Pontifications: Southwest didn’t invite Airbus to bid

By Scott Hamilton

April 5, 2021, © Leeham News: Southwest Airlines didn’t ask Airbus to submit a commercial bid for the A220-300, three knowledgeable sources tell Leeham News.

Southwest conducted an internal technical analysis of the A220-300 vs. the 737-7 MAX. The A220-300 offered better economics. But this competed against the costs of retaining a common 737 fleet.

“Southwest acknowledged the merits of the A220, but there was no competition” for a commercially-based bid, LNA is told.

The airline placed an order on March 29 for 100 737-7s. Southwest said the order was an outgrowth of talks with Boeing for compensation due to the 20-month grounding of the MAX.

Southwest’s own words

In its press release, Southwest announced “the completion of its previously disclosed discussions with Boeing regarding the restructuring of its delivery schedule for MAX aircraft. The Company has completed the multi-year evaluation of the successor aircraft to its Boeing 737-700 model, with the selection of the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft. Southwest Airlines® and Boeing reached agreement on 100 firm orders for MAX 7 aircraft, with the first 30 scheduled to be delivered in 2022.”

Southwest also said, “We now estimate contractual aircraft capital spending for all years 2021 through 2026, which consists of 169 MAX firm orders with Boeing (135 MAX 7 and 34 MAX 8 aircraft), to be approximately $5.1bn. Our estimated contractual aircraft capital spending remains immaterial in 2021 and is expected to be approximately $700m in 20223. We continue to estimate 2021 capital expenditures to be no more than $500 million, driven primarily by technology, facilities, and operational investments.”

Southwest footnoted this statement. The capital expenditures are “Net of progress payments made on undelivered MAX aircraft and previously agreed upon delivery credits provided by Boeing to the Company due to the settlement of 2020 estimated damages relating to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft.”

Boeing, in its press release, outlined services provided in the contract. ”

As part of the agreement, Southwest will also expand its use of Boeing’s digital solutions to support its 737 MAX fleet, including Airplane Health Management, Maintenance Performance Toolbox and digital navigation charting tools. Boeing will also provide system software upgrades and new wireless communications-enabling equipment to support Southwest’s operations.”

These services are likely either free or sharply discounted as part of the grounding compensation.

Airplane costs

Southwest’s press release infers a $30m per-plane price for the MAX 7, excluding previously paid deposits and progress payments on the MAX 8. Seventy MAX 8 orders were swapped to the MAX 7.

However, Boeing previously paid Southwest nearly $500m in cash compensation because of the grounding. This likely offsets deposits and progress payments.

Southwest will receive 30 MAXes next year. The financial figures suggest Southwest will pay only $23m per plane upon delivery, allowing for deposits and progress payments.

Boeing’s financial terms and compensation due Southwest made it impossible for Airbus to match even if invited to bid. Furthermore, Airbus’ sales philosophy changed since the 2018 retirement of John Leahy as COO-Customers.

The aggressive Leahy was often willing to pursue creative deals to break Boeing’s incumbency. (Leahy’s willingness had limits, however. He never seriously pursued a deal with Ryanair, a rock-solid Boeing customer.)

But under his successor, Christian Scherer, Airbus is less willing to drop prices to rock-bottom levels to win a deal. Scherer is known to see the A320 and A220 families as more technologically advanced than the 737. He has noted these aircraft still have growth opportunities, while the 737 is maxed out. A stretched A220-500 and an “A322” or A321 Plus-Plus designs are on the shelf, waiting to go when the time is right. The A220-500 is a question of when, not if, a person close to the situation tells LNA.

Taking a page from decades-long messaging by Boeing, Scherer believes Airbus can command a premium over Boeing.

Maintaining price

Scherer was unwilling to drop the price of the A321neo to levels requested by Alaska Airlines in the recent competition. Alaska, also due compensation from Boeing over the MAX grounding, placed an exclusive order with Boeing. Future 737-9s will replace the A319s/320s remaining from the 2016 Virgin America acquisition. Only A321neos stay in the fleet.

Alaska still has 30 orders from Virgin for A320neos. Alaska said it won’t take delivery of these. The order can be canceled with a loss of $15m in deposits. But it’s still possible some of these orders might be swapped into A321neos, an airplane Alaska likes.

218 Comments on “Pontifications: Southwest didn’t invite Airbus to bid

  1. BA discounts out the Max, and if anyone will buy any of the other non combats, to loyalist LCCs, usually Anglo

    Yet can not sell to China

    AB takes the premium airlines, wraps up China

    Chairman Cal said it right – Oceania v Eurasia

  2. SW’s conversion of 75 MAX8s to MAX7s is bad news for the whitetail inventory, which is predominantly made up of MAX8s.
    Alaska went for the MAX9, and Ryanair is only interested in the MAX8200.
    777 Partners took 24 MAX8s (presumably whitetails), but we don’t know yet what specific model comprised the UA order of 25 units — presumably they were MAX8s?

    In the meantime, Norwegian’s 92 cancelled units were MAX8s. Planespotters.net indicates that many of these were already built, thereby increasing the MAX8 whitetail inventory even further.

    Also interesting from Planespotters.net: many of the orders for Chinese carriers are already built…more potential whitetail pain while China keeps the MAX on the ground.


    • Last time I was involved with Chicken Little was a play my class put on when I was in 2nd grade.

      We sure dazzled them with the bread switch from a raw loaf to cooked in 30 seconds! (my moms bread, man was it good)

      But Alas, for Chicken Little, the sky never fell.

  3. With those discount levels, are they selling below cost? Would airbus do to Boeing what Boeing did to bombardier, take them to court? Never happen, times have moved on

    • @Gerard

      Probably below cost

      Chair Cal needs the cash in a hurry he’s broke – better that than scrap –

      I’ll bet the contracts have a let out refund & indemnity clause for when the next Max goes down in flames, linked to price on A220s replacements

      • They all have sleepless nights and nightmares about another MAX crash. Happens when the regulator is resistant to do the job, allowing tricked self-certs. It’s sad that more people need to be slaughtered to check more cert documents and uncover more calculation shenanigans. But it’s their own fault if people want to be dummies. First we might learn more about SJ182 and an autothrottle system which was never indepentently audited. Still many say that the MadMax is safe.

        • After all is said and done, it’s important to note that most planes do get grounded during their time. See 737 Classic, MD-80, DC-10, 787, some Airbus’s. I know about the Economy of Scales, but in a few years half of SW’s fleet could be on the ground waiting for a part or inspection…

          • Groundings do indeed occur, but not usually for so long, or for the reasons behind the MAX grounding.

          • got an example for some Airbus type getting grounded ( certification suspended ) ?
            Looked around and can’t bring up a case.

          • @ Uwe. I thought the A320 very early on had a flight control problem and a plane went down in the Middle East. And the A380 with the RR engine. But I may be wrong. I’ll do a serious search…

          • The A380 was only grounded by the airline itself. And zip on the A320, which is a heck of a statistic. Sorry folks…

          • Sam 1:

            There are times when Airbus should hve grounded aircraft (and Boeing as well)

            Airbus usually is fairly common with Boeing, something that is dire that should be fixed and is allowed to linger for years at the airlines convenient.

            The Thales Pitot tubes come to mind and the ruling by EASA that they could have two bad engines on the 787.

            My take was there should be NO bad engines allowed.

            A380 should have been grounded over the RR engine oil tube, but the operators took care of that and then there was an inspection while they were replaced.

            Still would have been fairly short.

      • There you go, today, Friday, April 9, 2021 Boeing has a wiring / production issue and The Max has to be looked at. Reuters story on CNBC.

      • Note the statement in Leeham’s writeup that totals are net of progress payments. IOW, SWA had already paid a good portion of whatever the price was. (I understand that progress payments are standard practice.)

      • Appraised value is just an estimated market value of the appraiser. Has no relationship to cost to build. But if Hamilton’s estimates of what Southwest paid are accurate, the market value certainly isn’t $46m anymore. It’s whatever Southwest paid. That’s the current market value (at least for a customer with Southwest’s buying power).

      • Great link Bryce, that looks like 35% of list price. Wish I could buy a car for that discount 🤨

        • Bryce:

          technicality or not, its not dumping if its not in law.

          So technically its nothing. Ergo, zero , nada, zip, black hole or a void.

          Equally technically , is a protection in law for firms inside the US from outside the US.

          Technically you can’t self dump.

          You have to wonder with all the rebates how much Airbus gave away on the A380.

          Sold for under costs and then all those pesky delays and re-work.

          You do what you have to so you can survive.

          Given its Calhoun trying to milk as much out of Boeing before they throw him out but that is sadly a now time honored methodology these days.

          • “… its not dumping if its not in law” “technically” That’s the problem of so called rule based order. No law, no rules and no order.

          • Pedro:

            Well when stealing stuff is fully in the norm then why do we need any order?

            Lets just have at it in a free for all.

          • Some posters here must be suffering from cognitive impairment. Emirates loves the A380 and would order more.

            While you busy pointing finger at Airbus, let see how much money BA losing in B747-8, B777X, B737 MAX and last but not the least the KC-46.

          • Dumping is a fallacy.

