Airbus delivers record 718 aircraft amid strong sales

By Bjorn Fehrm 

January 15, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus announced record 2017 airliner deliveries of 718 aircraft today. It was the 15th consecutive year of increased production, this time with 30 aircraft over 2016. Fabrice Bregier, the Chief Operating Officer of Airbus, predicted Airbus would pass Boeing in deliveries by 2020.

The company also booked its third best year in orders, with 1,109 aircraft giving a Book-to-Bill of 1.5. The backlog is at a record 7,256 aircraft (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Summary of Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries. Source: Airbus.

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Pontifications: Countdown to Delta’s single-aisle decision

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Eyes will watch Atlanta (GA) this week, when the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors decides to award a big order for the re-engined Airbus and Boeing single aisle airplanes.

The Board meeting is believed to be Thursday. At stake: 100 orders and 100 options for either the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX families.

I wrote about this last week. Here’s an update.

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Boeing moves EIS target for NMA to 2027: sources

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Introduction

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.

LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.

The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.

Summary
  • Technology is at the heart of the new target EIS for the NMA.
  • The 737 replacement was always intended to follow the NMA.
  • Supply chain asked for 767 production rate ramp-up feasibility.

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Airbus group 3Q results: Revenue stable but orders plunge

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 31, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus Group presented its third quarter results this morning. Revenue was stable at €43bn, but orders were down 31% compared with the first nine months of 2016.

Operating profit was down 25%, mainly because of less A320neo deliveries, as engines are scarce.

A330neo during first flight 19 October 2017. Source: Airbus

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Trump decertifies Iran nuke deal, throws Airbus, Boeing orders in doubt

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Introduction

Oct. 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: President Donald Trump announced Friday he will decertify the Iran nuclear deal, throwing into doubt a host of related commercial deals, including huge aircraft orders.

Iran Air Airbus A330. Photo via Google.

Trump hasn’t gone so far as to withdraw from the pact, but he still threatens to do so unless Congress makes changes he wants.

Here in the US, focus is, of course, on the commitment by Iran for Boeing aircraft—none of which are firm contracts, but “commitments” to order.

Of less focus here, if any, is on the outstanding orders placed by Iran for Airbus and ATR aircraft, which are subject to US licensing.

Summary
  • 30 Boeing 777s, including 15 Classics are at stake.
  • 50 Boeing 737 MAXes to Iran Air and 30 to Iran Asesman are also at stake.
  • ATR has 11 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2018.
  • Airbus sold 114 A320s/321s, A330s and A350s to Iran Air. A few white tails already have been delivered.

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WOW Air, the well placed long-haul LCC

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 23, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: WOW Air is the smallest LCC to offer long-haul services over the Atlantic. And it’s the best-placed.

AirAsia X’s CEO explained its early problems with flying long-haul LCC. It was flying too far. Ideal is sectors shorter than seven hours. Fly longer and aircraft/crew utilization suffers. You can only do one turn a day.

With a placement at Reykjavik, Iceland, WOW Air can collect traffic at six hours or less from both sides of the Atlantic. It then connects them over its hub in the middle.

Fgiure 1. WOW Air’s founder, owner and CEO, Skuli Mogensen, in front of a WOW Air Airbus A321. Source: WOW Air.

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Boeing’s tactical option for MOM sector

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Introduction

Aug. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s not a done deal yet—the business for the so-called Boeing 797 remains a challenge. But the consensus is that Boeing will launch the program next year, for an entry-into-service around 2025.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

Yet there are airlines that say they don’t want to wait that long for a new airplane.

What are their choices?

  • Acquire the Airbus A330-200. It’s available now. Fuel is cheap and is expected to remain so well into the next decade.
  • Acquire the A330-800. It’s fairly cheap. It’s about 10% less expensive to operate on a per-trip basis than the A330-200. The new engines will serve as a hedge against rising fuel prices for an indefinite future.
  • Acquire the Boeing 787-8.
  • Airbus ponders an A321neo+.
  • There’s another option that is not readily apparent.

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Can Airbus improve the A321neo further? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 10, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Last week we started the look into how the Airbus A321neo could be incrementally improved. To understand what can improve an aircraft, ones need to understand its limitations.

The A321neo is mainly limited by its wing, which is highly loaded. But there are ways around this limitation other than developing a new wing, an exercise which would require time, money and a new certification program.

Having understood the limitations, we now look into what can be done about them.

Summary:

  • The changes to the wings can be limited to those that are easy to do, resulting in longer range.
  • Combined with fuel capacity improvements and stronger engines it produces a very interesting aircraft.

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Pontifications: Context is everything

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 7, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The quote appeared on Twitter, citing the chairman of Air Lease Corp, Steven Udvar-Hazy:

“I would simply but strongly encourage the OEMs to carefully review their production rate aspirations closely and realistically.”

Hazy, often (but erroneously) called the “Godfather of leasing,” is a voice to be reckoned with. He is enormously influential with Airbus, Boeing, lessors and the industry. He’s been a launch customer of several aircraft new aircraft models and, if he’s not the Godfather of leasing (this title really belongs to the late George Batchelor), Hazy raised aircraft leasing to a fine art.

So, when the quote appeared on Twitter, I sat up in my chair.

Was Hazy suggesting Airbus and Boeing will be producing too many airplanes, creating a supply-demand imbalance?

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Can Airbus improve the A321neo?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 03, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Airbus A321 has been in its own single aisle league for capacity and with the A321LR for capacity and range.

With Boeing’s launch of the 737 MAX 10, the unique position has taken a hit. With A321 occupying 40% of Airbus single aisle sales, Airbus is examining how to re-open the gap.There is much talk about an A322: an aircraft with new wing, engines and so forth. This is a major undertaking and will need new engines for its realization. Couldn’t Airbus improve the A321 as it is?

We look into what short term improvements can be done to the A321, and what these would give.

Summary
  • To understand what improvements can be made for the A321neo, one needs to understand its limitations.
  • We describe the present limits.
  • We find them in wing-loading, span-loading, engine thrust and tankage

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