Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The writing had really been on the wall for the past few years, regardless what the corporate line was: Bombardier was one day going to sell the Q400 program or shut it down.
Better to sell it and get at least some money out of it, no matter how small.
Bombardier agreed to sell the program to British Columbia-based Viking Air for a mere $300m–$250m, net of fees.
Ditto the CRJ program. It’s on life support. It’s a design dating to the 1980s, the passenger experience has long been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and it will be also by Mitsubishi’s MRJ when this jet finally comes on line in 2020. Read more
Nov. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier today announced the sale of its slow-selling, aging Q400 turboprop program to Canada’s Viking Air.
Viking previously purchased out-of-production Bombardier/de Havilland aircraft programs, including the Twin Otter, Beaver and CL-415 firefighting bomber.
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
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.
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.
Sept. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: With the Brazilian elections less than a month away, the outcome of the presidential race will determine whether the proposed joint venture between Embraer and Boeing will be approved.
Embraer is Brazil’s most visible and prestigious international company. The government has a “golden share,” giving it veto power over certain transactions, including the Boeing deal. Boeing will own 80% of the new JV that will be for EMB’s commercial business only. Embraer will own 20%.
The incumbent government says it will approve the joint venture; the opposition party says it will veto the deal.
Including orders, options and LOIs:
Aug. 27, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing is giving financial help to India’s Jet Airways, according to a news report.
This doesn’t come as a surprise.
Jet Airways has 225 737 MAXes on order (50 direct, the rest listed via lessors). It’s also in what appears to be dire financial straits.
Media reports indicated the airline was possibly going to be out of business in 60 days and it deferred releasing its financial results “indefinitely.” The government is going to probe the airline, according to a press report.
The Boeing aid is not common but it’s not unknown, either.
Aug. 21, 2018, © Airfinance Journal: Bombardier Commercial Aircraft is gradually introducing more features in its Q400 turboprop aircraft as the Canadian manufacturer continues to see appetite in the 70-90-seat market.
Improvements under development include a 2,000lb increase in payload capacity. The model’s current maximum payload is 18,716lb, while maximum take-off weight varies between 61,700lb and 67,200lb.
Other changes the manufacturer is introducing include the extension of A-check and C-check intervals from 600/6,000 to 800/8,000 flight hours, giving a 20% direct maintenance cost saving.
Aug. 20, 2018, © Leeham News: A growing shortage of workers is exacerbating pressure on suppliers as they struggle to meet current aircraft production rates, even as Airbus and Boeing want to raise them even more.
Add to this the thousands of retirements facing the OEMs in the next 5-10 years, and you can see the strain facing Airbus, Boeing, the engine makers and the suppliers feeding into them.
It also partly explains the shifting trend toward automation. Setting aside the obvious benefits of automation—quality control, accuracy, boring repetitive work, etc—the supply chain in simply facing a growing shortage of workers for which there is no easy answer.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 15, 2018, © Leeham News.: The theft of the Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 Friday brings the question how easy airliners are to steal and what can be made about it.
Having never flown an airliner before, I recently learned how to start one from cold and get it into the air. Here’s my take on how easy (or not) it is to get an airliner in the air by a novice and what can be done to make it harder.
Aug. 13, 2018, © Leeham News: The bizarre theft of a Horizon Airlines Bombardier Q400 at Sea-Tac Airport Friday night by a 29-year old employee will take some time for investigators to unravel.
The employee, a ramp agent, appeared to have no other motive in mind other than a last joy ride before ending his life.
Aug. 6, 2018 © Leeham News: It happened to Airbus. It sort of happened to Boeing. It was bound to happen in a much bigger way to Boeing, and it has.
Some 40 737s are now sitting around the Renton assembly plant in a major supply-chain meltdown.
This follows the highly publicized, two-year long supplier meltdown at Airbus as Pratt & Whitney and CFM fell down on engine deliveries and technical problems for their GTF and LEAP-1A engines, respectively.