Pontifications: A330-300 could be great deal ahead

May 10, 2021, © Leeham News: The COVID-19 pandemic prompted airlines to ground more than 8,000 aircraft at the peak.

By Scott Hamilton

Among widebodies, no aircraft was hit harder than the Airbus A330ceo.

Traffic within China, the US and Asia recovers with narrowbody airplanes. European short- and medium-haul traffic is not recovering as quickly due to continued boarder closings. International traffic, for the same reason, remains awful.

But in chaos some see opportunities.

Jep Thornton, managing partner of the boutique lessor Aerolease, last week said the A330-300 could be a great trading opportunity.

At April 1, there were 267 -300s and 286 A330-200s (of all types) in storage, according to data reviewed by LNA.

Compares with DC-10

This huge number of parked airplanes, of all ages, doesn’t mean some of these won’t return to service. But as LNA wrote previously, post-pandemic impacts dropped lease rates for aircraft returned to lessors to as low as $150,000 for 12-year olds—and there were no takers.

Pre-pandemic, Thornton said, values of A330-300s were $60m-$70m. Today, the airplane can be purchased for as low as $25m.

Thornton said a buyer with the ability to store the airplane for as much as 18 months might see the value rebound from today’s purchase price.

He compared the A330-300 with the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in the 1980s. During recessions, values plummeted. In better times, values skyrocketed.

“The A330 reminds me of the DC-10,” Thornton said. “That was ice cold when it was cold and smoking hot when it was hot.”

Gerard Butler, chief marketing officer of Merx Aviation Finance, said “the jury is out for me for passenger widebodies for the next three years. You need international long haul and business travel to bounce back. Whether it’s in 2023, ’24 or even ‘25” if the unknown.

Vaccinations the key

Butler and Thornton agree that vaccinations against COVID are the key. Too many borders remain closed or under arriving quarantines to promote cross-border travel, even within Europe. Thornton pointed to another problem as well. Clearing customs at London Heathrow Airport sometimes takes as long as seven hours, he said.

“If I take a seven hour flight [from the US] and have to wait seven hours to clear customers, I’m not going,” Thornton said.

“Outside of China, Asia and the US, there’s not a lot of positivity,” Butler said.

Butler sees a “further weeding out” of airlines yet to come.

Narrowbody returns

Thornton wonders whether a lot of the Airbus A320ceos and Boeing 737 NGs will return to service, especially as fuel prices go up. (Butler noted that prices doubled since the start of the pandemic.) Aircraft that are 20 years or older may not return to service, he said.

Although 737-800s, and now A321ceos, are being converted to freighters, Thornton believes there may be a surplus developing. He’s also skeptical of P2F conversions for the widebodies, including emerging developments for the 777-300ER P2F. As widebody traffic recovers, Thornton said belly freight capacity will, too. This will depress demand for main-deck P2F conversions, he said.

65 Comments on “Pontifications: A330-300 could be great deal ahead

  1. For Western countries I can see some long-haul traffic recovering in a reasonable time frame. For Asian countries I am less optimistic. These places have closed the borders much more strictly and it will be hard to reopen them when the situation in many countries is still far from under control. And it won’t be for long time to come. There are not enough people willing to get the vaccine, and infrastructure might not allow for a fast solution.

  2. Where “re-opening” of the EU is concerned, many/most countries are currently in a process of continuing wind-down of national restrictions. Cross-border travel within the EU is expected to start to normalize in June and be more-or-less back to normal in July. Apart from regional travel within the EU, resumption of transatlantic travel is considered a priority, and that should also begin to normalize in June/July. The EU plans to have an app-based CoViD status indicator ready before the summer season starts (QR code: vaccinated / recently recovered / just tested): if a compatible system can be brought out in the US/Canada, then transatlantic traffic should proceed relatively seamlessly.

    In a similar way, travel between the EU and the UAE/Bahrain should normalize relatively soon.

    However, beyond that, there’s nowhere to go. Australia has indicated that it won’t open its borders until mid 2022. Asia is currently experiencing serious upsurges, and vaccination there generally lags behind the US and EU. Singapore will probably re-open well before the rest, but will that attract much incoming traffic if there’s no possibility to visit the rest of Asia? Compounding the problem: the rainy season has just started in much of Asia.

    Africa and South America are generally not in good shape at present, with the possible exception of Chile.

    So, apart from use on a handful of routes, most longhaul aircraft are going to be sitting on the ground for (at least) the remainder of 2021.

    • Singapore just prolonged quarantine for arriving travelers from 14 to 21 days (in designated hotels at traveler’s own expense) so it looks unlikely they will re-open soon.

