By Scott Hamilton
May 25, 2020, © Leeham News: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) surprising retreat from its SpaceJet regional airliner program is the best news in months for beleaguered Embraer.
This takes pressure off the Brazilian manufacturer and gives it time to regroup after Boeing jilted it at the alter by walking away from a proposed joint venture.
MHI’s actions leave Embraer with a monopoly in the 76-100 seat arena vs new airplanes. The M90 SpaceJet is not a viable competitor to the E175-E1 or the struggling E175-E2. Embraer’s competition will be its own used jets, plus used Bombardier CRJ-700/900s.
May 25, 2020, © Leeham News: Aircraft lease rates continue to plummet as the virus crisis infects the airline industry.
In an update of its periodic look at rates, the UK advisory firm ISHKA last week looked at 5-year old aircraft. Monthly Rates plunged as much at 26%. Aircraft values dropped as much as 15% (22% for an ATR-72).
Since Jan. 1, the Boeing 777-200F lost only 2% of its value but lease rates dropped 11%, despite high demand for cargo airplanes now. The Airbus A350-900 lost 5% of its value but lease rates were off 17%.
A five year old Boeing 787-8, on which pricing was under pressure before COVID decimated the airline industry beginning in March, now can be leased for $575,000/mo, ISHKA says.
The Airbus A320/321ceo and Boeing 737-800 also show sharp value and lease rate declines.
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 21, 2020, © Leeham News: We looked at the economics of extending the lease of a Boeing 777-300ER or taking an ordered 777-9 here.
If traffic post-COVID-19 on the routes we fly stays down for long, should we change the order to a 787-10? What are the trades between staying with the 777-300ER, taking the 777-9, or stepping down to a 787-10?
We use our airliner economic model to find out.
By Scott Hamilton
May 18, 2020, © Leeham News: As airlines park or retire thousands of aircraft, lessors with wide-body airplanes are most at risk.
Single-aisle airplanes are easier to re-lease and more in demand when traffic recovers. Reconfiguration and maintenance costs, if required, are reasonable by aviation standards. Cabin reconfiguration may run up to $1m. Airframe and engine MRO costs for Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s typically are in the low millions, depending on condition.
MRO and reconfigurations costs for wide-body airplanes, on the other hand, can cost more than a new A320 or 737. GE Aviation GE90s on Boeing 777-200LRs, -300s and -300ERs are notoriously expensive. MRO for Rolls-Royce wide-body engines is costly under RR’s contract packages.
Reconfiguration costs for A330s, 777s and A380s can run up to $30m, depending on the initial operator and who the second (or third) one will be. Therefore, HiFly did not reconfigure the ex-Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 it acquired after SQ retired the airplane.
LNA analyzed the number of wide-bodies owned by lessors. There are more than 670 Airbuses and more than 600 Boeings.
May 18, 2020, © Leeham News: There simply is no good news in commercial aviation right now.
Yes, airport traffic is upticking in the USA (and elsewhere) slightly. But in the USA, it’s still less than 10% of last year’s totals.
There remains a tremendous amount of uncertainty.
The list goes on and on and on.
By Vincent Valery
May 14, 2020, © Leeham News: Last week, we compared the economics of the Boeing 777-300ER and 777-9 on the world’s busiest intercontinental route. The older aircraft proved a viable alternative, thanks to low fuel prices and low capital costs. We will now turn our attention to the step-down case mentioned in the article.
We will look at the market developments in the twin-aisle market and compare the economics of the 777-300ER with the 787-10 on the JFK to London Heathrow route to find out how attractive such an option is.
By Scott Hamilton
May 12, 2020, © Leeham News: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) yesterday said it cut development money for the M100 SpaceJet. M100 R&D is suspended indefinitely while it continues for the M90 on half rations.
MHI will continue certification of the M90.
MHI also said it will reevaluate demand for the M100 because of COVID-19 impacts.
This immediately raised questions whether MHI may kill the M100 program.
To do so will squander MHI’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to become a real global power in commercial aviation. If this happens, “Japan Inc.” also loses a chance to be part of this.
By Vincent Valery
May 11, 2020, © Leeham News: The timeline for a passenger traffic recovery is highly uncertain. Major OEMs and some airlines expect a return to 2019 passenger traffic levels in two years at the earliest.
Southwest Airlines doesn’t see traffic returning to 2019 for five years. IAG, parent of British Airways and several other airlines, predicts a three year recovery.
Leeham Co. predicts that it will take four to eight years before traffic returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.
However, the recovery sequence for the various markets is becoming clearer. Governments will progressively lift travel restrictions on domestic markets, followed by regional international. Long-haul international will probably be the last to return to normal.
Airlines in China started ramping up domestic capacity, though the government mandates some of this. The governments of Australia and New Zealand disclosed discussions to lift trans-Tasman travel restrictions. French President Emmanuel Macron made it clear that travel would be first allowed within the European Union before outside the old continent.
People who need to travel for business reasons will be allowed first, including for long-haul travel. That means airlines that wish to restore long-haul capacity will have to do so with a much-reduced demand. With this in mind, it might make sense to restore long-haul flights with latest generation narrowbody aircraft such as the Airbus A321(X)LR and Boeing 737 MAX.
LNA analyzes pre-COVID-19 long-haul route patterns to determine what fraction narrowbody aircraft can cover as passenger traffic recovers.
By Scott Hamilton
May 11, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing killed development of its alphabet soup of airplane concepts for now.
“For now” is a relative term. When Boeing will be ready to show concepts to customers as a prelude to a program launch depends on how quickly the industry recovers from the COVID crisis.
But research and development of a streamlined production system, once key to new airplane projects, continues.
CEO David Calhoun said on the 1Q2020 earnings call that the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA) is essentially dead. He said in the following media call that the “differentiators” for the next new airplane from Boeing or Airbus will be manufacturing and engineering.
May 8, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In our Corner series, we now dig into this important subject: Is my probability of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus higher in an airliner cabin than in other places?
We look at simulations of how the virus travels when we breathe/cough and how the virus load propagates in an airliner cabin. Then we talk about infection probabilities compared with other environments.