May 23, 2022, © Leeham News: The delivery delays for the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX get all the headlines. But Airbus also has delivery delays for the Airbus Canada A220.
There are at least three A220s missing cockpit installations on the ramp at the Mirabel Airport final assembly line with more coming off the FAL, LNA is told. The number of A220s with this traveled work at the Mobile (AL) FAL is not known. Some quality control issues at the Mobile plant, which is still in its learning curve phase, have been reported.
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 19, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we looked at what the closure of Russian airspace would mean for a mid-European cargo airline. A cargo plane has a shorter range, and the difference in flight distance meant that the cost of transporting cargo from Far-East to West Europe increased considerably as cargo payload was reduced.
We now check what the Russian airspace closure means for the World’s longest flight, Singapore Airlines flight SQ23/SQ24 between New York and Singapore.
By Vincent Valery
May 9, 2022, © Leeham News: As passenger traffic is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Americas and Western Europe, many airlines are eager to take delivery of more fuel-efficient aircraft. Higher oil prices and ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions are driving new-generation aircraft demand, notably for the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX families.
A combination of supply chain disruptions and challenges associated with increased production means that Airbus and Boeing aren’t ramping-up A320neo and 737 MAX production as much as they would like. Boeing fell short last year on its 737 MAX production targets. The American company is also dealing with multiple delays in the resumption of Dreamliner deliveries.
In recent years there have been significant gaps between announced and actual production rates. The gaps have a material impact on projected OEM revenues, cashflows, and incomes.
LNA analyzes aircraft production rates on all the Airbus and Boeing programs since 2010 to assess whether the gaps were as significant in the past. LNA also evaluates the programs that were the closest and furthest away from announced production plans.
May 9, 2022, © Leeham News: Pratt & Whitney thinks a hybrid-electric propulsion system might be ready for installation on the next new airplane from Boeing or Airbus by 2031. But more likely is that the new airplane, whatever design it is, will more likely be powered by a conventional engine that is capable of running on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Graham Webb, the chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney, said PW is “obviously investing in our Geared TurboFan. That’s our bread and butter. We are working to infuse a large number of technologies, including ceramic matrix composites, and aerodynamic improvements to the turbines and the compressor. We’re working on improving the cooling optimization and sealing, and the traditional core efficiency suite of technologies to enable us to get to the higher overall temperatures we need for the next generation cycles.
“We’ve already completed a suite of work with the FAA and our clean aviation program that enabled us to expand the bypass ratio of our Geared TurboFan engine further from where we are till now. We’re going to use that technology to grow the engine. We’ll put a different fan-drive gear system technology as a result of that expansion. That’s kind of like the traditional engine efficiency piece,” Webb said at the Aviation Week’s MRO Americas event in Dallas. LNA spoke with Webb on the sidelines of the huge event, attended by more than 13,000 people.
Under the FAA CLEEN Phase I program, PW developed ultra-high bypass ratio technologies beyond the current 12:1 present in today’s GTF engines. These technologies are ready for deployment for a future new aircraft. The specific bypass ratio of this new engine will be optimized to each installation on the new airframe configurations being developed by the airframers, a spokesperson added.
May 6, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we looked at how we create the shaft power for the thrust device we discussed before. We described the basics of a hydrogen-burning gas turbine alternative.
When we have liquid hydrogen as fuel, several advanced developments are possible. It’s what we look at now.
By the Leeham News Team
May 5, 2022, © Leeham News: Boeing is moving the corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arlington (VA) (a Washington (DC) suburb), the Wall Street Journal reported. The signs were there for all to see if you were looking.
Boeing closed its headquarters in Chicago as the COVID pandemic expanded. The Illinois/Chicago tax breaks expired. Key corporate communications people relocated already from Seattle to Washington, including Bernard Choi—whose duties expanded from oversight of Boeing Commercial Airplanes communications to the corporate level. There is an under-utilized Boeing building in Arlington.
Already under financial pressure because of the 737 MAX grounding in March 2019, the pandemic made things much, much worse. With no orders flowing into Boeing Commercial and few deliveries after the pandemic grew across the globe, Boeing’s cash flow took a huge hit. Then 787 deliveries were suspended in October 2020 and have yet to resume.
By Scott Hamilton
May 5, 2022, © Leeham News: Spirit AeroSystems has had a tough couple of years. It’s not only had COVID to contend with, but its customer that provides more revenue than any other—Boeing—had a major impact on Spirit’s revenues and profits.
Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis, suspension of deliveries for the 787 and extended delays in the 777X programs all hurt Spirit. The Tier 1 supplier makes the fuselages for the 737s. It makes the nose sections for the 787 and 777. Spirit’s 737 production rate is now 31/mo. Deliveries for the 787 are expected to resume in the second half. Boeing said it will gradually increase production from the current rate of about 0.5 per month to 5/mo (though the timeline remains murky). Production of the 777X is suspended through 2023 while that for the 777-200LRF probably will hover around 2/mo for the indefinite future.
In its 1Q22 earnings release on May 4, Spirit appears on its way toward solid recovery. The company beat street expectations on strong Airbus deliveries, for which it’s also a supplier. Spirit’s own operational improvements and below-the-line improvements contributed to the better than expected results. And free cash flow was stronger than expected. The earnings detail is here.
May 4, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus presented its results for the first quarter of 2022 today. The results were better on all accounts compared with the first quarter last year, and the year’s outlook is unchanged.
However, Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury warned that the geopolitical and economic conditions are volatile. The guidance for 2022 is unchanged, and longer-term Airbus now plans for 75 A320 series deliveries by 2025 (was 60).
The 1Q2022 delivered a 15% increase in revenue to €12bn as 140 airliners were delivered during the quarter (125 1Q2021). EBIT Adjusted (reflecting the operational profit) increased by 55% to €1.263m (€694m).
By Bjorn Fehrm
April 28, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we started an article series that looks at the impact of the closure of the Russian airspace for Western airlines.
We start with analyzing how Finnair’s cost base changes as it routes Helsinki to Tokyo has to fly over the north pole and then down to Tokyo instead of over Russia. How will this affect the airline’s costs and the payload carrying capacity of the aircraft?
By Laura Mueller
Airfinance Journal, April 14, 2022
Reprinted with permission
April 27, 2022, © Airfinance Journal: Air Lease Corp’s executive chairman, Steven Udvar-Hazy, told Airfinance Journal that “every one” of the lessor’s single-aisle Airbus aircraft is delayed.
“Our Boeing 737 Max deliveries also are delayed this year,” he said. “The supply chain, starting with the engine manufacturers, the people who make landing gear, the people who make avionics… are not equipped today to meet the production goals of the two manufacturers.”
Add in increased absenteeism and working from home, and it is clear further delays are ahead. “You can’t build airplanes on a Zoom call.”
The situation means Airbus and Boeing are “faced with very difficult strategies”.
ALC’s chief executive officer, John Plueger, echoed those thoughts. He told a JP Morgan conference on 16 March that 18% of the Airbus workforce was off due to Covid-related matters. Plueger confirmed to Airfinance Journal that Airbus told him that figure, but the information was “probably a month or two old” as of April.
“It would not surprise me to get further delays beyond that,” he added.