HOTR: Airbus’ view on recovery from COVID; why Southwest stayed with MAX 7

By the Leeham News staff

May 11, 2021, © Leeham News: Domestic traffic throughout the world is returning to 2019 levels, but at different rates, according to an Airbus analysis.

Robert Lange, Head of Business Analysis and Market Forecast, said today that the fragmented cross-border travel regulations and uneven vaccinations continue to inhibit passenger traffic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.



International traffic recovery sharply lags domestic recovery, Lange said.

But there is a major pent-up demand. Looking at just the United Kingdom, Lange said Airbus saw a spike in trip selection.

But full economic recovery will still drive recovery in passenger traffic, he said.

JP Morgan report

JP Morgan’s airline analysts recently visited Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. In a subsequent note to investors, two segments are worth reprinting here.

Southwest Airlines

Why double-down on Boeing? We asked about the MAX 7 vs. A220 (aka the old C Series) procurement process. The bottom line, besides the attractive unit prices implied above, is that Boeing can simply deliver more MAX 7 aircraft over the coming years to fulfil LUV’s fleet ambitions.

Pilot training cost, simulators, technology, buildings, basically the entire sunk cost 737 infrastructure of course created a high bar for Airbus to hurdle to make the A220 work. Southwest management also highlighted the fact that the opportunity to really hedge the fleet by adding a second type will come when the MAX is replaced (timing TBD, but we have long held the view that the MAX is a transitional program with a production lifespan that will likely be shorter than prior versions).

American Airlines

Is an international rebound this summer really off the table? We were initially surprised that during its recent conference call, American downplayed the increasing likelihood of a June EU reopening, at least to vaccinated Americans (it’s unclear whether the U.S. would extend the same courtesy to inbound European travelers). Our interpretation of its comments was that it’s simply too late for Europe to meaningfully benefit 3Q leisure trends, and that current capacity plans are largely baked.

American offered more insight, citingthe example of a 787 that could generate roughly 10 hours of utilization flying three daily round-trips to Colombia, at respectable yields and load factors in the 80% range. True, American could stretch utilization closer to 14 hours if redeploying said aircraft to, say, a Transatlantic segmentlike Rome, but bookings wouldhave to start from scratch and profitability would suffer. We think this is an important point. While the Big Three couldquickly redeploy capacity across the Atlantic should the EU reopen, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should, save for markets like Greece and Iceland which announced their intention to reopen to the vaccinated with greater lead time for bookings to muster.· Have union priorities changed?

163 Comments on “HOTR: Airbus’ view on recovery from COVID; why Southwest stayed with MAX 7

  1. > timing TBD, but we have long held the view that the MAX is a transitional program with a production lifespan that will likely be shorter than prior versions.

    The NG-700 entered service with SW in 1997
    The Max-7 is expected to enterservice in 2021

    So the NG-700 had a 21 year run. The Max-7 which competes with the A220 will not be replaced by the either the NSA or NMA those aircraft will have a base model too large to be competitive if shrunk that small. So any Max-7 replacement will be a second program. It is difficult to see Boeing launching that before 2030 at the earliest so it is conceivable the Max-7 will also have a 20 year run.

  2. The prognosis regarding the EU seems to be a bit pessimistic.
    Average daily vaccination rates here are now higher than in the US, and the AZ supply glitches have been nullified by extra shipments from other pharma companies. Cases are steadily declining and countries are rapidly relaxing measures. Importantly for this site, travel bans are being gradually lifted.

    Within the EU, it is expected that cross-border tourism will be flowing by July. The pent-up demand is astronomical.

    • The point is people plan ahead as do airlines and its uncertain where Europe will be and the UK has to be treated differently as a entity that took a faster path.

      And how even is the European vaccines and we have seen it takes pushing up past 50% to change the trajectory (theory says between infected already and that vaccination rate it should drop it). That too is getting into the more infections and lethal variants that have developed.

      But the best laid plans are fraught with peril as Columbia has erupted into protests and does Brazil spill over into that area?

      Turbulent times and there is a lot of winging (pun intended) that is going to be occurring

    • Pricing, commonality, availability, maturity, all these arguments make sense. I can’t fathom what on earth they are on about with the hedging argument. A non existent aircraft?

      • The A220-300 is a lighter and more modern aircraft hence its operating cost (landing fees, fuel and maintenance) has a chance to be lower than the 737-7. If DAL decides to compete and fly the same routes as SWA 737-7 and charge a lower fee besides giving better comfort and snatch the business pax it will speed up SWA’s decision. Breeze will eventually join the battle as well. Still SWA might be able to optimize the 737-7 parts onto the 787-8’s and swap the 1/2 life 737-8 expensive parts for a easier life on the 737-7 until life they are worn out (landing gear, APU, ACM, Engines) and thus move costs into the future.

        • I agree.

          I understand why SWA went the way it did, but I think they may come to regret it if their competition start to fly the A220 on the same routes & offer similar or lower pricing.

          The market will decide in the end. If the competition decide to pass the cost savings on to the customer as well as providing better comfort with an A220, I know which one I’d prefer to fly in.

          I too don’t get the hedging argument at all. I do get that SWA don’t want Boeing going out of business.

          • Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen. Why on earth are southwest issuing soothing words for Boeing about buying the MAX replacement? Why wouldn’t you keep the A320 replacement in play? As well as the A220.

          • JakDak:

            If this was two gas stations across the street from each other, then you could make a on eon one (be sure to factor in traffic flow and access though – ooops, it gets more complicated fast)

            Its not just fuel burn.

            It is the cost of pilots. Delta has to keep a sub group of dedicated A220 pilots, yes you can cross quality others (at a adder cost)

            Cost of the Aircraft, is Airbus going to match Boeing price.

            Cost of Training. South West can pull from the whole pool of pilots once they are MAX trained (and the MAX becomes more and more of the fleet its easier and easier)

            What are South West pilots paid vs Delta?

            Are you going to go head to head on marginal or are you going to Maximize (pun) your A220 revenue in the lower end of your segment.

            Each is making decisions based on their operation and route structure , not the other guys.

            I love the A220. I understand there is a lot more to this than a single factor.

            Equally, if South West saw a gap or issue, they could still start a switch. Its what the execs are supposed to get the big bucks for.

          • Oweing to the MAX 7 being too big for the job, southwest passengers are actually going to get an increase in legroom!

          • “southwest passengers are actually going to get an increase in legroom”

            About time to catch up with seats in other WN aircraft like B737-800.

    • Are “vaccinations” against Da Covid efficacious, and good?

      Is there *any potential downside* to being injected with a essentially-untested “vaccine”; one that is not even claimed to confer immunity against the “ultra-deadly” viwus that virtually no one dies from?

      Report out a couple of days ago is that 13.7% of pregnant women injected w/ Da Covid vaccine in one very recent sample had spontaneous abortions..

      Should be fine. I know for a fact that Pfizer et al only want the best for us, with no consideration for profit.. that the “vaccines”
      were developed in a relative instant, as compared to the normal
      process- which entails long trials to ensure safety to us humans-
      is no cause for concern at all, even if the first real clinical trials
      are scheduled for completion in late 2023..


      • @Scott

        Seems we’re straying from the subject again & also not providing any evidence for the ‘claims’ made here.

        The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is at cost price in each country ‘Bill7’ a stipulation of the UK govt. when investing & arranging tie up with AZ.

        Pfizer / Moderna / AZ vaccines have all been very thoroughly tested. The one thing that has changed is funding, and the red tape which was cut in order to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible BUT no shortcuts on the process, or clinical trials !!!!

        Vaccines are safe, and effective! Real world data from countries that are vaccinating effectively, Israel, UK, and the USA clearly, beyond doubt show that COVID vaccines are working.

        Follow the science, follow the data.

        • @JAK: COVID was the key topic of the Airbus recovery forecast, so in this case, it’s fair game. I’ll leave it to the readers to debate the vaccines.


          • Fair enough Scott,

            So Bill7 could you provide me with a link to this report “Report out a couple of days ago is that 13.7% of pregnant women injected w/ Da Covid vaccine in one very recent sample had spontaneous abortions..”

            I’d like to pass it on the one of the scientists inside Moderna who had a hand in creating their COVID vaccine so that they can comment.

            Also “one that is not even claimed to confer immunity against the “ultra-deadly” viwus that virtually no one dies from?”

            None of the vaccines claim to offer immunity, they vary in efficacy but AZ, Moderna, Pfizer in the range of 70 to 95 % efficacy, there is real world data to support these figures, and they are not challenged by ANY credible scientist.

            “viwus that virtually no one dies from?” check the world wide statistics of excess mortality. Make that argument to the many doctors, and nurses who watched people die an awful death on a COVID ward on a daily basis.

            Nice child speak “viwus”, you’re obviously trying to trigger people like me who understand what’s going on, so I will only say this as a parting shot:

            1 + 1 = 2, we all agree on this, if you want to tell me that is not actually the case, you’ll have to provide evidence that stands up to scrutiny.

