P&W, Embraer pause E175-E2 engine; MTU writes off investment, sees no revenue in future for SpaceJet engine

By Scott Hamilton

Exclusive: Dec. 21, 2021, © Leeham News: Pratt & Whitney and Embraer agreed to suspend further development and production of the PW1700G for three years, LNA learned.

Another airplane without an engine.

PW and Embraer did not respond to inquiries. Separately, the aerospace company MTU reported earlier this year that it wrote off its entire investment in the PW1200G and expects no revenue from the program in the future.

Update: P&W provided this statement Dec. 22: “As already informed to the market, Embraer and P&W are evaluating E175-E2 program timing given market conditions and scope clause.

The engine was developed for the Mitsubishi MRJ. Development of the MRJ90 and follow-on MRJ70 were refined to the M100 SpaceJet when analysis concluded the MRJ90 wasn’t economically competitive with the E190-E2. A myriad of technical flaws also was discovered in the flight test vehicles that rendered the original design uncertifiable.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries indefinitely suspended the SpaceJet program in 2020. Embraer rescheduled the entry-into-service of the E175-E2 from 2021 twice, now targeting EIS for 2025. This depends on US pilot unions relaxing an airplane weight restriction in the labor contracts. The E175-E2 weight exceeds that allowed in the contracts.

MTU writes off PW1200G investment, sees zero revenue

MTU Aero Engines gave up on the PW1200G in 2020. In its Annual Report issued this year, MTU reported that it wrote off its entire investment in the PW1200G (plus a portion of its investment in the GE9X developed for the Boeing 777X). MTU didn’t break down the write-off between the two programs.

“MTU recognized impairment losses totaling €73m,” MTU wrote. “The value in use calculated for the program stakes attributable to the OEM segment was €100, for the GE9X and €0 million for the PW1200G. Determination of the value in use requires forecasts, especially regarding the expected revenue over the entire lifetime of the program.”

Although demand for the 777X is down sharply for the original business plan set forth by Boeing and GE Aviation, MTU still expects to recognize revenue from this engine.

“For the GE9X, MTU forecasts revenue of €9.8bn, while no further revenue is expected for the PW1200G program. Furthermore, it is necessary to assess the gross margin from the programs for valuation purposes. For the GE9X the estimated average gross margin over the program lifetime is 21%.”

MTU’s outlook suggests that Pratt & Whitney will at some point terminate the PW1200G program. As for the PW1700G on the E175-E2, more than 800 orders were placed for the E175-E1. Whether the E2 version would reach this number of sales is anyone’s guess. But without a viable US market, there is little prospect for the future of the E175-E2 and the likelihood the M100 SpaceJet program will be restarted is remote at best.

Embraer relies on E175-E1—for now

Effectively blocked by union Scope Clauses from selling the E175-E2 in the US market, Embraer currently relies on the aging E175-E1 to refresh US airline fleets and for growth, whenever the COVID-19 virus is defeated.

But this is a solution with an end in sight. Along with Boeing’s 767F and 777F, the E175-E1 is powered by older technology engines that won’t meet 2027 emissions standards adopted by ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization. Although member countries are the ones to enforce the standards, they typically do so. Aircraft/engine combinations that do not meet the 2027 standards can’t be produced from 2028. Update: Embraer advises the E1 does meet ICAO 2027 standards.

Correction: The original post misstated the engine designation for the Embraer E175-E2 engine as the PW1200G, which is for the Mitsubishi SpaceJet. The E175-E2’s engine is the PW1700G. The designations have been corrected.

212 Comments on “P&W, Embraer pause E175-E2 engine; MTU writes off investment, sees no revenue in future for SpaceJet engine

  1. “Although demand for the 777X is down sharply for the original business plan set forth by Boeing and GE Aviation, MTU still expects to recognize revenue from this engine.”

    That sounds like very selective optimism: we’re 9 years after program launch and there still isn’t a TIA.

    • Even with delays, I don’t think anybody seriously doubts that 777X will be certified, manufactured and delivered. So MTU will gets its revenue.

      • The Mitsubishi MRJ was cancelled, even though aircraft had been built, and flight testing was well underway.

        The 777X, with no TIA in sight yet, is now at a similar stage as the Mitsubishi jet was when it, in practice, got cancelled. If Emirates signals doubt about their order, the 777X program collapses. Officially it will only be further “delayed”, and the cancelled a few years later.

        • Best case — if the plane ever does get certified and actual deliveries ever occur — it’s looking like it will be a repeat of the 747-8.

          Amazing if BA manages to make the same mistake twice.

          The A330neo may not (yet) be a hot seller, but it had much lower development costs — and it’s certified and available now.
          A similar statement can be made about the A350-1000.

        • Boeing will not and cannot afford to let the B777X program collapse. Else they’d be handing over the widebody and Freighter market to airbus on a silver platter. IF the B777X fails to be certified and EIS by 2030, it will be the end of the duopoly.

          • If there’s little or no real-life demand for the 777X, then the program wil collapse de facto — whether BA likes it or not.

          • @Bryce

            B777X already has 30% more orders than A380 had over its lifetime. I am sure it will be just fine. Especially since Airbus seems to completely alienate Qatar and they are a big spender. When it comes to freighter version I expect a single order from Qatar cargo will dwarf all the nibbles A350F got put together.

          • @ JS
            Yes, you repeatedly told us before the Dubai airshow that you “fully expected” to see a big B777XF order from Qatar Airways — but that didn’t pan out, did it? In fact, Qatar didn’t even go to the show.

            Also, you’re using a very old order figure for the B777X, by neglecting to factor in cancellations/deletions. Current “real world” figures range from 191-235…both of which are lower than the A380 sales (251). And that excludes the shaky Emirates residue.
            Not sure how AB’s prior sales disappointment with the A380 is supposed to comfort BA if/when it suffers a failure with the B777X…but, OK, the world works in strange ways.

            I agree with you about the deteriorating relationship between Qatar and Airbus. However, it won’t be any comfort to Qatar if it switches to an airframe that just refuses to get certified (777X), or an airframe that just can’t resume deliveries (787). A real pickle for AAB! Perhaps he’ll go for the CR929?

          • @Bryce

            Are you maybe mistaking me for somebody else? I don’t think I predicted any big orders for 777XF before Dubai airshow – among other things because Qatar was not expected on that show.

            But you are right that I used old value for 777X orders – according to Boeing the current backlog is 253 – so still about the same as A380 over its whole lifetime. Again, this is for an airframe that is 2 years from certification, which to me indicates strong enough demand.

          • @ JS
            With regard to the pre-Dubai predictions: you’re right — that was “Tc” not “JS” — sorry for the confusion.
            As regards further, future sales of the 777X — they very much depends on whether the industry is still broadly interested in the concept of a VLA. The relatively tepid sales of the A350-1000 and 787-10 suggest that it’s not (together with the relative flops of the A380 and 747-8). But, since none of us has a crystal ball, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?.

          • If the 777x is cancelled, they’ve built 30 of them. That is around 6 B in aircraft right there. Hard to see that happening, but if it did, it would be a big hit and hard to think of a product where that much investment was not seen through. The GM EV-1, the Beech Starship, or the Atari ET game?

          • @JS

            According to Boeing, there are 320 gloss order of the 777X. ASC606 adjustment for 777/777X currently stands at 84. I struggle to match that to your Boeing “backlog” of 253.

            Don’t forget Emirates switched almost 40 A380 to A330 and A350 a couple years ago. We haven’t reached the end of the story yet.

          • From Wikipedia:
            “In January 2021, Boeing reduced its sales expectation for the program from 400 to 350 aircraft. Boeing reclassified 118 orders from firm to uncertain under the ASC 606 accounting rule, for 191 orders down from 309 previously.”

            An entire program with a sales expectation of just 350? That’s fine when it’s a cheap derivative like the A330neo, but a headache for a program with huge development costs.

            The last order (IAG) was almost 3 years ago.

          • I also can’t see the big Middle Eastern and other major carriers wanting to reduce their options to just the A350, an aircraft under the cloud at the moment because of maintenance costs from paint degradation. The B777-9 will cost Boeing dearly and may turn out to make a loss but it will be less of a loss to go forward than to cancel it. I suspect the aircraft will be successful because of the massive growth in Air Traffic we will see in the next 20 years. We may yet see the launch of an A350-1100 stretch to compete.

          • How can a 777 freighter compete against the A350F when it weighs 25T more and does not have any siginificant payload or space advantage?

