine. The 777-9 is very heavy & it doesn’t go away. All hindsight now.

    • The team at Phantom Works actually have a time machine in the works so stay tuned.

  8. “”the team is continuing to reassess the product development strategy and where opportunities may exist””

    If planes were my work everyday, I would exactly know where they can be improved.

    Of course Boeing has a bad deck of cards now and they let cancer grow for years. Boeing got lazy, thought they had the FAA in the bag and could cheat their way into the future.

    Not much to expect from Boeing now, they are busy with all the mistakes they made in the past. I guess they flight test new 787 to let the frame work and then to be able to see dents in the fuselage skin. Quality got so bad that they couldn’t deliver a single 787 last month and they are busy with this issue for 8 months now.

  9. I think it’s pretty clear that Boeing have the B team on the field, with two re-treads and a newer model up against two newer models and two re-treads, spread out more evenly to cover the market.

    Production is slowing, which is driving up incremental fixed expenses – when all models have huge debt burdens to account for. They are easily $45 billion in the hole, on all three models.

    A clean sheet is a $15 billion proposition. Money they don’t have. Airbus can just sit back and wait to see what they do, with the only pressure to roll something new out coming from those airlines who want to see an A220-500.

    We’ll see what their Q4 cash burn is, pretty soon. It’s not going to be pretty.

    • I think that’s a good call, Frank.

      > with the only pressure to roll something new out coming from those airlines who want to see an A220-500.

      Indeed. And Boeing have what: 787 tail, FOD, MAX, KC-46, 777X Mmm.

    • That sums it up.

      Wait though, there is a LEAP with TBW, but that takes courage that Boeing has not exhibited.

      As for B lineup, that is their management as well.

      At best they have one A team they rush around putting out fires. Don’t have time to come out with anything knew, too busy stamping out the dumpster fires they have.

      Its not a Thin bench, its no bench. Kind of like Denver Bronco with no quarterbacks. Whats not to like?

  10. I Hope Boeing Launch The NMA aka 797 in 2021
    It has (2 Variants) The Smaller Variant With 48 Windows & The Larger Variant With 49 Windows And Airlines Are Willing To Watch & Orders and it Will Probably Rollout In 2026 or 2027.
    Seating Configuration
    1 x 1 x 1 in Business class
    1 x 1 x 1 in Premium Economy The Twin Aisle Will have some space When It Comes To Upgrades Like 1 x 2 x 1 The Twin Aisle Will Become Narrow And A
    2 x 3 x 2 in Economy Class
    The Twin Aisles Will Also Become Narrow.
    The Boeing FSA And Boeing NMA Will Become The New Light Twin (NLT) The Same As The Big Twin Like The Boeing 787 Dreamliner And The Boeing 777x. And One Question Can The Boeing 737 Max-10 Fly’s Transcontinental Like The Airbus Aging A321T ? Please let me know.

    • Man, I gotta say Boeing has absolutely butchered 2 major programs in a row. One a clean sheet and the second a re-engine. I shudder to think what 777X and NMA will result in. Can the company survive another new civil program? Frankly they should have bought Embrear and had them take over Boeing entire civil R&D program. At lease they execute superbly.

  11. I think its a waste of time to look too far ahead at this point. No one knows what the future holds. How soon will the new “normal” establish itself. Will Covid be an annual occurance like the flu? So to try and figure out what planes are needed with no reasonable assumptions available, is a fools game.

    • @Mark from Toronto

      Your remarks about a fool’s game given covid uncertainty may apply to the US, or Canada, or even Europe, but, with due respect, appear not to apply to Asia

      Anything can happen a new ebola strength virus may emerge

      However industry as most other human strategies are posited on being able to plan

      You may then advise Boeing to set up in China or India or….perhaps

      • @Gerrard
        I understand your point about Asia, but the situation there is no longer as rosy as it once was. Japan and South Korea now have a rapidly worsening CoViD problem, and I read last week that China is having an increasingly difficult time stamping out new CoViD incidences. Indonesia also has a largely uncontained outbreak.
        However, countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia are still very much in control of the situation.

        The European CDC released an analysis just a few days ago in which it posited that there’s absolutely no sense having travel restrictions between countries with largely similar outbreak situations — such restrictions only make sense when one of the connected countries has a highly contained CoViD situation and the other does not. Perfectly logical, of course. And yet, it’s doubtful that anything will change, because authorities are still putting all their faith in vaccines.

        • @ Bryce

          Well thank you for the Asia update – my impression was that they had started, very slowly and carefully, to adopt a more reasonable travel position, despite the continuing flare ups or outbreaks

          Starting with VIP business travellers, but scaleable : this seems to avoid the private airline and multiple other vaccine traps pitfalls and illogistics, concentrates on what the Asian gvmts know they can do, t&t, and presents the possible restoration of normal life via an additional layer of clean up and re organisation of who sees who

          As per the European CDC remarks : it is foolish to allow car travel and not airtravel within Europe, as I understand is the case – and in anyway, as more or less comparably so in Asia, there is some kind of Europe wide equalish level of infection which is a zero sum game –

          ‘Send us your sick your weary your huddled masses’ was never more apposite

          Both the Asian plans, and EU CDC statements and infection levels re evoke the futility of the Aus/NZ isolation camp ; eradication is a dead end, equalised normalisation the only cure

          What do you think of this link – astonishing –


          Why are the US so much more pessimistic than the rest of the world ? or are they as depressed in EU ? Or is it just MSM millenarianism, let’s go to Mars

          Good re cert law case link – a sure sign that the sorry saga is far from done with, DoJ, CAAC etc

          • @Gerrard
            Air travel in Europe is “allowed”, but the attendant quarantine rules are so onerous as to impede much interest. Moreover, booked passengers are fearful that the color code of their destination will suddenly change from yellow to orange, in which case they will be confronted with cancellations / re-bookings and a whole load of hassle. But what also is impeding air travel is the fact that, in the planned destination, normal recreational activities are curtailed…so there isn’t much fun to be had. And, with hospital capacity stretched to some extent in many/most countries, I suspect that older tourists are deterred by the thought that they might need hospitalization in their destination country.
            Of course, behind the scenes, the quarantine rules are largely ignored. And, indeed, many people choose to drive rather than fly…which puts them much more in control of their own particular situation, and avoids exposure to crowds at airports. But, since a car doesn’t have the ventilation systems of a plane, and masks aren’t worn, the infection risk is actually higher among passengers.
            The whole thing is basically a futile exercise in window dressing.

            Interesting and salient point: a leaked document here in NL on Monday revealed that, by closing restaurants, the authorities actually worsened the Corona infection risk — the reason being that people are now forced to socialize at home, where the situation is much less ventilated / distanced / monitored than in restaurants. The effect was initially hidden by the fact that, together with closing restaurants, the authorities concurrently introduced widespread mask wearing…and the latter effect occluded the former. A clear example that much of the “science” is just made up on-the-fly…or, put another way: the blind are leading the lame.

