HOTR: Annual Reports give hint to MAX return in China

By the Leeham News Team

May 4, 2021, © Leeham News: Annual reports from some Chinese airlines give an indication when Boeing can expect to resume deliveries of the 737 MAX there.

China Southern’s report issued this week indicates 48 MAXes will be delivered next year. Another 44 are shown to be delivered the following year. This compares with five A320 series this year and none next year. Only 15 A320s were delivered in 2020.

Five 787s and one 777s are scheduled for delivery to China Southern this year. Four A350s are scheduled for delivery this year and next.

Air China’s Annual Report shows no 737s scheduled for delivery. Boeing’s Unfilled Orders chart doesn’t show any orders for this model in the Identified order list. Only one 787 is identified in backlog. The Air China annual report doesn’t show its delivery through 2023.

However, the annual report shows Air China receiving 48 A320 series this year and eight next year. It also shows five A350s this year, eight next year and five in 2023.

China Eastern is not listed in the Boeing backlog for any aircraft type. But the carrier’s annual report shows 46 MAXes entering service in 2023. There will be 27 A320s coming this year and 34 next year. Five 787s are due this year. Four and eight A350s will enter service this year and next. The conclusion: these MAXes are some of the 703 Unidentified orders for the 737.

COMAC’s C919 is shown in some data bases as scheduled for the first delivery to China Eastern in 2021 and Air China and China Southern in 2022. China Eastern shows one C919 scheduled for introduction this year and two in each of 2022 and 2023. China Southern doesn’t show any C919 deliveries through 2023.

111 Comments on “HOTR: Annual Reports give hint to MAX return in China

  1. No Chinese airline is required to take delivery of an aircraft that isn’t certified to fly in China. Consequently, the fact that a particular airline was initially slated to receive MAXs in a given timeframe does not mean that those MAXs will actually be delivered at that time.

    A similar issue emerged with regard to the recent MAX over-fly decision by the regulator in India. Whether intentional or not, the Indian regulator is doing SpiceJet a favor, because it won’t have to take delivery of MAXs — in a depressed aviation market — until the MAX is fully re-certified in India. SpiceJet has 136 MAXs on order, of which only 7 have been delivered.

    • Whatever. It’s a good airplane, like the DC-10 it just wasn’t scrutinized enough in certification. Your anti-Boeing/anti USA venom drips from every post…it’s getting old.

      • Boeing self-certified the MAX with undue pressure, big difference.
        The most scrutinized plane in history, when Boeing made a safe plane even safer. #laughingstock

        Same with the 777X under Muilenburg.
        We see the results now and Boeing is paying for it.
        IF Boeing recovers there won’t be engineers left.

      • “Your anti-Boeing/anti USA venom drips from every post…it’s getting old.”


        Note Pedro’s attempt to smear TW by claiming he looks the other way. The scummies continue.

    • Go jump on a C919 then Bryce, let us know how it turns out…

  2. According to the website at the link below, the following 737-8’s, for Chinese Airline customers, have recently exited final assembly and are in “pre-flight prep”. If Boeing thought these aircraft were destined to be flown away for long term storage, would it have scheduled them for assembly and be preparing them for first flight? To place the LN’s in perspective, according to the same website the 3 highest 737 LN’s that have been delivered to non-military customers are 737-8 LN7951 to American Airlines, 737-9 LN7961 to Alaska Airlines, and 737-8 LN7975 to Southwest.

    LN 7919 – Shanghai Airlines
    LN 7923 – Kunming Airlines
    LN 7934 – Xiamen Airlines
    LN 7944 – Air China

    LN 7931 for Air China is in “short term storage” at Moses Lake, according to the same website.

    • From the list in the link:
      – The NTU (Not Taken UP) for Jet Airways is also in “Short Term Storage”.
      – The same applies to *hundreds* of other assembled MAXs — many of which are clearly whitetails (e.g. all the Norwegian Air International frames on the list).

      It seems that “Short Term Storage” is Boeing parlance for “Park it and let’s see if it ever gets delivered”.

      • “While visiting COMAC’s factory in Pudong, Shanghai, last October, the head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China Feng Zhanglin said,

        “The CAAC will do everything in its power to support the nationally built civil aircraft business.”
        So as to dispel any thoughts of the chinese regulator looking at planes on their merits.
        Of course the only plane they are currently delivering is the shanzhai DC-9

        • Well, looking at the Chinese carriers in the production lists for the A320neo and A321neo, there have been plenty of Airbus deliveries to China in 2021 (and 2020).

          So, evidently, the CAAC *is* evaluating planes on their merits — it sees the A320/A321 as capable aircraft, and the B737MAX as earthbound ballast.

          And of course the CAAC will be positively biased toward the C919: after all, it’s a modern FBW aircraft…unlike the antiquated, over-compromised, fault-prone, cable-and-pulley MAX.

          • Cough cough …the ARJ21, with pulleys and levers is the only one ‘in production’ . Who knows when the newer shanzhai model with advanced features gets delivered …maybe you ( 布赖斯) could ask your boss ?

          • So Boeing has close 100 737 MAX sitting here and there to be delivered to two major Chinese airlines.

            Finance cost alone for twelve months would amount to $30m. Any guess how many 737 MAX Boeing is stuck with at year end?? Close to three hundred?