          • This a pattern:

            LH ordered more 777X than A35k

            LH stated they ordered too many 777X ( and not enough A35K )
            and reduced their 777X order quite a bit.

            other things:
            * will 777X performance stay as announced for a delayed EIS or is this a moving target?

            * what outcome did Embrayer expect in respect to the scope clause being adjusted in the future?
            Did they hope for partner Boeing having significant influence?

          • @ William
            ME carriers don’t have to limit themselves to the A350: they also have the 787 as an option, don’t they?

        • I honestly wonder why Boeing proceeded with this program. Could they not have streteched the 787 10 with a new wing and engine? 777x is not competitive. Next Airbus is going to come at 787 with an A350-950 which will be based on the A350F and wind down the A359. Why? Cos it make perfect sense. This will make things tougher for the 787 9 and 10

          • If it doesn’t get certified, the B777X will be going nowhere.
            9 years after intro and still no (sign of a) TIA.
            With self-cert no longer an option, it seems that BA just no longer knows how to get a plane certified.

          • 787 BIG:
            Will Boeing ever do another barrel section based airliner?
            The 787 center wingbox is “tiny”.
            / 777X retains the orignal 777 center wingbox (and will still be Al based.
            I do wonder how they managed to carry the quite a bit higher loads introduced by the much wider CFRP wing.

          • The “A350-950” from the A350F is heavier and more expensive than the A350-900 so I doubt it will be offered. The 777-9 and its 777-XF derivative economics depend also on its engines reliability and cost. We don’t know yet how well the GE9X competes with the Trent-XWB97. The A350F sturdiness in operations is another unknown. It can be a market split where the A350-1000 takes the pax orders and the 777-XF the freight orders maybe in combination with Boeing converted B777-300ERF’s.

        • @Bryce, The B777-9 with 426 economy class seats has about 20% greater capacity than the A350-1000. That makes it of interest in slot limited airports like Dubai (which loved the 550 seat A380-800 for this reason). They need big airliners to feed their hub with the maximum number of passengers. Of course Emirates voracious appetite for the A380 still couldn’t save the A380 program.

          • Previous discussions of the VLA concept here have pointed out that an A350-1000 (in its standard 3-3-3 configuration) can carry as many passengers as a 777-9 at 86% load factor. So, unless your planes are consistently absolutely chock full, the A350 can serve your purposes just fine. With the rumored 3-4-3 configuration in the A350, the difference melts away even further.

            One way of dealing with slot-restricted airports is to use secondary airports. For example, London Gatwick is becoming increasingly popular for longhaul, thus avoiding London Heathrow. Also, with quieter modern engines, nightime arrivals/departures are becoming more of a possibility. Most airlines seem to consider 2x daily flights in a 787 to be preferable to a single daily flight in a 777-9.

            Outside of the Gulf, there’s very little demand for the 777X — most airlines seem to think that smaller widebodies can serve them just fine.

          • Nope.

            In a two-class configuration (the same as the B777-8) the A350-1000 can fly 369 passengers: 54 business and 315 economy.

            Your claim of 20% more capacity is false.

          • @Pedro, if they’re the same then show the published figures for both airliners in the same post.

        • @bilbo

          Boeing uses program accounting, which matches revenues with expenses over the life of the program, instead of when the money is spent (invoice date, if you will).

          So when BA wrote off $6.5 billion in Q3-2020, they were saying that these expenses will not be able to be covered under program accounting. Hence….a loss.

          • I know that, but I am referring to MTU, not boeing. they will get some revenue but will it be a net profit?

          • Just reducing likely sales in say the next 10 years – because of delays to certification- will reduce revenue and trigger a forward loss too.
            Meanwhile the 777F is getting more sales for longer than thought say 5 years back so that has windfall profits.
            However I dont think are splitting the 777 program up to see which version is making or losing money under program accounting

          • Duke:

            I would guess you are wrong, 777X is a separate program, its just using the same assembly area (or will be)

  2. Embraer better start studying E170/175-E1 re-engining options, focussed on meeting 2027 environmental restrictions..

      • Well you have the GE Passport up to 20k and RR Pearl 10X with >18k thrust, so Embraer has options for the E1 jets. Flying the same routes with the GE Passport you can reduce your fuel load and hence MTOW.

    • It has me think that we may be seeing the penultimate generation of gas turbine engines. They are just too expensive to develop and certify. We are already seeing that engine manufacturers are declining to invest in turbo props. There will probably be a generation of geared turbofans (RR Ultrafan derivatives, GE) for widebodies and some kind of offering for Boeings NSA but that will be the end.

      Fuel cells have had breakthroughs and one aspect of them is that it will be possible to design and certify a cell of say 250kw (possibly even derived from truck or earth moving machinery) and simply stack a dozen of them to achieve the required power levels. A failure will have minimal consequence.

      So we will see aircraft such as the ATR-72/Q400 flying with compressed hydrogen and fuel cells within a few years. The compressed hydrogen may transition to cryogenic (long before Airbus launch anything in 2035) when more range is required.

      Here is my prediction which I believe has a 65% chance of realisation:
      As the fuel cell power density improves we may see a transition from propellers to electrically ducted fans in fuel cell aircraft.

      PEM platinum fuel cells are 60% efficient, this efficiency is what makes gaseous hydrogen flight possible. A type of fuel cell called the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell will be around 65% efficient. Because these operate at high temperatures they don’t require catalysts and the heat can be recovered in a turbine driving efficiency to 85%. These fuel cells are limited in life to about 5000 hours and also energy density.

      I think as hydrogen takes of in the next 5 years we will see much happening in the world of fuel cells that will completely change things.

      • William:

        The reason Jet engines exist is that it was clear that large TP engines are hugely complex. Nothing low cost about them. There is a reason the A400 cost North of $200 million US for half the capacity of a C-17 which came in right at 200 million.

        What you are in serious error of is making an unsupported statement and then compounding the error by extrapolation from a mistaken data point.

        Where there is demand, there is plenty of jet engine development. RR despite its issues has done the Pearl for business jets, P&W the PW800, GE is a player, Safran was and likely will be again (have to look up MTU)

        The problem is regional jets are boxed into a corner. Contrary to what you would think, you have smaller piston/TP and then a complete drop off until you get to the LCA.

        At least part of that is the Scope Clauses. Caveat is that AK Airlines has not ordered an E2 yet.

        So scope clause and or not making money or both and regional s are in peril. As PW is seeing, come out with a new viable engine (heavier unfortunately) and only the E2-195 is selling. Mitsubishi is gone.

        Mostly the rest of the world jumps from the ATR/Dash 8 to LCA as well.

        The US was by far the biggest driver of the regional market and at least right now, it does not exist without the US and that market is scoped out.

        Even Embraer whiz bang TP is a 500 mile optimum range aircraft and no more than 800 miles.

        Regional s look to be like Horse Plowing , some, but not many

        • The original tranche of C17 seems to have gone for $39b in apparently 1995 dollars (120 @ $325m ). 3 tries to get the wing design right, some other stuff.
          Your rich fount of alternate facts indicate that you could do a perfect job as Trump47 press outlet.

          • Uwe:

            Back at you, a guy by the name of Tin Foil hat comes to mind.

            Petty stupid to try to Apples and potatoes, A400 also had its development costs you are not talking about.

            The best metric is what they sold for.

          • Fully incapable of owning your errors/intentional misrepresenttions, are you?

            A400M pricing is just like the initial tranche of C17 the _distributed development and production cost_.

            Lockheed didn’t make a dime on that initial C17 tranche
            and afaik neither did Airbus on the A400M.

            later production C17 could be sold for production plus margin.
            I suppose the same will happen in A400M sales.

        • You’re really complicating this. All I am saying is that there will be no further investment in development of a new generation improved turboprops.

          The P&WC NGRT program that might have reduced fuel burn by 20% seems to have died. Maybe it will resurrect with the Embraer TPNG but I doubt it.

          This segment of the market will be taken over by fuel cells and gaseous compressed hydrogen and maybe latter cryogenic hydrogen.

          Pratt & Whitney itself is now investing in hybrids:

          As far as the A400M goes. If the A400M had of been a USAF program it would have been a labelled a success because the programs development budget over runs would have been simply absorbed by the massive production runs the US would have authorised.

          European governments responded to problems (an all new all composite aircraft with all new engines) with the A400M by stretching development over longer periods to both solve their own national budged expenditure problems and latter to solve Airbus.

