By Bjorn Fehrm
August 15, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus is increasing the Gross Weight of its A220 variants by 5,000lb from 2H2020. It is to increase the already long range of the aircraft according to Airbus.
We looked at the typical trans-Atlantic routes this longer-range capability enabled last week. Now we explore further route areas and compare the A220 economics to the Boeing 737-8 and Airbus A321LR.
Aug. 5, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus last week won a big, validating commitment from Air France-KLM Group for 60 orders and more options for the A220-300.
The contract won’t be firm until later this year, but the AF Memorandum of Understanding (when converted) brings the A220 order book to 611. There are some other commitments that haven’t yet been converted to orders.
Through mid-July, there were 86 A220s in service. There were 465 Letters of Intent, MOUs and Options before the Air France deal was announced.
But of those firm orders, 110 of them aren’t so firm. In fact, some of them really shouldn’t even be on the books.
July 29, 2019, © Leeham News: The 737 MAX crisis overshadows everything else right now at Boeing.
This includes forward orders, weak customers and production gaps on the 787 line, which right now is the cash flow cow at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Executives only briefly, and obliquely, touched on the 787 during the 2Q2019 earnings call last Wednesday.
This prompted LNA to examine the details of the backlog and production rates. The 787 is current being produced at a rate of 14/mo.
There are clear signs of challenges, both near- and medium-term for the 787.
By Bjorn Fehrm
July 25, 2019, © Leeham News: We continue our discussion from last week of what part of an NMA market the Airbus A321XLR would capture.
We started the study by comparing the aircraft with a common yardstick. It brought some revealing insights. Now we continue by looking at the airline routes these aircraft can cover and their economics when covering these routes.
July 15, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing can’t catch a break.
Some may argue it doesn’t deserve one, given what’s come out about the 737 MAX development. And the sloppy production of the 787 at the Charleston (SC) plant. And the FOD issues with the KC-46A at the Everett (WA) plant.
To be sure, Boeing has gotten a lot of bad press it’s deserved. But last week, two pieces of news had connections to the MAX that were (1) overwrought and (2) unwarranted.
July 12, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Norwegian Air Shuttles’ (Norwegian) founder and CEO for 17 years, Bjorn Kjos stepped down yesterday. Over the last year the CFO, Board chairman and now the CEO have changed.
This signals a change in strategy for Norwegian. The new management is focused on halting growth and cutting costs. Norwegian must now consolidate itself to profitability.
By Vincent Valery
July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: It has been said that the collapse of freight volumes in the second half of 2008 preceded the sharp drop in passenger traffic. Cargo also allegedly led the passenger recovery in the second half of 2009. We will verify with IATA data whether the data backs such claim.
We will also check whether cargo volumes still have as much predictive power in the post Great Recession world. The current context of increasing trade tensions and signs of economic slowdown make this analysis relevant. We will ponder whether the next global recession is around the corner.
June 26, 2019, © Leeham News: Airlines and lessors are making plans to extend leases by up to one year as the Boeing 737 MAX grounding drags on with no end in sight and carriers scramble to cover their routes, LNA is told.
This was until the September-October timeframe.
Now, with estimates that the Federal Aviation Administration may not be ready to lift its grounding order until then—and other regulators may come later—airlines see a need for another lease extension.
Lessors are not interested in another six month extension, however, LNA is told.
By Bjorn Fehrm
June 27, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus launched the extended range A321XLR last week at the Paris Air Show.
The range of the aircraft was presented as 4,700nm with an “around 200 seat” cabin. This was 200nm more than the market expected.
We use our performance model to explain what is behind the 4,700nm figure.
By Vincent Valery
June 24, 2019, © Leeham News: As widely expected Airbus officially launched the A321XLR on the first day of the Paris Air Show. First deliveries are expected in 2023.
With the Maximum Takeoff Weight increased to 101 metric tons the manufacturer claims a range of 4,700 nautical miles while carrying 200 passengers. This represents an extra 700 nautical miles compared to the LR variant. Accounting for real world airline seating configurations and fuel reserves, the effective range will be lower.
Nevertheless, it will represent a significant improvement over the LR. Serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman claims that the A321LR does not match the range of the Boeing 757-200. The XLR variant will have meaningfully more effective range than the out-of-production Boeing aircraft.
According to Airbus the A321XLR can fly direct between city pairs such as London – New Delhi and New York – Rome.