Feb. 7, 2022, © Leeham News: Frontier and Spirit airlines today announced plans to merge. The combination will create the USA’s fifth largest carrier and combine the two largest Ultra Low-Cost Carriers (ULCC) in the United States.
Shareholders of Frontier will own 51.5% of the new company, and seven of the 12 board members will be appointed by Frontier. The largest shareholder is Indigo Partners, whose chairman, Bill Franke, becomes chair of the combined airline. Indigo once was the largest shareholder in Spirit. Indigo sold its shareholdings and Franke resigned from the Spirit board when Indigo bought control of Frontier.
It hasn’t been decided what the brand of the new company will be.
January 28, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Having discussed where investments would be the most efficient in alleviating our Greenhouse gas problems and identified the low-hanging fruit, we now look at new technology airplanes that can improve the situation.
We start with classical airliners, working our way from small types to the largest, then we discuss the impact of new transport forms like VTOLs for short-haul transportation.
As we will use the Leeham Aircraft Performance Model in some of the work, there will be extra articles (for this one, a Part 4P) which are Paywall, where we use the model to generate deeper data and understanding.
By Bjorn Fehrm
January 27, 2022, © Leeham News: Last week, we kicked off a series of articles where we will measure what difference our choice of flying makes to the primary Greenhouse gas emission, CO2.
We have upgraded our airliner performance model for the series to give a direct output of the CO2 emissions for the flights in different phases.
We start this week by comparing a typical domestic feeder flight of 300 nm, with an example route of Cleveland to Chicago O’Hare. What will be the time differences? And the fuel burn and CO2 emission difference?
To make it a fair comparison, we’ll use present generation aircraft flying on the US market, the Embraer E175 and De Havilland’s DH 8-400. We will fly the DH 8 at a high-speed cruise to keep the flight time differences within 10 minutes.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 7, 2021, © Leeham News: In last week’s article, we could see today’s high cargo prices can motivate a 325 seat Airbus A350-900 even though the passenger load on the routes would point to a 240 seat A330-800.
How far does this “paying for a larger aircraft with belly cargo” paradigm go? Today we see if Airbus’ largest aircraft, the A350-1000, can generate the margins of the A350-900 on freight-rich routes. Can an airline that has an A350-900 sized passenger demand for such routes go to an A350-1000 instead?
By Vincent Valery
July 26, 2021, © Leeham News: As passenger traffic in the USA recovers, carriers’ operating cash flow turned consistently positive. With increased confidence in a sustainable passenger recovery, some airlines started ordering or purchasing planes again.
LNA outlined in a previous article that the pace of passenger traffic recovery differs significantly by region and country. Several domestic markets, notably China and the USA, are back to levels approaching those seen in 2019. Other markets, notably intercontinental or intra-Asia travel, remains depressed.
The carriers that placed large orders undoubtedly did so to capitalize on favorable pricing from OEMs and cheap financing. However, behind the headline-grabbing order figures lie that their fleets are aging fast and had under-ordered in previous years.
LNA singles out in this article the carriers that will have to place sizable orders to rejuvenate their fleets in the next five years, considering regional factors.
By Scott Hamilton
July 12, 2021, © Leeham News: Canada’s Porter Airlines today announced an order for 30 Embraer E195-E2s. The move comes shortly after the Canadian government agreed to loan hundreds of millions of dollars to Porter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Porter ceased operations shortly into the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It resumes service in September.
Embraer announced the order, from an unidentified customer, on April 23. Airfinance Journal first reported that the customer was Porter Airlines, which the company denied. LNA confirmed May 19 that the airplanes were going to Porter. Porter declined to directly comment on LNA’s confirmation.
July 9, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Now that we have done the basic market research we should scope the program. To do this we need to understand what aircraft we will develop and to what certification rules.
Our market research tells us to develop a 19 seat aircraft that can operate as a passenger and/or cargo aircraft outside the US and as cargo aircraft in the US. This enables us to certify it to FAA Part 23 and the equivalent rules of other National Aviation Authorities where we want to sell the aircraft.
By Scott Hamilton
July 6, 2021, © Leeham News: Mitsubishi is considering restarting production of the discontinued CRJ, LNA confirmed with multiple sources.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries discontinued production with the completion of the last of the small backlog it acquired with the June 1, 2019, purchase of the program from the ailing Bombardier. The final 15 CRJ900s were completed during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montreal Mirabel Airport production line was shut down. The tooling was removed and stored. The buildings were turned over to Airbus, which now uses them for A220 production.
“Our primary focus remains the support of the CRJ operating fleet,” said Ross Mitchell, vice president of Shared Services. “Clearly, the regional jet market is important to us, but we have made no commitment to move forward in this respect.”
By Judson Rollins
July 5, 2021, © Leeham News: The passenger air travel recovery from COVID-19 has been wildly uneven, even between neighboring countries. Most countries with large domestic markets have seen dramatic rebounds in passenger volumes, although yields have been held back by a continued slump in long-haul and business travel.
In the Asia-Pacific region, however, even short-haul international traffic has been disrupted by virus outbreaks, a painfully slow vaccine rollout, and a largely stagnant web of border closures.
May 28, 2021, ©. Leeham News: After an overview of different certification rules and discussions about why there are different rule sets, we now exemplify the rules by looking at specific aircraft projects and how the certification rules affect the design.
We start this week with the idea to certify a 9-seat mini-airliner like the Tecnam P2012 Traveller. It’s a recent development with US-based Cape Air as the launch customer.