          • @ Scott
            More conspiracy theory rubbish from @DoU.
            You might want to intervene, so as to prevent further distress to readers such as @ Ravioli Kaye?

          • @Scott: Isn’t it time to give @DoU a hiastus for reflection since the poster has no intention to engage in any discussion??

          • Duke has it right. I can disagree with him but he has a great deal of understanding on the tech end.

            The rest? Emotional balderdash, yea, China waved its magic wand and has created the next best thing to sliced bread.

            Too bad there is no data to back it up. Even the FAA could not certify it and that says it all!

            So, you are all willing to go fly a no inspection aircraft?

            Commentary has reach a new low

          • TW,

            the MAX was mostly self-certified by Boeing, with undue pressure. We know the results now and the FAA knows it too but the FAA is not interested to check all Boeing self-certs.
            But you want to fly an no inspection MAX.

            EASA isn’t much better, EASA allows booby traps.

          • Repeated dog whistles from poster like @DoU only draw in more posters like @Don disrupting discussion.

      • @Bryce:

        It’s well known the FAA ​is an example of regulatory capture, in which the airline industry openly dictates to its regulators its governing rules, arranging for not only beneficial regulation, but placing key people to head these regulators.

        Only those with a distorted view would ignore that.

        • The FAA has been messed up for a long time. Its not a sudden revelation to those who follow the industry.

          Why did EASA let the RR Trent 1000s be flown on 787s when they were proven failure prone and RR had repeatedly missed the cut off time they should not be flown with?

          All AHJ should have close oversight. The FAA has other issues in the way its structured that needs to be corrected, its not just regulatory capture.

  3. On a related subject, from April 6:
    You can set the table, but that doesn’t mean that dinner is about to be served.

    “Xiamen Air starts modification on grounded Boeing 737 MAX”

    “Boeing has recently issued some technical guidelines regarding the MAX. According to these guidelines, we have started on the modification, which is a necessary step towards the return to service (of MAX),” Xiamen Airlines, a subsidiary of China Southern Airlines 600029.SS, said in a statement to Reuters.
    “However, currently we do not have a timetable for its return to service and everything is subject to notices from the aviation regulator.””

  4. The fact that there are other countries in the region who are more US aligned and have not certified the MAX again does alter that China is a one off.

    As I recall, China had failed to put in orders in the last buying cycle due to being in one 5 year plan and not having implemented the next one.

    Unlike Chicken Little, yelling the sky is falling when you don’t know is foolish.

    Or better yet, to quote a famous American Comedian

    Making predictions is really hard, especially if its about the future.

    Stay tuned.

    • I visited the SIA training centre in December and ended up talking to one of the managers responsible for flight simulators. We were standing next to a 737-Max simulator. I asked him about RTS and he mentioned that the simulator was configured for the 737-800 and he expected RTS in April as both the simulator needed to be updated and pilots needed to be retrained before CAAS would give the go ahead for RTS. So there is more than just the aircraft being ready and everybody is super conservative as business wise there is absolutely no need to rush things as flights are still down by 90% from 2019.

      • NdB:

        Good to get the confirmation to support this having many facets to it.

        • Barely three years ago China Southern placed a large order of B737 MAX.

          • Why did they do that big order of 737 max , if its fault prone with levers and cables – as you claim. Perhaps they know more about these planes than you …yes that will be it.

          • Q: Why did passengers book a place on the Titanic?
            A: Because they didn’t know what was ahead of them at the time of booking.

        • TW:

          “As I recall, China had failed to put in orders in the last buying cycle due to being in one 5 year plan and not having implemented the next one.”

          What data you have to back up your claim??

    • TW said:
      “Unlike Chicken Little, yelling the sky is falling when you don’t know is foolish.”

      Wasn’t Chicken Little ignored when there was a real problem, because of her/his record of false claims?

      Or was that The Boy Who Cried Wolf?

      Perhaps both.

  5. Some good clarification in the Av Week Write up on the MAX as well as Boeing status (for those really interested in Aviation its worth the subscription, particularly if you can get it on sale)

    Clearly there is some corporate spin in it, but it also explains some of the back ground on a new aircraft and that new engines are not going to have a 15% jump as in the past (GTF will have a jump but not 15%)

    A good breakdown of the MAX numbers not sold yet (60) in the reserve pool.

    Also some detail on what wiring grounding work is needed though the AD is not finalized.

  6. This is an excerpt on Air Current Reporting on the wring grounding situation

    “An April 27 report by The Air Current states that the proposed modifications include adding 20 ground studs and six jumpers in the P6 panel, which sits behind the right-side pilot seat, and five studs and six jumpers on the MIP. ”

    That is a fair amount of problem grounding points though I do not know how many total there are to ref that to.

    I have done that type of work for the same reason, erratic ops and the way to deal with it is created a clean solid ground point.

  7. Here’s more info on that corrosion issue in LEAP-1B (MAX) engines coming out of prolonged storage:

    “The FAA issued an airworthiness directive (AD) this week to address the concern, which it says can lead to degraded thrust…Europe’s regulator issued a related AD last month.”

    “It cites “moisture ingress from long-term on-wing storage, coupled with certain manufacturing processes of the affected pressure transducers”.
    “These conditions can cause corrosion and subsequent electrical shorting of the pins in the pressure transducer,” it says. “This short can result in transmittal of erroneous pressure sensor signals to the electronic engine control.”
    The end result can be a loss of engine thrust.”