      • Yes, I know that: it’s because of a small community outbreak of the Indian variant.
        On the other hand, Singapore’s vaccination level is currently on a par with that of the EU — which is better than most other countries in the region, with the exception of China.

    • “..The EU plans to have an app-based CoViD status indicator ready before the summer season starts (QR code: vaccinated / recently recovered / just tested)..”

      Sounds like a-or-the perfect system to easily unperson anyone
      not going along with the Program fully enough.. with all that that
      entails. “Your Papers are not up to date; though I’m sure we can have this sorted out within two or three weeks..”

      I’m sure my concerns are overblown, though.

      no thanks


      • Bill7 – “I’m sure my concerns are overblown, though…” According to Bryce: “…if a compatible system can be brought out in the US/Canada, then transatlantic traffic should proceed relatively seamlessly…”

    • For those interested, here’s some more info on the “CoViD status certificate” being floated by the EU to facilitate international travel.

      Note in particular:

      “The certificate could be a paper or a digital document, with a QR code carrying encoded data that would be uploaded to the central system to allow verification in other EU countries through a single gateway.”

      “EU countries can link their national vaccine records to a central system using a template provided by German developers.”

      “Linking up non-EU countries to the system is technically possible if a political agreement is sealed this month and an equivalence decision granted by the EU to share data.”


      Regardless of whether or not the proposed system has any particular merit, this seems to be the way in which things will evolve for international travelers.
      Hence my question below: is there any centralized database of persons in the USA who have been vaccinated?

  3. Vaccinations the key?
    Vaccination against exactly what?
    What, a disease that has less than 0.15% mortality rate?
    All that hassle, paperwork, expense, time wasted for a disease that over 99.8% of people worldwide survive it?
    And what to say about these so-called ‘vaccines’ that many experts refuse to call a vaccine’ in the traditional sense, but “medical devices”, synthetic pathogens, chemical agents or “EXPERIMENTAL biological gene therapy immune modulatory injections” to be precise.
    The type of experimental ‘vaccines’ that do not stop me becoming infected or passing on infection. How will the above vaccines prophylaxis scenario fit within IATA’s air travel plans and the high risk of re-spreading, re-infection of Covid worldwide? Can IATA and all the ‘health experts’ explain this? I am at a loss.
    The type of experimental ‘vaccines’ that even with the two doses, I will still have to follow all covid restrictions? Can anybody explain this? I am at a loss.
    The type of experimental ‘vaccines’ that are so ‘safe’ that I have to be threatened or coerced to take them for a virus so ‘deadly’, governments and other bodies like IATA have to test me to see if I have it…
    The type of experimental ‘vaccines’ that in the US alone have more likelihood of causing serious health issues including death than the covid virus (see link below).
    A holiday lasts 1 -2 weeks, a disability resulting from an experimental ‘vaccine’ (for which the manufacturers have no liability whatsoever and are not covered by health or travel insurance) will last a lifetime…
    I’m sorry but I still have functioning grey matter; these experts have to be mad and very evil to want to make me do and risk all the above just to travel or go on holiday for a disease that my body has 99.8% chance to beat!
    Ever heard or ‘Herd Immunity’? Anyone?

    • LNA does not endorse @Fred’s anti-vaccination comments and statements within. We believe in and support vaccinations and have obtained ours. In fact, today (May 10) is my first airline flight in 14 months and five days, taken with confidence because I have my two Modernas vaccinations.


      • I am thankful we live in a country with safe an effective vaccine technology using cutting edge methods available to all who want it. If your flight is like mine it will be full and definitely makes having the vaccine a comfort! Not aviation related but I’m thrilled to know more about what mRNA technology can bring to other diseases as well.

        • Thank you Scott. Despite the incredible (and new to me) risk of my DNA getting altered (some would say for the better) both of us got fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

          My wife is going to travel soon (and possibly on the evil MAX, stay tuned!)

          It should be pointed out illness is not a toggle switch (light switch to those who do not know the term)

          Many with Polio were only crippled for life. Some merely had one limb distorted and limped along nicely.

          None of them would have chosen to have any of it.

          • A person in another forum recently told of her mother having lost some ability like speech from polio, someone said ‘That’s rare.” to which the mother said “Because not many of us lived to talk about it.”

          • Hello TransWorld,

            Re: “Despite the incredible (and new to me) risk of my DNA getting altered (some would say for the better) both of us got fully vaccinated as soon as possible.”

            DNA cannot be altered by mRNA or mRNA vaccines. The one and only thing that mRNA can do is instruct ribosomes, which are the protein factories in cells, to make a particular protein. The COVID mRNA vaccines do not even enter the cell nucleus, which is where DNA resides. Naturally DNA sends out mRNA from the nucleus to ribosomes to instruct them to make proteins, but mRNA is made by DNA, and cannot alter DNA.

