Can the DHC 8-400 compete with a CRJ550 for the 50 seat Scope Clause market?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

November 14, 2019, © Leeham News: The US mainline airlines have large fleets of 50-seater regional jets that are getting old. The present Scope Clause limits on the number of aircraft with seating over 50 seats stop the mainlines from replacing these aircraft with larger aircraft. So there is a real need for an efficient 50 seater regional aircraft for the US market.

As there are no 50 seater jets in production, United is converting its 70 seater CRJ700s to 50 seaters to fill the gap and calls them the CRJ550. This is where de Havilland Canada sees a change for an adapted DHC 8-400 turboprop. It’s more efficient than a CRJ550 while offering the same comfort, says de Havilland. We check if this is correct and what chances a DHC 8-“550” have in this market.

Summary:

  • The US Scope Clauses allow the three mainlines to have more 1,000 50 seater jets, yet no new ones are available to replace the more than 600 in the market.
  • The in-production DHC 8-400 would be an alternative when looking at cabin size and dimensions.

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Pontifications: Southwest to evaluate splitting airplane supplier next year

Oct. 28, 2019, © Leeham News: Gary Kelly, the chairman of Southwest Airlines, told CNBC Thursday that next year, the company will review whether to source airplanes from another manufacturer besides Boeing.

This, of course, means Airbus.

The prolonged grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX is the reason. Southwest says the grounding already has cost nearly $500m in lost revenues.

Kelly said the analysis won’t be for “smaller” airplanes, but he didn’t specify to CNBC what this means.

Southwest has 500 Boeing 737-700s seating 143 passengers at 30-31 inch pitch.

The Airbus A220-300 seats 145 at 32 inches in the Air Baltic one-class configuration.

The Embraer E195-E2 seats 146 passengers, but in a 28-inch pitch. At Southwest’s preferred 31-32 inch pitch, the E-Jet seats 132 passengers.

Since the context was the 737-8 MAX, did Kelly mean, not smaller than the -8? This isn’t known.

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Europe’s Regional airlines meet in Antibes, Cotes d’Azur.

By Bjorn Fehrm 

October 9, 2018, ©. Leeham News, Antibes France: The European Airlines Association, ERA, gathered 44 of its 51 member airlines in Antibes France, today for the first day of its 2019 General Assembly meeting.

LNA participated in the event for the first time and we found an impressive gathering of airline and airport representatives, aircraft OEMs and support businesses discussing the challenges facing the European regional air transport market.

Norway’s Wideroe, the launch customer for Embraer’s E-Jet E2 is one of the airlines present.

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Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus A220-300 under 150 seats? Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction 

October 3, 2019, ©. Leeham News: We have the last two weeks analyzed what aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats, comparing Embraer’s E195-E2 with Airbus’ A220-300.

The first week we looked at fundamental data and last week we compared the drag data and by it the fuel consumption of the aircraft. Now, we analyze the other operational costs for the aircraft.

Summary:

  • The fuel costs between the E195-E2 and A220-300 are close.
  • We now analyze the other operational costs; Crew, Maintenance and Airway/Airport costs to see how these differ.

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Pontifications: Safety changes good for Boeing, the industry

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 30, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing’s announcement last week that it’s establish a permanent Board level safety committee, realigning some functions and creating new lines of reporting is a good and necessary step.

It’s not only good and necessary for the 737 MAX return to service, it’s good and necessary for Boeing and for the industry.

It’s also just a first step in restoring confidence in the MAX and the Boeing brands.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Fly by steel or electrical wire, Part 10

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 27, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In our series about classical flight controls (“fly by steel wire”) and Fly-By-Wire (FBW or “fly by electrical wire”) we started a discussion about the need for stability augmentation systems last week and how these are implemented.

We handled yaw augmentation and began the discussion on pitch augmentation. Now we dig deeper into the trickier form of pitch augmentation, the one needed because of regions of lower stability in pitch at higher Angles of Attack (AoA).

Figure 1. The pitch moment curve of a modern airliner. Source: Leeham Co.

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Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus A220-300 under 150 seats? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction 

September 26, 2019, ©. Leeham News: We started an analysis of what aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats last week, where we compared Embraer’s E195-E2 with Airbus A220-300.

We began by comparing the fundamentals: their size, their engines, physical data and how these would compare in a normalized way. Now we continue by looking at the drag characteristics of the airframes and what this means for their fuel consumption.

Summary:

  • Any difference in fuel consumption between the E195-E2 and the A220-300 will be done to the optimization of the airframes, as they share the same engine.
  • The drag picture for the E195-E2 versus the A220-300 is a mixed bag. One is better on normalized friction drag (drag due to size) the other on induced drag (drag due to weight).

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The Struggling European Regional Airlines

  • This is the third in a series of articles on the struggling low cost and leisure carriers in Europe.

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction       

Sep. 23, 2019, © Leeham News: Numerous European regional airlines are struggling financially.

FlyBe was sold earlier this year for a symbolic amount to Connect Airways. The new airlines’ shareholders are Stobart Air, Virgin Atlantic and Cyrus Capital Partners.

UK regional carrier flybmi ceased operations earlier this year. Air France announced a 15% cut in domestic capacity at regional subsidiary Hop! after years of steep losses.

In spite of their struggles, European regional airlines represent a significant market for aircraft OEMs. The Airbus A220, Embraer E2 and turboprop programs count on new European airline orders to bolster their order book.

Summary
  • A fragmented industry;
  • Another prevailing business models than in the USA;
  • Influence of geography and public transportation;
  • Dearth of latest generation aircraft orders;
  • External factors threatening the industry.

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Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus’ A220-300 for the 120 to 150 seat segment?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

September 19, 2019, ©. Leeham News: What aircraft to choose for the segment 120 to 150 seats, Embraer’s E195-E2 or Airbus A220-300? After discussions with Airbus’ Rob Dewar at the Paris Airshow, Head of A220 Engineering and Product Support, and a visit to Embraer last week for the E195-E2’s first customer delivery, we have collected some unique insights.

We also had the opportunity to talk to David Neeleman of Azul, Moxy and TAP Portugal when at Embraer, the only owner/operator which has bought both aircraft; E195-E2 for Azul and A220-300 for his Moxy project.

Summary:
  • We start with a detailed comparison of the aircraft in this first article.
  • While serving the same passenger capacity segment, they are surprisingly different in their design approach and, therefore, in their characteristics.

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Milestone for Embraer with the E195-E2

Sept. 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer passed a milestone last week with the delivery of the first E195-E2, to Azul Airlines of Brazil.

The airplane is the largest Embraer has designed. It’s bigger than the KC-390 tanker-transport. It’s longer than the Boeing 737-8 but shorter than the Boeing 737-9. It carries 146 passengers in high density configuration.

The marketing head for Embraer’s US offices says the E195-E2 will be the sales leader while the CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, John Slattery, said it will account for a third of program sales.

Either way, LNA’s Bjorn Fehrm was on site for the delivery and tomorrow will begin a series of articles analyzing the design of the E195-E2 and its economics compared with its nearest competitor, the Airbus A220.

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