By the Leeham News team
Nov. 10, 2020, © Leeham News: Pfizer yesterday announced it’s on track to produce a COVID-19 vaccine that appears to be 90% effective in trials. The company is one of the world’s leading drug makers.
This is good news.
“Read the fine print at the end of the press release,” Rollins says.
“Based on current projections, we expect to produce globally up to 50m vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3b doses in 2021,” the press release says.
“It’s a two-dose vaccine, so divide by two to figure the number of people who could be immunized,” Rollins says. “Even if a second candidate is approved and can be produced in the same quantity next year, that means just 17% of the world’s population will be vaccinated. And that assumes everything goes according to plan.”
Rollins did an extensive analysis of how quickly global air traffic would return to normal. In his July 13 post, Rollins projected that traffic won’t fully recover until 2024 at the earliest or 2028 at the latest. It all depends on how quickly a vaccine was developed, how quickly it could be distributed globally and how quickly people had confidence in it.
“We’re in only the second or maybe third inning of a very long ball game,” Rollins says. “Vaccines kill off a virus by denying it bodies in which to reproduce. If you don’t innoculate enough of the population while immunity lasts, you’re back to square one.”
By Scott Hamilton
Nov. 9, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing needs hundreds of new orders for the 737 MAX and/or a new replacement program launch by 2026, if not sooner.
An analysis shows that 737 deliveries tank by 2028.
This isn’t just about the 737-10 and 737-9, which don’t fare well against the Airbus A321neo. The shrinking backlog is the problem.
Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said last week Boeing will delay delivery/entry into service of the 737-10 MAX by up to two years.
This largely stated the obvious.
The first 10 MAX rolled out of the factory Nov. 22 last year. It could not enter flight testing because the MAX family was grounded March 13. The MAX remains grounded. Recertification may come this month, but it appears more likely next month.
This delays the start of flight testing until probably January. This is a 14-month delay.
Flight testing will take a year to 15 months, or to January to March 2022—about two years after the planned EIS. Boeing’s production ramp up will further impact delivery of the 10 MAX.
Although some recent new focus was on the 10 MAX, the larger issue is the entire 737 family.
By the Leeham News Team
Nov. 5, 2020, © Leeham News: Research and Development spending by the Airbus and Boeing commercial units declined year-over-year.
Boeing’s spending typically lags Airbus. Richard Aboulafia, a consultant with Teal Group, for years criticized Boeing over its smaller spending, favoring instead shareholder value. Airbus overtook Boeing is innovative single-aisle airplane development years ago. Boeing’s choice of creating a 777 derivative instead of a new design to compete with the A350-1000 proved to be a weak move. There are only a handful of customers and the skyline is weak.
Nov. 2, 2020, © Leeham News: Throughout the 737 MAX investigations and recertification process, former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said there would be no delay on 777X certification.
On Boeing’s earnings call last week, Muilenburg’s successor, David Calhoun, said there could be.
“On the 777X, we continue to work with the regulators on certification work scope, including reflecting the learnings from the 737 cert process,” Calhoun said. “As with any development program, there are inherent risks that can affect schedule. And while we continue to drive toward entry into service in 2022, this timing will ultimately be influenced by certification requirements defined by the regulators.”
Boeing is certifying the 777X under the Changed Product Rule, the same process used for the MAX. Certification is being pursued as a derivative of the 777, a point of scrutiny on the MAX.
Oct. 28, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing released its 3Q2020 and nine months financial report this morning and, as expected, it wasn’t pretty.
By Scott Hamilton
Oct. 28, 2020, © Leeham News: A key supplier to Airbus and Boeing believes there will be a “significant upturn” in passenger traffic and aircraft demand in 2022, well before consensus.
Hexcel provides composites and other materials for the Airbus A320 and A350 and Boeing 737 MAX.
And Raytheon Technologies sees passenger traffic returning to pre-COVID levels in 2023, depending on widespread use of vaccines.
Consensus is a return to pre-COVID levels in 2024.
In its 3Q2020 earnings press release Oct. 20, Hexcel’s CEO, Nick Stanage said, “The overall long-term demand for aircraft and our advanced composites technology remains robust, and the potential for a significant upturn in 2022 and beyond looks positive.”
The actions we are taking will ensure that Hexcel emerges from the effects of this pandemic stronger than ever. As we do, our liquidity will have been strengthened, our cost structure will be reset, and we will be well positioned to deliver strong shareholder returns.”
Quizzed on the earnings call, Stanage elaborated:
By Scott Hamilton
Oct. 26, 2020, © Leeham News: Airbus’ 3Q2020 earnings call is Wednesday. News emerged last week the OEM is notifying supplies that they should be prepared to increase production of the A320 from 40/mo to 47/mo in the second half of next year.
It is worthwhile looking at the delivery skyline as it currently exists.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 19, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Airbus and Boeing have dominated the world’s airliner market over the last 30 years. In the next 30 years, will this change?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer was no. The only viable competitor, the Chinese aircraft industry, would need more time to catch up. But the pandemic has changed the dynamics in the world.
For China COVID-19 is history. For the rest of the World not. China’s society and most noteworthy its travel industry are back to normal. September’s domestic flights were 103.5% of 2019 levels and passenger numbers were at 98% while the rest of the world is busy throttling back network plans from already low levels. We know that airlines in China are stimulating traffic with discounted fares, taking losses in the process. However, they have the backing of the government and it is traffic that ultimately drives demand for aircraft.
The Chinese system handles the crisis magnitudes better than the free world. Will the newfound Chinese self-confidence spread to bootstrapping the in-house air transport industry even further to capture the increased airliner demand?
October 15, 2020, ©. Leeham News: Yesterday the USTRANSCOM and its US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) published the results of extensive airliner COVID infection risk tests. The tests, which were made to check the risks for DOD personnel using commercial flights, were made on United 777-200 and 767-300 aircraft in cooperation with United.
The tests checked aerosol dispersion of the virus in the cabins for both simulated flights and real flights. The result was you need to sit next to an infectious person for 54 hours to inhale a viral load that could make you sick (worst case).
By Bryan Corliss
Oct. 14, 2020, © Leeham News: Covid-19 has made airlines, aerospace companies and suppliers really, really sick. IATA now says it could be 2024 before worldwide travel numbers get back to something near pre-Covid levels.
To get more paying flyers back in the air sooner, the industry is looking for ways to make passengers feel more assured that they won’t get infected while in the air. It’s leading to some innovative solutions and what some industry insiders say is the setting of long-overdue standards for in-flight cleanliness.
Boeing developed a system using UV-C radiation to sterilize cabin surfaces. One of Boeing’s best-known suppliers, Teague, designed new gaspers to inhibit the spread of airborne virus particles. And several other suppliers are pushing forward with products that inhibit the growth – and potentially kill – viruses and other microorganisms on high-touch cabin surfaces.
Aerospace suppliers say there’s not one silver bullet that’s going to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on jets.
“Buying our material doesn’t magically make your aircraft clean,” said Mathew Nicholls, the sales director for Tapis Corp., which provides virus-resistant fabric imbedded with silver ion strands for seat covers.”
“It’s the sum of all the parts,” he said in an interview for the current edition of Northwest Aerospace News magazine. “The HEPA filters, the airflow exchange. And now we’ve added this, this and this.”