HOTR: Alaska Air still have A320neos on order; working with Airbus on best path forward

Dec. 29, 2020, © Leeham News: Stories and headlines shouted that this month’s Boeing order by Alaska Airlines adding 23 orders and 15 options to an existing agreement meant the death knell for the Airbus fleet.

Alaska indeed announced that all the A319s and A320s inherited from its acquisition of Virgin America will leave the fleet by 2024. But 10 Airbus A321neos remain at least through their lease terms in 2029.

The airline now has 68 Boeing 737 MAX 9s on order and 52 on option.

This is exactly as LNA suggested several times: rotate out the smaller Airbuses as leases expire and keep the larger A321neos.

COVID-19 accelerated the retirement of the smaller Airbus family members by a couple of years. But it never made sense to keep them in lieu of the 737-9 once Alaska committed to this plane several years ago.

But what of the old Virgin America order for 30 A320neos? These are still on the books.

Cancelable Orders

Alaska’s financial filings disclosed that these orders, among the first placed by an airline after Airbus launched the program, are cancelable. Although the penalty is not disclosed, officials said the amount is not large.

But these orders can be upgraded to the A321neo. And a sub-fleet of 10 A321neos doesn’t make a lot of sense, but for the fact Boeing has nothing to serve the same missions as the A321neo.

LNA asked Alaska about those 30 A320neo orders.

“We don’t envision the A320neo has a role in our fleet, and we are working with Airbus to determine best path forward,” a spokesperson emailed.

Could the “best path forward” including swapping to the 321neo?

“Not much more to share,” the spokesperson said.

Much depends on just what Alaska wants to do with its fleet and routes post-COVID.

LNA speculated what Alaska could do with the A321XLR if it wanted. The XLR would open many routes the MAX 9 can’t do. (The MAX 10 has even less range.) Depending on the US city, Alaska could go nicely into Latin and some areas of South America with the XLR.

Even Anchorage and Honolulu could see significant, expanded service, should Alaska choose.

Market intelligence indicates Alaska wants a price for the A321neo millions below Airbus’ offer. Whether this gap can be bridged remains to be seen.

 

 

170 Comments on “HOTR: Alaska Air still have A320neos on order; working with Airbus on best path forward

  1. Why should Airbus reduce the price when there is no competition. Usually pricing is about what the market pays and with a backlog of thousands there is no need to reduce prices.

    It’s understandable that an US airline wants to fly Boeing. Pay the penalty and everything is fine, money for nothing.
    But was this Virgin deal expensive.

    The 4000nm A321LR can carry 180 pax, the XLR might carry more pax, but not much more. For these long range flights additional crew is needed and they take cabin seats, there is no other crew rest area, reducing the pax number further.
    If an A330-800 can be filled it might be the better choice than the XLR with its gate restricted wings. An A320XLR would make more sense.

    • Prices could come down to entice a delivery schedule, and while it’s the only airplane of its size, a MAX8 can still compete for range with it, and there is an assumption that AS has firm plans to operate it at Max range, they may not. Wide bodies would be a terrible move (WOW, Norwegian, AAX), especially a totally unloved variant even if they could get it for equal pricing (which may be close to true). They may not get the a321neo given away but having a semi mixed fleet could be beneficial to all. Another option would be converting to a220s to open new markets further into the US where their brand and routes aren’t as extensive.

      • “”a MAX8 can still compete for range””

        According to Boeing’s payload range curve and ET302 OEW the 82.2t MAX-8 can fly 3465nm with 145pax.
        For comparison, the 79t A320neo without additional fuel tank can fly 3415nm with 151pax.
        The A321neo has many variants from 2690nm with 243pax to 3500nm with 213pax till 4000nm with 180pax.

        Makes sense that the A320neo is ordered much, it also burns more than 4% less fuel than the MAX-8. Easy to understand with 3.2t less MTOW.

        • I believe those A321NEO were a good deal as they were an early order.

          As for AK and routes, they would have to change their structure to take advantage of most of what the A321NEO offers.

          How much future looking they can do while trying to survive right now is a question.

          Those slots worth some serious coin down the road.

          Alaska could even form a sub lease arm!

    • Alaska might like and need the LD3-45 container A321’s for hauling goods suitable for these containers (fish). Delta Airlines is also in Seattle putting bigger and bigger pressure on Alaska, for routes where the 737-8 is too big DAL might compete with its A220’s against Horizons Q400 and for bigger routes its A321’s. So Alaska might be in a squeeze sooner or later. Boeing can help by flooding Alaska with spares, tools and support so they can do 15-18 flights/day for each 737-8 and outrun DAL.

  2. I would not give them one cent discount. You want to cancel orders and have all Boeing fleet? Great, then stay all Boeing then.

  3. > Why should Airbus reduce the price when there is no competition.

    1. To keep slots filled so the production rate can remain stable.
    2. To be able to say to other customers, “Alaska wanted to be an all Max airline, but they realized there are missions only the A321neo can do because it is the better aircraft”.
    3. Too keep volume up and ensure volume based pricing with suppliers stays in the lower tier.
    4. And why not, absent other buyers better sell at a lesser markup than not at all.

    The main thing to avoid is having any lower pricing create pressure on other contracts.

    • “”To keep slots filled so the production rate can remain stable.
      Too keep volume up and ensure volume based pricing with suppliers stays in the lower tier.””

      The production rate would not change with or without Alaska’s small order.

      “”To be able to say to other customers, “Alaska wanted to be an all Max airline, but they realized there are missions only the A321neo can do because it is the better aircraft”.””

      Everybody knows what the NEO can do, Airbus doesn’t need Alaska for that.
      I would tell other customers that Alaska will never get an Airbus again. If Alaska can’t compete on sectors, it’s up to NEO airlines to take the market. I’m sure Airbus customers like Delta would love this. That’s how you keep relations close.
      Now imagine pax worldwide avoid the MAX. I already have a laugh.
      Many other parts of the MAX must be Jedi-mind tricked too, it will crash again. Good Luck to MAX airlines then.

      “”The main thing to avoid is having any lower pricing create pressure on other contracts.””

      Airbus sells quality. There is no need to reduce prices. If Alaska can’t pay it they can ask Trump to pay 15%.
      Airbus can’t serve all airlines, some airlines should be ignored, especially the greedy ones.
      With this huge backlog Airbus should only sign contracts which are worth it. Airbus needs to earn now to invest in future products.

      And Alaska, give me a break, they paid much for Virgin to pay additional penalties. They must have an Muilenburg management too.

      • Production rates are meaningless if airlines can’t take the aircraft. This was covered in other articles on LNA, Airbus’ production rate is already too aggressive for the current market. It seems you have a very avid anti-Boeing bias, and businesses usually don’t openly turn away customers like that. It’s called negotiation, time will tell if they are able to agree or not but I’d doubt Airbus would flip the table and walk away from anyone.

        • “”Production rates are meaningless if airlines can’t take the aircraft.””

          I would be surprised if there is any airline who didn’t negotiated deliveries. Airbus knows exactly which plane they can produce and deliver. Last month Airbus deliverred 54 A320family, reducing the undeliverred fleet further at a production rate of 40 per month. Increasing the production rate of the A320family soon is the right move.

          In former times I respected Boeing, I flew many times on Boeings. Sad that I have to take care now to avoid Boeing.

          • “I have to take care now to avoid Boeing.” sounds …unnecessary

          • @Albert Gnadt

            Why? ‘Ethical flying’ is a fashionable thing

            Like ethical energy, eating etc etc

          • @ Albert Gnadt
            I can see plenty of reasons why someone would want to avoid flying Boeing. Apart from the fact that all their recent/current programs are plagued by serious quality/design issues, and the fact that they seem to be incapable of making a plane that lends itself to a decent seat width without unacceptably increasing seat-mile costs, I’m sure many people might wish to distance themselves from a company that deliberately sacrificed quality — and lives — for a quick buck. Look at Shell for an example: it suffered prolonged boycotts in parts of Europe in the 80s because it was perceived to be supporting apartheid in South Africa. Similarly, some people like to avoid Ryanair because they feel that the company disregards workers’ rights.
            People do care about corporate morals (or lack thereof)!

          • Sorry to tell y’all, but Airbus isn’t exactly squeaky clean.

        • @ Zoom
          Airbus have walked away from Ryanair…on more than one occasion.
          If Boeing wants to profile itself as the discount store / dollar shop of aviation, then let it go: sooner or later its accountants will point out that having excessively low margins is not good for business unless you have a correspondingly high sales volume and/or low development & production costs — neither of which applies to Boeing.
          If Airbus prefers to profile itself as Mercedes rather than Trabant, then let it roll!

    • Mr Leon I know you like Airbus . Give me a statistic that A320 is safer than B737. The neo will crash also in the future. There was a deadly A320 crash after the Ethiopia crash.

      • Daveo,

        I like 717 and 767 too, though they are old now.
        I don’t check stats, but I believe every A320 software has an independent audit. The MAX might only have audits for the software changes, all the older stuff might be self-certified.

        We just have to wait for crashes. I’m sure blaming pilots won’t fly anymore. Then Dickson and Ky will have a hard time.

      • “There was a deadly A320 crash after the Ethiopia crash.”

        No fatal Neo accidents at all according to Aviation Safety network. Especially no ‘hull losses’
        The only other older A320 fatal crash recently was the pilot caused one at Karachi.
        Do you have other information Daveo ? I dont believe in ‘one plane is safer than another’ contest but there have been 2 737-800 fatals 2020 alone, not including the shootdown at Tehran.

        • If you look, almost all recent crashes are due to pilot failures (MAX aside)

          The one I can think of that was not was the Egyptian A320 that had a fire or was sabotaged over the Med.

          Leon: I think you are totally wrong on the MAX being a higher risk now. No question Boeing failed terribly on MCAS 1.0.

          So yes, we will have crashes for both as the software has to either be able to fly the aircraft of the pilots have to not make those kind of errors. That is in the AHJ area and there is no control over that by Boeing or Airbus (they are both fully aware of it)

          But at this point, there is zero difference between the MAX and NG.

          That does not mean that automation is the perfect answer, its not. Its half way implementation between fully autonomous and removing human error (at risk of software faults)

          One of the severe depressive elements of the MAX crash is they took out the very aspect Boeing claims to fame on, pilot override in the Yoke cutout switch.

          The Pilots could not stop the Stab movement with full back as that no longer works that way in MAX (I don’t think they put it back for MCAS 2.0)

          • @ TW
            “But at this point, there is zero difference between the MAX and NG.”