            Do you have any idea how scientific method works?

            You can tell me that you think the Earth is flat, and NASA is behind it all, I’m sorry I will not debate you, you have made up your mind, and will only twist evidence that supports your beliefs, you will not consider ALL of the evidence that exists, and base your decision on the evidence. The fact remains that 1 + 1 = 2, COVID is very real, and the only way out of the pandemic is vaccinating the entire planet to a sufficiently high level. That’s not just the UK, the EU, or the USA, it’s the entire planet!

            That’s it, the science is real whether you believe it or not.

            Unfortunately people die because people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about, and propagate lies, and misinformation, and other people believe them.

            Sorry for the rant to all those who have an understanding of what’s going on, but this is a life, and death issue.

            Radio silence for a while.

          • Hello Bill7 and JakDak,

            Re: “So Bill7 could you provide me with a link to this report “Report out a couple of days ago is that 13.7% of pregnant women injected w/ Da Covid vaccine in one very recent sample had spontaneous abortions..”

            The rate of spontaneous abortions in women who have NOT received COVID-19 vaccines is 10% to 20% depending on on how hard you look and test for pregnancies that may have ended very early. The spontaneous abortion rate of 13.7% cited by Bill7, if true, is thus within the range of spontaneous abortion rates expected in women who have NOT received COVID-19 vaccines. See the excerpt from a BMC Pregnancy Childbirth paper below. The full article can be found at the link after the article.

            “The spontaneous miscarriage rate varies between from 10% to 20% where 10% refers to late recognition of pregnancy and 20% refers to research involving routinely testing for pregnancy before 4 weeks or 4 weeks after the last menstrual period [1, 2].”


            The miscarriage rate will also vary with depending on risk factors within a particular population being studied. For instance, the miscarriage rate increases as the age of the mother increases.

          • AP asked my question, where in do you get your data.

            I asked a similar question on a different subject some year back.

            All the links were from conspiracy sites. We all know how to sort through credibility and alternative facts.

            The latest is Moderna and Pfizer alter your DNA (you know because it involves RNA and that means, oh my goodness, there goes the genome)

            Reality is way in the past a virus /viruses have altered our DNA (they can see they junk in it)

            We are still here.

            And I am going to turn into Godzilla I guess, that might be fun, though I will do it my way, think of a over age Godzilla singing in the rain.

      • hic rhodos, hic salta.
        Bring up a reference link for allegations, please.

      • Seeing as Bill7 brought up the subject of vaccines, the following link provides very extensive country-by-country data regarding vaccination status. It’s handy in that it gives a good indication of which countries can be expected to re-open their borders the soonest.

        For those willing to delve deeper, the fall in hospitalization figures in countries with a high degree of vaccination also manifests itself.

      • More tested than any vaccine in history.Tested on all of us disposable oldies first.

        • Well its a grand feeling to be good for something!

          Just sucking off society these days so I can add to the data set.

    • Except that supply of A-Z vaccine is probably greatly reduced by the panic in India, where it is manufactured. Pressure will be high to let India have it all.

      Volatile I say.

      (Canada is worse, behind on vaccination due Communist China playing politics over shipments to Canada which let it use vaccine technology it had. Catching up now I think, thanks in part to US sending vaccine north plus some border towns helping (Americans are generous people). But the political mentality in Canada is still controlling. However Canada is a modest sized market, population about 1/10 of the US.

  3. April figures are in for Boeing:

    “Boeing sees zero orders again in April, MAX cancellations mount”

    “Boeing Co recorded zero orders for the second time this year in April and customers canceled another 108 orders for its grounded 737 MAX plane compounding its worst start to a year since 1962.
    The company said on Tuesday it delivered just six planes last month, bringing the total to 56 for the first four months of 2020, down 67% from a year earlier, as it battles the biggest crisis in its history.
    Boeing said on Tuesday the 737 MAX cancellations in April were from customers including China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co and General Electric’s aircraft leasing unit GECAS.
    Boeing’s gross orders stood at 49 aircraft for the year as of April, with a negative order total of 255 planes after cancellations.
    After further accounting adjustments representing jets ordered in previous years but now unlikely to be delivered, Boeing’s adjusted net orders sank to a negative 516 airplanes.”

    “Airbus’ gross orders for the year as of April were 365 aircraft. Following 66 cancellations, net order tally was 299 airplanes, up from 290 in March.”

  4. In the latest Southwest attempt to sway away from Boeing and their B737 MAX, was, like in the Alaska scenario, it was pretty much known by the general public, that this was simply playing with Boeing’s Pricing/Delivery schedules, since all the variables(pilot training, infrastructure, deliveries, etc.), besides the pricing, in going the A220 route, was known beforehand.

    American has a handful in South America(Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil) related to the increment of Civil Unrest/Violence/Covid-19) where the State Dept., is issuing recommendations for Americans to restrict their traveling plans, being the most Profitable area in the World for AA.

    The continuous Pep-Talk about the Aviation Passenger recovery is far from over, even-though we will see temporary TSA reports of increase in traveling, mainly Domestic, but Internationally, the Covid-19 is still promoting Airport Restrictions/Lockdowns.
    On the other hand, the Cargo sector is still Booming, mainly due to the Covid-19 medical demand.

    • I thought the cargo sector was booming because of the absence of belly cargo on passenger aircraft.

      • Yep, Cargo overall is down I believe but the Freighters use is way up.

        While medical supplies are a factor the lack of belly space is far bigger.

        Medical Supplies can be put in seats, it works but its not a good return.

  5. “The bottom line, besides the attractive unit prices implied above, is that Boeing can simply deliver more MAX 7 aircraft over the coming years to fulfil LUV’s fleet ambitions.”

    Mirabel and Alabama can produce 14 a month, with the current rate being 4 a month. That’s 120 aircraft a year delivered to LUV – if Airbus so desired, without building any new structures.

    Southwest didn’t even approach Airbus to give an offer. It was always about the price they were given from Boeing – they had BA over a barrel and they squeezed them for every penny. They had no such leverage with Airbus.

    The flip side, is that LUV is now stuck with a heavier, less efficient and older designed aircraft. They have also lumped all their eggs in one basket, yet consider the risk of another grounding worth the bargain basement price they are getting – plus the savings on fleet commonality.

    Imagine what would have happened to LUV had they had some 300 Max’s in their fleet, instead of a few dozen, at the time of grounding?

    Pundits around the world are hailing the Max as the ‘most scrutinized, safest plane ever, from now on’ – since it was put back into service. I’m guessing the 20 months it was grounded wasn’t long enough to find everything that needed to be found…

    • What you are missing in produion rate is not the assembly hall capacity.

      Its the supply chain. Right now Airbus does not have the supply chain to build 14 x A220 a month.

      Engines, Instruments, Air Conditioning, galleys, all are limited.

      Any single component not available means a parked aircraft of if deep enough n the fuselage is one you can’t build.

      And with limited numbers do you cut out your existing customers?

      Boeing and Airbus could juggle NG and CEO and to some degree MAX and NEO due to the high volumes they hit (50+) as well as negotiate with Airlines that had reasons to wait.

      The A220 is not in that position. It working to rate 5.

      Airbus while getting a gift also has to rationalize the A220 into its system and correct/improve the build process and negotiate better deals with suppliers.

      Its no longer the BBD C Series, its an Airbus product with all the guarantees and expectations that go with that. We have seen the impact of a messed up program (or two)

      Its all a balancing act.

      • @Trans

        You are correct – sorry if I gave the impression that they could add another 9 per month, starting tomorrow. There would of course, be some spool up time.

        The deal with Boeing has them delivering 30 Max 7’s in 2022.

        “The first 30 of the new 737 Max 7 jets should be delivered in 2022, Southwest said.”

        The deal was signed in March – which would have given Airbus some 19 months to deliver 30 jets.

        We’ll never know for sure, but I think they could have done it.

        • Hello Frank,

          Re:”The deal was signed in March – which would have given Airbus some 19 months to deliver 30 jets.

          We’ll never know for sure, but I think they could have done it.”

          The Southwest deal has 30 MAX 7 firm orders for year 2022 and 42 MAX 7 or 8 options for 2022. Do you think Airbus could have ramped production fast enough to be prepared to satisfy the same the same number firm orders and options for year 2022, i.e. up to 72 aircraft in year 2022 if Southwest elected to convert all its 2022 options to MAX 7 firm orders? Spread evenly throughout the year, or delayed until the end of the year?

          Below is the Southwest’s current MAX orderbook for 2021 through 2026 according to the Southwest press release at the link below.

          2021: MAX 7: 0, MAX 8: 19, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 0, Leased MAX 8’s: 9
          2022: MAX 7: 30, MAX 8: 0, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 42
          2023: MAX 7: 30, MAX 8: 0, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 38
          2024: MAX 7: 30, MAX 8: 0, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 40
          2025: MAX 7: 30, MAX 8: 0, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 40
          2026: MAX 7: 15, MAX 8:15, MAX 7 or 8 Options: 40

          According to Wikipedia, the peak year for A220 deliveries so far has been 2019, in which year 48 aircraft were delivered.

          • From FG:

            Dec 2018
            Airbus begins building new A220 assembly facilities in Mirabel

            Prior to Airbus acquisition, Bombardier talked of hiking production to between 90 and 120 a year by 2020.

            Bombardier delivered 17 in 2017 and 33 in 2018.


            The A220 has more net orders this year than any other Airbus aircraft.


            The A220 has gained momentum under Airbus: landed significant new orders from Air France-KLM, JetBlue and David Neeleman’s U.S. upstart, and deals with major aircraft lessors.

          • Hello Pedro,

            Re: “Prior to Airbus acquisition, Bombardier talked of hiking production to between 90 and 120 a year by 2020.”

            According to Wikipedia the actual number of A220’s delivered in 2020 was 38, down from a peak 48 in 2019, and as of April only 12 have been delivered in 2021.

            There is a difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it.


          • @AP: COVID impacted A220 deliveries, don’t ya think?

          • In 2020 BA delivered only 157 jets in 2020, down 59%, also reported to be the fewest since 1984.

          • Pedro:

            You are aware BBD sold the C series to Airbus for a reason? Like a floundering delivery failing to mach promises and no future ability to do so?

            I like the now A220. Does not mean we craft and alntetiave universe for it.

            Airbus is having to rationalize the mess, maintain commitment as best they can and ensure quality (unlike Boeing)

            That excludes other factors like Boeing price breaks and the other factors that make a one fleet op for South West work.

            Rate 5 roughly right now.

          • ” difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it.”
            The metric to watch is ‘production rate’ not delivery as we can appreciate there has been a ‘building’ but sometimes deliveries havent keep up, because of engines problems, financial issues and Boeings separate issues with Max and 787.
            I think 2019 was a big year for GTF problems delaying ‘delivery’. The modern production methods is steady build-incremental increase for the planes, which would apply for Cseries/A220 as well

          • Duke:

            That has me scratching my head.

            I built 500,000 Ford Bronco but could not deliver any of them because they had no engines?

            If its missing stuff then its not produced, its a structure doing nothing.

            Yes Aircraft are easier than cars as the engines are just hung on them.

            Missing the Air Conditioning? Can you say 787?

            But it is not made until its complete.

            You might want to look at the history of Edsel (oh just throw the parts in the trunk)

          • Cars are a good example…. as they too have a steady production rate.
            Ive not said production rate is completion.
            Theres been well known delays in ‘completion’ for some years now. interiors, engines, rework etc. The aircraft plants just park them around the site like they do at car factories- who now have computer chip supply needing rework after coming down the production line.

          • Hello Mr. Hamilton,

            Re: “@AP: COVID impacted A220 deliveries, don’t ya think?”

            Deliveries so far in 2021 according to Wikipedia.
            A32X (ceo and neo): 139
            B737 (NG and MAX): 67
            A220: 12

            Are you suggesting that the large difference between the number of A220’s delivered so far in 2021 vs. the number of A32X and B737 delivered (even with a 5 week pause and deliveries to some countries not approved for part or all of the year in the case of the B737), is due to A220 customers or production being more affected by COVID-19 than A32X or B737 customers and production have been, rather than to A220 production capacity being extremely limited compared to A32X and B737 production capacity?

            Following is an excerpt from the Airbus press release at the link below.

            “The A220 monthly production rate will increase from four to five aircraft per month from the end of Q1 2021 as previously foreseen.”


            A production capacity of 4 to 5 A220’s per month gives a production capacity of 48 to 60 A220’s per year. Thus an entire year of production of A220’s at current production rates would be insufficient to guarantee being able to meet the delivery schedule of 30 firm MAX 7 orders and 42 MAX 7 or 8 options (up to 72 aircraft) that Boeing and Southwest recently agreed to for year 2022.

            To answer your question, I do think that A220 deliveries have been affected by COVID-19, as have deliveries for all commercial aircraft; however, I also think that there are large differences between A32X and B737 production capacity, and A220 production capacity, or the 90 to 120 CS/A220 that Pedro reports Bombardier “talked about” being able to deliver, that have nothing to do with COVID-19.

          • “You are aware BBD sold the C series to Airbus for a reason? Like a floundering delivery failing to mach promises and no future ability to do so?”

            Anyone who is sane or not suffering from amnesia knows BA’s single minded pursue to crush Bombardier and its C series thru’ tariff forced the sale.

          • How many planes did Airbus have ‘undelivered’- 166 in July 2020
            ‘The Airbus stockpile of 166 undelivered jets includes 11 A220s, 112 A320-family aircraft, 14 A330s, 25 A350s, and four A380s. A large number of the A320s are parked in the German cities of Erfurt and Rostock until the customers can finally take delivery.
            Not all of the aircraft are a result of delayed deliveries. There is always some time between the first flight and delivery to the customer. ”
            Because of A220 relatively low production rate 10 would 3 months worth.
            The A220 full production list shows the production rate is well ahead of the delivery rate. Seems to be a number (12) built for
            STLC or Redwings that arent going to the airlines at all. Its a leisure carrier in Russia.
            Maybe thats an answer to your question Robert

          • More from Simplyflying:

            Not all of the aircraft are a result of delayed deliveries. There is always some time between the first flight and delivery to the customer. *Airbus has 40 planes that only made their first flight this month*

      • @TW

        On a side note:

        I spoke to my guy (over 30 years) up the road and asked him where the bottlenecks were. He said it was the GTF’s and interiors. Apparently they could easily make the numbers that LUV needs but Pratt and whoever makes the inside need to get their thumbs out.

        If Boeing was really serious about diversifying away from a sole source supplier, they could have done it. Now they have to hope that BA is truly serious about getting back to being an engineering company, making great aircraft.

        • Really?
          Airbus subsidiary Stelia who took control of the Bombardier sites at Mirabel and St Laurent is moving the airframe sub assmeblys to the old CRJ plant and increasing the pre stuffing before the go to final assembly. Doesn’t sound like a straight forward thing to me, likely pitfalls will happen

          • Agreed, its not simple.

            If you need a hydraulic pump, you can’t just put on an extra shift.

            You have to contact the forger, he has to contact his supplier, they have to fight the lags and slowdowns, the forger has to get more molds (or work his people more) and then you have to machine the housing (which means more machine time and more machinery)

            There are articles about entire shipments held up on a 25 cent part.

            Add in that this is a program Airbus did not run so they are learning the program as well as trying to manage ramp up and supply.

            South West wants a guarantee of supply over all the 700 replacements.

            Airbus has to manage quality and current customers, they can;’t just dump them for a South West order (which they could not fill anyway)

            South West can manage delays keeping the 700s, and that does assume no long term issues come up on the MAX.

            Yes they could be wrong but they needed a decisions and made it.

          • This is an effort to build the A220 in a similar way to how the A320’s are build. So while not a trivial change it is a change to a process Airbus is very familiar and comfortable with.

            I expect this change in process will not encounter any large pitfalls.

          • I don’t know that Airbus is necessarily a comfort aspect.

            It may well be that BBD was so chaotic it had to be rationalized and then yes, you do it to your system (though I suspect there are variations as the aircraft was not ground up built to those same industrialization approach Airbus uses)

            What everyone need to keep in mind, there is a reason BBD was and did fail in industrialization/production and sold it (to Airbus.)

            They got the first part spot on, an outstanding aircraft, most fail and BBD is to be congratulated on that huge success.

            Too man ignore produion and support and that is why the C919 and MC-21 will fail.

            The MC-21 is the C series all over again.

            The C919 is an Edsel.

          • @Dukeoful Stelia did not take over the Mirabel plant, it Airbus that use the old Bombardier plant (FAL) Stelia has another plant further down the road in Mirabel that they use to built the fuselage for the Bombardier Global 7500. Stelia are in the process of moving the cockpit and rear fuse of the A220 from Bombardier St-Laurent plan (they just rent the space for the A220 and A330 subs they don’t control it as you say, it still very much Bombardier proprety and will remain like that once the last A330 subs leave the plant) to the Stelia plan in Mirabel who is in the process of getting enlarge also. Stelia will by the way get re-intergrated into Airbus and be called :Airbus Aerostructures.

          • @Bluedog

            Thanks for your much needed clarification to dispell perpetual F.U.D. spread here.

          • I said Stelia had 2 plants from Bombardier, Mirabel and St Laurent, and I said St Laurent is moving to old CRJ plant at Mirabel. I didn’t say anything about Global Express production, nor could I care.
            Yet again we see some loss of understanding when translated to another language.

          • At the time of Bombardier’s exit of the A220 program, it was clearly stated that Airbus/Stelia would move the *A220 cockpit and aft fuselage* production from St Laurent to *optimize the logistical flow to the A220 FAL* in Mirabel.