            Prices vary regularly, cost of production varies temporarily (as with aluminum from Canadian smelters recently), definition varies (complaint was actually only about raw aluminum whereas most export is processed enough to be exempt – alloying for example). Market demand in each fiefdom may vary, for various reasons. Some business people behave like Marxists.

        • S&P, Moody etc are closely monitoring cash flow and how much cash is generated to repay $56 billion net debt. One more downgrade, BA’s debt would become junk.

          • Moody’s estimates that Boeing has a margin of 12-15 million dollars on an 737-8 when sold at a normally discounted (50%) price.
            Scaling that figure to a 737-7, we get a margin of 10-12 million dollars when a plane sells for $50M. That means that the (full) SW price of $35M translates to a loss per plane.

            So, that’s at least 100 SW planes sold at a loss.
            We have similar confirmation of a loss on the new Alaska order(s).
            You can bet that there was a similar loss on the recent Ryanair order.
            And then you have all those (hundreds) of whitetails that will inevitably be sold at a loss, or a very meager margin.

            That’s a lot of lost margin on a backlog of 3282 aircraft.

          • I sense war with Russia and or the Middle East is being agitated. How will Boeing’s inevitable benefit on its military business prop its commercial arm.

          • But when you get creative with accounting, factor in no competitive bid from AB, and the fact that airlines do not want to see Boeing as a supplier go away, then it becomes hard to imagine the MAX-7 is being sold at a loss. As far as The drums of war being beaten to shore up the balance sheet, what’s new with that?

          • United States of Amnesia??

            (Former Top Bush Official Lawrence Wilkerson: I Saw the March to War in 2003. I’m Seeing the Same Thing with Iran Now

    • The way Boeing tried to leverage US local dumping laws is a pretty US specific thing. There is a lot of Jovi .. non Bovi .. thinking in there.

  4. Southwest Airlines loss with not buying A220 They keep reliving the 1965 dream. 55 year old airframe design to 5 year old technology aircraft After the Max issues, one would think they would want reduce their risk and dependencies on one aircraft model

    • David,

      it seems Southwest is in the same trap as Boeing was/is and many others. Only looking for short time benefit, selling the future.

      Boeing is definitely in the ground and will never recover how they are doing business now. Not able to design a new plane, they don’t have the money, don’t have the management and don’t have the know-how.

      • Wow, now SW is in dire straights? Is that anywhere near the Straights of Malacca?

        This is directed at one of the few airlines that has ever made money consistently!

        While I am deeply interested in aviation and the technology as well as how the viable companies (which is not COMAC or United Aircraft) just like Delta, I respect the decision of the company as to what does or does not work for them.

        The $64 question (as we say in the US) is, what is going to change in the next 15 years that takes South West down?

        As much as I admire the A220 (BBD C series) its mfg base is 60 a year now. Pretty much committed or complete committed to the orders made prior.

        So South West commits Airline suicide by telling Boeing to stick a perfectly viable aircraft? Yep, slip us in an A220 here and there and by gully we will only have 150 deficit in our fleet renewals with an aircrat that matches the A320 on economics?

        But hey, its the MAX, you just got to hate on the bird and not the management that got them there.

        But what do I know? after all, I like the A220, there has to be something wrong with appreciating both aircraft. Dang, its just not allowed.

          • Yes. But as TW implies above, Kelleher was never in that one.

          • British Rock Band DIRE STRAITS as in a narrow water passageway connecting two seas

          • Mark Knoffler would have bought the A220-300.

          • 😉

            Some people match that.

            Fusion music, less junky than the era sold many records.

            As for SWA, thanks TW for pointing to its perennial success. Other startup airlines have tried to match but watered themselves down or made strategic errors – did not have the smarts and discipline of SWA. Among them America West, who foolishly went international with 747 flights to Pacific destinations but weren’t prepared for the cost and complications like curfews. Ansett buying 20% stake may have motivated that error.) AW cross-trained staff – for example, some gate agents would come to work with a bag packed to fly as F/A. Employees had ability to own shares. Pacific Western provide heavy maintenance initially but fortunately could not invest due US ownership rules.

          • America West was about one thing, The Owner, he could write a book entitled How to get Rich Going Bankrupt (as others.) I remember that old 747-200 coming in at 2:00 am. I was a shuttle driver and lots of time there were hardly anyone on it. He persuaded the workers to be non-union. Half of them were on food stamps.

        • Who is the one not following the news? Airbus has plan to ramp up production methodologically in longer term. No rush (unlike BA dumping cheap jets to draw in speculative orders that depressed lease rates), as demand needs to 14 jets a month.

        • You must be living in an alternate reality if you think COMAC’s C919/929 won’t take a chunk of Boeing’s market. China alone is projected to buy 9k new commercial aircraft in the next 20 years, double that for 3rd world nations friendly to them. Trying to make them re-certify 737 MAX is basically beating a dead horse at this point. Efficient, composite airframes that’s easily upgradeable/futureproofed, that cost 2/3 as much as the 737MAX, is not a viable competitor to a 1965 airframe that can’t mount modern engines without crashing because dead people from more than half a century ago didn’t think engines can get fat? Most of us don’t drive cars from 1965. Boeing is viable for milking a dead goat from half a century ago, yet a rising, forward looking company with an actual future is not viable?

          • @George
            I haven’t noticed your name here before, so I presume you don’t comment very often.

            Your points are perfectly valid and persuasive. But — as evidenced in many past discussions of this issue — there’s a denialist group of people (particularly in the US) who just can’t grasp/believe/accept that COMAC is going to take a sizable portion of Boeing’s/Airbus’ lunch.

            The C919 has FBW, has a fuselage wide enough to accommodate containerized freight, will cost at least 10-20% less than competing products, and is made locally…so why would any Chinese airline choose an antique 737MAX instead? The A320 will also be impacted…though the A321 is somewhat spared for now. Certification won’t be an issue: China will just play a game of “you don’t certify ours, we don’t certify yours”…and anyway, the whole of Asia, Africa and South America can be served without ever needing to go near the FAA or EASA.

            The only way that the US can impede this process is by banning exports of US aeroengines to China — but that will precipitate painful retaliation, e.g. relating to rare earth metals, and will also just serve to accelerate a domestic aeroengine effort. Denialists like to fantasize that China/Russia can’t make aeroengines, citing Russian efforts from the 70s: again, there’s a lack of realization that the world has changed in the meantime.

            One small point of disagreement. Older pilots say that the 737 cockpit still has many recognizable features from the 707 (despite the lack of a flight engineer), so one could argue that the 737 is actually a 50s antique rather than one from 1965.

        • I missed out on all the free love and pot as I was working pretty hard at the time.

          Righteous Brothers on the other hand, saw them in Vegas on an open stage, Unchained Melody, wow, blow your stocks off.

          Oddly, another favorite aka Dione Warwick was a bust on an open stage.

          Good part was we got to hear a whole lot more of the RB and DW as they were headlining for her.

          • Poster continues mumble jumble pretending a resemblance of logic.

          • Disappointing about Dione Warwick.

            She was class. Arriving at a taping session for a TV show Wolfman Jack was producing in Vancouver BC she made them redo some material for better quality, did her planned part, and was out in two hours. Many performers took at least four.

            Same in aviation – class and trash.

    • Lets say you reduce the risk from 100% of the fleet to say 50% of the fleet by dual sourcing. Wouldnt that bancrupt you all the same if half of your fleet is grounded for an extended time and the manufactorer declares bancrupcy?

    • David. With respect… It is a misrepresentation to say the current 737 airframe is from 55 years ago. The fuselage circumference dimension is about all that is the same. Even that isn’t exactly identical. Current model is a FAR better plane than a 1960′ design. Credit where it is due plz.

      Once the drawings were digitized for the NG, they updated so much of it, you would be hard pressed to even find a shear tie that could be used unchanged from a 737-100 to a Max.
      It’s true that the assembly line is very much the same, but even that has been significantly upgraded.
      If you ordered a -100 replacement cab window you would likely get a part sub from a current model. Meaning, they don’t make the exact same window anymore. And that’s a good thing from an engineering POV.

      The Max fiasco should have been avoided. IMO, that’s on some high paid execs. They should give their pay and stock bennies back. An issue that is uphill from my pay grade. I do material quals and inspections..

      I’m impressed with the A220. I’m confident it will succeed too. But LUV said they wanted maintenance benefits of a 737 fleet. Their call. It just means there are more production openings sooner on the A220 line.

      • The purpose of aviation certifying the production process is to ensure it does the remain the same from introduction.
        Sure processes can change and some that are faulty have to change, however to suggest there are small changes from digitalisation of the construction drawings doesnt add up. The bigger effect is the longer fuselages, higher weights, all new wing and heavier more powerful engines are the real drivers of physical changes in the structures and those would have to re-certified as well. Thats likely where Boeing uses it self certification the most .( which would apply for almost all areas of non aviation engineering as well)

        • How many global engineering companies would take the same level of risk as BA (as shown in 737 MAX debacle)? BA, like banks that are too big to fail, should be considered systematic risk and subject to similar close scrutiny.

        • Look at all the little thingies Boeing changed for the MAX. Beyond the product defining items ( new Engines ) a vast number of little changes here and there seem to have been done. ( expossed via MCAS ancillary information, the pickle fork thing and some other things surfacing over the last year.