            If that’s the case, then why is Boeing recruiting 180 “babysitter” pilots to help flight crews in Asia/Africa fly the MAX…even though the same flight crews are perfectly capable of flying an NG without assistance? And why did Boeing need to “cook” re-certification flights by pre-drilling pilots to “keep the finger on the pickle switch”, as per the recent Senate report?

            I don’t believe for a moment that the FAA did a thorough review of the entire MAX, including production quality issues: everything points to an MCAS-centric review only. I agree entirely with Leon on this one.

          • Boeing offers a pilot monitoring, mentoring, and advising service to enhance safety. Airlines are welcome to use it or not, it’s not mandatory. The 160 pilots could not be present on every flight, nor are they necessary. But their presence is a resource that can be beneficial to airlines as a safety check.

            Airlines that are interested in safety can participate. My guess is that they will. Why would they not? They understand the role that pilots played in the accidents. Just as the pilots union did, by not opposing the mandatory training and even asking for the refresher frequency to be 2 years rather than 3.

            Boeing also has an obvious interest in pilot training now, as does the FAA through Congressional mandate. Again, you only have to review the pilot actions in the accident reports to understand why.

            Babysitter is a label of the anti-maxxers, who as usual are focused on ridicule and derision rather than understanding or improvement. Labels serve that purpose. Typical of the conspiracy theorist, as we’ve seen also with the discussion on vaccines. Almost all propaganda that turns out to be meaningless. Just as the nonsense about the coaching from the Senate report is meaningless. And the nonsense about the election. It’s all the same thing, same methods, same goals, same people. Only the topic changes.

            The Senate incident occurred in an early flight simulator test in June 2019, when a Boeing pilot cautioned the FAA pilot to not make the same mistakes the accident pilots did. And they did not, being able to recover in those tests. This was over a year before the actual certification tests, on a completely different software version than was certified. And the FAA pilot did not participate in the actual certification, nor fly the actual aircraft. Nor did the incident have anything to do with the actual certification.

            But it’s useful fodder for the anti-maxxers, as it can be used to mischaracterize and mislead, which is the true goal. But the industry knows better, so this will be largely ignored, as the House report also was. If Congress really thought those things were happening, they could alter the legislation to prevent it. But they haven’t. Instead they passed legislation which strengthens the ODA system.

            But we will go on listening to the theorists here, and their messaging will continue to be debunked as experience builds with the MAX. Just as it has been for vaccines. Yesterday American inaugurated service, with the captain and first officers having family members on board, because they are rational beings who have confidence in the MAX.

            As is usually the case, the reality is quite different from the mischaracterization of it. Boeing has delivered 15 new MAX’s since November, and that pace will increase as vaccines become more widely administered and air travel recovers.

          • On all cert flight photos I saw Boeing pilots in pilot seats.
            Sure babysitters.
            FAA and EASA are a joke.

          • @Rob

            Third world pilot blaming is not the way to go

          • What’s wrong with being an “anti-maxxer”?
            – Second most dangerous aircraft in recent western aviation history.
            – Killed 346 people.
            – Underwent grounding of record duration.
            – Subject of ongoing criminal probes by DoJ/FBI.
            – Lambasted by damning reports from both US legislative houses.
            – Revealed major shortcomings in functioning of FAA.
            – Revealed disgraceful attitudes such as “Jedi mind tricking”.

            With a record like that, how could any rational person be anything other than an “anti-maxxer”? It’s like being an “anti-anarchist”: it’s entirely axiomatic, and needs no justification.

          • @Bryce

            Anti Maxxer is too cheap a steal from anti vaxxer to work…actually too cheap a steal sums the Max up quite well

            How about Boeing Denier?

          • @Rob

            “Again, you only have to review the pilot actions in the accident reports to understand why.”

            You disagree with the opinions as published of the investigators into the ET accident?

            Why ?

            Are you not referring to this accident and to this report?

            Why not?

          • Gerrard, this has all been covered in the past here, in detail. No need to go over it again. It’s obvious to anyone who reviews the accident data. Pilots did not follow their training and made errors. That is the truth, and it contributed to the accidents, as Boeing and MCAS did as well.

            This is why the FAA required mandatory recovery training for all pilots, why the airlines and pilots accepted it without exception or objection, why the other involved regulators accepted it without exception or objection, why Boeing is offering this additional service, and why airlines are likely make use of it.

            Theorists howl about foreign pilots, as if somehow the fact that they were foreign is the main point. That’s clearly not the issue, training is the issue, and thus was addressed by the FAA. No reference in the any of the reports or AD to foreign anything, just to the training. But the label allows the theorists to use the further labels of political correctness, Western arrogance, etc. Always with the labels. Never with the facts.

            In the end, all that matters is the reality. The FAA has a duty to break the links in the accident chain, and they have. To not address the pilot issue is to invite another accident.

            The theorists howl about the loss of life, while predicting and welcoming the next accident as proof that they are correct. If we judge by actions, then the FAA and Boeing are working to help ensure there is not another accident. The theorists try to deride those efforts in hopes that they will fail. Which view occupies the high ground?

            The theorists will always be with us, they are a part of life. But thankfully, they are in the minority, existing in pockets where they congregate. Research shows they are not responsive to facts or truth. So they can be identified by that characteristic alone.

            They focus on tearing down established truth and value. Their tactics are repetition of misinformation and avoidance of factual substantiation. In that sense they become captives of their own lies, which must be endlessly repeated in order to sustain their narrative, in the face of the opposing reality.

            They elevate opinion above fact. Where objective truth or facts are established, they claim the establishing entities are corrupt. We have an excellent example in the White House. All those same methods are employed here as well, both for vaccines and the MAX.

            The theorists don’t advocate for things, just against. Their message is wholly negative, always trying to undermine, which reflect their goals as well. As we also have seen here, both for vaccines and the MAX.

            But that’s ok, as long as they do this, facts and truth can be raised to debunk them. In the end, reality is not altered or governed by their attempts to do so. The unfolding reality will always work against them. We’ve seen this confirmed with vaccines, with the MAX, and with the election.

          • Speaking of “the election”, it would appear that we have a cornered politician in our midst: long, rambling, evasive syntax with lots of hot air and vacuous mantras.
            But, take comfort: seeing as pilots outside the US are allegedly incapable of flying the MAX, non-US carriers now have every reason to cancel their orders and instead order a plane that does not need an airforce test pilot to keep it in the air 👍

          • Note that statements and descriptions alleged to have been put forth by others, are in fact those of the author alone.

            No other person or entity has said that foreign pilots are incapable of flying the MAX, or that they need babysitters. Nor have any airlines cancelled orders due to needing an air force pilot, nor have any expressed an intention to do so. All misinformation, all lies, but attributed to others instead of the true source. Which is in itself a lie.

            As mentioned above, it’s very easy to answer the lies with reality. The truth is the truth. Whereas the author will need to repeat the lie indefinitely, as has occurred here again, to sustain the narrative. Combined as well with the usual ridicule and ad hominin argument. Fits the theorist method perfectly.

          • Bryce: It would be laughable if not so deadly.

            Reality is Boeing is responsible for the deaths of 346 people, plane and simple.

            The reality is that once you get caught with your pants down, you then do it right or per Boeing norm, keep on doing what you always have.

            Its in the Boeing corporate DNA to cheat even if you don’t have to.

            They simply cannot help themselves any more than a frog can stop flicking its tongue at flies.

            MAX is fine but Boeing will continue to cheat, lie, steal and subvert anyway.

            Its what they are.

          • @Rob

            ‘howl about the loss of life’ – as in your pandemic deaths, or….as in their crash lawsuits ?

            The failures of Boeing and their death rate is exceeded only by the failure of country and your death rate, the result of the same corruption

          • Again we have here the use of repetition as defense, rather than facts or substantiation. Because there are none that oppose the reality of the mandatory recovery training.

            I’m grateful to Trump for at least one thing, his behavior has been such a spectacular and instructive example of the conspiracy theorist mindset.

            The immunity to truth or facts. The constant repetition. The discrediting and undermining of authoritative sources of truth and facts. The insistence on forcing reality to comply with belief. The congregation with other conspirators for self-reinforcement. The focus on the few supportive opinions that can be found. The attempts to change the law to favor those views. The attempts to disrupt the authoritative findings, after formal and widely agreed resolution.

            All of these are on display, and have direct analogies here as well. And they will never stop. As the research shows, the false claims will become louder and more strident, the further those views depart from reality. But will find an increasingly diminished audience.

          • @Rob

            « The truth is the truth »

            What can this Gnomic utterance mean

          • @Rob

            Is rather a Gnostic Utterance, by which the truth is revealed to the Select Sanhedrin

            Then by trickle down to their subordinate PR class instructed to proclaim the word

          • Isn’t it amazing that the “third-world” pilots who “made errors” in the two MAX crashes are able to fly NGs and Airbuses every single day without “making errors”? In fact, Lion Air has far more NGs (118) than MAXs (10), but you don’t see those NGs falling out of the sky on a regular basis due to the pilots “making errors”.
            Of course, if the definition of “make error” is “not being able to control an uncontrollable plane” then the convenient narrative makes sense.

            Bjorn Fehrm described the design of MCAS as “absolutely unforgivable”…but why bother concentrating on that aspect when one can instead assert that the pilots “made errors”?

          • @Bryce

            Third World pilot blaming to exculpate Boeing is White Privilege and Racism

            But…….Racism is censored and illegal in the US

          • The accident pilots made errors. That is the truth and the reality. This is documented in the accident reports. Truth is truth, the law of identity. The law that is broken with lies, and by the conspiracy theorists. And the reason why answering with reality is so effective. The theorists position requires a denial of reality.

            Referring to MCAS does not change this, although the attempt is always made. No one has defended MCAS or denied the role that it played. The FAA required remedial action on MCAS just as they have for pilot recovery training. There is no equivalency or exclusivity between MCAS and pilot issues.

            The MAX was not and is not uncontrollable, another allegation made by the author alone. The recovery training covers the NG as well, that’s why it can be done in an NG simulator.

            And as always, these allegations were answered before, but acknowledging resolution defeats the method of repetition. So they will never be acknowledged. A common factor in conspiracy theories and the recent election.

          • @ Rob

            “Truth is truth, the law of identity.”

            Another Gnostic Utterance

            Read the ET crash investigators accident report – you will find that the pilots were not held responsible, Boeing was

            To defend Boeing against the World is a lost cause : to do with such insistence and in denial of the facts is a classic case of Racism

            And stupid too – when Boeing depends on survival from the world market

            The EU signs a Trade and Investment Pact with China, and the US via the Biden puppet breathes War

            While here banalities are presented as Gospel

        • Based on fatalities per flying hour, of which the MAX still has relatively few. The 737 family continues to be one of the safest ever. Please see the complete Peter Lemme analysis Scott referenced in the tweet above, from which you selected this graph.

