Pontifications: Airbus delays for A220 tied to supply chain issues

By Scott Hamilton

May 23, 2022, © Leeham News: The delivery delays for the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX get all the headlines. But Airbus also has delivery delays for the Airbus Canada A220.

There are at least three A220s missing cockpit installations on the ramp at the Mirabel Airport final assembly line with more coming off the FAL, LNA is told. The number of A220s with this traveled work at the Mobile (AL) FAL is not known. Some quality control issues at the Mobile plant, which is still in its learning curve phase, have been reported.

Supply chain issues

Airbus Canada ducked directly answering questions about the traveled work and delays. A spokesperson said in a written statement that “We are constantly working closely with all major A220 suppliers and partners in order to provide assistance and support to ensure on-time and on quality delivery of A220 parts to protect our pre-FAL/FAL operations.

“As a reminder, we delivered 50 A220 aircraft in 2021 – the highest number ever for A220s and continue to ramp up our A220 production, with the addition of the pre-FAL in Mirabel supporting our pre-assembly work since January. We are still early in the 2022 year and are collaborating closely with our suppliers and partners to protect our delivery targets.”

Further comment was declined. It’s known that Airbus, like Boeing, is going through supply chain issues still related to COVID and now the war in Ukraine that interrupted some suppliers. Airbus adjusts the build sequence to protect its FAL operations.

Ramping up production

Airbus Canada currently produces the A220 at a rate of four or five a month at Montreal Mirabel Airport and one a month at the Mobile FAL. Montreal has a capacity of 10/mo and Mobile’s capacity is 4/mo. The Mobile plant is new, opened a year ago last Thursday. Assembly of the A220 in Mobile began in 2019 in the A320 FAL facility. Workers are still on the learning curve process. At least one customer taking delivery of the A220 from Mobile complains about quality control, but details weren’t forthcoming.

Airbus wants to ramp up production to the full capacity of 14/mo between the two plants by 2025. Costs remain too high, and Airbus is pressing suppliers to lower costs. But ramping up to a rate of 14/mo is also critical to turning the A220 from a loss to a profit.

The current backlog doesn’t support production rates this high. But the A320neo line is sold out to 2027; Airbus has a goal to increase production to 75/mo by 2025, which brings its own supply chain issues. Selling A220s may relieve some of the lower-end demand for 150-seat airplanes. Bombardier, the forerunner of Airbus Canada, designed what was then called the CS500 (now conceptually the A220-500), a plane directly competitive with the A320neo and the Boeing 737-8 MAX. The A220-500 would seat about 175 passengers in two-class configuration.

Airbus officials say an A220-500 will happen. But they want to program to turn profitable before launching the -500—or at least be in sight of profitability. Getting to rate 14/mo is one of the key metrics.

There have been 740 orders placed for the A220 (104 A220-100s, 638 A220-300s). Two hundred eight have been delivered (55 and 153, respectively).

122 Comments on “Pontifications: Airbus delays for A220 tied to supply chain issues

  1. “The A220-500 would seat about 175 passengers in two-class configuration.”

    I think you mean in a single-class configuration? The A220-100 and A220-300 is 123 and 148 seats respectively in a single-class configuration @ 30 pitch.

    If the A220-500 is lengthen by the same amount as the difference between the -100 and -300, it would require an extra toilet, maybe slightly more galley space and an extra overwing exit. A single-class configuration at 30 pitch, would then be 123, 148 and 168 seats respectively for the -100, -300 and -500.

    • I think thats a correct estimation, 4-5 rows extra for a -500. ‘So a little smaller than a A320, certainly in terms of payload on medium long flights, where it can’t support AKH NB container operations (Europe, Asia). And it lacks A321 cockpit/MRO commonality.

      Still a -500 seems a very efficient alternative for the A320NEO for many operations, it would weigh -5t less OEW compared to the A320NEO. That always works great in aeronautical efficiency.

      Some extrapolations:

      As Scott suggests, a -500 might be the key ramping up A220 production rate >10 structurally. I think key customers might be lining up. (AF/KL, DL, LCC, UA, AC).

      • I would think a -500 being built now (keeping in mind the testing to be done) would be spot on to taking up 20 of the A220-xxx a month, justifying the 14 a month easily.

        Might as well accept its not going to break even and set it up as the successor to the A320 and focus the A320 produion on the A321.