    • Oh boy, just when you think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I hope those problems are more the exception rather than the reality.

      • This would not be a Boeing direct issue, it does affect the MAX.

        It may well affect LEAP engines if stored for some period on the A320/A321 as well.

        Very much needed to be identified. If you read the AD on aircraft that are routinely out there, you would be nervous about flying at all.

        • Actually, when it comes to being nervous about flying, the engineering and maintenance issue cause me little angst. Maybe it should. I had been concerned about Covid-19 contagion, but even that is waning. Something that does take away from enjoying a flight is the fact that the amount of people that have to be removed from planes by the authorities has tripled in the last year. And that’s a time period when boarding count has been down by over 50%! The news said this is due to three reasons. I think it’s because people don’t know how to act in public.

          • @ Sam 1
            It is distressing that “the most scrutinized plane in history” is sitting on the ground again as a result of electrical engineering shortcuts that could potentially have had serious safety consequences. This reaffirms the suspicion that, in re-certifying the MAX, regulators only looked at MCAS, and didn’t (sufficiently) scrutinize the rest of the plane. The present electrical grounding problem was only discovered “by chance” (one of the affected planes wouldn’t start up) — thus raising the possibility of other hidden gremlins that haven’t yet revealed themselves. My reticence to get on a 737 MAX hasn’t diminished at all in the past few months.

          • After all is said and done, the MAX will probably be remembered as series of short cuts performed as a means for the company to increase profit without investing in a new product. But after the electrical problem is addressed, I would fly on it, but this sure is troubling…

        • “”This reaffirms the suspicion””

          FAA said long ago that they didn’t check all cert documents, then said it again and kept saying it even before re-cert.

          The FAA wanted an audit about the electrical grounding system, but they feel fine about the auto-throttle without audit.

          • Clearly its a production issue , not a design problem. Production is certified as well but whatever was the previous process it wasnt rigourous enough. Not uncommon and certainly required to fetishisted like some are doing ( for political purposes)
            The FAA has issued 4 AIRBUS airliner ADs in the last 2 weeks.
            they are
            1) This AD was prompted by a potential quality issue in the fuel pump that includes a locking key of the impeller drive shaft found loose in the cavity under the impeller.
            2)This AD was prompted by reports of the failure of emergency locator transmitter (ELT) antennas…
            3)This AD was prompted by reports of missing overhead stowage compartment (OHSC) X-fixation brackets or brackets that were
            incorrectly installed during assembly.
            4)This AD was prompted by reports that certain oxygen supply solenoid valves are a potential source of increased flow resistance within the flightcrew oxygen system.

            Airbus and Boeing have these sort of minor issues EVERY week

          • I hadn’t noticed any of those Airbus ADs leading to a one-month grounding of 25% of the worldwide fleet (following closely on a two-year grounding of 100% of the fleet), together with a 100% cessation of deliveries…but I’m sure you’ll inform us if such a grounding or delivery cessation does, indeed, materialize.

            I’m sure you’ll also inform us if any of the ADs leads to the FAA (or another regulator) announcing an audit into manufacturing process changes at Airbus.

            Always good to keep your eye on the ball 😉

          • @DoU: Not all ADs are created equal!! Any AD you mentioned above has grounded the jets and halted aircraft delivery?? No.

            Continue your crusade of spreading disinformation.

  8. “If you read the AD on aircraft that are routinely out there, you would be nervous about flying at all.”

    Advocate of “no flying” to save the earth??

  9. The continuing soap opera with regard to the “most scrutinized plane in history” continues:

    Reuters: “EXCLUSIVE Boeing faces new hurdle in 737 MAX electrical grounding issue -sources”

    “U.S. air safety officials have asked Boeing Co to supply fresh analysis and documentation showing numerous 737 MAX subsystems would not be affected by electrical grounding issues first flagged in three areas of the jet in April, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.”

    • And that is the way the process should work.

      If I had a proposed solution to a problem I was often asked for more background and support for it.

      It was a good system as I would sometimes miss something that made it work to allow a manager to propose the solution and get it put threw his management end.

      One one occasion, following another engineers work, I repeated his huge mistake (it was an area I was completely new in)

      In the end I told them, instead of messing around, I have an air compressor in another location of the right capacity to test this device with.

      I can not only confirm what I think will work, but I can give you a very close value of how much horsepower we actually do need.

      Its not that a given proposal is wrong, support for it can be stronger or be proven better and the end results is a better one.

      Many non technical people don’t understand the tech world, not because they are not capable but they don’t work in it.

      Tech world is not an APP.

  10. Thanks Bryce. Was about to post it.

    Proof that Corp BA is not an engineering co. but run by MBA/finance guys and Powerpoint.


    “The electrical grounding issue emerged after Boeing changed a manufacturing method as it worked to speed up production of the jetliner, a third person said. A fourth person said the change improved a hole-drilling process.”

    When the co. wants to “improve” production processes, to shave a few pennies, proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and resulted in another grounding and (more damaging) halting deliveries. How many MAX 200 Ryanair is going to take in Q2??

