25 June 2015, © Leeham Co: With a few days in the office one can look back at Paris Air Show with a bit of perspective. So what are the impressions?
It was surprising how many orders Airbus and Boeing landed. Both had played down the expectations, telling that it will be a decent show but nothing close to record. Yet both were booking orders or commitments which were better than expected going into the PAS. Read more
June 18, 2015, c Leeham Co: With the industrial part of Paris Air Show over (the public portion continues through the weekend), one can start to summarize impressions. I have over the years participated in around 10 Paris Air Shows or Farnborough International Air Shows. This was one of the first where one could see that people were stopping and looking up to observe the aircraft which were quiet.
By Bjorn Fehrm
12 June 2015, C. Leeham Co: Earlier in the week we had an interesting interview with Sir Tim Clark, , president and COO of Emirates Airline. We discussed Emirates’ requirement for a twin aisle medium/long range complement to their Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleets. The competition is between Boeing’s 787-10 and Airbus’ A350-900. So far the assumptions have been that the 787-10 will be hard to beat on pure costs per seat for mid-range requirements in the 300-seat segment.
The 787-10 seats 323 passengers in Boeing’s old-fashioned IAC three class seating and 331 in our more modern, normalized two class seating with 60 inch angled lie flat in Business and 32 inch economy section. The A350-900 has so far seated 313 seats in the same normalized seating standard. Recent cabin changes by Airbus can now increase that to close to 330 seats. The configuration changes were originally conceived for A350-1000 but we believe Airbus will offer these to Emirates and they will make it into the -900 catalog.
The 787-10 is lighter and would therefore be more effective on fuel but the difference is small, given the A350-900’s more modern engines. So the overall discussion was that 787-10 had found its ideal customer, in need of many seats, a solid mid-range performance and lowest cost. That was until Monday’s interview with Clark.
June 4, 2015, c. Leeham Co. In our article series around A350 we now finish by covering how an airline prepares its pilots for flying A350. Here we were given the possibility to interview Finnair’s Flight Safety Manager Tapani Toppari on how Finnair will use Airbus training to convert their A330/340 pilots to include A350 in their type ratings.
Christian Norden, Airbus Director for A350 Flight Training, also furnished us with more information on how Airbus has improved their training philosophy for A350 training. This new training concept, called Evidence Based Training, has been developed by Airbus and other OEMs in cooperation with ICAO to counteract the tendency revealed by recent accidents that pilots had lost their manual flying skills and had deficiencies in their capability to solve unexpected problems.
28 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: I am in Toulouse today attending Airbus Innovation days for Leeham News. It has been a good day’s briefings and I have presented what was perhaps the biggest change since we last met Airbus in the article “Airbus A350-1000 getting real”.
Apart from this program, there were more standard updates on Airbus other activities and programs. Here follows a rundown on these updates in a more paraphrased form.
22 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: As one of four aeronautical media companies we were asked by Airbus if we wanted to test fly the A350 end of January this year. Airbus was arranging for Media test pilots to come and fly the A350 and we had asked for sampling the A350 through its simulator. Airbus returned with the question if I did not want to try the real thing. They did not have to ask twice!
It was all in the preliminary planning stage at the time but come March things got concrete. I should come to Toulouse on April 22 for a full day in the simulator and then the aircraft. As I did not have previous airline flying experience (mainly military fighters and business aircraft), I started training on the rather different system approach that a civil airliner has to a military fighter for Autopilot and Autothrust. I described this training in a previous Bjorn’s Corner. Publication of this story was embargoed by Airbus to May 22.
14 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: In my ISTAT Asia reports, I wrote about how China will overtake USA as largest civil aviation market in 2030. Airbus China Group chairman, Laurence Barron, and I had a chat after his ISTAT presentation where he described China’s evolution as a civil aviation market and how Airbus gradually worked itself from a late and hesitant start to today’s split of the market with Boeing.
Barron provided his slides, some of which we will use to review how China grew from virtually no civil aviation after the Chinese revolution in 1949 to the world’s largest market by 2030. We will also look at what aircraft have made up this growth and finally describe how Airbus progressed from a latecomer in 1985 to sharing the market with Boeing today.
07 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: Last week we looked at Airbus first quarter result and compared its commercial aircraft unit with Boeing’s. Now with do the same with Bombardier and Embraer. As both have sizeable Business jet businesses we will include these in the analysis as they share many technologies and developments with the commercial aircraft.
Embraer reported their results last week and Bombardier today. Both reported quarters in the aerospace area which were a bit inferior to last years first quarter and for the same reason, the Biz jet market has gone soft.
Bombardier, who has a larger proportion of its turn-over in Biz jets, has managed this better, it has delivered more aircraft and generated slightly higher revenue and profits from the area but new orders has been slower.
Embraer does separate its business segments for revenue but not for profits. It reports that the lower revenue and profit for the quarter was mainly because the Biz jet area delivered fewer aircraft at less margin. Commercial aircraft deliveries were strong, with good efficiencies in the production and delivery of E-Jets. Read more
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 6, 2015, c. Leeham Co. Qatar Airways, as the first operator of the Airbus A350, now has four months of experience of the new twin aisle aircraft. As we have described in Bjorn’s Corner two weeks ago, the introduction has gone well, without major incidents.
The first destination was Doha-Frankfurt, to be followed by Doha-Singapore on June 1. Both destinations are mid-range, with flying times of six to eight hours. These can be seen as introductory rotations, close to Qatar’s base should replacement aircraft or maintenance actions be needed.
With the first period in the bag, Qatar now feels confident enough to announce how they will take the A350 to its true job types. Here the relevant parts of what Qatar Airways announced Tuesday this week:
“Increasing passenger demand to America’s largest city and financial centre, New York, has prompted Qatar Airways to add a second daily service to the city from 1st March 2016. Qatar Airways has served the city daily since the initial route launch in 2007. The second daily service to New York’s JFK will be operated by the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft providing passengers an opportunity to experience both the Boeing B777 and the A350 aircraft types on the route.
“ From 16th March, 2016, the airline will launch daily flights to Boston, the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, and will operate its latest flagship A350 XWB in a two-class configuration with 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring an 80” fully flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen.”
This is more challenging work for an A350 and we will therefore take a first look into what Qatar can expect in terms of overall aircraft performance on such destinations come spring next year. Read more
30 April 2015, C. Leeham Co: Airbus Group presented their first quarter results today Thursday, a week after Boeing presented theirs. It is a good occasion to look at how these companies performed. We will focus on commercial aircraft for Airbus and compare its performance with Boeing’s commercial aircraft and then comment on other Airbus activities more summarily.
In a later article we will look at Embraer, who also published their results Thursday, and compare with Bombardier’s first quarter which they announce on May 7th. Read more