March 29, 2016, © Leeham Co.: A report that JetBlue and Alaska Airlines submitted bids to buy Virgin America spurs the thought: this isn’t as wacky as it appears on
When news emerged last week that VA was shopping itself after interest was expressed, many thought, quite naturally, why?
Dan Reed neatly summarizes this argument in his column at Forbes.
Virgin America has few tangible assets. It leases all but about seven of its 10 Airbus A319s and 50 A320s. It’s not dominant in any city or route it serves. The leases are probably, on a relative basis, rather costly.
It has few slots at the few slot-controlled airports it serves (Chicago O’Hare, New York La Guardia and JFK airports and Washington Reagan National Airport), and only a few gates at any given airport—hardly enough to really boost presence of either Alaska or JetBlue.
Why should either airline want Virgin America?
March 10, 2016, © Leeham Co.: MOMentum for the Middle of the Market aircraft seems to be slowing from last year, as potential buyers and Boeing struggle to define an aircraft that would be affordable to build, affordable to buy and fulfill different mission requirements for capacity or range.
Meantime, Airbus is content to watch Boeing’s predicament, secure in what it believes is the winning strategy.
Dec. 22, 2105, © Leeham Co.: The sell-off in Boeing stock last week tied to the Delta Air Lines purchase (Letter of Intent) of a 777-200ER for $7.7m was overblown.
The stock was off 2.6% Thursday after Delta CEO Richard Anderson Tweeted an LOI had just been signed to buy a 777-200ER. This sell-off, and an earlier one when Anderson said the -200ER could be acquired for $10m, prompted hand-wringing over 777 values and the potential impact on new 777 Classic sales needed to build the bridge to the production of the 777X.
Dec. 14, 2015, (c) Leeham Co: Aircraft valuations came to the forefront following comments by Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines, over just how much a 10-year old Boeing 777-200ER was worth. He claimed the airplane was only valued at $10m. Boeing’s investor relations department immediately pushed back against this low price, circulating to the aerospace analyst community that a number of appraisers placed the value in the $50m-$60m range.
Anderson later was quoted as saying Boeing Capital Corp. offered Delta the aircraft for that price. BCC didn’t comment.
LNC wrote at the time, and later, that Anderson was correct. We noted, however, there are a lot of caveats that come with the $10m, rooted in the fundamental fact that this price had to be for a “run out” model that would require expensive airframe and engine maintenance, repair and overhaul, and interior reconfiguration. This could add as much as $30m to the price, or $40m all-in–still substantially less than the appraised figures for a “half-life” example.
Appraisals are an inexact exercise that not only depend on the maintenance condition of the airplanes, whether they are “desk-top” or inspection appraisals and the methodology of the various appraisal companies, backed by market intelligence data.
11 December 2015, ©. Leeham Co: The debate over two or four engines for long range aircraft is as old as the jet airliner. A number of myths have been pedaled over the years over the virtues of the one over the other. The myths have even been presented by airline CEOs as “facts that are known in the industry.”
Having done several in-depth comparisons of two-vs-four engined long range aircraft, we can’t find the patterns that these myths propel: that a quad is less efficient than a twin and should have higher maintenance costs. What we see is that it is all dependent on what one compares and to what technology generation the one or the other aircraft belong.
When we didn’t get the same results as the myths on a number of areas, we started to wonder what could have created the myths in the first place. Looking at what four engined airliners could have been the source of the rumours, we started to see a pattern. It was a pattern of apple-and-oranges being compared and wide ranging conclusions being drawn.
Here is what we found. Read more
By Bjorn Fehrm
Dec. 9 2015, ©. Leeham Co: We have now covered the Cash and Direct Operating Costs (COC, DOC) for our acquired and refurbished Airbus A340-300E and Boeing 777-200ER. We will now finish the article series by looking at the earnings capability of the aircraft and compare these to the cost.
We will start by examining the payload carrying capability of the aircraft over different stage lengths by means of the aircraft’s payload-range diagram. Any excess payload capability over a cabin filled to a normal load-factor will be used to add cargo to the revenue stream.
Finally, we will value the payload according to the market’s standard yields for Business, Economy and Cargo payload. With the revenue from our long range mission, we can then establish mission margins and see which aircraft is suitable for what mission type.
Nov. 23, 2015, (c) Leeham Co. An Airbus A321 is blown out of the sky over Egypt.
Two Air France jumbo jets are diverted due to bomb threats.
ISIS stages multiple, simultaneous attacks in Paris. Additional attacks are thwarted. Police raids in Belgium take place.
ISIS is declared a clear and present danger in Europe and the US.
The worries on a global basis are obvious. Being far more parochial, given the focus of LNC, what is the impact and potential impact on commercial aviation?
Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson is right.
Actual market values for 10-year old Boeing 777-200ERs are around $10m, not the $50m-ish suggested by Boeing and professional appraisal firms.
This is the conclusion of our Market Intelligence of real-world demand for these airplanes, not some theoretical book appraisal.
Furthermore, used 777-300ERs are in little demand.
The costs involved in reconfiguration and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) simply upend traditional expectations.
By Bjorn Fehrm
Nov. 10 2015, ©. Leeham Co: The Dubai Air Show is on its second day and there are no mega orders. The one that should have been, the mid-range requirement for Emirates Airline, has been postponed, not only to “next year” but for “another year.”
What is the reason? Are we seeing a widebody oversupply fueled by used Boeing 777s/Airbus A330s being available in the market “for very low prices,” as suggested by Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson? Are these the first signs of a damping of an order bonanza which has been going on for five years? Will things be more quiet (or should we say normal) going forward?
We don’t think so. Emirates just want to make the right choice and the equation has got more complicated as it has been working the problem. And it is in no hurry.
Oct. 14, 2015, © Leeham Co.: Delta Air Lines sees a major surplus of young Boeing 777s developing in the near term as key operators plan to let the aircraft go from leases or retirements. The looming surplus makes it more likely that increased pressure on Boeing’s efforts to sell new 777s, and to sell them at reasonable margins, will become increasingly difficult.
Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, sees Delta’s comments as further evidence supporting the likelihood there will be a sharp production rate reduction as early as 2017, perhaps down to six/mo.
Separately, Bernstein Research’s aerospace analyst Doug Harned, also see 777 rates coming down to the equivalent of 6.5/mo in 2017, six in 2018 and five in 2019. The first 777X isn’t scheduled for delivery until 2020, when Harned predicts only five deliveries of the X.