        Yes some will want the A320 and continue but over time that would taper off to little or none.

        Nothing to be done by the lack of commonality of the controls system.

        Boeing has to do changes on the MAX now so no different in having to do conversions.

        Both Boeing and Airbus have sat on good products waiting for X to get to it and its like shooting ducks. You need to lead not follow.

        • It could be possible to introduce cockpit commonality in A220-500 with the other Airbus single aisle range.

          Even if it was down to half a day of conversion training that could be very useful for airlines

          It wouldnt surprise me if that hasnt been seriously looked at.

          • Although technically possible, this is commercially not feasible. To change the A220 to have commonality with A32x would mean a full re-certification of the program since the A220 FBW is C*U, while the A32x is C*.
            Not to say that A220 is autothrottle, A32x is autothrust. All cockpit indications and alerts, switches and knobs positions.
            A220 SW is outsourced to suppliers.
            I would say at least USD 1 bi or more for this change.

        • The A220-500 would be the MD-80 of the 2000’s. Only works if A321’s sold out.

  2. Sounds like a perfect time for A220-500. A320 backlog is so long that they are losing sales to 737MAX, it would allow to finally get A220 line profitable, would basically kill 737-7 (except for captive customers like Southwest) and severely reduce future sales of 737-8. Boeing would be pretty much unable to respond any time soon.

    • In the previous link I looked at A220-500 & 737-8, in an orange-orange comparison an 737-8 has 22 seats more. (with same pitch, proportional galley, lavatory space). That’s substantial.

      Boeing faces a declining 737-7 backlog for years. Even #1,2,3 737-7 customer Southwest is switching to -8s while the -7 remains uncertified.

    • I wonder if the IAG order of 737 MAX has anything at all to do with not being able to secure timely replacement A320 types for fleet renewal?

      Considering that IAG only operates Airbus aircraft for short haul, & the amount of pilot training & technical / logistical challenges posed by operating Airbus & Boeing narrow body aircraft, is the Airbus backlog a factor here?

      I’m quite curious to know how “Bus” pilots feel if asked to re-train to fly the MAX, purely from a career progression point of view. A320 to (A330/A350) & A380 seems a lot more consistent/natural than A320 -> MAX -> (777 /787) or possibly to 777X

      • IAG had plenty of time to secure early A320/A321 slots; however, at the time, IAG’s directors were too busy being peeved over the fact that Airbus wasn’t prepared to give them bargain basement prices for (used) A380s.

        Half (25) of the present firm order is for high-density -8200s — which seem to suggest launch of a new LCC by IAG.

          • And neither flies 737s.
            A third LCC is always possible, isn’t it? Perhaps one concentrating on Eastern Europe, like Wizz?

      • ” .. consistent/natural than A320 -> MAX -> (777 /787) or possibly to 777X”

        isn’t the 737 line a branch on its own in that respect?

        UI wise the Boeing FBW types are probably nearer than the MAX?

      • BA is desperate to fill up its vacant production slots in 2023.

  3. Does anyone know which airlines have back orders for A220s? The list of customers for this aircraft is still not very large.

    • Hhm, maybe that’s why Kelley made an early dash to the golf course. Retired CEOs never catch any flack. Especially, Boeing’s, and the article makes it sound like Boeing and Southwest executives had similar goals.

  4. There are probably many areas which contribute to the A220 series being unprofitable at the moment and in the immediate future, but what will be the situation when production rates settle down, old contracts are renegotiated, and there is a stable workforce, particularly with respect to the expected 500 series.

    Are there aspects of the design which will make their costs higher or lower than 737 and A320? There seem to be many areas which can’t be much different, engines, seats, etc

    Are there costs which will always be higher compared to grandfathered older designs?

    Will it have higher or lower operating costs ?

    When priced to make a profit, what will be their niche or unique selling points ?

    • Robert:

      The A220 is unique in that under BBD aka C Series, the suppliers were risk sharing and essentially own their bit of the program.

      In return for the high risk of the C series, they were given high margins.

      Contractually Airbus cannot unilaterally cut those and they can’t go elsewhere as its written into the contract as sole source.

      Once Airbus comited to the now A220, the suppliers were in the drivers seat.

      So yes you can discuss but Airbus can’t drop them. Airbus woul dhave to offer some very good terms. Give them part of other programs but also guaranteed in that.