          But it is all limited to accessorizing. just handyman fixes.

          • Pedro:

            What is the point?

            There is no risk that buyers will be left high and dry.

            They may never get a new aircraft from Boeing, but the existing line will be supported forever.

            We are still flying B-52 and 707s (KC-135) and those are older than Methuselah.

            Boeing management has horrific issues, but Boeing as a company going away is like crying fire in a tropical deluges.

            Lets be real and focus on some logic and not LSD.

      • IT still is your grandfathers ax 🙂
        The 737 has been accessorized to no end.
        a bit of fiddlling here, a bit of pimping there.
        Change thickness here and there to allow for higher loads.
        AND completely ignore the avalanche of “environmental” changes for other parts of the airframe.
        That is the perfidy of grandfathering at its core.
        IMU the current 737MAX still does not go beyond the 1965 demands on airframes in respect to One Engine Out obstacle clearance and its fuselage still is a 9g limits one.
        Why do the mark up in cert requirements as applied to the A320 make sense when he 737 series is still OK to perform well below those up to date requirements.

  5. Great article with valuable insights. It was a fait accompli that LUV would stick with BA regardless of the MAX debacle. The grounding happened at the most fortuitous time of Covid pandemic and resultant 95% drop in flying by everyone. LUV took advantage and as the single largest 737 customer it bluffed, bludgeoned Boeing into submission which due to its own ineptness, failings had faltered and coughed up $500MM in exchange for future orders. LUV NEVER intended to buy Airbus -and convert its entire fleet of 737s to s0mething completely alien to their culture, systemic infrastructure of maintenance, spares, operations, training, equipment, flight operations. The retraining of Pilots and mechanics alone would cost a fortune for no appreciable gain other than to extract valueless concessions, etc, etc.
    The whole issue is Farce and a Red Herring. While I am no fan of Airbus, I am glad that they did not bow to pressure and “carrots”. They would have suffered more in subsidised losses than any real inroads or future potential earnings.
    Business as usual.

    • As its presented Airbus did not even get in the game though they may well have declined.

      Supposedly on the Delta A350/A330NEO order Boeing was in the game but the decision was made to go with Airbus and Delta had equally valid reasons.

  6. If I’m not mistaken (and please correct me if I’m wrong), the “costs” mentioned here as Scott has mentioned doesn’t include deposit costs, etc. A few $million “here” and a few $million “there” do add up.

    Also, Boeing should eventually (hopefully) profit by services, spares, etc.

    Historically, Boeing’s commercial aviation profit margins have always been better than Airbus’ profit margins.

    Yes, it will probably take a hit the next few quarters (or years) however IMHO Boeing will eventually recover with good profit margins.

    • Hard to compare BA’s imaginery profit margin (program accounting) with those like Airbus’s real numbers.

    • the more some airlines are enthusiast with the MAX,
      the larger their orders, (RYANAIR SOUTHWEST….)
      the smaller the price they accept to pay…
      As these prices are more or less known in the trade, who is going to accept to pay a price which allows good profit margins?
      And at the level at which they assemble frames now, costs are sky high…
      Not to mention inefficiencies caused by supply chain problems (there will be more and more bankrupt suppliers, and missing components)
      the perfect storm is just beginning…

      • jacobin777:

        That is a good question and maybe AP Roberts can run the numbers for us.

        My take is loosing as little money as possible, I don’t know that Boeing will ever make money on the MAX any more than the 787.

        Now I know this is not the way the real world works, but I look on it as I take that 8 billion dollar MAX loss and put it in safe money. I get say 3% return. Reality is I can put it into better and pretty safe and get 6-7%.

        Now the twist is, a MAX costs a conceptual 15 million to build. If I get 17 million for one, I am to the good 2 million.

        But then I have to pay those lost costs and I am not.

        But, I am averaging out my base of costs and I get better deals on say 1000 APU for the MAX than I do for 500.

        So, I break even with South West and Ryanair, but I make money on say, Fly Dubai who does not get as good a deal.

        And of course Calhoun gets a bonus for doing his job so you have to count that in there someplace.

        But keeping Boeing head above water (even if barely) and may make the powers that be happy so there is that.

        Oh, and as was mentioned, Boeing never makes money because of how they run the accounts (Program management)

        But the shareholders get big dividends (at least when management can sneak them through) and stock buy back.

        If I was doing it I would be arrested for a Pyramid Scheme!

        Or is this perpetual motion? (at some point you do have to come up with at least another money looser or even , gasp, a money maker!)

        As long as Boeing can keep kicking the plane down the runway we will never know (or to Calhoun and the like it does not matter) is what I think.

      • “And at the level at which they assemble frames now, costs are sky high…”

        I agree. Posters here without working knowledge overlook unit cost is variable, not fixed as they tend to imagine.

        To share from AW:
        “Unfortunately, those airplanes were all sold with a cost structure that will not be in place for the foteseeable future. The forecast production rates that were used to price the parts going into those sold airliners were considerably higher than today’s rates or those forecast for the next half a decade. Production costs rise when rates decline.”


  7. Repost from yesterday to article below:

    Going back and find this gem:

    B737 MAX lease rate under pressure even before it’s grounded. Why?? Speculative orders overwhelmed the demand in the market.

    Proof that BA’s gambit, by lowering margin to ramp up sales, came back to bite its behind. Fanboys sees number of orders and rejoice. Now the street values a B737 MAX at $36 million. Shocking!


    • See the previous post.

      So far Boeing is getting away with it.

      What we need is a valid scenario as to how the gravy train ends and I have yet to see or hear (read) it.

  8. Isn’t buying more MAXes just one [more] crash away from being a *huge* strategic mistake?

    Or is this more of the now-prevalent “*like it, proles*”
    messaging from above™ ?

    • Yea its seriously callous about peoples lives wishing it will happen in my view.

      What they can’t separate out is its not the MAX at fault, its just an aircraft carrying people and hopefully safely.

      Boeing management hosed it up horribly with complicity and assist from the FAA (though that too has been going on far longer than they accepts)

      The A320 has had a couple of crashes that were pilot caused I believe since the MAX issues (and a 737NG got shot down by Iran).

      But then the A320 is so perfect that any pilot can fly it, until they can’t and do not of course.

      Or the same system on AF447 that failed to show the crew they had it stalled.

      No disagreement that a very specific issue caused the two MAX crashes and the terrible loss of lives.

      But if its a design system that makes pilots think you don’t need skill that is ok?

      What I think is work needs to continue so planes don’t crash. I fervently hope the MAX never does again, but then there are those pesky pilots who can and do stupid things. And sadly, that is nor an Airbus or Boeing thing, its a reality thing.

      • Airbus’s triplicated flight control system has a problem with “common mode failure” of the alpha sensors and pitot static tubes i.e. they all seize up and freeze at the same time which leads to either the 2oo3 “two out of three” rule kicking the aircraft from normal law to alternate law or worse the “bad” sensors impeaching the good one or agreeing to be wrong.

        However in the first case the pilot can still fly the aircraft using thrust and his artificial horizon, the problem in AF447 case was the lack of training of pilots for this once common skill and scenario. The other failure scenario is more difficult but can at least be dealt with.

        Boeing’s problem with the MAX are that for historical “carry over “reasons regarding the way copilots side of the cockpit instruments are separate from pilots side they didn’t write software to cross check the alpha sensors before activating MCAS’s cycle, they messed up and didn’t provide sensor disagree alert as standard (software bug apparently), they didn’t mention MCAS, they didn’t provide a way of disconnecting it without disconnecting power stabilizer trim. Most of all it wasn’t in the manual and it looked like the lack of additional switches, indicators and training was a way of maintaining type rating.

        Boeing deserves recognition and credit for its development of synthetic air data on B787 and now MAX as a way of detecting the kind of common mode alpha and pitot sensor failures that have plagued Airbus but I don’t think you can argue that Airbus didn’t put normal ways of handling these failures in the manual.

        • Good point about common failure mode.

          Does happen, decades ago crew of a 707 over the South Pacific had to fly on Doppler ground speed and attitude.

          Pitot or static froze up due wind wave off a mountain pushed moist air high to where air is colder.

          (There is an alternate static port way aft, IIRC, so perhaps that incident motivated further improvement in pitot tube deicing. The pitot tube p/n now mandatory on the A330 sounds familiar, US made. There’s an example of ‘corporate knowledge’.)

          I don’t remember if fin strength on the A300 is another example, or Airbus just didn’t read carefully enough. (Recall a fin broke climbing out of New York when pilot moved rudder.))

    • There are unknown failures in the 737 because cert documents were never checked. The next example might be SJ182 with the autothrottle system. EASA says autothrottle is not needed, just put it off. OTOH the Turkish Airlines crash in Amsterdam would never have happened if the autothrottle system were better. Either there is a good system which is indepentantly checked or there is no system allowed.
      How many system failures can the 737 still have. There must be a lot, other systems still depend on single sensor data, causing mutiple false alarms, overwhelming pilots. And then the excuses, that both pilots need to turn the manual trim wheel when regulations ask for that a single pilot must fly the plane.
      MAX was reworked much to get the re-cert, that’s why it took so long, but it was only a small part of all systems. That it needed so much rework tells a lot about the garbage it was and there is still much more garbage left and Southwest wants to invest billions into it. Safety is not a priority, too greedy.
      The most checked plane ever SMH some people will pay with their lives, the crews should know better.

