It’s time to unwind, get healthy, eat right and avoid jet lag, says Airbus’ Leahy

John Leahy has been with Airbus 33 years, holding his current position as COO-Customers for more than 20 of these. He retires this month. Jan. 15’s 2017 year-end Orders and Deliveries press conference will be his last. LNC interviewed Leahy about his tenure at Airbus. Parts 1, 2 and 3 appear here, here and here. Today is Part 4. LNC’s Scott Hamilton has known Leahy for nearly 30 of these 33 years.

 Jan. 12, 2018, © Leeham Co.: “I want to unwind, get healthy, eat right and not be in a constant state of jet lag. At 44, 45, I didn’t mind it. Right now, the thought of

The end of an era. Airbus President Fabrice Bregier (L) and COO Customers John Leahy. Bregier leaves Airbus next month after more than two decades. Leahy retires this month after more than three decades. Photo via Google images.

doing trips to Australia, I’d be jet lagged for three days.”

These are John Leahy’s plans for the first year after he retires in a matter of days after 33 years at Airbus.

When he was younger—that age 45 he referenced above—he thought nothing of working in Toulouse, Airbus headquarters, on Monday, getting on a plane to fly to Southeast Asia and Australia and be back in Toulouse to put in a full day on Friday—working the clock to make the long, long round trip.

“It was sort of fun,” he recalls. “I did a lot.” But not now.

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Top 10 aviation stories of the year on Leeham News

Dec. 31, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airplane development and the whimsicle made the Top 10 stories on LNC in 2017.

The Top 10 are a statistical listing of the most-viewed posts, not some judgment call on the part of LNC.

Here is the rundown.

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History undermines Boeing claim of C Series impact: analysis

Analysis

Dec. 22, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing blames a subsidized, price-dumped Bombardier C Series for the poor sales of the smallest member of the 737 family, the -700 and the 7 MAX, but history doesn’t support the claim.

The US Department of Commerce clearly ignored sales evidence that the 737-700 has been “done” for many years and the 737-7 MAX was an unattractive design

Boeing 737-7 MAX. Rendering via Google images.

that hasn’t been fixed with a redesign; airlines simply don’t want the airplane. Commerce levied tariffs amounting to 292% on C Series imported into the United States in the future.

The US International Trade Commission is currently awaiting post-hearing briefs from Dec. 18 testimony from Boeing, Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and other parties to determine whether Boeing suffered “harm” by the C Series deal with Delta and a near-miss with United Airlines.

If the ITC concludes Boeing suffered harm, the DOC tariffs stand. If not, the DOC action is moot. The loser at ITC is expected to appeal.

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Used A330-200s could be interim solution to NMA

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Introduction

Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is considering restarting the 767-300ER passenger line as an interim aircraft to the New Midmarket Airplane.

Airbus is pushing the A330-800 or, alternative, new A330-200s are its solution to the upper end of the Middle of the Market sector.

There is another alternative, however: used A330-200s. There is an emerging supply of these as one airline plans a down-sizing and initial 10- to 12-year leases expire in the near future.

Etihad is planning to dispose of its Airbus A330-200s. These would make a good, potential pick-up by an airline seeking an interim solution while awaiting the New Midrange Aircraft. Photo via Google images.

Summary
  • NMA EIS target remains 2025, Boeing says, as opposed to 2027, according to market sources.
  • Regardless, timeline, production ramp-up indicates near-term need for newer airplanes.
  • Business case for NMA still hasn’t closed; program launch still uncertain, but activities continue.
  • Boeing 767 production ramp up studies underway, effective as soon as early 2020.

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Embraer’s improved E-Jet E2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

December 07, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Embraer is four months from first service introduction of the new generation E-Jet, the E190-E2, with Norway’s Wideroe. Following the smooth E190-E2 program will be the larger E195-E2 in 2019.

Embraer’s E2 update of the E-Jet is more elaborate than the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX updates. In addition to new engines, the aircraft’s wings and systems are changed. In addition, the fuselages are stretched on two of the three models for increased passenger capacity.

We analyze the areas of change from the original E-Jets and what these mean for the operations and economics of the aircraft.