      On the 777X, Boeing did not like the landing gear supplier bid, so they gave it to an entity that had never made big landing gear. Airbus contractually cannot do that on the A220.

      Tough gig for Airbus, while a great aircraft it came with contract baggage that Airbus has to work around and with.

      • @TW

        There are fantasies being spun here. BA’s 787 program also has risk-share major contractors. Nonetheless, BA had successfully pushed out its infamous PFS Program to inflate its profits and enhance its FCF false picture.

      • On the other hand, in renegotiating contracts with suppliers Airbus has a fairly good argument to make in that the pie is looking like it could be enormous in the long run. A supplier that contributes to cutting the cost base is likely doing themselves a favour, eventually, as it’ll help establish the A220 as the defacto choice for decades to come.

        Airbus is probably making points like that to suppliers. 740 sales is a decent number, way more than I think anyone ever thought it would reach, and there’s no reason it can’t continue from there. I don’t know what Airbus are like with suppliers, but if they have built up good will by paying reasonable prices on time throughout their history, one can imagine suppliers not wishing to play too hard a ball game.

  5. It`s a great plane.
    But is it a sucess?

    Hard to answer, it already brought Bombadier out of business, and it seems Airbus is having a stretch to get it profitable.

    But there`s a political question in it: As long as the gouverment is a shareholder, how far does Airbus want to push it?
    In the end that just makes their buyout more expensive. I have no doubt that Airbus wants full control and wants to acquire 100% of the CA /A220 program before they invest further.

    It`s still the most modern SA on the market, but the lack of sales is concern.
    The A320neo fam. is basically sold out, the Max is well bought with 4000 units, why is the CS/A220 standing at mere 700?

    For all the A319, B737-700 operators that should be a perfect sucessor.

    • I think A220 sales are hampered by delivery time. Delivery time is hampered by production rate. Production rate is hampered by supply chain and production line changes and ramp up.

      I guess Quebec and Airbus investments in the A220 are both long term. Nobody is pressing for short free cash flow, stock buy backs, next quater dividents or year end executive bonusses.

      The goal is efficient ramp up to 15/month and reach ROI ASAP.

    • “For all the A319, B737-700 operators that should be a perfect successor.”

      Not if they follow the current upsizing trend: orders for the A321 neo now exceed combined orders for the A320 neo/A319 neo. In the narrowbody world, it seems that “bigger is better” is the new credo.

      • Absolutely. The heart of the market has moved up in size. If they want to make more money with the A220 make the -500; and maybe the -650: that’s 2 more seat rows longer and with a wing plug or extension so it can approach 4K miles in a 2 class configuration.

      • There`s truth in it, but the move from 150 Pax to around 220-240 is a big step.
        It might be true for high populated areas with growing economy like Asia.
        They can fill plenty of A321neos.

        But for Europe and USA with its saturated market?
        I don`t see them all moving up to larger SAs.

        Actually the trend might be also to buy the largest plane of the family, which has been through for some families recently: B77W was by far the most bought, the A333 sold better than the shorter one, and there`s the trend for the A321neo.
        We see the same with the A220. The -100 is almost out of sales, and with the E-jets it`s the same.
        There are stretches that go to far, but mostly the stretch just offers better economics. Almost the same trip cost, but more Pax and lower CASM.

        As airline industry is getting more and more efficient and competetive, sweet spots form. For the SA, it`s the A320/Max8 with almost 200 seats, and the A321neo.
        For the WB, it`s the B789, A333/9 and the A359.

        Seem to be cost efficient.

    • -> “it already brought Bombadier out of business”

      Only because of BA’s scorched earth tactics and Leahy’s desire to out compete “the nice little jet” by cutting price fiercely.

      -> “why is the CS/A220 standing at mere 700?”

      FWIW its competitor the MAX 7 only has 238 firm orders and WN has no choice but to cut its MAX 7 order!!!

    • Success has many different metrics. But numbers in operation is a good indication of overall economic performance. 740 sounds pretty good, and the order book is not closed.

      Even if Airbus are making a loss on every one sold at present, it’s a loss they’re willing to bear. Market share is everything, and they’re gaining it with the A220, in the best possible way; the customers like it.

    • Money is not really an issue for the Chinese. It might take another few years, billions.