      • If Southwest desperately wants a 150-seat plane ASAP, then it didn’t have much choice. But as recently as last fall, it was talking about replacing the 737-700s in quantity starting around 2025. That would have been consistent with taking 737-8s as scheduled from Boeing in the near term and then ramping up A220 deliveries towards the middle of the decade.

        TBH, I think the bigger issue is U.S. vs. Canadian production. I don’t think Airbus wants to risk another trade fight by shipping A220-300s from Mirabel to the U.S. (The A220-100s it has delivered to Delta are a different story: Boeing clearly lacks a competing product.) Given orders/options from JetBlue, Breeze, and Delta, the A220 line in Mobile could have limited production slots available even beyond 2025.

        • I disagree completely.

          The trade issue is over and the current administration is not going to engage in that stupidity.

          None of it takes away from the A220 as an outstanding aircrat

          All the factors listed for South West are not the same for Delta (who has a track record of flying that sized aircraft and being successful). They also have a very different structure than South West.

          Air Baltic made the decision to go to the A220 and its worked well.

          They had an old fleet to get rid of. So that makes sense as well.

          South West also has a long history with the CFM engines and that plays into it.

    • @ Frank
      Other airlines/lessors are taking a different path to LUV, and are dropping the MAX. Per my post above:-
      – Another 108 MAX cancellations in April;
      – Orders for the year are now *negative* 255 (or negative 516, using stricter accounting rules). So those “discount store” sales to Alaska, LUV, Ryanair, American, etc., from earlier this year have all been negated by a much larger number of “no thanks”.

      At this rate, LUV’s MAXs will be a future rarity.

    • @ Frank
      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”.”

    • “lumped all their eggs in one basket”, a strategy that has worked for them for decades.

      • @Steve

        Correct. But then again, that was a different Boeing, those many decades ago…

          • The new jet is developed and sold by a company that currently prioritizes its share price performance above all else.

          • Well technically they now value engineering the highest!

            I believe Boeing will get the quality control issues solved (I know that is a bit of a reach but on going failure does as well)

            And if not, Calhoun still can be fired.

        • For decades they have seem to made correct choices, it’s the best barometer we have to go on.

  6. ” Boeing can simply deliver more MAX 7 aircraft over the coming years to fulfil LUV’s fleet ambitions.”

    One of the factors I listed.

    That said, A220 production ramping up over time with enough slots could be a jump ahead and the -7 fleet lead a shorter service life of 10 years.

    It takes a lot of data we don’t have to try to sift out the advantage to the costs involved that spread over pilot commonality, training and the never to be forgotten fuel.

    South West made a decision that made sense to them and other airlines will do the same and no two are identical.

    • I think essentially Southwest went for the MAX-7 for all the documented reasons; AND because they did not want the supplier of most importance to the company to go out of business. As backed into the corner almost as bad as Boeing, these two companies might not be able to function without the other… Not a great place to be according to the best Business Schools in the country.

      • Good point. Remember the deal Airbus had to give Eastern to get them to fly the A300 ( when its was more of a domestic and Caribbean plane)
        Only after that did they do a buy for some more with vendor finance and vendor meeting some maintenance costs. Interest rates were 8.25%……

        • I am highly doubtful that Boeing going out of business had any motivation with South West.

          If that was true, then you would switch regraelss of cost, that is business 080.

          South West alone is not going to save Boeing.

          South West cut a huge good deal (good for them) but that is not what is to Boeing benefit (they need cash).

          • Ok, then who needs the other more? Boeing needs SW more, or SW needs Boeing more? I think at this point in time, if Boeing went out of business, SW would fail. Conversely, if SW went out of business, Boeing would soldier on. Either way, a case could be made they’re both too big to fail. And the loss of the OEM, would be much harder to absorb.

          • Southwest needs Boeing and its supply chain of 737s
            ‘Southwest unveils major summer expansion with a whopping 36 routes’

            Its business model for a new destination isnt just a few routes, its much more than that – I think I read somewhere their minimum for a new city is about 10 flights frequency per day. Existing cities can of course add add extra flights here and there as demand changes.

            Airbus just couldnt ramp up quickly or cost effectively just for Southwest, especially while its redesigning the whole production system for the A220.

          • A decade or two ago, who would have thought GE could be on the brink? Or both GM and Chrysler went out of business?

          • Yes, GE the company that spawned the management style that Boeing major stockholders embraced with open arms.

          • Sam 1:

            What you are creating is known as a false equivalency.

            Boeing sells aircraft and South West sells tickets to take people places on aircrat.

            Both would exist without the other.

            Both benefit from the relationship (and to a degree South West also is impacted by it)

            But South West got even better prices.

            They still have their old fleets (for some time) and are not suffering.

            All Airlines buy new aircraft knowing there will be issues (fatal crashes are not expected).

            So the Ground Wiring would be in the norm though not a happy one for Boeing.

            You and others keep assuming the MAX is doomed and it is not.

          • No, TW, I have no trouble at this time with the MAX. What l have is trouble with the men who make business decisions at Boeing and SW. Boeing’s situation has and will be discussed and studied for decades. SW? I just think in a few years when they are flying nothing but maybe 800 MAXes they’ll have some unforeseen circumstance that will at least temporarily throw a wrench into operations.

  7. > Its [Southwest’s] business model for a new destination isnt just a few routes, its much more than that – I think I read somewhere their minimum for a new city is about 10 flights frequency per day. <

    ..And in the midst of a we're all gonna-die "Pandemmick", too!

    So confyoozing. 😉

  8. I remember Southwest is going big with a focus on leisure friendly destinations including popular ski areas and sun destinations. 10 flights per day??

    • ‘Southwest’s 15th new city is getting 10 routes’
      Myrtle Beach.
      Sounds like that’s at least 10 rotations to me

  9. “Boeing wins FAA OK for 737 MAX electrical fix, notifies airlines”

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Boeing Co on Wednesday won approval from U.S. regulators for a fix of an electrical grounding issue that had affected about 100 737 MAX airplanes, clearing the way for their quick return to service after flights were halted in early April, the planemaker said.
    An FAA official confirmed that the agency had approved the service bulletins and associated instructions. Boeing sent two bulletins to air carriers on Wednesday on the fixes.”

    Interesting: “The regulator has *daily* meetings with Boeing to discuss the MAX’s performance, Dickson said. In February, the FAA said it was tracking all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes using satellite data under an agreement with air traffic surveillance firm Aireon LLC.”

      • Some MAXs would miss the start of busy travel season in May.

        • As expected, FAA did their job and reviewed it and may have added to it, maybe not. But relatively routine on aircraft (not under scrutiny).
          And its the way it should be on ALL Aircraft. Ground them until you understand it, don’t keep flying them as a test lab.

          As the sole LCA builder int he US and one of the few in the world, of course the FAA is going to be in daily consultation Boeing

          The inspections and work force relationship ensure that as well as the FAA tracking the 737 (its also a test case for that).

          Clearly the tracking did not detect the grounding so I am unsure what the real goal of the test tracking is.

          I had systems that monitored the whole campus and the HVAC performers (something like 300 different piece of equipment)

          Its claim to fame for the latest whiz bang (I like the old whiz bang) was that managers could look in and see what was going on.

          The managers no more understood the systems and what they were doing or not doing than I do Dark Matter.

          My brother oversaw one building that had that system in it.

          The mangers were ballyhooing in a meeting how great it was to be able to see what was going on.

          When was the last time you logged in? (we knew, there was a log of that)

          Errr, not since they gave us the password last year!

          So it goes.

          Data is only good if you know what it means and are going to do something with it.

          • “Clearly the tracking did not detect the grounding so I am unsure what the real goal of the test tracking is.”

            How could tracking from the ground possibly detect a grounding issue?

            It seems that the principal (or perhaps only) goal of tracking is to check for anomalous pitch behavior — i.e. it’s aimed purely at MCAS.

      • “two to three days per plane”
        Perhaps something has been lost in translation to your language.
        32 planes arent worked on in parallel over 21 days. Multiple planes are worked on in series ( 2-3 days each) and it takes 3 weeks for all to be completed. Thats what ‘per plane’ means

        • Perhaps you missed the point (wouldn’t be the first time).
          Whether worked on in series or in parallel, 2-3 days per plane indicates that it’s not just a question of attaching a few grounding tethers here and there: there evidently is a considerable amount of stripping to get at the core of the problem. It’s not an engine we’re talking about here: 2-3 days of repairs in a cockpit or avionics bay is impressive!

          • You have missed the point in that its an upgrade not just a fix anymore
            ” Boeing is adding multiple bonding jumpers (insulated wires) and metal bonding straps secured with bonding studs (screws that provide a clear path through bare metal) that seal connections between each shelf to the wall around it and from the bottom of the cabinet to the aircraft floor.”
            metal bonding straps are the way its done for modern planes, so they are doing that ….
            Electrical connectors are also the latest AD issued by FAA this Friday just passed . For the ATR.
            I wonder how the do the electrical connections in the Xian MA60, the shenzhai version of An24 designed in 1957 ….
            Having copied anything and everything you have to wonder if Xian can ever now create new product of their own

          • Sure.
            “Upgrade” is the new BA parlance for “corrections to comply with basic electrical engineering principles”.
            What you’re effectively saying is that, on BA planes, basic safety is only available as an upgrade option. Impressive!

