Pontifications: Airbus grows in China while Boeing remains on the sidelines

By Scott Hamilton

April 11, 2023, © Leeham News: Airbus last week firmed up an order for 150 A320neos and 10 A350-900s with China. The deal was announced last year.

Additionally, Airbus and the Chinese government agreed to add to the A320 family assembly site in Tianjin, increasing the capacity of the plant. This will be another step in Airbus’ goal to achieve a production rate of 75 per month by 2026 for the A320 family.

And that’s not all. Airbus and the China National Aviation Fuel Group (CNAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Meanwhile, Boeing remains essentially frozen out of China. Deliveries of the 737 MAX remain stalled. Although China Southern Airlines outlined expected deliveries this year and through the next few years, we’ve seen this sort of thing before. Until an official announcement comes from Beijing authorizing deliveries, or some of the stored airplanes are delivered, words are just words.

That said, there are some solid indications we’re seeing that Boeing deliveries to China may well resume in the not-too-distant future, but on a glacial pace. The financial viability of some airlines within China, while opaque to outsiders, is monitored by the CAAC, China’s regulator. Some airlines are deemed too financially risky now to accept delivery of any new aircraft, whether the OEM is Boeing or Airbus.

While Boeing’s 140 MAXes originally ordered by China remained in a Twilight Zone of sorts, delivery of some Airbus A320neos also has been blocked. Generally, though, Airbus continues to tender airplanes and win orders while Boeing sits on the sidelines.

Boeing to up production

Meanwhile, Boeing will up production of the 737 from 31/mo to 38. Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, signaled an increase during a speech at the Wings Club last month. Bloomberg News first reported the story last week. Bloomberg reports the rate hike is planned for mid-year, a few months ahead of schedule.

“Executives at Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc., which manufactures the aluminum frame for the narrow-body jets, said in February they plan to hike output for 737 parts to a 38-jet monthly pace by August, and a 42-jet pace by October, under a schedule hammered out with Boeing,” Bloomberg reported.

The rate hike is good news—if Boeing can perform. It’s struggled to consistently hit rate 31, citing supply chain issues and its own internal problems—mainly a workforce at the Renton 737 plant that is no longer operated the smoothly running, highly experienced workforce it once had. During the 21-month grounding of the MAX and throughout the COVID pandemic, Boeing offered early retirement to thousands of workers. After the grounding was lifted and the pandemic eased, Boeing hired new employees who have a learning curve to return to previous efficiencies and production levels.

For much of last year, when production rates were supposed to 31/mo, Boeing was pressed to roll new 737s out the door at a rate in the mid-20s.


COMAC received certification for its C919 late last year from CAAC, China’s regulator. The first commercial version (as opposed to flight test models) was handed over to China Eastern Airlines. Four months later, the aircraft still has not entered service.


358 Comments on “Pontifications: Airbus grows in China while Boeing remains on the sidelines

    • Interesting as the China Aircraft enthusiasts predicted how much the C919 changes the game!

      Clearly from the past, China has a long slog ahead as its vision exceeds its reach in various technical fields. Not because they are not capable, they certainly are. Its when the Government has its fingers in the pie as well as on the scales things get bogged down.

      Airbus is an example of letting an mfg figure out what product and how to go about it.

      The recent example of a major tech change in a mostly 3D printed rocket actually getting off the pad and to a second stage says it all. That is indeed a possible game changer. Space X , ULA and Arriane could be superseded and its only a tech jump that allows that.

      • “Interesting as the China Aircraft enthusiasts predicted how much the C919 changes the game!”

        Give it time…Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  1. It’s not all bad news for BA.
    Although its exclusion from China may (or may not) be political in nature, sometimes politics works the other way:

    “How the record Boeing deal was caught between Washington and Riyadh”

    “But senior U.S. and Saudi government officials ultimately became more directly involved in the commercial talks and brought them back on track, according to the people briefed. The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud, played a particularly central role, as did the White House’s Middle East point man, Brett McGurk, and the State Department’s assistant secretary for energy resources, Amos Hochstein.”

    “A Boeing spokesman told Semafor: “Boeing has consistently supported global trade and appreciates the Biden Administration’s commercial advocacy overseas on behalf of American workers and industry.””


    Same happened in Taiwan, where a delegation of US lawmakers traveled to the country in order to “persuade” it to buy BA widebodies.

  2. Regarding AB deliveries to China:
    Of the 53 A320/A321 family aircraft delivered in March, 8 went to Chinese carriers — which is 15%.

  3. Regarding the C919:

    “Chinese C919’s engine malfunctions in flight test”

    “In a recent flight test ahead of its commercial operation scheduled in late February, China’s self-developed C919 narrow-body passenger jet ran into a problem.

    “Chinese media reported that a C919 jet of China Eastern Airlines took off at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport at 9:45am on February 1 and landed at the Beijing Capital International Airport at around noon. As one of its engines during landing failed to open the thrust reverser, which is designed to slow down the plane, the planned journey on to Hefei was canceled and the plane returned to Shanghai.

    “Air engineering experts said that although a failure in thrust reversal is not a big problem, China Eastern probably will have to push back the plane’s commercial launch. They said an initial investigation found that the failure was caused by some problems in foreign-origin parts.”

    “On December 9 last year, China Eastern Airlines received the first C919 jet from Comac. On December 26, the airliner, with a flight number MU919, took off in Shanghai, starting to fly for its first 100 hours. Passing this test is essential for China Eastern Airlines to get a certificate for the plane’s commercial operation.”


    • 1. It’s speculation, I believe a more pressing need for COMAC is to secure/derisk the supply chain;
      2. Even WN, an existing customer of the MAX 8, would take six month to put a new derivative MAX 7 into service.

      • Regarding (1): why do you think the Chinese have started flight-testing their own CJ-1000A engine?
        Independence is key in the new world order.

          • Very difficult to take that sensationalist “junk journalism” seriously when it contains the quote:

            “…details are emerging that reveal how a state-owned aircraft manufacturer was able to build a plane that looks remarkably similar to a Boeing 737.

            “”It really looks like a knockoff,” said Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser during the Trump administration, describing the Chinese-built C919. ”


          • Wow, without BA ever assembling any aircraft in the country, how those guys were able to build a “knockoff”? By remote-learning?

          • Who said?

            The former deputy national security adviser of Trump administration, describing the Chinese-built C919 and “junk journalism” from CBS, the same source *you* quoted.

            -> “As China moves closer to mass production of its first large passenger jet, details are emerging that reveal how a state-owned aircraft manufacturer was able to build a plane that looks remarkably similar to a Boeing 737.

            ‘It really looks like a knockoff,’ said Matt Pottinger


            Now you posit that thru’ “regular” maintenance, people can learn to make a knockoff. Are you serious?? Why the Americans does not ban BA from selling their aircraft to overseas customers? Are El Salvador, Costa Rica and the Philippines selling Boeing knockoffs? 😂😂😂

          • the Chinese plane isnt a 737 knockoff.
            Its best described by its other name A320-919. Hopefully they might have improved some things. The giveaway is to find if the undercarriage wheel bay still can handle a 4 wheel double axle like the A320 used to have as an option. But the chinese A320 wing factory builds Airbus parts one side and the 919 the other side !

            The B707 became the Y-10, the MD90 became the ARJ21 ( with some worthwhile changes)
            You dont need an existing production line to know how to do it, China has copied many Russian types and of course the Russians built a B-29 copy the Tu-4 just from dismantling one

          • How come the reporter of this fear-mongering report is not aware of the CJ-1000A undergoing testing? Forgot to find any real expert? Or the editor chopped it off for sensational report?

          • “You dont need an existing production line to know how to do it”

            When wll the Russian or Iranian or Indian or Korean or Ukrainian knock-off show up? May be Mitsubishi and Japan should send some expert to COMAC to learn a thing or two. Wink wink 😉

          • No, the C919 is not a knock off, its a Copy with Chinese Characteristics!

            If it was a knock off they could certify it! (FAA and or EASA)

            And its the MD build and the Airbus A320 that is the we get to see all that stuff in it from a Mantle standpoint vs a Dis-mantle view.

          • @ Pedro
            The C919 does, at least, bear some basic resemblance to an A320 — though there are plenty of differences there for someone making a closer inspection — the nose being a very striking example.

            But anyone seriously suggesting that the C919 is a knock-off of the 737 can only be assumed to have a non-functioning cortex. For example: the C919 doesn’t fly using 1960s cables and pulleys; and it doesn’t hug the ground, thereby allowing it to have larger-diameter engines; and its fuselage is wide enough to accommodate LD3 freight containers; and it has EICAS/ECAM; and its rear landing gear retracts into doored compartments rather than into open recesses;…

          • Exposed tires have a long tradition in the jet age. For a single aisle it works.

            737 also does not have a nose gear that has to turn 90 deg for it to be in the correct alignment of the tires to the tarmac.

            Cables and pulley is far easier to troubleshoot than electronics.

            The 737 is noted to have lower maint costs than the A320 series.

            The real aspect is that the efficiency of the MAX is equal to the A320NEO, with a slight seat count better on the -8 and more so on the -9 (the -10 of course competes with the A321.

            But yes, the C919 is more an A320 copy with Chinese Characteristic (very long time to get into production and very slow production and no recognized certification) though the basic of its structure could be either one.

          • Curious about the long tradition of exposed tires in the jet age TW ?

            I think the 737 was the only one ! And that was because the low
            fuselage ground clearance meant there was no room for doors. The similar low to ground 727 wheels retracted into wing

      • RR has stated its fixed the problems on the Trent 1000 (aka 7000 being a bleed air derivative) a number of times and they were flat wrong. Extraordinary lucky not to have a crash or two from that.

        So its a claim and not a reality.

        I believe the 7000 is actually a claimed derivative of the TEN and that was a 75% change from the 1000 so derivative would be wrong.

        Only time will tell as the 1000 took 5 years to show ALL its problems and we are hearing of issues on the XWB as well.

        As we have seen on the PW and Trent 1000/TEN, you have to put time on engines to find out if they really work or not as real world service is needed to show the bad or good.

        • Its more than just a bleedless 787 engine. New components/technology from the Trent XWB engine were also installed.
          The 787 engine designs date from nearly 20 years ago now and were also updated with T1000-10.

        • Time will tell – absolutely; but it is a published solution to a problem I was finding it hard to get factual information on. So much talk of ‘issues’ these days but less so on what they are (facts) and how they’re fixed or timelines. So, and as always, ‘hopefully’ a solution to a problem

          • Agreed that airlines don’t talk all too often. The A350 pain issue was covered up.

            RR engines you could only see a hint of though I will note that Wiki did update the Trent 1000/TEN to noting the various smoke and emissions waiver involved (US smoke, EU was ok with it).

            But you also see the same hints on the XWB engines and the Trent 900 (Emirates ain’t talking and they would be the only ones who took the last of the A380 with that wonder engine (heavy on the sarcasm).

            My assumption is that the Airlines only go public if they are not getting what they want.

            It does make you wonder what the actual cost comparison is between aircraft when the real data is hidden. You can have a wonderful SFC but if it only last 1000 hours and the engine falls off fast not to mention how soon it needs to come off the wing?

            In the end what matters is the combined costs not selective ones.

            P&W is inflicting a lot of those public costs on its customers with the GTF repair lagging hugely.

          • The TEN fixed most problems of the T1000. The nagging one was HPT T1 blade life. RR designed a new one but it did not meet RR expectations so they redid the it again. The T7000 share the same core but at slightly lower engine thrust. No guarantee that another problem will pop up, still RR often (not always) get engines to run long time on wing at the end.