      It’s about reaching long term independency and moving around 1.4B people. Regardless of how we feel.

      Boeing looks ahead 12 months, Airbus 8 years, COMAC 30 years.

      • I completely agree.
        And once the C919 is flying, it will be incrementally improved.
        Non-western engines remain an issue — though Russia can help with that (and probably is already helping).

        The recent sanctions against Russia will only have increased the resolve of the “other side” to minimize any dependence on the “west”.

        • I think the FAL in Tianjin will be key to maintaining Airbus sales in China, even with COMAC.

        • Doesn’t C919 use CFM engines? Or do you just mean that China would eventually want to develop an indigenous engine for trade/national security reasons? Certainly that may be true, but it (not having an indigenous engine) doesn’t really help Boeing/Airbus avoid competition. It’s not like CFM is going to agree not to sell to Comac just to help out Boeing/Airbus.

          • Mike A:

            Really it is a hoot.

            Yes China only has the CFM engine.

            So, the Soviets build an engine for the C919 which in turn competes with their MC21. Realy?

            Of course to improve the C919 you actually have to produce it and then use it and and and and and.

            Flip is with China accelerating melt down, C919 will be all they need. As long as you don’t fly much the oil prices don’t affect you very inefficient failure prone indigenous engine.

          • @ Mike A
            It’s almost certain that the US administration will block CFM shipments to COMAC…part of the ongoing and worsening trade war. So there’s a strong incentive to develop an alternative domestic/Russian engine.

  6. In refence to the seating capacity of the proposed A220-500, the answer is:

    It all depends.

    If Airbus (and by that extension, the airlines) want it quick, easy and cheap – it’s all about a 2 metre plug fore and aft of the wing. Lose some range, if you don’t install extra tanks, but slap in an extra 5 to 6 rows to get you some 25-30 extra pax., but this gets you the aircraft out the door quickest.

    If they want to keep the A220 range in that 3500NM area (or add even more, to get it to the 4000NM mark) it gets more complicated.

    It all depends who’s buying, how many they’re buying and how they are using the aircraft.

    Look at Delta;
    Their -300’s have 12/30/88 seats in a biz/plus/economy set up for 130 pax. They would probably want to keep it more economy plus to keep the pax load under 150, and thus 3 stews. Their 320’s have 157 pax. Is it worth it to have an extra 7 seats and pay for an extra stew?

    Jetblue has 25/115 for a total of 140 pax. Y+, no J class.

    Air France also keeps it under 150 with 20J & 128Y for 148 pax total.

    Air Canada has 12J & 125Y for a total of 137 pax.

    airBaltic has all one seating with 145/148 pax.

    It all depends and it’s a puzzle…

    • I prefer to look at seat guru for the actual setting plans. You’ll find that most larger airlines will have multiple seating plans for their various types
      Air France has 4 seating plans for its A320s. The trend is for the newer models to have more seats

      • Frank:

        Well reasoned and its good to reference real world seating vs theoretical.

        I don’t know of a case where MAX (pun) seating is used. Maybe the 2000?

        But also have to bring in the normal seating for the A320 or the MAX 8 to get a direct comparison with that airliner.

        On the A220-500, I don’t see why Airbus could not do both. Start with the stretch and then a IGR with whatever is needed.

      • “The trend is for the newer models to have more seats.”

        Because that’s an easy (and cheap) way to exaggerate how much fuel is saved … *per seat* … by squeezing more seats into a jet.

  7. Regarding the approaching Dec. 31 deadline for MAX -10 certification, it would appear that BA doesn’t grasp the fact that a law continues to apply even when you don’t agree with it:

    “EVERETT, Wash. : A Boeing Co executive said there was no need to revamp the cockpit crew alerting system in its forthcoming 737 MAX 10 jet, as the U.S. planemaker races to complete its certification before a year-end deadline.

    “”I personally have no belief that there’s any value in changing the 737,” Mike Delaney, Boeing’s chief aerospace safety officer, told a small group of reporters at its factory north of Seattle.

    “There’s no data that says switching to another system is safer, Delaney said, adding that the company was still evaluating its options.”


    • That’s a remarkable statement from Boeing’s “chief aerospace safety officer”. Was that the same corporation that had * two* of their latest airplane model fall out of the sky, killing everyone on board both planes?

      When corporations wield this kind of influence (and chutzpah!), society-at-large is in real trouble.

