By the Leeham News Team
Dec. 5, 2022, © Leeham News: United Airlines appears on the cusp of ordering as many as 100 Boeing 787s, multiple news outlets report. Airbus hopes to sell more A350s to United to supplement the 45 already on order.
But these 45 A350-900s are an order that has been viewed as iffy since United merged with Continental Airlines. Although ostensibly United was the surviving carrier, in reality, Continental was the survivor. The latter’s management displaced United’s old management. The livery retained was Continental’s.
The A350 order was placed by the old United management. The new executives added to the United order, but Continental had been an exclusive buyer of Boeing aircraft and executives were predisposed toward Boeing. UAL now has 120 Airbus A321XLRs on order. But this came after Boeing couldn’t decide whether to launch the New Midmarket Airplane after years of dithering. With a large fleet of Boeing 757s aging and in need of eventual replacement, United could no longer wait for Boeing to make a decision.
United already has a large fleet of 787s. Adding the A350s will provide an extra range that the 787s don’t have. But how many routes need the extra range to justify another fleet type?
LNA believes that United can cancel the orders for 45 A350s at little cost. The deposits may easily be applied to orders for more A321s, but cancellation penalties are believed to be de minimis. Based on 2018 list prices—the last ones published by Airbus—United could get about 110 more A321s in exchange for the A350s. (The number is probably a little less since the XLRs are more expensive than the A321neo “standard;” the list price makes no distinction between the sub-types.)
LNA expects United to cancel the A350s sooner than later and add to the A321 order.
Oct. 21, 2022, © Leeham News: Amazon’s Prime Air will add 10 Airbus A330-300 freighters to its fleet from 2023. The aircraft will be converted by EFW, in which Airbus is a partner, and leased from Altavair of Issaquah (WA).
These are the first A330 freighters that will be operated under the Prime Air brand. Hawaiian Airlines, an A330 operator, will operate the planes. Prime Air largely contracts out flight operations. Atlas Air flies Boeing 767-300ERFs and Sun Country fly Boeing 737Fs for Prime Air.
EFW now has orders for more than 100 A330 conversions, nearly all for the -300 model.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 13, 2022, © Leeham News: In our series, we look at the development of the latest single-aisle engines. Should these be geared? What do you gain and risk with a geared design? Is this a new development, or has it been around for a long time?
We examine the development of single-aisle engines since 2000, their fuel efficiency, and operational reliability.
By the Leeham News Team
Aug. 10, 2022, © Leeham News: Deliveries of the Boeing 787 are slated to resume today after a pause of nearly two years. American Airlines is set to receive a 787-8. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that it approved Boeing’s plans to fix a production flaw that resulted in a paper-thin gap where certain sections of the fuselage are mated.
Rework of up to 120 787s in inventory has been underway for some time, both in Charleston (SC), where the airplane is assembled and in Everett (WA), where the former Line 1 Final Assembly Line was located. Plane spotters occasionally noted 787s being flown into Everett from stored locations.
Some estimates indicate that the 120 airplanes were sold for an average of $129m each. (The split between the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 is not detailed.) This places the inventory value at an estimated $15.5bn. But don’t assume this is the amount of cash that will be coming to Boeing as inventory is cleared into 2024. About 40% of the sales price is typically paid via deposits and progress payments by the time of delivery. This means that Boeing may look for an estimated $9bn in cash.
However, customer compensation for the delivery delays could reduce this some. Boeing prefers to compensate customers via discounts on future airplanes or via services and parts. How much—or how little—cash compensation is provided is known only to Boeing.
During the fourth quarter last year, Boeing took a forward loss on the 787 program of $3.46bn.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 4, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Embraer presented its 2Q2022 results today. The airframer booked lower revenue and net profit as deliveries of the E195-E2 tanked, but margins were up in all divisions except Defence and Security due to strict cost control.
Revenue and net profit were down by 10% compared with 2Q2021, whereas margin and cash flow improved due to cost containment and the spin-off of the EVE VTOL activity. Sales were positive, with backlog growing 0.5bn from 1Q2022 to $17,8bn. The company confirmed the 2022 guidance.
