By Scott Hamilton
Oct. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: Kevin McAllister’s departure yesterday as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes comes as no surprise.
Only the timing—now instead of next year, as was widely surmised—caught people off guard.
Reports conflict whether he resigned, was fired or (as one report put it), it was a “separation;” it really doesn’t matter.
Word was circulating for months, long before the 737 MAX grounding, that his was a fading star.
He was replaced by Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Global Services.
That McAllister is the first high-profile casualty of the MAX grounding and recertification crisis is also not a surprise. That he would be sacrificed had been rumored for weeks. The New York Times openly wrote about this prospect 10 days ago.
But tying McAllister to the MAX crisis is to some degree scapegoating.
As I wrote Oct. 7, the fingers of blame for the crisis point much higher than McAllister.
This question was common along the sidelines last week of the Wings Club and two conferences in New York City. (See Pontifications.)
There is, of course, no definitive answer today.
But the plurality of opinion is that the NMA is off the table for the indefinite future.
Other than that, everything is fine.
By Vincent Valery
Oct. 21, 2019, © Leeham News: As Boeing sorts out final requirements with regulators for the 737 MAX return to service, preparations to resume deliveries are in full steam.
The company is hiring scores of temporary workers to return grounded and built but not yet delivered airframes. A note from Alliance Bernstein estimates that Boeing will be able to hand over 25 aircraft per month on top of those that come off the assembly line.
After taking hefty losses and having lost its most robust cash flow source for almost a year, Boeing will want to hand over as many aircraft to airlines as fast as possible.
Do all 737 MAX customers, likewise, want their aircraft back in service as soon as possible?
Oct. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing is reconsidering a previous idea to re-engine the 767 with GEnx powerplants, Flight Global reported last week.
The idea was run up the flagpole, so-to-speak, in 2017.
At that time, the 737 MAX was just entering service. There was, of course, no hint of any turbulence on the horizon.
The business case for the New Midmarket Aircraft was difficult even then. So why not look at a 767RE and restarting the 757 line, also up upgrades?
Boeing being Boeing, it looks at everything. It ruled out restarting the 757 line (the challenges would have been pretty daunting).
The 767 got more studious traction, including simply restarting the passenger line and providing a really cheap acquisition. A 767RE, however, was viewed as too complex under the circumstances and it would compete with the 787.
American Airlines and United Airlines were actually interested in the airplane restart.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 9, 2018, ©. Leeham News, Antibes France: The European Airlines Association, ERA, gathered 44 of its 51 member airlines in Antibes France, today for the first day of its 2019 General Assembly meeting.
LNA participated in the event for the first time and we found an impressive gathering of airline and airport representatives, aircraft OEMs and support businesses discussing the challenges facing the European regional air transport market.
Sept. 25, 2019, © Leeham News: As many as 135 Airbus and Boeing jets could be dumped on the market following the bankruptcies or cessation of operations of five airlines and a financially distressed sixth carrier that is a subsidiary of one of the bankrupt ones.
Condor maintained service for now and received an emergency loan of €380m loan from the German government. But its long-term survival may depend on acquisition by the Lufthansa Group.
By Vincent Valery
Sep. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: Numerous European regional airlines are struggling financially.
FlyBe was sold earlier this year for a symbolic amount to Connect Airways. The new airlines’ shareholders are Stobart Air, Virgin Atlantic and Cyrus Capital Partners.
UK regional carrier flybmi ceased operations earlier this year. Air France announced a 15% cut in domestic capacity at regional subsidiary Hop! after years of steep losses.
In spite of their struggles, European regional airlines represent a significant market for aircraft OEMs. The Airbus A220, Embraer E2 and turboprop programs count on new European airline orders to bolster their order book.
By Vincent Valery
Sep. 16, 2019, © Leeham News: Over the last few weeks, LNA outlined significant production gaps from 2022 onwards for the major widebody programs at Airbus and Boeing. The OEMs expect airlines to place large fleet renewal orders to fill those.
Aircraft deliveries need to be financed one way or another. Access to affordable financing is crucial for airlines and lessors to make good on their orders.
Interest rates in the world’s major currencies hit an all-time low a few weeks ago. The 30-year US Treasury yield dipped below 2%, while the 10Y German Bund was at -70 basis points.
Corporations duly took advantage of the lower rates to issue record amounts of debt in US dollars during the first week of September. United Airlines and Bank of China Aviation were among them.
We will analyze how lower interest rates could benefit the aviation industry.
Sept. 13, 2019, © Leeham News, Los Angeles: Airbus is expanding its Airspace interior look to the A321LR and A321XLR, providing a common theme with its widebody A330neo and A350 family members.
The OEM is also launching the fully cabin-connected Internet of Things (IoT), a system connecting just about everything in a cabin, for passenger experience and airline use.
The moves were revealed at the 2019 APEX convention last week in Los Angeles.
Sep. 9, 2019, © Leeham News: In last week’s article, we discussed the context that led to the creation of numerous European low cost and leisure carriers. We also outlined the main reasons for their recent struggles.
Today we will look at the current situation for smaller carriers in various European countries. We will start with Germany.