    • “”I personally have no belief that there’s any value in changing the 737,” Mike Delaney, Boeing’s chief aerospace safety officer, told a small group of reporters at its factory north of Seattle. “There’s no data that says switching to another system is safer, Delaney said, ”

      Mike, let independent specialist take a hard look at all NG accidents involving the antique 737 crew alert panel. Not with the goal to prove it’s the crew, but finding the truth. What role did the system play?

      Your “data” seems cleaned up. Probably to justify far reaching grandfathering of design and requirements. Efficiency. https://skybrary.aero/sites/default/files/bookshelf/5319.pdf

      You seem to do the same. Same for the 777-9. Slow learning?

      • Well if “Mike” says the stone-age 737 crew alert system is safe, who are we to disbelieve him?
        Pay no attention to the readily-available evidence..

      • Do you even know the difference between what a ‘modern crew alerting system’ does and the older type .

        Isnt Boeing point that a digital display of warnings just does the same thing as the coloured lights of old and many crashes with the newer system installed havent led to better outcomes.

        • Refer to @Frank’s excellent recent analysis in which he revealed that, in recent years, BA aircraft have crashed 2.5 times more frequently than AB aircraft. Most of the BA crashes involved the antique 737.

          Various official crash reports have cited the primitive 737 cockpit warning systems as being a (major) contributing factor to the accidents involved.

          • That was complete nonsense. Wasnt an analysis at all.

            And even ‘that sample’ , was the crew alerting involved at all ?

          • @Frank’s data is perfectly clear, and freely available online. The figures speak for themselves.

            Of course, sticking one’s head in the sand is always an option. That’s “the BA way” — but Congress isn’t impressed.

          • Well lets go with the worst avoidable accident of all time AF447.

            Stall alarm quits at low forward speed.

            Audibles are ignored per proven real world (ever work on a job site with dump trucks and backup horns? )

            Side stick does not have feedback or vibration to let the other guy know two people are trying to do different things.

            Any system that allows 3 experienced pilots to ignore they are in a stall is a failure.

            The NG had as good a record as the A320 with its whiz bang FBW modern alerting system.

            Qantas A380 dithered for 1.5 hours with alarms that had no meaning. In the end it was, shut them all up, what do we have that is working and put the damned thing on the ground.

            Yea, I read the book. The PIC did some things right, a number of things totally wrong and they were simply lucky.

          • @ TW
            “The worst avoidable accident of all time” was JAL123 (520 fatalities), which wouln’t have happened if Boeing hadn’t botched an aft pressure bulkhead repair.

            Alternatively, the Tenerife 2-plane crash in 1977 (583 fatalities) wouln’t have happened if the KLM pilot had waited for tower clearance before commencing takeoff.

            By comparison, AF447 caused 228 fatalities — and it was 13 years ago.

            The MAX has so far caused 338 fatalities — in the past 3 years.

            Time for a cockpit revision.

          • In a world where poster fantasies are the real world …

            It is always a good idea to read up via primary documents (here: the BEA crash report) and take sexed up interpretations with a grain of salt … even if it fits those fantasies.

            The low speed stall alarm inversion on the A330 is an unpleasant detail.
            The interested reader is asked to provide for a better but still KISS solution.

            AF447 cause is dominated by pilot error and CRM failure. ( not much talked about but the 2 pilots involved up front seem to have had an involuntary girl friend transfer the night before.)

          • AF447 analysis was completely mistaken by investigators, and the main reason is the lack of knowledge on FBW stability analysis. The Airbus alternate mode has a major design flaw, which can put the aircraft in a unstable condition not recoverable by flight crew. Most of this is due to automatic pitch trimming without any kind of AOA protection when in this mode. And this issue is still there flying.

          • @ Max
            If what you say is true, isn’t it strange that A330s haven’t been falling out of the sky on a regular basis? After all, it’s been 13 years since AF447, and 1535 A330s have been delivered. Airbus data indicates that — on average, somewhere in the world — an A330 takes off or lands every 20 seconds. That’s a huge data set — surely large enough to manifest several occurrences of the flaw that you assert?

          • Bryce, the lack of stability happens when you combine alternate mode with stall condition. It is a rare scenario, but once you are there, there is no return.
            The problem is that normal mode cannot cover 1E-9 probability. That’s why there is alternate mode and direct mode. The issue with the AF447 is that the flight crew commanded the aircraft into stall in alternate mode. Any normal other aircraft without FBW would have recovered naturally from this situation.