      • Just un-grounded a few months ago — supposedly after “being gone over with a fine tooth comb” — and already the FAA is requiring replacement of fuel system processors:

        Flight Global: “FAA to require airlines replace fuel system units on 737 Max”

        “The US Federal Aviation Administration has proposed requiring airlines to replace fuel system processors on Boeing 737 Max jets, citing problems with fuel shut-off systems.”


        • Boeing already did it and that is not unusual for aircraft.

          My wife flew an A320 with a known bug in the software that they had been allowed 8 years to fix.

          Or the two bad engines on Norwegian 787 out of Rome.

          Stupid stuff on both side and that is what should be corrected. There are some that should be fixed and it should be fixed now or grounded.

          They keep getting away with it and that should stop and stop now.

          The Sky is Not Falling no matter how some want it to.

      • The same with MCAS1.0, it was never independently checked and cost 346 lives. Jim Marko was spot on when he claimed that MCAS2.0 needs to leave. MCAS is still not flight tested, only in a self progammed sim.
        I have no respect for EASA. They had free choices and didn’t take it. Even in hindsight EASA is allowing another TK1951 crash. No respect for an regulator who needs babysitters for flight tests.

        • Leon:

          The problem with MCAS was it was deemed needed, I don’ know if htey could have reversed that. I long ago contended like Jim Marko it was better off gone but its not how its played out.

          I don’t respect the EASA any more than the FAA. They both cater to industry they should not.

          Its the reason I support all AHJ (US Term, Authorities Having Jurisdiction in this case aircraft certification ) each fully review the data.

          Brazil caught bits of the MCAS 1.0 debacle and addressed it (well done Brazil)

          COMAC was a bust because they violated all the requirements for certifiable of the C919 and they would not go back and correct it. FAA and the EASA gave up o9n it.

          But the key is, a Democracy AHJ is hugely better than no AHJ let alone one under a dictators.

          The flaws are there, we need to fix them, but they are relatively open.

          As I have noted in the past for those who though the FAA walked on water.

          They never did and have an ugly history of MCAS failures.

          The 737 ruder issue was one, the Lauda Air 767 crash was another (though that is also a Boeing failure) and the DC-10 crashes.

          If you manage to get it right, it will get chipped away by industry.

          You just have to stay in the fight.

          • @TW: how often you can’t stay on the topic, went sideway into politics, vaccine and virus??

          • Pedro:

            None of those was mentioned.

            Those are real world issues and no, EASA was formed by politics and its foundation is political just like FAA.

            All those addressed a post.

      • “Never checked.”?

        Do you know how much has been checked after the crashes? I doubt you do.

        Certainly Boeing and regulators found things other than MCAS and single vs dual FCCs, such as wire bundle separation.

    • All things considered the MAX issues seem to have been adequately resolved for the use case.

      It has been fiendishly expensive for Boeing and will
      continue to produce nice warm money showers for buyers.
      Even more so than before the MCAS bruhaha.

      ( to the detriment of Boeing. selling and selling at low margins will further diminish resources available for creating a new and up to date product design.)

  9. One thing I’m interested in is the extreme failure case. Suppose one of the manufacturers went bust, and in doing so took down the airlines that had come to depend on it (by withdrawing the Design Authority)? What then does the gobal aviation market look like? The industry seems to have a fair few operators that are all Boeing or all Airbus, so there’d be whole airlines / routes in trouble.

    Basically, I can see a need for there to be a global plan for What To Do if Boeing Goes Bust (I’m assuming Airbus won’t, being in a fairly healthy condition). It won’t be like previous manufacturer bankruptcies, because this time there’d be no obvious candidate to pick up the pieces, so there’s no obvious outcome whereby trading / Design Authority continues.

    There probably should be a publicly acknowledged plan somewhere saying exactly what would happen if the company did fail. If that plan were in place, and it was a positive one, that would actually help Boeing’s sales pitches now. The fact that there’s no certainty is probably causing some hesitation…

    If that extreme event did happen, airlines (and the routes they serve) that are exclusively Boeing could be in a real fix. It’s possible that, even if Southwest wanted to look at or buy Airbus, they might have had a hard time persuading Airbus to speak to them. From what I’ve read (probably here on Leeham News), Airbus generally haven’t bothered even answering the phone calls from certain airlines. Apparently when British Airways decided they did want to buy some Airbuses, they had to actually send people to Toulouse to (essentially) plead their case in person at some length, before Airbus would speak to them at all.

    I imagine that the same goes the other way round. There must be a lot of airlines who will now never, ever consider buying a Boeing.

    • Do you believe the US would let Boeing go bust? The fact of removing 40% of the supply from the market would be a disaster for airlines. And I’m not even talking about the supplier ecosystem.
      I think that company is too big to fail and everyone’s betting on that, confident they can pull out a lot more money into their pockets until the card house collapses and the tax payers will do what their name implies – pay.

    • Not going to happen in the way you think. Boeing isnt going bust , its not even as highly leveraged as many smaller companies. The certifications and IP for its airliners are an asset that can be sold on like any other asset. Checkout what happened for Fokker , who did go bust, the planes continued to fly as the ‘new’
      business named Stork took over from the old . Since renamed to Fokker Technologies. A bit of knowledge would show your concern trolling was unnecessary.

      • “not even as highly leveraged as many smaller companies” Yeah, how many reputable companies can you name with *negative* tangible book value of over $29 billion and net debt of $56 billion?? Zip, nadah, zilch.

        • The ‘book value’ you quote is meaningless rubbish, -defined as the amount of equity available to shareholders expressed on a per common share basis-but typical for you. Assets are $150 bill plus.

          • That’s the sort of sweeping, dismissive, conceited syntax that “a certain other commenter” regularly used. It’s starting to look like you’re one of his back office staff…

          • @DoU

            Please moderate you language

            Your claims are mere assertions posing as statements of fact

            You say Assets are 150B$ + : please list assets

        • Total liabilities and minority interest: $170 billion
          Total liabilities > Total assets!! Read a couple more books to learn, before you insult others.

          • BA uses the cash from customers for shares buyback, don’t you get it?? As long as the jets are not delivered, it’s beyond belief that posters here would think the liability can magically disappear into thin air!

          • If Boeing was like Fokker and the main company ceased trading that $50 bill of advance payments becomes, in the jargon of liquidators , unsecured creditors. They have no prior claim on assets and join the queue.
            There, you can sleep at night now instead of worrying about little details.

          • Those living in denial can blame no one but themselves refusing to read the writing on the wall.

    • Mathew:

      I don’t get the point.

      If Boeing went belly up (pretty much impossible if not impossible ) then it goes into Bankruptcy for reorganization.

      You get out of huge amounts of debt and contracts. Its acualy a pretty nice place (I think all but American Airlines has been there)

      Mfg continues, so does Boeing (even if BAC is split out, they can then borrow unlimited again and trust me, they will get the money, is all baked in).

      But, management wise, to even allude that we are going belly up is suicide. And why would they.

      Now Boeing if they do not come up with new aircraft will eventually exist the business. But for the next 15 years at least they are going to be making aircraft.

      And if they exit the business they still make money on support of existing.

      And Airlines will continue to fly those aircraft as they are viable and competitive and you would gradually transition.

      • I know of Chapter 11, etc. but the whole point of entering that state is to be able, eventually, to exit it. Buyers need to be confident that their money will result in a valuable asset being delivered. Boeing popping in and out of Chapter 11, emerging essentially unreformed, will do nothing for customer’s confidence except in the short run.

        Anyway, Chapter 11 simply pushes the debt / bankruptcy problem around the industry like a bubble under wallpaper; Boeing goes into Chapter 11, some other supplier goes bust because it’s no longer getting paid. This does not fix the fundamental problem with Boeing’s half of the industry.

        Boeing’s future does rely on them launching new aircraft designs. But when are they going to do that? Afterall, the MAX crisis has been the clearest indicator yet of needing that and a year down the line there’s still no sign, no hint. That’s 6% of the aloted time expired. It’s amazing how those 6% can keep slipping past.

        We might talk about the next 15 years now, but what about the past 30?!

        • All I see is a sort to spattering of thoughts.

          Boeing is not even going Chapter 11.

          I have presented what happens when a company does, if its got worth they bring it back under new management and no cost burden.

          Its deemed better for those losses scattered around vs the loss of an industry.

          Again, what is the point and what do you think it should be done?

          We can use the 30 years as lessons but what do you want to do with those?

          The world is a messy place and simple easy answers are not to be had.

          Voting, writing your representatives and making comments like I did to the FAA on the MCAS and MAX issue is another way.

          What I can say is we will probably fail but it might have some resonance of those who have input that gets taken up.

          Not trying at all is going to fail for sure.

          When I quit my job I wrote my company a detailed letter of why I just walked out.

          I do not believe it had any affect, but there were a couple hints they saw some of the issue and were making moves, so maybe those are part of what those who did care about work towards.

          The failure is not to try at all in my view.

        • BA’s management is stripping off its assets, no different than LBO guys. Does it look like the management wants BCA to be a viable business in long term?? Or just squeeze out the last drop of juice and run.


