How useful is an NMA, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

October 18, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we started an article series which analyzes how useful a Boeing NMA will be for medium to long-haul flights in different markets.

We first went through all the factors which will change the OEM’s nominal range to an operational range. Now we fly the NMA in one of its main markets and look how it fairs.

Artists impression of the Boeing NMA. Source: The Air Current.

Summary:

  • The NMA is designed to compete on operational economics with Single Aisle aircraft, yet offer the comfort and turn-around times of a Twin Aisle.
  • To get to Single Aisle economics, the NMA can’t be too much aircraft. This shows when analyzing how NMA fares on trans-Atlantic routes.

Read more

Pontifications: Amazon’s quiet plans to grow its airline

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: Amazon, the giant on-line retailer, continues to move quietly to expand its Amazon Air cargo carrier, with plans to grow the airline to a size that could rival FedEx, market sources tell LNC.

Amazon’s contracting with Atlas Air, ATSG and others for Boeing 767F services is well known.

So are plans for a $1.5bn cargo center at the Cincinnati (OH) airport (which is really across the state line in Kentucky). This expansion will support more than 100 airplanes. Operations are targeted to begin in 2020.

Prime operates about 40 through its airline partners and is in the market for 10 more, LNC is told.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Read more

Huge surge of A320 orders greatly exceed near-, mid-term A320 retirements

Subscription Required

Introduction

Oct. 4, 2018, © Leeham News: The huge surge of orders for the Airbus A320 family far outstrips the aging aircraft statistics, an analysis shows.

Airbus has a backlog of more than 6,000 A320 family members, with more than 1,700 sales potential just for retirements.

There is a backlog of more than 6,000 A320neo family members, with the near- and mid-term delivery schedule far exceeding A320 retirements. Photo credit: Airbus.

There are more than 4,300 A320s scheduled for delivery from 2019 through 2025.

There are just 765 A320s that hit 25 years old during the same period.

The surge in A320-family aging aircraft begins in 2030, just as the bulk of the current backlog ends, according to data bases maintained by Ascend and Airfinance Journal’s Fleet Tracker.

Summary
  • Useful lives of A320s in passenger service historically have been 25 years. Till now, no P2F programs existed to extend the useful lives.
  • But, some passenger airlines are returning A320s off lease in 12 years or less—accounting for some of the surge in orders vs aging aircraft.
  • Supply-demand imbalance in the secondary markets could emerge.

Read more

What costs dominate an airliner’s operation? Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

September 27, 2018, © Leeham News.: Over the last week’s we have looked at the costs for a typical Mainline and LCC airline operating in the US, Europe and Asian markets. The costs have been Direct Operating Costs (DOC) for the average routes operated by these airlines.

Now we finish the series with a look at the seat-mile costs so the Narrowbody and Widebody aircraft economics can be compared on routes both can serve.

Summary:

  • When comparing seat-mile operating costs between Narrowbody and Widebody aircraft one must use the same cabin standards.
  • Doing so will show the apples to apples operating costs of the two types when operating on sectors out to the maximum practical range of the Narrowbodies.

Read more

What costs dominate an airliner’s operation? Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

September 13, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looking at the costs for a typical Mainline airline in our series about the airliner cost equation. We discussed the operating costs of Mainline airlines and how these would be affected by the operating area.

Now we calculated the different costs for a Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) operating either in the US, West Europe or Asia.

Summary:

  • Fuel costs are the dominant costs for an LCC, regardless of geography.
  • Airport fees and crew costs are other costs which differ between LCCs, Legacy carriers and Geographies.

Read more

Assessing A320 production rate interest in >70/mo

Subscription Required

Introduction

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.

Airbus publicly has said it’s looking at rate 70/mo. Boeing publicly acknowledges it’s looking at rate 63/mo.

Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.

Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.

Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.

Summary
  • Airbus is scheduled to deliver more A320 members in 2019 than production capacity. Some of these may be parked backlog airplanes.
  • 2020-2021 sold out at rate 60/mo, 2022-2023 nearly so.
  • Rate increase to 70/mo opens opportunities for Airbus, pressure on Boeing.