      • Every BA aircraft now comes with this crew alert system, except the 737 MAX.

        So some here tried to argue that such system is no good, why BA incorporate it in all other aircraft from the co.???

        Can these commentators explain?

        • “EICAS is not needed on the Boeing 737Mad MAX, because it’s the safest plane in history.”

          Just don’t count its crashes, and the resulting dead.


    • I have to keep reminding myself that the 737 MAX aircraft that are to be delivered over the next 5 to 10 (?) years will still be flying 25 years from the day that they are delivered (2052 – 2057).

      That’s an awfully long time to be banking on aircrew not being confused/overwhelmed by a sub optimal warning system.

      How many complete 737 losses have there been even just in the last 10 years?

      Once it became clear that pilot training was going to be a requirement when moving from an NG to a MAX following the Lion Air & Ethiopian Airlines catastrophes, Boeing really should have bitten the bullet & added EICAS to the MAX.

    • Shows BA has little confidence that the MAX 10 can be certified by the end of the year, they are going for Plan B.

      Goodluck the EASA would buy their narrative. IAG better look for an alternative plan/supplier. 😏

      • You reap what you sow

        -> The jet maker’s R&D spending on commercial airplanes plunged by half from 2017 to 2021. 

    • @Bryce,

      Yes, stunning isn’t it? Both Delaney and Hyslop should have been fired (and Calhoun!) after the mad max accidents, instead they are put into higher positions.
      Delaney comment proves to me they are running scared, won’t meet the cert deadline of Dec 31, so he tries to manipulate. He needs to shut up and get with how they are going to comply with the rules. I don’t think EASA will certify the -10.
      Finally, this statement from Delaney proves that safety is just a ruse at Boeing, all smoke and mirrors.

  8. Is the Airbus A220 already certified to fly in all Asian countries?

  9. From the link Bryce provided above:

    “..The FAA’s own technical safety experts have highlighted that Boeing has not yet done enough by just fixing the flight control system – MCAS – that caused the two fatal crashes, and that the planemaker must also address the chaos and confusion caused by emergency alert systems within the cockpit during both tragedies.
    The FAA’s own technical safety experts have highlighted that Boeing has not yet done enough by just fixing the flight control system – MCAS – that caused the two fatal crashes, and that the planemaker must also address the chaos and confusion caused by emergency alert systems within the cockpit during both tragedies.

    Many have highlighted the fact that, in both fatal crashes, multiple warning systems set off by a single erroneous AOA sensor caused serious distraction and confusion for the pilots, as they attempted to manually take back control of the plane.
    Many have highlighted the fact that, in both fatal crashes, multiple warning systems set off by a single erroneous AOA sensor caused serious distraction and confusion for the pilots, as they attempted to manually take back control of the plane..”


    • Same as happened on the Air France flight over South Atlantic that had erroneous airspeed warnings at high altitude and the crew was confused by multiple warnings ( using digital message type instead of just a red or amber light)
      They crashed a flyable plane
      Same again for an A320 XLAirways/Air NZ crash in Mediterranean during test flight. Again faulty sensor data led to a cascade of pilot errors including ignoring a specific warning message : USE MAN PITCH TRIM

  10. FG: Airline Business Index shows industry recovery stalling in Covid-hit start to 2022

  11. The Qatar/Airbus circus is going to go on for (at least) another year:

    “LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) – Airbus and Qatar Airways are heading towards a three-month summer trial next year after a UK judge granted the airline a relatively quick timetable while dismissing its procedural claims in a bitter safety and contractual dispute.

    “…he rejected a bid by the airline to split the trial into two parts to allow Airbus to perform a deeper technical analysis, something the planemaker says it has already done.

    “He also refused to order Airbus to stop formally trying to deliver more A350s to Qatar Airways, or to refrain from re-selling undelivered aircraft, while the dispute drags on.

    “The procedural ruling means Airbus is free to attempt to trigger payment clauses as more planes are built. It can also try to sell A350s that Qatar has rejected to carriers like Air India, which industry sources say could step in as a buyer.”