          Medium airlifters like the highly regarded Transvaal C-160 were initially not to be replaced because the A400M was not designed for that job. Instead these aircraft were retired early and a replacement design not developed under the lie/myth that the A400M could replace them as well. (this securing funding from replacing the C160, which suited everyone). This is why we now have C130J orders from Europe.

          Nevertheless an A400M can land on a beech in Holland or Normandy or elsewhere in Europe having flown direct from the USA and can take off just like a C130J. (Plenty of YouTube of these exercises with beech goers looking on) I doubt a C17 could do this.

          One of the ‘screw ups’ with the engines was the EASA certification of the engines with MTU having to go over their certification paper work which took 3 years.

          If you were going to make another airlifter in the A400M class I suspect you’d just hang PW1100G engines of the airframe and use EGT ‘electrical ground taxiing to ensure the aircraft could back up by itself and not get bogged.

          • It’s generally a good idea to just ignore the uninformed shouting, ranting and posturing in the margins and instead concentrate on the various quality comments here 😉

        • Duke:

          No investment in Turbo Prop that would move an A220+ class aircraft

          AK is moving to E175 replacing a lot of the Dash 8s.

          So no, I do not see a renaissance in TP nor does Airbus as there is no investment in a new one.

          The P&W is an update of existing, nothing new.

          • AFAIK Horizon Air (AK’s regional service provider) has more Dash 8 than E175. Doesn’t it tell you something??

            -> “Belief and seeing are both often wrong.”

            Robert S. McNamara

          • Pedro:

            Well that is a hoot. Seeing, is that not how we navigate our way through the world? I see a car coming and I don’t pull out in front of it. Works well.

            As usual you miss the point, at one time Horizon was vast majority of Dash 8. Now its a decreasing number.

            AK prefers the jets (or its customers do).

            Factually at one time Horizon had 52 Dash 8. Now 32 Dash 8 vs 31 E175.

            Factually they were heavy into the Swearigan MIII TP as well as F-28 TP

            About 119 TP in the fleet at one point.

            Can you say historical tr4end? Sure you can.

            Me? I am wondering if they go for the E195-E2

          • Horizon has 32 Dash 8 vs. 30 E175, according to planespotters.

          • @TW:

            According to AIN, ATR is the *best-selling regional aircraft since 2010* in the 50 to 90 seat market.

            The number of E175 you said Horizon flies is wrong. As usual, you see what you want to see. Lol.

        • These are very minor improvements to existing turboprops. They are insignificant and fall well short of the 15%-20% possible and that are probably needed to reenergise the turboprop sector. The application of the kind of technology seen in the LEAP 1B is lacking.

          Pratt & Whitney Canada has the NGRT (New Generation Turbo Prop) Engine in development but nothing is happening. It’s hard to see an application? A superfast ATR-72 or an ATR96 or Embraer’s equally still born Embraer TPNG that will fall foul of scope clauses anyway or the dying Q400.

          P&WC is putting money into hybrid electric turboprops.

          With COP26 pretty much receiving universal pledges of net zero by 2050 and even big oil companies like shell pledging there seems no chance money will be put into this (especially while Scope clauses kill the market)

          Hence I see the sub 400nmi turboprop market being taken over by gaseous hydrogen fuel cell aircraft. Current gas turbines are 32% efficient. Fuel cells are 60% efficient (maybe 56% allowing for motor/inverter losses).

          Hydrogen can be produced at 700 bar at 80% efficiency and converted to motive energy at nearly 60% giving a round trip efficiency of 48%.

          Jets I think will continue to dominate anything over 100 seats and 300nmi but will move to increasing levels of SAF approaching 100%.

          • There’ll probably be a two-tier approach to this:
            Certain countries will embrace SAF and hydrogen as soon as feasible, and others will stay stuck in the old ways as long as they can. It’s easy to name some of the probable candidates in each of these groups.

          • @Bryce, Gaseous compressed hydrogen using fuel cells and integrated into existing or modified ‘turboprop’ airframes seems as if it will be ready to go well within 5 years (universal hydrogen, Zero Avia, H2Fly. This is 15 years before the 2035 Airbus cryogenic fuelled gas turbine powered aircraft. They don’t suffer from the problems of battery electric aircraft (battery life, recharging times, battery replacement costs, battery weight) and gaseous compressed hydrogen is relatively easy to produce on a small scale. It can even be produced at small airports. It will be a little like the battery electric car: it works but won’t be powered by renewables.

            SAF is of course 95% of the solution and I think will be so effective the transition to cryogenic hydrogen may never happen.

  3. “But this is a solution with an end in sight. Aircraft/engine combinations that do not meet the 2027 standards can’t be produced from 2028.”

    Sounds more ‘end’ than ‘solution’ to me.

    Is there a business case for a new, scope clause compliant, aircraft that someone can build that meets standards?

    • Frank:

      They will get a waiver, or pay airlines to stack orders and then cancel as needed.

      And no, scope, complaint and a business case are all contradictory to each other.

      Embraer would have to short the E-175 to take weight out. Or offer a reduced range model that was below the weight limit.

      That is why BBD went with the C series, there is no future down in the regional jet area.

      • I have mixed feelings about this. I see that the only way another commercial aviation supplier to co-exist with the duopoly is by addressing niche markets, in other words, to live by eating the crumbs left in the table. This means that you need very lean and directed programs in order to be successful with a very small number of sales. BBD was too ambitious, and almost got out of the business. Now with the A220, Airbus is not leaving any crumb in the table, and is eating everything.
        In the long term, it will be bad for the customer, with only high density hubs with flights available.

        • There are other niches, besides feeding on the crumbs.

          The domestic Chinese market is a huge “niche” that will — sooner or later — be lost to the established OEMs.

          “Disenfranchised” countries also form a sizable niche, which will inevitably be addressed by China/Russia.

          Early Hydrogen users also form an interesting niche.

        • “In the long term, it will be bad for the customer, with only high density hubs with flights available.”

          David Neeleman doesn’t thing so

          • Have to see, but many markets are getting dropped.

            He may be able to pick off mid level markets but so its South West.

            Its places like Milwaukee and Boise that are pretty much dead end destinations that will get less and less.

            Almost all can drive to a larger city and catch a flight as needed.

            Some ops like Cape Air exist. But its not like it was.

      • @ TW: Yes, the whole airline industry has been upgaging for almost two decades. Upgaging is part of the history of airlines. Bombardier made a good decision, but as noted in “Air Wars,” the Duopoly did not want a high tech newcomer for competition. The CSeries could be flying for decades to come. Hopefully, Airbus uses plenty of Bombardier workers.

        • “ Upgaging is part of the history of airlines”

          This is an over simplification. For example:
          * yes short haul between major city pairs is upgaging. Cities are growing and once you reach 4 flights a day better to upgage than add more flights.
          * but long haul where not slot constrained is down guaging. Hence the end of the jumbo jets and the struggle the 777x is having.
          * Breeze will be testing the viability of mid range PTP using the a220. Also on average a down gauge.

          If you ask yourself what would a consumer want it is probably to go to their local airport and fly directly to where they want to go. Outside the major markets that will almost certainly involve a smaller aircraft.

          We almost have the aircraft for it. p&w is working on a GTF with a new core. It will give 10-15% improvements over the current GTF. Put that on an a220 with a dedicated CFT and you get a 4500nm aircraft.

          • Yes, good point on international travel. Big changes, too, with the XLR, A220, and who knows maybe the 737Max-7 with route fragmentation. But if someone offers a cheaper two-segment flight using a 777X to the hub, the fickle traveler could easily take that. Merry Xmas to All!

          • jbeeko:

            Or no aircraft. The reality is that your pilot needs to be as capable in 10 seats as 500.

            the Aircraft have to be serviced as if it was 500 pax.

            The cost of all that on 10 seats vs 500 means its a huge cost to fly from a smaller city to a larger one to link into the network.

            At one time I could link a Dash 8 out of a Seattle Arrival to run up to Bellingham (round trip) for little added cost.

            Then AK like all the rest realized it was a cost looser rev wise. Its now $300. That is a lousy 90 miles trip. I take the bus now.

            Last time I took it, totally full. I can’t afford it if others can.

          • For some people, PTP is important. For others, it’s cost.

            As I get older, I find that I am more willing to pay extra to be less inconvenienced. Waiting around airports for 3-4 hours (more if you miss your connection) is a job for the young.

            My youngest is flying down to South America for the holidays.
            4 flights, through Chicago, then Miami, then a domestic connection. AA was late so she missed a leg. 35+ hours to get where she was going.