          • Interesting note regarding vaccines: now that the Pfizer vaccine is in the public domain, we’re no longer dependent on the manufacturer to provide the public with selective data. Case in point: the MHRA in the UK issued an advisory today that “people with a history of ‘significant’ allergic reactions shouldn’t have the Pfizer shot”, after a number of incidents among yesterday’s recipients:

            This follows a warning from the American Medical Association a few weeks ago that “the CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’”

          • @Bryce

            I expressed myself badly :

            I was under the impression that travel by car in Europe between countries was quarantine free, whereas airtravel was not

            Further that quarantine was in reality an honour system in which enforcement was largely absent, ‘self quarantining’

            I realise that it is nonsensical to distinguish quarantine between the two forms of travel, but would fit in the shifting patchwork of ever less sensible regulations, as shown by your restaurant closure negative

            As for the rest of the very half hearted ill administered lopsided and increasingly disbelieved and disobeyed and ineffective in the sense they have to be continuously repeated lockdown measures, what choices are still open….a vaccine…. ?

            In other news – AZ stock price stagnant, not a good sign

          • @Bryce
            Regarding your Pfizer link – please find this comment

            « « The Pfizer vaccine is only one day out in the UK – and we have this:


            I would not call that a normal reaction in vaccines that I give routinely. People can certainly be allergic to anything – and local skin and muscle reactions are common. Anaphylactoid reactions requiring emergent therapy – not one time in my whole life – and not a usual thing to happen at all with vaccines that are “TESTED”.
            And now it appears this was so serious that the UK is excluding anyone with severe allergies from receiving the vaccine.
            Surely – one or two or a dozen of the tens of thousands of patients given this vaccine in the trials had this kind of history. SURELY. It is not that uncommon.
            Please answer this question – PFIZER – did you exclude people with this condition (history of severe allergies) from your trial? Make the safety numbers look a little better? Who all else may have been excluded?
            Again – this is what happens when we do not test things appropriately and/or we are not completely transparent with the results. Thankfully, it appears these people are OK. What if this were to happen in my rural community where there is no epi-pen and the nearest hospital is 30 minutes away? There needs to be complete and total transparency – and this needs to be right now.
            I hope I am not sounding like a broken record – but this is exactly what I was fearing – and just on day 1. » »

          • @Gerrard
            Regarding the Pfizer vaccine: an incredulous commentator on BBC last night noted that applicants for the phase 3 clinical trials were only accepted if they did NOT have a history of prior allergies. So it’s no wonder that the UK medical authorities were caught off guard yesterday. Note that these authorities are now stipulating that the vaccine only be administered in locations where there is resuscitation equipment present!

            So, that’s people with severe allergies ruled out for now…I wonder how long it will take before people with autoimmune issues are added to that list? For reference: in the USA, 50 million people have allergies, resulting in 200,000 hospital cases per year.

          • @Gerrard,

            Just some further information regarding the two people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine that had the reaction.

            They both carry epinephrine autoinjectors (EpiPen) as they have various serious allergies including prior reactions to the Flu vaccine.

            Do the USA drug trials allow individuals with severe allergies ?

            As vaccination is now underway here in the UK, we will undoubtedly see more relevant data, but the specifics, and the context are very important, the media seem to prefer a good story or headline rather than sticking to the facts.

            A case in point, a large proportion of the media is reporting that Spacex launched their Starship prototype, and it crashed on landing, they don’t really go into how radically different Starship is, and just what was attempted yesterday.

            There will be a good few rocket engineers that watched the SN8 flight yesterday that would call the test a major success, the concept works, and the cause of the RUD is well understood, and will be fixed for the flight of SN9 (I’d guess it will fly before Christmas).

          • @Bryce

            What is hard to believe that the Brit Regulator certified the vaccine without checking for this allergy issue, and from that one may infer not checking for precious little else

            At least not so much as to bother to inform anyone

            One hesitates to infer that they did not check the data – after all they must have done something- but if they did they kept any such matters to themselves

            Perhaps they believe their own propaganda, or perhaps they were in thrall to the Pfizer PR, but here at Leeham we know ‘There’s more to news than a Press Release’, a lot of people in positions of authority in the wider world seem ignorant of this

            In England there were maybe still are serious moves by the authorities to make any doubts expressed about vaccines illegal and subject to imprisonment – perhaps the Regulators took this a little too much to heart

            Or as per FAA one might suppose the Brt Rg to be a member of the Regulators in Captivity Club

          • @JakDak
            I didn’t notice any media sensationalism with regard to the vaccine allergy story: it was reported in a matter-of-fact way by various news channels yesterday. But it is a fact that the UK medical authorities were caught off guard by this (they explicitly said so). It’s a clear demonstration that what’s currently occurring in the UK is actually an extended Phase 3 trial.

            Unfortunately, some effects will take weeks or months to manifest themselves. It was already suspected that mRNA vaccines may produce strong Interferon responses in autoimmune recipients, but such effects are not necessarily acute. People with IBD, asthma, rheumatism, psoriasis, etc., are at risk of short-to-medium term flare-ups as a result of such effects; unfortunately for them, those patients will effectively have been guinea pigs.

            And no, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. But I have enough experience to know that there are always nasty rats under the rug when it comes to new medications. In NL, one third of medical professionals have a “wait and see” attitude to the vaccine…which really says a lot! I’m only discussing these points here because of the potentially adverse effect on uptake/rollout, which will in turn affect re-commencement of normal aviation.

          • @JakDak

            Well if the Brit Reg did advertise that people with allergies should not take this vaccine, then they did take relevant precautions (rather than that NHS workers were aware of the risks) and the BBC should have been aware of this advertising

            I have not read that this was reported to be the case

            As far as I have know, vaccines are designed and tested to be applied to those with allergies, or most allergies, otherwise, given the number of those suffering from allergies, vaccines are not going to be effective across the general population

            With respect your comparison is too dramatic – Space travel is and always has been sold as the lurid stuff of fantasy, so crashes are expected and enjoyed by the public agog

            But ‘the vaccine’ has been sold as The Safe Haven, and before the facts have been known : uptake is already fragile in many countries, I read one report stating that 60% of the French will wait a year or more before, the US 40% or about say no, and so on

            One or two negative events or accidents may render uptake inconsiderable for the purpose of containment

          • Jakdak is right about the issue of allergies with the vaccines. It occurs for all vaccines and is not of broad concern. The prevalence with the COVID vaccine is not expected to be greater than that of the flu vaccine, for which people with known allergies are asked to consult with a physician beforehand. It won’t slow or halt the vaccine distribution.

            The press overreacts as always, but the healthcare industry that inoculates people will manage it, allergies and allergic reactions are nothing new for them.

          • @Rob

            The problem, for those who would like this or other vaccines to be successful

            And who ‘know’ that such problems are common re allergies and reactions

            Is that the people were little enough inclined to take any vaccines before this latest ‘non incident’ with the Pfizer vaccine

            Further increase in reluctance to take a vaccine, especially one which, it appears, has no or little effect on transmission, will not achieve the general purpose of vaccination which is to contain the virus

            You should not so lightly dismiss media reports as ‘over reaction’ as such reports will fuel public ‘over reaction’

            There’s no point in’ knowing’ you are right when the mass of the public refuse to believe you and by their refusal to take the vaccine ‘prove’ you wrong

            When one wishes for normalisation and regularisation of an unwanted dilemma it is advisable to consider how best to secure majority approval – and to ignore the righteous and right thinking dissident minority

            But let’s stick with BA in China, this is reason indeed to have hope

          • @Rob

            More on Boeing in China


            This is looking better and better for Boeing – you were and are right about re cert and increased orders – unlike Huawei semi conductor tech it may be that China is not quite ready to produce those airliner essentials

            And that it is possible to imagine a co option with Boeing, along with boiler plate tech transfer, with massive capital provided by WS

            Do you think that Boeing will greatly increase production in China?