    • @ Pedro
      You’ll perhaps have noticed that Scott has now included this story in the LNA Twitter feed.
      Per your quotes: isn’t it amazing that manufacturing changes involving electrical systems aren’t overseen/vetted by an electrical engineer?
      Per your comment about saving pennies: it would be very interesting to learn what the present grounding has cost Boeing so far. Keeping 109 frames on the ground for a month must generate a lot of compensation costs.

  11. Maybe the 737 MAX won’t be certified in China, before the C919 is certified in the US?

    Airbus A320-family aircraft are assembled at the Airbus factory in China. It is not just an assembly line. China is the only place outside the UK where Airbus manufacturers wings.

    • @ Meg
      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: it’s quite possible/plausible that the Chinese will wait to re-certify the MAX until the C919 is certified in the US. In the meantime, they have plenty of legitimate reasons to keep the MAX on the ground.

      Some commenters ask why countries like China *haven’t* re-certified.
      However, it might be more interesting to ask why countries like the US and EU *have* re-certified.

      • Unfortunately the Pundits ignore the reality that it is impossible to certify the 919.

        When you assemble and aircraft without the background approved process in place and the documentation to prove it, you wind up with an unholy mess that is impossible to untangle.

        EASA attempted the impossible, took a look at it, they had to give up.

        The Pundits clearly failed to follow the Mitsubishi debacle on certification where they had to start over (and never did get it)

        In an attempt at education, Mitsubishi was actually trying to follow the correct process and failed.

        China wanted the stamp but did not want to prove the process and document it.

        Pundits seem to think its like horse trading to get certification. Like many things, they could not be more wrong. But that is because they don’t educate themselves on the situation.

        Equally they condemn Boeing for not following the listed process and procedure for what they did (and yes, Boeing clearly and deliberately in my view – subverted that process in MCAS, Grounding Wiring as well as the same on a number of aspects on the 787).

        So people, what side of your mouth do you speeketeh out of?

        If you are going to rightful condemn Boeing, then you equally have to condemn China for its deliberate failure on the ENTIRE 919, not pieces of it.

        Nope, the 919 is a wonder plane that should take its place in the parathion of all time great aircraft like the 707/747/737 (based on no knowledge what so ever of how the 919 is build and any inspections at all)

        Boeing failures on the 737 are two out of the entire aircraft (and no question the MCAS was lethal)

        So, while China is Shangri La Boeing is the evil empire (well there is zero truth in the first and some in the second)

        But no, I will give you 3 lbs of chicken if you give me certification? So you would fly a horse (well chicken) traded 919 over a process and inspected 737?

        I can mention at least 6 regulators that will not swallow that, including the EASA.

        Granted Zimbabwe might (its not rated as Shangri La either by the way for those that don’t follow it)

        • No way will Bryce fly on a C919…all hat and no cattle…

          • Without GE engines as is being suggested at the top levels in US, the C919 won’t be delivered to anyone as putting the Chinese engine into production could take 10 years.
            President Xi will continue to fly in his levers and cables derivative of a 1960s plane, also known as a Boeing 747. …..I wonder if maintenance support will a much lower priority than it used to be…you know those fault prone Boeing’s ..chuckle chuckle

          • Non-supply of LEAP engines to COMAC is indeed a real possibility.
            However, if that materializes then Beijing will retaliate, and Boeing sales/deliveries to China will come to a complete halt. As will shipments of Chinese rare earth metals to the US.
            Calhoun knows this — it’s the reason behind his recent plea to the US administration to keep trade separate from politics. It’s already been more than 6 months since BA made any deliveries at all to the Asia Pacific region, so Calhoun has had a foretaste of what’s to come.

            Globalization has resulted in a very complicated and nastily convoluted chessboard.

          • Largest rare earth mine in world is at Mountain Pass California, theres another in Australia too. Theres a new mine under development at Round Top Texas
            ‘But no two rare earth projects are alike, he continued, pointing out that the Mountain Pass deposit is weighted towards light REES like cerium and lanthanum, while Round Top’s contains a greater proportion of heavy REEs. Round Top also contains lithium, uranium, beryllium, gallium, hafnium and zirconium, all of which are on the U.S. government’s Critical Minerals list.’
            This isnt a mining blog, but one country is heavily dependent on some basic minerals from Australia and Brazil.

          • Thats because much processing of rare earth ores is done in China from mines elsewhere including from ‘the biggest’.
            That will change too. Once all rubber only came from Brazil…until it didnt.

          • “Largest rare earth mine in world is at Mountain Pass California”

            In 1952, Mountain Pass opened. First explored Until the 1990s, Mountain Pass was a major source of rare earths worldwide, *before the mine was defunct in 2002.*

            BTW, you have no idea who controls the mine now … a Chinese co. Cough, cough.

        • @TW

          That’s your opinion with your typical distorted cold war mentality. Where are the facts??

    • “China is the only place outside the UK where Airbus manufacturers wings.”

      Not true. The Airbus plant in Tianjin is merely a final assembly line with the major structures flown in, including wings. There is a completion centre for A330 – seats ,galleys and such. I think thats changing to A350, about 1 per month.
      Wing production in China was talked about 20 years ago , but of course its out of the question now because the wholesale piracy of IP that would go with it.