  4. In cars, german manufacturers are very afraid that the joint ventures with China did lead to knowledge transfer of a lot of production and tech knowledge that will now be lost to Chinese counterparts and thus result in way stronger competitors with home field advantage.
    Usually, if the country has a manufacturer, the country buys these products the most.
    Germans buy german cars, Swedish buy Volvo, French by Renault / Nissan / Citroen, Japanese Toyota, Americans GM / Ford etc.
    And so on.

    As soon as there`s enough knowledge into Comac, you`ll see that other manufacturer will see decreasing market share and play less of a role.

    The question is, if it`s still worth it though you know it backfires in the future.
    Maybe Boeing isn`t so bad off in this case.

    • Well, there certainly isn’t any tech in the MAX that China might be interested in — whatever about the 787.
      As regards LEAP engines: they’re also supplied (in limited numbers so far) to China for its own C919 — so it can access that tech via that route.

      Furthermore: Japanese/Korean cars now make up a huge proportion of car sales in the US — in that regard, things have changed a lot in the past 3 decades.


      • Agreed, the C919 is just a me too offering though not as well done as a MAX (or an A320)

        As for tech, China can open up engines all they want, its the IP that goes into an engine that counts. You can copy things all you want but you need to understand the materials as well as how they are created and treated or its all for naught.

        Russia got tech from Germany but the engine from RR for the MIG-15 (there were some previous attempts to the famous MIG). Early days of jets and between copy and acquisition of treatment from the 3rd Reich, they could make not only a copy but a good one.

        But that engine was a dead end as Axial engines per the Germans was the way forward. It did get the Russians into the game and until recently, they at least had capable engines if not nearly as good as Western engines.

          • Yes thats right . The British jet engine was transferred early on to US but GE developed their own axial flow design.
            Centrifugal compressors isnt a dead end as many of the lower thrust engines still use it , best known is The Garret/Honeywell TFE31, newest one is Hondajet HF120 , similar to the Williams FJ44 series

            Recent revelations have the Boeing 8C, a small/tiny turbojet for the Ford Thunderbird around 1955 ( well before the Chrysler turbine car)
            With picture

          • DukeL

            Thanks for the clarify but I don’t think the centrifugal is a mainstay in anything.

            UK was right to proceed with what they had been working on, it turns out the Germans had the main way forward correct.

          • The Jumo axial jet engine was too far advanced for their materials and manufacturing at that stage of the war. They definitely made a mistake to switch to axial instead of the earlier centrifugal engines Ohain was working on as they had the superior airframe to use it.

            Evidence shows that centrifugal still is the mainstay of the smaller
            thrust class engines and their cousins the turboprops, why else would Honda/GE develop a new one and the Williams types be such big sellers. These are comparable thrust to the early WW2 fighter engines.
            Of course the USN fighter such as Grumman F9F panther and Cougar series were very successful centrifugal jets . No so much for USAF types

          • Duke:

            I think its a mistake to blame the axial design on German failures in the engine.

            Would those same poor materials have afflicted the centrifugal design as well?

            Both would have started with better materials and then suffered the degradation as they advanced into service at a time when they could no longer get the materials needed for any decent service life.

            In the end axial s are by far the majority. I would like to see some more on why a centrifugal works better for small engines.

          • The centrifugal compressor is favoured in the final stage of small
            jet engines otherwise the axial blades would be so small in length that boundary effects dominate

      • This is the common customer trap.
        You have no idea what really matters.

        A customer always thinks it`s about the product. It is, for him.

        For a business, it`s about the production of the product.
        The B737 might be an old frame, but the production is not.
        The product is reverse engineered in no time.

        But manufacture it in high quantities in a certain quality for low costs, that`s the magic – and this knowledge is not in China – yet.

        • You’re forgetting that BA has no production facilities in China…so how is it going to be privy to the production techniques used on the MAX?

          China is churning out HSTs in high quantities and at a high quality, without any “assistance” from the US — which has no HSTs (the Acela doesn’t qualify as one). China has also left other HST strongholds — such as Japan and the EU — far behind.

          Similar considerations apply to the Chinese semiconductor, nuclear and shipbuilding industries, for example.

          • Read it again, you might understand my point if you use the inside of your head.

            My point was that it`s maybe not that bad to not transfer production knowledge to China.
            The reply was: But the Max is an old design who cares?
            But the production is not.

            Hope you can understand it now.

          • “737 production ‘IP'”

            Is more in line with that Catherine Aird quip:

            “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

            All the issues that comes up with the Boeing production setup ( be that 737 or in general )
            seem to indicate that spying not worthwhile.

          • AB’s Tianjin FAL. Should be as good as, if not better than Renton’s.

        • Who want to copy a design from the 60s that has past its best before date? Is there any headroom to grow? Nope.

          Just found out BA tried to persuade Mitsubishi to adopt 737 cockpit in its MRJ. Fortunately they refused.

    • “In cars, german manufacturers are very afraid that the joint ventures with China did lead to knowledge transfer of a lot of production and tech knowledge that will now be lost to Chinese counterparts and thus result in way stronger competitors with home field advantage.”

      Source(s)? AFAIK China is the biggest market for the three major German automakers. VW is the first to set up auto JV in China. Over the last and a half decade, between 30 to 40 percent of their profits came from China. I don’t think what you posted matching the German’s deed.

      • The market in China is moving to electric cars in the long run. German manufacturers managed to create a competetive electric offering in our home market, but their market share for e cars in china is so small, it’s irrelevant. So that cash cow clearly is at risk, and yes they are worried about that.

        Cheers from germany.

        • Some Chinese automakers are fully committed in BEVs, unlike the German which pivoted only after VW’s dieselgate scandal, that’s why they are a few years ahead. They have developed a whole BEV ecosystem, invested in LFP tech years ago.

      • Bloomberg says it’s NEVs (mainly BEVs and some PHEVs) that put pressure on those foreign carmakers.

        Watch out! Especially BA that appears to be a noticeable laggard in R&D.

        • NYTimes: As U.S. Tries to Isolate China, German Companies Move Closer

          The Guardian: BMW to axe UK production of electric Mini and relocate to China

          • I recently traveled in a BYD electric taxi.
            A very pleasant experience, with a real quality feel, and very smooth, powerful performance.
            The driver was delighted with the car, and said that it had no issues whatsoever.
            And all for much less than the price of a Tesla — which BYD has now overtaken in terms of units delivered per year.

            Are we supposed to believe that these people need to steal know-how from European car manufacturers?

          • @Bryce Foreign car makers were forced by the chinese governments to build factories in joint ventures with chinese companies. They basically trained their chinese competition.
            So no, they dont need to steal any know how. They already got it served on a silver platter. And the only know how they couldnt easily replicate – the combustion motors – is becoming obsolete with the switch to electric motors that have much less complexity. And of course they leapfrogged western competition in the battery area, Tesla is the only company that still can compete in that space.

          • @nofly
            So, how did the Japanese and Koreans learn how to built excellent cars?
            They they also get that knowledge from the West?

            Have you seen how many published (and expired) patents there are with car design tech? Mountains of freely-available knowledge.

            Big shock: engineers in non-Western countries also have talent 😏

    • -> “At the end of the first quarter, Boeing has booked 56 net new orders while Airbus booked 142.”

      • Yes, I’m curious as to the 22 cancellations that BA recorded in March.
        Does anyone know who cancelled?

        • Lessors are most likely to cancel as they have thin margins and are more speculative or dont have customers lined up

          hardly news as Airbus has cancellations too….be daring and tell us the numbers !

      • No, I don’t have a ready source of such info.
        One might try to glean it by poring through production lists to look for engine runs / ground tests, but that would be tedious. Moreover, one could argue that gliders waiting for engines are also “produced planes” as far as the airframer is concerned.
        Scott says the problem is predominantly with P&W engine deliveries — so I suspect that there are gliders sitting around.

        Do you have info on produced frames?

  5. That’s odd, wonder what supplier problems are effecting Airbus?

      • Ironic, PW turboprops are reliable maybe not the most efficient. Yet reliability issues with the GTF tech.

        • You don’t think GTFs are more advanced and complicated than turboprops?

          • That is not the point, PW has a stellar reputation for their turboprops, and its ironic how their reputation is taking a hit because of the GTF.

            Commendation to PW for trying to monetize a decade worth of research. PW will figure it out eventually. Hopefully when they do airlines will trust them and GE/Safran will not debut their rumored GTF.

          • @ williams
            Of course it’s the point.
            If you’re the first company to attempt something very complicated and demanding, it’s not surprising that you run into issues.
            The CFM LEAP engines are also having issues, mainly associated with the new (high-temperature) tech that they contain.

            Who said that the CFM RISE is GTF?

          • I go with Williams on this one. P&W had the guts to put money into a major architectural change for larger jet engines.

            As messed up as RR is, they agree that GTF is the way forward.

            And yes, the RISE is a GTF though you can make a valid argument its a turboprop as well.

            CFM had nothing left in the quiver (Safran failed miserably on the4 Silvercest engine) so they are trying to hold all progress while the wondrous RISE that has nothing to it, aka vaporware magically meets a timeline for the perfect engine with no downsides in 2035.

            What we need is also a better breakout on the GTF and is it acualy failing, does it need new parts inserted or are they coming up for overhauls and its a supply chain issue ?

          • Pedro:

            They share the same concept, you have to slow down the primary thrust maker be it a prop or the fan.

            In the case of a TP you have to, in the case of a jet engine you are better off if you do.

            RISE is the latest in an ever changing so called open rotor. It started off mounted in the rear of a jet and facing backwards.

            Now its flipped around and the blades are slowed down like a Turbo Prop but also a concept of GTF (the blades so far are not movable).

            Hybrid GTF or TP, whichever.

            Key point is one has never been built and put into any service, so any claims to a definitive timeline to build are pure nonsense, they have no idea what they will encounter and what has to change (again).

          • @TW

            That’s not where they ran into issues AFAIK. You have to focus at what made them run into problems.

            LEAP also has its own issues (though it doesn’t appear to be as severe as GTF).

  6. Per Boeing, 11 Chinese airlines have resumed flying the MAX, with 45% of the Chinese MAX fleet now active.

    Additionally, deliveries will resume with 116 aircraft currently scheduled for 2023 & 2024. That’s about 65% of the Chinese aircraft Boeing had in storage.

    • “Additionally, deliveries will resume with 116 aircraft currently scheduled for 2023 & 2024”

      Got a link for that?

        • “China Southern said in its annual report that it planned to take thirty-seven B737 MAX in 2023, followed by 35 in 2024 and 31 in 2025, …”

          The quote doesn’s say that the extra MAXs will be in the form of deliveries from BA. Aircraft for Chinese carriers are bought by a central authority, which then allocates them among airlines. Totally possible that MAXs will be moved from various airlines with small sub-fleets and concentrated in other airlines. Aurline groups such as Lufthansa, AF-KLM and IAG have given us examples of such re-allocations before.
          A small Chinese carrier returned a MAX to a lessor 2 weeks ago…that’s rather telling…

          • A MAX delivery is a MAX delivery. Either they will come from the existing Chinese orders in Boeing inventory (which is most likely), or they will be new production.

            I just though it was interesting that another prediction made here has fallen by the wayside.

          • @Rob
            You’re reading something that isn’t there.
            Accurate reading is an important skill for an (alleged) engineer.

          • @Bryce, knock off the insults.


          • Ok, Bryce, I’m willing to wait and see, and remain confident in doing so. History is on my side. I’ll come back to this when we have more evidence.

          • Very good, Rob.
            We mustn’t be tempted to present personal interpretations as absolutisms.
            In that regard, note the conditional syntax in my retort — as opposed to the absolute syntax in yours.

            As regards “history being on your side”, we recall your VERY premature “predictions” regarding MAX re-cert in China 😏

          • And I thought my wife made my day when she told me she watched every small move I made to be of service! (that is re-phrasing it a bit).

