By Bjorn Fehrm
December 19, 2018, © Leeham News.: Next year is a time when Airbus hopes to leave its troubled 2018 behind.
But 2018 was also when the company wanted to leave the troubles of 2017 behind it.
Not only did 2018 not improve. In a number of ways it turned worse.
Turmoil in the management ranks brought back memories of the politically infested Airbus of 20 years ago. And there were other issues.
Production problems with the A320 continued. The A330neo was further delayed and the A380 order from Emirates to save the program took forever to materialize. The negotiations to fix the contracts for A400M couldn’t be brought to a close.
There were two bright lights in the year. The A350 was now out of its cabin supplier problems and delivering aircraft to plan. The other was the gift from Boeing’s suing Bombardier and its CSeries the year before. The top modern Bombardier CS100/300 became Airbus A220 on the first of July. Price tag; $1 for 50.01% of the program.
Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: The surprise resignation last week by Eric Schulz as Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus re-opened the door for the man who should have been named in the first place, Christian Scherer.
Scherer spent the last two years as CEO of ATR, which is 50% owned by Airbus, but his lineage is pure Airbus.
His father, Gunter, was one of the original Airbus pioneers. He was a flight engineer on the early A300B2 test flights when Airbus was formed. Gunter died in May.
Christian joined Airbus in 1984. Since then, he was Head of Contracts, Leasing Markets and Deputy Head of Sales as well as Head of Strategy and Future Programmes. At Airbus Defence and Space, he headed Marketing & Sales. He was named CEO of ATR in October 2016.
Sept. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: With the Brazilian elections less than a month away, the outcome of the presidential race will determine whether the proposed joint venture between Embraer and Boeing will be approved.
Embraer is Brazil’s most visible and prestigious international company. The government has a “golden share,” giving it veto power over certain transactions, including the Boeing deal. Boeing will own 80% of the new JV that will be for EMB’s commercial business only. Embraer will own 20%.
The incumbent government says it will approve the joint venture; the opposition party says it will veto the deal.
Including orders, options and LOIs:
Sept. 3, 2018, © Leeham News: There is more evidence the aerospace supply chain is in meltdown—and it’s going to get worse, a manufacturer tells LNC.
The OEM requested anonymity to speak frankly.
As aerospace analysts gather this week in Seattle for their annual investors day at Boeing, based on the research notes I see, there’s little indication they recognize the magnitude of the evolving problems with the supply chain.
Although the focus recently has been on Boeing and analysts will visit Boeing Wednesday, the issues affect all the OEMs.
This was followed by a Bloomberg report that Lufthansa Airlines continues to have shortages from Pratt & Whitney for the GTF engines powering the A320neo.
Since then, I’ve had my own additional conversations with the supply chain. The production ramp ups that already have been announced and those being contemplated are in peril and all manufacturers are being affected.
Boeing can’t seem to close the business case on its Middle of the Market airplane, the New Midmarket Aircraft, or NMA.
And Airbus continues to stir the pot with talk of an A321XLR and the ever-present A321neo Plus.
Other than this, everything is fine.
Aug. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: The surge of orders at the Farnborough Air Show for Boeing 777 and 747-8 freighters is welcome news for Boeing, which still had production gaps to bridge between the 777 Classic and the 777X.
The 747-8F orders, for five, helps breathe life into this struggling program.
The orders also add to Boeing’s virtual monopoly in new-build cargo aircraft backlogs.
July 30, 2018, © Leeham News: thyssenkrupp, the German supplier, is a mouthful to say.
Even its name is different, using the small “t” rather than a capital “T”.
I won’t even attempt to write how I mangled the name, but I didn’t feel too bad when I later discovered there is a 15 second YouTube video on its pronunciation: two-sen croup (in German) or tiss-in krup [as in pup] (in English).
Regardless, the company is in an expansion mode internationally—including in Africa.
By Dan Catchpole
July 26, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus posted strong earnings for the year’s second quarter, thanks to better profitability on its A350 and A320 programs. Investors rewarded the news by pushing Airbus share prices to a 52-week high Thursday morning.
However, Airbus lowered its earnings for the full year due to its takeover of Bombardier’s troubled C Series program, since renamed the A220. Airbus plans to deliver 18 of the single-aisle jetliners this year.
By Dan Catchpole
July 25, 2018, © Leeham News: The cash keeps flowing at Boeing. The aerospace giant posted free cash flow of $4.3bn for the second quarter of the year, despite recording $426m in costs related to its delay-ridden KC-46 tanker program.
Boeing continues to work on closing the business case for its New Midsize Airplane (NMA), a business case unlike any the company has done before, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a conference call with reporters and investment analysts.