          Boeing is selling its Commercial Airplanes headquarters campus

          It joins 5 other Boeing regional properties now on the market — in locations from Frederickson in the south to Everett in the north, and including large office buildings in Renton and Bellevue

          • They also sold their Yacht, need to keep the record accurate after all.

            When they sell Everett we will know the lights are about to get turned out.

            Well and their Chicago tower but that is rented I think.

            What has occurred is they have moved ops out of Washington State creating excess property and are selling it.

            While them tearing down Boeing and moving and scattering it all over the US is an issue.

            Its not the same as a going out of business sale aka stripping and selling assetts.

    • @ Matthew

      It seems that some people don’t (want to) realize that it’s possible to “go bust” without “going bankrupt” in the traditional sense of the term. Fannie and Freddie were examples of that, along with numerous other nationalizations and orchestrated bailouts of distressed financial institutions 12 years ago.

      However, an intervention by the US government would represent a serious “egg on your face” event, in view of Boeing’s continuous allegations of state support via-à-vis Airbus and COMAC, and US Airlines’ constant badgering about state support of Gulf carriers. A potentially more likely scenario is that the US admin would use enticements such as tax breaks / guarantees / loans to “persuade” another US corporation to bail out Boeing.

      Is it a done deal that a Dem administration would want to bail out a symbol of corporate greed and mismanagement — even if it is a big employer and a contributor to the DoD? The US admin didn’t bother to bail out Hertz (38.000 employees).

      • Boeing is not going belly up.

        Boeing is not Fanny May

        Lockheed was bailed out as was Chrysler and GM, there was a price involved.

        If Boeing got into SW type Dire Straights, yes the US would intervene. Name me a country that would not!

        And there is a reason, Boeing is to important to both the domestic economic and the military procurement.

        Like the Auto Industry, there is massive upside to BCA, getting rid of crap management and the Corporate Management corruption of the corporations that has ensued (not just with Boeing) alone would solve the issues.

      • @Bryce: The new defender of BA is even worse than the last, only specialty is spilling mumble jumble here and there.

        Look no further than RR, after its imaginary accounting profit went bust (not like BA’s program accounting black box) and Trent engine debacle (not comparable to BA’s 737 MAX scandal) had to go to the market for an emergency raise of £5 billion (including £2 billion equity) after stock crashed.

        • Look no further than RR, after its imaginary accounting profit went bust (not like BA’s program accounting black box) Trent engine debacle (not comparable to BA’s 737 MAX scandal) *and debt cut to junk*, it had to go to the market for an emergency raise of £5 billion (including £2 billion equity at 1/10 of highs in recent years) after stock crashed.

          • Pedro:

            You do actually read the posts?

            If you are going to opinion the sun rises in the West, even if Boeing owns that sun I am going to disagree with you.

            Otherwise you can’t have a discussion on opinion, facts underlay a discussion.

            Boeing has huge issues.

            To spin that into things that are not real does not lend itself to addressing those Boeing issues.

            Or is it just anti Boeing that is the goal?

            I detest Boeing management and how the company is being run into the ground.

            Boeing as a company is a different story. Its been a huge plus for the US and is well worth continuing if they can get their act corrected.

            That may indeed get into legislation to disallow the very practice that are allowing Boeing management run Boeing aground.

            But to put it correctly, I am not a Boeing stooge that believe Boeing management has done no wrong. They have and its killed people and we are lucky it has not been worse.

          • Oops correction:

            (not *unlike* BA’s program accounting black box)

      • Boing going broke would not be about the aerospace industry. It is about shareholders. If Boeing went into chapter 11 the discussion is around how much creditors and shareholders get. One solution is to wipe out existing shareholder, invite new capital and key creditors whole. This would not impact the industry much.

  10. JAL going to retire the rest of its 777-200 jets earlier than it had planned, and replace them with A350-900s. The 777-200s are grounded since 21 Feb 2021 due to the PW engine issue.

    Can JAL claim damages from BA/PW??

    • The P&W debacle has almsot nothing to do with Boeing, its all due to P&W and the failure to do their job on blades.

      That is a regulatory failure in that the FAA never forced them to shift from what is supposed to be a temporary phase in period for new tech to a finished inspection and maint process and train people.

      Prominently all the focus is on P&W and little on Boeing as Boeing has nothign to do with engine certification’s or the failures.

      The finger is all on P&W and it should be on the FAA.

      Boeing only part is to agree to P&W putting engine on the 777 (which they no longer are or do)

      Impact on Boeing is a bit of revenue loss on the 777 fleet that was going away soon anyway .

      JAL is rightfully taking advantage of the situation to shift over (or has the ability to do so right now) and that is not a Boeing impact either as JAL was going there anyway.

      JAL has no need for the 777 P&W issue which is not going to be resolved for some time .

      Impact may hit other airlines that use P&W engines with that same blade tech that never got put into a valid inspection protocol.

      The only aircraft being built that is affected would be the KC-46. I believe all other 76 being built now use the GE engines.

  11. More Good News Week A Back to Normal Report #1

    Delta is suppressing vacancy in middle seats, for demand surge and vaccine protection eliminates the need for this, also serving food and other sure benefits of normality

    « The company had announced on Wednesday that it would be reintroducing the sale of middle seats beginning May 1, about a year after it stopped selling those seats to allow for some social distancing on flights. Onboard drinks and snacks will also return in mid-April. Boxed meals will return in July. »

    Looks like the crisis is over, glad that’s now done with, let’s move on – next up… ?


  12. Seems many countries still haven’t given approval for B737 MAX RTS, e.g. Singapore. Is this correct?

    • @ Pedro
      Yes, it’s correct.
      – The only countries in Asia Pacific that have un-grounded the MAX are Japan and Australia. Fiji will be following soon. Singapore is moving its planes back from Alice Springs, but hasn’t yet un-grounded.
      – No un-grounding anywhere in Africa and in most of Middle East.
      – In South America, only Brazil has un-grounded.

        • @Toulouse

          Look at Delta they’re gunning for it

          Ask Ryan – he too fullon

          The tough guys are done with the crisis, if the other airlines are not back up that’s their problem

      • BA’s propaganda machine blames pilots, proof that BA’s 737 MAX are not ready for pilots from emerging market. Time for BA to admit failure, exit the market and compensate airlines from Ethiopia, Indonesia, India and Vietnam with huge orders.

      • I visited the SQ training centre in December and ended up talking to a manager running the simulators. He expected ungrounding in April as slowest items were simulator upgrades and retraining of pilot pool. At that time there was no confirmation yet on simulator upgrades. They had a 737MAX simulator but when I saw it used that day it was configured as a 737-800.

        We the state of aviation here, there is no need to rush this.

    • Wow…that’s an interesting prospect.
      An A380F would be perfect for high value / low weight freight, such as cut flowers, pharmaceuticals, electronics, etc. Freight handlers at Amsterdam airport process 100 million cut flowers per day.

      • Well we had the A380F back in the day and it went down in flames.

        Two ops had it ordered, UPS and FedEx. 10 each as I recall. There was 5 ordered by a Lease company.

        FedEx and UPS have moved on. FedEx went with a more flexible.e 777 and UPS went with the 747-400F and -8F.

        So who is going to buy it? You can’t load the deck density on it that you can a 767 or 747 which is why only UPS and FedEx were in the running.

        DHL had none ordered though the 5 might have been tentative for them.

        The A350 is just another A330F that also went no where.

        There is no reason Boeing won’t do a 777-8F, its a shorter -9. Lower cost than a A350 that Airbus wants their premium on. Boeing is willing to go as low as it takes.

        I guess its a nice spin for lack of news but Airbus has never done it yet.

        As for the 777s. FedEx and UPS are still flying the MD-11 in numbers.
        Lots of 777s to convert, P&W will likely get the fan blade thing sorted out and good stock for JAL!

        • Haven’t you caught up with the news?? Read the latest post from Scott, haha. 2027 is the year of reset for Boeing’s freighter market.

          • Pedro:

            Yes I did read it and addressed it.

            Scott speaks with some hyperbole that Boeing is doomed in the F market.

            I presented a case that the 777-8F is in fact a slam dunk to build.
            That does not mean it will sell.

            Equally there are huge numbers of 777 variants out there that can be converted to F from PAX.

            Boeing can’t make 777F (or 767F in fact) after 2027.

            No where does it say the ones available and flying or are grounded by replacements cannot be converted to F.

            Just as readily Boeing can make a 787F.

            No predictions how it will play out, no one expected the 767F to survive either but suddenly it fits into FedEx ops and away we go.

          • @TW: If you’re going to quote me, quote me correctly. Nowhere did I say Boeing was “doomed” in the freighter market. I wrote that its “dominance” is “threatened.”


          • @ Toulouse
            Every single aspect of Boeing’s product offering is currently “threatened” by a whole list of troubles: limited MAX re-cert and demand, manufacturing quality issues on 787, delayed intro of / lack of interest in 777X, a continually botched KC-46, suppliers going bankrupt, disastrously weak finances, severely diluted margins, decreasing market share, multiple ongoing lawsuits, the rise of Chinese/Russian competition…

            Didn’t you get the memo?

          • @Toulouse

            If your questions are serious so was Scott’s answer

    • Certainly has volume which is what typical package express needs.

