March 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: China’s evolving commercial aerospace and aviation industry has high-profile companies such as AVIC and COMAC, and its expanding supplier based, combined with joint ventures with Western companies is well known.
Less well known is the growth in the aircraft leasing business. Increasingly, Chinese lessors are showing up on the order lists of the Big Four aircraft manufacturers. Still, there remains a bit of a mystery about the lessors and dynamics within China.
LNC spoke with the newly appointed CEO of CDB Leasing during the ISTAT conference last week in San Diego.
Peter Chang has been in the Western leasing business for decades, employed in key positions with Aviation Capital Group, ILFC and Aircastle—usually with responsibility for China.
He was named CEO of CDB in December, a move that was announced during the January Dublin conferences of Airlines Economics and Airfinance Journal. More key personnel announcements were made during ISTAT.
In an exclusive interview, LNC asked Chang about the origins of CDB, other Chinese lessors, the current policy of restricting flow of Chinese cash outside the country, the Boeing 737-10 and the Bombardier CSeries.
Here is this interview.
March 7, 2017, © Leeham Co.: If Boeing builds the 737-10, which appears increasingly likely, will customers come?
This is always the multi-billion-dollar question for any aircraft and engine manufacturer.
For Boeing, launching the 737-10 is a low-risk, and in the eyes of many, futile effort to stem the bleeding of market share between the MAX 9 and its rival, the Airbus A321neo.
Depending on who’s counting and how the numbers are calculated, the A321 sales outpace the MAX 9 by a factor of four or five to one. LNC calculated last year that the ratio is more likely 3:1, identical to the market share split between the predecessor airplanes, the 737-900ER and the A321ceo.
March 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg wants the company to participate in the aftermarket aircraft services business and set a goal of $50bn in revenue in the coming years.
He looks at Boeing’s current business, the former Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), and sees a single-digit market share in a worldwide trillion-dollar market potential. Muilenburg understandably wants a greater share of this.
But LNC believes there is an additional driver: the intensely competitive commercial airliner business faces even greater competition in the coming years. Prices are under pressure today. China is developing its own aerospace industry, which will eat into sales by Boeing (and Airbus) in the home market. Russia has ambitions to renew its home-market airliner industry.
Boeing’s new Global Services unit is a hedge against the prospect of falling profits at Boeing Commercial Airplanes as these factors converge.
March 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing rolls out its 737-9 MAX tomorrow.
Last week, I received a call from one of the network/cable news organizations asking, What’s special about this airplane?
The answer is: Nothing.
Feb. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Sukhoi is Russia’s attempt at reentering the commercial airliner business. The SSJ100 regional jet is, by most accounts, an attractive
and efficient aircraft.
But it’s hampered by erratic production and questionable product support (largely due to the overhang of the Putin politics).
The aircraft was grounded briefly in December when a fatigue issue was found in the tail section during a routine inspection.
Feb. 9, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Russia’s Irkut designed a mainline jet to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families that, from a passenger experience
viewpoint, is the best in class.
The MC-21 has a wider fuselage than the A320 (which is wider than the 737). Seats and the aisle are the widest in the class. The overhead bin space is plentiful.
But the airplane is hampered by its environment: Russia itself.
Feb. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing officials must be downing antacids by the bushel about now.
President Donald Trump has the Mexican president pissed off. Trump’s spokesman says the immigration ban (or pause, or suspense, depending on the day it’s described) may be expanded to other “terrorist” nations.
Trump threatens a 45% tariff on Chinese imports and a 25% tariff on Mexican imports.
Why do Boeing officials probably have upset stomachs and flaming heartburn?
Because Boeing has more than 1,200 orders from countries that are in Trump’s crosshairs.
Nearly 770 of them are 737s. More than 300 are 777s. Nearly 170 of them are 787s.
And these are just the identified customers. There’s no telling how many of the 1,101 737s, 16 777s and 76 787s (at Dec. 31) were ordered by Trump’s target and potential target countries.
Jan. 25, 2017: Boeing today reported slightly lower revenues for 2016 vs. 2015.
Revenues were down 2% to $94.6bn vs $96.1bn.
Net profit was down 5% year-over-year, reflecting the lower revenues and after charges on the KC-46A tanker and 747-8 programs. Operating profit was $5.8bn vs $7.4bn.
Net profit under GAAP accounting was $4.4bn vs $5.2bn.
Boeing took a pre-tax $312m charge on the KC-46A in the fourth quarter. Charges are now approaching $2bn.
The full press release is here.
Note that officials will make a decision this year whether to increase 787 production to 14/mo by the end of the decade (see Highlights).
Nov. 17, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The deferral by United Airlines of 65 Boeing 737-700s announced Tuesday caused some observers to conclude this has a negative impact on the manufacturer, but this may well overlook a larger issue.
UAL is the latest “quality” airline to announce deferrals to reschedule capital expenditures or because of not needing the aircraft now.
Softening yields, particularly among US airlines, indicate over-capacity despite load factors of 85% or more, say industry observers.
While the backlogs of Boeing and Airbus remain solid today, do the actions of several major airlines indicate the leading edge of a global economy that’s beginning to soften?
Nov. 15, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Government subsidies to commercial aircraft companies appear to be increasing despite the 12-year disputes before the World Trade Organization between Europe and the US over Airbus and Boeing aid.
Yet the US and Europeans appear to be doing little to try and curb the subsidies to new competitors.