      Meg is dreaming about C919 certification outside China as China just wont accept the oversight of design and build that goes with it. Theres already major concerns the Leap-1C has been pirated for Chinas CJ-1000AX as it has shanzhai characteristics, being the same dimensions of the Leap-1C. However putting it into volume production may take 10-15 years ….oh dear

      • Dukeofurl , that FlightGlobal link is from 1998, things have forward since.

        Here is an Airbus announcement in 2007 of the first wing box produced in Xian:

        And his is a FlightGlobal story from 2014 reporting the Xian is sole supplier for wings on 320’s produced at the FAL in Tianjin:

        • If Xian can do it, then so can Bremen.
          Bremen already fits hydraulic and electrical systems to the wing shells arriving from the UK — not that difficult to take it a step further and just do the whole wing manufacture there.
          Never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket 😉

        • @jbeeko

          Thanks for giving out the correct information

          Otherwise ideologues will continue to fake news

          • From Airbus:

            “The Wing Co-operation Programme between Airbus and XAC started in 1999 when Airbus and AVIC signed the General Agreement on Industrial Co-operation at the Paris Airshow. Under the frame of the agreement, both parties agreed that Airbus would facilitate the transfer of A320 aircraft wing manufacturing technology and capability from Airbus to China.

            The cooperation program proceeded in several phases. Phase I started with Shengyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) producing track ribs on the leading edge and Xian Aircraft Industry Corporation (XAC) producing sub-assemblies on the leading and trailing edges.

            In the same year when SAC and XAC achieved the first delivery of Phase I successfully, Phase II started with SAC producing the leading edge and XAC the trailing edge. On March 31, 2005, Phase III was signed, under which XAC assembles the wing box structure.

            In Phase IV, the wings will be completed in Tianjin with installation of systems, movable surfaces and other remaining structural works and will then be tested.”

            “According to this fourth phase of the agreement, the wing equipping and testing will be done in Tianjin in a facility to be newly built close to the A320 FALC by XAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). The fully equipped and tested wings will be directly delivered to the nearby Final Assembly Line.”

            “Wing equipping operations are expected to start at the end of 2009, followed by the first delivery of a fully equipped set of wings in the first quarter of 2010. The production rate will be ramped up to two units per month by the end of 2010 and four units per month by the end of 2011.”

        • Xian wing center uses the newest mfg technologies for automatic fastening and final assembly tooling for C919 wings (e.g. Electroimpact and Gemcor) So they have quality mfg processes

          • And of further interest: Xian also supplies (large) parts to Boeing:

            “Boeing’s industrial cooperation with China began in 1980, and as of 1998 there were approximately 2000 Boeing airplanes flying worldwide that included major parts built by China. Major assemblies co-produced at Xian Aircraft Company include 737 vertical fins, horizontal stabilizers, forward access doors, and 747 trailing edge ribs. Boeing also contracts with plants in Xian for aluminum and titanium forgings. For the Next-Generation 737, vertical fins come from Xi’an Aircraft International Corp. For the 747-8, Xi’an is building wing parts, including the 747-8’s inboard flaps, the single largest piece of aircraft structure that Boeing purchases from China.”

            On the subject of Airbus wings:

            “The A320 Wing Family Cooperation Programme is a key commitment that Airbus has made to China in terms of technological transfer. In 1999, Airbus signed an agreement with AVIC I, pursuant to which Airbus agreed to transfer the manufacturing technologies and assemblies of the wings of A320 Family aircraft to China. The first phase of the program started in the same year. In November 2002, Airbus signed an agreement with AVIC I to start the second phase of the program, which allowed Xi’an Aircraft Corporation (XAC) and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) to produce the fixed trailing and leading edges respectively. The first ship set of fixed leading edges was delivered in September 2004, while the first ship set of fixed trailing edges was delivered in March 2005, signalling that the second phase is making progress. With up to 30 engineers sent by Airbus to XAC and SAC, the cooperation programme was set to speed up. The leading and trailing edges and wing box technologies are important components of wing production, and play an essential role in aircraft manufacturing. ”


          • Xian Aviation is creating the wing sections for the C919 airliner also, and from the time line for A320 wing boxes – which corrected my error- that process occured before the C919 wing production and testing.
            I wonder if Airbus is OK with the shanzhai competitor have a critical section, the wing box, made in the same factory. I wonder if they get confused over which is which ..chuckle

            Looks like Airbus has already made contingencies
            ‘Aircraft-maker Airbus is switching part of its wing production to another company in Korea, but it says it will not hit jobs at its Flintshire plant.
            The Broughton factory employs more than 6,000 people, including about 200 on wing panels for the A320 aircraft.
            That work is being outsourced to Korean Aerospace Industries but Airbus said the decision would help strengthen the business.’
            I think they see the carbon fibre as their core tech now . China of course , tried and failed to have its ‘home grown’ carbon fibre wing for the C919….. but they had a backup plan….chuckle

          • I suspect the wing production in Korea is more likely to be related to a phased exit from the (unreliable and politically unstable) UK in favor of other, more stable countries with an excellent engineering reputation. Since — as David Pritchard has pointed out — Xian uses state of the art techniques, I don’t think Airbus is dissatisfied on that front.