      (Of course if Amacrick were more efficient in packaging might be less the case.
      Sometimes Amacrick boxes are mostly air, other times they put a device with electrical plug prongs unprotected so they get bent.)

  13. The GE90-115 or 110 is 2027 compliant to the new environmental law. So 777F will still be good and Boeing is going to re- engine B767 to the GENX. Also will be moving the 777 to the 777XF by then according to my source.

    • > Boeing is going to re- engine B767 to the GENX. <

      I hope your source is correct about the above!

      • If whatever these rumors were all true:
        BA would had launched MoM jet with EIS 2025;
        777X first delivery in summer 2020;
        ready to go for NSA (or whatever came out from HQ’s alphabetical soup);
        737 MAX is the safest jet ever and RTS in a month or two after being grounded.


  14. JetBlue To Reinvent Transatlantic Economy Class On The A321LR

    – 114 seats in economy class with min. 32 inches of legroom and a width of 18.4 inches, which offers “customers more space and comfort in an economy experience than any carrier in the transatlantic market

    – 4 rows of seating with up to six inches more legroom

    – 10.1-inch 1080P high-definition screen with international live television channels and on-demand content

    – customizable meal (free!) and comlimentary wifi

    • What it calls ‘reinvention’ is same old economy class, ( 32 in pitch 18 in width is the domestic spacing) along with 22 premium seats the reduced economy seat numbers are because the hold baggage capacity is reduced both because of hold space and weight limitations of the LR and heavier bags for long haul.
      Be interesting to see how it works out, north atlantic is one of the most highly seasonal routes and your traffic may only be their for 4 months

      • Airbus is showing the A319 with six ACT and there is still space left in the cargo bay. The LR has only three ACT. Baggage is no problem for the LR because 4000nm are shown for 180 pax and not 240.

        Even long range widebodies are calculating not with more than 100kg per pax. The A350ULR is saving 1t on the water and lavatory system because it seats less pax. The LR could save weight too if it is not seating 240 pax.

    • Pedro,

      then JetBlue is going much further than 4000nm.
      114seats + 24seats = 138seats
      19rows x 32in + 4rows x 38in = 760in
      Even the A319neo would have space for this seating configuration, but doesn’t have the MTOW for the range.
      With the rest of the cabin JetBlue could have a golf parkour.

  15. All the startups flying A220 will really start to put some pressure on Southwest, Alaskan and United.

    • Not likely.

      The A220-300 is still a class below the 737 and A320 (closer to the A320 in fact)

      Delta has not plans to fly them to Alaska.

      There may be routes that they compete on and routes they don’t.

      The A220-500 could in fact compete but the numbers are a long ways away.

      A rate 5, its going to be a long time before the A220 has any impact.

      By the time it does Boeing (should, stay tuned) have new aircraft out.

      And yes I like the A220. But impact is a long ways off.

      If fact Airbus should be working on replacing the A320 with the -500 but the A320 makes money and the A220 is not nor will for some time.

      • > The A220-300 is still a class below the 737 and A320 (closer to the A320 in fact) <

        Trying- without success, so far- to understand that assertion.
        Think of that aircraft, and those in development by Russian and Chinese entities, as *tentacles*; tentacles opposed only by a deeply financialized
        corporation with a -shall we say?- "restive" group of Employees and Suppliers..

        Shorter: the A220, and COMAC, and Irkut, are not there for appearance's

        We'll see soon enough who's right, I think. BA selling off HQ might be a tell.. that's company's a mere shell now, and its C-suiters are thinking only IBG/YBG, as far as I can see.

      • Again: the embrace of an octupus’s tentacles probably feels quite cozy at first at first at first.

        Boeing: “we’ve got a Strong Product Lineup, happy and committed Employees and Suppliers, and firm plans for future Greatness..”

        No you don’t; and no, you don’t.

    • I wonder how much fuel it could save.
      Good Airbus keeps being busy improving products.

    • > I wonder if they will do rate changes to avoid a snapped off tail per the A300(?) out of New York city. <

      1) Are an old A300 and a present-day A320 synonymous?

      2) I don't believe the Official Story on that A300 incident.

    • Spirit was saying TECT was holding them to ransom by demanding more payments for parts before delivery for the 787 section Spirit builds, they got a court order to keep the parts going. Seems the 787 production rate decrease has now killed off the business on top of any other issues.

  16. Airlines seem optimistic.

    The US has some guts against the ‘vaccine passport’ fool’s game: https://www.vicnews.com/news/in-canada-u-s-vaccine-passports-could-be-new-point-of-cross-border-contention/

    But Canada does not even though case rate is now higher in Canada than the US: https://www.vicnews.com/news/cdc-continues-to-warn-u-s-travellers-against-all-travel-to-canada-due-to-covid-risk/. Hopefully someone can get through to xenophobe ‘jefe’ Trudeau Jr. to question his logic.

    (There is much travel between the two countries, including:
    – US residents returning to homes/cottages AKlower48
    – transportation of supplies, both into Canada and the US, and from lower 48 to AK
    – military equipment/personnel/supplies
    – technicians servicing equipment

    But Canada is constipated at this point: https://www.abbynews.com/news/kootenay-seniors-fined-3450-after-failing-to-show-proof-of-covid-test-in-day-trip-to-u-s/, on top of quarantines, which in at least air cases is in a fancy hotel at traveller’s expense.)

    Oddly, they zipped into the US to get vaccinated, even though he is already eligible in Canada and she will be soon (albeit slots may not be available until a few weeks after eligibility date.

    BC has wised up and has added eligibility to people with serious health problems such as immune deficiency, that’s where the risk really is. AB added such people earlier.

    • Note: the following comment is aimed at travel documents/restrictions, and is not intended to precipitate a discussion of vaccines (Vs).

      The whole discussion of V passports for international travel has become a circus. It’s *still* not known if Vs prevent transmission: despite a much-hyped article last week by a certain pharma company, if you look clearly at the article you’ll see that the whole piece is based on proxies and simulations in the absence of actual data — it’s already been shot down by prominent virologists in Europe. So, if transmission isn’t sufficiently impeded, then what’s the added value of a V passport for cross-border travel between countries with disparate epidemiological situations? At the moment, the dangerous P1 variant has gained a foothold in Canada, but apparently not in the US: based on the knowledge currently available, use of V passports at the border could still potentially allow the (V-resistant) P1 variant into the US.

      Some countries in the EU are discussing a different type of travel pass, which can contain V status and/or recent recovery from infection and/or very recent negative test results. But the basic “fallacy” still remains as regards the first two of these aspects. When it comes to inbound travel, prudent countries are still placing more faith in testing than in V status.

    • Someone is touting an aviation vaccination passport using a QR code block for fast reading, probably IATA:

      But attitude was different in 2009 with another strong respiratory virus, as it was in past INFLUENZA pandemics ; WHO | No rationale for travel restrictions

      Meanwhile The People’s State of New York continues to botch: New York’s Vaccine Passport Program Is Already Failing – AIER
      (Reminds me of scenarios in the renowned best seller Atlas Shrugged.)

      • There are many variables including incubation time (which seems variable, perhaps in part due rise in virus shedding which is low when not feeling ill), type of test (Dubai banded rapid tests), time after vaccination for vaccine to work (one test with elderly shows some protection early but days or weeks to maximum protection).

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.07.21254925v1 re elderly


        Of course there are at least two different types of vaccine against SSARS-CoV-2 (two are mRNA but the third works quite differently) so I wonder if data for one type is applicable to another.

        And modelling versus actual data is not simple, the latter is real world but cannot ‘control for’ all factors. Modelling tends to fail because input data is bad or missing, and because factors in the formulas are bad or missing. Modelling was hopelessly exaggerating COVID-19 a year ago. One missing factor in that was people taking care of themselves.

        WHO has been advising against ‘vaccine passports’ and such.

        (Another variable is whether the airline/country wants proof of vaccination or of antibodies that vaccination, already-had-illness, and in some people had-something-else earlier provide.)

        • “Modelling was hopelessly exaggerating COVID-19 a year ago. One missing factor in that was people taking care of themselves.”

          Which has a parallel in pontificators in aviation for a. :-o)

    • I’d like to see Boeing become a significant
      competitor to AB; and later, Irkut and COMAC. Present signs are not promising,

      “We’re thinking of a new plane with a
      2032 EIS!.. unless we slow-ball it more,
      ‘cuz the more we do that. the further AB
      and the others will have to catch up..”

      Let me know how all that goes

      2024 Just in: “Boing exits commercial passenger aircraft market..”

    • That started in 2019 with an MoU of expanding finishing in Tianjin.
      Is this the first A350 finished in Tianjin?.

    • Wow!
      The article says that first deliveries may not occur until 2025.

      • FG:
        Emirates’s Tim Clark: Boeing’s 777X programme is in “a state of disarray”

        Amid the uncertainty, the Airbus A380 will play an ongoing role at the carrier for at least another 15 years.

        • @ Pedro
          Thanks for that!
          The FG article is behind a paywall, so here’s an alternative with similar content:


          Interesting quote, bearing in mind that Emirates has 146 777s and 118 A380s:
          “The double-deck type has formed the backbone of the airline’s fleet for over a decade, and Clark highlights that pre-pandemic the A380 accounted for 85% of profits and was “always full”, proving popular with travellers across all seat classes, something that “we see continuing”.”