          • 737NG is indeed very, very safe. The Classic not quite as good, and the original 737 aircraft were significantly less so, much like their contemporaries.

            The impressive thing from the chart (for me) is that the much-unloved CRJ has not had a single hull loss in spite of relatively less experienced pilots (on average) at regional airline.

          • Trying to play down and edit the standard manner in which the aviation industry measures aircraft safety — simply because the outcome doesn’t please you — is just as bad as a president trying to modify an election result because the outcome doesn’t please him.

            Trying to offer “alternative facts” is also reminiscent of the same president.

            You’re cutting your cloth by one measure, but trying to sell it by another measure.

          • “…n spite of relatively less experienced pilots (on average) at regional airline.”

            Isn’t that more or less limited to the “strange” US pilot market?

          • Rob:

            The MAX raised the roof on accident rate for an aircraft.

            Two in less than a year? Both due to mfg hose up.

            Trying to take it out of context is an embarrassment to anything you present in the future.

            If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance dazzle them with nonsense.

          • Again here, we have the repetition of issues that were raised and discussed in the past. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, the repetition is necessary to maintain the narratives in the face of opposing facts and reality.

            As we see in the White House, and here as well. There is no factual answer that could be given that would alter or stop the repetition.

            But we have reality to fall back on, and the reality differs from the viewpoints given here. And that is all that matters in the end.

          • Rob: what I’ve noticed, over time, is that when it benefits your narrative- as here- you talk of the
            “737 Family”, and when it does not, you speak
            of the 737MAX in particfaultular..

            Do you have any thoughts on the *fact* that the
            “737 Family” has has four all-fatalities crashes;
            crashes that Boing in all those instances tried
            to blame on the pilots, rather than on the Boing
            hardware that was in fact at fault? I’m speaking
            of the faulty Boing-designed rudder PCU for
            the first two instances, and the [insane] single-
            sensor MCAS design as the fault for the latter two
            all-fatalities crashes..

          • Bill, you’re expressing your opinion of what happened, and mistaking that for fact. As we have discussed at least twice before, so yet another appeal to repetition.

            You will not find any document from Boeing or the FAA that blames the pilots. You will find accurate statements about errors that were made. In the cases where pilot error was suspected but later found to be unjustified, you will find statements from both Boeing and FAA to that effect. And you will also find that Boeing did research in the investigation that found the true cause. That is the truth.

            But if you acknowledge any of this, you’ll no longer be able to repeat your narrative, even though it has been settled by the formal statements. So it won’t be acknowledged this time either.

      • 737 has an affinity to breaking apart (front and rear of the wingbox area) and thus killing passengers.
        ( good showcase the polderbaan crash, some others.
        compare to the 320 that used the runway berm as a ski jump. )
        1960 cert standards were a lot laxer 🙂

        • This has been alleged and discussed earlier. It was shown that the drops involved were much more significant for the cases with fuselage breakup.

          The A320 and B737 have similar construction methods and meet the same certification standards. The B737 has greater cycle life than A320, but that does not imply inferior strength or design. In none of these incidents, has the fuselage strength been called into question or been a focus of the investigation.

          But it’s something that can be repeated to maintain the narrative, as noted above.

          • .. and meet the same certification standards.

            NO.
            beyond the fact that the Boeing products got “complimentary” certifications from FAA.

          • Another false allegation. If true, EASA could reject the 737 structural certification at any time. Yet obviously they have not, and will not, because there is no substance to this claim.

          • EASA can’t because they’ve got this mutual acceptance thing running. FAA can rape them anytime with “grandfathered” .. and have.
            You don’t know when to stop spouting stuff ..?

      • There is a Boeing study on accident rates 1959-2019. The A320 family has a hull loss accident rate of 0.18 and a hull loss with fatality rate of 0.08. The 737 NG rate is identical. The 737 Classic rate is 0.76 and 0.25.

        The MAX rate is 7.21 and 7.21.

  4. I worked at Alaska for 21 years and was involved with fleet planning. With Alaska, as with all airlines, it’s all about the deal. I think it’s a smart move getting away from the 319 and 320’s and getting back to a more common 737 fleet. The A321XLR will provide them the opportunities to expand routes, but I’m not sure central or South America. Keep in mind they are big time in with AA and they have a huge presence in those areas, so Alaska would not want to tread on that turf. Trust me Airbus will give them a great deal, but more importantly Boeing gave them an even better deal to show the world that the mad max is selling again. It’s great to see Alaska managing ok thru this scamdemic.

    • Scamdemic ?
      British Colombia 800 deaths
      Massachusetts 12,000 deaths
      Both roughly the same population but NZ had 25 deaths ( plus a big reduction in normal ‘other’ deaths for the year)

      • @DoU

        Likely he’s referring to the seizing of the occasion to institute massive capital transfers operated by the Feds to the oligarchs and their companies

        Which included the airlines

        And Not to the fact that the people are suffering and dying in great numbers

  5. Seems reasonable that Alaska would move from the A320 & A319 to the MAX, which serves their interests. But also keep the A321, which serves their interests as well. Both are good aircraft.

    Not sure what all the fuss is about. Seems like we constantly get caught up in the Boeing vs Airbus narrative. But airlines do not, they just choose the aircraft that best serve their needs.

    • A321NEO in Alaska Airlines service is a benchmark to rate the 737MAX (now) against.

      Simply put does the A321NEO have enough benefit to keep it over the MAX options AK can choose from (-8/9/10) ?

      You are adding a low number sub fleet so it needs to pay for itself be it in direct capability and efficiency or route and expansion choice down the road.

      It then fold into the same comparison for other Airlines and their networks.

      And what is it worth to keep options for different routes and structures open?

      AK is not a big entity like Delta, American or United.

      South West is relevant as it is big but its been LCC not mainline.

      You can ask a questioning if they can swap them for A220 as well which AK clearly has a need in that type if not specific aircraft.

      So its not just a sub type, its how it relates to your routes. A 787 is not even in the cards though you could make an argument that you save 10 flights a day between ANC and SEA with it.

      The route structure means you gain there and loose someplace else. Keeping in mind frequency is a route structure aspect.

      A lot of balancing and offsets and averaging out is done for all of it.

      What is telling is more and more of the A320 production is moving to A321.

      • “”A321NEO in Alaska Airlines service is a benchmark to rate the 737MAX (now) against.””

        It seems Airbus covered the sweet spots.
        The 79t A320neo without additional fuel tanks can do 150 pax till 3400nm.
        The 97t A321neo with 2 tanks (not the LR) can comfortably do 200 pax till 3500nm.

        All MAX, -7, -8, -9, -10 are in between (not range). Though the MAX-10 numbers are not published yet, but what can be expected.

        3500nm is what can be done without additional crew, why fly farther.

        MAX-9 and -10 can carry 200 pax too but might not reach more than 2800nm.
        200 pax would be the -8200 plus 3 inch seat pitch on the -9 and the -8200 plus 5 inch seat pitch on the -10.
        If more range is needed use additional fuel tanks or use 5-abreast seating, but which airline would really do 5-abreast.
        As I said, not the sweet spots.

        The 101t XLR will comfortably do 200 pax over 4000nm, question is, how much over 4000nm. It will fill the gap between 3500nm and widebodies.

        From all those I like the A320neo the most, makes sense that Virgin ordered it. Even if the A321 is ordered more recently, the A320 will keep to be the best seller.

        • Leon:

          Calling those sweet spots is silly.

          There are averages and not sweet spots. Having tracked some flights of 250 miles (737) that is not sweet for a A318 let alone the -800 it was.

          The A321 is good because it carries a better PAX load with no limitation than any 737 model.

          The new variants just make it better.

          Clearly Airbus is competitive vs the 737-8/9/10 and beats Boeing pants off with the A321 and the A220 lower down.

        • fuel in wing or ACT really is of no imporrtatnce.
          What counts is payload/range and fuel used.

          • Of course it doesn’t matter where the tank is.
            MAX-9, -10 are restricted by MTOW, more range means less pax.
            They all are restricted by 36m gates, so more MTOW like the A321 and XLR means less fuel efficient.
            Great are the weight savings of the new XLR RCT which will impove all other variants. The LR could carry 8 more pax, 4000nm with 188 pax.

  6. In the earlier article Leeham showed the XLR makes sense for longer routes. If Alaska doesn’t have business cases for international routes, standarizing probably makes sense.

    They can probably sell off their young A321NEO’s and their slots for a good price. Alaska is more important for Boeing than for Airbus at this stage, so that should help the airline on Boeing pricing and conditions.

    • That is another area of balance.

      Do you have a credible alternative and can you leverage that on pricing?

      Ryan Air is the champion at that. May not like O’leary but he has good instincts and timing, Airbus won’t deal with him and he still gets fantastic deal.

  7. I’m an AS MVPG75K. Outside of SEA, AS has faced tremendous headwinds trying to attract business travelers because their network is so poor compared to the US3 (or WN). They acknowledged this after the VX purchase and said their target market was not business travelers but “leisure enthusiasts”.

    In addition, the AS F product is totally uncompetitive on transcon routes; UA, DL, AA, and B6 all offered lie flats (pre-COVID) on some routes out of AS’s SFO and LAX “hubs”, and AS has nothing to respond with. As an AS elite, my upgrade rate on transcon flights was great, because you’d have to be insane to buy F on AS when its competitors are offering lie flats, but you can’t run a business giving away your best product (and believe me, I was not paying expensive economy fares that would make these upgrades worthwhile for AS). Nevertheless, they’re too small to justify a subfleet with lie flats.

    IMO, in the long run their best strategy for targeting their “leisure enthusiast” market would be a mix of A225 (replacing 738) and A321neo (replacing 739). With that fleet they could do 2-2 F on the A225 and 2-3 F on the A321s. It wouldn’t be competitive with the US3 or B6 F, but they’re already uncompetitive anyway, and then they could price F a *lot* cheaper than their competitors. It’s an asymmetric strategy (e.g. the Nintendo Wii vs PS3/Xbox360). But since the seats would already be narrower than standard domestic F seats, they’d need every last inch of cross section they could get in the fuselage (hence A220/A320).

    Realistically I expect them to just keep plodding along with their current strategy and hoping for the best. Ideally the whole AA/OW thing will work out for them without it just ending in an eventual merger with AA…but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Mike A:

      Alaska has done well. Using yourself as the template only means its you that has issues with the setup.