            As regards confusion: unlike Boeing, Airbus manufactures at 5 different FALS around the world, without getting things mixed up 🙂

          • @ DoU
            You have a habit of posting old links: the one about the move to Korea was from 2012.
            But Airbus — to this day — does have a fruitful manufacturing relationship with Korea. As already pointed out, this gives flexibility if/when Airbus wants to reduce its activities in the UK (or what remains of it soon).


          • Yes Airbus was outsourcing its oldest wing production to Asia around that period 2012. Which goes to show your comment about Brexit (2016) is utter nonsense.
            Well see how long Airbus keep their oldest wing design in production. Their highest tier manufacturer of composite wing design with design offices is Airbus wholly owned facilities in UK.
            My prediction is that A320s will move to composite wings sooner rather than later, leaving the shanzhai version even further behind.

            Care to comment on Xians failure to successfully design and engineer a composite wing for the C919, surely you know more for the readers edification, like you think you know Boeings problems.

          • You’ve cited another old article — this time from 2013.
            It seems you have a VERY dusty and outdated archive.

            As regards Brexit: Airbus has been indicating for years that it would pull out of the UK if things didn’t go smoothly. Now that most exporters/importers are experiencing hassle, red tape and delays from Brexit, it’s natural for non-UK companies to consider moving operations out of the UK. That’s already happening in the financial sector…let’s see how long it take for Airbus to follow suit.

            On the subject of composites: the use of an all-metal fuselage on the 777X is, of course, the reason why “a full A350 weighs less than an empty 777X”. On the other hand, the CR929 has a composite fuselage. Oh dear… 😉

          • Airbus long ago dropped its ‘ national work share arrangements’ and it shows its entirely global footprint.with wings coming from Korea and China, Spirit in US is making composite fuselage section and wing spars for the A350. Borders arent a problem for them.

            And speaking of ‘national share’ seems the CRAIC CR929 widebody partnership has hit some snags as COMAC wants the chinese market all to its self, while Russia doesnt see its home market as large enough to sustain United Aircraft . They are wisely assuming it wont be sold much to other countries and the C929 wont be having any western supplier (like the C919 is full of.)
            China’s position of course all the Russian technology, especially in
            composites should ‘flow’ to them as they have nothing in return to give. The constituent companies in United ( Russias answer to Airbus structure) will be wondering if they will be left with nothing for the long term.

        • Thanks @jbeeko. Proof that @DoU’s only specialty is spreading disinformation.

          • Pedro: I have reviewed Duke of Url’s postings and while I don’t subscribe to some of his assertions (which is also the case for other posters as well), I don’t see any reason to suspend his commenting privileges.

            On the other hand, I’ve had it with your persistent attacks on him, in violation of Reader Comment rules. Knock it off or you will go into the penalty box for a period TBD.


      • @DoU

        The practice of industry, since the start, has always been one of tech theft/transfer, and is A reminder that the point and purpose of industrial technology and manufacture is to produce copy

        This renders irrelevant indeed foolish your constant grumbling – you would do better to learn the history of tech and of your country

        « The United States transitioned from an agrarian backwater into an industrialized superstate in a rapid timeframe. One of the most decisive men in America’s industrialization was Samuel Slater.

        As a young man, Slater worked in Britain’s advanced textile mills. He chafed under Britain’s rigid class system, believing he was being held back. So he moved to Rhode Island.

        Once in America, Slater built the country’s first factory based entirely on that which he had learned from working in England’s textile mills – violating a British law that forbade its citizens from proliferating advanced British textile production to other countries.

        Samuel Slater is still revered in the United States as the “Father of the American Factory System.” In Britain, if he is remembered at all, he is known by the epithet of “Slater the Traitor.”

        After all, Samuel Slater engaged in what might today be referred to as “industrial espionage.” Without Slater, the United States would likely not have risen to become the industrial challenger to British imperial might that it did in the 19th century. Even if America had evolved to challenge British power without Slater’s help, it is likely the process would have taken longer than it actually did. «

        What else did the US steal? This is not a rhetorical question – you can compile a list

  12. More cancellation of B737 MAX order corder, this time it’s Comair.

  13. Chinese airlines really, really don’t want the C919. 737 MAX? Fine.

    • Hmmm Bryce won’t like that…he lives in an alternate universe where Airbus and Comac can do no wrong…

    • Wikipedia is currently showing that Chinese airlines/lessors have 305 firm orders for the C919, and 703 options.

      • I think the key here is “lessors”, which essentially are Chinese banks that take on the risk for the government’s pet projects. So they buy the planes and rent them out at highly discounted rates with losses hidden within the banking system.

        The airlines will purchase as few planes as they can get away with

        • @FF

          The development of an aviation industry, like any transport industry or other infrastructure, is hardly to be described as a ‘pet project’

          Development is made possible by large scale investment, and is not profitable until reaching scale and maturity, even then, but provides essential service to people and business

          The US faces a corresponding need to to invest in infrastructure – which, by all accounts, is neglected and decrepit

          Someone will have to pay

          • I don’t think Western governments compel commercial banks to take on dubious loans and assets to prop up their industrial policies. That absolutely is the MO of Chinese governments, provincial as well as central. It’s one reason the Chinese banking system is in a somewhat fragile state

          • @FF

            To describe the financing of industrial projects as one of financing ‘dubious loans and assets’ is mistaken – it is to suggest that such infrastructure as being developed does not function usefully and efficiently – all evidence is that China’s infra build up has been very successful

            To maintain otherwise, Please list ‘dubious’ projects or industries

            Where does ‘compel’ come from? Until recently the collaboration between governments and banks to develope and sustain industry was commonplace practice, even in the US

            There have been some excesses in the China banking system – but nothing like the excesses in the US banking system, witness 2008 etc on through to this day

            The state of the current US financial system and economy can be described as precarious – most describe the situation in China as ‘robust’

          • Chinese banks have a non performing loan ratio of 4% that they admit to, and they are not at all transparent. Most of these bad loans relate to government industrial policy. By contrast, American banks have a NPL ratio of less than 1%.

