It would be overstating to say 2018 will be a pivotal year for wide-body airplanes, but there should be some important developments.
Dec. 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is considering restarting the 767-300ER passenger line as an interim aircraft to the New Midmarket Airplane.
Airbus is pushing the A330-800 or, alternative, new A330-200s are its solution to the upper end of the Middle of the Market sector.
There is another alternative, however: used A330-200s. There is an emerging supply of these as one airline plans a down-sizing and initial 10- to 12-year leases expire in the near future.
Oct. 2, 2017, © Leeham Co., Grapevine (TX): American Airlines officials dodged commenting about the specifics of the Boeing-Bombardier trade dispute when asked about it at the investors/media day last week in this Dallas suburb.
Instead, the general counsel, Steve Johnson, offered up only a general statement supporting the Trump Administration’s hard line on trade.
The reason for this generality is obvious: American, along with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, is engaged in its own trade war and needs support from the Administration.
AA, DL and UA are battling Big Three airlines from the Middle East over being subsidized and abusing Open Skies treaties. The US carriers want Trump to knock down the ME3, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Oddly, no question was asked of the American officials about the current state of the battle during the day.
LNC asked American CEO Doug Parker about the issue following the event, however.
Sept. 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing declared the Very Large Aircraft sector dead in its most recent Current Market Outlook, removing the category entirely when the 2017 CMO was revealed at the Paris Air Show.
But the Large Wide Body (LWB) category appears to be on life support.
The LWB is 350-seats and above. This includes the Boeing 777-300ER, which is already on its way out, the 777-8, the 777-9 and the Airbus A350-1000.
The Medium Wide Body (MWB) category centers around 300 seats. This includes the A330-900, A350-900, 777-200LR and 787-10.
The Small Wide Body (SWB) includes the 787-8, 787-9, A330-200 and A330-800 in the 220-275 seat sector, twin-aisle aircraft. This does not include the 220-240 seat high density Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737-10 single-aisle aircraft.
Boeing’s CMO defines the twin-aisle markets differently: Small wide-body: <300 seats, Large wide-body: >300 seats.
Sept. 21, 2017 © Leeham Co.: Airbus and Boeing look ahead to 2021 and the next several years when wide-body aircraft begin turning 25 years old to spur orders for this sector.
Boeing specifically points to this period as one reason for the announcement last week that it will boost production of the 787 to 14/mo beginning in 2019.
Aug. 28, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Market sources are increasingly pointing to weakness in the Middle East airline sphere as a threat to existing Airbus and Boeing
Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways are the Top 3 of Boeing’s Top 10 wide-body customers.
These three also represent 73% of Boeing’s 777X order backlog.
Qatar and Etihad are the Nos. 2 and 3 wide-body customers at Airbus (after AirAsiaX); Emirates has slipped to No. 8.
The financial trouble at Etihad, exacerbated by its poor investments in the now-bankrupt Alitalia Airlines and AirBerlin, have been well documented.
Emirates’ profits have fallen dramatically and is facing over-capacity. Qatar Airways is now isolated by intra-geopolitical events.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 16, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline, with 85 destinations, 8,000 employees and 72 aircraft, filed for bankruptcy yesterday.
By Bjorn Fehrm
August 2, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: “Etihad, where to now?” was our headline on our May review of the Gulf airline. The 2016 revenue and earnings were not clear at the time.
Etihad group has now released the results, with a group loss of $1.9bn on revenues of $8.4bn. This is a shortfall of almost a quarter of the turnover, a dramatic change from a profit of $259m the year before.. Read more
June 12, 2017, © Leeham Co.: This is a pivotal year for the Airbus A380.
Sales have dried up. Singapore Airlines is retiring five early versions of the airplane and there is no new home for them—these may headed for the scrap heap.
The Middle Eastern carriers, which are the largest users for the airplane, are in turmoil.
The backlog remains weak. Aside from Emirates Airline, which as noted is in turmoil, the other orders are with carriers that are unlikely to take delivery.
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 24, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Etihad Airways appointed a new interim group CEO and CFO on 8th of May. The strategy of James Hogan, Etihad CEO since 2006, to grow the airline through partner alliances, coupled with minority investments, has hit trouble.
The latecomer to the Gulf carrier’s growth party is now set for a strategy review by an incoming CEO.We describe the background to the problems and go through the options for Etihad’s future. Read more