            No wonder Stan S could not talk about this – as per “The company’s China problems are “well out of Boeing’s control,” said Richard Aboulafia”

            That’s not quite true, is it?, but obviously progress will come from an united front: administration, WS, and BA moving forward under the leadership of Biden

          • CNBC:
            Trial participants in the Moderna and Pfizer studies told CNBC they developed more significant symptoms following the second dose

      • Because asia exists in a bubble? Hows India doing (hint not well). In 6-12 months there should be a muhc clearer picture

        • @M from T

          India is doing much better than US EU, though not as well as the rest of Asia

          A bubble is an outdated concept, normalising infection rates is more useful

          Those 6 months will see rapid progress in Asia, US/EU will fall even further behind

          • Aren’t there reports that India under or mis-counts cases??

          • @Pedro

            There have been reports regarding many countries that cases have been mis counted, over or under

            Protocols, definitions and conceptions, vary from country to country, dying ‘with covid’ , dying ‘from covid’ any/every stop in between- given emergency powers and high daily death tolls some kind of administrative confusion was inevitable

            There was laughter in England when some one who died in a road accident from a bus was recorded in the covid death roll because he had previously been recorded as hospitalised for such

            Many tried to say that the ultra low death rate in black Africa was merely, mainly etc, the effect of poor admin, no doctors many liars, etc – but this line of argument has faded in favour of more serious enquiry as to the reasons for such remarkable resistance to normalised “Western” pre conceptions – the WHO, UN etc predicted 2.5M deaths, there have been a few thousand (let’s exclude ‘westernised’ SA)

            India has 4 x the pop of US or EU, for half the deaths, I have read that it is in main the ‘Westernised’ (obese, cardiac, diabetic etc) richer who are dying in much greater quantities than the poor, indeed the Mumbai slums are famous, or infamous, for their low death rate



          • @Pedro

            As previously stated there are many such reports, usually in EU, which seek to lay out an investigation of the ‘truth’

            Truth is, in many countries, the protocols for reporting the cause of death has been altered, partly in panic partly from a desire to get a better grip of what has overwhelmed Western style countries – although it appears there have no such problems in Asia

            The procedures for reporting cause of death often are lacking in adequate definition, and agendas are satisfied by accusations of under or over counting or reporting –

            The better safe than sorry crowd has been influential in adopting some of the broadest relaxations in previously stringent coroner enquiries – as the England bus accident indicates (there are many more, too much for an aviation blog)

            Human frailty is to be seen in both covid causation, perception, and the administration of every measure along the way, including of the record of deaths

            A more important enquiry would be directed as to why and how such viruses crossover and what must be done to reduce or eliminate such

            Or how to get airtravel back up – this is more apposite and more useful

    • Goes without saying : in my earlier post above in reply to Ted, taking for granted that Covid-19 is there to stay and we’ll have to live with it, re-designing aircraft cabins accordingly, the aforementioned twin aisle five abreast 1+3+1 cross-section for A32X/73X series offering two isolated singles per each row may be a partial solution, provided the airflow behind the wall-panels is processed appropriately with all the relevant anti-viral filters suitably maintained etc ?

    • This is a continuation of previous legal action by Flyers Rights, which has been steadily dismissed by the courts. The FAA has fully answered their extensive comments on the proposed AD. There is no chance of the FAA ruling being overturned.

      It’s similar to the Trump election lawsuits. which allege fraud in the lawful exercise of voting rights. Flyers Rights alleges fraud in the lawful exercise of confidentiality rights. Neither would be upheld in a court of law.

  12. Question is if Boeing can build an aircraft that can compete with A220 at 149sets and with an A321NEO at 225 seats. And do 4000NM’s with 180 passengers. Those are 2 targets that might seem to far apart to hit both with a single design optimized design. And forget loyalty of airlines that will have to buy anyway.

    Southwest knows the Mobile A220-300 weighs 4-5t less than a 737-7 , has more efficient, quieter engines, is more comfortable and will be in production for at least 25 years. United buys XLR’s.

    Realities that won’t go away. Boeing investors aren’t blinded by free cash flow and rosy’s outlooks anymore. They need a credible strategy. The existing one is in the bin.

    Marc Allen, where are you? Neutralized by the cash management folks with their big houses?

  13. For people counting on the current crop of vaccines to ameliorate airtravel, specifically the various IATA and Airlines initiatives, it appears that while such vaccines may inhibit illness they do not inhibit transmission

    To seek to increase widespread and generalised airtravel based on such a vaccine would have the result of further distribution of the virus as opposed to contributing to containment

    « « It appears that all the pharmaceutical companies assume that the vaccine will never prevent infection. Their criteria for approval is the difference in symptoms between an infected control group and an infected vaccine group. They do not measure the difference between infection and noninfection as a primary motivation. » »


    • @Gerrard
      You are correct regarding “efficacy” values.
      – The Pfizer and Moderna phase 3 trials only looked for *symptomatic* infection: the data says nothing about the prevalence of asymptomatic infection among participants.
      – The same applies to the data released by the UAE yesterday pertaining to the Chinese Sinovac vaccine (“efficacy” 84%).
      – In contrast, the AstraZeneca / Oxford phase 3 trials *did* check for asymptomatic infection, by swabbing all participants on a weekly basis. This may explain the much lower efficacy of 62%. The “anomalous” results achieved with a different dosing regime are currently undergoing re-trial.

      And, against this background, Alan Joyce at Qantas proclaimed that he only wants to carry passengers who have been vaccinated! It seems Mr. Joyce needs to read up a little more on the subject.

      • @Bryce

        Thanks for this information – as for Joyce at Qantas he’s merely virtue signalling or transmitting some such message ‘I will do whatever I am told even if I have not yet been told’

        Instead of figuring out how to clean up his balance sheet get his airline re going – he’s proclaiming he’s at the mercy of a higher hand than his

        What is disturbing is that IATA and the other airlines can not be so craven as Joyce – did none of them know what they were talking about when they were talking up their plan?

      • @Bryce

        Joke for Mr Joyce

        1st mouse says: Are you going to get vaccinated?

        2nd mouse replies: Are you mad? They haven’t completed the human trials!

        • I had already seen that joke about the mice — good one 🙂

          On that note, TV anchors and “blind vaxxers” who allege that “the experts say that the vaccine is safe” need to read more carefully. For example, motion 1 deliberated and voted upon yesterday by the FDA EMA advisory committee didn’t make any reference to “safety” at all. Its exact text was (and I quote):
          “Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks for use in individuals 16 years of age and older?”
          To say that the benefits of a thing outweigh its risks — based on currently available data — is not the same as saying that that thing is safe.

          Moreover, the committee noted explicitly:
          “Unclear if Pfizer’s vaccine is safe for:
          – Children under 16-years-old;
          – Pregnant women;
          – Breastfeeding mothers;
          – People who are immunocompromised;
          – People with past severe reactions to vaccines.”

          That’s a whole load of people that won’t be flying in the near future!