            My body aches just thinking about it…

          • @ Frank
            Conversely: if you want to talk about age, traveling via a hub on longhaul flights helps to prevent DVT — you get the chance to do some brisk walking and stair-climbing so as to stimulate bloodflow. You also get the opportunity to drink quality beverages, eat quality food, and use spacious toilets. I love changing planes at Gulf airports — it’s like a mini vacation in itself 😎

          • Southwest now flying direct to Bellingham from the major cities in Western US and Honululu (excluding NW).
            They aim to tap into Canadian passengers from just across border too.

          • @Bryce. I certainly have been at the Heineken Bar at Dubai several times. Singapore and some of the Middle Eastern hubs have put a big effort into making their airports attractive to travellers. I make use of the airside hotel at Dubai. I leave Sydney in a morning flight, then get a good 6-7 hours sleep in an airside hotel before getting on to my next leg. You can do the same at Johannesburg, Singapore etc. A scheduled 12 hour flight from Johannesburg to Sydney turned into a 17 nightmare and I ended up with DVT. The old B747-400 seat width and pitch is significantly inferior to the A380-800. I’m of two minds in regards to the Qantas project sunrise direct Sydney-London/Europe flights. On the kind of 7-10 hour flights A220-300 and A321XLR a break in the middle is not needed.

          • Frank:

            Lo the days when there was a 24 hour layover in Seattle due to a bad fit on flight schedules!

            We had one right at 24 hours and another at 18 hours. Ungh.

        • So from what I understand from my buddy, unionized workers were given a choice:

          1) Stay with BBD
          2) Go to Airbus with the A220

          He went. He feels sorry for the guys that stayed behind…

    • Is there a case for a new scope clause that marches the aircraft available?
      This is how seriously the airlines are actually taking co2 reduction

        • (US) unions only see light at dusk.

          i.e. they are about as dysfunctional as US type management.
          ( being value- (re)distributive rather than creative )

      • the scope clause as currently structured is dumb and bad for both pilots and airlines.

        the scope clause should be restructured to be purely route miles and seats based with no other parameters.

        <1000 miles, 1000 mile routes flown by “regionals” today) while allowing the airlines to invest in more efficient aircraft.

        for the airlines it would mean long-thin routes could no longer be serviced by regional affiliates, but on balance they would save money because of the more efficient aircraft.

        but it will never happen, because neither side is willing to allow the other to benefit, even if it is in their own best interest.

        • That seems like the logical solution.
          The other bet is that scope clause won’t change and a new aircraft is far away. Hedging on E175E1 orders and stocking up in the next six years may be a pragmatic strategy.

        • Agree. As there are countless routes involved, Neither side of the mainline pilot union nor the regional pilots are willing to risk losing the territory by redefining the scope clause.

          • Technology and competitors will eventually bypass scope unions and airlines.

      • There probably needs to some kind of Jihaad Crusade against the scope clauses. They’re very damaging to aviation. They destroy the 50-100 seat range of aircraft not only within the USA but globally. They make aviation less fuel efficient, they ensure smaller towns and cities are underserved. They’re completely reprehensible.

        • There are no ‘global’ scope clauses.

          The reason they do exist is that airlines would gladly add more pilots and staff in a regional airline they have control over, then better paying jobs at a mainline carrier.

          What would stop airlines from shifting all of it’s domestic narrow body aircraft to a sub-contactor paying their pilots $30k a year and operating only widebodies in the main carrier?

          That’s what would happen…

          • Most countries and jurisdictions don’t have anything like the scope clauses and these ultra low wages have not happened. The EU doesn’t have scope clauses and wages at Ryan Air and Wizz seem to be as good or higher than Southwest, Delta and United.

            There is something else keep the wages of regional pilots low, possibly being forced to fly undersized aircraft to comply with scope clauses.

          • IMU you have to show flighthours on regionalls ( or mil frames?, recently increased to ~1500?) to be eligible for main line.

            That requirements hands an airline a lever to push upcming pilots through slave tours on regional aircraft.
            Tomorrow, tomorrow i will earn riches …

          • European airlines can set up bases in lower cost countries. Problem solved.

  4. Did Embraer ever have good reason to believe the scope clauses would be lifted? Or was it hope and a prayer all along?

    • I know we bash Boeing all the time, for being greedy and not letting the engineers run the show – but IMHO, Embraer really dropped the ball on this one.

      Not only did they blow it on the scope clause changes which never materialized, but they didn’t see that the rest of the E2 line wouldn’t match up well against the A220 and didn’t really fit the market.

      Much like what happened to the A380, when carriers moved away from spoke and hub, the market changed on them.

      Airlines found an aircraft in the A220, that fits in nicely below the workhorses of their fleets – the A320Neo & the 737 Max8. I think one of the reasons is that it’s range (which is close to the workhorses) gives them a flexibility to swap aircraft in and out of routes.

      Let’s say Delta wanted to open up a route from Boston to Sacramento, CA – 3000 miles. They could start it with an A220-300. If demand rises, they could bump it up to the A320 family. If it falls, but there is still some demand, they slap an A220-100 on it. Pretty much any route a workhorse flies, so can the A220.

      You can’t do that with a regional jet. As well, wanna piss off your customers? Let them fly that on 2×2 seating for the 5-6 hours it would take.

      Maybe it’s just pure luck that BBD made this aircraft, or maybe they just read the situation correctly (but messed up on the execution of it).

      I think after looking at things, Boeing also saw where the E2 line was at and this factored into their decision to walk away from the JV.

      • “You can’t do that with a regional jet. As well, wanna piss off your customers? Let them fly that on 2×2 seating for the 5-6 hours it would take.”

        The Ejets offer far more space than the tradition CRJ regionals. If the airline puts in decent soft seats, inseat power & catering it seems ok.


        Embraer is the unchallenged market leader around 100 seats, the E190 was very successful. The A220 family is aimed 120+ seats. The E195-E2 competitor A220-100 has low orders compared to the A220-300.

        While E195-E2 and A220-100 have the same capacity & engines, the E195 seems lower cost overall.

        • I’ve worked on the E-Jets. At the end of the day, it’s a regional aircraft. I dunno about you, but when I flew on ANY regional aircraft into a hub, my first thought was “I can’t wait to get on something a little bigger.”

          Embraer WAS the leader at 100 seats. That market is gone, except for the older series that remains. BBD – out. Mitsubishi – out. E2 line – an orphan.

          Save for Azul, not one mainline carrier has ordered it into their fleet.

          • jbeeko:

            Group speak? Mass hallucination? Don’t forget that Mitsubishi and Embraer bought into it.

          • So long as 1/ I can stand in the aircraft 2/ it has toilets on board 3/ it’s no so small the overhead bins can’t take everyone hand luggage I’m comfortable. The ejets seem fine to me for a 3-4 hour flight.

          • @ Julian
            Strictly speaking, it’s KLM Cityhopper that has the E2 on offer — which is the regional leg of KLM.
            KLM’s Embraers are lovely aircraft, and very popular, but they’re used for relatively short flights on thinner routes, e.g. as hub feeders into / out of Amsterdam.

          • @Bryce

            That is correct. Cityhopper, Transavia and Martinair are the subsidiaries of KLM;


            KLM Cityhopper is the regional airline subsidiary of KLM, headquartered in Haarlemmermeer, North Holland, Netherlands. It is based at nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. As a subsidiary of Air France–KLM, it is an affiliate of SkyTeam. The airline operates scheduled European feeder services on behalf of KLM.

            KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (literal translation: Royal Aviation Company, Inc.),[6] is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands.[7] KLM is headquartered in Amstelveen, with its hub at nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. It is part of the Air France–KLM group and a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Founded in 1919, KLM is the oldest operating airline in the world, and has 35,488 employees with a fleet of 149 (excluding subsidiaries) as of 2021.[8] KLM operates scheduled passenger and cargo services to 145 destinations.

            They even have their own headquarters, in different locations.