            For those who aren’t smoking pot: the (completely standard) measures being taken should have been present from day one in any safety-critical electrical system.

          • List of 737 MAX delivered to customers suffering from electrical issue per Flightradar24:

            “The potential electrical grounding issue only affects certain individual aircraft manufactured after Boeing implemented design changes in early 2019. The affected aircraft are a mix of 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX between line numbers 7399 and 8082. The FAA’s CANIC lists 106 total aircraft and and 71 US operated aircraft. We were able to find 105 total and 70 US operated aircraft so far. Some undelivered aircraft within the line number range are also believed to be affected.


  10. On “vaccine” safety, as requested by JakDak:

    >..RESULTS A total of 35,691 v-safe participants 16 to 54 years of age identified as pregnant. Injection-site pain was reported more frequently among pregnant persons than among nonpregnant women, whereas headache, myalgia, chills, and fever were reported less frequently. Among 3958 participants enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry, 827 had a completed pregnancy, of which 115 (13.9%) resulted in a pregnancy loss and 712 (86.1%) resulted in a live birth (mostly among participants with vaccination in the third trimester). Adverse neonatal outcomes included preterm birth (in 9.4%) and small size for gestational age (in 3.2%); no neonatal deaths were reported.. <

    • @ Bill7
      From the same link:
      Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. ”

      The post above from AP_Robert makes it clear that the pregnancy loss rate is consistent with background levels in the population at large.

  11. Interesting news on a possible NSA!
    “Rolls-Royce Confirms Talks With Boeing on New Aircraft Program”

    “(Bloomberg) — Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc said it’s holding discussions with Boeing Co. about a new aircraft program, confirming reports dating back to last year linking the U.K. engine-maker to a potential mid-range jetliner.”

    “Boeing reached out to suppliers about a new single-aisle airplane that would seat between 200 and 250 travelers, the Wall Street Journal reported last year.”

    “Rolls has also said it’s talked with Boeing rival Airbus SE about a possible new program.”

    “That would put Boeing’s new program, should it go forward, up against the A321 variant of Airbus’s popular A320-series single-aisle jets. Airbus said this week that the larger version now accounts for more than half its backlog in the family.”

    • Watch this space on a new Max 10 ER version. Im hoping LNA does a feature on ‘what it would take’ to get to the A321LR level

      • It can not be done with the MAX economically.

        I suspect you will see the -10 cancelled and the proposal for the NMA (which is what the NSA is but Calhoun does not want to admit it)

        Cost to implement the changes on the -10 and then retrofit to the -7/8/9 becomes prohibitive.

        Their is no answer yet as to the -8 replacement.

        Maybe they can buy A220-500 and re-label them!

        • The previous Max 10 proposed configuration was part of the “malaise/Muilenberg era’ and involved a nifty fuselage leg mod for rotation purposes. Im pretty sure the design people gave them a couple of options for fixing the fuselage angle at rotation. Some small wing changes should now be considered as the core issue is MTOW/runway required/climb angle etc.
          Remember what Bjorn said
          ‘If Boeing decides to go ahead with the MAX 10, it will have a credible alternative to the standard A321neo. The MAX 10 will have worse field performance (essentially the same as MAX 9, which is a bit of a ground hog), but for airlines serving large airports at reasonable altitudes, it will be OK.

          Back in 2017 the Max 10 was to compete with A321 neo.
          Since then(2017) along has come the A321LR and the further modified A321XLR.
          Max 10 needs to change as well with the 10ER.

      • And – a miner change is not a minor change if it grounds (pun intended) the fleet and there are no miner changes.

        “Meanwhile, the FAA confirmed it continues an audit of Boeing’s methods for making minor design changes across its product line to identify areas where the company can improve its processes. “These initiatives are part of our commitment to continually evaluating and improving our oversight of all aspects of aviation safety, recognizing that catching errors at the earliest possible point enhances what is already the world’s safest form of transportation,” said the FAA in a statement.”

        MCAS 1.0 started out as a minor change.

        • Wasnt it MCAS 1.5 that was the minor change made at the last minute that meant the system changed from a one off correction to ever repeating …thus forcing the nose down over the pilots commands

  12. I can’t link it to this computer, but Washing Post is now saying it was the hole drilling process that lead to the 737 Wiring Grounding issue (as opposed to the grounding wiring issue?)

    Dickson is “looking into it” . I think he is not long for the FAA.

    It makes more sense than rivets, and the ref was to the coating on the racks being the impedimenta (of course that is well known and you clear a spot to ensure the terminal from the wire has contact with the rack metal).

  13. Pretty well written article that applies to the A220 and the C919 in the global perspective. Definitely worth reading

    What he does not discuss is the failure of the Chinese to do the work needed to document the design and then build process on the C919 and the impossibility that imposes on anyone other than China to give it certification.

    Mitsubishi was the case in point and they were trying and they failed and to go back and do it right was arduous and they had a better foundation to work from and had some of the structure in place.

    No idea how long it would take to unravel the C919 and get non China certification but in the meantime, its like full on self certification like having Boeing have no oversight at all (and its been bad enough with oversight that exist)

    Its the basis for certification in having an independent agency (or supposed to be independent, Boeing certainly has bent that a great deal)

    At some point FAA can be reset. China can’t and won’t.

    • All of which assumes that a third country will necessarily subscribe to the FAA/EASA way of doing things and won’t just accept that China has done things differently. Relevant in that context is the enormous loss of face and credibility caused by the repeated FAA failings vis-à-vis the MAX: just because denialists like to place the MAX fiasco in the category of “routine teething problems” doesn’t mean that others do. Also relevant is the fact that there are plenty of countries that have an icy relationship with the US/EU, and that would gladly welcome a new player.

      Faury (Airbus) can see the C919 as a serious challenge, despite these certification issues that you raise.

      • Bryce:

        Reality is that the vast majority of countries do subscribe to FAA/EASA/Japan/Canada/Brazil (those are countries that produce Large Commercial Aircraft)

        Those are in law in many cases and for good reason.

        Rejecting them due to the FAA failures to follow their own standards is not the way the system works.

        There are some countries that can waiver it, change it at the drop of a pin.

        Its challenge is that China dictates to its airlines what they buy and fly, so like the ARJ-21, they can and have dictate how many C919 they will take.

        A non competitive product get China no where in the aviation world.

        Yes they could give a few to Zimbabwe and then they can’t fly it to countries that have the FAA/EASA/Japan/Brazil certificate baked in.

        Then you spend 10 years to convince say, Congo to allow it.

        Airbus would have reason to make a statement like that but its not fear of the C919 x A320CEO copy.

        The C929 is currently going off the rails.

        • “Reality is that the vast majority of countries do subscribe to FAA/EASA/Japan/Canada/Brazil (those are countries that produce Large Commercial Aircraft)”

          That’s before they realize the emperor has no cloths! FAA was the last regulator to ground the 737 MAX, no one waited for its direction any more.

          Countries including India, Singapore and Vietnam still refuse to accept FAA’s blessing on the 737 MAX speak volume. This is going to be the New Normal.

          • And don’t forget the long list of countries that are using Chinese vaccines without giving a hoot what the FDA/EMA have to say on the matter.
            An interesting analogy, since it also involves a very high-tech product for which safety is critical, and which is thus subject to strict regulation.

            Persistent delusions of grandeur, based on events of a bygone era…

      • @Bryce

        For years (if not more) journalists and pundits repeatedly said Wechat and Alibaba are only copying “Western” innovation, they “can’t” innovate.

  14. From Seattle Times

    -> Proper grounding had been a known issue previouly at Boeing. Back in 2018 a quality control audit on the 747, 767 and 777 found 7 percent of samples failed to meet prescribed engineering target.

    -> BA is now figuring out what to do for future production of B737 MAX

    -> This is an “elementary mistake” that should have been flagged, according to a former Boeing electrical engineer.

    • Yes, Pedro, we’re talking about very basic electrical engineering here.
      Alarming that BA aren’t up to scratch on something so fundamental.

      • @Bryce

        More bad news for BA (Oops!!)

        Breaking news from Reuters

        “U.S. requiring inspections for wire failure on Boeing 737 Classic planes after discovery during Sriwijaya crash investigation”

        It looks like a pattern.

        • There’s been a pattern to air crashes in Indonesia for many years….

        • Fatal passenger events per million flights:

          B737 Classic 0.15
          B737 MAX 3.08

          Boeing: B737 is the safest plane ever!!