            Clearly China has an off ramp for a while with the stored MAX jets they can draw on without making them “new orders”.

            After that China will double clutch if and as needed to sustain the flying in China.

            Macron clearly threw Europe and the US under the bus.

          • Remember who stabbed the French in the back to pocket $368 billion? Is it hypocrisy?

            BTW who said recently Chinese economy is in bad shape?? The sky is falling, right?

          • China economy does have serious issues with their own debacle of Prime Apartments and various impacts of that still as well as the post Covid issues.

            Who saved France from itself twice now?

            And yes I recognize what happened in our revolution but you should be aware that the Spanish government gave a lot more support to the fledgling colonies than the French did (and who did it for their own reasons). That support went away when we had been of use.

            It does not change history or the impact of both French troops and the fleet that allowed Yorktown, but it requires a full disclosure that history is not some pretty bow wrapped package. It was a fight all the way to get what we did out of France (and what we got was just enough).

            France stabbed itself in the back with that over priced Sub deal.

            They should have offered their proven Nuke boats.

          • @Bryce

            Air China doesn’t mention delivery of any MAX in its fleet plan.

          • Lol. Time to learn more. 🙄The buyer was interested in conventional sub. at the time. The French had to *convert* design of its *nuclear* sub to suit buyer’s requirement! The ballooning cost lies mainly with the buyer requires *substantial* work to be undertaken locally, not overseas. They can’t blame others when they shot themselves in the foot. Now every taxpayer has to bear $24,000 to enrich American and the Brit. The Colony is fleeced twice!

      • @Bryce

        From @Scott above:
        “Although China Southern Airlines outlined expected deliveries this year and through the next few years, we’ve seen this sort of thing before. “

        • Furthermore, BA has to rush a flight sim to Shanghai.

          Better pilot training was one of the three conditions CAAC set for the Boeing 737 Max to return to the skies over China.

        • Yes, it’s always possible that a new political event can upset things. And it’s possible that China is not sincere and is stalling Boeing again. We’ll have to see what happens.

          Boeing is prepared to remarket if necessary. They’ve already shown that they can and will.

          • We had a whole series of such upsetting political events last week…

          • Yes, that’s the price for holding China in check.

            Meanwhile Macron is in China advocating for Airbus. Which is fine, he’d be remiss if he didn’t, and I hope it bears fruit for them. But he’s able to do so because the US holds the line in the Pacific.

          • “But he’s able to do so because the US holds the line in the Pacific.”

            The US doesn’t hold any “line” in the Pacific.
            The US, EU and UK can’t even “hold the line” against Russia –a much smaller and less sophisticated adversary than China.

          • In Bryceland, maybe. In the real world, events don’t support your view.

            US regularly conducts FON exercises at sea and in the air, and assists other nations in doing the same, to protect their territorial rights against Chinese incursion.

            The US Navy and Coast Guard also provide assets to protect economic zones and fisheries, at the request of other nations, who embark law enforcement officers on US assets to enable jurisdiction. The main culprits there as well, are the Chinese.

            None of that is going to endear the US to the Chinese, and everyone understands this. But the alternative is for the Chinese to overrun those territories and zones, which that have already claimed the right to do. But cannot, because of the US and allies in the region.

          • @ Rob
            Thanks for that feel-good quote from the Pentagon PR brochure 👍

          • China: sexy girlfriend giving plenty of signals

            Boeing: dullard boyfriend in agonizing process of getting dumped

            they let you know

          • I wonder which country started a trade war? And all these rhetoric about sanctions? That’s sincerity in your eyes?

            May be the American can arm-twist the Saudi to order more Boeing.

            If BA were in a strong position, I have no doubt they would cancel the orders and remarketed the aircraft (like AB).

          • The “anger” and fury exist only in the Anglo-American echo chamber.

          • william:

            “At least Macron is not stepping on any toes, bad for business. I respect his honesty.”


            Dang and I thought he was tired of riots in France and being ignored by everyone and wants to make waves.

            Guess I was terribly guilty of discounting Macron and an opportunist. I will apologize next time I see him.

          • You can be honest and an opportunist at the same time. He is letting it be known because the US may have a problem with China does not mean the France will. Keeping that big gigantic market open for the EU.

            Would have loved to be in the Oval Office when this news broke.

          • williams:

            Interesting view and is that not what Europe said about Russia before the Ukrainian invasion? AKA the US is rabble rousing.

            While there are always politics involved, appeasement has never proven to work.

            Macron tried to be a big deal in the Ukrainian invasion and the glory of a peace deal and he has proven to been horridly stupid in that regard.

            While the US and Europe have disagreements, maintaining peoples territory is a long standing interest (of do you forget the Cold War?)

            And yes the US was terribly wrong on the Iraq II war. Stupid politicians let us go off the rails for the glory of one guy who wanted to prove his dad wrong (Bush I was spot on).

            Bush II steamrolled congress with the 9/11 attacks that he would use to beat them over the head until they lost their offices.

            If a democracy can go off the rails, well we have seen what a Dictatorship can do have we not?

            As recall France was selling assault ships to Russia (or tried) as well as gun sights for tanks.

          • Macron is enabled by the US, and actually by AUKUS, though he would be loath to admit it. As well as the Japanese and every other regional nation that is pushing back on the Chinese, and providing security.

            The US is very well aware of the price they are paying for their support of Pacific allies. As is Boeing. And they know Macron is riding their coattails.

            But so be it, everyone agrees with the price, so there’s not much controversy over it. France and Airbus might as well get the business, if the Chinese are angry at the US for upholding international law.

            I doubt it made any kind of dent at the White House. France doing their own thing, is nothing new.

          • Rob:

            Well put.

            There is a huge difference between selling stuff and undermining others efforts to maintain their territorial integrity.

            Chamberlains appeasement set off the horrible consequences of WWII.

            No one should give China any excuse to take over other countries (nor should the US do so).

            But France has a long history of entitlement and antipathy to the USA happened in WWII at a major cost to the US with Vichy France to deal with.

            As a side note, the one guy who got it right was Maginot. His fortresses and the line were not penetrated. The Ardennes where there was no fortresses was the conduit that allowed a penetration.

            That was a colossal and key French failure, a couple more division in there and it would never have occurred. The world paid a horrible price. We don’t need that again.

          • @Rob
            Thanks for giving us such a neat summary of the unique US world view.
            No wonder “a certain country” is repeatedly caught out by the evolving realities on the ground.

          • Oops

            -> European Council president Charles Michel : “European leaders are becoming increasingly favorable toward French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for ‘strategic autonomy’ away from the United States”

            I think it would be a shock to those in the echo chamber when they are forced to face there is a bigger world … outside.

          • And here is the flip side. Members of the EU and NATO who are concerned about Macron’s comments.


            The truth is that there is a wide spectrum of opinion in Europe on this issue. It’s far from being uniform or homogenous.

            The concern for other members, is that although Macron is free to criticize US leadership, he isn’t prepared to provide the security guarantees that the US does. That’s the same issue that arises in the Pacific with China. He’s free to pursue his criticism because others are protecting him, and assuring his security.

            I don’t think anyone in the US would object to Europe having greater security independence. That actually helps in the pivot to the Pacific. Europe can probably already handle Russia, with some US assistance.

          • In US support for Ukraine has largely waned, dropping below 50%. Is U.S. repeating its venture in Vietnam/Afghan/Iraq? Budget deficit in the first half has grown 63% to $1.1 trillion. How much fund sent to Ukraine has gone into pockets of Oligarchs and politicians (and their families)?

          • @ Pedro
            Don’t waste time and effort on the subject.
            There’s a strong preconditioning to adhere to what was drummed in at school — that’s what makes it so difficult to adjust to the rapidly changing realities in the present-day world.
            Continuing this thread will probably only serve to precipitate a rebuke from Scott — which would be regrettable, since he’s otherwise very generous in the leeway that he gives us here.

          • Bryce:

            Write back when you have managed through 65+ years of change and turmoil and let us know how you are doing!

            Look up the word progressive in US context.

            Also reality as my generation came from people who survived the great depression and WWII (yes my father served and in combat).

            At least 3 times WWII would never have been or truncated if certain parties had stepped up and growing up in the 50s and on through the cold war tells you volumes about holding a line and the price the world pays if its not held.

            You are the lucky recipient of those who did. I pay my homage to being one of those who benefited. Tens of millions died never to see a future and 100s of millions suffered unbelievably (and that is and was on both sides).

          • @Transworld

            Well said. I’m a member of that generation as well. My father and uncles served in WWII and Korea. They are the greatest generation for a reason. We could use some of that today.

  7. Bryce,

    …”Same happened in Taiwan, where a delegation of US lawmakers traveled to the country in order to “persuade” it to buy BA widebodies…”

    Interestingly indeed, “political nudges” go well for trade including for Airbus, Boeing and any other industry.

    Here recently with Saudi Arabia, for Boeing, India and China for Airbus.

    But I really think it was not difficult to “persuade” Taiwan to buy widebodies from Boeing in view of the success of the 787 Dreamliner jet…
    Mention this one for the sake of precision and context…

    • The prevailing thought of some commenters is that anytime BA gets a sale, it was either forced or at fire sale prices meanwhile somehow airlines absolutely never have pressure or cost considerations when purchasing AB. The reality is there are a sea of nuances in any decision and it’s never that cut and dry.

      • We have copious evidence that many/most recent BA sales have been at ridiculously high discounts — discounts that the company simply can’t afford in view of its atrocious financial situation.

        There’s no doubt that AB also sells at discounts — it is, after all, standard in the industry. But Airbus is consistently making a healthy quarterly profit on its commercial aircraft division, so its discounts are obviously not as reckless as BA’s (which is consistently making operating losses at BCA).

      • 1. It seems to be a realistic observation.
        2. it is blowback from jingoistic derision exuded in the past.

        3. to have this come full circle I am waiting Boeing being tagged a socialist jobs programme. 😉

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing where this discussion zooms off to !

    • Yes, me as well. It’s looking like another Bryce/Rob donnybrook at this point. Go get ’em Scott.

      • So, is it the Thrilla in Manila or the Rumble in the Jungle?

        And who is playing Rope a Dope?

        • Thrilla in Manila……….Wow, taking me back……..You are showing your age TransWorld……..LOL.

          • Smokin’ Joe !

            Loved it when he knocked down Ali in the first fight- and got the win.. that time.

          • williams:

            Thank you though Scott may be there with me (if he followed that stuff).

            With great age comes great wisdom (grin).

            Those were some truly brutal slugfests.

    • …Unfortunately not in the sense of a Fanboy or wishful thinking maker…

  9. Scott, one question: Airbus said these 160 orders were announced last year. Do you know if these orders were signed just now or was it´s already in the Airbus backlog?

      • Um.. Mr. Macron was a Rothchilds banker, who was temporarily reassigned ex nihilo to deal with the proles.

        go look.

        • Only 4 years at Rothschilds , most career as a high public official then political cadre and government minister

          • > Only 4 years at Rothschilds < [cough]

            Had Mr. Macron ever been elected to office
            at any level before his remarkable 2017 coronation as President of France ?

            What *we* see is all theatre.. the real action is preordained at a higher level. His job is marketing
            those decisions, not making them.

  10. People discount the brilliance of Boeing strategy of emptying out Everett Plant so they can crank out single aisles there.

    • they can have a yard sale: “everything must go..”

      Something bigger going on, I think.

      • Why is the order book growing bigger than deliveries?
        “561 orders for the 737 MAX, adding new customers such as ANA, Delta Air Lines, IAG, and low-cost carrier Arajet
        213 orders for widebodies, including 114 787s, 31 767s and 68 777s
        78 orders across Boeing’s freighter line, including 45 orders for the 767-300 Freighter and current 777 Freighter

        Why does the share markets value Boeing roughly market cap the same as Airbus ?