            Apples and oranges

      • Embraer made some key strategic mistakes, for sure. But similar to Boeing, they were reluctant to pull the trigger and launch the E2 in 2013 because E1 was still very young (younger than 737-NG) and selling well. When they were weighing-up options, moving away from the 2-2 x-section was also considered, to 2-3 like the CSeries. Then they opted not to. The result however was a 75% new a/c (ie. more revamped than either A320neo or 737 MAX) with significantly more range and capacity, but whose full potential was not even well-marketed.
        The CSeries / A220 often wins on perception. A bit like the A319s with 4x overwing exits, yes some customers were sold on the extra revenue potential but most were not, because that option comes with extra FA cost too. Ditto the A220-300, which is not seeing much demand in LOPAs >150 seats which means it is in almost same segment as E195-E2 — not one above.
        And then there is range: A319 and 737-700 both offer even more than the A220 and can fly the shorter TATL routes, but who ever did? You can count the customers on one hand and the number of a/c configured for those routes on two.
        In summary, extra seats and extra range can sound great on paper or in a nice range map in a glossy PPT. But most airlines are simply going to deploy larger NBs or small WBs on routes that can supposedly now be done by ‘x-over jets’. Meaning said x-over jets are carrying more structural weight than needed for their average mission profiles.

        • “Meaning said x-over jets are carrying more structural weight than needed for their average mission profiles.”

          I think this is true in general. Look at SouthWest with the 737’s, the average segment is well under the aircraft max range. Same with RyanAir, EasyJet, Wizz etc.

          AirBaltic is applying that same single aircraft model but with the A220. Their flights are between 150 and 2400nm and block hours are up to 18/day. The average flight seems to be about 2.3 block hours. Swiss also loves the flexibility of the A220.

          Point is the A220 has the trans-con capability to be used in this way, mix of long and short routes regardless of winds. It also has the fuel capacity to do some tankering to avoid always needing to refuel.

          The E Jets are just a bit underspec to be used this way.

        • “The CSeries / A220 often wins on perception.”

          Yah – that must be the reason. All the mainline carriers who ordered the A220 bought them on ‘perception’ right? How about the A220 is just a better aircraft and fills their needs better?

          “Ditto the A220-300, which is not seeing much demand in LOPAs >150 seats which means it is in almost same segment as E195-E2 — not one above.”

          We’ve been through this before. As an airline, you do NOT go above 150 seats, just to get your aircraft to 155, or even 160. SWA will not add more seats into their Max 7. Doing so means you need another stew; 50 pax per stew. You stay under that number. Simple economics.

          “Meaning said x-over jets are carrying more structural weight than needed for their average mission profiles.”

          The 319 & the Max 7 also weigh a lot more. The 319’s OEW is 93,900 lbs. The Max 7 doesn’t have an OEW yet, but it will be around there. The A220’s is 81,750 lbs.

          12,000+ lbs lighter and all 3 will not exceed 150 seats. A220-300 flies 3,600NM, 319 flies 3,750 and the Max 7 is supposed to have a range of 3,850.

          The 319 & Max 7 are shrinks, the -300 is a stretch.

          Give JetBlue some time on the TATL routes. You know, the guys who replaced their E-Jets with the A220’s.

          Speaking of weight:

          539 lbs – E2-195
          510 lbs – A220-300

          The average weight (OEW) per passenger, at the exit maximum. Even at the 3 stew max pax of 150, the A220 has an average of 545 lbs.

          On a side note:

          Many people who post use the continual refrain:

          The E2 is more efficient, costs less to operate, lower trip costs, etc.

          I think that’s more marketing PR stuff – just because Embraer painted ‘Profit Hunter’ on their plane. if airlines are such penny pinchers, as we know them to be, and they are choosing to order the A220 over the E2 line – must be something there.

          • So why did Porter went with E2? Basically whenever the A320 is being considered the A220 will win over E2. If it is only A220 versus E2, I am not so sure.

          • Porter could get far earlier delivery, better pricing and export finance that it could not get with the A220. That’s why.

          • “The 319 & Max 7 are shrinks, the -300 is a stretch.”

            The -300 is the design point. The -100 is a shrink and the -500 would be a stretch.

          • Agree Scott. And if the airplane was so inferior that financial advantages would not matter.

          • @Frank

            It seems the MAX 7 would be quite a bit heavier than the 737-700. Does it mean the MAX 7 consume more fuel?

          • The ranges quoted above for the B737-7 and A319 I believe are all with additional tanks in the hold. The A220-300 may yet become available with an optional supplementary fuel tank derived from the ACT developed for the Business Jet version. That at least according to major customer David Needleman’s musings. I imagine the tank is not an issue (it’s already engineered and certified). It’s only a matter of a slight MTOW boost. We will then have a 4000nmi range A220-300

          • Southwest’s massive order of MAX 7 proved that airlines don’t always pick the best jet. They didn’t even invite AB to bid. As long as Boeing put piles of cash (compensation credits) on the MAX, it could sway customers.

          • @Pedro

            By and large, yes. If you have to lug around a heavier amount of weight, you have to spend more gas to do it.

            I’m thinking, however – that Scott and the aerospace teckkie guys could speak better to that, than I could.

            SWA and the Max 7 is a special case. You always have outliers

          • Keep in mind that the E2 does what Porter wants to do.

            But they are a small operation compared to Delta

          • @Max

            In addition to what Scott said;

            Porter isn’t in the top 5 for largest airlines in Canada. In a country with the population size of California. Let that sink in for a second.

            This is also pretty indicative of who is ordering the E2 line.

            Air Astana
            Air Kiribati
            Air Peace
            Azul Brazilian Airlines
            Binter Canarias
            Helvetic Airways
            KLM Cityhopper

            But at the end of the day, like Neeleman of Breeze, it’s apples and oranges. E2 is a regional jet. A220 is not.

        • “moving away from the 2-2 x-section was also considered, to 2-3 like the CSeries.”

          Brazil is still a country with high import duties. There is no doubt that a 2-3 section Embraer that could have threatened Boeing Sales would have attracted WTO action by the US and likely counter tariffs worse than anything that happened to Bombardier (and with far more justification)

      • I don’t agree with this. Embraer did what they could do. Embraer cannot afford a 5 abreast program with composite wings without external partners. Therefore, re-engining the E2 was the best option under the companies financial abilities.
        They wanted to only guarantee that the current customers stays with the E-Jets. But this is hard to do with Airbus offering the A220 together in A320 sales packages with unrefusable offers.
        The E2 has lower trip costs and same same seat mile costs than A220-300, and also has lower acquisition costs. Therefore, if it is losing sales to A220, is not due to only technical aspects.

        • I believe for the A220, airlines can offer a premium product and have opportunities to earn more.

        • This is an interview with David Neeleman of Breeze and Crankyflier:

          Cranky: Okay! You ordered the 220s. Those are coming in April next year and now you’ve got [the Embraer 195s coming from Azul]. Are you getting rid of those when the [220s] come?

          David: No. One’s an apple and one’s an orange. They have completely different missions to them and will never overlap, probably. They’ll be doing different things.


          Cranky: Is the big differentiator here just the size of the airplane? Is that what you’re saying, because Allegiant’s got plenty of A319s. This is obviously smaller [than the A320], but the A220-300 is probably in the same range.

          David: Yeah, but that’s different. [The 220] has 7-hour range. We can fly Salt Lake to Maui or Denver to Kahului. That’s a whole different bird. It’s not a “cheap” thing in that case. What you can do [with] premium, you can’t really put economically on the 195s. But we could pull out a bunch of coach seats [overnight] and put first class seats in the 220s. So that plane will be flying long-haul and we’ll be flying thin markets where…

          I’ve done this before. We’ve got [A]330s flying on Azul to the US. And an eight-hour flight on that airplane costs, call it, $100,000 for a flight. And if you can put an [A321]LR on it — a little range-challenged so you need an [A321]XLR — but if you have an XLR you’d probably be $50,000 to $60,000. And then [the A220] is under $30,000. So it’s just a whole different thing where you can actually fly city pairs that nobody has been able to fly before…. Usually range is equated with widebodies.

          Cranky: Your point still goes back to this idea of the secondary/tertiary markets that that need longer range with the 220s that you can now serve because there really isn’t another airplane that can do it… unless it’s a giant airplane that’s not gonna make sense anyway?

          David: Correct, exactly right.


          David: The 195 works good at about 2 hours. Once you start getting to 3 hours, the fuel consumption per seat is… I mean the E2 has the same engines as the 220 and it’s burning 20% less fuel than the 195s are. So you can imagine if we have 145 seats on a 220 — that’s the coach configuration — and it’s burning less fuel than the 195s and you fly the thing on three-hour, four-hour, five-hour stage lengths… there are a lot of three, four-hour transcons in the US as well.

          I don’t think we’ll have any routes for the 195 that are over 2 hours, maybe 2 hours 15 minutes. The fuel doesn’t make sense. It burns 600 gallons an hour and the 220 will burn maybe you know, 560, or something. But the [acquisition] cost of the 220s is a lot more, obviously. So you have to fly it more but if you’re flying it losing money on certain days of the week, then that doesn’t work either, so [the 195 and 220] work good together.