    • After this week’s assertion by POTUS that the US is willing to use force to defend Taiwan, the trade relationship between the 2 countries will freeze over even further. One can posit that BA will never sell/deliver a plane to China again.

      AB won’t be far behind. Although the EU has a much better relationship with China, the recent aviation-related sanctions against Russia will likely have startled the Chinese, and increased their desire for further independence from western OEMs. Business will probably be relatively good in the short term (barring a severe economic slowdown in China), but the writing is on the wall long-term.

      The loss of the Chinese market will be a severe blow to BA.

      • really ?
        last month ICBC Leasing ( Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), an actual China based lessor ( 688 aircraft, No 1 in China) took delivery of a Max

        • That was before this week’s POTUS statement, wasn’t it?
          In the meantime, China Southern appears to have completely removed the MAX from its books (see links above).

          Yes, really.

          • There must some posters stuck in a hollow and can’t see whether it’s day or night outside:

            -> 2021 Chinese bank-backed ICBC Leasing has won a Boeing 737 Max operating lease mandate from *United Airlines*

            -> CNBC: United selling and leasing back 22 planes in bid to conserve cash during coronavirus pandemic

            The move will help United conserve cash and give its balance sheet greater flexibility as it faces mounting losses due to coronavirus causing a global plunge in airline travel. Sixteen of the planes involved in the deal are 737-9 Max models that have not yet been delivered by Boeing. United currently has approximately 800 planes in its fleet.

            United Airlines has struck a deal with an Asian aircraft leasing firm to sell and then lease back 22 aircraft. Neither United nor the *Bank of China Aviation* revealed the financial terms of the deal announced Sunday morning.


        • Lol. No. of aircraft is not a good metric of measurement: those who specialize in small regional jets may have a huge number of aircraft but not necessary the biggest.

          Selected aircraft leasing companies ranking by assets (according to a report from AIN in Feb 2022):

          BOC Aviation $14.5b
          ICBC Leasing $13b

  12. Nasdaq.com: “Why Is Boeing (BA) Down 17.2% Since Last Earnings Report?”

    “VGM Scores

    “At this time, Boeing has a poor Growth Score of F, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

    “Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


    “Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It’s no surprise Boeing has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.”


  13. There must some posters stuck in a hollow and can’t see whether it’s day or night outside:

    -> Chinese bank-backed ICBC Leasing has won a Boeing 737 Max operating lease mandate from *United Airlines*

    -> CNBC: United selling and leasing back 22 planes in bid to conserve cash during coronavirus pandemic

    The move will help United conserve cash and give its balance sheet greater flexibility as it faces mounting losses due to coronavirus causing a global plunge in airline travel. Sixteen of the planes involved in the deal are 737-9 Max models that have not yet been delivered by Boeing. United currently has approximately 800 planes in its fleet.

    United Airlines has struck a deal with an Asian aircraft leasing firm to sell and then lease back 22 aircraft. Neither United nor the *Bank of China Aviation* revealed the financial terms of the deal announced Sunday morning.


    • SouthWest did the same thing with 10 Max’s and 10 737-800’s, during the pandemic. That was the deal on the Max’s where LUV got $410 million in cash and had to declare a profit of $70 million on the sale, giving us an idea of how much they are getting their aircraft for.

      Desperate times and all that…

  14. So let’s look at something;

    It’s June (almost). 7 months to get the Max 7 certified. IF Boeing cannot get in done by then, they try to pressure lawmakers to change the rules and they don’t buckle – LUV doesn’t get it’s Max 7’s.

    Is the A220-300 in play for a big boost, all of a sudden? I wonder if they have an understanding in place for exactly that type of scenario?

    • One would presume that LUV will then change the order to 737-8s…maybe even 737-8200s. In order to prevent a defection to the A220, BA will offer STELLAR discounts — even more than on the original order of 737-7s.

      Seeing as BA’s monumental dawdling seems to be getting worse and worse, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the MAX 7 isn’t certified by the end of the year.

    • N7201S, BOE Family Flights notes that it has racked up nearly 163 hours of flight test time over 59 flights. The aircraft took its last flight on April 14th, 2022.

      N7202U had been earmarked for Southwest from the start. However, this particular jet has not flown since October 2019, according to FlightRadar24.com.

  15. Breeze has just added the first A220 to its fleet — with three seating classes.

    “Low-cost airline Breeze Airways is going cross-country.