          • @Bryce

            You are right- The Joke’s on Us !

            Thanks for report

            Is there any question here with the EMA of whether the Pfizer vaccine reduces transmission? Or whether this is a priority with the EMA? Was this a stated concern anywhere of the Brt Reg or USA FDA – if not why not

            Or is this merely a happy face feelgood drug – which certainly will save lives and make a lot of people feel better, but go little way, perhaps, to containing the virus, and do next to nothing for airtravel, Boeing, or the airlines

            For that we’ll have a wait some time

            I understand that this transmission rate is the crucial parameter for re up of airtravel, not to say of everything else

            Safety, like efficacy and effectiveness, are words which reassure the vulgus, but which require careful definition in this context – effectiveness I would say is to be measured in terms of transmission reduction, others have used this word to mean other things

            Much like we may say that we now know the Max is ‘safe’ because many of diverse disciplines professions and roles, including and not least lawyers, have spent a lot of time to define and to execute safety, and then establish a consensus that this is the case, witness a long paper trail of clarification of the priorities and parameters of safety and satisfaction of– as used to be the case with vaccines, a lot of work, a lot of time, not just the manufacturer’s PR people making another payday

            One reason perhaps why effectiveness in transmission reduction has not been measured in the case of this virus because they going live testing without doing the work or taking the time

          • @Gerrard
            Whether it’s deliberate or not, convenient use is being made of the average person’s inadequacies when it comes to accurate comprehension. As you point out, the word “efficacy” is a very pertinent example of this. People hear that a vaccine is “95% effective”, but they then fail to ask a follow-on question: effective at doing WHAT? In this case, it seems that most people assume that the efficacy refers to prevention of transmission, but — for all except the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine — the figure actually refers to prevention of *symptomatic* COVID. Zero effort was made in the Pfizer/Moderna Phase 3 trials to determine to what extent *asymptomatic* infection was occurring, with attendant transmission risk. So it is indeed highly unclear to what extent mass vaccination will help to re-commence mass international travel. The “fishbowl” countries that strive to maintain zero virus levels have a particularly difficult conundrum where this is concerned.

            Interesting and salient related point: the care home medical authorities in NL are *not* going to vaccinate the elderly first (unlike the Brits), because they cite the complete absence of any meaningful data on the strength, type, duration and effectiveness of the immune response — and on the possible occurrence of (long-term) complications — in their specific target group: very old people with a highly sedentary lifestyle and with multiple underlying conditions, many of home have dementia. So some people at least are not fooled by all the hype! Instead, the first batch of Dutch vaccines will be offered to healthcare workers — though a third of them have said that they’re not interested.

          • @Bryce

            Control of use of language is Lesson One Politics for Dummies #101 – although they are nowadays so self confident they think they can say whatever they want yet get away with it

            Thanks for report on common sense approach of Dutch authorities as to vaccine for the old aged

            I am uncertain as to why and how vaccines developed with large amounts of public money are not more closely defined as to purpose, by the gvmts or health authorities in general

            You say that the AZ vaccine should be more effective in reducing transmission, does anyone have any idea by how much ? From what I have seen, very little


            Amidst all the convivial backslapping all the Professors could say were represented by sentences such as this

            “Prof Helen Fletcher, Professor of Immunology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

            « This is exciting as a vaccine that prevents asymptomatic infection could reduce transmission of the virus. »

            That’s as bland as Stan – one sentence amidst a vast ocean of praise for other qualities one would have thought of less significance, in a soup of ‘humanity turning the tide’ sentiment, although every Professor was pleased to repeat that the great advantage the AZ vaccine was it’s competitive pricing strategy

            “Prof Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the University of Edinburgh, said:

            « If the vaccine reduces transmission the vaccine could make an important contribution to herd immunity”. »

            That beats out Stan for the very well paid employee saying nothing prize

            No definitions of any of the key words so enthusiastically thrown about

            The most fleshed out report on transmission seemed to ignore whether any of the vaccines being prepared might or might not inhibit infection or transmission


            As if this is a Purdue drug – any vaccine that will not effectively lower transmission is of no overall or general use – a few will gain relief, a few will avoid death, perhaps, but the US/EU looks stuck with the bug

            No airtravel uptick, unless the airlines are as barefaced as the Pharma, and no adequate regulator to define and impose ‘effective’ norms or standards – this kind of carefully preserved lawlessness is what is called in French ‘Le far west’

            One relief – fewer people in the MSM are saying ‘follow the science’

          • @Gerrard
            “You say that the AZ vaccine should be more effective in reducing transmission, does anyone have any idea by how much ?”

            The efficacy figure quoted for the AZ/Oxford vaccine is 62% (for the 2x full dose regime)…of the same order as what you’d expect from a flu vaccine. I suspect that the 95% values being touted for other vaccines will decrease to this level once asymptomatic cases are factored in.
            Also interesting will be the decay in this value as a function of time. Pfizer/Moderna only had to submit 2 months worth of data for the EUA deliberation, but they need to submit at least 6 months worth of data for full approval. Indications from Phase 1/2 trials are that there might be antibodies present for 6-8 months after inoculation, but it’s unclear at what titer, and very unclear to what extent such figures can be extrapolated to a much broader population (there were only 72 participants in the early trials — all relatively young and fit).

            So, with 62% efficacy after 2 months, how many potential carriers will there be in a widebody aircraft (300 pax) on a given flight in June next year? Bear in mind that women of childbearing age and kids under 16 will still probably not have been vaccinated at that stage. And realize that Hong Kong is currently inflicting a 2-week ban on any airline that brings in even a single CoViD case to HK…despite the fact that PCR testing produces 20-67% false negatives.

            These are issues that Alan Joyce at Qantas evidently isn’t thinking about with his simplistic declaration that Qantas should only carry vaccinated passengers.

          • @Bryce

            Further to last

            At FDA hearings on the Pfizer certification

            “Key question is asked by Dr Patrick Moore: The @pfizer study didn’t measure whether it blocks infection. Is it possible it prevents illness, but ppl could still carry & spread virus?”

            So..perhaps…attention will be brought to this key issue

            Despite that the official report blithely states that indeed the vaccine will help achieve ‘herd immunity’

            This seems an absurd misunderstanding, or am I miss taken?

          • @ Gerrard
            No, you’re not mistaken.
            Best case: A disturbing level of ignorance, denial and sheepishness.
            Worst case: A concerted effort to get as many vaccines as possible distributed and paid for before the sub-optimal news starts to surface -> in other words, maximize turnover during the ignorance period.
            And the predicament raised by you a few weeks ago has now come to pass: questions are already being asked as to whether it is ethical to continue trials using placebos now that vaccines are being distributed. If the answer is “no”, then the only further data we’ll receive will be from public vaccination trial-and-error, and development of further vaccines will be stifled.

            Let’s be fair: a vaccine that helps lower the incidence of serious illness is very welcome. But how many authorities will be surprised to learn that their transmission problems aren’t going to just go away? And what levels of disillusionment will set in when we get more data on the efficacy duration? How many airlines, in particular, are just assuming that the vaccine is a magic bullet that will dispel all their woes?

  14. I’m wondering if someone could clarify something.

    Virgin Atlantic recently sold two 787’s in a leaseback transaction. Both aircraft were under five years old. They received 70 million pounds ($~93 million USD). Not each, for both.