          • “So you can imagine if we have 145 seats on a 220 — that’s the coach configuration — and it’s burning less fuel than the 195s and you fly the thing on three-hour, four-hour, five-hour stage lengths… there are a lot of three, four-hour transcons in the US as well.

            I don’t think we’ll have any routes for the 195 that are over 2 hours, maybe 2 hours 15 minutes. The fuel doesn’t make sense. It burns 600 gallons an hour and the 220 will burn maybe you know, 560, or something. But the [acquisition] cost of the 220s is a lot more, obviously. ”

            That summarizes it. The A220 is a small mainline aircraft capable of up to 7 hour flights (and watch this space, 8 hours coming up). The E2-195 is at heart still a regional aircraft.

          • Great insight from the interview with David neelman.
            So now we know the economics of both planes are very close and the ability to put in business class seats makes the A220 more appealing.

          • Breeze’s A220 looks to have three lavatories, one more than its E195.

          • Pls do not mislead readers with the interview.

            David discussed the fuel consumption of former 195s not E2s.

      • The Airplane design formerly known as CSeries was a much less viable competitor before the handover to Airbus.
        ( not from the design metrics side but from political circumstances )

    • Since the scope clauses are imposed by the major airline pilots unions on major airlines I would be flabbergasted that anyone could get reliable information or commitments from a union official or airline executive with good relations that these unions were going to end them.

      There are good and compelling reasons to dispose of them:
      -They eliminate development of the middle ground of aircraft. Without scope clauses there would probably be a strong market of 70-100 seat aircraft. They would likely be produced in large numbers and have modern efficient engines that were worth the engine makers investing in.
      -Aircraft of this size should have good performance and fuel burns as good as the A320/MAX per seat and might be able to point to point small to mid size cities and connect towns to cities making those places more pleasant to live.
      -They might even reduce over all fuel burn. Scope clauses may conflict with the ICAO CORISA objectives which also call for a 10% reduction in fuel burn by better routing.

      • Suited airlines to agree back then too. Meant the then mostly independent regionals couldnt eat the majors lunch with their cheaper pilots.

        Slightly different size of planes but that ‘intra Texas regional’ with new way of cutting costs grew into a monster flying from coast to coast.

    • I imagine the British SAS, who are a reconnaissance group meant to remain unobserved while they gather information, would be interested in the stealth eVTOL would be capable off. Quiet, uniquely low infrared signature and in ducted jet version like Lilium Jet likely to have superb potential radar stealth.

      • I agree. Previous discussions of eVTOL vehicles have all centered on “urban taxi” applications, but it has potentially very interesting defense/policing applications.

  5. There’s a shortage of pilots. Airlines are cutting regional flights. It’s a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • Pedro:

      There was a shortage of pilots – there will be again.

      It cost a 200k or better to get a certificate to fly and in the US 1500 hours to be a co pilot.

      After WWII airlines paid pilots to go to their ATR schools (not a lot but some)

      Days of free pilots out of the military are gone (and some like F-16 and F-35 are single engine and that is a big factor (yes an F-15 is consider twin engine for cert purposes).

      • In 2020, major U.S. airlines offered buyouts, early retirements to their longest serving (and highest paid) flight crew, all in the name of cost rationalization. You reap what you sow.

  6. Paint degradation on composites also occurs on B787 wings: there’s now another airline (Air New Zealand) complaining about it.
    Luckily for Boeing, Air NZ is not run by a “screamer”.
    This problem previously occurred on 787s in the fleets of KL, AA and BA.

    “Paint peeling on wings of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners”

    “Air New Zealand says it has experienced some issues with paint peeling on the wings of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
    An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the airline had been working with Boeing to resolve the issue.
    “Boeing is working to provide both an immediate as well as longer term solution,” she said.
    The paint issues did not present a safety concern, nor did they impact the structure or integrity of the aircraft, she said.””


    • The top aspect that escapes the opinionators is a technical issue (of course)

      Its not paint by itself, its whats occurring under the paint. In the case of the A350, there is serious damage to the lighting grid as well as the extended flaking and degradation that moisture traveling under the paint does. Unknown is if its getting into the imaginations of the CRFP.

      As Airbus is talking about a whole new grid type, they have a serious problem. You don’t change things like that as a knee jerk.

      And what do you do about existent fleet? Patch it along or can you come up with a real fix that holds while you change new production aircrat?

      Another aspect the non tech types miss is that the nose of an A350 is not CRFP, so you have two different materials you are dealing with.

      Of course the use of loaded words to make it hyped out, screamer, complaining.

      First and foremost its reporting. Boeing is doing what it should.

      And yea, you pay 250 million for something you have every right to expect its perfect. You don’t like the Airline, like RyanAir, don’t deal with them.

      An its a lovely 1 deg F day, clear and the moon is out to the West at about 30 deg as I type.

      • As regards the hot-air allegation that “in the case of the A350, there is serious damage to the lighting grid”, it helps to be an engineer rather than a mechanic. From a comment elsewhere here on LNA:

        “I’ve looked hard at the photos
        I don’t see any interruptions in the mesh pattern.
        I see discoloration of the mesh in a few places, but there’s no crackling visible –> it’s not breaking from corrosion.
        Copper with a surfacial oxide layer can still conduct perfectly through its sub-surface bulk.

        It’s certainly ugly and it needs to be fixed; however, on the basis of the published photos, I don’t see a lightning shielding issue.

        Please remember that every window is effectively a (more than) square-foot hole in the lightning mesh — and there are a lot of windows in a passenger fuselage. And, yet, that doesn’t cause problems.
        The link (e.g. Figure 4) shows that regular features like the seams around doors form a much bigger lightning shielding “issue” than a bit of localized surface corrosion of the lightning mesh:


  7. This article contains some interesting remarks on pandemic-related drop in widebody demand:

    “Airbus On Track for Delivery Goal, Despite A350 Handover Snag”

    “The push has been hindered by snags involving completed twin-aisle A350s not yet accepted by airlines. Russia’s Aeroflot PJSC postponed the handover of two because traffic levels aren’t sufficient, a spokesman said, while some China-bound planes are said to be on hold and may ship in coming days. Ethiopian Airlines Group said it will take two jets this month under a revised plan.”

    “…While that might include some planes missing a small part due to the supply-chain squeeze which will be delivered once complete, it could also indicate a significant level of reluctance among airlines to boost capacity with the coronavirus pandemic still raging.”


  8. “Taiwan’s Mandarin Airlines Phasing Out Embraer Fleet Early”

    “The report, quoting Mandarin Airlines personnel, says there are only a handful of airlines in Asia using Embraer regional jets, which increases the costs of maintenance.

    The personnel further elaborate that the aircraft’s passenger capacity and fuel consumption are other factors which reduces its ability to earn profits.

    “In terms of [international] regional routes, more seats equate to more benefits, but the E-190 only has 104 seats which is fewer than the 737-800’s 150 seats and A320’s 180 seats,” an airline person is quoted as saying. The 737-800 can actually seat 189 passengers.

    As for domestic routes, although the E-190 has 30 more seats than the ATR 72, the maximum capacity permitted during peak periods is less than 70, the report says quoting airline personnel. The routes are also shorter, at around 30 to 40 minutes, however the jet engine of the E-190 burns more fuel than the turboprop of the ATR, which means that costs cannot be lowered, they say.”


  9. Major airlines are quickening their fleet replacement to lower carbon emissions, less opportunities for major engine overhaul. Engine makers would earn less throughout the life of an engine.

    • Another sign of confidence in the full Airbus portfolio. Unfortunately the duopoly is out of balance. Curious what Washington are going to do in 2022. Boeing is strategic (defense, space) & too big to fail.

      • What can they do? Import tax? Grant money for NSA, NMA? Order more KC46s? F-15Exs? In total seriousness run interference with Beijing? Both Washington State and DC should do something.

        • Only US manufactured aircraft for service to US airports
          or some other comparably inane scheme.
          ( something like an expanded Jones Act? )

          • Then there was the EU act. Dictators, no common defense , currency meltdown down, BrexIT.

            One person can veto the whole shebang. Various dictators or close? Got to love that act.

            You know the train wreck is coming, just not the day.

          • Jones Act for aerospace would sure fix it, but then Boeing would stick with the Max till 2040. There are many things they can do and one would be offering scholarships to aerospace engineering students.