Summary:
  • The E-Jet E2 keeps the strong point of the original E-Jet, its comfortable cabin, and improves other areas to keep the family competitive after 2020.
  • As the only aircraft family in the market (regional or mainline), the E2 models E175, E190 and E195 all get their own optimized wings. The result is good field and range performance paired with low fuel consumption.
  • The E2 family introduces advanced Digital Fly-By-Wire to allow reduced static stability and by it trim drag. This improves the fuel consumption further.
  • Other system changes focus lower maintenance costs. The new single-aisle generation (A320neo, 737 MAX) lowers maintenance costs per seat. The regional OEMs must respond.

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Airbus’ strategy for the A330-800

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The A330-800 entered the final assembly line last week at the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, France, amid doubts in the industry that the airplane will be produced beyond the prototype.

The first A330-800 is on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus. Source: Airbus.

There is only one order for the sub-type, six from Hawaiian Airlines—and Hawaiian is expected to cancel the order. The airline is running a competition between the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 787-8/9, according to market intelligence.

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Boeing moves EIS target for NMA to 2027: sources

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Introduction

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.

LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.

The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.

Summary
  • Technology is at the heart of the new target EIS for the NMA.
  • The 737 replacement was always intended to follow the NMA.
  • Supply chain asked for 767 production rate ramp-up feasibility.

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Leahy reflects on 33 years at Airbus

John Leahy will retire in January and stay for a short transition to help his successor, Eric Schulz, who was named EVP, Chief of Sales, Marketing and Contracts. Leahy is Chief Operating Officer-Customers. During his three-decade long tenure at Airbus, the company moved from a single-digit market share to surpassing Boeing for more than a decade in sales. Leahy spoke with LNC about his retirement.

John Leahy, right, with William Franke, CEO of Indigo Partners at a history-making deal for 430 A320neos, announced at the Dubai Air Show. Photo via Google images.

Nov. 28, 2017, © Leeham Co.: John Leahy was a salesman at Piper Aircraft, a small general aviation aircraft producer when he received a call from a headhunter to join Airbus North America as its top salesman.

Leahy was head of marketing at Piper. With a pilot’s license, he would take various Piper aircraft to conventions or air shows and on sales calls for demonstration.

“It was great fun,” he said. “It was really an enjoyable job.” Leahy said Piper was consolidating everything in Vero Beach (FL) and he wasn’t sure he wanted to move there. He wanted a more direct sales role and accepted a position with Piper in Geneva, Switzerland, as Director of the Eastern Hemisphere. “I felt that was pretty cool.”

Before moving, the headhunter called.

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Boeing’s good year for wide-body orders

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Introduction

Nov. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officials from Airbus and Boeing each said this year that wide-body orders, languishing for the past couple of years, should pick up by the turn of the decade as the in-service fleet reaches 20-25 years old.

Aerolineas Argentinas plans a wide-body competition for deliveries around 2020-2021. Photo via Google images.

But Boeing has had an exemplary year through Nov. 21, the most recent update of its Orders and Deliveries website. The company reported 160 net orders for the 767, 777 and 787, with 88 for the latter. Commitments for 40 more at the Dubai Air Show are not included, as these have not yet been firmed up.

Airbus hasn’t done nearly as well: just 56 net orders for the A330 and A350 families through October, its most recently reported data.

Have Boeing’s results indicated a sooner-than-expected uptick in orders?

Summary
  • Not enough data to draw definitive conclusions, but uptick may be arriving early.
  • Aerolineas Argentinas and Thai Airways are looking at wide-body aircraft orders. See the stories here and here.
  • Early this year, 5-year slump was seen. By August, strong market seen.

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Challenges facing Boeing in 767-300ER passenger restart

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Introduction

Nov. 13, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The clock is ticking toward the end of the year for Boeing to decide whether to restart the 767-300ER passenger line.

Officials want to decide by year-end.

Restarting the line isn’t as easy as one might think. Boeing is building the 767-300ER freighter and it has the tooling for the passenger model. Boeing has several challenges to resolve before any green light for the restart.

Summary
  • There is a space problem at Everett, where the 767 is assembled.
  • Restarting the passenger supply chain is an issue.
  • And, as ever, so is cost.
  • Does Boeing simply restart the line without upgrades, or are upgrades included, which will increase the cost to produce the airplane?
  • Closing the business case on the NMA.

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