            See also the Forbes and Harvard articles at the links below.


            Following is an excerpt from the Harvard article at the next link.

            “The ways in which DNA and RNA vaccines work are similar in many ways, and some of the common steps are described above. However, RNA vaccines have some distinct advantages. One is that RNA-based vaccines appear to perform better than DNA-based vaccines. Another is that they are also safer, as injection of RNA presents no risk of disrupting the cell’s natural DNA sequence. To continue our kitchen analogy, disruption from DNA is like inserting a foreign ingredient in an existing recipe, which can change the resulting dish [2]. Injecting RNA, on the other hand, is like temporarily adding a new recipe in the cook book while keeping old ones untouched, and therefore will not result in surprising changes to existing recipes.”


      • Good.

        Small beware: vaccination is not a guarantee (there are none in life 😉 of not being infected, BUT early indications are that it prevents serious illness which is the big concern (at least for sensible people, which few politicians are).

        I was fortunate to receive vaccination against polio relatively early in life (before age 10), it was new in the early 1950s.

        Vaccines are not zero risk, people with strong allergies have to be careful, and there’s the serious blood clot problem with one vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 though rare. I am as concerned about production quality, noting the bad batch of Salk polio vaccine from a California factory (caused by inadequate mixing of a killed-virus type of vaccine), and the recent problem of using the wrong chemicals by a politically-connected but perennially troubled outfit that the US forced J&J to use.

    • @ Fred V
      You might consider looking at this from a societal level instead of just an individual level. The relatively low mortality is not the main issue — the problem is the morbidity, which is high enough to put an extensive burden on healthcare systems, specifically by hospitalizations and particularly by ICU admissions. Most importantly, un-contained hordes of chronically infected people become efficient breeding grounds for new variants, which pose multiple new risks.

      Perhaps a little more reading on the subject? The answers to your various (rhetorical?) questions are very straightforward.

      • Bryce – too-o-o bad Scott does not provide us with a ‘like’ facility… I suspect you’d score a few here.

        • I do find it ironic injection logic on the Vaccine vs the illogical on the MAX

          It does seem the position has changed from I got it and fine so the rest should be to a thoughtful approach.

          My take was/is by the time we could get the vaccine, the risk factors were negligible.

          Much better than some vaccines.

          Factor in that the hospital system are designed for a normal case load. This comes on top of it and its a short visit to a long one, you do not just die or not die, you have everything in between.

          And that ignores the group that is not hospitalized but is impacted seriously

          • @ TW
            Nothing has changed: not my fault that you hurriedly glossed over earlier posts rather than actually reading them. My personal experience with CoViD is completely separate from my attitude to vaccines. It seems that you allowed yourself to get swept along by the regular “anti-vaxxer” (mis-)labeling by a “certain commenter” from the past.

            As regards the MAX, perhaps you’re the one with the illogical stance? A majority of regular commenters here think the plane is an ongoing fiasco.

          • Bryce:

            I put it I had taken your position was X, I did not flat say it was and very possibly did not get the full intent (crying wolf all the time does diminish and or crate auto reject of a posting)

            As for the MAX, fiasco is equally overstating the case.

            Many have continued to maintain the investment in it.

            I will ref you to fiasco grade when New Zealand and ANA who are extremely strong RR backers, gave up on RR and their next order was for the GE engines (there is a major cost involved)

            The point on the MAX is to separate out a huge failure that involved on piece of misbegotten software from the rest of the aircraft.

            To put it in a real world example.

            You build a good car, it has a failure in the steering column and kills people.

            Is the whole car bad or is it the steering column?

            In the case of the MAX, its the steering column, not the whole aircraft.

            That is then followed up by an mfg change, and you get bad mfg of heater motors.

            You replace that mfg and go on, it does happen, you hope it caught before any are put in the car.

            The Wiring Grounding issue is a mfg change that was wrong, its not been fatal though it certainly could have issues on the edge of that.

            That is not an inherently unsafe aircraft, its a Boeing/FAA issue that it got implemented. I could fix a single ground in less than 30 minutes.

            I continue to gather information. I want to know how it happened and if it could occur again.

            I am not absolving Boeing or the FAA, factually we don’t know.

            As was pointed out by Opus (I believe) there has been a change in that the FAA stopped 787 deliveries until Boeing got it sorted or Boeing stopped production (for months) and the FAA also stepped in.

            Its impossible to take you as serious about aviation when you contend you can horse trade certifications around or the MAX is falling all the time.

          • “”The point on the MAX is to separate out a huge failure that involved on [TW might mean ONE here] piece of misbegotten software from the rest of the aircraft.””


            two MAX crashed. The world knows now that Boeing self-certified over 96% of the MAX and Boeing used undue pressure to circumvent regulations, to save money and to safe time and threw safety in the bin.
            But the FAA is not checking all cert documents.
            It’s like an orange with mold. You cut the mold and eat the rest. Good luck with that
            and you let your wife fly the MAX.

            The FAA is completely garbage.
            EASA is not much better, needed babysitters for flight testing.

          • @ Leon
            Some people choose to see the MAX as being the victim of a smear campaign, rather than seeing it as the rest of the world sees it, i.e. an endless litany of (synergistic) failures. MCAS, FOD, AP anomalies, and now the mushrooming electrical issues: just ask and the MAX will deliver. The BBC article that I posted further below indicates that the manufacturing change underlying the electrical problems originated in 2019 — so this impacts hundreds of “parking lot” units in addition to the 109 newly grounded planes. We’re now a month further, and no sign of a fix: on the contrary, the problem is only intensifying, with the FAA asking Boeing to demonstrate that other electrical systems on the model are not impacted by the issue, and announcing an audit into manufacturing process changes at Boeing. All the while, deliveries are halted…again.
            But not to worry: some like to argue that the world is misinterpreting the situation, and that these are just everyday AD issues.

      • > the problem is the morbidity, which is high enough to put an extensive burden on healthcare systems, specifically by hospitalizations and particularly by ICU admissions Most importantly, un-contained hordes of chronically infected people become efficient breeding grounds for new variants, which pose multiple new risks. <

        Got any of that of that pesky ol' *evidence* for this claim, which sounds like fear-mongering gobbledegook to me? Because that's how we've dealt with virii since time immemorial.. are you going to get a new vaxx for every claimed "new, deadly™ variant" each week? Because
        that's what I think those of you signing up for these unapproved, Experimental Use Authorization (look it up) injections are headed for.

        "Should be fine.."

        • People waiting in queues around the block for entry to hospitals. Dead bodies piled up in cooling trucks that hasnt been buried even today. Thats reality in New York. That was in the news even in Europe, but you didnt hear a thing?
          If you still cant believe it make a trip to New York and have a look yourself.

    • I am not directly against the vaccines, but I am also a bit at a loss of how effective these really are, and at the lack of true coordinated strategy there is to go forward.

      Assuming you’re fully vaccinated and want to fly somewhere. In most cases (at least here in Asia) you need to get tested before and after the flight (vaccinated or not) and then most likely still have to get into quarantine. After that ordeal, you enjoy a few days of vacation or work and before returning home, you need to get tested again before and after the flight (a huge cost item as well). Assume you caught the virus while being abroad, not being affected at all, as the vaccine does work, but yet you’re still stuck as they won’t let you get back on the flight to return home. That’s not really a solution as there are just too many uncertainties.
      How can you motivate people to travel with these kind of restrictions?

      • @ Matth
        A specific issue in Asia Pacific is that, because most countries there have low (or zero) infection levels, they are particularly vigilant about letting in potential infected cases, since these could start an avalanche in a “virgin” uninfected population — hence the need for quarantining.

        This “virginity” doesn’t exist in other countries (except with regard to specific variants), and thus the situation is fundamentally different. The value of vaccines here is that they are good at preventing serious illness / hospitalizations, which is of great benefit to the healthcare system. Current data suggests that vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing spread of infection — but this won’t matter if a sufficient percentage of the population is vaccinated. It will, however, matter if a vaccinated person is attempting to enter “virgin” territory.

        Hence, in the coming months, we can only (ultimately) expect seamless travel of (vaccinated) passengers *between countries with a similar epidemiological status*. Unfortunately, this means that (vaccinated) travelers from Asia Pacific to the US/EU or UAE should have no hold-up on their inward journey, but can still expect hassle/quarantining on their homeward journey.

    • Fred V – “a disease that over 99.8% of people worldwide survive…” Assuming that only those patients who contract illness would be hospitalized, would your country’s hospitals/medical centers be able to accommodate 0.15% of the population simultaneously, even less an additional, but similarly afflicted, equivalent number? Very many (most? almost all?) national control procedures are driven by the capacity of their respective health (sic) systems’ bed capacity, I believe.

    • Perspective lacking.

      The problem is obsessive shotgun policies instead of shielding the truly vulnerable.

      Experience now shows what experienced epidemiologists predicted a year ago – lockdowns do not help, they may hurt. (Collateral damage is very high.) The Jutland area of Sweden, Florida, and Texas (where rate of cases plummeted after restrictions were substantially lifted).