          • @ TW
            – “One person can veto the whole shebang”: You’re presumably referring to Mr. Manchin?
            – “Currency Meltdown”: Are you referring to the declining Dollar Index? And the increasing spreads between Treasuries and Bunds?
            – “Dictators”: Is that a veiled reference to January 6?

            Those who live in glass houses…

          • Some live in a padded cell,
            special edition: transparent rubber walls 🙂

          • Generals always fight the last war.

            We can’t be stuck with these old guards forever. In the next couple decades, we need a next generation airframers, no matter if they are AB, BA or others.

          • Absolutely. If Boeing were to go away, they would be irreplaceable. I’ve floated possible scenarios about being taken over by UTX, Lockheed, hopefully not a hedge fund because that’s how it is being run now. Bankruptcy would be devastating for too many retirees. But hopefully the 737 and 787 will get back on track, and the new models will be built.

      • People keep saying this, yes it is too big to “go-away”. But it can go into Chapter 11. Restructure, wipe out share holders pay unsecured creditors x cents on the dollar and come out with less debt and the ability to raise new capitol. And really if anyone should get wiped out it is the shareholders.

        But I doubt this will happen.

        • Everything is mortal.
          Big names like PanAm and TWA disappeared.
          Fannie and Freddie were bailed out by Uncle Sam.
          BA is a sinking ship.

        • Could you imagine?

          That’s a death sentence for any of the C-suite boys and probably the board. They also stand to lose their options and any shares that have vested. Which is probably why they prefer to ride it all the way down, instead of doing what is best.

          The share price is hovering around the $200 mark. Every dollar they spend on buybacks above that amount is lost, unless they can get the stock price higher.

          In 2018 alone, they did this:


          “Record operating cash flow of $15.3 billion; repurchased 26.1 million shares for $9.0 billion”

          They bought those shares at an avg price of $345. They are now worth ~$200. Almost $3.8 billion gone…

          • BA bought **$52 billion** treasury shares, that’s another reason why it has a shareholders’ *deficit* (negative equity), cash strapped and struggles for enough resources to launch a new aircraft program.

          • Nope. I see nothing but upside from the pov of C-suite. Most here could see BA needs a wholesale change. Never waste a good crisis.

            The danger lies in those mom and pop shops within the supply chain.

        • @jbeeko

          “And really if anyone should get wiped out it is the shareholders.”

          BA apparently is ahead of you, the C-suite wiped out the shareholders’ equity by share repurchases in excess of $52 billion.

          From the latest 10Q:
          Total assets $146.8 b
          Total liabilities $161.1 b
          Minority interest $0.2 b
          Shareholders’ deficit $14.3 b

      • So, when BA was leading AB in market share, that was “the free market at work”.
        But now that AB is leading BA, that’s “the duopoly out of balance”?


      • Total A320neo family orders are 7700 and for the B737 MAX 6000. It’s not very out of balance, about 18%. Boeing can catch up.

        • The A320 family has about a 2:1 lead over the 737MAX family in terms of orders, with about a 5:1 lead for the large family members (A321 vs. MAX-10).
          BA has no answer whatsoever to the A321LR/XLR, which are selling well. It also has no answer to the A220, which forms an attractive family with its larger siblings.
          Unfortunately for BA, the MAX orders since the FAA un-grounding have come squarely from airlines that were bargain-hunting for cheap whitetails and/or using up compensation “paid” in the form of order discounts and/or LCCs with somewhat of an “el cheapo” reputation. The MAX has a serious image problem. One can imagine that a firmed-up order from a “premium” airline like British Airways would be very welcome at this stage…though that’s only likely to happen if VERY steep discounts are given — which then puts the order back in the “bargain hunter” category.

          The “early slots argument” seems to be moot, since many/most of the recent Airbus narrowbody orders had early delivery slots.

          This isn’t an “Airbus-versus-Boeing” thing: this is about an attractive and highly versatile product range from company X versus an ill-conceived, tarnished fossil from company Y.

          • Max orders are less than 3500 now. In actuality before the program is over, Boeing could probably manufacture 4500-5000 airplanes. It’s hard to look into the future and estimate, but when the pandemic is passed everything should become more apparent.

          • @Sam

            Taking a look at the history of the two NB models we get this:

            737 Classic
            In service: 1984
            # produced: ~2000

            737 NG
            In service: 1997
            # produced: ~7,000

            A320 Ceo family
            In service: 1988
            # produced: ~10,000

            (I added the Classic & NG lines together, as they cover the A320Ceo lifespan.)

            So, about 20,000 jets sold over those two models.

            Now, the market has changed – the MD line of jets is gone and travel has expanded some.

            If we keep the same 20,000 aircraft needed (let’s be conservative) over the next decade or two, then yah – 4,500 to 5,000 units for the Max is pretty reasonable.

            But then that means that Airbus is poised to eat the rest of the pie of some 15,000 planes and a 3 to 1 advantage.

            This is not good

      • -> “Total A320neo family orders are 7700 and for the B737 MAX 6000.”

        Alternate reality??

        According to Boeing:

        737 MAX (11/30)
        Unfilled orders 4,115
        ASC 606 adj. (724)
        Backlog 3,391

    • What, no politics? Submarines, covid, China – now no politics?

      See – he writes a book or two, becomes a little famous and an expert in the field, gets quoted in various places and now he wants us to be prim and proper and stay on subject. The nerve of this guy!!!

      What is there left to talk about – airplanes???

      • Well, here’s something really cool to look at — though probably not to talk about, since it doesn’t relate to aviation (though it does relate to aerospace).

        This link gives a live account of the present position of the James Webb Telescope on its journey out to Earth’s L2 point, including substructure deployment timeline and animation videos of the various deployment steps.


        • @Bryce and the Webb telescope: This is OK to talk about. May not be relevant to the post but space is so effing cool!

          • Even cooler is the fact that — thanks to internet — we can follow stuff like this in stunning detail from our armchairs!
            The Herschel and Planck telescopes also worked out at the L2 point but, at the time of their launch (2009), the public couldn’t follow their progress like this.
            Fingers crossed that all the folded-up substructures deploy correctly, because L2 is too far away to perform repair missions there.

          • Hmm.
            Here in Germany at least the Moon landing had much better fact based coveerage, really excellent.
            That NASA web thingy is (daynamic, horray) fluff.

          • Now we’re talking!

            So in the spirit of clemency shown by SH to all things space, let’s talk about our favorite astronauts;

            I’ll open up with one John Young

            – 2 Gemini flights (inaugural with Gus Grissom)
            – 2 Apollo flights (10 & 16)
            – 2 trips to the moon (including one walk and drive)
            – 2 flights in the Space Shuttle (including the maiden with Crippen)

            Seems this guy who was selected in the second group of guys:


            liked to do everything twice – and was the first to do it, a couple of times.

            Didn’t get the publicity of some of the others, but IMO he had the fullest career of them all.

          • There must a massive international space forums somewhere, where addicts can smash around around facts, views, revelations and rumors..

          • @keesje

            Yes, but then we’d miss out on all the sparkling personalities that this website has to offer, and that would be a shame.

          • While I love the Hubbell the JW has alwyas been a huge ? in my mind due to the cost and impact of that cost on other missions. Just don’t think it was worth it.

            My all time Favorite is the Pluto mission. Incredible eye opener

            Voyager holds an emotional top spot due to its never quitting and still sending info back. Undreamed it would last anywhere near that long.

            No keen on Aliens getting it and back tracking us though!

          • @TW

            “As of September 2012, sunlight took 16.89 hours to get to Voyager 1 which was at a distance of 121 AU. The apparent magnitude of the Sun from the spacecraft was -16.3 (about 30 times brighter than the full Moon).[72] The spacecraft was traveling at 17.043 km/s (10.590 mi/s) relative to the Sun. It would need about 17,565 years at this speed to travel a light-year.[72] To compare, Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, is about 4.2 light-years (2.65×105 AU) distant. Were the spacecraft traveling in the direction of that star, 73,775 years would pass before Voyager 1 reaches it. (Voyager 1 is heading in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus”

            Something tells me that by the time anyone/anything finds it and does trace it back here – we probably won’t have to worry about it.

          • @ Scott and Frank
            Since you (and I) appear to be the only ones that get noticeably excited about this subject matter, here’s another cool link — this time giving real-time SDO views of the Sun in a whole range of different wavelengths. It also includes a Dopplergram — which not only shows the approaching and receding rotational motion of opposed flanks of the Sun, but also (upon careful study) shows the differential rotation (because it’s not a solid body, the Sun’s rotation at its equator is faster than at its poles).
            And Happy New Year to all!