          • One can only assume that the “two people same voice” reference is an allusion to yourself and a “certain commenter” from the past? The two of you show a familiar pattern of pilot blaming (or, in this case, airline blaming) to try to detract from BA safety issues.

            Pedro and myself are discussing the FAA order to investigate yet another electrical issue on yet another model of 737. Your effort to detract from the issue at hand by trying to tar a particular airline is remarkable: are you angry with the airline because their misfortune has revealed yet another potential problem for BA?

          • More info on the latest wiring AD in the 737 Classic:

            FOX: “New problem for Boeing as FAA orders 737 Classic inspections. Impacted carriers include Aloha Air Cargo and DHL”

            “The FAA is issuing an airworthiness directive requiring operators to verify the flap synchro wire, which plays a role in the operation of the aircraft’s auto-throttle system, is securely connected to a safety sensor. The wire failure could go undetected by the auto-throttle computer on the affected airplanes and pose a safety risk.
            The FAA said the issue impacts 1,041 737-300, -400 and -500 Classic series airplanes worldwide.”

            “The FAA is requiring some speedier checks than what Boeing had suggested to operators.
            Boeing did not immediately comment.”


          • Sriwijaya Air – Safety oversight information:
            04 JUL 2007: Added to EU list of banned air carriers
            14 JUN 2018: Removed from EU list of banned air carriers
            They dont fly to EU area but is guidance for its nations – dont fly with them as their safety standards are well below …cough, western standards

          • BA 737 MAX – Safety oversight information:
            25 MAR 2019: Added to CAAC list of banned aircraft
            NOT YET: Removed from CAAC list of banned aircraft
            They don’t fly to most of Asia/Pacific area but is guidance for its nations – don’t fly on it as its safety standards are well below …cough, western standards

    • See below for a link to, and additional excerpts from the Seattle Times article that Pedro quoted from above. Another excellent and informative article by Seattle Times reported Dominic Gates.

      “The problem arose because Boeing engineers in Salt Lake City had adjusted the way two cabinets or racks that hold electronic equipment on the MAX flight deck are manufactured.

      In what the FAA later said was “a minor design change that did not require (regulatory) approval,” primer was added to the aluminum structure after holes were fully drilled, whereas previously the primer had been added before the final drilling.

      The primer coating on the interior of the racks — no longer pierced by the drilling of the holes — in some areas of the structure prevented full metal-to-metal contact, degrading the electrical grounding paths.”

      “A person at Southwest working on implementing Boeing’s fix at that carrier detailed the manufacturing solution for the jets already built.

      Inside the electronics rack, Boeing is adding multiple bonding jumpers (insulated wires) and metal bonding straps secured with bonding studs (screws that provide a clear path through bare metal) that seal connections between each shelf to the wall around it and from the bottom of the cabinet to the aircraft floor.

      The person at Southwest called this “pretty straightforward.”

      “They had a problem with electrical grounding and they added some grounding wires,” he said. “You’ve got a crew of two or three mechanics and it takes them a day or two to do it.”

      • I am still working on the details as some of what they are saying makes no sense.

        Usually the termination end is a ring terminal (crimped on) and under the ring is clear metal.

        You can drill a hole and tap it and get contact via the threads to the sides but that is not normal at least in non aviation grounding. Its too iffy though might be possible with enough depth of material and quality control.

        Bonding studs would just be known good contact spots, there is nothing in a stud that is inherently a good ground, it all has to do with the contact (and you need to ensure no oxidation creeps in and starts to loose that contact)

        An anti oxidant compound is used where that is possible (has to do with exposure , material involved and the environment its all in)

        The concept and the work is relatively easy, ensuring the quality control is there and having it guaranteed to the certification’s standards not so much.

        • I hated to use up my last access to Seattle Times but thought it was worth it as the same info not available.

          One item clearly stands out, the racks are still riveted together.

          That gets into an interesting area as each section has to get good contact with another if you use it as a ground. You can use bonding wires to do that.

          Using a link to a link to ground as it were is not the way it should be done and the article says its not the way its done with modern aircrat.

          Best is you established good grounding point or points and you get to them via a direct connection.

          I would also add in the consequence of scattering out your production process.

          Still not sure if this was a threaded hole or a hole a fastener ran through. But coating it after the hole is drilled is a huge failure in basic concepts.

          • It seems that its an ‘old fashioned way’ to use the racks themselves for the grounding
            ‘More recently designed planes than the 737 “don’t use the rack as a ground path,” Schaeffer said. “They use these bonding straps instead.”

            This may have been why the ‘paint first or after’ change may have been missed in its significance. Making the rack at one plant would precede the install of equipment somewhere else which then gets installed in cockpit
            on Friday alone there were nine FAA AD for similar small issues for a range of plane and engine makers
            The top of the list was for ATR and some electrical connection issue for electronic displays [AD 2021-10-20]
            ‘the initial investigation revealed that the battery toggle switch functional item number (FIN) 7PA and the contactor FIN 1PA were two potential contributors to the reported cases.’
            Who knew that electrical connectors were constant issues for planes ?

          • Half a dozen times I had systgem suddenly quit working right and the answer always was to ground them.

            Ditto on an erratic computer room zark (no I did not install the floor, it was there when I was hired and was learning my trade and craft)

            Our very sharp electrical guy, you do know the floor is not grounded. Hmmm. Did not solve the problem but we knew going forward it NEVER was a suspect (it turned out an erratic chip in one of the processor boards that finally burned up one night and resolved that)

          • I think metal fuselages depend on rivetted fasteners for grounding, as normal rivets expand in the hole.

            How corrosion resistant that is I do not know, I’d tend to ask Viking Air hundreds of their Twin Otters operate from salt water landing areas. (Priming holes after drilling probably sounds like good practice.)

            Typically avionics units in the main bay(s) slide into trays that are bolted to the rivetted racks, probably with a ground wire from rack to connector.

            There are two things I’d be concerned about:
            – multiple ground paths are not always desirable,, though that depends on length and nature of wiring and what it runs next to (I’ve seen that with shields of signal wires in 737s).
            – with very sensitive systems, like perhaps in spook airplanes listening to you, grounding and interference is a whole nuther subject.
            Otherwise aircraft manufacturers try to avoid low-level circuits outside of enclosures.

  15. ‘Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID-19 vaccines worsening clinical disease’:

    Aims of the study: Patient comprehension is a critical part of meeting medical ethics standards of informed consent in study designs. The aim of the study was to determine if sufficient literature exists to require clinicians to disclose the specific risk that COVID-19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus.

    Methods used to conduct the study: Published literature was reviewed to identify preclinical and clinical evidence that COVID-19 vaccines could worsen disease upon exposure to challenge or circulating virus. Clinical trial protocols for COVID-19 vaccines were reviewed to determine if risks were properly disclosed.

    Results of the study: COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

    Conclusions drawn from the study and clinical implications: The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.. <

    • Bill7:

      You are now arguing that the Sun Orbits the Earth. Earth to Bill, forget if it was Galileo of Copernicus but they proved different long ago.

      There are a list of valid concerns with ANY vaccine. I have the full gambit going back to childhood and I suspect you do as well. Most of us did fine, a rare few suffered the side affects. Time to get over it, life is not perfect. You most likely still drive, your risk factor from that is huge compared to Vaccines.

      J&J once enough vaccines showed a tiny percentage of blood clots.

      Said blood clots had a distinct signature and there are something like 6 drugs to treat it (and one you do not want to treat that issue with).

      Currently its being handled as best it can with one of the safest if not the safest vaccines group in history.

      Hypothetical no long cut it, we have good data.

      • Actually, TW, in this particular case, Bill’s point does not fall into the category of “Sun orbits the Earth”.
        ADE is not a “side effect”, and it’s still an open question with regard to SARS-CoV-2. It has been shown to be an issue in the case of the related SARS and MERS viruses, so it is legitimate that the medical world is still gathering data on it in the current pandemic. There won’t be enough of that data until larger numbers of previously vaccinated people get infected, and the course of those infections is carefully monitored. If ADE is, indeed, demonstrated to occur to a significant extent, it may be a major headache.

        Whether or not that is a reason to avoid getting a CoViD vaccine is entirely subjective. There’s no certainty in this matter: just cost/benefit and risk analyses. Some people do more risk aversion than others.

        • Bill…’s post is so obscurely written I do not try to understand it.

          If he is saying that informed consent is proper, that’s obvious – is he saying it has not happened with trials vaccines against SARS2?

          Vaccines are not zero risk, look at the standard precautions against vaccines to prevent INFLEUNZA, including allergies.

          Yes, some fool doctors and their fool customers did not think about allergies. Yes, something happened in a hospital in Edmonton that sent a person suffering from severe headaches home, that is being investigated (she later died of a blood clot, had been vaccinated with the vaccine of concern for such).

          Quality control is a concern, such as with the bad batch of Salk polio vaccine in California (wasn’t mixed properly), and the gummint-favoured but perennially troubled plant the US forced J&J to use (it mixed a substance for one vaccine type into another).