            To be clear, Chinese airlines will happily fly the C919 if someone else pays for them. Which is where the State banks’ ostensible “leasing companies” come in

          • @FF

            4% is incorrect – most sources give under 2%

            Given that the large China airlines are state owned likewise the banks state owned or controlled it is hard to establish how the airlines are happy that ‘other people’ are paying for the planes

            Who are these other people?

            For some time now you will be aware that state subsidies have been extended both in EU and US to many/majority of airlines

  14. Boeing Good News

    Please find important clue as to what now constitutes ‘war’ – and how a simple misunderstanding about what the word means can de rail discussions

    Just as WfH is the new ‘work’ so War from Home is the new ‘war’

    If the US can get away with talking tough at home and convincing all the at home types that they are ‘at war’ which ‘we will win’ or ‘we have won’, then it’s a done deal : meanwhile everyone, in the immortal words of a previous President, just keeps on shopping

    This means there is still hope for Boeing, as long as their planes cease to kill

  15. Boeing Bad News

    An analysis by Dhierin Bechai of BA’s results is largely negative : debt level problem has not/will not go away

    « Cash flow doesn’t really let you play with the numbers in any way you want and that is what makes it so useful to look at and in the end, it is about the cash and not about the paper earnings.

    Looking at the cash flow, there still was $3.7B negative cash flow and that is significant as Boeing ended the fourth quarter of 2020 with $7.8B in cash. From the current trajectory one would expect 2021 to produce a cash burn of around $10B.

    However, there is a significant flow of Dreamliner deliveries to steam up in the coming months which should provide billions in final delivery payments while it is still expected that the Boeing 737 MAX pool of undelivered aircraft will be largely used to render compensation.

    So, I am expecting significant improvement on top of what the trend over the past few quarters suggests.

    By quarter-end Boeing had $21.9B in cash and marketable securities including $7B in cash. We see that marketable securities declined more than the cash balance. With the current cash flow burn Boeing will have enough in cash and marketable securities to sit out 6 quarters and that is when we do not consider improvement in the cash burn. On top of that there is around $14.8B in borrowing capacity. So debt remains high, but I also believe that Boeing currently has what it takes to sit through the quarters of cash burn and it is expected that were the company deems it fit it will refinance debt.

    The Boeing results were not extremely impressive but merely showed the improvement one would expect. BCA showed revenues in line of expectations, earnings slightly below expectations while BDS showed strong revenues but disappointing earnings and BGS showed results settling at a lower level.

    Overall there still is a significant cash burn, but we are seeing that cash burn taper with sufficient cash and securities as well as borrowing capacity and revival of Dreamliner deliveries should positively impact cash flow. The overall concern remains the significant debt level. It lies in line of expectations that parts of the debt will be refinanced, but the debt is at a level that it will chase Boeing for years.

    The road towards recovery remains long, earnings failed to impress me but on cash level I am seeing some of the improvements I want to see. »

    DB does not address the war with China issue, and the impact the wardrum is having or has had on China reluctance to re cert and buy BA

    Perhaps DB understands this is a WarfH issue only : indeed the only people who have been slow to catch on to current US language patterns are the Chinese, perhaps someone should let them know that it’s all ok now, shopping as usual etc etc

  16. The heat’s being turned up on FAA management:

    “Boeing crash victims’ families push for changes at FAA”

    “Family members who lost relatives in the second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max met with Transportation Department officials Wednesday to renew their push for the ouster of top federal aviation officials, whom they accuse of being too cozy with Boeing.
    The families demanded that the Biden administration replace the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Stephen Dickson, the FAA’s top safety official, Ali Bahrami, and two others.”

    “The FAA has been, and continues to be, more interested in protecting Boeing and the aviation industry than safety,” they wrote.
    Michael Stumo, whose daughter Samya died in the crash, said the officials — including Buttigieg’s chief of staff and the deputy FAA administrator — said they will review FAA personnel and recent reform legislation passed by Congress, but made no promises.”

    • The FAA so far refused to point at their masters. Nobody is suggesting Congress is independent. Nobody independent is asking. It means suicide to do so I guess.

      The role of US Congress in reforming and streamlining FAA aircraft certification 2012-2018 is so embarrassing and telling, everybody loves to stay as far away as possible from it.

      But still, it’s online. Google is your friend use “FAA re-authorization” “streamlining”, “industry”, “competitive” “reform” “delegation” and all the names now keeping low profiles now, show up. Bashing FAA, cheering Boeing.

      Congress GAO 2017, just before the sh.t hit the fan :

      • You have to love Democracy in action. I know of two places you wind up in prison or get poisoned for advocating Aviation reforms.