      AK may merge, but they have managed through thick and thin.

      • AS is pretty well run operationally, but that only gets you so far in the current era of consolidation. There is a reason they panic-bought VX, only to fritter away all of its assets in the following years. It was not because they wanted to set $2.6b on fire; it was because there was no way they could compete with US3, WN, and a merged B6+VX. The SFO and LAX “hubs” that AS has developed from the VX assets, however, are jokes.

        COVID has actually bought them time. Business travel, which is AS’s comparative disadvantage, is expected to recover more slowly than leisure travel. But the structural challenges they face will return eventually; in particular they are more reliant than ever on the AA partnership. Best to prepare now from a position of relative strength.

        And to be clear, if I am “using myself as the template,” then I tell AS management to keep doing exactly what they’re doing. AS is great for me as an SFO-based elite who is willing to tolerate a weak network; I pay rock-bottom economy fares, get F upgrades all the time, and earn a minimum of 225% miles flown on each flight! But I also understand this is not a sustainable business model, and I cannot in good conscience recommend them to any of my colleagues (who would not tolerate the routings that I sometimes do).

  8. I am amazed that Ryan and Alaska seem to be gleefully painting themselves into the MAX corner, all for short term financial advantage (read huge discounts) and the allure of limited commonality.
    Heaven forfend we should have to keep a mixed fleet: that brook is too wide to jump!
    Fast forward 5 years, with traffic having recovered and B still dithering on a MAX replacement (cash flow blues – we all know that will remain THE factor at B) while your fleets are getting older with no compatible equipment on the horizon.
    The brook is now a river, getting wider by the minute, and the competition is eating your lunch/breakfast/dinner.

    • DT:

      Reality is that despite the strangeness of it, the MAX is fully competitor with the A320 (not the A321)

      So for those who do not need the capability of the A321, MAX is a perfectly fine choice.

      You should scratch your noodle on the fact that aerodynamics are at a loggerheads and a 60 year old aircraft can be made competitive with a younger one (though the A320 is getting a bit long in the tooth as well).

      Why build all new if you don’t get an advantage from it?

      The A220 is a benchmark as its more competitive , but its all new and the best engine and its still not 30% better (10-15% as I recall)

      Downside is its capacity limited so there is going to be room for MAX 9/10 and the A321 no matter what Airbus does in regards to a A220-500.

  9. I have a question.
    Should the main Airbus competitor for the MAX 8 be the A320 or the A220 500?The question is pretty much the same for Boeings 737max replacement.I would guess that it should be the A220 500, but I also suspect that it is much more expensive to produce at the moment. If this is the answer then it suggests that a European assembly line will be necessary. Boeing really needs to develop 3 new aircraft, so do they go for 757 or A220 500 gap first? Either way they leave one or the other open to Airbus dominance. I would plump for the 757 size because under 150 seats has always been considered to be a graveyard. The big problem is that A220 500 is bigger than that.I think a lot will come down to the manufacturering cost for Airbus.
    I predict that uncle Sam will come to the rescue , possibly with a new tanker project that has similarities to a new 767.Stop the tariff nonsense now.

    • The reality is its a system and how an A220 would fit in a system like Alaska or South West. Delta, United and American due to size are a world unto themselves and for various reason run the gambit of possibles. The 737-900 fit Delta routes enough to make it worth while to them.

      Unless the A220-500 it is also is built its a moot point.

      Purely by the numbers 737-8 holds an advantage on A320 due to a couple more rows of seats. But Whiz Air is NOT going to change aircraft on that small difference.

      Equally adding an A220 type would be based on how it fits in overall, not is good economy on narrow and specific routes.

      Equally, as the A220 is out of scope in US, you have to justify it on comparing it to bigger birds as far as return (and yes that is where the possible -500 come in more heavily)

      Until the A220 really ramps up there is zero need for more production capacity as Mobile is not fully used and Montreal is way down as well.

      the -500 might get things really rolling but a European lines has no merrit.

      US is actually the cost leader in production, so one Montreal is full up expanding Mobile will be the way it goes.

      • Mirabel and Mobile A220 locations are final assembly only. There wouldnt be any ‘cost leader in production’ between the 2, as the main structures and systems are shipped in from elsewhere- where the labour content is much higher. Most value is added elsewhere, with an advantage to other Montreal locations.
        The differences for Boeing with final assembly at Everett and Charleston, show that low labour costs can lead to low productivity and poor quality and we arent talking about a few %. The key seems to be existing higher skilled and trained workforce. In that sense Mobile would be more like Charleston.

        • Well the difference between Charleston and Mobile is Boeing and Airbus!

          Boeing assumes its all just peachy keen (or would that be Georgia?) and Airbus acualy checks their work!

    • The A220-500 seems far away and even the length can only be a guess since an A220-700 could be possible too.

      It makes sense that Spirit ordered 47 A319neo beside the other Neos. A319 should be cheaper, has more fuel efficient engines, bigger wings, more range (75.5t version) than the A220-300 which only has more comfort.

      Would the A220-500 get bigger wings? I guess not, bigger wings are not much needed but same wings won’t help either.
      So it should be the A220-700 instead with new wings, something worth to pay more for. But it might be far away.
      It could be the future ZEROe replacing the A321.
      An A220-500 with same new -700 wings should be easy then and would change airport gates.
      Could Airbus build enough?

      • Some of these comments dont make sense . An A319neo cant be more fuel efficient than an A220-300. They both have GTF engines but one is much lighter with a new technology and ‘design for capability’ carbon fibre wing. The A319 is a ‘compromised’ short fuselage version of its larger cousin with a 5.5 tonne higher OEW
        Spirit has its existing A319 as 145 seats including 10 of its version of first class ( 2 per side)
        Swiss in its A220-300 also carries 145 passengers, so broadly its the same capacity here.
        There isnt going to be bigger wings for any growth version of the A220 as its already at the maximum span for Cat C terminal gates which is a hard limit for most of the airlines in this category. Bigger wings really only matter at the widebody long range market

        • A220 wingspan is 35.1m, MAX wingspan is 35.92m.
          A220 wingspan could be 0.82m wider, a missed chance.

          A220-300 has 70t MTOW, a -500 might have 80t, a -700 90t MTOW.
          90t with the same -300 wing would be as bad as the 777-300ER, worse than the XLR, nothing I would pay money for.
          If the gate dimensions won’t change gate D has 52m.
          Just watch ZEROe, they have wide wings.

          Guess why Boeing increased the diameter of the MAX engines again and again. They desperately needed more fuel efficiency.
          BBD cut development of the A220 because they couldn’t find an engine, they went the opposite way with a smaller diameter engine. Less fuel efficient. A220 is compromised too.

          75.5t A319neo can carry 146 pax 3500nm, 140 pax up to 3700nm. Who really needs 3700nm range, if it’s needed you would only need few, the rest could be 70t A319neo.
          The 70t A319neo against the 70t A220-300. Sure, 5.5t more OEW for the A319neo, but it has bigger wings, bigger diameter engines and is cheaper. If A320/A321 are already in the fleet there are other ecos, same pilots, same spare parts.
          A319neo makes sense for Spirit, I understand that.

  10. The EU has signed a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment Pact

    This includes aviation, and this pact will increase Airbus’ lead in the market over Boeing, although details are not yet available to precisely how and so by how much

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/12/china-eu-nail-down-market-opening-investment-pact/

    I know Leeham does not like news as PR, but…

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_2542

    The economic integration of the EU with China together with the warpath noises coming out of Biden look to seal Boeing’s fate in China, unless WS can pull a magic rabbit….

    Let’s Hope !

    Meanwhile – in other bad news

    https://www.census.gov/econ/indicators/advance_report.pdf

    « The US trade deficit in goods – exports minus imports of goods – hit a record in November of $84.8 billion, blowing by the prior record established in August, according to the advance estimate of US International Trade in Goods by the Commerce Department. «

    Let’s Hope again !

    • EU China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment Pact

      Update : Bad news for Boeing

      Biden and Trump equally reacted with fury –

      « « within hours of this deal having been agreed, the Trump administration slapped new tariffs specifically targeting goods from France and Germany. Although these measures are stated to be part of the longstanding dispute between Boeing and Airbus, the timing is no coincidence, and it seems apparent that they are a targeted retaliation against the EU’s deal with China » »

      #BREAKING Matt Pottinger, Deputy
      @WHNSC
      Advisor tells European #IPAC Co-chairs: “Leaders in both U.S. political parties and across the U.S. government are perplexed and stunned that the EU is moving towards a new investment treaty right on the eve of a new U.S. administration.”

  11. Rob: may I again ask who pays you for your unrelenting, pollyan-ish, pro-Boing comments here? Thanks!

    If there is no outside entity involved, there is no need *at all* for you to comment, of course. Of course!

    • @Bill7

      His is His Master’s Voice – no money no recognition no thanks

      The constant misbehaviour of the unbeliever, the slings and arrows, nothing will sway his avowed intent

    • Once again we have repetition of an issue that has been raised and settled here in the past. Disputing settled issues is a hallmark of the theorist. And an example of their method.

      Repetition is not possible if one acknowledges the issue to be settled, or the reality. So it can never be acknowledged, as it’s necessary to circle back in order to question & deny the reality.

      The additional reference to the ad hominin argument is the best evidence for the lack of a factual position. Again a trademark of the theorist.

      As far as the need to comment, I am the one who decides that. No response or commentary is needed when the facts are presented, only when they are not.

  12. US Collapse

    1-Boeing
    2-Pandemic

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/americas-vaccine-rollout-disaster.html

    « As a country, we have only 40 million doses, and had aimed, according to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, to vaccinate 20 million by year-end. That’s bad enough. But we have administered only 2 million of those — barely 10 percent of the goal. At this rate, achieving sufficient vaccination to reach herd immunity and bring the pandemic to a close in the U.S. will take about seven years. »

    • @ Gerrard
      You may have noted that the UK gave the AZ/Oxford a green light yesterday.
      Despite many open questions, the health authorities insisted that “no corners had been cut”.
      Interestingly, the Phase 3 data referring to the controversial half dose / full dose regimen was discounted as spurious, and attention is instead being paid to the “regular” full dose / full dose regime. It is hoped that the efficacy of this full dose / full dose regime can be raised from 62% to about 80% by increasing the interval between shots.
      Even more interestingly: if you recall the Lancet article that Pedro posted here earlier this week, table 4 shows that the full dose / full dose regime has an efficacy of just 7.8% in preventing asymptomatic infection (34 cases in the vaccine group versus 37 cases in the control group). Not very promising results for aviation in 2021!
      However, as always, we must remember that “truth is truth”, so we’ll just have to put up with our lot.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-vaccine-ap/no-half-measures-and-mind-the-gap-uk-nod-for-astrazeneca-vaccine-raises-more-questions-idUSKBN2941WR

    • @ Gerrard
      How odd! After all, you-know-who declared most assuredly just 4 days ago that “they may not hit 100% in administration by January 1rst, but will hit it shortly thereafter”.
      It seems that some people cling to a very broad concept of “shortly” 😉
      Either that or “truth is truth” doesn’t apply in this instance.