          But there are obviously benefits to vaccination. Many participants in trials are willing to take more risk to get the benefits earlier, others are altruistic.

          Perspective is a very good thing for human life

          • Strange…I was able to understand Bill7’s post perfectly.
            Bill7’s post is not about side effects or quality control. It’s actually not even about vaccines. It’s about ADE in the context of a vaccination-triggered immune response, and the need to inform vaccine recipients of potential risk of this phenomenon ocurring.
            I suspect that authorities will resist such calls, so as to minimize worry and vaccine hesitency.

    • Well of course risk in general should be revealed to persons in trials – are you suggesting it was not?

      Doctors do need to pay attention to their customers, but alas:
      – some, and their customers, did not do what I thought was SOP for INFLUENZA vaccination thus should be for SARS2: prior allergic reactions.
      – a hospital in Edmonton AB is accused of turning away a woman suffering from severe headaches, she later went to a different hospital but it was too late, she died of a blood clot. That is being investigated.

      Vaccines are not zero risk, they can have side effects (such as G-B syndrome from INFLUNZA vaccination), presumably rare. Quality of manufacture is important – bad case of bad batch of Salk polio vaccine that wasn’t mixed well enough, and the recent botch of the US government’s favoured but troubled manufacturer it forced J&J to use (it put a chemical from one type of vaccine into another type).

      Informed trial participants can decide to take the risk, some did so to get protection much earlier, others for altruistic reasons of helping others.

      But your long statement is so convoluted that I get nothing meaningful from it. Not wise of you.

  16. ‘CDC Limits Review of Vaccinated but Infected; Draws Concern’:

    > At the start of May, the CDC shifted from monitoring all reported breakthroughs [of those “vaccinated”] to only those that result in hospitalization or death, Tom Clark, head of the vaccine evaluation unit for the CDC’s vaccine task force, said in an interview. The goal of the new strategy, according to the agency: maximize the quality of data collected on cases.. <

    Nothing to worry about: "You're in safe hands with BigPharma. "

    This person will remain firmly in the Control Group
    until at least late 2023, when the *first full-scale
    trials* on the experimental Covid "vaccines" are completed.. happy to compare notes, then.

    • Your choice. Its not backed up by any logic but its your choice.

      We now have data on tens of millions.

      I doubt you can process it, but J&J blood clot was so rare it did not show up in the trials.

      Something like 7 million were vaccinated before it did.

      The deaths were due (as near as I can determine) to bad hospital ops and they did not assess the nature of the blood clots and treated with the wrong medication.

      I think that was 6 women in 7 million (two died I believe).

      That does not mean their death is taken casually, for the families involved, its their world.

      What I told my wife was, if we keep us out of the hospital (we are in that group that can have a disproportional impact on severity as well as how long to treat if we don’t die) then we save that space for someone who needs it.

      I think we all owe society an obligation T and getting vaccinated is part of that.

  17. Regardless of any debate on the merits — or lack thereof — of “vaccine passports”, it looks increasingly likely that they’re going to come in some form or another:

    BBC: “No alternative to vaccine passports, says Dubai airport boss”

    “We need to get into risk management rather than risk avoidance.”

    “The desire to recover and avoid new outbreaks of coronavirus has led to the emergence of several different Covid travel passes. The European Union, the G20 and International Air Transport Association are all working on schemes.
    Mr Griffiths says even if multiple systems are introduced for checking passengers, his airport can avoid queues such as those seen at London Heathrow.”

  18. Motley Fool: “I’m Skeptical of Boeing’s New Jet Plan. Here’s Why.”

    “Boeing will also struggle to price a clean-sheet airplane competitively. The A321XLR was a relatively straightforward derivative of the A321neo and builds on an established production system. By contrast, Boeing would be developing its alternative and building a new production system from scratch: both expensive undertakings (notwithstanding Boeing’s rhetoric about new ways of engineering and manufacturing aircraft). Even if Boeing creates a technically superior jet, Airbus could win a lot of orders by undercutting it on price.
    The 757 and 767 replacement market isn’t very big at this point: certainly not big enough to support a clean-sheet aircraft design. On top of that, Airbus’ A321XLR has already captured a substantial chunk of the 757 and 767 replacement business.
    To be sure, small mid-range aircraft could become much more common over the next decade or two. However, the A321XLR is positioned to win the bulk of this business, too, because it will be ready in 2023, it shares commonality with the massively popular A320 family, and it will be cheaper than any clean-sheet Boeing competitor.
    Launching a new aircraft program to fill the gap between the 737 MAX 10 and 787-8 might seem promising in the abstract. However, between the A321XLR’s huge head start and low cost profile, I’m skeptical that such a program would be profitable for Boeing.”

    • It was noted that the same argument applied to the A330NEO, all established, lower cost etc.

      Then Boeing kicked over the ant hill and offered lower discounts on the 787.

      Its a valid point of view, its just not necessarily the right one as its financial guys again, not airplane builders.

      I am not on a roof top shouting This Is the Way, but the T-7A front and rear were assembled in 30 minutes. To the best of my knowledge, that has never been done.

      SAAB of course has a reputation for good work (rear fuselage) but all that good work is for nought if the front is out of spec.

      Ergo, going to full digital design is at least a likely possibility that does work (the rest of the engineering has to be solid as well)

      Clearly that is where Boeing is putting its developmental bucks these days (T-7A and the MQ-25)

      How well this rolls out to a LCA is conjecture for success, but that is a major change in things.

      • The bean counters at BA have hopefully already pointed out to the sales department that cut-price sales without healthy margins only weaken BA’s balance sheet. So that policy is doomed to self-destruct.

      • I remember an advance way back on the 767 program – flaps were assembled with out jigs, as pilot holes were accurately located on the parts while they were made. (I presume accurate gaging and inspection of the parts was used.)

        As for ‘digital design’, that’s vague. I’d be surprised if the 777 was anything but a digital definition. (I vaguely recall a Boeing executive describing early steps at enabling engineers to visualize the design to evaluate it at an early stage, especially for things that people interact with. However, IIRC on the 787 engineers were donning padded clothing, joint friction devices, and thick glasses to understand what pax would face. I presume they put the results of that into guidelines for future use.)

        CFD is common, verified by wind tunnel tests and flight tests.

        Stress analysis by computer was being taught to Boeing engineers in the late 60s.

        Today there is software for electro-magnetic analysis. (The 767’s generators were so optimized that the traditional 5-minute overload rating had no meaning because there was no longer enough material to slow heat buildup.)

        That said, you have to understand the methods, pay attention, and do some tests. Douglas broke the wing of the C-17 in static test – looking at structure layout I was not surprised where it broke, as FEA computation was challenged in such geometries at least in those days.

  19. BA has two unhappy customers.

    FG: Ryanair doubts Boeing will deliver first 737 MAX jets in time for summer

    Reuters: Emirates could swap B777X jets for smaller Dreamliners. The airline is currently in talks with Boeing.

    • Hardly surprising where Emirates is concerned: that train has been coming down the track for a long time. They’ll probably ditch the whole order — no merit in having a sub-fleet of niche aircraft.

      • Emirates is both old news and with Clark involved separating BS from fact is impossible. He claims there is NO contact on the 777X and Lufthansa says there is. But he is talking to Boeing about a conversion of orders? Really, I am supposed to buy that?

        Ryanair bought its tickets and took its chances and has gotten killer deals all along. They can be as unhappy as they want, Airbus has refused to make those same deals.

        Equally Ryanair is not going to be back to 100% any time soon. Another shrug.

        Only the US and UK are preferred customers in Europe now due to the vaccine roll out numbers in both countries.

        The US Government looks to be solid against the so called Vaccine Passports.

        How the rest of the world plays that ??????????? Almost certainly by the time anything cohesive is done Vaccines are implemented around the world. Pfizer and Moderna are going to have major excess to US needs soon.

        Instead of a non effective one from China you pay for you get a working one from those two given free by the US.

        Emirates can say what they want but the political and implementation of it is country by country .

      • @Bryce:

        Without Emirates’s order, how soon will BA be forced to scrap the B777X? Or writes off the R&D??

        • @ Pedro
          If Emirates pulls the plug on the 777X, it’s probably inevitable that the program will die.
          In fact, with only 191 firm orders at present, and with EIS delayed again until 2024-2025, one could argue that it already has one foot in the grave and the other foot on the grave’s edge.

          The age of the VLA is gone: too big, too heavy, too expensive.

    • Interesting snippet of sideline news on the subject of Ryanair’s dissatisfaction:

      “Ryanair remains in talks with Boeing for a significant order of the larger MAX 10 aircraft, but “we are not quite there on price yet,” Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said in an interview.
      Asked how big such a deal would be, Sorahan said it would cover both fleet renewal and growth in the 2026 to 2030 period.”