      Vaccines against _SARS-CoV-2_ make sense, but are not a panacea.

      Scott is aging into a high risk demographic, I am even older. But the real risk is with underlaying health: lung problems (buttmouthers wake up), heart problems (as heart is essential for lung function, and COVID-19 is somewhat a vascular disease not just a respiratory disease), other organs, boozing (sleep, diet, addled thinking), anorexia, and the combination of obesity with uncontrolled diabetes plus bad diet combined with lack of exercise. A BIG risk is degraded immune system, such as from recent cancer treatment or slow growing cancers, organ transplant, and lung problems such as severe asthma – I know persons in each of those categories who self-isolated over a year ago, they aren’t stupid.

      Transmission risk has to be considered, this is not Measles. Some paranoids even avoided outdoor exercise. Closed spaces are a challenge, Bjorn has written on airline cabins.

      • My ‘perspective’ response was to ‘Fred V’.

        I am not saying vaccines are zero risk, but quite low, they also have to be weighed against getting the effects of getting sick from whichever the disease du jour is – know your own health.

        (Do get vaccinated against pneumonia bacteria, it is a frequent cause of death after INFLUENZA and COV:ID-19 degrade lung function.
        And tetanus while we are at it, that’s from something found in soil – decaying leaves and animal rolling around cause and breed things like tetanus and anthrax. (Tetanus is often associated with rusty metal but that is because it has been in the ground, and you have risk of a cut while handling it.)

        As for ‘experimenting’, I agree it is early for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, but keep in mind vaccine development is much quicker now due medical technology. The ‘experimenting’ has been done with volunteers in trials, which occurred more quickly because some demographics were left out (pregnant persons, who are now being covered) and there was no shortage of volunteers. The experiment I object to is the notion of mixing mRNA and other types of vaccine, those are fundamentally different technologies with little study so far. (Mixing mRNA brands seems OK to me.) And extending time to second dose seems to me like gethomeitis based on getting herd immunity before start of school in September (moot in the US now with ample supply of vaccine, Canada is way behind).

        A big part of the push is helping other people resist infection, we can debate that, for some diseases quarantine is justified as you are risking others, IMO it is not with SARS-CoV-2 but you morally should be responsible – don’t visit your grandmother who is in poor health.

      • Please educate yourself before trying to tell others they lack perspective. Evidence from reality has shown your idea doesnt work. Sweden tried an open approach, while isolating the vulnerable in elderly care. The result was an unmitigated desaster, lots of deaths.
        Isolation needs to be on a much higher level to work. And thats not doable for most people.

    • Fred V: Thanks very much for your above comment. I won’t be joining the newly-founded “vaccine-of-the-month” club, myself.

      “What could go wrong?”


      • Bill7:

        I do follow it and the RNA approach has been in the works since about 1990. It was almost full tested in SARS.

        J&J has an issue but once enough were vaccinated it showed up and is easily identified and treated.

        Vaccines either have an immediate issue (given enough numbers) or they are fine.

        If you like old school, J&J is the Vaccine for you, long proven methods if done right.

        Moderna and Pfizer are new and the wave of the future and you will see the flu shots shift to it in a year or two.

        Neither one changes your DNA by the way.

        People who drive face a much more massive and major risk far and away above vaccines (similar in deaths, injuries etc)

        Even China does not seem to kill people, it just does not work.

        As near as I can tell, being born is a fatal condition. Its how you manage the risk in between that makes major difference in how soon.

        And there is a society need to protect itself that is long established.

        Mostly not forced but try to travel in a few years without a vaccine card.

    • Adding: the only thing the makers of the Covid “vaccines” will do is *lessen one or more symptoms*. They do not necessarily confer immunity, or keep one from passing the virus on to others.

      Also, I think it’s a cheap shot to label anyone who questions the efficacy and safety of the experimental, curiously quickly-developed Covid vaccines as an “anti-vaxxer”; that’s more of the intentional polarization I’ve remarked on before.

      Still going to do my own thinking, thanks. 😉

      • Bill7
        May 10, 2021

        Adding: the only thing the makers of the Covid “vaccines” will do is They do not necessarily confer immunity, or keep one from passing the virus on to *lessen one or more symptoms*.others. ”

        Error. The vaccines will keep many from getting ill with COVID-19, but not all – early evidence is that they will keep you from getting seriously ill which for rational people is a good reason to take them.

        As for transmission, rate of virus shedding by people only mildly ill if they even feel anything is far lower than for people quite ill. (Thus for most children quite low as they rarely get quite ill, of course knowing the state of their health is essential, allergies are a caution flag.)

