Lessor exposure to Airbus, Boeing wide-bodies

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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.

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Can a passenger airliner run as a freighter with today’s tariffs? Part 4.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 23, 2020, © Leeham News: We spent the last weeks checking if passenger airliners used as belly freighters make economic sense.

With the present air freight prices, it does. The high freight prices are a result of half the World’s freight capacity disappearing with the grounding of passenger jets.

Our economic analysis assumed standard densities for the belly cargo. What happens if this is no longer the case? Can more voluminous cargo fly in the passenger cabin?

Figure 1. Air Canada Boeing 777 with humanitarian supplies (face masks) transported in the cabin. Source: Air Canada.

Summary:
  • Widebody aircraft can temporarily fly as belly freighters without loading cargo in the cabin, but enabling cabin cargo will improve the business case with the present lower-density cargo.
  • For single-aisle jets the belly cargo holds are too small, a cabin cargo loading system is necessary for efficient operation.
  • Is it OK to take out the seats and load cargo in the cabin? For normal cargo no, it isn’t. We check what is required.

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Amazon, a new challenge for FedEx and UPS

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction 

Oct. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: Amazon’s moves into ACMI air service, a dramatic construction of an air freight operation and entering ground delivery services threatens FedEx and UPS.

Although UPS last week beat Amazon to the punch with approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for drone-based package deliveries, Amazon was first to advance the idea.

FedEx canceled its contracts with Amazon as the latter moved into ground delivery. FedEx revenues have fallen sharply in recent months.

Summary
  • Growing Amazon footprint in delivery business;
  • Leads to direct competition with FedEx and UPS;
  • Drone delivery development;
  • A threat to traditional delivery service business model;
  • Trade slump exposes FedEx more.

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Predictive power of cargo volumes

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By Vincent Valery

July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: It has been said that the collapse of freight volumes in the second half of 2008 preceded the sharp drop in passenger traffic. Cargo also allegedly led the passenger recovery in the second half of 2009. We will verify with IATA data whether the data backs such claim.

We will also check whether cargo volumes still have as much predictive power in the post Great Recession world. The current context of increasing trade tensions and signs of economic slowdown make this analysis relevant. We will ponder whether the next global recession is around the corner.

Credit: Cathay Pacific.

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