Read more

What costs dominate an airliner’s operation? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

September 13, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we began an article series looking at the cost equation for an airliner. We discussed the different costs and how these would be affected by airline type and operating area.

Now we calculated the different costs for a Legacy airline operating either in the US, West Europe or Asia.

Summary:

  • The Narrowbody operated by a legacy carrier has high Aiport costs as it frequently take-offs and lands on major airports.
  • For the Widebody operation, the fuel and capital costs are higher than Navigation and Airport fees. The differences in how the US, Europe and Asia handle en route navigation fees creates a large Navigation cost difference between the geographies.

Read more

Boeing,insurance firm stole trade secrets, launched ExIm Bank funding replacement, lawsuits charge

Sept. 11, 2018, © Leeham News: The Boeing Co., Boeing Capital Corp, Marsh & McLennan and its subsidiary, Marsh, a major insurance firm, have been sued for trade secret theft in lawsuits filed in Chicago and New York.

The dispute centers around the roles of Boeing, BCC and the insurers in creating Aviation Finance Insurance Consortium (AFIC). AFIC was created following years of the US Congress’ refusal to reauthorize the US ExIm Bank.

Thatcher Stone

Robert Morin

Kostya Zolotusky

Xavian Holdings and Xavian Insurance Co. allege in the lawsuits that The Boeing Co., through its Boeing Capital Corp unit, and Marsh signed trade secret and confidentiality agreements that precluded the companies from acting on the concept for an ExIm replacement financing guarantee vehicle.

“Boeing and BCC waited until their need for those trade secrets became critical – and then
misappropriated them,” the Boeing lawsuit charges.

Xavian was founded by several Wall Street professionals in aircraft finance and some bankers from ExIm, led by attorney Thatcher A. Stone. Stone now lectures on aviation law at the University of Virginia School of Law. Xavian was backed by venture financiers and had received a significant financing commitment from Lightyear Capital, led by Don Marron, former chairman of Paine Webber and UBS.

AFIC was launched in June 2017. In its first seven months, it provided financial guarantees for 16 Boeing aircraft to four airlines and a lessor. The aircraft had a value of $1.5bn in financing guarantees.

One person told LNC that Boeing’s profits from the sale could be around $800m. The lawsuits don’t specify a damage claim, which is normal in federal courts.

Despite the trade secret and confidentiality agreements, Xavian charges in the lawsuit that BCC’s Kostya Zolotusky, Tim Myers, now president of BCC but a VP at the time, and Robert Morin, then still employed by ExIm but a part of Xavier’s effort, were privy to then Xavian plans. Also privy was BCC officer Scott Scherer, now retired, the lawsuit says.

Morin now works for Marsh, the insurance manager for AFIC.

Read more

With a month to elections, Embraer bolsters backlog

Subscription Required

Introduction

Sept. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: With the Brazilian elections less than a month away, the outcome of the presidential race will determine whether the proposed joint venture between Embraer and Boeing will be approved.

Embraer is Brazil’s most visible and prestigious international company. The government has a “golden share,” giving it veto power over certain transactions, including the Boeing deal. Boeing will own 80% of the new JV that will be for EMB’s commercial business only. Embraer will own 20%.

The incumbent government says it will approve the joint venture; the opposition party says it will veto the deal.

Summary

Including orders, options and LOIs:

  • Production slots are oversold through 2023.
  • The skyline quality has some challenges.
  • Only three dozen firm orders were announced at Farnborough; the balance has to be firmed up.

Read more

What costs dominate an airliner’s operation?

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

September 6, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last month we put the question if rising fuel prices will revitalize new aircraft sales. We now continue the analysis of an airliner’s costs by looking at other parts of the cost equation.

Is fuel the dominant operational cost also in the future? What’s the difference in the different costs between a legacy carrier and an LCC? We use our aircraft cost model to gain more insights.

Summary:
  • To compare costs for an airliner’s operation we must distinguish between carrier types and geographies
  • While keeping the modelling relatively simple, it will be possible to single out the cost drivers beside fuel and understand their importance

Read more