        *lessen one or more symptoms*. is irresponsible exaggeration (downward) IMJ.

        I am fed up with both camps of exaggeration – yours and the panicking panacea crowd. I shun both.

        • “..Error. The vaccines will keep many from getting ill with COVID-19, but not all – early evidence is that they will keep you from getting seriously ill which for rational people is a good reason to take them..”

          Do you have any evidence for your above claims? Is there not- or should there not be- a cost/benefit analysis involved when making that decision; driven by the possible benefits of a “vaccine” for an illness that almost
          no one dies from, versus a vaccine with “side affects” [heh]
          that have killed 4,178 persons as of most recent count per
          “rational people..” in the above is question-begging, as you might know.

          “..As for transmission, rate of virus shedding by people only mildly ill if they even feel anything is far lower than for people quite ill. (Thus for most children quite low as they rarely get quite ill, of course knowing the state of their health is essential, allergies are a caution flag.)..”

          So is your claim that those “vaccinated” will infect others
          at a lower rate than those who’ve gotten their immunity
          via natural means; the way we’ve gotten it for millenia?

          “*lessen one or more symptoms*. is irresponsible exaggeration (downward) IMJ.”

          No, Sir: that’s the claim of the “vaccine” makers.
          The rest of what you wrote is mere hand-waving.

          • You can retrieve studies from the manufactorers that show over 90% probability against getting seriously ill. Granted, they only covered a certain time frame in their studies. But there’s also very good real live data available collected from the health care systems in Israel and UK.
            A recent study monitoring those numbers from UK also traced spread of the virus in households by people identified as infected. For non-vaccinated people the virus would typically beeing spread to 100% of people in the same household. For those people vaccinated with the first shot that still got infected (the vaccine lower the chance to be infected, but not to zero) the spread rate dropped by 50%.

    • Well Fred V. Well over 500,000 Americans have died from Covid. AS you say mortality per infection is very low. But 500,000 American families have lost loved ones. The vaccines are helping the USA to get things under control. Are you watching India? Brazil? Do you really want another wave in the US? My heart breaks for you as a Nation.
      My wife and I cancelled our journey last year. We planned on a week in the USA on the way home. We have done that every couple of years for a long time. Not now. We, like many New Zealanders, are doing extensions to our home.

      • @ Harry M
        Have you any information on what strategy NZ will follow in re-opening its borders?
        It can’t just admit vaccinated travelers without quarantining, because of the risk of importing the virus to a “virgin” population.
        It might, however, choose to do this once its own population is optimally vaccinated (you probably won’t get 100% coverage — as expected, there is significant vaccine hesitancy). This, however, is going to take a long time — and even longer in view of recent talk that we’re all probably going to need a third (booster) shot after about 6 months, and perhaps regular boosters thereafter.
        Have you any light to shed on this? The situation in NZ, Australia, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam is necessarily different to the rest of the world because of the (relative) absence of virus in those (“virgin”) countries.

    • Hello Fred V,

      Re: “What, a disease that has less than 0.15% mortality rate?
      All that hassle, paperwork, expense, time wasted for a disease that over 99.8% of people worldwide survive it?”

      See below for Case Fatality Rates for the US, Brazil, and World according to the data on the John Hopkins Website at the link below as of early AM 5-11-21.

      World: 3,303,888 deaths and 158,959,705 cases.
      CFR= 3,303,888 / 158,959,705 = .02078 0r 2.078%

      Brazil: 423,229 deaths and 15,209,990 deaths
      CFR = 423,229 /15,209,990 = .02783 0r 2.783%

      US: 582,153 deaths and 32,744,100 cases
      CFR = 582,153 / 32,744,100 = .01778 0r 1.778%


      Re: “The type of experimental ‘vaccines’ that in the US alone have more likelihood of causing serious health issues including death than the covid virus”

      As of early AM 5-11-21 approximately 114 million people have been fully vaccinated in the US according to the website at the link below.


      If it was true that COVID vaccines were causing deaths at a higher rate than COVID in the US, then given the 1.78% COVID CFR that I calculated from the John Hopkins data above, there would have been 114,000,000 x .0178 =2,029,200 deaths from COVID vaccines in the US. Where would you suggest more than 2 million bodies are being hidden?

  4. Hasnt the parked by covid and unlikely to return soon affected the Boeing 777-200s/300 ( non ER versions) in a big way.
    The engine grounding hasnt helped for P&W 4000 versions. (Interesting aside a 747F with PW4000 also shed engine parts on takeoff at same time)

  5. There might be increased interest in P2F conversions, but the standard A330 lacks the A330F “blister fairing” on the NLG to make the aircraft and its cargo hold horizontal. Airbus should be able to provide the modification lines with units and an STC to install them.