By Scott Hamilton
July 25, 2022, © Leeham News: ATR and Embraer released at the Farnborough Air Show their forecasts for the next 20 years for turboprops.
ATR is the only remaining manufacturer of turboprops in the 40-80 seat category outside of China and Russia. Embraer, which got its start in commercial aviation with the 19-seat Bandeirante, exited the turboprop business after the EMB-120 Brasilia. Now, following decades of exclusively supplying regional jets to the world’s commercial aviation market, wants to resume producing turboprops. It’s proposed a two-member family with 70 and 90 seats. EMB claims it has interest from airlines for 250 turboprops, but the program launch remains elusive.
By Scott Hamilton
July 22, 2022, © Leeham News: The Farnborough Air Show produced little in the way of headline news. But Boeing comes away with some momentum. Airbus announced a big order on July 1, well ahead of the show, from China, leaving show orders in high double digits.
Boeing announced orders and commitments for 278 737 MAXes, including 100 firm and 30 options from Delta Air Lines. This order was the first from Delta in 11 years, ending a long-running behind-the-scenes streak of sour relations between the companies.
The order, for the 737-10 MAX, finally fulfills Boeing’s goal of getting the -10 into Delta. Boeing had counted on Delta being a launch customer of the airplane in 2017. As reported in my book, Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing, the bake-off between the MAX 10 and the Airbus A321neo came down in favor of the MAX 10. But CFM declined to grant Delta TechOps rights to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul for other airlines and lessors. Pratt & Whitney agreed, tipping the order to Airbus.
Also during the competition, Boeing was engaged in a trade complaint over Bombardier’s sale of the C Series to Delta. Boeing alleged Bombardier engaged in price-dumping, contrary to trade laws. Boeing won the trade complaint and a tariff of 292% was assessed on each C Series imported from Canada. However, the final review found no harm to Boeing, which hadn’t competed for the order, a required element to impose the tariff. Many observers thought Boeing’s timing concurrent with the MAX-neo campaign affected the decision. But as reported in Air Wars, Delta officials said this wasn’t a factor.
July 22, 2022, ©. Leeham News: We analyzed vectored thrust VTOLs last week, like Joby Aviation’s Joby S4. Now we look at VTOLs that separate vertical and forward flight thrust generation into two different systems. Typical exponents are Wisk Aero Cora, Beta Technologies Alia-250, and Embraer’s EVE.
By Alex Derber
(c) Airfinance Journal, July 19, 2022
– Airline investor 777 Partners placed firm orders for 30 737 Max 8200 aircraft and agreed to a further 36 commitments for the high-density Max model. The aircraft have been earmarked for 777 Partners’ two airline investments: Flair Airlines in Canada and Bonza Airline in Australia.
– Porter Airlines exercised purchase rights and signed a firm order for 20 Embraer 195-E2 passenger aircraft, adding to its existing 30 orders. Porter’s first delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2022, when the Canadian carrier will become the North American launch customer for the E195-E2, while will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.
– Aercap ordered five additional 787-9s, taking its existing and on-order portfolio for the widebody family to 125 units.
– Aviation Capital Group ordered 12 additional 737 Max 8s, which have expanded the lessor’s Max order book to 34 aircraft.
– Delta Air Lines confirmed additional orders for 12 Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The US airline has now ordered 107 A220-family aircraft, the first of which it received in late 2018. The aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.
July 4, 2022, © Leeham News: Any hope that the Delta Air Lines ALPA pilots union will agree to a slightly relaxed Scope Clause in its next contract are just wishful thinking.
Few thought DALPA, as the chapter at the airline is known, would up the weight of airplanes allowed under Scope. This is needed to permit regional airline partners to operate the Embraer E175-E2. The E2 is more environmentally friendly and economical than the E175-E1, a 1990s design with engines (the CF34) that date to 1982 when it first ran on the test stand. The CF34’s design is based on the military TF34 developed in the 1960s.
EMB’s E175-E2 was supposed to enter service in 2021. It’s been rescheduled three times. The current EIS is now targeted for 2027. Few believe Scope will be relaxed by then. There is a growing belief that the E175-E2 is dead. (Embraer says no.) DALPA is often an industry-leading union. Its refusal to relax the weight limit all but assures the E175-E2 is dead.