        Why do people say silly things instead of simple facts

        • Duke:

          Because context is very important. Things looked good just before the German invasion of France. No so much when they broke through the Ardennes.

          It is relevant to know Boeing is deep in debt and has two again platform it is depending on for the future.

          Single aisle market share is dropping (and again context says if you cant produce the numbers then sales share does not mean market share).

          In theory Boeing can ramp up and match Airbus and the MAX is as good as the A320 (tad better with more seats on the -8 and a lot more on the -9).

          But context is also can Boeing get the -10 certified in time to avoid another Cockpit alert drop dead date?

          Boeing is very strong in defense and looks to have a good franchise in the T-7 (as well as the F-15EX).

          Boeing may not even be able to design and build an aircraft now (granted Airbus may well have the same problem but they don’t have the military T-7 and MQ-25 to prove out new production methods let alone engineers down the road)

          No question Boeing has a very nice backlog and if they do it right they can right the ship. What we do not know is can they right the ship and as long as people like Calhoun are in charge, profits go to the stocks and not into RD let alone product.

          Boeing has made no profit on the 787, the MAX or the 777X and in fact has lost huge amounts on each (so far)

          • I wonder how many 787s Boing would have to sell to
            make a net profit on that program. Of course, if they’re still losing money on each one, that’s not possible.

            On the 777X and 737MAX™ I will remain silent.

          • The market disagrees with you , but thats OK. The financial pain is borne by the stockholders for the bad management over the last decade, let them worry about that.
            Lets just stick to simple facts and leave the informed pontifications to Scott, the uninformed opinions as Mr Pedro likes to say, are just GIGO

          • @DoU
            The market was also very enamored of SVB — until it collapsed.
            Analysts expect large Q1 and Q2 losses for BA — let’s see how the market likes that.
            The market hasn’t yet copped on to the fact that BA’s unit margins continue to be insufficient to cover costs.

        • Who the heck said “ANA, Delta Air Lines, IAG” are “new” customers?? My God! GIGO.

          • I suspect that Pedro may have been referring to the fact that all three carriers were existing 737 operators…

          • An airframer that’s only good at doling out word salad and our poster dutifully regurgitated!

          • Boeing says its about the 737 *Max*…… its in the statement.

            Anyone with more than a basic knowledge of British airways fleet would know that the last time they flew 737 was the classic series and have been a long time Airbus single aisle user since. Until it wasnt

          • AB can talk all day about “new” customers of A320neo/A321neo/A321XLR/A350/A350F etc 🙄

            BA talked about IAG not “British airways”. Be more careful next time.

          • Tell us which IAG group airline already flys Boeing 737 ?
            Aer Lingus ? Nope
            Iberia ? Nope
            Vueling ? Nope
            Level ? Nope
            Other information confirms it was British Airways
            It seems you have completely made up a preposterous claim and Boeing was fully able to claim the Max as an IAG new order.

            The real point is of course the order book is very healthy

          • @ DoU

            “The real point is of course the order book is very healthy”

            Except that most of it can be canceled without penalty due to accrued delays across all programs.
            That’s what’s called a Sword of Damocles 🙈

    • Was pushing out thousands of experienced engineers and workers out the door another “brilliant” BA strategy/achievement??

      • Very intentional, IMO. Something bigger’s going on, I think, though it’s a murky picture so far. Maybe
        it’ll be clearer around the end of this year (a guess).

          • From the first link:
            “Airbus is not ruling out involuntary layoffs. But, before then, the European aircraft manufacturer is working to provide voluntary departure, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes.”

            The net loss at the end of the day was minimal, Dukie.


            Regarding the second link:
            It’s part of the subject of the present Pontifications article — hadn’t noticed?

          • For how many years BA has repeated their projection to clear out inventory in two years? For how long has BA struggled to attain its claimed rate at 31/month??

          • Yes, DoU, Boeing will be increasing production on the ill-fated 737MAX very, very soon- just as soon as they sort out the latest issues with the rudder join, along with all the previous ones that we know so well. Have they *in fact* gotten to the 31 per month that’s been touted in the press / PR for a year, yet? I think they have not. Verifiable evidence (evidence, not assertion) to the contrary is most welcome.

          • Airbus’ notice is from 2020
            When production was more or less reduced to ZERO for a time.
            Problems were solved in a rather benign way alowing retention of workforce competence.
            Benign enough to resume production with the reduction in Covid fall out.
            ( same happened in the aftermath of the GFC. don’t act desstructive on your workforce.
            Quite the counter to Boeing’s workforce manaqgement )

          • @ Vincent
            I have an answer to your question — seeing as you probably won’t be getting one from Dukie 😉

            – BA deliveries in Q1 were 130.
            – 35 were from inventory (according to what I can see on Planesppotters), thereby leaving 95 from the line.
            – 8 of those were 787s, and 6 were 777s/767s/747s, thereby leaving only 81 737s from the line (including P-8s).
            – 81 737s in 3 months equates to 27 per month.
            – We actually already could have foreseen this, in view of guidance given last year by Spirit Aerosystems w.r.t. the expected number of 737 shipsets.

            For Airbus:
            127 deliveries in Q1, of which 110 were A320/A321 family.
            This equates to 36.66 per month, which is below the current AB target.
            But, in Airbus’ case, at least we know that the reason for the shortfall, i.e. supply issues with (PW) engines and premium cabin products. With Boeing, it’s anyone’s guess.

          • BA may have delivered 113* MAX in Q1 (I checked two sources).

            According to the link provided below, there were only 75 first flight of the MAX in Q1 (sort of a public data point that can approximate “build-year”).

            “As the 737Max runs into more turbulence, a
            @cirium-data-powered snapshot on the interesting divergence between first-flight year and delivery year across the current fleet”


            Other aircraft delivered in Q1:

          • @Pedro/Vincent
            One should bear in mind that AB’s current line rate is probably higher than set forth above, because it’s probably willing to produce and store significant numbers of “gliders”, pending engine delivery.

            On the other hand, BA has publicly stated that it will not build gliders — probably because of some residual “aversion” resulting from all that corroded inventory out in the parking lot.

  11. I asked a question above about BA’s 22 cancellations in March and I’ve now found an answer:

    2 B787-10s by AerCap
    8 B737MAXs by Singapore Airlines
    8 B737MAXs by Undisclosed customer(s)
    4 B787-8s by Undisclosed customer(s)



    In January, BA had 39 MAX cancellations:



    For Q1, BA had a total of 64 cancellations, whereas AB had 15.
    Presumably, customers are availing of the penalty-free cancellation options available at BA because of the delivery delays on all products.

    • 50 of the 58 MAX cancellations were by undisclosed customers — one wonders if there are any Chinese carriers among them…

      • The contradiction to that speculation is Boeing shifted on the 130 that were sitting in the US. They went from up for sale to hold.

        As those buys are the Chinese government the airlines would not have a role in that part.

        A Chinese airline might have a role in requesting an A320 group over a MAX group to consolidate operations. In that case the MAX would be shifted over to the gap created or the airlines that are operating numbers and have no reason to change.

        Airlines in China may have some input, but they do what they are told to, its the way that system works.

        • Just because BA is “holding” them doesn’t mean that China is actually taking them.
          There is such a thing as misplaced hope…

          • Bryce:

            Its not a hope its a reality, aka FACT. Boeing was going to sell them and they obviously got a heads up from China and determined not to do so. What the ownership is of course is a bit murky, but they obviously were built to Chinese specs for interior so if China take them Boeing saves a lot of money in not converting them.

            Granted you do have to understand the difference between facts and a bias to ignore facts and fill in for wishful thinking.

            Just a long string of being wrong and refusing to acknowledge that.

          • @ TW
            “…and they obviously got a heads up from China…”

            Got a link for that?

            Or does it fall into the same category as your recent wing-join fantasy?

        • “Its not a hope its a reality, aka FACT.”

          Didn’t you also say those MAX would be snapped up in no time and there will be a bidding war? How does it match with reality?

    • BA has to repay the deposits on all of those cancelled planes — which will make a hole of several hundred million dollars in cashflow.

      • Deposits are usually not refundable, but are mostly transferable to another type order See Uniteds long standing ‘order’ for A350.
        Delivery delays can be much more expensive which is why the manufacturer likes to offer non cash compensation

        • Deposits are fully refundable if delivery is delayed by more than a contractually specified period — generally 1-2 years. Hence the term “penalty-free cancellation”.

          That’s why deposits are booked as liabilities — because they’re effectively loans that may have to be repaid if delivery targets are badly overshot. They’re then moved over to income once delivery actually occurs. You’ve repeatedly failed to grasp this.

          Can you imagine what BA will have to repay in deposits if Emirates cancels its 777Xs? It can do so penalty-free…

          Now ponder the fact that the entire pre-grounding MAX order book can also be cancelled penalty-free…

          • I know what liabilities are . Theres good liabilities when they funds provided are based on orders . Bad liabilities are money a customer owes you. I can see you never ran your own business like me and have confused good and bad

            Banks have liabilities too , all the deposits , its an indication of a healthy bank to have lots of deposits.
            Its just an accounting term ‘liabilities’ – when your customers owe YOU money is the problem

            How’s your ‘research’ into Airbus *liabilities from customer deposits* and why it doesnt exceed that from the smaller Boeing order book.
            Airbus accounts too murky? Maybe the 150 pages of notes to accounts helps

          • @DoU
            “How’s your ‘research’ into Airbus *liabilities from customer deposits* and why it doesnt exceed that from the smaller Boeing order book.”

            Already answered that question for you — twice — in the past month.
            Forgotten already? Or just found the answer inconvenient to your narrative?

            Here’s a hint for you again: which OEM has more finished inventory sitting around?

  12. Not just airplanes — also helicopters:

    “New Chinese helicopter AC332”

    “As announced by Xinhua News, the prototype of a new Chinese twin-engine helicopter, the AC332 registered as B-OCAA, made its first flight on 7 April 2023. The AC332 is multipurpose helicopter in the 4-tonne category, comparable with types like the Airbus H145. It is developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).”


    One wonders if CBS will now allege that this helicopter is a clear copycat of an American helicopter model…

      • I Tweeted that the spying thesis wasn’t new. The CIA was probing as far back as 2013 and the FBI was shadowing the Chinese at an aviation conference in 2018. Old news, though secret news.

        • Uhhh guys, Spying on China is not news, we spy on our allies as well.

          Not to side track but there are reasons for that. Macron would be a good case in point we just discussed. There are other revelation in recent news that makes that clear that you need to know what your so called Allies are really doing.

          I was an unwilling participant in Chinese spying when they hacked the US Data base for critical access (ports and airports access requiring a security clearance being and example of two of them).

          And yes, I had multiple background investigations into my life due to not only airport access but another area I worked in that called for additional background.

          I had to ask for my coverage on my accounts as I was left off the list to notify but I was on it as was anyone that worked on the aircraft side of the line at the airports.

          Its worth understanding that if a democracy that have some restraint, what a dictatorship does with none. Oh, we are, its called Ukraine.

      • What’s the connection between 737 and C919, which was called repeatedly a knock-off in the video?

        Recently USAF scrapped the much-hyped ARRW leaving it further behind others which have attained operational capability.

        • Pedro:

          The C919 was a tech knockoff structural wise of the MD built in China and the A320 that is assembled/built there.

          As both of those are the same basis as the 737, kinda off but not a knockoff or a copy in the direct terms, just a tech copy. I am sure there are Chinese characteristics in all of it (like no intentional recognized certification).

