The struggling smaller European low cost carriers, Part 2.

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By Vincent Valery

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.

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E195-E2 will lead E-Jet sales, predicts N. American sales exec

Sept. 6, 2019, © Leeham Co., Nashville– Embraer is seeing interest from North American airlines in the E195-E2 despite a requirement that this would have to be operated by US mainline pilots or carriers without restrictions under some labor contract Scope Clauses, a top marketing official said yesterday.


 

Charlie Hills, VP of Sales and Marketing and based at the company’s US headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, declined to name names of these airlines expressing interest in the E195-E2.

The remarks were made at the annual Regional Airlines Assoc. conference in Nashville.

But it is known that low-cost carriers Spirit Air, Frontier Airlines and even Southwest Airlines have looked at the airplane. None of these has a Scope Clause in labor contracts.

Legacy carrier United Airlines also has reviewed the airplane, but its level of interest is hard to gauge. It’s restricted by Scope by size, weight, seat count and the number of airplanes it can fly through its regional partners, so the E2 would have to fly mainline. Pilot wages would be a make-or-break issue.

The first E195-E2 will be delivered Sept. 12 to Brazil’s Azul Airlines.

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Mitsubishi lands MOU for up to 100 SpaceJets from USA’s Mesa Air

Sept. 5, 2019, © Leeham News: Nashville—Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp (MITAC) won a large commitment for up to 100 of its new M100 SpaceJet from US regional carrier Mesa Airlines.

The Memorandum of Understanding was announced today at the Regional Airline Assn. annual US conference. The MOU is for 50 firm orders and purchase rights for 50 more. Mesa is a new MITAC customer. Deliveries begin in 2024. Entry into service is planned for 2023.

The M100 is compliant with the US pilot contract Scope Clauses, which (among other things) limit the weight of the airplane and seating configuration.

A Letter of Intent for 15 M100s was announced at the Paris Air Show. This customer has yet to be identified.

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Pontifications: Catching up on Odds and Ends-Alaska’s Airbus fleet, first E195-E2 delivery, Boeing’s MAX rebranding question

  • Take our Boeing 737 MAX rebranding poll at the end of this post.

Sept. 2, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s time to catch up on Odds and Ends.

Alaska Airlines

In its second quarter earnings call and 10Q Securities and Exchange Filing, Alaska Airlines said it was returning one Airbus A319 and two A320s off lease this year and next.

By Scott Hamilton

These airplanes are from its Virgin America acquisition, which introduced the Airbus family into the all-Boeing Alaska mainline operations.

Alaska officials have said several times they are evaluating whether to phase out all Airbuses and return to an all-Boeing fleet, or keep the Airbuses and operate a mixed fleet indefinitely.

I wondered if this was the start of the phase out.

“We are planning to return 1 A319 this year and 2 A320s next year at normal lease expiration,” Brandon Pederson, EVP and CFO of the company, wrote LNA.  “This is not part of a broader fleet  decision, nor a phase out of the smaller Airbus aircraft.  Leases on the remaining 50 A319/A320 aircraft in the fleet have varying maturities through 2025.”

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The struggling smaller European low cost carriers

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By Vincent Valery 

Sep. 2, 2019, © Leeham News: Germania, flyBMI and Wow Air ceased operations this year. FlyBe was sold to a consortium that includes Virgin Atlantic for a symbolic amount. Norwegian Air Shuttle and Thomas Cook Airlines’ financial woes are well documented in the media.

Many lesser-known low-cost and leisure carriers are also struggling on the old continent. It is no secret that the airline industry is far more fragmented in Europe than the USA for historical reasons. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr regularly mentions the need for further consolidation.

This calls into question whether smaller European airlines can survive as independent entities under current business models.

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Airbus faces challenges for A330neo

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Aug. 26, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus faces near-term challenges with its production skyline for the A330, even at a reduce rate of 4/mo, an analysis shows.

Looking forward from next year, when there are slightly more deliveries scheduled than production rates—a function of some leftover 2019 builds—Airbus faces an easily-filled gap in 2021 but huge production gaps beginning in 2022.

Even if Letters of Intent and options were fully converted to firm orders, big production gaps will exist.

A production rate cut seems inevitable in the near future.

Summary
  • Key Emirates order not yet firmed up.
  • Big, 200 unit A330-200R LOI no longer appears in data.
  • Why keep the A330neo in the product line?

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Pontifications: Trump-China trade war hits Boeing

By Scott HamiltonAug. 19, 2019 © Leeham News: There have been no widebody orders placed by China with Boeing since President Trump launched a trade war in March 2018, hurting American’s biggest exporter and affecting the US balance of trade.

In fact, there have been no announced orders by China with Boeing since October 2017. Only 22 China orders were announced in 2017.

Boeing has a large number of Unidentified 737s listed on its website. It is widely believed that China accounts for perhaps as many as 25% of these, but Boeing won’t comment.

China historically accounted for between 25% and 33% of Boeing’s annual deliveries.

Since 2011, China took delivery of more than 170 widebody passenger and freighter jets, or 9.3% of all widebodies delivered by Boeing.

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Will the A220 drive the trans-Atlantic fragmentation to smaller jets? Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

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.

Summary:

  • Last week we saw the A220 could open trans-Atlantic routes from West Europe to East Canada and North-East US.
  • This week we explore further alternatives and explore the economics of the A220 as an aircraft for long and thin routes.

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Pontifications: Good A220 endorsement, but Airbus still has cleaning up to do

By Scott Hamilton

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.

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Boeing MAX crisis overshadows other challenges

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Now open to all Readers.

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.

Boeing’s production line for the 787 is filled through 2021, but after that, there are big gaps. Source: Leeham Co. Click on image for a crisp view.

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.

Summary
  • Weak customers threaten to create deferred deliveries near-term.
  • There will be about 20 A330s and 777s coming off lease each year from 2021-2026 on top of retirements. Airbus and Boeing see these are replacement opportunities.
  • The production back delivery stream falls off the cliff in 2022.

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