Future Mobile A220 final assembly line already pushing capacity

July 11, 2018, © Leeham News: The order for 60 Airbus A220-300s, when added to the order for 75 A220-100s by Delta Air Lines and the anticipated order for 60 A220-300s by USA start-up carrier Moxy Airlines, nearly fills out the new Mobile (AL) production line through 2024, an LNC analysis reveals.

Construction of the A220 Final Assembly Line (FAL) begins this year. The first delivery is planned for mid-2020.

JetBlue and Moxy show first deliveries in 2020, according to company documents. Delta’s deliveries begin this year from the Airbus Canada Montreal facility, but will shift to the Mobile plant.

Read more

VLA era is over; are 777X, A350-1000 too large?

Subscription Required

Introduction

June 18, 2018, © Leeham News: The era of the Very Large Aircraft appears over.

The Boeing 747 passenger airliner, while nominally still offered for sale, is in reality dead.

The Airbus A380 limps along in what may prove to be a vain hope that airport congestion will spur sales next decade.

The next level down, however, doesn’t appear very strong.

Sales of the Airbus A350-1000 stalled at 200 or less for years.

Sales of the Boeing 777X likewise stalled following program launch in 2013-2014. Although the 777X has twice as many orders as the A350-1000, fully 72% of them come from three customers, one of which is in serious financial trouble and may cancel or defer some or all its orders.

Summary
  • Orders for the largest Large Twin-Aisle aircraft lag the Small and Medium Twin-Aisles.
  • Big 3 in the Middle East are major customers for the 777X, A350-1000. Iran Air also buyer of -1000.
  • While Big Twin languishes, small- and medium-twins remain in demand.
Read more

Airbus sees potential for A330neo sales; Boeing sees opportunity

June 6, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus remains confident that the sales boon for the slow-selling A330neo is just around the corner, but an analysis of Airbus’ current operator lists shows significant inroads by Boeing for its 787.

Airbus is counting on aging A330ceos by 2020 to spur sales of the A330neo. But Boeing already sold the 787 to 19% of the A330 operators. Look for more aggressive campaigns. Airbus photo via Google.

LNC outlined Airbus’ strategy last December in which officials are confident the A330neo will see an uptick in orders as the current A330 operating fleet, now called the ceo, ages beginning in 2020.

The new sales chief, Eric Schulz, reiterated Airbus’ confidence at the IATA AGM this week in Sydney, Australia.

But 19% of the 109 A330 operators already ordered the 787. One, American Airlines, already announced the 787 order will replace the A330s in its fleet. Air Canada long ago made a similar announcement. Hawaiian Airlines canceled an A330-800 order in favor of the 787-9.

Read more

A330neo sales off to slow start: Air Lease Corp

May 16, 2018, © Leeham News: There is “intense” price competition between Airbus and Boeing on the A330neo and 787, says an industry leader.

Sales of the A330neo are “off to a slow start,” says Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of Air Lease Corp. Hazy expressed confidence in the neo, which ALC has ordered, seeing it as a “natural replacement” for the aging A330ceo, the Airbus A340 and the Boeing 767.

Hazy made his remarks at the 38th annual Airfinance Journal conference yesterday in Miami.

Read more

Bombardier refocuses the CRJ

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

May 10, 2018, © Leeham News: American Airlines last week ordered 30 additional regional jets.  Of these, 15 were the Embraer E175. No surprise there. It’s the traveler’s favourite and the market leader among US regional jets. But American Airlines also ordered the same number of Bombardier CRJ900. Why? Isn’t it a bit dated?

There are good reasons for this order and Bombardier sees a new spring for the trusted regional. We use our performance model to understand why.

Summary:
  • The CRJ900 is still a good choice for the US Scope Clause regulated regional jet market.
  • Is strong economics makes it a favourite with the airline’s bean counters.
  • In addition, it has the longest cabin, enabling large First-class and Premium economy sections.
  • With programmed updates, it will be competitive for years to come.

Read more

Pontifications: Uncontained engine failures are rare but not unknown

By Scott Hamilton

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Last week’s engine malfunction on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was another in a rare, but not unknown, uncontained engine anomaly in recent years.

All recent similar failures didn’t cause a loss of life or serious injuries if the passengers were evacuated. Unfortunately, this accident caused one fatality and seven injuries.

Let’s put the context to this issue.

Read more

Déjà vu all over again

Subscription Required

Introduction

April 16, 2018, © Leeham News: There’s high turnover in the executive ranks. Major delivery delays cause disruption and unhappy customers. Airlines are cancelling and switching orders. Product strategy is challenged. Your competitor is taking advantage and making significant inroads.

If this sounds familiar, it is.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Read more

Pontifications: Shooting yourself in your feet

By Scott Hamilton

April 16, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus’ new top sales chief, Eric Schulz, was candid about losing American and Hawaiian airlines wide-body orders, according to a report from Flightglobal from the Airbus annual meeting.

In reference to Hawaiian’s switch of an A330-800 order to the 787-9, he admits: “Maybe we did not see the danger coming…we may have made the conclusion a bit too early that the best solution was to stick with us – which I think it was,” Flightglobal wrote.

American’s loss, Schulz told Flightglobal, was for a different reason: American was “already very heavily engaged” with the 787, adding: “I knew exactly where our competitors had to go in terms of pricing. I’m certain American did a good deal.”

I thought American and Hawaiian were predictable outcomes. But Airbus’ problem went beyond not seeing the “danger.”

Read more

American A330neo loss casts shadow over sales prospects

Subscription Required

Introduction

April 9, 2018, © Leeham News: Even as Airbus touted the new 251t A330-800 and optimism that aging A330-200s will kick start a replacement cycle in 2020-21, the

Airbus A330neo. Photo via Google images.

concurrent loss of a campaign to sell the model to American Airlines casts a shadow over the model and the entire program.

Airbus had just come off the cancellation of the only A330-800 order, by Hawaiian Airlines, which flipped to the Boeing 787-9. As the sole customer for six A330-800s, the cancellation was expected.

Airbus hoped that an American order, for 20 -800s, would prove to be the endorsement of the program that was needed to spur worldwide sales.

Boeing was just as adamant that, like Hawaiian, American order the 787. In this case, Boeing had the leg up: the 787 was already in AA’s fleet (37 of 42 previous orders were already delivered). American wanted to simplify its fleet, not add another type. And airline officials were skeptical of the -800 for the very reason Airbus was so in need of AA’s order.

Summary

  • American’s order would have been the boost needed for the A330neo program.
  • It would have been an endorsement of the A330-800.
  • The 251t, 8,150nm version of the -800 makes a good, niche long-haul airplane.

Read more

Pontifications: An old pro thinks long-haul LCC model is about who loses the most money

By Scott Hamilton

March 26, 2018, © Leeham News: Long-haul, low-cost carriers are likely here to stay but the impact will be limited.

This is the conclusion of Robert L. Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines, who faced the USA’s first ultra-low-cost carrier and won.

Crandall, 82, retired from American in 1998, He faced the emerging low-cost carriers in the US, all based in large part on the Southwest Airlines

Robert Crandall. Photo via Google images.

business model.

Despite painful skirmishes and in some cases, all-out wars, Crandall navigated American through the turbulent skies, making American the largest US airline and seeing nearly all of the upstarts cease operations.

PeoplExpress was the USA’s first ultra-low-cost carrier. Founded in 1981, over-expansion and aggressive response by the US majors—led in large part by Crandall’s strategy—PE collapsed in 1987. It merged into Continental Airlines, bankrupt in all but name.

Read more