Pontifications: Writing had been on the wall for years for Q400 sale; CRJ is next

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The writing had really been on the wall for the past few years, regardless what the corporate line was: Bombardier was one day going to sell the Q400 program or shut it down.

Better to sell it and get at least some money out of it, no matter how small.

Bombardier agreed to sell the program to British Columbia-based Viking Air for a mere $300m–$250m, net of fees.

Ditto the CRJ program. It’s on life support. It’s a design dating to the 1980s, the passenger experience has long been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and it will be also by Mitsubishi’s MRJ when this jet finally comes on line in 2020. Read more

How useful is an NMA, Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 8, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we flew a Boeing NMA from the Middle East. We found the aircraft would be well suited to serve this market.

Now we finish the coverage part of the series with checking how useful the NMA would be for North American based carriers.

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

Summary:
  • The North American carriers will have a useful aircraft in the NMA. It will cover the domestic US and Canadian markets, including Alaska and Hawaii.
  • The smaller 797-6 will cover wide parts of South America and Europe dependent on the hub. The larger NMA has more of a coverage problem outside the North and Central American markets. Read more

WOW-Icelandair combo may help Airbus, hurt Boeing in A321LR/XLR-NMA campaigns

Nov. 5, 2018, © Leeham News: The announcement that Icelandair will acquire competing low cost airline WOW Air seemed the inevitable conclusion to the financially-strapped WOW, which aggressively expanded against the entrenched incumbent.

The combined carriers may help Airbus and hurt Boeing in current campaigns to sell the A321LR/XLR and NMA to Icelandair.

The combined carriers will serve 63 cities from their home base in Iceland. Icelandair serves 46 cities. WOW serves 40 and recently announced expansion to its 41st, Vancouver.

There will be 19 common cities and routes (see Chart). Read more

Pontifications: Pilots train for instrumentation mismatches

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 5, 2018, © Leeham News: It was a week ago that Lion Air JT 610 crashed into the sea, just 13 minutes after takeoff.

The crash was the first involving the Boeing 737 MAX (in this case, the -8 model). The airplane was virtually new, having been delivered to the airline in August. Lion Air was not new to the 737, having flown the NG models for years.

Because the airplane crashed into the sea, recovery of the black boxes was not quick. The flight data recorder was recovered several days later but the cockpit voice recorder is still missing. The FDR data apparently has not yet been downloaded for a preliminary read. At least nothing has been made public, if it has. Read more

How useful is an NMA, Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 1, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looked at how a Boeing NMA would function as a medium range airliner in the Asia-Pacific.

We now continue with flying the two aircraft variants from Middle East locations, exploring how large an area in Asia, Europe and Africa the aircraft would cover.

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

Summary:

  • The profile of an NMA fits well in a Middle East Carrier’s fleet. Dependent on location it covers all of Europe and most of Africa and Asia.
  • As the NMA is a lesser aircraft than the present long-range aircraft used on the routes it would have impressive economics for this type of operation.

Read more

Airbus’ disadvantages in widebody campaigns

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Introduction

Oct. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus faces a key disadvantage when it comes to winning current wide-body campaigns against Boeing.

The disadvantage is entirely out of its control.

It’s not about whether the A330neo or A350 vs the 787 economics are out of kilter. They’re not.

It’s about the engines, LNC is told by multiple market sources. Specifically Rolls-Royce engines, which exclusively power the Airbus wide-bodies.

Summary
  • Airlines affected by Rolls-Royce-powered 787 problems are hopping mad.
  • The negative halo effect puts questions over the Trent 7000-powered A330neo.
  • While less affected, there is a negative halo effect over the Trent XWB-powered A350.
  • Airlines considering follow-on ordered of 787s are ready to jump from RR to GE.

Read more

Boeing’s growing 777X challenge

  • Boeing 3Q earnings call Oct. 24, 10:30am EDT.

Oct. 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing has been confident it has bottomed out the production rate of the 777 line, successfully bridging between the Classic and the X models.

CEO Dennis Muilenburg nevertheless typically couches this confidence with “with still have some work to do.”

But during LNC’s trip last week to New York, sources said this bridge may be moving to the right.

Etihad Airways was a launch customer for the Boeing 777X. It’s deferred delivers once. It may do so again. LNC has been on this story since January 2017. Image via Google images.

Read more

How useful is an NMA, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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

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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