      So, Ryanair is being forced away from a “single type” fleet by increasing competition from A321s at Easyjet and Wizzair. Ryanair gets 189 passengers into its 737-800s, and will get 197 into its 737-8200s (if they ever get delivered), whereas Easyjet gets 235 passengers into its A321neos. A handy bonus at slot-restricted airports (like my local airport). The A321neos also have a greater range than the MAX10 (750km) — increasing to 1300km extra for the A321LR and 2600km extra for the XLR.
      I’d say Easyjet and Wizzair made a better choice 😉

      • From Reuters:

        Strong words from MOL of Ryanair “As the management team in Seattle continues to mismanage …. ”

        From FT: O’Leary slams ‘complacent’ Boeing over Max delivery delays

        -> Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has blasted a “complacent” Boeing for delays in delivering the airline’s troubled 737 Max aircraft.”

        -> But on Monday, O’Leary said Boeing had not delivered 14 aircraft expected in April and May, accusing the US company of mishandling its relationships with safety regulators — a particularly sensitive issue following the crashes.

        -> Boeing paused deliveries of the Max in April over an electrical issue, and promised to catch up on deliveries through the rest of the year. 

        “I think it’s disappointing and unacceptable. Certainly, if they’re treating the regulator with the same radio silence that they’re treating customers, I’d be very worried about the durability of the aircraft,” O’Leary said on a company results call on Monday.

  20. I see much volatility remaining for air travel, on top of possible reduction of air travel as video calls have been used by more people more often and on top of eco-activists attacking aviation because it is high profile.

    Canada is reluctant to ease off of travel, it was badly behind the US on vaccination thanks in part to dependence on Communist China to who it licensed technology for vaccines, the US has been helping both at government and local levels. (Towns and tribes along the border have been providing surplus vaccine to their neighbours. Americans are generous people.)

    Local fiefdoms, including some Goonervors and mayors, are doing something that resembles vaccine passports. Including benefits of preferred seating at sports events in WA state and other things.

    With fake ones about, such as a number found by Canadian POE people, and this scam:

  21. So much false information spread by poster here. In early 2021 Canada suffered vaccine shortage thanks to America’s vaccine nationalism.

    -> “Americans will be inoculated first before the country shares its shots, despite requests for co-operation from Canada.

    A Pfizer plant in Michigan was supposed to help supply vaccines to Canada. But an exclusivity deal with the U.S. government guarantees that all of its American-made doses will stay in the country until Washington’s orders are filled. Moderna has a similar arrangement regarding its plant in New Hampshire.

    These contracts mean Canada has had to source vaccines from Belgium and Switzerland, leading to shortages that have thwarted Ottawa’s vaccination drive.

    -> In November, Pfizer told The Globe and Mail that Canada would receive doses from the Michigan plant. But in January, the company said those plans had changed. On Thursday, Pfizer said it would continue supplying Canada solely from Belgium

    • @ Pedro
      The EU is exporting 50% of all vaccines manufactured within its borders, and keeping the other 50% for its own citizens. To date, this has meant that the EU has delivered more than 220 million shots to 90 different countries.
      The US and UK could learn from that. Interestingly, the US recently chided Brazil for taking Chinese vaccines, but it didn’t offer Brazil any alternative from its own stockpiles. And the UK said that it would “not be able” to send any of its vaccine stock to India. Not a good way to make friends.

  22. This report from CBC is pretty clear:

    -> The federal government has come under intense pressure from opposition politicians and other critics in recent weeks as the country’s vaccine rollout slowed. Pfizer began reducing shipments in January as it retooled its plant in Puurs, Belgium, so that it could expand its manufacturing capacity. Moderna also has cut its shipments in recent weeks.

    The delays have caused Canada to fall behind dozens of other countries in measurements of doses administered by population, according to a global vaccine tracking database maintained by University of Oxford researchers.

  23. On the subject of CoViD and flying, this incident occurred in April.

    “Scores test positive for COVID-19 on India flight to Hong Kong”

    “At least 53 passengers on a flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday”

    This occurred despite all passengers undergoing a PCR test within 72 hours of departure. It shows that testing alone isn’t going to be enough to restore confidence in air travel — unless, perhaps, one goes for a more stringent PCR + IgM test as being specified for entry into China.
    Vaccination won’t prevent travel-related infection, but it should reduce the probability of it, and it should also (greatly) reduce the severity of any outcome.

  24. @Bryce

    All of a sudden discussion of vaccines has proliferated on this site, has gone viral as the saying goes

    Before it was a subject non grata

    Any discussion was imbued with polemics contra or pro and tainted with a political divide which reduced all discussion to a shouting match

    Now it’s a done deal – most everyone in the US who wants is vaccinated, even though this is a low % of the total population, and those who are not, well there’s nothing to be done about them…

    Along with all the other ‘identities’ launched on the world there is another ‘those who identify as vaccinated’

    So Biden has declared Mission Accomplished and is devoting himself, he says, to vaccinating the World

    EU looks to poodle along slowly in US footsteps

    Back to shopping as usual

    • I’ve allowed the COVID discussion because Airbus’ forecast of recovery was tied explicitly to COVID. If, on other non-COVID posts, the topic comes up in reader comments, I’ll lower the boom again.


      • @Scott Hamilton

        I understand why Airbus takes into account the effects of measures intended to palliate the virus and facilitate airtravel

        As should, more explicitly, both airlines as all OEMs

        However the bite as well as the bark has vanished from the general discourse, Biden is only the first explicitly to declare Victory – there’s no point in being second

        The others, the rest, will fall into line implicitly and the subject will be dropped – yesterday’s news

    • @ Gerrard
      Mr. Biden can say what he wants — he’s being overly optimistic if he thinks that it’s “mission accomplished”.
      Worldwide only 1.5 billion shots have been given, which is only 10% of what’s necessary. Until everyone is done, we still have variants and vaccine escapes to worry about. And, in view of substantial vaccine hesitancy, we know that we’ll get nowhere near doing everybody.
      Even if everyone were done, we’d still have the issue of variants due to so-called “vaccine pressure”.
      Then there’s the limited protection duration. Already, plans are being made for a third “booster shot” in the autumn, and most experts think that annual boosters will be necessary.
      Notably, there’s the thorny problem of re-opening the “fishbowl countries”, which haven’t yet formulated a cogent exit strategy from their zero-virus situation. At some point, they’ll have to let the virus in…but at what price?
      Further, Bill7 has drawn renewed attention to the possible specter of ADE, which hasn’t yet been excluded as a possibility.

      So lots of very encouraging progress has been booked…but it certainly isn’t yet shopping as usual.

      • @Bryce

        As for Biden ‘overly optimistic’ is too kind – just like the previous President in a jump suit this is merely an indication that the official line is ‘we’re done’

        I guess even the CDC has figured that vaccine uptake in the US is sputtering, and that there’s no solution in sight that US politicians are prepared to impose, nor the public prepared to accept

        So ? Game over – give the stuff away to the grateful third world

        Is this not the way they usually proceed? War on this and on that is declared, victory claimed, the mess grumbles on in the background

        Meanwhile a new terror requires more urgent attention, doomsday guaranteed unless, and so new set of war games are fed to a passive and gullible public

      • @Bryce

        I’m glad you mention New Zealand – short term success bought at the expense of long term failure was brought up at the very outset of the pandemic

        The (informed) view then was prolonged isolation rendered the individual and the community ever more vulnerable to inevitable eventual exposure

        Still is the view, although those countries have too much invested in the ‘success’ of their strategies to form up a plan b

        On this reading Biden is right – it’s unwinnable

        “What happens is these viral infections are birthed when just the right mutations cause them to be able to jump to humanity. They almost all start with a pandemic. Some of them abort immediately or after a season for at times inexplicable reasons at times very obvious reasons ( MERS and SARS1 are examples). If still viable (and COVID19 appears to be winning the viability test) , the viral genome and our own immune systems do a years long “hot war” and then we settle in for a “cold war” for eternity. It has all happened before many times – and it will all happen again. There is simply no other way. It is the price of admission on this planet. It happens to humans and animals alike.”

        • @ Gerrard
          As regards NZ: there was an NZ commenter here last week (can’t remember his name) and I asked him if he knew of any strategy that the government had developed to get itself out of isolation — but he never replied. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.
          Meanwhile, Taiwan’s and Singapore’s success at keeping the virus out has been sorely challenged in the past few weeks — so the list of “zero virus” countries my soon be reduced by one or two members.

          That quote is excellent!

          • @Bryce

            The (NZ) can do hard man thinking that puts in the lockdown/isolation/zero tolerance Plan A precludes the possibility of coming up with a Plan B

            “There is but one solution – learn and understand how it is transmitted and educate the populace in methods to mitigate their risk as best they can. You never know, tools may in the future be determined that can help – the vaccines may be one such tool – but we are way too early to even begin to know that. Other than that – the war between the virus and our communal immune system must play itself out.

            Unfortunately, that is the only way. That has been a rule of living on this planet from time immemorial. I know that we feel we are indispensable – and we can figure any and everything out. Unfortunately that is just not the way this process works.”

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