      • @Bryce

        Hail The Truth is Truth

        Thanks for the the Reuters report on the multiple uncertainties surrounding the AZ vaccine, now live testing

        And for the transmission prevention figure of 7.8%

        There is a long way to go, not only for the US who can not distribute a vaccine, but certainly for aviation : domestic US is prevented by the slack or no testing of passengers and the likelihood of infection, and generally in the ‘West’, international by the failure to institute any thing but PCR half measures

        All Hail Law is Identity

  13. With regard to vaccines:

    In the US the vaccines are being distributed more or less on schedule to the states. However, the states have varying levels of preparedness. In my state, they have received 70% of those allocated through this week, not including today. 25% have been administered. Another 40% has been set aside for the CVS/Walgreens care home program. Under the federal rules of that program, the doses must be reserved 7 days in advance of the home visit, to be certain all inoculations can be performed during the one scheduled visit. Some homes are also still getting permissions, since the rules also require they must be in hand before scheduling the visit. That program began this week and will continue over the next few weeks.

    Many health care facilities are also staggering the rollout over a few weeks so as to avoid staff being all affected at the same time. This is a precaution as there already is a shortage of care staff. Some staff have complained about this, saying they should not have to wait as the shots are available now.

    Other states are less prepared and in need of federal assistance funds. Those funds have been tied up in the legislation that is being held up in Congress. But action is definitely needed to help those states administer the available vaccine. The new administration will make this a higher priority. The current administration still believes it is a state, rather then federal function.

    In the UK, the MHRA has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, but altered the recommended timing and dosage. They claim to have determined that the efficacy increase from 62% to 90% was caused by the delay between shots, rather than the half/full dose regimen cited by AstraZeneca. Thus they will do two full doses, but 12 weeks apart. This allows more people to get the first shot than with a shorter interval. But the actual efficacy of that regimen is unknown at this point.

    The supporting data for this determination are not yet public. However MHRA has promised to publish their assessment data and reasoning. So we need to wait for that to say anything further. In the US, the FDA is requiring a full further trial, so the vaccine will not become eligible for approval until that is complete, no later than April. That is when the US planning had originally looked for availability of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    • As of this morning, my state has reached 35% of the federal allocated doses administered, with 35% held on reserve for long-term care. The remaining 30% has not yet been ordered from the allocation system, or shipped. But it’s verified and ready to go. States are advised not to order beyond their capacity to administer, which is still being developed.

      According to the CDC datasets, as of 01/04/21, the allocation system will have the promised 20 million doses ready to ship, with about 15 million shipped by that date. So the state uptake rate has been about 75% of what was expected. However the administration rate by states has been far lower. The average administration rate is 25%. The highest is 50% in D.C. The lowest is 10% in Kansas.

      Partly that is an artifact due to lags in state reporting. Also as mentioned, the long-term care program is just getting started (people in Phase 1a). Partly due to some states not being adequately prepared, and also lack of funds in some states. There has been reporting that some states did not believe a vaccine would be available before year end, and just began planning in mid-December.

      Also partly due to states reserving capacity for the second shots which will begin in the second week of January. Shipments will nearly double that week as the second shots become due.

      So it’s a mixed bag, but one has to remember shipments began only 16 days ago, with two major holidays and a few major snowstorms thrown in. The most recent pace has been almost 1 million per day. That pace will pick up and it will help if the federal government provides more support. There has been somewhat of a repeat of the PPE problems that occurred earlier in the year. A state response coordinated at the federal level would have been more uniform and effective, and is probably coming with Biden. As it is, states have become the bottleneck.

  14. US Collapse Watch

    1-Boeing

    2-Pandemic

    3-Airtravel and Vaccine Roll Out

    4-Racism in Aviation Industry

    From the confusion mistakes and delays so far experienced – It is likely that the US vaccine roll out will be (will continue to be) conducted with Max like in efficiency and may require a re cert

    The transmission prevention of the current and upcoming vaccines appears insufficient & It is dubious that the US will be able to achieve the unknown % but high threshold of uptake required in order to contain this virus

    As has been the case in the so far disastrous pandemic measures a combination of polluted politics and hopelessly in efficient administration

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/to-combat-vaccine-hesitancy-in-minority-communities-we-must-address-past-wrongs-surgeon-general-184155314.html?acid=twitter_yfsocialtw_l1gbd0noiom

    In the continuing fight against racism in aviation

    https://www.asi-mag.com/xenophobia-and-racism-incidental-threats-to-aviation/
    https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/racial-discrimination-pilots-flint-whitlock/e/10.4324/9780429436789-18

    Truth is Truth

  15. Max Crashes & Racism in Aviation Watch

    A recent upsurge in racism in the aviation industry can be a reference to pilot blaming by Boeing management in reference to the two Max crashes

    Boeing management’s Pilot Blaming was fiercely contested by many, including American Airlines’ pilots Union, and dismissed by most if not all investigations and reports, which firmly attributed responsibility to Boeing, including reports by the FAA and NTSB

    Boeing has a long history of victim blaming and pilot blaming – which continues on this site from one commentor only

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/how-much-was-pilot-error-a-factor-in-the-boeing-737-max-crashe
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/28/our-daughter-died-vain-what-boeing-learns-plane-crashes/
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/23/boeing-737-max-crashes-american-airlines-pilots-union-mcas
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/internal-faa-review-saw-high-risk-of-737-max-crashes-11576069202

    It appears that Boeing management has woken up to the commercial foolishness of blaming your biggest market for your failures

    Truth is Truth

    • @ Gerrard
      Happy New Year!
      Excellent posts — thank you. It’s important to concentrate on “the truth and the facts”, and to “call out” those whose aim is to spread “alternative facts” and fake news. Just as the US has a political party that’s continually trying to distort and impede the election results, so too is there an operative who continually tries to distort the facts surrounding the MAX fiasco and other Boeing malefactions. But, as you say, “truth is truth” and nobody here is fooled by such shenanigans. Least of all the Chinese, who seem to have soured very badly on Boeing.

      • @Bryce

        Happy New Year, likewise

        As you remark the Boeing malefactors are still at large, and the criminal FBIDoJ investigations and the victim law suits on going

        At least some should be put in prison

        China Max re cert and market opening looking more difficult, by the day !

        The CAI between the EU and China would seem to put Airbus into a very good position to increase production there and to establish some sort, any sort, of co operation with local OEMs : but you would know a lot more about these possibilities

        It looks unlikely that any part of the US incoming administration is going to be able to negotiate with China in any productive way, apart from the WS element, for whom Boeing is a very low priority

        The Biden team earned the enmity of the EU in trying various last minute tactics to stymie the agreement, which has been 7 years in negotiation, and which Angela Merkel made into a top priority for completion by 2020

        As for the racism, let’s work to clean the industry of the remaining racists

        Truth is Truth !

        ‘Law is Identity’ remains enigmatic, but let me work on this slogan

        • @ Gerrard
          Those with commercial, political and/or financial interests in Boeing can see that things are faring very badly, and will invent any narrative to try to turn the tides of fate. Rampant denialism and window-dressing, presenting alternative facts, attempting to (racially) scapegoat pilots in Asia/Africa, making demeaning and dismissive remarks about official reports from the US legislature, attempting to cover up repugnant practices such as cooked recertification flights…you name it, nothing is taboo. But for the rest of the world “truth is truth”, and cheapskate attempts to hide the rot are pointless. The Chinese, in particular, aren’t fooled by this sort of ridiculous cabaret.

          • @Bryce

            As regards Boeing prospects in China –

            It would seem that the EU/China CAI is the final nail in the coffin for those reality deniers and those known for their racism

            There is the DoD faction eager for war: maybe WS can contain them – I’ve seen this latter described as the Mandarin preschool crowd

            Either way Boeing is done for, as per the tariff discussions in the other Leeham thread

      • @Bryce

        Another realistic report on slow US vaccine roll out and the faster infection rate of new strains

        All those WHO predictions about vaccines getting one to base camp but effective distribution is climbing the mountain come back to bite those trueblue faith’n hopers

        As usual the US is determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or rather they are snatching yet another defeat from the jaws of defeat

        https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/12/virus-mutation-catastrophe/617531/

        « All this means that the speed of the vaccine rollout is of enormous importance. There are already worrisome indicators of slow rollout. Vaccination of a broad population, not vaccines in and of themselves, saves lives, and epidemics are fought with logistics and infrastructure. We should put every bit of energy, funding, and relentlessness into vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible. »

        Law is Truth, er….

        • @ Gerrard
          Thanks for that excellent article!
          Of course, denialists will dismiss you as a “linker” for drawing this to our attention, and will try to scapegoat by blaming a lack of federal coordination, for example. Concurrently they will propound that all we need to do is apply “precautions” — totally ignorant of the fact that this new variant just doesn’t respond to the old precautions and spreads LIKE WILDFIRE. Concurrently, they’ll point to the outdated official narrative on the CDC website (or perhaps some quackery on SBM.org), hoping to hide from reality behind a thin veneer of bureaucracy. But those of us with a functioning cortex will recognize that “truth is truth”.

          As of this morning, a third US case had been identified (in Florida): based on experiences here in Europe, there’ll be lots more identified in the US in the coming days. Don’t be surprised if schools don’t reopen next week.

          This is going to put a near-total stop to aviation, as states scramble to keep unnecessary passenger traffic to a minimum. CNBC had a discussion yesterday on the fact that American Airlines is the weakest of the “big four” in the US, and is a potential acquisition target for one of the other airlines; with things worsening, that scenario may occur sooner than later.

    • The racism claim is another of those made by the conspiracy theorists alone, but falsely attributed to Boeing or FAA. Absolutely and completely bogus. You will find no statement from Boeing or the FAA that mentions race of the accident pilots. Nor has it ever been said that race played a role in the accidents, by anyone except the theorists.