    I know the devil is in the details, but some $46 million is a pittance for that aircraft. That’s what you should be getting for a 737 Max.

    I’m guessing the lease terms were very, very generous – like leasing a Mercedes for $1000 a month, generous (I jest).

    Anyone have any insight?

    • The benefit of the lease-back is not just in the sale price. The overall rate of return for the airline is what matters. The balance can be negotiated to be weighted toward either short or long term benefit, depending on needs. The airline can trade up-front cash for terms. If cash were the only consideration and they didn’t want or need the aircraft, they could sell instead. Obviously they do.

    • Oh dear oh dear

      “…industry executives talk of hearing about a deal at just $35m for a 737 Max, against a list price of $121.6m…”

      • Whitetail MAX’s with previous branding will be sold at a discount below the traditional 50% level, due to the airline cost of rebranding. Other MAX’s will be delivered on original terms, or with compensation. As discussed here many times, and widely reported and known.

          • Pedro, the price you quoted was only rumored and can’t be confirmed. I gave a plausible explanation for the rumored price based on reporting that Boeing would discount whitetails in order to move them. That’s all.

        • “The middle-of-the-market gap is real,”

          Analysts say the turmoil has only heightened the appeal of A321neos, which let carriers operate medium-range routes without having to sell many hundreds of seats.

          … Boeing have lost a lot of their good career engineers… They have been bruised and battered so badly,”

          History is repeating itself: Boeing is the new MD!

          • Pedro, in these posts on the MAX and others on vaccines, you are fighting battles that have already ended. As others do here as well.

            You collect random repetitive negative facts and delight in posting them as a substitute for a cohesive argument, but they are not. Nor do they alter reality. I explained the principles behind that approach earlier. Once they become obvious, the game is up.

            Despite the mass of misinformation and negative opinion posted here, the MAX is now approved and has returned, and vaccines are now approved and are implemented. That is the singular reality. The world is moving forward and on. All the nonsense posted here, has mattered not a whit. I suspect that will continue to be the case.

          • @Rob

            More and more positive news on China prospects for Boeing coming out of the Biden team and nominations

            You seems to have an inside track on this – can you give a prognosis of the path ahead?

          • @Rob
            You have an accuracy in your terminology — at least as regards the USA, UK, Bahrain and Mexico.
            The Pfizer vaccine has not been “approved” in these countries; it has only received an “authorization for emergency use (EUA)”.
            An EUA can be granted based on just two months of Phase 3 trial data, whereas full approval requires at least six months of such data.

          • @Rob: I wonder how it’s possible you can misinterpret what I posted above as anything about the MAX. Overworked? Take a rest and reread what I posted Again.

      • And what is the latest deal for which there was only a “modest” discount? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

        • Virgin Australia, perhaps?
          They cancelled their original order for 38 MAX-8s and 10 MAX-10s, and then immediately placed a new order for 25 MAX-10s. The new -10s can’t be whitetails, but Virgin doubtless got a MUCH better price for the new order.

    • At the same time WaPo ran this article, it ran another claiming the FDA is incompetent, derelict and uncaring for not having approved the vaccine yet. It’s all about generating conflict, as we have seen many times before. If the conflict is contradictory, so much the better.

      In the meantime, as we saw also with the FAA, the process is unfolding as it should. The FDA conducted its advisory board meeting online yesterday, and the whole spectrum of opinion was heard. It was good to hear dissent put forward and argued intelligently in a rational forum. The vote was to issue EUA and the FDA will do so shortly.

      If Trump and others are melting down, that will surprise no one, but it doesn’t reflect on the vaccines themselves. Have to separate the science from the politics. The FDA has processes in place to maintain objectivity, just as with the FAA.

      • @Rob

        You are right, it is time to turn the page on Trump

        What will Biden or the Biden admin do to support the return of airtravel?

        What programs can be put in place to guarantee safe airtravel?

        I understand that Biden already has a team in place to address these issues, please give us some insight into their intent and plans

        Apart from renewing more diplomatic and less confrontational relations with China, as we have discussed?

        What role do you see for Boeing going forward?

          • @Bryce

            Re China relations and Biden I lnked to the FT, WaPo and Asia Times above – there’s also a recent report by Greenwald

            There will of course be no abrupt turnaround, and there are obviously elements in any US Administration, DoD for one, which will preach confrontation leading to war

            However the articles argue that just as Trump’s military threats and trade war was counter productive, they also state that WS has always better managed the Democrats, c.f. Obama Financial Crisis 2008, notwithstanding any lingering Dem worker rhetoric

            For WS China represents a gigantic market, industrial and now financial as well, scheduled to outgrow the US, in finance the Chinese need a degree of international competence and investment to replace HK and to bolster third party confidence

            China is also an essential manufacturer for US industry – so that if Biden proceeds to defuse trade war and waiver tariffs, as your CBNC article suggests, allowing for tough negotiation will placate US ruling class elements opposed, and better serve to refocus on Russia as the Public Enemy #1

            If things head in this direction, Boeing re cert is made a lot easier in China, as well as building up their sales and factories there : while China used the Huawei crisis to rethink and massively re invest their semiconductor and 5G strategy, it appears they are less willing to go it alone in commercial aviation

            In turn this might, just might, discipline Boeing to pharf around a little less, being so beholden to ‘WS in China’

            I have also seen it stated that if the US is in any way serious about re shoring certain vital industries they are going to need all the outside help they can get, their major industrial project set up and management skills are wanting, their 30 year off shoring programs were successful at least in this

          • @Gerrard
            Interesting points.
            Of course, the real elephant in the room is the vast holding of US Treasury Bonds that China has in its possession. I think we can safely assume that China may now be somewhat less inclined to buy them / roll them over. Rick Santelli — CNBC’s bonds expert — has been commenting for months on decreasing bid/cover ratios for recent treasury auctions. China is also trying to introduce a digital Yuan, so as to try to bleed influence away from the dollar for commercial transactions.
            Interesting months/years ahead!

          • @Bryce

            Exactly, the building out of China financial market will need WS active participation, and promises gigantic returns

            China is much further along than the US Fed in rolling out a digital currency, and via also RCEP, creating some kind of Asia trading block as well as building up the yuan as an alternative to the dollar

            Hence the very large scale China deal with Iran, along exactly these lines, payment not in $ but in ‘local currency’, ‘soft currency’, or RMB, an historic exclusion of the $

            I also read that a digital yuan breaks current $ transaction and tracing virtual monopoly – pay for something via the dig y app, or Alipay, in a shop etc in Bogota or Kinshasa, or wherever there is significant enough China presence investment and personnel and tourists, and US T&T as well $ monopoly and SWIFT stranglehold starts to crumble ; in Africa dollarisation replacement by yuan-isation is joining the increasing use of the yuan as a reserve currency by African central banks

            Few Africans even businesses have bank accounts just as they had no telephone landlines – as the jump straight to cellular the continent can jump straight to Alipay

            WS must believe they can play both sides of the fence, and bend both administrations into accepting accomodation of their bi lateral interests

            As far as I know China has stopped buying $ treasury bonds but not started any selling : presumably this current situation is a kind of stalemate that neither side wishes to test too severely as the repercussions would probably spin out of control and ….