          • “”proving popular with travellers across all seat classes””

            That would change with the narrow seats of the 777X.

            Interesting is that the 115 B777X are 101 B777-9 and 14 B777-8.

        • @ Pedro
          The 777X — which is a re-hash of an existing Boeing model — is probably going to be 5 years late (if it goes ahead at all)…and yet we’re supposed to believe that Boeing is capable of introducing a new cleansheet NMA/NSA?
          Not enough money, not enough talent, not enough oversight, not enough market. BA is destined to become the Nokia of aviation.

          • Harumph.

            Rehas is not intrinsically bad, Airbus continues to do that with the A32x series.

            Depends on technology, price, performance, …
            And for the biggies, pax market.

        • Tim Clark doesn’t stop the bashing. This must be cancel orders language or renegociate the price language and Boeing will give in. That happens with poor quality and a brand in ashes.
          I hope Tim Clark is honest and Emirates isn’t only greedy and satisfied with a lower price.
          So before it was end of 2023 which meant 2024 and now it’s 2025 which means 2026.

          • With delays of this magnitude, Clark has the right to cancel without penalty.
            He can instead place orders for A350-1000s (initially as an undisclosed customer, if necessary) and ditch the 777X. With all the deferrals going on, I’m sure Airbus could oblige him with some early slots…and perhaps even crank up the production rate specially for him. He then gets a proven plane with a lower weight and greater range, with just 50 seats less (11% less: he wouldn’t even notice it if load factors for the 777-9 were below 89%).

            It’s conceivable that Boeing knows that the 777X has no future, and is deliberately delaying it in increments so as to force airlines to cancel. That way Boeing can “save face” and come with some hot-air excuse along the lines of “well, it was a great plane, but CoViD and its wake caused our customers to drop orders, and that killed the program”. The 777-8 is already essentially dead.

  17. Reuters – “March delivery surge pushes Airbus jet supply higher in first quarter”

    “Airbus reported slightly higher deliveries in the first quarter with 125 aircraft handed over to airlines after a sharp increase in activity in March, company data showed on Thursday.

    Airbus also posted 39 gross orders, including a new deal for 20 A220s to an unidentified buyer.

    But the company saw the number of net orders – which are adjusted for cancellations – remain in negative territory for the first quarter, with a total of minus 61 net orders dominated by a Norwegian cancellation unveiled in the previous month.”


  18. More delivery by Airbus means more cash, bigger war chest for research and development, unlike its other major competitor overburdened by swelling debt.

    • That is so untrue. They are selling their head quarters so they will be ro0lling in money!


      Some sales make a twisted sense as they have moved the jobs out of Washinton state and the Yacht is so yesterday (and not in Chicago)

      But BCA headquarters? (and yes I missed that part)

      So the BCA president just wanders around from bare office to bare office and plants the BCA flag wherever he hoves (heaves?) up?

      I am sure that prospective aircraft buyers will be impressed with the Gypsy like wanderings.

      Even Robinson Crusoe had his fort!

      Well I am sure they can find a closet for him someplace.

      Offices, nah, we are Boeing, we don’t need no stinking offices.

      I may have to just accept Boeing is Boeing, Boeing , gone.

      • @TW

        What did you expect – selling office real estate in a wfh pandemic when such real estate prices have been slashed by as much as BA has slashed the Max prices

        BA sells the wrong gear the wrong stuff at the wrong time

        In a less perfect world they would have sold to a Chinese investor with a long term aviation plan

        Or how else did you think they’d be getting back into China RCEP market? Who owns those useless BA bonds and shares?

        • @ Gerrard
          Don’t worry — BA’s finances are in such a stellar state that it can easily afford to accept the relative losses on real estate sales in a market that is currently depressed for commercial space 🙂
          The sale couldn’t possibly be because the company needs to raise cash. Not at all — the current property is considered by the Board to be too “provincial”, and the intention is to replace it by more opulent premises with gilded ceilings.

          [sarcasm button off]

          • @Bryce

            It is indeed a serious subject – I appreciate the no hint of sarcasm

            I suggest that COMAC could do worse than make everything clear to one and all by buying the BA Head Office an historic aviation pioneer building and at such a bargain basement price

            Didn’t the Empire State Building sell to a Japanese consortium? (etc etc)

        • In another time, COMAC might have set up “a major new research, development, engineering and business center for its emerging C919 single-aisle passenger jet” in BA’s backyard as previously reported.

          “The sites under consideration included the sprawling former Weyerhaeuser headquarters office complex …”

          How ironic is it in case a Chinese investor scoops up BCA’s HQ?

      • Yah mean the yacht is too big for the lake?

        Seems to be an entertaining device anyway, many yachts in Seattle and probably Chicago to charter.

        Now, Bill Boeing had a personal yacht IIRC, he earned it.

  19. I can only find this on a Dutch aviation site.

    “Drastic measure: LATAM is getting rid of its entire A350 fleet”.

    “SANTIAGO – LATAM has to cut into its fleet and will say farewell to all its Airbus A350-900’s. The (11) widebodies will be taken out of service between now and next week. This was announced to personnel on Thursday by CEO Jerome Cadier”.

    “This decision — in addition to creating a smaller and more homogeneous fleet — will allow us to have a more efficient widebody operation so as to better survive this period of lower demand”, says Cadier.


    Japan Airlines might be interested: it dumped a bunch of 777s due to the PW engine issue, and already has A350s in its fleet.

    • Ex part owner Delta would probably be kicking the tyres on theses low mileage A350.

    • @Pedro

      Sorry – I didn’t read your post about the same electrics fault before posting on the same subject

      That was foolish of me

      You report daily Max or other BA problems from now on

  20. @Bryce

    Did you report already this new (?) problem with the Max

    The trouble being that not a day goes by without something else falling off the plane, so I’m unsure if this is already yesterday’s problem, and you’ll soon be reporting today’s


    (PS This is ground path for electrics)

    • @ Gerrard

      I reported this problem below, so you beat me to it.
      Interesting that your article explicitly mentions that Southwest has to pull MAXs from service because of thus problem…I wonder are they still happy that they ordered the MAX recently? 😉

  21. This week’s episode in the ongoing MAX soap opera:

    Reuters: “Boeing flags possible production issue in some 737 MAX jets to customers”

    “Boeing said it wants those customers to check and verify if a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system in some affected 737 MAX jets with specific tail numbers.”

    “The planemaker has been wrestling with some production issues at its factories on top of a separate design problem that led to the grounding of all MAXs for 20 months.”


    And the world is supposed to believe that this crate was “gone over with a fine tooth comb”?
    Last week it was a mandatory replacement of fuel system processors, and now an electrical problem in some jets?

    • Remain calm.. everything is *just fine* at Boing. Just fine.


  22. @Bryce

    Oh….. so It was today’s problem with the Max

    Ok – I’ll leave tomorrow’s problem to you to report, but if you don’t mind I’ll take Sunday’s

  23. Kelleher was a very smart, bright man. I can’t imagine with a fleet size of 750 planes, he would put all his eggs in one basket.

    • United got hit by dual grounding by putting all eggs in a basket from BA.

      ATM, hurt more by grounding of 777-200 than 737 MAX I guess?

  24. @Bryce

    With this and the other planes falling to pieces every day – it’s just depressing

    Makes one long for a hit of that sweet Corporate PR to give the flipside

    I’m sure this is all carefully planned asset stripping and breaking up the company – no one could be so stupid unless to some purpose

    • > I’m sure this is all carefully planned asset stripping and breaking up the company – no one could be so stupid unless to some purpose <

      Starting to wonder..


    • It is indeed a relatively simple issue…which is precisely why is shouldn’t have cropped up in the first place.

      The “world’s most scrutinized plane” is still an amateuristic mess.

      • > The “world’s most scrutinized plane” is still an amateuristic mess. <

        I think that comment is quite unfair to amateurs,
        but won't for a moment suggest that you be Canceled for it. 😉

        Black is White Up is Down Bad is Good Welcome to 2021..

    • I didn’t know that the MAX had two issues on one day.

      “””Southwest has taken 30 of its 58 737 Max out of revenue flying, describing the concern as related to a “potential electrical grounding path issue”.
      “Boeing notified the FAA late Thursday that it is recommending that operators of certain Boeing 737 Max airplanes temporarily remove them from service to address a manufacturing issue that could affect the operation of a back-up power control unit,” the FAA says.
      United has pulled 16 of its 30 737 Max from service.”””

      Reminds me of TW’s story about the Ford Edsel …

  25. @Gerrard: As poster here tried to discredit any critic of Boeing’s infamous lemon i.e. KC-46 for a lack of engineering background or pilot experience, found an interview from BloombergBusinessweek.

    Who did FAA appointed to lead the team in charge of overseeing the development of the 737 Max training requirements and what qualification does this person possess? No engineering background and very limited pilot experience – setting up to fail??

    – As Rick Ludtke describes, a key aspect of the focus on reducing costs was ensuring that pilots switching from older 737 models to the Max 8 never had to participate in Level D training. Ludtke recalled, “We showed them all these scenarios, and then we’d ask, ‘Would this change equal Level D?’”