      In fact the theorists can be identified by their attempts to make these claims. It’s the same principle as referencing third-world pilots rather that pilot training, which was and is the true issue. It’s an attempt to inflame the issue and leverage political correctness.

      You’ll note that the FAA directive requires training for all pilots, not pilots of any given race or nationality. Same thing for Boeing services offered to all airlines.

      On one hand, you have those who have omitted any and all characterizations by race, as being irrelevant. On the other, those who seek to inject race into the discussion. So which side is actually discriminating by race?

      • @Rob

        “And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
        And sore must be the storm –
        That could abash the little Bird
        That kept so many warm -“

      • Actually- and curiously!- I find myself in rare agreement with commenter Rob here: the allegations of “racism” here are unfounded- as those who are making them surely know..

        That commenter sides very flexibly with whoever has power
        at the moment. Right now Boing butters his bread, and his allegiances, so far as I can see, have
        nothing to do with “racism”. That latter term is a cudgel
        being applied to *anyone* not going along, these days, with
        some more powerful entity’s desires..

      • Actually- and curiously!- I find myself in rare agreement with commenter Rob here: the allegations of “racism” here are unfounded- as those who are making them surely know..

        That commenter sides very flexibly (and diligently!) with whoever has power
        at the moment. Right now Boing butters his bread, and his allegiances, so far as I can see, have
        nothing to do with “racism”. That latter term is a cudgel
        being applied to *anyone* not going along, these days, with
        some more powerful entity’s desires..

    • Also again just to clarify, recognizing the pilot contributions to the accidents, which the FAA, NTSB, and both accident reports have done, does not mean that Boeing is not responsible or did not also contribute to the accidents.

      Again no one has made that claim, except the conspiracy theorists themselves. Boeing has acknowledged fault and responsibility. But by attempting to make responsibility exclusive to one or the other, they can infame the issue by falsely claiming a denial of responsibility that did not occur. And at the same time, conduct their own false denial of pilot responsibility. So it’s a dual falsehood, that can only exist under the narrative of exclusivity.

      However the accident data show clearly that mistakes were made in response to the MCAS malfunction. Pilots are not responsible for the malfunction itself, Boeing is, but are responsible for their subsequent actions. The FAA recognized those errors and acted to prevent them in future, as was appropriate. This is accepted by the other regulators, airlines, and the pilots union. But not by the theorists.

      • Rob: This is known in my world as a crock. And its not a crock of milk and honey. You need your illogical chip re=programed to something reasonably close to rationality. Intel thought they had all those recalled but clearly not.

        Co Pilot to Pilot: Our right wing just fell off.

        Pilot to Co Pilot: Ok, we now have to fly this thing, suck it up, that is what we are paid the big bucks for, to correct a Mfg failure.

        We will now defy aerodynamics. Its what we do and who we are.

        • TW, there is no factual element here, so will interpret it as your opinion. As reinforced by the fallback to the default ridicule method. The facts and truth and reality are unaltered.

        • @ TW
          Happy New Year!
          It’s well known that some people have difficulty grasping abstract examples — it was a nice try, but you should have known better.

          Have you and your missus get your shots yet?
          Any polar bears nosing around the dumpsters? 😉

  16. Adding: I *loathe* those who wield so loosely, these days, the
    charge of “racism”- with no evidence at all, of course..

    Don’t like another’s opinion? No problem- just label them “a racist”! Too bad to see a couple here stooping to that [thought-stopping] charge. They’re on the Dark Side..

    • @Bill7

      The racism charge stems from Boeing’s attempt shift responsibility to the Asian and African pilots in the Lion Air and ET crashes ; while claiming that they were inadequate

      This was pointed out at the time by US critics and labelled as such – as you perhaps are aware such charges and accusations, flying both ways, are common in the US

      Boeing’s attitude in these cases In turn stems from a long standing Boeing habit of pilot blaming, always resented, now exacerbated by the infusion of racialist language and xenophobic considerations of little america exceptionalism

      And of course from mere straightforward unadorned plain and simple long ingrained US practice of racism, as per below

      https://www.asi-mag.com/xenophobia-and-racism-incidental-threats-to-aviation/
      https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/racial-discrimination-pilots-flint-whitlock/e/10.4324/9780429436789-18

      Boeing was forced implicitly to retract their charges

      The commentor you refer to has adopted Boeing’s original defence, and has become liable for similar charges to be laid against him

      You may disagree with the discourse taking place in the US with regard to racism or racialism, but neither Boeing nor the commentor in question, both US, may do so quite as easily as you think that you may

      Perhaps these additional dimensions of discussion do not please you, or perhaps have helped you discover how far a desire to conform and to defend the corrupt practices of a company can lead a person – generally speaking the Boeing racism is as thoughtless and as banal as those space fantasies you refer to

      • “Gerrard White”: please tell me, dear Leader, how I too might
        avoid the grievous charge of “racist”..

        BTW: if you’re not a bot- and I think “you” are- what is the color of your skin; and how do you avoid your own, inevitable racism, by that measure? Good training for “you” and your handlers, to answer this question, isn’t it?

        Nice Turing test, heh

      • For the moment, “Gerrard White”, I’ll presume or pretend the comments above are those of a real person.

        There is plenty of evidence of pilot-blaming in Boing’s history,
        as I have pointed out in a number of threads here; the links
        to what you call “racism” and “xenophobia” are non-existent,
        so far as I can see. I must be a “racist” too.. despite my
        Choctaw origins, heh (next: “self-hating Choctaw..”)..

      • > The racism charge stems from Boeing’s attempt shift responsibility to the Asian and African pilots in the Lion Air and ET crashes ; while claiming that they were inadequate

        You’re dissembling, I think: the claim that the pilots were
        potentially incompetent is a plausible-if-inaccurate one, “racism™” entirely aside. But you know that.

        When Mr. Gerrard used the word “racism” four times in one comment, I smelled a rat. Maybe I’m just a super-big racist too-

  17. The “Gerrard”/ “Bryce” axis here is in fact a curious one. Watch “their” syntax..

    Odd to find myself again in agreement with particular persons-

  18. @Bill7

    The US conflicts concerning racism and racialism are for the most part internal affairs, vituperative, vengeful, and highly charged, with links and recourse to US equally exceptional confusions and conflicts about slavery

    By the outside world, These US practices are often taken as one of the evident manifestations of a corrupt culture : it serves frequently if not always as one of the instruments of oppression of the ruling élites over the poor, of any colour, of any ‘identity’, any origin : divide and rule

    In the case of Boeing pilot blaming is merely one aspect of corrupt management and incompetent engineering, blaming foreign pilots merely an extension of this, but one which, under the circumstances and in the context of the country’s obsession with race and similar conflicts, was bound to bear the marks of racism

    (Although some version of this worldview has been slightly imported into EU, notably)

    The rest of world has their own notions on the subject, some starkly at variance with US, opposed concepts and practices take place in sub saharan Africa, where very nearly all people live in the conditions and circumstance of tribe, clan and tradition

    Such a life gives rise to the use of distinctions in local appearance language and conduct that form the base racism, with the accent always on the latter two

    Hence their disparagement of and contempt for any pretexted and pretended ‘solidarity’ with those claiming a common ancestry by virtue of colour of skin : such is extended to those other tribes or peoples in Africa who, between themselves, they will accuse of having adopted the modes manner and culture of the white man, and will therefore call these ‘sellouts/traitors’ or ‘ whites’, as they will the coastal slaver tribes

    Africans are seldom as excited or as exalted in their language as the US invariably are, yet Boeing victim blaming in the crashes provoked an inevitable riposte

  19. @ Bill7
    I’m not sure to what extent you remember the narrative at the start of the MAX crisis (just after the second crash), but it provides vital context to the current discussion. At the time, even congress members were making statements such as: “Pilots trained in the United States would have successfully been able to handle” the emergencies on both jets (see link below). The narrative on (aviation) forums was even worse, with some US commentators mocking the performance of “third world” or “banana republic” pilots. Interestingly, a whistleblower site for US MAX flight crew at the time indicated that there had been several incidents in which US pilots had had a severe struggle with MCAS.

    Whether this type of knee-jerk scapegoating is classified as “racism”, “xenophobia” or “automatic heterogeno-anthropological disdain”, the underlying tenet is clear: An idea that US pilots are somehow intrinsically superior to pilots in Asia/Africa.

    Subsequently, the American Pilots Association distanced itself from this point of view, and robustly defended the pilots in the MAX crashes…but the damage had already been done at that stage.

    Here’s a link on the matter by Dominic Gates at the Seattle Times (who, of course, is despised by you-know-who, because his narrative is often inconvenient to the pro-Boeing camp).
    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/how-much-was-pilot-error-a-factor-in-the-boeing-737-max-crashes/

    The pro-Boeing camp subsequently tried to soften/distort the narrative by asserting that the disdainful references were to the experience level of the crashed pilots rather than to their ethnic background, pointing to a relatively inexperienced co-pilot in one of the crashes. However, this is a curious argument because one would expect that any pilot who is *qualified* would be able to fly a particular plane; after all, how can a rookie co-pilot ever gain *experience* if he is never allowed to fly? It would seem that this is a uniquely Boeing-oddity, because relatively inexperienced pilots seem to be perfectly able to fly Airbus aircraft — even in “civilised” Europe, as evidenced by this very young Easyjet flight crew:

    https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/woman-26-easyjet-youngest-pilot-captain/index.html

    Are things a little clearer now?

