Another story that won’t die

We’ve recently tagged a few items “a story that won’t die.” Here is another one, the continuing analysis of the Pratt &
Whitney GTF for the Boeing 737 MAX.

Although Boeing’s Lauren Penning told The Puget Sound Business Journal there isn’t a “team” at Boeing working on this prospect, reports out of Aspire Aviation (now Orient Insight), Aeroturbopower, Airline Economics and last month’s ISTAT meeting continue to create buzz on this topic. The AirInsight piece was published in limited circulation two weeks ago.

Odds and Ends: ExIm Bank, 777X, Winglets, 737 MAX

ExIm Bank: The fight between Delta Air Lines and the ExIm Bank continues.

As readers know, Delta is behind the move to block ExIm Bank financings of wide-body airplanes to international customers. We’ve a link to a Wall Street Journal article that gives another take on the controversy, so we won’t repeat the details here (which we’ve written about on several occasions).

Then last week, ExIm approved a guarantee with the Brazilian airline GOL for CFM 56 engines on Boeing 737NGs, with a proviso that GOL send the engines to Delta TechOps (a subsidiary of DAL) for maintenance. This caused quite the kerfuffle, as noted in the Politico article (also linked below).

Finally (actually not, but it is for today’s post), there is an editorial in the Washington Post that Delta really likes and sent on to us. That link is also below.

Readers know that we think the effort to block the ExIm Bank is stupid. Delta takes pains to say it is not against the Bank, only against funding international wide-body sales that compete with US international air carriers (and most specifically, Delta).

We understand Delta’s position but largely disagree with it. Delta does have a point when healthy carriers like Emirates Airlines use below-market rate ExIm funding. But Delta is off the mark when it comes to objecting to the concept that ExIm supports funding to foreign companies that are financially unable to commercial lending without the government guarantee. This is precisely why ExIm was created in 1934–to boost US sales to these companies.

Nearly $12bn in Boeing airplane sales (most equipped with GE Engines) were backed by ExIm guarantees last year and it will probably be a similar number this year. It’s anybody’s guess how many of these sales would not have happened had ExIm not stepped up.

We fully concur that it makes little sense for carriers like Emirates to qualify for ExIm. And international parties agreed last year to set market rates for ExIm services (replacing below-market rates), beginning January 2013. Delta remains skeptical that this solves the problem and that it will take years to see the results. It’s correct on the latter point and cynical on the former.

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Odds and Ends: Starting 2012

Outlook for 2012: We’ve historically provided our outlook for the coming year by taking a look at the major airframe and engine OEMs. This year, our outlook is combined with that of Ernie Arvai and Addison Schonland over at AirInsight, which also looks at the Highs and Lows of 2011.

Boeing: The Seattle Times has a good year-end wrap up/2012 Outlook.

Boeing 787: Boeing did not make its target of delivering 5-7 787s in 2011. It only delivered two. Update, 9:45am: Blogger Airline Reporter says Boeing and ANA signed the paperwork on Dec. 30 for a third 787, arguably making this a third “delivery” but ANA won’t actually take possession until Jan. 4. We had asked Boeing Jan. 1 if any more deliveries had taken place in 2011 and a Boeing spokeswoman said Boeing would not confirm deliveries until the Jan. 5 update.

Bombardier: In part 3 of its look at 2012, AirInsight has a podcast with Bombardier talking about the CSeries.

Cathay Pacific: Aspire Aviation has an in-depth look at Cathay Pacific, including future fleet acquisition prospects. Daniel Tsang believes CX favors the Boeing 747-8I over the Airbus A380 at this point in evaluation, largely on great cargo capacity and a preference for frequency over passenger capacity.

Wichita (KS): December was a bad month for the aviation center in Wichita (KS). First came the news that Boeing may not finish the KC-46A tanker there and that the entire Boeing Wichita center may close. Then Hawker Beechcraft lost a USAF contract to Brazil’s Embraer. In fact, Hawker was excluded from bidding and is suing.

Leeham News: Our readership was up 62% in 2011 over 2010. Thanks to you all.

Looking ahead to 2012 by AirInsight, Pt 2: Airbus

In the second of a series, AirInsight has this podcost with Barry Eccleston, president of Airbus Americas.

AirInsight takes a close look at the GTF, CFM LEAP

AirInsight’s Ernie Arvai has a long analysis of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan and CFM LEAP engine.

It is very detailed, and involves information obtained from both companies.

737 MAX vs A320neo: the debate continues

During yesterday’s tele-press conference by Boeing with a program update for the 737 MAX, 737 chief program engineer John Hamilton frequently said the MAX has a 7% operating cost advantage over the A320neo.

He also touted the advantages of the 737-900ER over the A321, with the obvious implications that the 737-9 MAX will have an advantage over the A321neo.

Here is a recap by the Puget Sound Business Journal (there are many others which may be found through Google News).

AirInsight, our affiliate, has written several pieces of the 737NG and 737 MAX vs the A320 family, both legacy and NEO.

See the following articles for additional color on this debate.

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Boeing at APEX, Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma

Over at our affiliate, AirInsight, there is a 27 minute video of Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing at Boeing, making a presentation and our think piece about Pratt & Whitney’s dilemma following the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX.

See both pieces here.

Additional: Aspire Aviation today published a long piece about the 777X. See the story here. Update, Sept. 14: Aeroturbopower comments on the fuel burn analysis for the 777X. Update, 230pm PDT: Jon Ostrower has this article on 777X.

737MAX costs vs A320neo

AirInsight takes a look at the Boeing claims of 4%-7% cost advantages of the 737MAX vs the A320neo. The analysis comes to a slightly different conclusion than Boeing.

787’s legacy is already taking shape

We did a piece over at AirInsight noting that the legacy of the Boeing 787 is already taking shape–contributing to the development of the 737, 747-8 and likely the 777. Hop over and take a read.

Replacing 757s; Bombardier’s Scott and Delta; pricing engines

AirInsight, in a burst of prolific writing, posted three pieces of note today: