Stored A330s, 777 Classics offer alternative to new orders

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Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Slow sales of the Airbus A330neo, A350 and 777X this year are the result of a dip in the order cycle, A330ceos and 777-300ERs coming off lease and route fragmentation from more capable single-aisle aircraft that are much cheaper to operate and which allow long, thin routes to be served.

Airbus and Boeing have yet another aspect to contend with: stored A330s and 777s that have come off lease or, in the case of Etihad Airways, grounded its late model A330-300s in a fleet restructuring related to its poor financial condition.

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Boeing faces weak sales, production gap for 777X

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Aug. 5, 2019, © Leeham News: Design issues with the giant General Electric Aviation GE9X are causing untimely headaches for the Boeing 777X program, at a time when the 737 MAX is consuming the company.

The MAX grounding and longer-than-expected fixes and Return to Service (RTS) is overshadowing challenges with the 787 skyline, where a production rate of 14/mo is burning through the backlog faster than new orders are coming in.

The 777X is facing skyline challenges as well. Sales have been slow. One major customer in the Middle East is undergoing a financial and fleet restructuring and another publicly said it will reduce 777X orders if it places a new order for 787-10s.

The 777X delivery schedule has slid to the right due to the engine issues and the 777-8 is a niche airplane that may have a greater future as a freighter than it does as a passenger model.

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Boeing MAX crisis overshadows other challenges

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July 29, 2019, © Leeham News: The 737 MAX crisis overshadows everything else right now at Boeing.

This includes forward orders, weak customers and production gaps on the 787 line, which right now is the cash flow cow at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing’s production line for the 787 is filled through 2021, but after that, there are big gaps. Source: Leeham Co. Click on image for a crisp view.

Executives only briefly, and obliquely, touched on the 787 during the 2Q2019 earnings call last Wednesday.

This prompted LNA to examine the details of the backlog and production rates. The 787 is current being produced at a rate of 14/mo.

There are clear signs of challenges, both near- and medium-term for the 787.

Summary
  • Weak customers threaten to create deferred deliveries near-term.
  • There will be about 20 A330s and 777s coming off lease each year from 2021-2026 on top of retirements. Airbus and Boeing see these are replacement opportunities.
  • The production back delivery stream falls off the cliff in 2022.

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14 new airplanes and derivatives see EIS through 2027

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July 15, 2019, © Leeham News: There are 14 new and derivative aircraft scheduled for entry into service (EIS) through 2027. This rises to 16 if Boeing launches the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA).

But there are plenty of uncertainties around precise EIS hanging over some of these.

LNA sees entry into service for the Boeing 777X slipping to the first quarter of 2021.

LNA sees the Boeing 777X EIS slipping into early 2021. China’s C919 is now slated for a 2021 EIS, but development has been tricky and delays have been common. Russia’s MC-21 flight testing has been slow and international sanctions hang over this aircraft.

Mitsubishi’s MRJ90, now called the M90, is slated to enter service next year. It, too, has been plagued by delays. The redesigned MRJ70, the M100, moves from a 2021 EIS to a planned 2023 EIS—but given the MRJ90’s history of delays, the company has to persuade the industry no more slippages are likely.

Here is a rundown by year and aircraft of the EIS dates.

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Airbus, Boeing pause on some production rate hikes

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Introduction

Feb. 21, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is boosting the A320 production to 60/mo this year and 63/mo next year.

But it’s put a pause on increasing the A350 rate from 10/mo to 13/mo.

Boeing was widely expected to follow its planned 737 rate hike of 57/mo, from this summer, to 63/mo next year to keep up with demand and with Airbus.

However, on the sidelines of the annual Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference last week, LNA learned that a 737 rate hike to 63/mo has been apparently put on a pause. Although Boeing has not made a decision to go to rate 63, the hike was expected in 2021, according to suppliers. This is now showing as 2022, they said.

Summary

  • Airbus, Boeing backlog for single-aisle airplanes extends years.
  • Both have ramped up production to meet demand, create delivery positions.
  • Supply chain struggles to keep up.
  • Twin-aisle demand waits for replacement surge.

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Airbus’ 2018 results conference: Enders hands Faury a clean deck

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 14, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus announced its 2018 results today at a press conference in Toulouse. It was the last Yearly press conference for Airbus CEO Tom Enders and CFO Harald Wilhelm. Both leave the company in the coming months.

The press conference was colored by the CEO hand over to Guillaume Faury but also the winding up of the A380 program, a problem Enders didn’t want his successor to inherit. The gone year delivered overall results as guided a year ago despite closures charges for A380 and further provisions for A400M.

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Airbus ends the A380 program

Feb. 13, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus announced today (Seattle time, Feb. 14 in Toulouse) that it is terminating the A380 program.

The last airplane will roll off the assembly line in 2021, for Emirates Airlines.

Emirates cancelled an order for 39 A380s. In its place, the carrier ordered 30 A350s and 40 A330neos.

The Emirates and Airbus press release is here.

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A380 program termination expected tomorrow

Feb. 13, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is expected to announce tomorrow the termination of the A380 program, a move that had been rumored for weeks.

Tomorrow is Airbus’ annual press conference for 2018 results. Its Board of Directors meets today.

Word emerged last month that Emirates Airline was considering cancelling its 2017 order for the giant airplane, swapping the 20 (plus 17 options) for the A350 or the A330neo.

Last week, Qantas Airways, as long expected, canceled its remaining order for eight A380s. This week, Qatar Airways said it will begin retiring its A380s when the first reaches age 10.

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A380 termination good for Airbus, tough on suppliers, analyst says

Airbus A380’s future in doubt. Photo: Airbus.

Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Terminating the A380 program may be a blessing in disguise for Airbus, writes a US aerospace analyst.

At the same time, it could cause headaches for the supply chain.

Carter Copeland of Melius Research LLC makes a split decision on the future of the A380. There is speculation that retiring Airbus CEO Tom Enders might decide to end the program before he leaves office in April, clearing the decks for his successor, Guillaume Faury.

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Pontifications: 787-10 engines too small for Emirates

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: There is more to Emirates Airline’s renewed its interest in the Airbus A350 and the potential swap-out of Airbus A380 orders than meets the eye.

The Airfinance Journal Dublin conference is worth attending for the program, but the real news is often generated on the sidelines. This is where I picked up noise about the Emirates interest in swapping the A350 for the A380.

The renewed interest, and growing disaffection with the A380 (over the engine issues) was part of it.

But Emirates’ interest in the A350 stems more from a realization the Boeing 787-10 won’t do the job the airline wants, according to the sideline conversation at the conference.

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