    • @Bryce

      Thanks for the detail of the Boeing racism pilot blaming – I had linked to the Gates article and to the American Pilots Association’s objections, but it appears these had not been read by the complainant

      The Narrative on Aviation forums you refer to were matched by objects in/on African social media, and then some, as you might imagine

      But it seems that a necessary corollary to the US approach to racism is emotional angry and abusive language, usually a sure sign of confusion and inability to express a point of view

      Similar racism has been on display with the vaccine roll out – the ruling élite and their PMC PR wish to prioritise vaccination of blacks while those are in great majority unwilling, yet once again, to be used as human ‘guinea pigs’

      In addition to the numerous links already provided, here is a newish statement from the Surgeon General, which has been taken as marker placing for 2024

      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/to-combat-vaccine-hesitancy-in-minority-communities-we-must-address-past-wrongs-surgeon-general-184155314.html?acid=twitter_yfsocialtw_l1gbd0noiom

      This is the confusion and corruption of the US : banal racism and xenophobia with regard to foreigners as instruments/instances of corporate failure, and administrative/SJW justification for treating blacks as blacks have always been treated, always over their objections, but this time ‘to save them’

      No wonder their cities are torn up with riots : no wonder Boeing is fast losing market share and the trust even of US airlines and public

      • @ Gerrard
        Yes, I know you had posted the links before, but some people tend to skip things when reading 😉
        Console yourself as regards the Boeing (racist) scapegoating of Asian/African pilots: as is often the case with Boeing PR, it has come back to bite them.
        Per the first wiki link below, you’ll see a net total of 876 MAX order cancellations in 2019/2020: not surprising since, if voices in the US declare that only US pilots are qualified enough to keep the MAX in the air, then it’s logical that non-US airlines will think twice about taking delivery of the plane, isn’t it?
        The second link gives the very rosy situation for the A320neo, for comparison purposes. Notice: no net decrease in the order total.
        Another example of “truth is truth”. Also an example of “be careful what you wish for”.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boeing_737_MAX_orders_and_deliveries

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A320neo_family_orders_and_deliveries

        • @Bryce

          Law is Identity

          Thanks for the links Airbus v. Boeing – it is clear that Boeing is in crisis, this crisis reaches most acute expression in the Max, and especially the disastrous way BA handled the Max crashes

          As always in the US it is not the crime it is the cover up

          As for the truthbelievers, remember that they are the almost chosen people according to Lincoln, condemned to play catch-up

          EU, as per Airbus, has managed to adjust and to accept the dominance of China, the CAI and the refusal to cancel Nord Stream 2 are timely declarations of intent to no longer poodle to US

    • False statements above. There was no incident where US pilots struggled with MCAS. And the remarks made about US pilots were in fact, in regard to training. As evidenced by the factual difference in pilot and first officer qualifications. Here is the actual statement:

      “Pilots trained in the United States would have successfully been able to handle” the emergencies on both jets, said Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He added that preliminary reports about the accident “compound my concerns about quality training standards in other countries.”

      Note, nothing in regard to race or nationality of pilots. Only to the levels of training that exist. As now addressed by the FAA by mandatory training of all pilots. Training that has been accepted by the pilot unions because they understand the need, whatever their feelings about defending the accident pilots in May 2019. The “robust defense” was not a defense of mistakes that were made, but rather any attempt to blame them solely, which Mentour Pilot, Bjorn, Sully, and many others (including myself) have said was wrong.

      Another example of assigning statements and views to others, while actually being the source of those statements and views. This is part of the conspiracy theorists playbook, as noted earlier.

      Further with regard to the Mentour Pilot video cited in the Gates article, the simulator was intentionally put into a configuration that increased force on the trim wheels, for demonstration purposes. That increased forces can occur was never in dispute. The issue was not that this can happen, but that it was avoidable, as shown by JT043.

      Notably, Mentour Pilot posted a subsequent video where he acknowledged this was not meant to be a conclusive or representative test or demo of ET302, and asked people not to interpret it as such, after it was widely cited as proof. He did not intend it that way.

      Other simulations cited were recreations of the actual ET302 flight, which began after the aircraft was above the maximum safe operational speed:

      “Starting from the point where the Ethiopian pilots hit the cut-off switches and stopped MCAS from operating, the U.S. MAX crew tried in the simulator to recover.”

      In this case the pilots used the roller coaster maneuver, which is all they could do in that situation with manual trim. Again that is not disputed, but again, the aircraft was well outside the safe limits at that point.

      The Boeing investors report was cited by Gates as one-sided, and that is valid, it was basically a defense of Boeing and did not consider other viewpoints. But notably, the report recommended the training that is now put in place by the FAA. Also the Boeing executive quoted said this:

      “We put the pilots into a bad situation,” he said. “MCAS put them in a situation they were ill-prepared to handle. You wonder about the detailed systems engineering that went into that.”

      Which is also my position, and has been all along. I respect Dominic Gates, he is actually one of the few journalists who bothers to talk to Boeing, and prints their perspective and supporting facts.

      I do differ with his approach at times, which is part journalist and part editorialist. The editor in me often wants to split his articles into two parts. One is a news story that is quite accurate and good. The other is an opinion piece that may also be good, but does not belong in a news story. But such is the state of journalism today, the distinction is fading. So I don’t fault him because his paper is no doubt expecting that from him.

      Finally, the notion that pilot training issues are exclusive to Boeing is again false. We had an A320 crash in Pakistan, after it refused to lower the landing gear on command, because the approach glideslope and speed were too high. That was deemed pilot error, and subsequently it was found that a third of the airline pilots had bribed their instructors.

      • More fake news from the pro-Boeing camp:
        ” There was no incident where US pilots struggled with MCAS”

        In reality:
        “The airplane’s nose can tilt down suddenly during takeoff, pilots aren’t being adequately trained on the autopilot system, and the operations manual is “criminally insufficient.” These are the complaints of *US pilots* in incident reports involving Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jetliner, the same model that was involved in two deadly crashes in recent months.”

        https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/18263751/boeing-737-max-8-pilot-complaint-autopilot-mcas

        Always amusing how selective the Boeing cronies are in presenting “alternative facts”.

        • None of which have to do with MCAS, and all of which were investigated by the FAA and found to be non-substantive. Hence were not included in the FAA remedial actions.

          If you read the AD summary description, it mentions only an autopilot engage/disengage issue that was reported by EASA, as being substantiated. That instance was resolved in the software update, and was accepted by EASA.

          • From which one can conclude one or more of the following:
            (1) There’s yet another system on the MAX — other than MCAS — that causes unexpected, anomalous nosedives.
            (2) MCAS can still activate when it’s not supposed to (on AP). After all, there are known wiring issues on MAXs.
            (3) Even US pilots can’t reliably and consistently fly the MAX.

            Always fascinating when the FAA describes serious uncommanded altitude change events as “non-substantive”…no wonder the re-cert flights had to be cooked. 😏 It seems the MAX is as unstable as the infamous “Flying Bedstead”.
            Very encouaging. No wonder there are so many cancellations 🙄

            Truth is truth.

          • Again, these claims were unsubstantiated in fact. After 18 months of investigation.

            But of course, we must discredit the authoritative source in order to keep the false narrative alive. At least the method is obvious now. We have Trump to thank for providing such a good example.

            Truth is truth.

      • > But of course, we must discredit the authoritative source in order to keep the false narrative alive.

        Rob: there *are no* authoritative sources now: in this dark time there are only naked power-relations; and maintaining,
        however briefly, that power and those particular relations.

        You know that, of course.. there’a a word for the *merging
        of corporate and governmental power* that been building
        for the last forty years, and that has now come to a head; that word starts with ‘F’.. you’re well-paid to not notice that, of course.

        for now

        • The FAA intentionally invited and involved parties from around the world, to build consensus and confidence in the authoritative result. That strategy was successful, in that there could be no allegation of conspiracy with so many interests involved.

          Yet we see the conspiracy theories have survived and persist. But fortunately, thanks to the openness and transparency of that strategy, we know that they have no factual basis.

          Just as we know from the transparency and openness of the election, that it was not stolen, and there was no fraud.

          • Rob: you certainly have earned an ‘E’ for effort! I suggest you look around for other opportunities, though.. your present milk-cow is looking real sketchy
            (other than future dependence on gov’t contracts, of course).

          • @Rob

            The only authoritative and approved version is:

            Truth is Truth! – to be placed at the head of the document

            This is mandatory

            Optional at the bottom of the document is

            Law is Identity

            Communications without these statements are to be considered dissident and may be censored

            As other regulatory formulas are added over time these will be enforced in a like wise

          • Interestingly, the CAAS in Singapore has not yet re-certified the MAX. It allowed Silk Air a one-off permit to retrieve a MAX from storage in Alice Springs last week, but other than that the plane is still grounded:

            “In December 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that the Boeing 737 MAX would be allowed to return to commercial service when the CAAS assessed that it was safe to do so. The CAAS approval for commercial passenger flights is yet to be granted.
            “We will need to be assured that all aspects of the safety of Boeing 737 MAX operations have been addressed,” said CAAS deputy director-general Mr Tay Tiang Guan in a statement to Channel News Asia.”

            More evidence that the FAA has lost credibility outside the US; gosh, I wonder why?
            I wonder are the Singaporeans waiting on the CAAC in China, or on further guidance from the EASA? They certainly don’t give a hoot what the FAA has to say. Maybe the revelations about cooked re-cert flights got them spooked.

            https://www.aerotime.aero/26823-SilkAir-Boeing-737-MAX-heads-home

            Truth is Truth (except when it doesn’t suit you-know-who).

          • @ Gerrard
            Thanks for the link: it’s fascinating to read about Airbus’ stunning success in China — a full 25% of 2020 Q4 deliveries came out of Tianjin, and more success to come this year when the A350 FAL opens there also.
            Of course, Airbus learned from day one that a successful aircraft design is one that takes off from origin A and later lands safely and comfortably at its destination B. In contrast, Boeing decided to produce a model that likes to go into un-commanded nosedives at an intermediate point C — which, perhaps, is an interesting novelty for a handful of Air Force test pilots who feel a need to show their prowess at flying unstable machines, but is otherwise unpalatable to airlines and the flying public. FOD issues and shoddy QC on manufacturing lines also generally don’t appeal to customers.

            Remember that, if China doesn’t re-certify the MAX, then other Asian operators can’t use their MAXs to fly into China…which will, no doubt, precipitate a flurry of additional cancellations, seeing as China is such an important revenue source in the region. Cambodia, for example, relies very heavily on Chinese tourism — though Cambodia’s carriers very wisely don’t have any MAXs, just like major LCCs in the region, such as Air Asia and Jetstar.

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for update – CAI combined with RCEP will be much to the advantage of Airbus

            As China makes such moves to unite Asia the importance of the China market at the centre grows, and given the importance China places on transport infrastructure the greater the significance of the CAAC and China commercial choices : it looks likely these will favour Airbus

            This will considerably impact dependent economies but would be US-centric outliers like Australia – as China has made clear with the recent clamp on imports ; so JJ-QF mandatory vaccines will be Made in China

            As you say tourism is highly influential in this respect

          • Singapore Airlines is ferrying all 6 aircraft stored in the US, for preparation for return to service.

            All foreign regulators will use the FAA rulings as the basis of their own recertification. As EASA and other regulators have already done. So while the claim is made that the FAA has lost credibility, in reality it still is the defining and authoritative source for return to service actions around the world on the MAX.

            Again we have to look though the hype and conspiracy theories to see the objective truth.

