Boeing to hike 767F production; may be only first of several

April 25, 2018, © Leeham News: Buried deep within Boeing’s first quarter earnings report is a single, seemingly innocuous sentence:

“Reflecting the strength of the cargo market, we now plan to increase the production rate on the 767 program from 2.5 to 3 per month beginning in 2020.”

There is more to this than meets the eye. It portends potentially big orders and this rate increase may be only the first to come.

Read more

Boeing 1Q earnings: cash flow, EPS guidance raised on strong results

April 25, 2018: Boeing today said its strong first quarter financial results means it has boosted cash flow and earnings per share guidance.

From its press release:

Read more

Is Long-Haul LCC viable? Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 24, 2018, © Leeham News: In the third article about Long-Haul LCC and if it’s a viable business, we described the operational costs for typical aircraft used by a Long-Haul LCC.

We now look at the revenue side of the equation, including how much revenue we need to cover our costs and what variations we have over the year.

Read more

Engine makers may face stiffer future ETOPS certification requirements

Subscription Required


April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Even before last week’s Southwest Airlines accident raised the focus on aircraft engines, industry officials were becoming worried that problems with engines powering the Boeing 747-8, 787, 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo may lead to stricter certification standards by regulatory authorities.

There is also emerging evidence that the issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 on the 787s may negatively impact Airbus’ sales efforts with the A350. The A350 is powered by an entirely different RR engine, the Trent XWB, which by all accounts has had a virtually trouble-free entry into service.

But it’s a Rolls-Royce engine and airlines affected by or watching RR’s response to the Trent 1000 problems are skeptical about the Trent XWB, LNC is told.

  • How long will it take for the FAA and EASE to restore full ETOPS for the 787?
  • Concerns emerge that regulators may be more restrictive of ETOPS for new engines powering new planes, with the Boeing 777X next up.
  • Impact seen on reception of Rolls-Royce engines on Airbus A330neo and A350.
  • What do the engine problems mean for the Boeing NMA?

Read more

Pontifications: Uncontained engine failures are rare but not unknown

By Scott Hamilton

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Last week’s engine malfunction on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was another in a rare, but not unknown, uncontained engine anomaly in recent years.

All recent similar failures didn’t cause a loss of life or serious injuries if the passengers were evacuated. Unfortunately, this accident caused one fatality and seven injuries.

Let’s put the context to this issue.

Read more

Boeing faces 787 deliveries slow down with Rolls-Royce problems; earnings call April 25

April 21, 2018 © Leeham News: On the eve of the Boeing first quarter earnings call Wednesday, the company faces a slow-down in 787 deliveries at a time when it is gearing to ramp up production to 14/mo next year.

The engine issues with Rolls-Royce, resulting in grounded 787s across the globe, has had the knock-on effect of new production 787s emerging from the Everett and Charleston assembly plants without powerplants. Huge, yellow weight blocks are hung where the engines should be to keep the airplanes from sitting on their tails.

Delayed deliveries

At least five 787s in airline colors are on the Everett flight line awaiting engines, airplane spotters tell LNC. At least one in colors and two more without airline liveries are on the flight line at Charleston, a local reporter tells LNC. (Update: a sixth 787, this one for Gulf Air, rolled out of the Everett factory Friday night without engines.)

Engines from new production airplanes are being diverted to Aircraft on Ground (AOG), sources tell LNC.

As of April 18, there are 45 RR-powered 787s scheduled for delivery this year, according to the Ascend data base. The number rises to 57 next year.

Production isn’t expected to slow, but deliveries are already being affected, LNC is told—with physical evidence clear from the Gliders now parked at Everett and Charleston.

Read more

Boeing to implement structural design change in 787-8 for production commonality

April 17, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing will implement a manufacturing shift later this year designed to bring the 787-8 into more conformity with the production of its larger siblings, the 787-9 and 787-10.

Boeing 787-8. Source: Boeing.

The move, involving the aft fuselage production, will reduce costs and increase commonality between the first family member and the two larger models.

The plan was first reported by David Wren of the Charleston Post and Courier.

The 787-8 became Boeing’s problem child, plagued by design and production issues that caused the entry into service to be nearly four years late. Cost overruns in the program peaked at $30bn+ in deferred production and tooling costs. Boeing will be reducing these costs for the next decade.

Read more

Air Canada sees secondary airport need for NMA

Special to Leeham News

 By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: Air Canada sees the potential of a new midsize aircraft (NMA) in its fleet to avoid congested airport.

“There is a difficulty in getting slots at key airports in key times,” Calin Ravinescu, Air Canada president and chief executive officer, said at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal.

Read more

Airlines need OEM choices: Air Canada

Special to Leeham News

By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

April 16, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal, Montreal: The commercial aircraft manufacturing industry could head into a scenario with two major alliances: Airbus/Bombardier rivaling Boeing/Embraer, but for Air Canada, airlines need to have choices.

Calin Rovinescu, president of Air Canada. Photo via Google images.

“This is a terrific double-edge sword. Airlines definitively need to have choice,” said Calin Ravinescu, Air Canada president and chief executive officer at the Innovation Aerospace Forum in Montreal.

Ravinescu says the idea of a single source supply is not acceptable for maintenance prospective and from a customer service prospective.

“I am totally against any notion of single sourcing, or any component in any aircraft in any circumstances. Just like our customers, airlines expect competition is the aerospace and the aircraft space.

Read more

Déjà vu all over again

Subscription Required


April 16, 2018, © Leeham News: There’s high turnover in the executive ranks. Major delivery delays cause disruption and unhappy customers. Airlines are cancelling and switching orders. Product strategy is challenged. Your competitor is taking advantage and making significant inroads.

If this sounds familiar, it is.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Read more