            All this, to get back to our prime concern, augurs well for Boeing in China

        • Time to reread the 34th POTUS’s farewell speech:
          ” …. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    • @Bryce

      Thanks for your explanations as to AZ in particular, I was confused

      In any case it is 62% of that % of the population which takes the viruses, which is between 60/70% and as low as 40% according to polling in US/EU, as you have pointed out

      Which is not going to be enough to achieve the herd immunity, and contain the virus

      Airtravel will not be able to use a vaccine certificate to re launch international airtravel, even if this magic wand is what they are dreaming about, rather than thinking rationally

      The rush to certify and sell in what ‘effectively’ is an improper procedure is a product of the same corrupt mentality that has been pervasive throughout this pandemic, treat the symptoms and not the cause, damn the consequences

      As for ‘Joke’ Joyce – note that the Aus PM was at first talking about mandatory vaccination, until he was obliged to admit this was not going to be imposed – it looks like JJ’s mandatory vaccine is a backdoor version

      As for evidence of FDA regulatory capture, Leeham people are well acquainted with the operation of reg cap : the fact that the US Gvmt has since the beginning of this pandemic failed know what to do is reflected in FDA impotence

      In the US the pandemic has resulted in a situation where nobody knows anything, everyone shouts down everyone, while Pharma profits from the chaos and lawlessness to sell their badly conceived and ill made products

      But any history of Pharma in the US will throw up multiple examples of FDA reg cap

      • @ Gerrard
        I had already seen that article on uptake willingness among USA women.
        For USA black people, the situation is even worse:
        “…only 14% “mostly or completely trust” a COVID-19 vaccine will be safe…and less than one-fifth, 18%, of Black Americans “mostly or completely trust” a COVID-19 vaccine will be effective.”


        So, if Mr. Joyce’s plan goes ahead, it looks as if Qantas flights may skew heavily toward white male passengers 😉

        • @Bryce

          Aah Joker Joyce will provide many a laugh before he gets his planes in the air again – let’s hope he gets vaccinated double quick, long may he PR

          As for black american reluctance to take products that Pharma throws at them due to long standing historical resentments about being used as ‘guinea pigs’-

          The nerd class has campaigned for the vaccine to be given, in priority, to the african american disadvantaged and proportionately worser or worst idpol group to be sickened and killed by this bug

          Result – a designated vaccine priority class that says, mostly, they do not want the vaccine is to be forced to take the vaccine by the PMC white privilege class, through the use of a brand new idpol/snowflake argument that wishes to –

          Use the blacks as guinea pigs for an under researched and barely trialed and under tested vaccine…oops…..once again

          Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

          (Plus see Pfizer’s misadventures in Nigeria)

        • @Bryce


          It looks like a long hard road – China is in no hurry, probably counting on the fact that Boeing is in a hurry

          Perhaps they are just ‘biden their time’ – as JJ would say

          Surely the goal is tech transfer ?

          « « Richard Aboulafia, vice-president of analysis at aviation and defence consultancy Teal Group, said it would be a “serious blow” for Boeing if the MAX was not allowed to return to service in China. » »

          • @ Gerrard White
            Why would China be in any hurry?
            Despite the re-commencement of domestic air travel in China itself, shorthaul flights between China and its neighbors are still more-or-less stagnant, so there isn’t much need to expand shorthaul fleets at present. If there’s a desire to replace older aircraft by more fuel-efficient newer ones (not very urgent, in view of low oil prices), then that process can certainly wait a few months/years. In the meantime, since Airbus have an assembly facility in Tianjin, the Chinese have access to domestically assembled, reliable Airbus aircraft, so why bother with the MAX?

          • @Bryce

            My point of view is that China (CS which obviously involves a heavy pol hand) is talking more with WS than anyone else, no one is asking Boeing for their two cents

            This is a package holiday for these two (CS and WS) right now, during the in between administrations – both can let their hair down a little when the politicos and the Pentagonians are, as it were, neutered

            The deal is a package deal that goes way beyond just Boeing, yet commercial aviation appears to be a priority for China – the EU has long been subject to China overtures, trade & finance, but has always gone weak at the knee – I think these talks have been ongoing since 2013 : plus the EU does not have the finance expertise nor muscle : if not Airbus would indeed be as you say a more productive efficient and less ignorant/ inept partner

            CS/WS take the time to work out the details (talks were frustrated during T time) and when politics re ups they have a fully budgeted closely argued pitch with pork for DoD and every other potential spanner

  15. The CDC immunization advisory panel voted 11 to 0 (3 abstaining due to conflicts) today for the Pfizer vaccine to be used for persons 16 and older in the US. That is now the official federal policy.

    Pregnant women are advised to consult with their physicians before inoculation. Although not included in the trials, the panel found no evidence of health threats that would impact pregnancy. Further results are forthcoming from both Pfizer and Moderna..

    Those with known allergies to the vaccine components, or to previous vaccines, are likewise advised to consult with their physicians before inoculation.

    The EUA issued yesterday also has no restrictions and no expiration. It’s expected to remain in place until formal approval can occur.

    Implementation is expected to begin on Monday, for the first group of about 3 million people. We should also see the vaccine messaging campaigns begin.

    The Moderna EUA should come next week, which will expand the number of doses available. 30 to 40 million total are expected in the US by late December or early January.

    • @Rob

      What effects will this vaccine roll out have on airline travel up take

      Will this vaccine be effective enough to encourage renewed travel?

      At what stage, around what date, do you foresee solid and increasing expansion of airtravel, not only domestic US but international

      If you do predict an expansion of this market, what about Boeing’s future?

      • @Gerrard
        Well, we know that it’s currently completely unknown whether the Pfizer / Moderna vaccines prevent transmission…we only know that they appear to prevent symptomatic CoViD for the duration of the trial window. Even an anchor and a doctor on CNN discussed this point yesterday evening. The doctor reiterated that we’ll be socially distancing and wearing masks for a long time to come.
        So these vaccines are unlikely to have any noticeable effect on re-starting inter-regional air travel until this point is clarified. They will, of course, make recipients more confident about not getting severely ill if they get infected, but there’s still the problem of those recipients infecting others around them. This is certainly a red light for the “fishbowl” countries that are currently striving to maintain zero virus levels. But between states with similar epidemiological situations (such as within the US or EU, or within South America / Africa) it may slowly start to get people onto planes again. Of course, the big question is how many airlines will continue to be in existence in the meantime.