          • @ Rob

            “All foreign regulators will use the FAA rulings as the basis of their own recertification”

            Once again nothing disguised, just barely, as something

            No regulator is to ignore entirely the FAA re cert, and some may accept the ruling as adequate, and copy/paste

            By definition regulatory authority is in first instance the responsibility of the OEM country’s CAA

            It is clear that CAAC is going to make it’s own decision : it is also clear that both current market conditions and especially future market conditions make of the CAAC the most important of regulators

            The FAA has dwindling authority over a dwindling market

          • a 787 from SIA was grounded recently. Must have been the CAAS too.
            How can the CAAS be assured that the safety of the 787 has been addressed, especially when Boeing couldn’t deliver any 787 because of the same reasons?
            Could be that the CAAS is not that stupid. They might ask the FAA why the FAA certified an 0.005in tolerance of an 220in barrel in the first place.
            They could tell Dickson to provide all documents of the fuselage certification and leapfrog EASA as the new sheriff overnight.

          • The grounded Singapore 787 was requested by Boeing, has since been repaired by Boeing. Other past 787 groundings at Singapore were due to Trent engine issues. None recently.

          • If SIA’s 787 is repaired, it means that Boeing knows how to repair it. But if Boeing knows how to do it, why couldn’t they deliever a single 787 last November. And now Boeing is checking all sections, not only the tail section.
            Boeing could fix the shim issue. That was easy, just don’t use bigger shims, but it didn’t fix the problem because the gap got bigger. There was a reason why bigger shims were used in the first place.
            Smith didn’t say that all grounded 787 were repaired.
            In March 2019, Boeing said that the MAX was safe too.
            CAAS should check this. Why needed the 787 repairs and how was it repaired and is really everything repaired when Boeing is checking all sections. Is the repair a certified process. If the fuselage is opened there might be more damage made. Why should anyone trust Boeing that the problem is fixed and the 787 is safe.
            This all doesn’t make sense if Boeing can’t deliver 787. Experience tells me that nothing is fixed, especially when it’s about a 0.005in tolerance of an 220in wide barrel.
            It’s the same with FOD. After 500 B787 were delivered the FAA ordered that every new 787 must be free of FOD. Boeing agreed and assured that the new 787 were free of FOD. Then the FAA checked again and found FOD.
            Also what about the first 500 B787 the FAA forget about, those are happily flying with FOD scratching the wiring.

          • Leon, according to the FAA and other world regulators, there are no safety issues with the 787, except for the 8 grounded by Boeing voluntarily. Those were mostly repaired in the beginning of December, may be completely repaired now. Any quality control issues from assembly of new aircraft are being fixed. Any that are found in existing aircraft will be addressed in maintenance checks. That is the true and current status.

          • @ Leon
            You’re completely correct about the 787.
            In the “Pontifications” post that appeared this morning, Scott says: “Delivering newly produced, stored 787s, effectively grounded by Boeing for inspections of manufacturing flaws, will take most of this year (2021).”

            Truth is truth!
            (Despite increasingly desperate attempts by Boeing cronies to create a parallel reality).

          • @Bryce

            Scott’s 787 remark does appear firmly to contradict the Boeing PR emissions as per solo pilot here

            !Boeing Truth is Bad Truth!

          • Just to clarify, 787 deliveries are continuing as rework is completed. No grounding. It will take time to clear the production backlog, just as with MAX, due to the low rate of acceptance resulting from the pandemic travel downturn. That is the true and current status.

            Truth is truth.

          • When a post starts with “Just to clarify”, it’s always an indication of caught-off-guard denial, windowdressing and fudging to come.

            Well done Leon for pre-empting Scott’s comment regarding the desperate state of affairs vis-à-vis the 787 manufacturing issues. What a nasty way for Boeing to end 2020 and start 2021: no quick fixes in sight for the 787…just more cash bleed and loss of face.

          • @Bryce

            Please find link to a new report on the 787 from Dhierin Bechai
            https://seekingalpha.com/article/4396993-boeing-787-problems-loom-large?utm_medium=email&utm_source=seeking_alpha#alt2&mail_subject=ba-boeing-787-dreamliner-a-17-billion-nightmare&utm_campaign=rta-stock-article&utm_content=link-0
            He states it is probable the 787 program has come to the point of ‘reach forward loss’, i.e. the program is losing money
            « Important to note is that Boeing provided a cautionary statement on further reductions on the production program potentially triggering a reach forward loss position for the Boeing 787 program meaning that Boeing will not be able to cover costs on the current accounting quantity and Boeing has actually reduced its forward production rate to five aircraft per month while the program was already expected to have near break-even margins at a rate of six aircraft per month and to that come the extra costs of inspections which Boeing has not quantified but are likely adding up significantly.
            Boeing currently has costs in the amount of $17.3B in excess of what it recognized so while on unit basis production is still profitable, the company could see significant book-keeping impact if the company heads for a reach forward loss position (a reach forward loss position is when the aircraft program costs more than it generates in profits).
            «

            Added to which there is a cost overhang of $17.3B

            Truth is Truth Hurts

          • @ Gerrard
            My oh my, what a nasty, nasty mess the 787 program is in!
            It really is a Sad New Year for Boeing 🙁
            Of course, the Boeing cronies will dismiss this report because the author doesn’t look/sound like he’s from the US, so what could he possibly know…right? 😉
            And anyway, when was Boeing management ever interested in actual accounting…unless, of course, it can be manipulated in some way to increase remuneration/benefits?
            Boeing share price down 4% so far today.

            Truth is lack of manufacturing QC.

          • @Bryce

            Dhierin Bechai is from the Netherlands

            (in Previous posts) He describes the program accounting used by BA in considerable detail, even so it looks so complex that it must be porous to fraud

            He was unable to put a price on the 787 inspections and repairs, partly because these appear constantly to expand in scope and are as yet unsettled in extent

            I am uncertain as to the nature of FAA oversight or interest in such

            Is another re cert on the horizon? Would BA survive another re cert ?

  20. Vaccine Corruption Competition –

    Once again Pfizer the easy winner

    As for making money out of tragedy, Boeing is a hopeless failure compared to Pfizer

    https://theintercept.com/2020/12/31/covid-vaccine-countries-scarcity-access/
    https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/pfizer-ceo-says-it-s-radical-to-suggest-pharma-should-forgo-profits-covid-19-vaccine-report
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/11/business/pfizer-vaccine-covid-moderna-revenue/index.html

    « Pfizer has already made an estimated $975 million from the vaccine this year and is expected to earn another $19 billion in revenue from the vaccine in 2021, according to Morgan Stanley.

    Pfizer’s profit margin on the vaccine is estimated at between 60 and 80 percent. Moderna is projected to make more than $10 billion from its vaccine next year. »

      • From the cited article, this is meant as an last-effort response, only if no other option exists. People can still refuse this offer if they choose.

        “(If) the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, it is reasonable to offer one dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule,” according to the guidelines.
        Mary Ramsay, head of immunizations at Public Health England, said this would only happen on extremely rare occasions, and that the government was not recommending the mixing of vaccines, which require at least two doses given several weeks apart.
        “Every effort should be made to give them the same vaccine, but where this is not possible it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine than not at all,” she said.”

        There are studies underway in the UK to evaluate this option, as well as the changes in intervals and dosages. Since these involve challenge trials that are permitted in the UK but not the US, there is no such effort or plan in the US.

      • @ Bryce

        Half a loaf is better than no loaf, no loaf is better than Moderna

        Why not : that way these vaccines will not challenge the virus, with half measures indeed, and more quickly effect vaccine escape – 100% effective

        Does not all this fumbled we are trying it’s someone else’s fault let’s do this instead remind you of a certain OEM?

        Truth knows no Half Dose

        • Indeed!
          Scary that this proposal is coming from the federal government rather than the vaccine manufacturer…and that the manufacturer was “unavailable for comment”.
          This type of behavior reminds me of the eccentric and scatterbrained Swedish Chef from Sesame Street: ad hoc cooking at its best.

          A half dose is a half measure.

          • @Bryce

            Half measures is BA signature style resulting in death which has been adopted by the whole of the US during this pandemic

            Lies that have taken over the country

            !Truth is Lies!

          • @Bryce

            Vaccine take up declining in the US

            « In this nationally representative survey, self-reported likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine declined from 74% in early April to 56% in early December 2020, despite the early November press releases of high vaccine efficacy for 2 vaccines in phase 3 trials, although prior to Emergency Use Authorization. Low likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine among Black individuals and those with lower educational backgrounds is especially concerning because of their disproportionately higher burden from COVID-19 disease. »

            https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2774711

            If this low figure holds up over the next year what do you think the result will be this time next year in the US ?

            Please note despite all propaganda efforts BLM, CDC, Fauci of the sad face etc, black take up likelihood is still around 38%

            Identity is Vaccine!

          • @ Gerrard
            That’s nasty (but not unexpected) news about vaccination (un)willingness in the USA. One can identify two competing effects that can further influence this uptake behavior:
            (1) The UK (or another more infectious) variant will start to proliferate, precipitating increased panic that will drive people toward accepting vaccination; or
            (2) Corner-cutting and fumbling with dose regimes, spoiled batches, etc., will make people even more suspicious, and turn them away from accepting vaccination.

            “Just to clarify”: anyone’s guess which way it goes!

            Truth is sub-optimal uptake!

          • @Bryce

            I guess you are right, who knows, US bungle the vaccine and the vaccine distribution, take this dose take that, everyone hates everyone, people get more scared, or the bug goes into escape mode, or….anything goes

            What started out as faith in a silver bullet has turned into a desperate game of Russian roulette

          • @ Gerrard
            The U.K.’s independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has (sort-of) grudgingly gone along with the UK Government’s half-baked idea to separate Pfizer doses by 12 weeks.
            The Germans have asked an independent vaccination commission to give an opinion on the matter.
            It seems that cowboy antics are becoming the norm.

            https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/04/uk-decision-to-delay-second-covid-vaccine-shot-endorsed-by-advisers.html

            Truth is truth: short cuts make long delays.

      • @Bryce

        Moderna stock down to approx 104 after a high of 178 last year

        Might be that WS is taking a more realistic view of the roll out than the rosy cheeked and apple eyed

  21. This change will have to be data-driven. If the FDA can show the Moderna immune response is identical for the half-dose regimen in some groups, then a larger number within that group can be vaccinated with the half-dose. Just depends on what the data show.

    Note that the this would take effect when the vaccinations reach the broader population. The over-55 and other high-exposure groups would still receive the full dose.

    At present the bottleneck is not the vaccine, but the ability of states to vaccinate. As that grows and the vaccine supply is exhausted, this could extend the period to allow AstraZeneca or other vaccines to become available.

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