  10. 1) Aviation Capital Group LLC (“ACG”), announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 20 A220s and a firm contract with Airbus for 40 A320neo Family aircraft, of which five are A321XLRs.


    2) Aercap changes its mind, enters buy and leaseback 14 A220 for Breeze.

    3) Air Canada A220 business seat excites with comfort options

    -> “With over 24 hours of transit under my belt, the last flight of a multi-leg trip home to Seattle from Dubai was finally here. I had been looking forward to this experience: Air Canada business class on the Airbus A220 plying Toronto Pearson-Seattle.

    Thanks to its PaxEx-friendly reputation, the A220 is one of my favorite jets. […]


  11. JetBlue: “We expect the number of COVID cases in the northeast – where most of our crewmembers are based – to continue to surge for the next week or two. This means there is a high likelihood of additional cancellations until case counts start to come down.”


    WSJ: Jet Stream Adds to Airline Challenges as Flight Cancellations Continue

    U.S. airlines continued to struggle with weather and Covid-19-driven staffing issues on Wednesday, with fast, high-altitude winds affecting transcontinental flights.

    WSJ: Airlines Cancel More Than 1,300 Flights

    The FAA says its air-traffic control staffing may also come under pressure.


    • I wonder what would he think if he were still alive? Upset? Ashamed??

      Don’t confuse the co. today that carries the same name with the one of the past, it’s a reincarnation of MD.

      • “reincarnation of MD”

        The processes active today started (much) earlier.
        Just like Microsoft Boeing excelled at more or less insidious “side channel” PR and manipulative work. Tooting their own horn.
        But you need the intact backstory of a good product to levitate on your manipulations. with MD it was easier for Boeing to present as “the better product”.

        The basic inner workings of these manipulations were rather well disseminated for Microsoft during the Linux Wars. ( For B we have a recent book out now 🙂

  12. Time rewind

    Seattle Times
    Dominic Gates

    -> “While Boeing is eager to put behind it the consequences of the two fatal 737 Max crashes, Democrats on the U.S. House Transportation Committee chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio are pushing for more individual accountability for what went wrong at the company.

    On Monday, DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash., chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, asked Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson what actions the FAA has taken against individuals at Boeing responsible for two specific instances of apparent deception of customers and regulators during development of the Max. […]

    The two cited instances are separate from those documented by the Department of Justice in its recent criminal indictment of former 737 Max chief technical pilot Mark Forkner.

    The letter asks specifically for the FAA to go after others at Boeing who have not been publicly identified. The company declined to comment Monday.

    The first issue cited relates to a Max flight deck alert designed to tell the pilots that the readings from the jet’s two angle of attack sensors disagreed. Boeing found out in 2017 that this alert was not functioning on the vast majority of Maxes. But it judged that the malfunction wasn’t a safety issue and decided not to fix it until a planned upgrade in 2020.

    Boeing did not inform the FAA or its airline customers of the problem until after the first crash in late 2018.

    DeFazio’s letter quotes former FAA acting Administrator Dan Elwell in 2019 stating that because this crew alert was approved as part of the Max’s FAA-certified design, “it was required to be installed and functional on all 737 Max airplanes.”

    The letter points out that a Boeing engineer working as an authorized representative of the FAA “concurred with Boeing’s decision to delay the fix.” And “multiple individuals across the company were aware of this issue.”

    “Boeing’s actions showed an utter disregard for the FAA’s regulatory process,” the letter states.

    DeFazio and Larsen ask what the FAA has done “to hold Boeing accountable for deceiving its customers and violating the FAA’s regulations,” and specifically inquire whether that engineer “is still authorized to conduct work on behalf of the FAA.”

    The second issue raised in the letter is an internal company meeting in 2013, the minutes of which detail “an explicit plan by multiple Boeing employees to downplay MCAS externally, including to regulators.”

    MCAS — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System — is the flight control system that activated erroneously on the two crash flights and forced both planes into nosedives.

    “If we emphasize MCAS is a new function, there may be a greater certification and training impact,” the minutes of that meeting noted.

    Again, DeFazio and Larsen’s letter notes that “a Boeing Authorized Representative signed off” on the plan to downplay MCAS.

    And it cites the committee’s interview in 2020 with the Chief Project Engineer on the 737 Max, Michael Teal, who testified that avoiding flight simulator training requirements for pilots was a “design objective” of the Max program.

    This illustrates, the letter concludes, that “there were multiple efforts at Boeing from the top of the company on down that emphasized both the critical importance of avoiding flight simulator training as an FAA requirement and the fact that full and clear knowledge of MCAS by external parties, including regulators, could jeopardize that corporate goal.”

    The letter asks what actions the FAA has taken to investigate the 2013 meeting.

    “What, if anything, has FAA done to hold any of the individuals at Boeing accountable who took part in Boeing’s 2013 efforts to downplay MCAS?” the letter asks.

    Specifically, it asks if the Boeing Authorized Representative who approved the plan is still authorized to conduct work on behalf of the FAA.

  13. The race has started:

    -> Denmark wants to drop fossil fuels in domestic flights in 2030

  14. “Airbus edges past Boeing amid late order bonanza in 2021”

    “But the European manufacturer’s December haul pushed its annual total to some 664 jets before netting out any cancellations that have not been disclosed. That compares with 476 for Boeing, which notched a December freighter deal with UPS.

    Airbus has already cemented an unassailable lead in annual output.
    Through November, it had delivered 518 aircraft towards an annual goal of 600 for the year. Boeing had handed over 302 jets, as a pickup in 737 Max deliveries was offset by production problems on its larger 787 Dreamliners.”


  15. COMAC is about to deliver an ARJ21 to its first foreign operator — TransNusa in Indonesia.
    This will be interesting test case: if TransNusa is happy with the plane and with COMAC’s after-sales service, then COMAC will have reached another milestone.

    Who cares that it’s an old design? If it’s cheap and reliable, and circumvents the present “western” hegemony, then it’s a significant first step.

    • Well, it involves a company that doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation as regards software…

      • ‘Since the near disaster, many experienced pilots have said they usually prefer to hand fly on takeoff rather than immediately flicking to autopilot. They also say at least “two pre-departure checklists should have picked up the 0 feet setting” in the control panel.

        There are suggestions that there was a lack of experience and situational awareness in the cockpit that morning, causing the errors. The incident also shines a spotlight on Emirates’ longstanding practice of hiring relatively inexperienced Boeing 777 pilots.”

        Its just a badly executed process resulting in a looong takeoff

        • “…many experienced pilots have said they usually prefer to hand fly on takeoff rather than immediately flicking to autopilot”

          Well, now we know why, don’t we?
          With an autopilot as reliable/consistent as this…

          • Not the only “dis-harmonic” in 777 automation.
            The Korean 777 cartwheel crash was enabled/aggravated by 777 autopilot idiosyncrasies.
            ( pointed out in the NTSB report but with low impact elsewhere. Too busy with making fun of the pilots.)

        • You’ve read the “known quirk” quip by Jon ?
          Kind of a rather insidious bug, don’t you think?

          • -> “There’s a known “quirk” in the 777’s automation when baro altitude is 20ft of 0000. It causes the autopilot to “capture” zero & set flight director guidance in ALT mode w/ a path back to the ground. Won’t change with new altitude setting. (via @capttopgun)

            How about the B787 (which borrowed heavily from B777 architecture) and the B777X??

        • @DoU

          Be mindful of GIGO.

          -> As the world discusses the incredibly close call aboard #EK231 on Dec. 20, many are continuing to say that the 777’s autopilot altitude window was incorrectly set to zero at takeoff. It definitively was not.

          -> As part of going beyond the rumors circulating in social channels, @flightradar24 provided @theaircurrent non-public granular ADS-B tracking data from #EK231 which included the programmed autopilot settings on the aircraft. Altitude window was set to *4,000.*


          • May be a data source question.

            Assume that ADS-B shows the current setting
            but not what the AP “thinks” he is set for?
            ( under the bug description that the AP latches
            on to a near ZERO setting?)

  16. What a mess part deux!

    Makes you wonder if they are serving the same administration. Looks more like Libya than the first world.

    -> “The Biden Admin is not asking for a 2 week delay; they’re demanding an indefinite halt in what appears to be every major market.

    DOT’s irregular, eleventh hour tactics – 660 days after the FCC resolved these issues – do not reflect competent decision making, but gamesmanship.


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