          Its not like the B-29 the Russians did a direct copy of.

          So its a hyperbole of sorts that has the basis of reality but misleading in the pure sense of it.

          Going into Hydroponic weapons is way off the reservation.

        • “The C919 was a tech knockoff structural wise of the MD built in China and the A320 that is assembled/built there.”

          Wow. You know inside out of C919? How and where did you learn that? By guessing? Any source? How difficult is it to mix and match? Genuine question: won’t it simpler to follow just one?

          • Dogma and Jingoism.
            Only the anointed Americans can invent anything worthwhile. Everybody else has to copy.

            The C919 looks to the A320 ( i.e. modern ) for a lot of tech decissions. There is no 737 or MD9* pedigree involved. ( why dive into the neolithic box of parts? ) . newer Aero seems to support the slightly downlooking nose( wing and fuselage are synergetic, airflow around the fuselage complements airflow along the wing.

      • Same old tune.
        The first US rockets were derived form the German V2. But, guess what: after that, the US began to design its own rockets.

        • Well not true either, Von Braun being the father of the V-2 had his finger in the rest of the US rocket development.

          And yes I am fully aware of Von Braun’s history.

        • Tthe US began to design its own rockets.”

          Sure, after Apollo. 🙂

          After dropping the German project leads.

          With the Shuttle project efficiency shew a big drop.
          ( and the Shuttle main engine is based on a Ludwig Bölkow patent 🙂

          Who really continued on their own where the Soviets. pretty good run. “Impossible” oxygen rich combustion …

    • It’s a new helicopter and naturally the Chinese looked at existing helicopters to see what works best. Who doesn’t is dumb. On first eye the tail seem inspired on the Dauphin Fenestron.

      To develop, build and fly a new aircraft you need to fully understand, own and apply the technology. The copy cat stories regularly picked up in popular media are IMO merely reassuring feel good stories.

      Like we were raised with in the cold war. If it looked good & was Russian, it was either inferior deep-down or copied from us. Unfair anyway.

      • It’s a beautiful-looking machine.
        If it turns out to have good reliability and performance, then it’s a credit to the Chinese — and they’ll find a tidy market for it in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America.
        It will give them another high-value product that they can trade for raw materials without involving dollars — effectively a form of barter with strike values/residuals determined in Yuan.

        • Yep, another non certified machine with no accountability roaming the skies.

          And while there was a signification hole in the MAX cert, it was one small aspect of it and the rest has proven stellar.

          How many crashes will it take to realize that a hidden system is worse than an open system?

          • “Yep, another non certified machine with no accountability roaming the skies.”

            You mean like the 777X test aircraft, which still don’t have a TIA?


            “How many crashes will it take to realize that a hidden system is worse than an open system?”

            Ask the FAA about that: they did the math for the MAX, and got shocking results.
            Do do realize that a freshly-delivered AA MAX had a VERY close call a few weeks ago, don’t you? The pilots had to use the steam-age manual trim wheel because everything else failed. Questions were asked about it in Congress.

          • ‘Steam age manual trim wheel’ was that on one of social media feeds ….well known for accuracy …hehehee

            better than the FBW computers deciding to ignore the one good AOA sensor and go with the two faulty ones so the pilots flew it into the drink.
            Then theres the Air France crash – hows the criminal trial going – when they didnt know what to believe from the alpha- numeric displays
            Then theres Tesla…. hows the all knowing computer systems there doing , maybe hands on the ‘steam age wheel’ is a better choice

          • 2 apparently and add foreign intervention avoiding a third crash.

            Other countries have their own supervisory systems. The Chinese one seem to have done the right thing in grounding the MAX ( counter to what the FAA would have liked to do.)

            historically the FAA had a lot of weight due to US planes dominating commercial activities.
            But “weight” doesn’t necessarily mean continued high quality of supervision.

          • Let’s see: AF447 was 14 years ago…but the multiple manual trim wheel issues on the MAX are all recent — including one just a few weeks ago.

            Gosh, I wonder which of those two is more worrisome…

          • “..and the rest [of the737MAX] has proven stellar.”

            That’s a confident statement about the 737MAX, even setting aside the MCAS debacle and the 346 lives lost as its result. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Bryce,

      Nice technique to give the change and give the impression that Airbus was not humiliated by Boeing because of the deliveries 👍

      Boeing has beaten Airbus since 2018, don’t be sad…

      If I understand correctly Boeing already delivered more MAX than neo and that only the MCAS problem had given the advantage to Airbus

      Interesting to see the next few months…

    • Mr Bryce . Do you not read all the stories in leeham news and *analysis* who the strict accounting rules for US coporations means they cant keep unlikely order in the books. There was an end of year clean up for Boeing to comply

      Airbus as LNA has pointed out many times ( and for subscribers detailed some estimates) doesnt have such accounting rules – amoung the many other loopholes they fly a plane through, so dodgy orders are kept on the books to fool the mugs that read the entrails

      This pontification of yours has been shot down as a ‘basic misunderstanding’ on your part. Once again.

        • But the facts support me. Is some other point you wish to make ?

          • You’ve provided *no sources* to support your claim- as usual. See Pedro’s question.

            By the way: how’s that reraction of the ABC article on the 737MAX coming along that you claimed was imminent, um, ten months ago? “Stay tuned”, right?

          • “But the facts support me.”

            No, ZERO, NADA.

            The impression is that of a jingoistic screed.

      • Never heard of IFRS 15?[Edited as a violation of Reader Comment rules.]

          • Ever considered that your (mis-)interpretation of the construct may be the underlying problem, rather than the construct itself?
            After all, you do have a certain reputation when it comes to accounting matters. You just demonstrated that again above by confusing an ASC606 *deletion* with an actual *cancellation*…

          • See below the Reuters story about how Airbus was ‘forced’ to reveal cancellations as part of the reveal of a swap to a new type.
            Even Reuters knew that Airbus public order numbers contained fanciful ones .
            LNA has written about.
            I know nothing of such things , alongside accounting , thats why I rely on others who do or published data
            Take up any questions with them not me . Im just the messenger.

        • More false claim about BA “side by side as footnotes” in “EOY” statements. Their auditors are not going to sign off two sets of numbers, mind you. Demonstrates a lack of basic understanding while you repeated false claims.

          You still can’t find what you claimed to exist in BA’s audited accounts, right? 🙄

          • What do you know about auditing to say such a thing.
            They arent side by side
            Its not in the 10K which is for SEC

            Anyway its information for investors and Boeing doesnt want to be sued by litigous investors does it
            Any sort of program numbers eg A220, A350 , A320 etc is hiiden by Airbus from its investors

            Maybe that why investors value Airbus roughly the same market cap as Boeing (Despite its problems)……The orders and accounts arent reliable enough.
            Remember Airbus was considering the financial manoeuvre of selling the A400M ‘IP’ to the buyers so they could book that as revenue and cover the ( hidden)losses . It wasnt an accounting problem under their ‘rules’ just a reputation problem which is why it didnt happen

      • Poor Duke is becoming increasingly agitated — and increasingly wrong.

        ASC 606 only requires an order to be *labeled* as shaky, and *not counted* in the normal order tally — it doesn’t require the order to be physically removed from the books.
        And, since when would an order from Singapore Airlines or a big lessor be considered as “shaky” ?

        These are real cancellations — dozens and dozens of them.
        At a time when airlines are falling over one another to get aircraft.

        • Boeing only has one set of public orders, the ones approved under the US accounting rules. There may be ‘phantom orders’ which they hope can be regularised sooner rather than later but we wont know about them.
          Airlines change orders all the time Singapore would have been one of them, with Airbus they keep them in the system no matter what , as the Leeham stories have detailed. Its a widely known thing that Airbus has a big chunk of ‘inactive orders’ Why even bother to suggest otherwise.
          And this
          “Until now, Airbus has been reluctant to let many airlines cancel planes, preferring to delay delivery and keep orders on its books.”
          They needed to publicise the A350F order but it involved cancelling some other orders so they were was ‘revealed’


          • Duke is forgetting that a huge number of BA orders can be canceled without penalty — although, he doesn’t really understand how that works.
            The same doesn’t apply at AB.

            The SIA frames were ordered in 2012, they’re well more than 2 years late, so they can be dumped without apology and SIA can contractually demand refund of all monies paid.
            Same applies to all those other canceling parties at BA.

            If the order isn’t late, the customer requires the OEM’s permission to cancel.


            Boeing has an order *book*, and it has a corrected order *number* under ASC606. The latter has no effect on the former — but the former does have an effect on the latter.

      • Broken Record.

        IFRS 15 rules are the complement to ASC606 under GAAP.
        Note that GAAP is seen as conducive/designed for pimping the books.

        For Airbus the books show less expected revenue.
        ( it is more of a probability thing than hard attached to individual sales )
        For Boeing that revenue depression is made public as a reduction in sales. ( hiding the revenue amount lost as nobody knows at what conditions those frames where sold. just like “deferred cost” accounting where you munge today’s numbers with future expectations. pimping the books 🙂

  13. Lula has arrived in Shanghai and was greeted by Ex-President Dilma Rousseff as he got off the plane. Tomorrow he will go to her official innauguration ceremony as new BRICS Bank (NDB) President. Jon of the Air Current has an interesting take that Embraer may pivot to Asia. Nightmare for BA might get even worse.

    • I think we can be pretty sure that Embraer will pivot to Asia: in fact, it has already said that it’s prepared to open a FAL in China in return for a sizable E2 order.

      • Embraer has ‘been there done that’

        Have you forgotten the ERJ145 chinese final assembly line. Big promises are a fine thing

        For financial reasons regional jets dont work well in China, and they already have ARJ-21

        • There’s this thing called CHANGE.
          Quite a few commenters here seem to have grave difficulty coming to terms with it.

          Lots and lots of regional routes in China just waiting to be exploited.
          Plenty of room for both Embraers and COMACs.

          Don’t US carriers also use Airbus products, even though the US has its own aitcraft OEM?

          • So no comment on the previous dud deal on the ERJ-145

            It follows a pattern of a ‘deal’ to get FAL and part manufacture – the real purpose of the JV- and then there is no money and or will to make series production beyond a handful.
            Happened with the MD90 …which later begat the ARJ21. Plus various Russian types including the prototype Mig 1.44 ( flew in 2000) which was developed into the J-20 ( likely the paid or otherwise got company help)
            the little unstealthy ventral tail fins are a give away of a previous era and the Mig alongside other features . Some changes by China too.
            They seem to be happy with this plane.

            Even Grumman gave China major help to ‘upcycle’ the Mig-21 with side intakes to the predecessor of JF-17 ( still has Mig 21 wing planform). Thats was 20 yrs or more ago when such things were done openly.

          • @DoU

            Are they still talking about E145? 😂 Or something else? No need to regurgitate what happened almost two decade ago. There’s a bigger fish to catch. Blindly sticking with the past sounds like intellectual vigor mortis.

      • TFTL. This really could be significant. Also, thanks for your clear writing.


        • You’re very welcome.
          And thank you for the compliment — which I gladly return.

          I like Jon Ostrower’s work: he regularly comes up with interesting items / analyses before others do. Together with Scott and Dominic Gates, he forms a sort of triumvirate of informative aviation sources.

          Returning to the content of the link: the pieces on the world chessboard have started to shift around very significantly in the past year, and particularly in the last few weeks. Interesting times ahead.

  14. Interesting article:
    “Why China’s C919 is flying while Mitsubishi’s SpaceJet isn’t”

    Of particular note:

    “The C919 also experienced certification delays, with the aircraft’s initial flight being delayed more than three years. But relatively recent program certification experience, especially with the ARJ21, likely positioned the Civil Aviation Administration of China well to work with COMAC to rectify any issues that arose.”

