Looking beyond MAX

Nov. 25, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing still doesn’t have a timeline for recertification of the 737 MAX and the Federal Aviation Administration isn’t going to be rushed, but aerospace analysts are increasingly looking beyond the grounding at a normalized Boeing.

It will be well into 2021 before Boeing clears the inventory of MAXes.

Nevertheless, analysts see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, hoping that it isn’t an oncoming train.

Boeing quietly rolled out the 737-10 MAX last week in an employee-only event. The 10 MAX is the last of the long line of 737s that began with the -100 model in 1967. It had a capacity for 110 passengers. The 10 MAX can seat 220 passengers. Boeing photo.

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Pontifications: Good, and Bad, news from the Dubai Air Show

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 25, 2019, © Leeham News: The Dubai Air Show proved to be a mixed bag for Airbus and Boeing.

Each company picked up important orders and commitments.

But each company saw some previously announced commitments reduced in the process, including, for Boeing, a reduction in the backlog for the slow-selling 777X.

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Boeing’s good year for wide-body orders

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Nov. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officials from Airbus and Boeing each said this year that wide-body orders, languishing for the past couple of years, should pick up by the turn of the decade as the in-service fleet reaches 20-25 years old.

Aerolineas Argentinas plans a wide-body competition for deliveries around 2020-2021. Photo via Google images.

But Boeing has had an exemplary year through Nov. 21, the most recent update of its Orders and Deliveries website. The company reported 160 net orders for the 767, 777 and 787, with 88 for the latter. Commitments for 40 more at the Dubai Air Show are not included, as these have not yet been firmed up.

Airbus hasn’t done nearly as well: just 56 net orders for the A330 and A350 families through October, its most recently reported data.

Have Boeing’s results indicated a sooner-than-expected uptick in orders?

  • Not enough data to draw definitive conclusions, but uptick may be arriving early.
  • Aerolineas Argentinas and Thai Airways are looking at wide-body aircraft orders. See the stories here and here.
  • Early this year, 5-year slump was seen. By August, strong market seen.

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Assessing the Dubai Air Show

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Nov. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Dubai Air Show was a clear win for Boeing, despite the last minute 430 airplane commitment from the Indigo Partners group.

The “MENA” region, for Middle East and North Africa, has been the staple of the Dubai Air Show.

There have been occasional smatterings of peripheral regions tossed in, but commitments from US companies (except lessors doing business worldwide) have not been a regular feature.

  • Boeing swept the MENA orders and commitments.
  • Emirates order for 40 787-10s begin delivery from 2022 and may be tied to adjustments in 777X delivery rate.
  • The lack of the widely expected A380 order from Emirates was a huge embarrassment to Airbus.
  • Bombardier, better known for its lack of orders at air shows, landed a good one at Dubai.

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The data behind Emirates’ choice of 787-10

By Bjorn Fehrm

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November 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Yesterday we outlined the qualitative reasons why the Boeing 787-10 was selected for Emirates’ medium-range routes. Now we put figures behind the words.

We will quantify the weight and drag consequences of the tighter packaging of the 787 and discuss what it’s smaller wing means in field performance from a hot Dubai International Airport.

We use our airline performance model to give us the data, flying the aircraft over typical routes.


  • The A350-900 was designed for flights up to 15 to 20 hours.
  • To make these bearable, Airbus decided to offer 18-inch seat width in the nine abreast economy cabin.
  • Boeing went another route. It offered a slightly narrower fuselage and let the airlines decide between eight or nine abreast economy.
  • Only Japanse ANA and JAL chose the base layout with eight abreast economy (and ANA has since switched to nine abreast economy for new deliveries).
  • The result is an aircraft with lower empty weight and fuel burn (everything else being equal).
  • For the 787-10, Boeing combined the tighter packaged fuselage with a wing optimised for flights up to 12 hours.
  • The 787-10 consequently beats the A350-900 on efficiency for shorter routes.

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Historic day at Dubai Air Show

Nov. 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It was an historic day for commercial aviation at the Dubai Air Show.

Airbus and Indigo Partners announced an order for 430 aircraft (the A320neo family), a record in units and in value ($49.5bn).

Boeing announced a huge order from flyDubai, an affiliate of Emirates Airline, for 225 737 MAXes. Value: $27bn.

Parenthetically, CDB Leasing firmed up an order for 90 A320neo family members announced at the Paris Air Show.

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Egyptair signs for up to 24 CS300s at Dubai Air Show

Nov. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Despite the problems in the US over the Boeing trade complaint, or perhaps because of the resulting tie-up with Airbus, Bombardier has since landed two important deals for its C Series.

The first was an LOI for up to 61 (31 firm 30 option) from an unidentified European operator. Based on the announced list value, these are believed to be CS100s.

The latest comes from today’s Dubai Air Show from Egyptair, which announced an LOI for 24 (12+12) CS300s. Delivery dates weren’t announced.

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Boeing wins first day with big order at Dubai Air Show

Nov. 12, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In a stinging defeat for Airbus, Boeing won an order for 40 787-10s from Emirates Airline.

Airbus competed for the deal with the A350-900. Emirates previously canceled an order for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, an embarrassment at the time. Losing this order was largely expected, but based on comments from airline officials earlier this year, it seemed that the order would be put off until next year.

Bloomberg News has this devastating report.

Unreported from this order is that it seems to indicate a changing strategy for Emirates.

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Emirates’ 615 seat A380, is it more economical?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Nov. 11, 2015, ©. Leeham Co: Emirates Airline showed off its newly delivered two class A380 at this week’s Dubai Air Show. With a record 615 seats, this is the densest A380 that has been delivered by Airbus.

EK 615 seat A380Emirates have reached this record seat number by replacing the first class cabin (and showers) with economy seats. Part of the business area has gone as well. What remains on the Premium side are 58 of the well known lie-flat seats and the ubiquitous Emirates bar.

The aircraft is aimed at high density destinations which are reached within a 12 hours limit, therefore the aircraft has no crew rest facilities.

The question is, what improvements in seat-mile costs does this configuration bring and how does it stack up against a similarly configured Boeing 777-300ER or 777-9?

Will there be a change in the economical pecking order compared to the more classical long range configurations that we looked at December last year?

We used our proprietary performance model to find out.


  • To be fair to all aircraft, we equipped them with similar high density two class cabins.
  • We also kept the ratio of business-to-economy seats the same for all cabins.
  • The result is high capacity workhorses that are used for flying passengers and cargo at sector lengths of up to 12 hours. Consequently, none of the aircraft have crew rest facilities.
  • We then looked at fuel efficiency, Cash Operating Costs and Direct Operating Costs for these long-haulers now given a mostly mid-haul work scope.

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Emirates’ mid-range choice

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.

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