  6. I’m not sure what Thorton is suggesting;

    A lessor should buy a few (a dozen) to hang on to them, just in case they get hot? They should buy a goodly amount (100) so as to be a major player – or you should push all your chips into the middle of the table and try to corner the market by grabbing as many as you can buy (over 500)?

    He then suggests holding on to them for 18 months.

    So let’s say someone did have that kinda cash sitting around. That’s a long time for money to be doing nothing. As well – what is the cost associated with those aircraft? They have to be maintained.

    So just to put it all into a financial perspective – there are over 500 A330’s parked. At his great deal price of $25 million a pop, 100 of them will cost you $2.5 billion. Cornering the market is going to cost you some $12.5 billion.

    You can take that same money and throw it into the Dow and historically get 10% a year, more or less. No maintenance, parking or storage costs needed.
    In 18 months, each A330 better be worth ~$29 million to someone, otherwise you haven’t made a good business decision.

    If you buy a few, even a hundred – you are at the whim of market forces. If the value goes up, you ride the wave and compete with other airlines and lessors who are trying to dump the type from their books, early on. Raise your price a little too much and they’ll just go down the street for a better deal.

    This position also assumes that the recovery will be sudden, in 18 months. A gradual increase in demand, as time goes on, brings with it other competitive forces. 18 months from now – 100 new 787’s that Boeing has sitting on the ground, waiting to be fixed, will most likely be delivered to airlines. A330 Neo’s will also be coming off the line at Airbus.

    A330’s are used on long haul routes, so parked 777’s can also be used, in a pinch – to take up the slack, if need be.

    Another issue to consider is the pandemic.

    It is being talked about how if within the next year or so, if not enough vaccines have been distributed worldwide, that the virus will mutate and we’ll be back at square one with vaccine’s needed for new mutations and the old ones won’t work. This is why Biden is for allowing the patents to be waived and generic drug makers allowed to produce supply for everyone.

    If the world doesn’t lick the virus, we go right back to the beginning of 2020 and start the clock all over again.

    It’s a big risk to tie up capital in something that may happen in some two years.

    • Frank:

      That has been long my contention with aircraft building.

      Say you spend 10 billion (very round figure) developing, how long does it take to get a return ? (I use what I think is a more realistic 6% over time)

      Ergro, Boeing may be making money on each MAX or 787 built, but paying off the 20-30 billion each has cost the company, ungh.

  7. Frank – ’tis clear what Mr Thornton is suggesting: one buyer (albeit by implication a speculator, for which read ‘gambler,’ but isn’t that what all investors are?) for one airplane. You spend many words building a wall of hypothesis involving apparently the entire fleet in order to gain some satisfaction from demolishing your own (not Mr Thornton’s) wall.

  8. Depends on fuel prices not just capital cost, and on politicians pandering to climate catastrophists.

    So is a speculative investment?

    (Also depends on value for parting out for retables and parts like interior panels. (Seats likely not a lot as newer ones are lighter.)

    Most voters in the US are not willing to give up much to reduce use of fossil fuels, according to properly done surveys.

    (An improperly done survey would ask if people are concerned about ‘climate change’, a properly done survey probes how concerned they really are – the latter type of survey usually gets responses that rank climate far below other things.
    Beware that some survey outfits are deliberately biased, openly admitting that in some cases, such as one Ivy League school in the NE US and one long established private pollster company.

  9. I’ve just seen on BBC America that there appears to be no centralized registration of Americans who have received SARS-CoV-2 vaccine shots…is this correct? It seems that vaccinated persons only get a rather informal slip of paper….with the first forged specimens now appearing. The program presenters asked how this paper slip could possibly be used as proof of vaccination outside the USA…

    Any comments?

    • I’ve previously stated that ‘vaccine passports’ are a fool’s game, including because of forgery which has already happened.

      I don’t recall hearing of them for other diseases, however warnings against disease outbreaks in specific countries – usually far more serious (ebola anyone) – thus recommendations against travel to them.

      But panicking do-gooders and the politicians who pander to them won’t listen.

      • You’ve never had the poisonous combi of vaccination and people who think the virus vector is fake.

        Anti vaxxers used to be a microscopic minority.
        nobody ran around with allegations of “fake virus”

      • Some leisure destinations have mandated certain vaccinations for years. There’s a yellow paper WHO vaccination passport that is accepted worldwide. Previously there was no pressing need to uncover the few idiots forging it. Some countries have introduced harsh penalities for any offence that can help spread corona. Australia e.g. is threating years in prison for quarantene breakers.