        • @Bryce

          Thanks for this – your view is sober and realistic – but it is essential to have a range of diverse views and democratic debate, so other prognostics are welcome, and of the highest importance we should have the viewpoint of Corporate Compliance

          You have remarked that the AZ vaccine, insofar as it does give some transmission protection might have some positive effect on airtravel, insofar as anyone is going to take it, after excluding those who say they will not and those who-

          -we run into a wall – many of the richer country richer people, those who might fly, may/will have taken the Pf/Mod etc vaccines which are useless to purpose : will they take another vaccine just to fly (no joke)

          Is it a good idea to take a cocktail of vaccines ? It seems unlikely

          Likewise for China and Boeing – The Biden boys profess optimism for normalisation with China after the errant T years

          Yet this too will be a struggle as hard and as long as the covid cure – as you remark we’ll be stuck with all manner of newfound truths and hallelujah ceremonial dress, until the fashions change again

          The solution to airtravel uptake is foreshadowed in this link – the latest developments in mask fashion : more SpaceX than Max, but for sure a boost to both : as perfect for Boeing airtravel as for Mars


          I’m sure Elon/Gucci or both can come up with a full panoply even more exciting to wear – wi fi, virtual R, re juvenation wipes pre installed, solar powered

          This will be the only way to maintain social distancing, which, like lockdown, is a feeble attempt to prolong the pain and pandemic, being impossible either to respect or enforce – note the rapid fire exemptions accorded to Senior Politicians, BLM as well as sundry rioters, as those granted to South African miners

          With respect – all this fancy dress is as frightening as those representations of medieval sinners, or as the frontispiece etchings in the early editions of Hobbes’ Leviathan

          • @Gerrard
            No known need as yet for a cocktail of vaccines. People can take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, but — as regards the ability to prevent (asymptomatic) infection — the official efficacy values of these vaccines will probably (rapidly) start to whittle down toward the more realistic value of the AZ/Oxford vaccine as soon as we start to get more data. And the efficacy values of all vaccines will probably start to decay as a function of time.

            That having been said: you no doubt heard last week that AZ/Oxford and the Russian Sputnik V developers are going to do some research into the possibility of combining their vaccines into a “one-of-each” cocktail. And, of course, by the time the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines wear off, future vaccinations will probably occur using a more amenable vaccine (such as the AZ/Oxford vaccine) that doesn’t need such low temperatures — at that stage, manufacturing of such vaccines will probably have been ratcheted up significantly. So Pfizer/Moderna probably only have a short-lived window in which to make some profit with their offering, before they get sidelined. From that point of view, continuing ignorance as regards the real efficacy of their vaccines is a blessing for them 😉

          • @Bryce

            Ok I see what you mean – those who want to travel will wait for the AZ vaccine, unless some bad news bout this intervenes

            But the result is airtravel will stagnate – given the absence in the West of any alternative program/solution – not pick up until AZ goes wide, which will not be until…mid 2021 ? and even then will …there are so many ?’s

            What will gvmts US EU get up to in between time to protect their massive airline subsidies and get people in the air ?

            PS On the other topic of Boeing in China they call WSers ‘The China Class’

      • Gerrard, there is no new information in this article. The three conditions for RTS in China were already given.

        “As long as these conditions are met, we’re happy to see the MAX return to service in China,” Feng Zhenglin, the agency’s director, told reporters last month. “But if these conditions cannot be met, we still have to carry out strict airworthiness certification to ensure safety.”

        As I mentioned, that is an opaque statement, from which you can read what you will. This is classic China, it’s a game they frequently play. So I looked for evidence that the Chinese are prepared to recertify, if they choose to do so. The evidence is that they are. However that does not mean they will.

        So as ever, we have to wait. The next sign will be the release of the Ethiopian final report, which was the third condition, and the one that is not yet met. At that point, the Chinese may clarify their position on the other two conditions. Or not, there is no way to tell.

        Anything beyond this is speculation and opinion. The opinion I find most viable, is that the Chinese have enjoyed a moment in the sun, having been the first ground the MAX, and thus have emphasized their superiority over the West. They are in no hurry for that to end, and have the attention of the world as the final decision-maker (“All eyes on China”).

        Based on this opinion, I think they will recertify the MAX when they feel it is no longer advantageous to not recertify. That may happen as the rest of the world routinely flies the MAX, and China begins to appear as following rather than leading. But again that is only speculation.

        • @Rob

          This indeed true what you say

          But may not China gain certain advantage by not being in a hurry andor taking some long to re certify?

          This would put more pressure on Boeing – after all as Bryce pointed out China does not really need the planes at this moment, if I have understood him correctly

          One tactic would be to publish frequent news reports with this same pessimistic slant

          China’s importance to Boeing is a marvel, already very important – correct me if I am wrong, 30% sales?, and given the rapid growth of the China market projected, not least by Boeing, they can afford to give themselves an air of mastery – to which Boeing would be well advised to kowtow

          Please suggest Boeing alternative markets to China – and are Boeing doing anything to help secure uptick in airtravel via any scheme of t&t or vaccination? Or are they just waiting patiently?

          • Gerrard, asked and answered. This is all the knowledge we have available, anything more is speculation.

            China is purposely being opaque, as is consistent with their authoritarian regime. Notably while Western regulators saw their role as returning the MAX safely, working diligently toward that goal, China refused to participate and instead withholds approval without providing either goals or reasons. That has propaganda value as I mentioned, but for those who understand the true issues, it belies a lack of leadership and merit.

            As far as the market, Boeing still has many aircraft flying in China, well over a thousand. So the grounding of around 100 MAX’s is not that significant overall. Either for China or Boeing. That’s why it can remain unresolved.

          • @Rob

            It”s not only about the re cert – but China re buying all Boeing planes, no matter how many they bought in the past Boeing would like to sell China more

            China is not being opaque, it is quite clear what they are doing, they are taking their own sweet time because they think this is to their advantage and to the disadvantage of Boeing

            Even Boeing will understand that

            It is probably best to keep conceptions or strictures of morality out of discussions geopolitical and economic, one tends to start a slanging match holier than thou which is indeed the definition of opaque, and which obscures rational or logical or any other processes which better regulate airplane construction, certification and commerce

            I like your picture of western regulators ‘working diligently’ – it is very charming prospect

            Please describe Boeing’s China prospects, re cert and sales for 2021 and 2022?

            Are you as resolutely optimistic as Boeing have pronounced themselves to be?

          • “”while Western regulators saw their role as returning the MAX safely, working diligently toward that goal, China refused to participate””

            Safety wasn’t the goal of your so called Western regulators, they made a deal and never checked all cert documents which are based on cheating, Jedi-mind tricking and hiding.
            Good China refused to participate in this crime

    • @ Rob

      Thanks for your report on Pfizer vc roll out – this very helpful

      Can you provide some detail please – specifically with reference to the various states’ diversity programs and prioritisations of the african american and other at high risk groups

      Plus of course all other prioritisation programs – do these vary from state to state, if so -widely or not, or has the CDC managed to inform some kind of nation wide uniformity ?

      Melinda Gates, we know, is but one of many influential and concerned voices calling for harmonisation of prioritisation, rather than a ruthless rainbow patchwork of varying priorities bound to bring more distress to already suffering victims

      What of the notion that to prioritise africa american peoples over african peoples is severe and egregious discrimination ?

      What about Latinx ? Although many have criticised this portmanteau terminology for being too loose to useless it retains some popular validity

      The Native Americans ? The Obese ? The Poor ? The Aged ? The Aged and infirm ? The Female ? Essential Workers ? Teachers ? Homeless ? Prisoners ? There are so very many groups, deprived, victimised and at high risk

      What is the best methodology of priorisation that will deliver kindness not distribute cruelty

      It is best that these procedures precisely be put in place at the beginning of this very long multiple shot multiple year vaccination schedule : one would not wish to go through a Vaccine re certification process as we did with the Max

      Some have criticised the scientific procedures followed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, in their report – especially their emphasis on structural racism : what is your opinion ?