        Unfortunate too many commenters don’t’ understand the FAA structure and why it has issues and needs a complete structure re-vamp.

        There are members of congress who continue to work on the situation. Rome was not build in a day.

        All countries have their issues. EU setup so a single member veto all actions.

        US started that way and found it was impossible, ergo the Bill of Rights and the US Constitutions (that over time has been expanded to mean all of We The People).

        Its all a work in progress and its work that is never done though complaining and not doing the work is the norm as well.

      • Fox guarding the henhouse:

        Critics inside and outside government say the FAA’s oversight system, which relies heavily on a structure known as Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), presents a fox-guarding-the-henhouse scenario, arguing that the FAA’s history of delegating far-reaching oversight powers essentially gave Boeing an opportunity to cut corners on safety, with deadly consequences. An internal Department of Transportation watchdog has repeatedly reported shortcomings in the FAA’s oversight of its own oversight system.

        Since it was formed over 60 years ago, the FAA has delegated some safety certification responsibilities to the aviation industry and to individuals. But in 2005, the FAA began delegating even more responsibility to industry and individuals as part of a plan dubbed ODA, or the “Organizational Designation Authorization” program.

        Under this program, companies now play a larger role in approving the airworthiness—and thus the safety—of their own aircraft. As the Transportation Department’s Inspector General reported in 2015, “One aircraft manufacturer approved about 90 percent of the design decisions for all of its own aircraft.” *For its part, Congress has, as The New York Times put it, “repeatedly endorsed” industry self-regulation on the grounds that it reduces costs to the federal government and streamlines the certification process for companies.*

  17. Bloomberg:

    “Drugmakers in India are warning that a halt on some cargo flights from China could imperil an important link in the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

    The U.S. relies heavily on India to stock its medicine cabinets, and any slowdown in output could leave pharmacies short of drugs used regularly by millions of Americans.”

  18. Re: LNA – China’s air travel “recovery:” volume improving, but revenue still elusive

    It has been widely reported China had a massive lockdown earlier this year:

    Better to use March/April passenger traffic data.

    Last but not the least, while I was looking up recent B737 MAX order by China Southern, I was surprised to find that it achieved breakeven back in Q3 2020.

    • That’s a similar timeframe for EIS of China’s CJ1000 jet engine (2028), which is being developed for the C919.

      EIS of the C919 airframe is expected later this year.

      One wonders if Boeing also sees COMAC as a problem…or does Chicago just automatically dismiss the Chinese, like some commenters here?
      And what does Embraer think?

        • Rather reminiscent of the 777X, from that point of view….chuckle.

          • Or “EIS of the 777x has been ‘predicted ‘ for nearly 5 years now”

            777x upgrade program (not new aircraft) launched in 2013…EIS 2023…10 years!

          • Upgrade ? It was an entirely new composite wing of increased span including folding wing tips. The rear empennage is new and in composite as well. There was also an automation project for the
            aluminium fuselage shell build which didnt meet requirements- a bridge too far for an existing design.
            Composite design and production development have a long gestation period. In parallel GE has a new advanced tech engine. … which to some extent has paced the development.
            The cockpit instrumentation is new as well.
            Its one of the downsides of the 777-300ER and 777F being so successful the order book was sold out well in advance.

          • Like I said, the composite design and production development is more demanding. The 777X was also paced by an entirely new engine program , which wasnt the case with the first 777. The PW4000 , the launch engine was first certified in 1986.

            What composite structural parts does the C919 use ? What new engine is under development at same time ( its the existing Leap-1C).
            I think its sweet that Xian has mastered some ones elses design aluminium wing production using western equipment. The usual ‘voluble voices’ arent talking about the C919 composite wing process.

          • “COMAC has also selected composite materials in the design of C919. Its application range covers rudder and other secondary load-bearing structures and aircraft flat tails and other main load-bearing structures, mainly including radome, front and rear edges of wing, movable wing surface, winglet, wing fairing, rear fuselage, tail and other components , The dosage reaches 11.5% of the body structure weight. Among them, the rear wing main box section and the front section of the rear fuselage use advanced third-generation mid-model high-strength carbon fiber composite materials. The use of composite materials in the main bearing structure, high temperature zone, and pressurized zone is also the first time in domestic civil aircraft development.”

            “The C919 large passenger aircraft uses the third-generation aluminum-lithium alloy, which solves the anisotropy problem of the second-generation aluminum-lithium alloy, and the yield strength of the material is also increased by 40%. The fuselage skin, long truss, floor beams, seat slides, boundary beams, and cabin floor support columns of the C919 aircraft all use the third-generation aluminum-lithium alloy.”


            On the subject of the 777X: the engine has been ready and waiting for more than a year now, so the delay is purely due to Boeing, not the engine manufacturer. That big rip is the fuselage during the load test didn’t help 😉

          • “Upgrade ? It was an entirely new composite wing of increased span including folding wing tips. The rear empennage is new and in composite as well. There was also an automation project for the
            aluminium fuselage shell build which didnt meet requirements- a bridge too far for an existing design.”

            That’s why the 777X should be considered a new type certificate, not a derivative.

            Poster here trying to divert again.

            Latest Boeing 777X Delay Driven By EASA’s Concerns

  19. Reuters: Airbus Jan-April jetliner deliveries rose 25% to 170

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