    • >I’ve just seen on BBC America that there appears to be no centralized registration of Americans who have received SARS-CoV-2 vaccine shots…is this correct? <

      Should there be one; and if so, why? Further: who does one trust
      to handle such sensitive, potentially life-ruining data?
      "The authorities"?

      heh, pass on that one, too. 🙂

      • Bill7 – for years you could not travel to Africa nor Asia without official vaccination booklets signed off my your Doctor. Kept us all safe from Yellow Fever etc.
        I suspect you are a bit precious about privacy.

      • @ Bill7
        Seeing as the article above is partially about re-opening international travel, with vaccination playing a key role, and seeing as Scott alluded to unacceptable 7-hour waits at Heathrow, it should be obvious that Americans traveling abroad are going to need something more than an easily-forged slip of paper in order to prove vaccination. How will such Americans get a more formal (digital) document from authorities if there is no registration of who has been vaccinated? Will state/federal authorities just accept the easily-forged slip of paper “as-is” and convert it into a formal document, without being able to check that the information on it is correct?

        • In Europe everyone has a yellow vaccination passport designed by the WHO. I hear while it is not commonly used in the US you can ask your doctor to get one.
          It’s only a collection of paper stamps and stickers though. But so far that has been accepted worldwide for mandatory vaccinations.
          For germany every vaccinated citicen will automatically be entered in a central database. They’ll get a document with QR-code by snail mail that references that record for the EU-wide Corona travel passport system. Border control only needs to scan the QR-Code. They’ll probably place automated scanners in the exit queue.

  10. Bryce said to TW:
    “As regards the MAX, perhaps you’re the one with the illogical stance? A majority of regular commenters here think the plane is an ongoing fiasco.”

    IMJ that is a scam, by followers of a certain murderous ideology who like to claim they speak for everyone. But maybe you could buy a bridge I have for sale – it only sank twice.

    I am disgusted with people like you. Your behaviour is enough to drive rational people away, especially with lax scrutiny by Scott Hamilton.

    • Who’s claiming to speak for everyone?
      I’m not. I said “majority of regular commentators”. I can think of 7 straight away who regularly express very negative views on the MAX, whereas I can only think of 2-3 who paint a rosy picture of the MAX. The 7 regularly cite references to back up their views, the 2 much less so…seemingly prefering conspiracy theories and tarring campaigns.
      Simple statistics.

    • @KS

      Your language is excessive – ‘followers of a certain murderous ideology’

      ‘A scam’, ‘I am disgusted’

      If you wish to comment to any effect other than to degrade debate and discourse you must not use such language, and rather employ a reasonable presentation of facts and opinions

      As do those you would seek to criticise

      Offhand insults to the site’s owner operator are foolish

  11. Interesting article on BBC relating to the electrical problems on the MAX:

    “Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft under scrutiny again”

    “But the affair has given new energy to critics who claim the 737 Max was allowed back into service prematurely – and that issues which could have contributed to two fatal crashes have not been fully analysed or addressed.”

    “But for Mr Pierson, a former senior manager on the 737 production line, the new electrical issues are a symptom of something more serious.
    Earlier this year, he published a report that explicitly linked alleged production pressures with electrical anomalies and flight control system problems that occurred on both crashed aircraft prior to the accidents.
    He suggested that defects in the wiring of both aircraft could have contributed to the erroneous deployment of the MCAS software, alongside sensor failures already implicated in the crashes.
    He now says the disclosure of new problems reinforces his case.
    “Yes, MCAS caused the airplanes to pitch down and crash”, he explains. “But it was an electrical system malfunction that likely caused the angle of attack sensor to send faulty data to MCAS”.”


    TW will now invariably try to shoot the messenger because he doesn’t like the message; perhaps he could better spend his time contacting the BBC to ask them why they published this piece.

    • Thanks Bryce,

      this is very interesting. Also how AoA sensor failures were analysed by Boeing from a 17 year span before MAX certification and printed in the JT610 report when Boeing only counted stick shaker activation. Bjorn had a corner about this too and he didn’t count maintenance mistakes. These electrical issues would likely not counted too, which is stupid because the result is the same as a bird strike.

      This is another hit on EASA who made a deal to re-cert the MAX. For sure issues which could have contributed to two fatal crashes have not been fully analysed by EASA. How could they, EASA didn’t check all faked self-cert documents either and now they let the MadMAX fly over my head.

    • Boeing did not do “inaction”
      what they they had is “no stepping stones”
      ( and no real way to spin doctor PR around it.
      i.e. beyond beating up a nice lather there was no
      path to shaving the queen. 🙂

      MOM, short fat WB7x, flat oval, magic assembly … all these fantasies floated got zero traction.

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