One year after Lion Air crash, what’s the MAX’s future in Asia?

By Judson Rollins

Oct. 31, 2019, © Leeham News: One year ago this week, Lion Air flight JT610 went down in the Java Sea near Jakarta. It was the first of two accidents that would expose catastrophic design problems with the 737 MAX – and a regulatory relationship between Boeing and the FAA that had become too close to comfort.

Although much has been written about the US major carriers’ orders for the MAX, relatively little has been said about orders from the Eastern Hemisphere. Prior to the MAX’s grounding, 136 airplanes had been delivered to the region and another 1,186 were on firm order. This comprises nearly 27% of Boeing’s firm MAX orders.

The following table shows the top MAX operators in Asia & Australasia:

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Faury looks to transform Airbus

  • Guillaume Faury has been the chief executive officer of Airbus Group since April 1. In this exclusive interview, he looks back on his first six months and ahead for the future of the company. This is part 1 of two parts. Part 2 will appear soon.

Guillaume Faury

Oct. 30, 2019, © Leeham News: Guillaume Faury assumed his office as chief executive officer of the Airbus Group at a time when the company was trying to emerge from years-long scandals over bribery and corruption probes and the industry was only beginning to reel from the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Now, he’s focused on guiding Airbus in the future through a series of transformations to put the scandals behind the company, change production for the future and prepare for new airplanes that inevitably must be designed.

Becoming CEO

Faury’s been with Airbus for 20 years, surrounding a four-year stint with Peugeot from 2009-2013 as EVPO of Research and Development. He was named president of Airbus Commercial in February 2018. He previously was president and CEO of Airbus Helicopters from 2013-2018.

He succeeded CEO Tom Enders, who was not going to be given another term as part of the fallout of the numerous government investigations into past practices at Airbus involving third parties for aircraft sales, bribery and corruption allegations.

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Although Enders and CFO Harald Wilhelm initiated the probes and reported the problems to the governments, they along with many others had to go as Airbus tried to limit the damage.

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Boeing’s Muilenburg opening statement to the US House

Dennis Muilenburg

Oct. 29, 2019: Having completed his appearance before the US Senate today, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will appear before the US House tomorrow.

Here is his opening statement: Opening Statement-10-30.

His appearance before the Senate was about as expected. Most Senators seemed more interested in their five minutes of TV time than trying to get at answers and determine a path forward.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was an exception, as was Sen. John Tester (D-MT). Cruz, a former prosecutor, pressed Muilenburg on his ignorance of key documents and the lack of communication with key employees.

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Congress is accountable in Boeing MAX crisis, too

By Scott Hamilton


Dennis Muilenburg

When Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg appears before the US Senate today and the US House tomorrow, he needs to be sure the company owns up to its role in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashes.

The advance copy of the opening statement to the Senate, released yesterday, heads in this direction.

But if Congress truly wants to understand how 346 people died and certification of the MCAS and MAX evolved, it damn well better hold the Federal Aviation Administration accountable, too.

There is little doubt Congress will put Boeing and the FAA through the meat grinder.

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Muilenburg opening statement to Senate

Oct. 28, 2019: Boeing released the opening statement of CEO Dennis Muilenburg to the US Senate at a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

The statement may be downloaded here: Opening Statement-DM-102919

A year since the Lion Air JT610 crash

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 28, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Tomorrow it’s one year since the crash of Lion Year JT610 into the sea in Indonesia. The aircraft which went down was a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the world was stunned how such a new aircraft could crash.

The crash triggered the deepest crisis in Boeing’s 100-year history and revealed shortcomings in Boeing’s and FAA’s airworthiness work and supervision. The Lion Air JT610 final report was issued Friday and we now know what happened.

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Pontifications: Southwest to evaluate splitting airplane supplier next year

Oct. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: Gary Kelly, the chairman of Southwest Airlines, told CNBC Thursday that next year, the company will review whether to source airplanes from another manufacturer besides Boeing.

This, of course, means Airbus.

The prolonged grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX is the reason. Southwest says the grounding already has cost nearly $500m in lost revenues.

Kelly said the analysis won’t be for “smaller” airplanes, but he didn’t specify to CNBC what this means.

Southwest has 500 Boeing 737-700s seating 143 passengers at 30-31 inch pitch.

The Airbus A220-300 seats 145 at 32 inches in the Air Baltic one-class configuration.

The Embraer E195-E2 seats 146 passengers, but in a 28-inch pitch. At Southwest’s preferred 31-32 inch pitch, the E-Jet seats 132 passengers.

Since the context was the 737-8 MAX, did Kelly mean, not smaller than the -8? This isn’t known.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Analysing the 737 MAX crashes

October 25, 2019, ©. Leeham News: To better understand what went wrong in the Boeing 737 MAX crashes I have over the last half-year run Corner series around aircraft Pitch stability and Aircraft Flight Control systems and how these attack the problems of today’s airliners need for stable characteristics over a very wide flight envelope.

With this as a backgound, we will now in a series of Corners go into the Lion Air final crash report which is issued today, to understand what happened and why.

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Boeing earnings call: still hopes for 4Q recertification

Oct. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing reaffirmed its belief that the Federal Aviation Administration will authorize a return to service for the grounded 737 MAX this quarter.

The FAA certification flight will occur soon, said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO.

He made the remarks during the third quarter earnings call today.

“We look forward to regulatory approval for return to service this quarter. This may include a phased approach” with other global regulators, Muilenburg said.

Boeing has hosted 545 participants more than 140 customers and regulators around the world to understand the technical changes. Meetings with more than 1,100 others, including the finance community which funds MAX acquisitions, also have been held.

At this defining moment, Boeing must take a leadership role to increase safety, he said.

We expect to maintain the current production rate of 42/mo, followed by incremental rate increases to 57/mo by the end of next year.

Majority of deliveries of stored production should be delivered in the first year, but it is clear deliveries will spill into 2021. Muilenburg was not more specific.

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Boeing to cut 787 production rate, cites global trade environment

Oct. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing will cut the 787 production rate from 14 to 12 for two years beginning next year, the company said this morning.

“Given the current global trade environment, 787 production rate will be reduced to 12 airplanes per month for approximately two years beginning in late 2020,” it said, an apparent reference to the Trump Administration trade wars.

Boeing raised the 787 production rate in part in anticipation of orders from China. Donald Trump’s trade war with China has frozen orders by the giant country since 2017.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg previously said slow 787 orders were tied to China’s lack of them.

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