      Or as presented by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices- The CDC ‘hot spot’ program appears lacking in definition and administrative deliverables

      How is it going to be possible to overcome deep distrust among minority groups for very long the victims of white racism in America

      • Gerrard, all of this information is documented online. The CDC and FDA have required states to develop immunization plans that prioritize at-risk groups, whomever they may be. All such groups have been defined and prioritized by the CDC. States must follow those guidelines.

        The identification of individuals within those groups was left to the states, as best able to determine their own populations. This will be monitored at both state and federal level. The vaccine will appear at whatever locations the states designate.

        What is now emerging, is that states that took the pandemic seriously, have well-developed programs ready. My own state is among them. Those that have been in denial, are significantly less prepared. So there is assistance funding for states embedded in the federal stimulus bill, that is still hung up in Congress over other issues.

        My guess is that with the change in administration, we will see more federal involvement, organization and assistance. That would be a good thing to help the vaccine roll out with as few issues as possible.

        General Perna has said that no plan can completely foresee or address all problems, so he has focused on contingencies as a major part of the effort. The planning has many branches that may not be needed, but can be invoked if necessary. The vaccine rollout is challenging, so there will certainly be issues that arise, but the response to them will be more important.

      • @Rob

        Your reply is most instructive and useful

        Yet prioritisation is not as simple as you state, not yet established by CDC guidelines, still to be published, and varies widely from state to state, indeed is still generally the subject of animated discussion if not dispute

        The current CDC guidelines as to priorities are few in number, lack any precise definition, and are mere recommendations, nowhere is the word ‘required’ or any evidence of an attempt to exercise an authority of prescription over the states expressed

        The guidelines go not further than recommend health personnel and care home aged to be one and two, hints about the sub sequence are rare, and include the omnibus term ‘essential workers’, a notorious contested and by definition disputed category

        The at risk groups are numerous and varied, perhaps the CDC is hesitant to face fiery idpol issues


        December 12 : Claire Hannan, the executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers-

        « “I urge the ACIP to provide specific guidance on prioritization as soon as possible,” she said in a public comment at the hearing. »

        But take this report as an example of the lack of preparation in your country and a failure to engage an burning issue of racial discrimination


        The FDA does not prescribe nor proscribe deployment or distribution

        In other words as messy a deployment as hitherto displayed since early this year in the various attempts to contain or treat this virus

        Perhaps by the time the Moderna or AZ or other vaccines come along distribution and prioritisation will have been developed

        I find little evidence of PR or Information campaigns to encourage the American people to take the vaccine, except such local programs for african americans as above link

        I had no idea the structural racism in your country was so bad

        Can you comment on this ?

        Will this vaccine help Boeing and the airlines to get more passengers into their planes ?

        • Gerrard, the guidelines are clearly established and published on the CDC site, also widely reported in the media. Have been in development since September, with complete transparency. Already distributed to the states, all of whom also have web sites that describe their criteria. So the lack or clarity and obfuscation you imply does not exist.

          The messaging campaign will begin next week, as I noted. It will reach out to all groups and no group will be excluded, as you repetitively imply.

          The FDA follows the CDC guidance, same as all states and everyone else. So you are branching off once again into disinformation here. At that point our discussion has to end, as it will descend into your favored game of whack-a-mole. As I mentioned earlier, once the method and motive for that game are understood, there is no reason to play.

          • @Rob

            Please address the reality of the CDC guideline situation – as per the link I gave – as of Dec 12 these guidelines had not been published, only the vague health workers first, old Care people next…. this does not count as careful precise or useful

            I do not imply I quote, as per link – which clearly states this – did you not read the link ? guidelines are yet to be published

            It is important to read documents and links to understand the situation – here is a quote which will help

            « Today’s vote (Dec 11) is only the first step in the CDC’s support of the roll-out of the vaccine. The agency is expected to release detailed communications to state and local health leaders in the coming days, providing guidance for how to distribute the vaccine.
            That guidance should clarify questions about who might be at risk for allergic reactions, and whether pregnant or lactating women should be recommended to receive the vaccine.
            This cannot come too soon, according to Claire Hannan, the executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.

            “I urge the ACIP to provide specific guidance on prioritization as soon as possible,” she said in a public comment at the hearing.
            In an interview with NPR, she noted this detailed guidance could help work out snags in the process. While distribution plans have been developed and tested, “there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle and we need to see how it’s going to work in real time.”

            Please can you define the ‘all groups’ you refer to – this is very vague, sounds like ‘everyone’

            You stated that CDC and FDA both required the states etc etc …I pointed out the FDA does not prescribe deployment – so does no such requiring

            Please use more precise language when attempting to describe a situation which requires exact definition as well as detailed description – this takes a little more time but produces superior results – ditto BA with the Max cert, compare the two, first time rush second time slow, involuntary perhaps, and involving a lot of outside aid…..

            With respect, you should be not be shy of studious enquiry to reach well reasoned understanding – faith and hope have no place here: such qualities have their own corner to dwell in – debate is voluntary education, democracy, learning from your peers, the opposite of Corporate Compliance

          • @ Gerrard

            Thank you for that erudite discourse. It is, indeed, very important to concentrate on fact rather than vague contrivances such as “hope”, “expectation”, etc.

            Regarding some of the groups that you alluded to above: any pregnant, pre-natal or breastfeeding mother who receives this vaccine is being used 100% as a guinea pig. The FDA explicitly noted that there is not enough safety data for those groups.
            Such recklessness would fit well with my earlier assessment that the current vaccinations are essentially an extended Phase 3 trial.

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for your post – the Corporate C attitude on display with regard to this vaccine is exactly the same that led to the Max crashes, and the dismissal of any need for discussion, caution or alteration is the expression of contempt shown for those who do not bend the knee

            CDC has indeed issued some very vague guidelines, and as the link states have promised to define these with precision

            These are guidelines only, each ‘sovereign’ state will do as they decide

            The fact is that there is no consensus nor broad agreement across Fed authorities and the Administration or the states as to what to do, panicked & clueless from the outset early this year

            Never was there a process of discussion as to what to do viz virus, even less of the type and purpose of the vaccine, final evidence that the country is unable to manage or to administer in time of need

            For some while the forms of social economic and political decay and breakdown have been flagrant, this crisis has further revealed and accelerated the degeneration – the point you have raised with regard to the african american is particularly vivid illustration of the US paradox and stalemate

            (a ‘priority’ group, which fears and once again rejects such habitual guinea pigging)

            One reason is that civil reasoned discourse debate or discussion has decayed, bought out by the application of a barren ideology who’s only purpose is control and obedience : the degeneration of Corporate Compliance and the other instruments of authority is complete

            The whole of the pandemic has been a live trial for enforcement, Extended Phase 3 Elimination of resistance and the implementation of methods of control

            To leave off where Scott started – No Plan Stan is America writ small, they have their plan, but they will not tell you

          • @Bryce

            Further to last – ‘recklessness’ is the right word for the FDA, as it is for the FAA, in old english we used to say clowns

          • @Bryce

            Further to last – ‘recklessness’ is the right word for the FDA, as it is for the FAA

  16. “”Such recklessness would fit well with my earlier assessment that the current vaccinations are essentially an extended Phase 3 trial.””

    It’s funny, Trump didn’t like Turkey and brought their currency down, but is relying on Biontech which has turkish owners.
    The world is too small

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