    “While the C919 will not initially be as reliable, exhibit the same level of customer support or be as efficient as aircraft produced by more experienced manufacturers, completing the project and building the requisite support network will be critical building blocks that will facilitate the growth of COMAC’s business for decades to come. The reality is that a manufacturer’s initial foray into aircraft production is more about learning and developing expertise than competing with established global players.”


    • The reality is that COMAC has a large enough domestic market to sustain the C919 with only domestic certification. Mitsubishi did not have that luxury, they can’t sustain the SpaceJet within the Japanese market alone, so they needed more than Japanese certification.

      So same mistake in not pursuing international certification early enough in the design, but different outcome due to the scale of their respective domestic economies.

      • The ARJ21 is already starting to receive type certification outside China — a fascinating and significant development.
        The process for the C919 will probably be even smoother.

        It seems that certain countries don’t particularly care what the FAA/EASA think on the matter.

        Gosh, I wonder why?

      • Rob:

        Mitsubishi did pursue the certification from the start, the issue was they had not done a commercial aircraft in so long they had no expertise in it and failed badly. They shifted that to the US as a lot more aviation experience but then shifted gears due to the scope clause not falling and it basically ran out of desire to carry it out.

        The US started working with China as far back as the ARJ21 but they had gone far enough that getting that certified was no possible.

        The US tried again with the C919, the Chinese kept running ahead of the requirements and would not document as needed. So they ran that off the rails as well. The FAA gave up, EUSA took a look and gave up.

        Any allowance to fly it anywhere but China will be a local AHJ and that is not certification and violates the intent of certification but local politics can trump that. Fly around Indonesia all you want, you are not flying into Malaysia or the Philippines or Japan.

        When you are in hock to China and they offer you a deal, well you may take it. That is not certification though. I would guess its illegal per the laws of the country as well but again that has never stopped shenanigans.

        • “Fly around Indonesia all you want, you are not flying into Malaysia or the Philippines or Japan.”

          Actually, it’s on the verge of getting its type cert from Malaysia — it’s already been in Kuala Lumpur for test flights.

          Every rockfall starts with just a few pebbles…

          • @ DoU
            “Indonesia is the sort of place where you can ‘buy’ government approval for almost anything. ”

            The USA is the sort of place where a regulator can be in an OEM’s pocket.

          • Bryce:

            Agreed, the FAA has all too long had a cozy relationship with both aircraft mfgs (not just Boeing) as well as airlines.

            The difference is once its exposed (and yes it was at a horrible cost) then something can get done about it (we hope, the 737 rudder issue got no reform, but then you have to understand the FAA was never a gold standard, it was just the best we had and had its flaws and still does).

            When a entity is under a dictatorship then it gets covered up and you never get it reformed or fixed.

            I think Churchill said it well that democracies are not perfect, but there are far worse forms of government.

          • @TW
            “When a entity is under a dictatorship then it gets covered up and you never get it reformed or fixed.”

            The same applies in corrupt “democracies” where making money at any cost is elevated to the level of a religion.

          • @Bryce

            Don’t forget U.S. official was “involved” in negotiation that resulted in a major BA order by a foreign airline in the Middle East.

        • @Transworld

          I agree, the C919 is unlikely to ever see Western certification. It’s just too difficult to do it after the fact. That ship has sailed.

          It may receive recognition from other countries, for their domestic use. But it really doesn’t need that to be successful, the Chinese domestic market is large enough.

          • Who needs Western certification?
            There are huge potential markets in Asia, Africa, and South/Central America.
            These things can zip around all over the place without ever entering Western airspace.

          • The plane is mostly western airframe ( MD90) with western engines ( the mini ‘CFM-56’ branded as a regional size CF34-10). The wing design was from Antonov who know their stuff as well.
            I dont really see any significant issues with the plane other than being ‘dated’ but the FAA paperwork has become self defeating. The Chinese may well have felt the FAA wanted to look to far back up the production/materials chain and could/would have passed on information to the US intell services.

          • Rob:

            That is exactly what the FAA concluded. They could not ever get the Chinese to do the tests and then the documentation that those tests require.

            The Mitsubishi Jet was a case in point and they were trying, they just failed because they did not know where and what they were going wrong. Shift to the US was a good effort to get back on track but too late (and the scope clause lift was never happening though Embraer fell into that wishful thinking as well)

            Good question is what happens when 2027 rolls around the The E171 E1 can’t fly anymore? Them thar old engines. That should get a lot of stock up orders!

            But successful? At 150 a year vs 450 to 750 Boeing and Airbus single aisle a year each?

            The goal was to become a competitive part of aviation and that is not going to occur.

            20 years from now they will still need Airbus and or Boeing. Japan is not going to let them fly a non certified aircraft into their airspace. Singapore also. Vietnam? India? Thailand?

            And considering the loan terms China is using to put countries into going belly up, hmmm. Brazil is not going to let aircraft like the C919 fly into, Venezuela might but then its neighbors are not going to.

            The more they forced C919 into other countries (if they can) then fewer in China and the happier the Chinese Airlines will be (phew, we don’t have to fly those dogs)

            They will look nice sitting on the Tarmac rusting away for lack of support and parts.

            Still amazed at someone who benefits from an open system thinks a closed system is the preferred way (which would mean regulatory capture is a good thing so there is a massive logic bust at work).

          • @Duke

            The issue with certification after the fact, is the data needed to support the statistical models for risk assessment. You really have to develop that at the same time you design and specify the components.

            If you go back to the supplier and ask for the failure data on every component they use, they then have to ask their suppliers, and so on. It quickly snowballs to an interminable affair, because no one can proceed until the guy at the bottom of the totem pole is done.

            For a complex commercial airliner, this burden is already immense, even doing it the right way. To do it the wrong way, is not really feasible.

            You can get around some of that by using only Western-certified components. My guess is China has not done that, since they are trying to develop an indigenous industry.

            We see that it can take years to develop the needed data, for both Airbus and Boeing, who are very experienced and working with mostly certified components. Then there is back & forth with the regulator, until they are satisfied. It’s an arduous process at best.

          • “The issue with certification after the fact, is the data needed to support the statistical models for risk assessment.”

            Isn’t it what happened to derivatives from a major airframer: the MAX 7/10?

          • @Pedro

            No. You’re conflating two separate issues. There was no uncertainty in the components used to build the speed trim system. It’s been certified for many years.

            China has accepted the certification standards of the FAA and EASA, but the reverse is not true. That is the core issue.

            In the MAX incidents, no one questioned the certification standards, and no changes were made to them. MCAS was adjusted to better and more safely account for crew responsiveness. As was the entire flight control system. But the system itself, was certified, and remains certified.

          • Looks like Rob is quoting from the BA PR manual again 😉

            Thanks, Rob…but that version of events doesn’t match with the reality on the ground.
            Still, it was a fascinating attempt to re-write the MCAS history record.

          • Bryce, the reality is that you will never accept, what has been accepted by the entire world now.

            For my part, I have accepted that you will never accept it. So you are welcome to skulk about it for as long as you feel is necessary. But it’s beyond argument, at this point.

          • Rob, the reality is that you will never accept, what has been accepted by the entire world now.

            For my part, I have accepted that you will never accept it. So you are welcome to skulk about it for as long as you feel is necessary. But it’s beyond argument, at this point.

          • I rest my case. You never fail to deliver the proof of my statements. For that at least, I am grateful.

          • I rest my case. You never fail to deliver the proof of my statements. For that at least, I am grateful.

          • Seems @Rob suddenly can’t talk anything regarding certification of MAX7/10 and why BA has such a hard time to send the material FAA requested.

          • @Pedro

            Again, the real world has accepted that the FAA has a more rigorous process in place, which requires more time and effort, both to prepare the requested materials, and to review them as well, after submittal.

            Boeing is adjusting to the new process and working toward having their documentation accepted on the first submittal, as was customary before the changes. Instead of having to make corrections, which takes a lot more time.

            There is no nefarious underpinning to this, it’s just a change in how the paperwork is processed. There is no question of if the FAA will certify, the only question is when. And that is up to Boeing and the FAA.

          • After the twin 737 MAX disasters, FAA no longer wants to accept BA’s pilot-reaction assumptions for SSA at face value. BA struggled to produce what FAA requested.

            Rob posted: “The issue with certification after the fact, is the data needed to support the statistical models for risk assessment. You really have to develop that at the same time you design and specify the components.”

            You think aviation regulator would give out certification without any data to backup? Incredible.

          • “…it’s just a change in how the paperwork is processed.”


            Actually, it’s a change in how the *content* of the paperwork is evaluated: if the content is rubbish, then it just gets sent back, without apology

            There’ll be no cert of the new Frankenmodels until the FAA judges the *content* of the SSAs submitted by BA to be convincing and acceptable.

            Don’t hold your breath.

          • Rob: “the real world has accepted that the FAA . .. $anything.”

            I haven’t had a beer with Mr. Ky lately, but:

            beyond the US echo chamber US institutions are seen as massively weaponized to gain advantage and a PITA in general.

            Assume that “accepted” isn’t close to reality at all. More like “What abomination surfaces next?”

    • There is a loss of institution memory after Japan went dark after its YS-11.
      IIRC at one time (about when Mitsubishi Aircraft started the MRJ program) there were only four with experience in aircraft type certification in the government.

  15. I often smile a little when someone tells me what “The Reality” is.

    It’s easy, and it’s fun.

  16. For unknown reason, this news now about China ordered 160 Airbuses captured a whole lot more attention and ‘wow factor’ from the general global media than Air India(essentially a purely commercial decision as AI is now 100% private company unlike China’s order) ordered a record-breaking 400+ from Airbus and Boeing only a couple mths earlier….

    Anyway for those who understand this industry, it’s pretty obvious from these very different order quantities to figure out which 1 of these 2 nations is now expected to see much higher traffic growth relative to each other for the rest of this decade.

    • India has much higher infrastructure issues and large gaps.

      premeditated infrastructure planning is more of a Chinese thing apparently.

    • From sources at Boeing, 2 of the 8 pins in the tail attachment are below spec.

      Not yet clear the extent of the issue, Spirit is auditing their records to see which pin production lots might be affected.

      The tail attachment is over-designed and still exceeds limit loads with 6 pins, so no safety of flight issue.

      The solution will be to replace the pins, which may involve removal of the tail fin. They are studying the tail access to develop a procedure.

      • Most Scrutinized Plane in History ™

        Looks like manufacturing processes weren’t included in that “scrutiny” …

        • I’d be surprised if it got “Scrutinized” overall more than any other frame.
          Scrutinizing efforts on the 737 were applied keyhole view wise on certain aspects that failed spectacularly.
          Does this compensate fully that lack of scrutiny in the past?
          That I strongly doubt.

          • I think you can bet your house that it wasn’t “scrutinized” to any significant extent.
            MCAS was “scrutinized” to the minimal possible extent to get the FAA onboard, with some further mods begrudgingly promised (and still not implemented) to satisfy EASA and TranCan.
            The big wiring screw-up was only discovered by chance after re-cert — leading to another partial grounding (100 frames).

            Just a bit of new gloss on the old pig’s lipstick.

          • BA said the number of aircraft involved is “large”.

        • That is correct. The MAX recertification was an operational review, not a quality control review, as is presently underway.

          There would be no expectation that it would find a quality issue from a supplier of a supplier, that was just beginning to be delivered to the supplier at that time

          • The phrase “Most Scrutinized Plane in History” does not suggest any limitation to MAX re-cert.
            The simple meaning of the employed syntax implies a thorough scrutinization of every aspect of the plane, including its manufacture.

            Quite clearly, the plane is nowhere near being “The Most Scrutinized Plane in History” — that’s just a vacuous PR phrase pushed by BA.
            The Comet matches the phrase a lot better, for example.