    “On Wednesday, Breeze, the brainchild of JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman, operated its first-ever flight using its new Airbus A220 aircraft. According to FlightAware, the inaugural journey flew five and half hours from Richmond to San Francisco, which is one of 17 transcontinental routes Breeze will operate this summer.

    “”The A220-300 is a game-changer for us as we can now serve guests coast-to-coast!” Breeze founder and CEO David Neeleman said in a press release. “The A220 offers travelers the widest cabin, highest ceiling, largest windows, and biggest overhead stowage in this class, while still managing to burn 25% less fuel, with half the noise footprint of past generations.””



    This article shows the very nice interior in Breeze’s A220:


  16. “no easy fix”,Airbus copper mesh mess.
    Is anyone paying to look behind the pay wall at the Times?
    I have always suspected that this problem is at the far end of constant maintenance.

    • Lightning mitigation issues with composite fuselages may be more prevalent/generic that previously thought.
      Look at the video in the link below, and note the significant damage:

      “Jetstar Boeing 787-8 Damaged Significantly By Lightning”

      “The extent of the damage to the Dreamliner’s fuselage was filmed by a news outlet. Small holes, prevalent scorch marks, and blistered paint can be pictured on the fuselage’s underside.”


      • I’ve been thinking for awhile that composite
        fuselages *might* be- all things considered- a net negative; taking into account issues like the one mentioned above, plus materials
        costs (presently accounted for or not), relative toxicity in construction, crashworthiness (!), and others.

        • You may be right.
          I’m interested to see to what extent composites degrade under the influence of long-term cosmic ray bombardment at high altitudes: paint may protect the fuselage from UV, but it won’t help against cosmic rays. Just look at what extended UV exposure does to your plastic garden items.

    • From what I’ve read on the copper mesh issue with the A350, much of the problem centers on air humidity during painting — with elevated humidity adversely affecting paint adhesion. Airbus has noted that the paint manufacturer / painting location appear to be causative factors. It’s notable that BA is ferrying 787s to Victorville (in the desert) for wing re-painting rather than re-painting at the customer location — so it seems that air humidity may also be playing a role in that problem. For the time being, OEMs may elect to do composite painting at arid locations — such as Spain for AB and the Sonoran/Mojave desert for BA. Far from optimal, of course.

  17. airBaltic with an interesting comment:

    Another One: airBaltic Welcomes 36th Airbus A220-300 To Its Fleet


    Demand across Europe has seen airBaltic wet lease several of its aircraft, with four serving with Lufthansa-subsidiary Eurowings and a fifth with SAS. Accounting for around 15% of its fleet, the carrier believes there could be even more leases on the cards.

    “There’s a very significant demand for A220 aircraft, especially the -300 version. So I guess if we would try, we could lease out the whole of our fleet this year,” noted CEO Martin Gauss in a recent interview with Simple Flying. “The demand is not only coming from Europe. We have global demand for the aircraft, and [we are] working now on some of the winter leads in different continents.”

    The A220 has proved an unlikely popular choice with airlines across the world. Boasting a range of 3,600 NM with a passenger capacity of up to 160, the jet has found itself implemented on several low-density, medium-haul routes, typically operated by its slightly larger A320 siblings, including airBaltic’s Riga to Dubai service (six hours and 45 minutes), Air Austral’s Chennai to Reunion (six hours and 10 minutes), and JetBlue’s New York to San Jose (six hours and 40 minutes) planned for launch in September.


    Seems like they’ve found the winning formula…

  18. Boeing CEO says no plans to raise additional equity


    Boeing supply chain snarls 737 MAX production, deliveries – WSJ


    Along with Pedro’s link:

    “Boeing won’t launch a new jetliner any time soon to address Airbus’s sales lead in the narrow-body market. Its digital toolset won’t be `tested and mature’ for at least another two years, CEO Dave Calhoun said Friday”

    But that still does leave the door open for:

    1) The twin aisle 797 (767 replacement)

    2) Paid for with debt

    IF…(big if) you take everyone at their word.

    • > But that still does leave the door open for:
      1) The twin aisle 797 (767 replacement) <

      In this decade? Not likely, I think. Hell, they can't even get the relatively old-tech 787s back into delivery mode,
      yet Mr. Calhoun is talking "digital this and that"- with a restive work- and supplier force [and no money, whatever that word means these days] ?


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