    In order to cut down training time and reduce costs—each Level D simulator costs up to $15 million—Boeing claimed that the changes it made required only “Level B” training, which could be done in an hour on a tablet. The company worked closely with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to ensure that no one from that agency would challenge Boeing’s decisions.

    Stacey Klein had no engineering background, her airplane experience was very limited,” Ludtke said, suggesting that the head of the FAA team in charge of overseeing the development of the Max 8 training requirements was not particularly qualified to do so. “It was just an impossible scenario,” he added.

    • Same as Boeing, the FAA can’t catch a break, they can do as much as they can, karma throws them into the garbage bin again.
      The pure intention behind this is remarkable and this was standard behavior for everything.

    • @Pedro

      Thanks for this report – I think you posted some of this before, but the level of incompetence and corruption on display at the FAA is certainly worth printing over and over again

  26. Boeing has traced the issue to a production change made in the installation process that occurred after the grounding in March 2019.

    Any connection with:

    – May 2019: 900 inspectors were replaced in Seattle area,
    – New processes/initiatives implemented at the three production lines at the 737 Max factory when production re-started?

      • Soooo untrue, can’t believe this as if it came from a soap opera.

        Apparently there’s more to that story:

        Bloomber: Boeing Co. will need to inspect hundreds of undelivered 737 Max jets for a potential flaw in their electrical power systems, said people familiar with the matter.
        About 450 Max planes built since early 2019 could potentially require repairs, a total that includes about 90 aircraft in commercial operation


        Seattle Times: And in a previously unreported problem, Boeing recently found a potential defect in a batch of 20 to 40 motors that move the horizontal stabilizer on all 737s, including the MAX and earlier models.

        Coincidentally, an inflight stabilizer problem that required manual trim to get a 737 MAX home safely happened just last week — but with a different root cause.
        On March 29, an American Airlines 737 MAX, flying from Miami to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic with 135 passengers and 6 crew aboard was forced to turn back when the horizontal stabilizer system failed.
        The pilots ran the stabilizer checklist, manually trimmed the aircraft as they returned to Miami, and landed safely.

        • Niggling problems, you doomSayer..

          Notice, by the way the plural:

          “The pilots ran the stabilizer checklist, manually trimmed the aircraft as they returned to Miami..”

          Should be fine™, as long as the Mad MAXes have three pilots in the cockpit..

          Notice, too, Boing’s radio silence on
          their latest aircraft issues-

          Should be fine

          / sarc

        • Thanks Pedro,

          it’s just a matter of time when no crews are left who want to fly the MadMax. These crews should get a big bonus, especially when the airline was so greedy to order more MadMax. At least share the wealth for doing the stunt jobs.

  27. Really, Scott H.: maybe it’s time to let Rob
    from Corporate again give us the Real Truth,
    the Straight Skinny, What’s Really Going On;
    et c, et c, et c.. for entertainment value, if
    Nothing Else.

    W/ Boing, the jokes (these days) sadly write themselves.. too bad 346 persons lost
    their live dues to a Boing “glitch” (anyone
    else notice the debasement of language, lately?).

    “all is well, in the garden.”

    • @Bill7

      You underestimate, I think, the strength of support for Corporate Feelgood as well as the growing strength of the demands for Censorship, ditto for Patriotism/Nationalism

      We have seen some of all this on this site

      When Chairman Cal talks politics, not to mention Delta and American (and many large corps) it is a sign that the ‘conversation’ has shifted further towards feelings further away from facts




      War Drums

      • The “pity the poor, poor, huge Corporations” tone
        of that final NYT piece is really quite something,
        especially for those of us who live here in the
        ‘Exceptional Nation’.

        Short version: Regardless of what the NYT says,
        Woke-ism is an *Elite project*, w/ a few utterly
        bought persons of color™ as cover for the oligarchy’s aims..

        Divide n’ Rule is working well.. for the Very Few.

        • @Bill7

          Chairman Cal hits the Patriot Victim of Foreign Authoritarian Dictatorship button in public, Defcon 7

          The Corp is jealous of such efficiently managed state support for business as on display in Asia

  28. This is all to obvious and has likely been said before- but Boing replacing Tractorman with
    Calhoon, and those recent non-entity replacements to their Board, tell much about
    what to expect of Boing for some time; maybe for all (commercial aircraft-wise) time..

    “We’ll Get Rich on Defense™ contracts!”

  29. Gee, I wonder if the continuing litany of defects in BA aircraft is in any way related to personnel motivation issues?

    Reuters: “Boeing union to vote on whether to authorize strike”

    “A union representing about 220 Boeing Co workers said on Friday that members will vote on Sunday whether to authorize a strike after contract negotiations “have taken a turn for the worse.”

    Teamsters Local 174, which represents workers in transportation, warehousing, and logistics (TWL) and facilities and asset management in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, said in a statement Boeing’s management “is devoted to destroying all benefits and wages our members have earned.””


    But, while BA strips its “rank and file” employees, “The Cal” ensures that his own pockets are well filled:

    “CEO Dave Calhoun was awarded $21 million in total compensation for his work last year, but he gave up $3.6 million in salary and bonuses after the coronavirus pandemic hit and devastated the industry.”


    • Sounds like the Bombardier folks a year or two before they started selling almost everything off. The stock went up a little mostly because it had nowhere else to go, and the CEO and heirs could not stop congratulating themselves and demanded 10s of millions of dollars in bonuses. What characters.

    • > Gee, I wonder if the continuing litany of defects in BA aircraft is in any way related to personnel motivation issues? <

      A decently-treated workforce is a conscientious workforce.

      And yet Boing's stock price continues to (curiously) rise.. hmm.

    • That’s quite an article from Gates- thanks for the link.

      “All is well, in the mcBoing Garden.”

      • @Bill7

        Chairman Cal picks up the ball and starts his run into the endzone

        « In the era of imperialism, businessmen became politicians and were acclaimed as statesmen, while statesmen were taken seriously only if they talked the language of successful businessmen.
        —Hannah Arendt »

        • That is one pertinent and so-timely quote
          from H Arendt..

          As an aside: the book about her relationship w/ Heidegger by
          Maia Ettinger (sp?) is fascinating

    • Improper electrical grounding is one of major causes of sensor malfunction – quite possibly the Max’s AOA had been affected.

      • Of course improper grounding is a major cause of malfunction!
        But, in this situation, it was simple to avoid the problem. If Boeing wanted to mount a circuit chassis using fasteners instead of rivets, all that had to be done was to use a separate earthing umbilical to connect the chassis frame to a ground point on the plane. A dollar’s worth of extra parts, and just a few minutes of extra time. Even worse: a technician with even basic training should have been able to see this problem coming — so why wasn’t it addressed before it became an issue?

        Now, instead, Southwest, United and AA are going to have to be compensated for all the flights they had to pull and re-arrange. Expect a bill of several million dollars.

        Short cuts, long delays.

  30. Seattle Times: TECT bankruptcy reveals a precarious Boeing supply chain

    • BA’s infamous “Partnering for Success” coming back to bite its behind.

      “The situation at TECT was made much worse by Boeing’s intense pressure, for several years before the crisis, to cut pricing on parts.

      Boeing had demanded 10% to 15% price cuts each year from all its suppliers, promising they would make it up on volume as jet production rates soared. Many suppliers borrowed heavily to invest in new equipment to meet the expected increases in production.

      With their margins slashed and debt increased, the MAX grounding and then the broader production cuts due to the pandemic delivered a stunning financial blow.”

    • More woes between Boeing and its suppliers:

      Reuters: “Boeing sues, cancels contracts with Air Force One supplier”

      “Boeing Co said Thursday it had filed a suit against and canceled contracts with a Texas-based supplier for Air Force One, the aircraft that carriers the U.S. president, over delays in completing interior work on the two heavily modified 747-8 planes.

      Boeing said in its suit filed in Texas state court on Wednesday the delays “have resulted in millions of dollars in damages to Boeing and threaten to jeopardize work that is of critical importance to the (U.S. Air Force) and the president of the United States.””


      This is hilarious coming from McB — which caused huge financial and logistical hardship to Norwegian, but is doing everything it can (in court) to avoid paying Norwegian deposits/compensation. Smells of egotistical double standards…

  31. This week’s BA Politics Update is brought to you by Chair C

    First : The Good News


    Chairman Cal’s moves into politics are paying off : it appears that the Ukraine has definitively put paid to the attempt to buy Motor Sich on behalf of China aviation companies

    This is going to cost the Ukraine a lot of compensation money it does not have, the claim filed is for $3.6B, let alone guarantees diminishing returns from the country’s largest trading partner, guess who… China

    Ukraine has already lost the vital Russia market, cannot afford to lose China, risks returning to the stone age – all this merely in order to try to shore up a dying US aviation industry

    Last : The Bad News

    Contrary to the interests of BA, and indeed of the World : The Defense Department celebrates the Budget ‘s focus on War with China

    The Silver Lining :

    Chairman Cal will not give up on BA’s attempts to make sure the BA Combat Plane can not be used in Combat


  32. India’s TruJet (have you heard of it?) eyes massive A220 order.

    Delivery of nine Airbus a year over six years.

    AB prefer order with positive margin!

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