    • From that Seattle Times link:

      “Spirit said the newly discovered problem may date back four years, and so could potentially affect most of the planes built since the jet was grounded in 2019 after two fatal crashes. ”

      “Ron Epstein, a financial analyst with Bank of America who has an aerospace engineering degree, expressed amazement at yet another defect belatedly surfacing now despite all the scrutiny on the MAX since the two crashes.”

      ““How could they have missed this after four years when they were supposed to have looked at everything with a fine-tooth comb?” Epstein said.”

      “Boeing is still working to understand the full scale of the problem.

      ““We will provide additional information in the days and weeks ahead as we better understand the delivery impacts,” the company said.

      “Pending further analysis, Boeing hedged on whether some MAXs already in service will have to be reworked, too.”

      • View from the Wing:

        “And while deemed “not an immediate safety of flight issue” – it means a delay of delivery of new MAX aircraft – it’s shocking because,

        *The MAX was supposed to have been the most scrutinized aircraft in history

        * Confidence in its safety is predicated on everything having been gone through more carefully and thoroughly after its 21 month grounding following the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes in 2018 and 2019.

        The FAA agrees this is not an immediate safety issue, but how on earth could they have missed this?”


        The answer to the last question: only MCAS was checked (sort of) — the rest of the Frankenplane remained just as it was.

        • “Frankenplane” really is an apt moniker for the 737MAX, and if you
          check the well-researched Christine Negroni link, the issues far predate
          even the MAX.. doubling down with the MAX-10’s increased complexity is double-dumb, in my estimation. 2024 EIS, they’re saying?

          • Yes, I had a good look at your Negroni link above, thank you!
            Those fuselage ruptures have been the topic of many discussions here on LNA.
            Looks like the intense “scrutiny” of the MAX didn’t unearth any need to address them.

            Another classic from the Frankenplane family bucket: the veritable and illustrious autothrottle — implicated in a variety of incidents/accidents.
            Also somehow managed to survive the “scrutiny” of the MAX.

            And, of course, the Frankenplane’s 1950s freakshow of horns/lights — which BA has the audacity to still call a cockpit alerting system — managed to worm its way through said “scrutiny”…with a little extra help later on from BA’s pals in Congress 😉

    • -> “When Bloomberg News broke the news after the stock market closed, Boeing’s share price, which had risen $1.25 for the day to $213.59, fell more than $10 in after-hours trading to below $203.”


    Two new flies in the ointment for commercial aviation:

    1) B has yet another MAX production issue regarding tail assemblies made by Spirit. This affects all models except 9, and also touches NG and P8. Unknown number of in service aircraft to be repaired. This just broke in Aweek.
    2) A planes equipped with PW GTF are becoming hangar queens due to lengthy and repeated maintenance issues.
    How come we have not heard from LH regarding this development? It is worthy of a discussion when we think of future engine developments.

    • (1) Is being discussed at length in the comments above.
      (2) Is briefly discussed in the comments above — but you are right in saying that it is a huge topic, which certainly merits a lot more reporting.
      Incidentally: LEAPs are also having repetitive problems…

    • Wait, I heard right here from a highly reliable source that it was the UK engine mfr – certainly not Pratt and Whitney!- that had the ongoing maintenance and reliability issues.. is that not so?


        • > RR does NB engines? Ineresting <

          I don't think I made that claim in pointing out
          that *engine mfrs in general* are having problems
          these days, contrary to one commenter's repeated
          harping on the UK guys. Complexity is a bi***.

  18. Holding out the hand to Uncle Sugar again:
    “Boeing pushes Congress to buy spy planes Navy didn’t ask for”

    “Boeing is quietly asking lawmakers to buy P-8A Poseidon spy planes that the Navy has not asked for so that the line remains primed for future foreign military sales, according to three people with knowledge of the discussion.”

    “The aircraft the Navy ordered are still being built at a Boeing production facility in Washington state. But Boeing wants to ensure the production line stays humming while additional orders are being placed, giving certainty to the company’s suppliers and workforce.”


    • The useless NH90 continues on though a number of countries have said no thank you its junk, The A400 cost more than a C-17 did and does far less, The Tiger is another disaster for a helicopter.

      The P-8 not only works, its got a stellar reputation and even Germany has dumped France to get them (granted I can see why they don’t trust France)

      So what we do with our tax dollars is our business and keeping a line open like that is a benefit to us and our allies.

      And to ensure there is no ignorance involved, you should look up US procurement and unfunded equipment. Congress is often forced to act with the US Military Services won’t (it gets involved though its not as twisted as German defense procurement)

      So yes there are reasons congress steps in. They did so on the C-17 and funded the full 220 the USAF said they wanted but would not budget for. That is the finest airlifter in the world bar none.

      Congress should have funded the full 360 x F-22, the finest air superiority fighter int he world bar none. Now we are buying more F-15EX as we don’t have enough fighters and the F-35 production cannot keep up with the needs.

      The F-15EX has some huge advantages including range.

      But the USAF is not funding it, first it was 180, then down to 84 and now its back to 124 (from memory, close at least.)

      Keeping the F-15 in production is a national issue as are all defense programs we are seeing we suddenly need high rates and they are extremely hard to get to (and takes time).

      Defense needs are not simple and how to maintain industrial bases and production is an issue that is seeing a lot of exposure with the current situation and what the future needs are if things go off the rail in another area.

      The US needs sub overhaul facilities desperately because the US Navy did not line out that need and consequences and it reared its head as an issue when deferred maint kept piling up and congress asked, what is going on.

      The Navy response was Uhhhhh

      Norway sunk a Frigate through stupidity and the US had two Destroyers in collisions due to manning, staffing and schedules when training was desperately needed (USN stupidity).

      • Too much coffee this morning? Also, it seems like more than one entity
        writes the comments under this name, judging from their composition; might that be true, or not?

        • It also doesn’t seem to have actually read the original link.
          Quite common: a trigger word precipitates a verbal avalanche, which completely misses the original context.

          Not sure about the “different entities” theory in this case — though different *states* is certainly a possibility…

      • I am assuming this listing of US military excellence does not include its intelligence community which allowed a non-regular, very junior ex-teenager to somehow obtain documents of high secret classification and even duplicate them on the internet. And to make blinding incompetence even worse not discover who he was until told about it by gamers on Steam!

        • OK, we’re getting off topic here. Let’s confine the commenting to what the post is about.


  19. Maybe the BA Damage-Control crew should be cut some slack: they’ve got a very tough job, and I do feel for them.


    • It is rather telling that their leader made a re-appearance just before the new rudder attachment issues were revealed to the world…things must be heating up back at HQ…

  20. All the negative commentary here about the 737 MAX tail issue, and Boeing in general, is somewhat amusing because we have seen this cycle before.

    None of the predictions of doom will come to fruition. Boeing will address the issue and resume deliveries. The stock price will recover and continue to rise. The Boeing order book will continue to grow. Airlines will continue to have confidence in Boeing products. This is the inevitable outcome. Which everyone knows, including the pundits who claim otherwise.

    The pundits will then reset, because if they continually shout that the sky is falling, people will stop listening. So they have to time the shouting for immediately after a problem occurs.

    And then the cycle will repeat. Which should be evidence of its futility, for anyone paying attention. But the pages here will continue to be filled with hysterical comments & predictions.

    At least it drives traffic to Leeham, so is not a total loss. And it provides for some amusement, as I mentioned.

    • Unctuous, peremptory, supercilious; like I said: nah..

      Pedro, thanks for the direct link to the AvWeek article.
      Odd that BA let this out on a Thursday. 😉

    • All the insightful commentary here about the 737 MAX tail issue, and Boeing in general, is very instructive because we have seen this cycle before.

      All of the expected consequences are manifesting themselves. Boeing will sort-of “address” the issue and eventually resume deliveries, but:
      – Earnings will continue to drastically underperform.
      – Boeing market share will continue to decline.
      – Airlines will continue to jump ship to competitor products.
      This is the inevitable outcome. Which everyone knows, including the BA Back Office who claim otherwise.

      The BA Back Office has no time to reset, because if they don’t continually shout that prosperity is just around the corner, people will stop listening. But they always tend to maximize the shouting for immediately after a problem occurs.

      And then the cycle will repeat. Which should be evidence of its futility, for anyone paying attention. For the pages here will continue to be filled with insightful comments & prognoses.

      It helps to drive traffic to Leeham — whose excellent recent article “One step forward, two steps back for Boeing” has hit the nail on the head yet again. And it provides for some grave embarrassment for BA, as I mentioned.

      • Bryce

        Wouldn’t that be wishful thinking on your part?

        After all, Boieng had started to become number 1 again in terms of delivery, delivering more than Airbus…

        Come on, the situation still gives you a little truce so that the fanboys can still spit on Boeing for a few more months.


  21. And now we hear AB is associating with Embraer for military and space developments…. Somebody is getting access to engineering talent,and it is NOT B.

      • Pedro,

        The military sector gives no prestige. To say that Boeing does not is out of context.

        Your comment sounds like a wet firecracker…

        I don’t see any opportunity there. And then this stupid “cold war” thought, “everybody go against Boeing” brandished by some groupie/ pom-pom girl style Fanboys only makes me laugh in front of my screen…

        I remain open to something smarter and less biased please…

        • The comment was primarily about Embraer — your Google Translator didn’t pick up on that?
          Don’t know much about Embraer’s past “engagement” to BA?
          Didn’t pick up on the comments above about Embraer wooing the Chinese?

          • Pedro,

            Please do not continue to crack down on pathos.
            Put away your cheerleader fluff balls, there’s nothing interesting in there.

            There was also a partnership between Boeing and Comac recently. Neither me nor you had to dance on the table apart from idolizing Airbus when it concerns him…

            Hhhhh, pathetic…

          • “There was also a partnership between Boeing and Comac recently. ”

            Oh, really?
            Got a link for that?

            P.s a finishing center doesn’t count as a “partnership”

  22. As Uwe pointed out, the article DoU provided for our enlightenment about layoffs at Airbus is from, um,
    June 2020. Where there some other rather large events
    occurring in that timeframe? Maybe he didn’t notice.


  23. Bryce,

    …”and its fuselage is wide enough to accommodate LD3 freight containers; and it has EICAS/ECAM; and its rear landing gear retracts into doored compartments rather than into open recesses;…

    Even if the EICAS/ECAM argument is true, that of light landing gear and non-containerized freight is not.

    1. Yet you accept the A220 for these two characteristics. (Strange)

    2. Apart from fly by wire of the A32Xneo there is no argument to say that the A32X is much more modern than the 737MAX, because the engines alone represent the greatest efficiency for an aircraft and that is also why MAX was launched because the engines (Safran/Leap-56) were enough to keep the 737MAX a success…

    • Why would be A220 be brought into a discussion of the alleged similarities between the C919, B737 / A320? Or did your Google Translator not pick up on that subleity? 😉

      Seeing as you seem to like talking about engines, you might want to look up the differences between the LEAP-1B engines on the 737 MAX and the LEAP1-A/C engines on the A320(and A321)/C919.
      Hint: diameter / bypass ratio / thrust.

      • Bryce

        The Leap1-B is no more different despite its slightly smaller size than the Leap1-A. Even if a fan is a factor of a slightly increased bypass ratio in this case, the fact remains that the 737MAX has a less voluminous fuselage, than the heavier A32Xneo.

        Not just something like 6″ but a biger fuselage and a distance between the top of and the bottom of the fuselage than the 737MAX.

        It is naive to believe that the reason for the less pronounced success of the 737MAX compared to the 32Xneo familly is due to the engines.

