Pontifications: Writing had been on the wall for years for Q400 sale; CRJ is next

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The writing had really been on the wall for the past few years, regardless what the corporate line was: Bombardier was one day going to sell the Q400 program or shut it down.

Better to sell it and get at least some money out of it, no matter how small.

Bombardier agreed to sell the program to British Columbia-based Viking Air for a mere $300m–$250m, net of fees.

Ditto the CRJ program. It’s on life support. It’s a design dating to the 1980s, the passenger experience has long been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and it will be also by Mitsubishi’s MRJ when this jet finally comes on line in 2020. Read more

Bombardier announces sale of Q400 program, exploring options for CRJ

Nov. 8, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier today announced the sale of its slow-selling, aging Q400 turboprop program to Canada’s Viking Air.

  • The press release from Viking’s parent company is here.

Viking previously purchased out-of-production Bombardier/de Havilland aircraft programs, including the Twin Otter, Beaver and CL-415 firefighting bomber.

Viking Air previously purchased the Bombardier de Havilland Twin Otter program and restarted production. Now, it’s buying the slow-selling Q400 program for a mere $300m. Photo via Google images.

Twin Otter production was restarted. The Beaver was not an is not in the cards to be restarted. The CL-415 was limping along, and no longer a contributor to Bombardier’s cash flow and profits.

“The Company entered into definitive agreements for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program and de Havilland trademark to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. for approximately $300m,” Bombardier said in a press release. It also announced the sale of other assets for $800m. The two deals are expected to close in the second half of 2019.

The low price reflects the struggles the Q400 has had for years. Bombardier lost money on the Q400 in recent years.

Bombardier also said it is considering its options for the aging, struggling CRJ program. Read more

Bombardier squeezed by ATR, Embraer, Mitsubishi

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Introduction

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier has a firm backlog of 67 Q400 turboprops. ATR has a backlog of 256 through Oct. 20, according to the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker.

This is an 80% market share for ATR.

Bombardier has 83 CRJ jets of all models in backlog. Embraer has 442 orders for all E-Jet models. Mitsubishi has 213 firm orders for its MRJ70/90.

This is just an 11% market share for the CRJ.

These figures illustrate why the market doubts Bombardier’s long-term future in commercial aerospace.

Summary
  • The Q400 and CRJ are aging aircraft designs.
  • Minor enhancements don’t address the underlying issues.
  • New competition is squeezing BBD.

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Pontifications: Market Intelligence from NY

By Scott Hamilton

Oct. 22, 2018, © Leeham News: I was in New York City last week for a series of meetings. Here’s what “the street” is talking about. I make no judgment calls about whether the thoughts are on target or not. Read more

Pontifications: Why Embraer downplayed range of EJet

By Scott Hamilton

June 18, 2018, © Leeham News: Bjorn Fehrm on Thursday wrote (behind the paywall) that Embraer seems to be selling the E190-E2 short when it comes to range.

Embraer’s published range is 2,850nm. But Bjorn discovered that the range is truly 3,250nm, fully 14% more than the advertised range.

I laughed out loud when Bjorn told me of this discrepancy.

Why would Embraer short-change the E190-E2’s range?

The answer was obvious to me.

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Countdown to Airbus-CSeries deal: boost needed to backlog

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Introduction

May 28, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier and Airbus may clear regulatory approvals next month, allowing for consummation of the latter’s acquisition of 50.01% of the CSeries program.

If all works, this will be well in advance of the Farnborough Air Show that begins July 15. Industry eyes will be on the FAS to see what orders might be announced by Airbus for the CSeries, which reportedly may be renamed the A210 and A230 for the CS100 and CS300 respectively.

As May fades to June, Bombardier has beefed up its skyline quality, but there are some orders that are in doubt, including a big one for 40 airplanes.

Summary
  • No sales since Dubai Air Show.
  • Airbus-CSeries deal expected to close next month.
  • Three questionable orders affect nearly 20% of backlog.
  • Farnborough Air Show will be keen to watch for news.

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Embraer gears up for E2 delivery; a look at the 100-150 seat sector demand

March 31, 2018 © Leeham News: The first Embraer E2 jet will be delivered April 4, to Norway’s Wideroe Airlines.

The E190-E2 seats 114 passengers in one-class, 29-inch pitch and 106 at 31-inch pitch, putting it at the low end of the 100-150 seat sector that is often maligned as a Bermuda Triangle for airplanes of this size.

Wideroe of Norway takes delivery of the firzst Embraer 190-E2 April 4. Photo: Embraer

The E190-E2 competes with the Bombardier CS100, a 110-seat airplane in one-class. Neither Airbus nor Boeing have a competing product. Each offers a larger airplane in the 125-150 sector, the A319neo and 737-7 MAX respectively. Embraer and Bombardier offer the E195-E2 and CS300 in this sub-sector.

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Embraer thinks a business case can be made for turboprop, but nothing soon

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Introduction

March 12, 2018 © Leeham Co.: Embraer isn’t planning any new airplane any time soon, but studies about a turboprop and an electric airplane are underway.

One concept of the Embraer turboprop under study.

The current focus is on introducing the Ejet-E2 into service, however. The E190-E2 goes into service next month. The E195-E2 follows next year and the E175-E2 in 2021.

Studies about the electric plane, with 50 passengers or less, perhaps are more esoteric than pending reality. Airbus and Boeing also are studying this concept.

The prospect of a turboprop may be more rooted in reality, however.

Summary
  • Current turboprop designs are aging.
  • Bombardier’s exit from the turboprop market is considered likely.
  • Tough business case seen working with Bombardier exit.
  • The ATR is too small for some airlines.

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Embraer ponders new, smaller jet

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Introduction

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: News emerged last week that Embraer is considering a new jet family smaller than its current E2 line.

This would replace the E170, which Embraer decided not to upgrade to the E2. The E170 hasn’t sold wellin recent years, as the E175 became the preferred airplane in Embraer’s sub-90 seat market.

Embraer recognizes it needs a second family of airplanes to complement the E2. It’s been considering reentering the turboprop market, but demand is limited.

Restarting a sub-76-seat jet is not without risk, however.

Summary
  • Turboprop market is small over 20 years.
  • 60-99 seat market is a bit larger, but with competitors.
  • Business cases for each are challenging.

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Professionals see two types for Middle of the Market sector

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Introduction

March 1, 2018, © Leeham Co. Three industry professionals raised the question whether the Middle of the Market sector requires one aircraft type or two.

One raised the prospect Boeing might have to undertake concurrent aircraft development, as it did with the 757 and 767.

Richard Aboulafia, a consultant with The Teal Group, Ron Epstein, aerospace analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Kevin Michaels, president of AeroDynamic Advisory, made their remarks at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance last month in Lynnwood (WA).

Summary
  • Low-cost Embraer engineers may play a role in Boeing’s development of the NMA.
  • One consultant sees two distinct NMA aircraft.
  • Boeing’s vertical integration of the supply chain may make sense only with two concurrent of consecutive airplane programs.

Read more