Bjorn’s Corner: Time to reassess the safety standards for our airliners

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 26, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In the wake of the 737 MAX crashes the standards to which Boeing and the FAA qualified and approved the 737 MAX MCAS function is questioned.

FAA has called the world’s aviation regulators to a meeting on the 23rd of May to discuss how the revised MCAS function will be approved. But it’s time to discuss more than how the updated MCAS shall pass.

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2019 Outlook: ATR begins year in commanding position

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Introduction

Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: ATR, the turboprop airliner OEM, enters 2019 in a commanding position.

Year-end 2018 order numbers for ATR and rival Bombardier aren’t in yet.

Through October, ATR held 74% of the backlog. Bombardier, buoyed by a large order for 25 Q400s from India’s SpiceJet (the 2027 deliveries in the Chart below), had 26% of the backlog.

Bombardier contracted to sell its Q400 program to Longview Capital Partners, parent of Viking Air. The Canadian company previously purchased all legacy de Havilland programs, including the Beaver, Twin Otter and aerial firefighting aircraft.

Viking restarted production of the Twin Otter and is gearing up to restart the Beaver.

Its plans for the Q400, Q300 and previous Dash 8 programs hasn’t been announced.

Summary
  • Bombardier neglected the Q400.
  • Small market over 20 years.
  • ATR would like new program.

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2019 Outlook: A pivotal year for Embraer

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Introduction

Embraer E190 2.

Dec. 28, 2018, © Leeham News: If it cannot be said that 2019 will be a pivotal year for Boeing, this is not the case from Embraer.

It will indeed be a pivotal year.

Embraer Commercial Aviation is to become part of a new joint venture with Boeing.

This leaves some of Embraer’s military and all of its business aviation business remaining.

EMB’s KC-390 program will move to a second joint venture in which EMB owns 51% and Boeing owns 49%.

Summary
  • Year-to-date Embraer sales, financials were below expectations.
  • E175-E2 has no firm orders and the conditional sale has been removed from the backlog due to international accounting standards.
  • Customer service follows Embraer Commercial Aviation.

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Pontifications: Nordic quietly rises to #4 world lessor

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: In the world of commercial aviation, GECAS, Avolon, AerCap, Air Lease Corp and BOC Aviation are among the most recognizable names of lessors.

These companies make headlines with large orders of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Air Lease is headed by Steven Udvar-Hazy and John Plueger, giants of the aircraft leasing business.

But one lessor quietly, below the radar, has become one of the largest lessors in terms of aircraft count pursuing regional aircraft, a product mostly shunned by the biggest lessors.

Nordic Aviation Capital Embraer E190-E2. Source: Nordic.

Nordic Aviation Capital last year ranked tied for fifth with asset manager BBAM, each with 404 airplanes in their portfolios, according to an Airfinance Journal 2017 survey. GECAS, AerCap, Avolon and SMBC Aviation Capital were bigger.

DAE Capital of Dubai, BOC Aviation, Air Lease Corp and Aviation Capital Group rounded out the top 10. Read more

Pontifications: Transitions, clearing the decks and turmoil at Airbus

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 26, 2018, © Leeham News: With the naming of CFO and COO officers-in-waiting, Airbus Group has completed the extreme makeover of its executive ranks.

The full transition won’t be complete until April. It’s widely been reported that these changes, including retirements and pushing out people who were not yet near retirement age, was a necessary step to settle fraud and corruption investigations undertaken by England, France, Germany and even the United States.

The latest appointments, announced last week, are for the successors of CFO Harald Wilhelm and Airbus Commercial COO Tom Williams. Dominik Asam, 49, replaces the 52 year old Wilhelm in April. Michael Schöllhorn, 53, replaces the 66 year old Williams Feb. 1. Read more

Bombardier announces sale of Q400 program, exploring options for CRJ

Nov. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier today announced the sale of its slow-selling, aging Q400 turboprop program to Canada’s Viking Air.

  • The press release from Viking’s parent company is here.

Viking previously purchased out-of-production Bombardier/de Havilland aircraft programs, including the Twin Otter, Beaver and CL-415 firefighting bomber.

Viking Air previously purchased the Bombardier de Havilland Twin Otter program and restarted production. Now, it’s buying the slow-selling Q400 program for a mere $300m. Photo via Google images.

Twin Otter production was restarted. The Beaver was not an is not in the cards to be restarted. The CL-415 was limping along, and no longer a contributor to Bombardier’s cash flow and profits.

“The Company entered into definitive agreements for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program and de Havilland trademark to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. for approximately $300m,” Bombardier said in a press release. It also announced the sale of other assets for $800m. The two deals are expected to close in the second half of 2019.

The low price reflects the struggles the Q400 has had for years. Bombardier lost money on the Q400 in recent years.

Bombardier also said it is considering its options for the aging, struggling CRJ program. Read more

Bombardier squeezed by ATR, Embraer, Mitsubishi

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Introduction

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier has a firm backlog of 67 Q400 turboprops. ATR has a backlog of 256 through Oct. 20, according to the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker.

This is an 80% market share for ATR.

Bombardier has 83 CRJ jets of all models in backlog. Embraer has 442 orders for all E-Jet models. Mitsubishi has 213 firm orders for its MRJ70/90.

This is just an 11% market share for the CRJ.

These figures illustrate why the market doubts Bombardier’s long-term future in commercial aerospace.

Summary
  • The Q400 and CRJ are aging aircraft designs.
  • Minor enhancements don’t address the underlying issues.
  • New competition is squeezing BBD.

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More than 1,000 orders, commitments from Farnborough

July 23, 2018: More than 1,000 new orders and commitments were announced at the Farnborough Air Show last week, a final tally shows.

The value was more than $128bn.

Credit Suisse issued its post-air show note today with a complete listing.

Orders announced previously but were listed as Unidentified until the air show were not included.

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Farnborough: First day order recap

By Alex Derber

July 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Day One of Farnborough 2018 belonged firmly to Boeing in terms of firm orders, although the US manufacturer saved up many of its largest announcements from deals done earlier in the year. Airbus, meanwhile, almost achieved parity if one includes softer commitments from airlines and lessors, although there were some speculative deals, notably a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 17 A350s from Starlux, a Taiwanese start-up not yet in business.

Other noteworthy deals included lessor Jackson Square Aviation’s first new aircraft order and United decision to buy E175s rather than the newer E2 variant.

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Indigo, India’s market-leading airline

By Bjorn Fehrm 

April 18, 2018, ©. Leeham News: Indigo started its operation 2006, offering low-cost air travel to the masses in India. The year after, Air India and Indian Airlines, the state-owned flag International and Domestic carrier, merged to form India’s largest airline at the time, Air India.

By the end of 2010, Indigo passed Air India and by 2013 Jet Airways for domestic passenger market share, a position it has kept since.

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