Pontifications: Measured comments and “useful” information

By Scott Hamilton

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Nothing is as frustrating to a journalist as interview a great subject who doesn’t offer up anything especially useful.

I had a brief sideline interview with one such person at the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit 2018 last Thursday in Washington (DC). Great guy. Not much information.

Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, wasn’t going to be drawn into a discussion of two hot topics facing his carrier. Tilden had just come off an airline CEO panel, where he in his typical Boy Scout charm and enthusiasm opined about the state of the industry, praised the progress of the integration of Virgin America into Alaska and commented on a host of issues. But two topics didn’t come up.

I asked him about the competition vs Delta Air Lines in Seattle, where the two airlines are locked into a major market share battle. I also asked him about the fleet planning now that Alaska operates the Airbus A319, A320 and A321neo inherited from the acquisition of Virgin America. Alaska hitherto has been an all-Boeing 737 operator and recent, Ray Conner, former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and a good friend of Tilden, joined the Alaska board of directors.

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Pontifications: OEMs hike list prices

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 26, 2018, © Leeham Co.:  I’m tardy in getting around to this topic, which I do annually, because of an unusually heavy travel schedule this year.

The airframe manufacturers in January adjusted their list prices for airplanes. The prices generally went up 2%-4%, but turboprop maker ATR didn’t adjust this year.

The SADC 2018 conference includes speakers from Airbus, Bombardier, Oliver Wyman, NASA, four states in the Southeast and more. Click here for information and to register.

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Boeing displaces Airbus at Hawaiian, wins 787-9 deal; airline cancels A330-800 order

Feb. 20, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Boeing has displaced Airbus at Hawaiian Airlines, winning an order for 787-9s. Hawaiian canceled an order for six A330-800s, the only order on the books for this sub-type.

An announcement could come as early as this week.

The campaign has been underway for months and the outcome was expected. Airbus offered to cut the price on the -800 and also offered the A350-900. The latter always was considered too big by carrier executives.

Boeing’s effort to displace Airbus A330neo at Hawaiian is part of an all-out, hand-to-hand combat campaign by Boeing to kill the A330neo program in advance of the potential launch of the Boeing 797.

LNC detailed the battle here.

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No harm to Boeing, no threat to US aerospace, ITC finds

Feb,. 14, 2018: The US International Trade Commission’s 4-0 vote against Boeing in the Bombardier trade complaint last month found no harm was suffered by Boeing and no threat to the US aerospace industry occurred with the sale of 75 CS100s to Delta Air Lines.

Reuters first reported the issuance of the Determination. The public version wasn’t supposed to be issued until March 2. The parties received it Feb. 9.

Here is the 194-page decision: ITC Public Opinion Aircraft.

LNC hasn’t yet digested the document.

Global Services won’t hurt airline tech ops, says Boeing official

Feb. 13, 2018, © Leeham Co.: A Boeing official today dismissed concerns that expanding Boeing Global Services, with additional controls on aftermarket support for commercial airplanes it builds, might negatively impact potential sales.

Several airlines, including Delta, Singapore, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and some Chinese carriers, operate their own MRO facilities that not only maintain their own fleets, but offer services to other airlines.

Kevin Michaels, president of the consulting firm AeroDynamics, expressed concern that Boeing’s tighter control of aftermarket parts is already leading to customer satisfaction issues at some airlines. He also said Boeing might lose airplane sales to Airbus if it is unwilling to grant MRO rights to the maintenance facilities of those carriers that operate them.

Michaels made his remarks at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

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Boeing risks losing orders in aftermarket business push, says consultant

Feb. 13, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Boeing’s drive to dramatically increase its aftermarket business, competing with suppliers or even controlling the parts needed by airlines for maintenance, repair and overhaul operations have a risk, says an industry consultant.

Kevin Michaels, president of AeroDynamics, said Boeing potentially could lose airplane sales if it takes too hard an approach to controlling aftermarket parts.

Michaels appeared at the 2018 annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) today in a Seattle suburb.

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Airbus, Boeing square off with A330neo, 787 in advance of NMA launch

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Feb. 8, 2018, Leeham Co.: Boeing hasn’t launched the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, aka 797) and may not until next year.

But the maneuvering to capture, solidify or preempt moves is already well underway by Airbus and Boeing.

Reuters synopsized this during its reporting at this week’s Singapore Air Show.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • Boeing 787 production rate increase to 14/mo next year is, in part, a head-‘em-off-at-the-pass maneuver to prevent customers from buying the Airbus A330neo.
  • The 787-8 could see a new lease on life as interim airplane.
  • A330-800 has steep uphill slog.
  • Airbus, Boeing face off 787, A330neo.

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Pontifications: 2018 starts off with a bang

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 29, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This year isn’t even a month old. If the rest of the year continues like January, commercial aviation is in for an exciting year.

The stunning news, of course, was last week’s shocking defeat for The Boeing Co. in its trade complaint over the Bombardier C Series sale to Delta Air Lines.

Nobody I know of thought Boeing would lose. It did, and by a unanimous verdict.

Then there was the order from Emirates Airline for the Airbus A380, saving the airplane from almost certain program termination.

The Boeing 787-10 was certified. The first delivery will be in March.

And Qatar Airways said it will receive the first Airbus A350-1000 next month.

Let’s look at these events.

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What happened and what’s next in Boeing-Bombardier trade case?

Jan. 26, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The decision by the US International Trade Commission that Bombardier did no harm to Boeing with its sale of 75+50 CS100s to Delta Air Lines is a shocker.

The UK and Canadian governments thought Boeing would win, as it had at the US Department of Commerce. Observers and media, including LNC, were unanimous in believing Boeing would win. Bombardier did, too—already filing notices at the World Trade Organization and NAFTA to contest Commerce’s stiff tariff decisions.

With a 4-0 decision by ITC that Boeing suffered no harm, two questions arise:

What happened, and What’s next?

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Delta statement on ITC decision

Delta statement on ITC ruling in Boeing/Bombardier C Series matter

Delta is pleased by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling rejecting Boeing’s anticompetitive attempt to deny U.S. airlines and the U.S. traveling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative. The airline looks forward to introducing the innovative CS100 to its fleet for the benefit of Delta’s employees, customers and shareowners.