        It’s just a fanboy wishful thinking,

        The real reason was the long absence of a real strech such as the 737MAX-10.
        The MAX-9 didn’t do the job for decades, and the GAP of the A32Xneo family was more extensive for the market and really, nothing to do with your alleged / hazardous theory of the Leap 56 version…

        Just know…

        • Leap-1B has a hotter core to compensate TSFC shortfalls from lacking BPR vs the 1A/C.

          MAX8 is heavier than A320NEO.
          Less installed thrust is due to grandfathered SEO requirements on the 737 ( obstacle clearance, minimal climb rate … ) just compare TO performance.

          Less installed thrust vs required thrust in rergular operations moves the working point into better TSFC land.

          Not having to provide for current regulation requirements has a lot of value for Boeing.

          • Interesting …

            1. You unfortunately omit to mention like me the entire A32Xneo family. The A321neo is the biggest and heaviest narrowbody product. As a result the A32Xneo family requires a bigger engine, while you just say the MAX-8 is heavier than the A320neo only.
            For what ?
            Your argument is flawed

            2. If the hotter core is real, the fact remains that the TSFC compensation, remains theoretical and suddenly becomes false when different parameters when you fix the engine on lighter aircraft, the efficiency then results where an A32Xneo can’t do.
            And vice versa
            In other words apples are to be compared with apples…

            (!) In the end, I advance a compensation and you another which is distorted by the fact that you omit to quote the A321neo, heavier and larger and which requires a larger engine whereas the 737MAX family as for it has compensations on the weight and reduced wet surface of the family in general VS A32Xneo family.

            Seriously, an airline such as Air Canada that switched from the A320ceo to the entire 737MAX fleet is stupid?

            Or Delta, which jumped on the MAX-10, despite a hotter kernel engine, only undermines your theory, distorted by the lack of objectivity by failing to take the A321neo into account in your analysis…

            Consequently the hotter core is an inappropriate theoretical argument…


          • The fact that certain airlines are temped to buy the MAX for bargain basement pricing…does not mean that it isn’t underpowered compared to the competition.

            Not enough power = no MTOW increments to the MAX-10…

      • Why? To muddy the waters, of course- SOP when one has no case.


        • Personal attacks ?

          If you don’t have anything interesting to say, please shut up


          • To the contrary: pointing out the rhetorical tactic being used- muddying the waters, in your post’s case- is not a personal attack in the leasr.

          • “If you don’t have anything interesting to say, please shut up”

            Don’t forget to follow your own advice 😅

        • Bryce,

          Rantings, The 737MAX-10 draws its effectiveness from a Streched efficient MAX-8.

          It outsells the MAX-9 because it does a better job, simple as that.

          It is factual the MAX-10 arrived late on the market for things already known and explained (lack of ground clearance).

          Now things have changed but they won’t catch up.
          On the other hand in a few years (6-8 years) prepare for the launch of its replacement and it will be difficult for your Airbus idol, because they will not come 20 years later.

          The game will be very tense. And historically Boeing has always done better than Airbus when it comes to same generation program/aircraft as Airbus.

          He got a lot of spankings for the european manufacturer (777 vs A340), (the 787 started to spank the A350) while the 20 year old 737MAX stood up to him.

          They even delivered more than their competitor and came back 1st in delivery.
          Go there and take advantage of a few more months to spit on Boeing…
          It’s a gift

  24. Interesting:
    “Boeing ended the fourth quarter with 250 737 MAX jets in inventory, down 20 from Q3 2022. Customers in China account for 138 of these aircraft”

    “Boeing ended the fourth quarter with 100 Dreamliners in inventory, down 15 from Q3 2022.”


    So, there are still 250 MAXs sitting around without a new home — including 112 that were originally intended for non-Chinese customers. Not exactly selling like hot cakes…

    • Vincent

      …”To the contrary: pointing out the rhetorical tactic being used- muddying the waters, in your post’s case- is not a personal attack in the leasr…”

      Because I was responding to Bryce’s rantings when he said the 737MAX was old and China wouldn’t be interested in copying. (much higher in thread) I retorted that only EICAS was advanced for the A32Xneo and engines alone were a viable economy.
      As a result, you attacked me…

      • Why are you you directing that reply to me when it’s intended for Vincent?

        Even more incoherent than usual.


  25. –>> Daily Stock Price

    Boeing US$205.03 +3.32 (+1.65%)

    Airbus EUR128.24 +1.96 (1.55%)

    Embraer BRL20.30 −0.17 (0.83%)

    (!) Lol! Looks like the so-called Airbus-Embraer collaboration has had the effect of a bomb in the industry and the stock market
    When I said circulate there is nothing to see….

  26. Bryce,

    …“If you don’t have anything interesting to say, please shut up”

    Don’t forget to follow your own advice 😅…”
    Why should I do that if not to answer your nonsense about the 737MAX.

    And obviously you have no arguments so shut up…

  27. -> Bloomberg Intelligence aerospace industry analyst George Ferguson described the pause as “concerning” because the aircraft is “vital to Boeing’s turnaround.”
    “Its importance likely means a remedy will be urgently pursued, though reworking it could be costly and an extended pause would significantly hurt commercial profit, cash generation, and the balance sheet,” he said.

    I have no doubt Calhoun would continue to be confident to talk up 2025-26-ish FCF. Hey there’s gold at the end of the rainbow … etc, while major customers are scrambling to face the fall-out.

    -> Based on preliminary knowledge, the analyst expects to cut her estimate for Max deliveries this year *by 20%* from its current level of 425 planes. She sees an $800 million hit to free cash flow for Boeing, where the Max represents more than a quarter of expected 2023 revenue.

    We’ll see if BA is willing to provide update before the end of this month when Q1 result comes out.

    • Analysts already expected (big) losses for BA in Q1 and Q2…looks like they’ll now be adding Q3/Q4 to that list.

        • Have we not been informed here that except for that pesky ol’ MCAS which merely “needed some adjustments”, the Boeing 737MAX™ is a “stellar” aircraft?

          just checking

          • 1. I’m interested why Calhoun said it’s an “airplane by airplane” evaluation for rework??

            2. Time to change the company’s name to ReWork?

            -> “Bank of America aerospace analyst Ron Epstein called the suspect fittings “some of the most important on the aircraft.”

            “The vertical tail can experience meaningful loads” during flight, Epstein wrote. “These fittings are not something to be trifled with.”

            While Calhoun said Tuesday that “we know what we have to do” to fix the problem, he did not say how many airplanes will ultimately have to be reworked nor how labor-intensive the rework will be.

            “This is an airplane by airplane evaluation,” he said.

          • “airplane by airplane” would mean “any airplane fitted with one of those parts” ( i.e. a certain production window in time.)

            Can these parts retroactively achieve a “qualified production” status?

          • @Pedro
            I suspect that the “airplane-by-airplane” comment may have something to do with BA not having kept a record of which parts were put on which planes. If that’s the case, then they don’t know which frames are affected, and will just have to go through the whole lot of them one-by-one.
            The same happened with the issues on the 787: BA didn’t keep a per-plane manufacturing record — so that it is unknown which of the in-service fleet needs rework.

            From the link:
            “However, complicating the process, the FAA memo states that Boeing doesn’t have the detailed configuration data on each plane to know which may have the defects.”


          • Vincent

            He still is stellar…
            The problem is not serious. It’s just non-compliant parts from Spirit that Boeing did not tolerate for the sake of safety culture…👍

          • @ Checklist

            Not serious, eh?

            Hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs, months of delays for dozens of extra airframes, burden of having to inspect existing (and in-service) frames…all at a time when BA can’t afford to be missing revenue.
            Deliveries already plummeting as a result — just 17 so far in April.

          • “that Boeing did not tolerate for the sake of safety culture…👍”

            IMU compliance is mandatory.
            No leeway.

          • @ Uwe
            A proper safety culture would have caught these sub-standard fastenings *before* they got fitted on planes.

            My local dairy performs all sorts of checks on incoming milk *upon delivery* — even though the farmers supplying the milk have already done a whole barrage of tests and passed the results in advance to the dairy. That’s what’s called proper quality control.

            A large semiconductor manufacturer just up the road here does the same: absolutely everything coming in from suppliers is thoroughly checked and tested, independent of similar tests performed at the supplier.

  28. –>>BA closed the day with a rise of 1.60% and a shareholder value of US$205.03.

    BA (NYSE) 205,03 $US +3,22 (+1,60 %)

    It’s very good despite what’s going on there.

    Please tell me what is going on?…

  29. Bryce

    …”Hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs, months of delays for dozens of extra airframes, burden of having to inspect existing (and in-service) frames…all at a time when BA can’t afford to be missing revenue.
    Deliveries already plummeting as a result — just 17 so far in April….”
    Off topic, there is no question of missed revenue.

    Aircraft safety is not compromised

    (!) Anyway, this comes as Airbus is facing production problems. As I said, it will be a long time before delivering 75 A32Xneo / month if ever…

    • “Aircraft safety is not compromised”

      Aircraft safety certainly *is* compromised: having the vertical stabilizer detach from the fuselage is generally not conducive to a pleasant flight.
      It may not be an *immediate* safety issue, but it’s a safety issue nevertheless.


      Of course there’s missed revenue — lower deliveries means lower revenue.
      This couldn’t be happening art a worse time for BA: on top of already-expected losses in Q1 and Q2, revenue is now going to be lowered further.

  30. Today from AvWeek: ‘How Did Airbus Become Dominant in China?’:

    “..But Boeing’s shrinking market share in China isn’t all about politics. It also has something to do with different manufacturing strategies. Airbus’ first FAL in Tianjin began operating in 2008 and has seen more than 600 A320s roll off the line since then. In March, the first Chinese-assembled A321neo was delivered.

    Airbus’ multiple FAL strategy—there are also sites in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Mobile, Alabama—has been advantageous in helping meet demand and increase production rates for the popular narrowbody. The second FAL in Tianjin, along with a second FAL that Airbus intends to open in Toulouse, will significantly help the manufacturer meet its stated goal of producing 75 aircraft per month in 2026. As a practicality, having multiple lines is a production advantage over Boeing..”


    In other news, Boeing claims they’re going to [somehow] still increase 737MAX™
    production rates, despite the latest rudder join issues for that aircraft.


    • Another point that the article fails to mention: all of Boeing’s main products have been embroiled in controversies for years — with abundant evidence of design short cuts, shoddy manufacture, and consistently poor QC.
      Such products are not to everybody’s taste. In that regard, also note the relatively high number of BA penalty-free cancellations…

    • And for even more laughs, when is fully operational status for the Boeing KC-46A scheduled to occur; and have they abandoned its RVS [yet] ?

  31. United Airlines discloses delays for Boeing deliveries in SEC filing:

    -> Boeing notified United that 37 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2023, as shown in the table above, are now expected to deliver in 2024. Also, United estimates that an additional eleven Boeing 737 MAX aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2023, as shown in the table above, will deliver in 2024 and 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2024, as shown in table above, will deliver in 2025.

    Furthermore, Boeing recently notified United that due to a manufacturing process issue relating to certain Boeing 737 MAX fuselages, six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2023, as shown in the table above, will be delayed. Boeing may inform United that additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2023 may be delayed and/or that certain Boeing 737 MAX aircraft currently expected to be delivered in 2023 may deliver in 2024.

  32. -> New AD out for some 737–600/700/700C/800/900/900ER planes b/c of “missing shims, a wrong type of shim, shanked fasteners, fastener head gaps, and incorrect hole sizes common to the left and right sides at a certain station (STA) frame inner chord and web.”

    -> According to the FAA, the AD was prompted by “reports of missing shims, a wrong type of shim, shanked fasteners, fastener head gaps, and incorrect hole sizes common to the left and right sides at a certain station (STA) frame inner chord and web”.

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