By Judson Rollins, Bjorn Fehrm & Scott Hamilton
Sept. 21, 2020, © Leeham News: Commercial aviation is facing a lost decade due to COVID.
Yes, most forecasts target 2024-2025 as returning to 2019 passenger traffic and aircraft production levels.
However, LNA in July published its own analysis indicating full recovery may not occur until 2028. Breathless headlines notwithstanding, it will take years for vaccines to be widely available and considered safe by enough of the world’s population. Growing concern about vaccine production and distribution capacity through 2024 underscores this view. Even Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said earlier this month that business travel might not fully return for a decade.
Indeed, the 2020s may well be a lost decade for aircraft manufacturers and their supply chains.
April 6, 2020, © Leeham News: It’s going to be quite a while before there is a clear understanding how coronavirus will change commercial aviation.
LNA already touched on impacts to Airbus, Boeing and Embraer. None of it is good. For Boeing, burdened with the additional stress of the 737 MAX, is in the worst position. Even when the MAX is recertified, there won’t be many—or any—customers in a position to take delivery of the airplane.
Bearing in mind that what’s true today will change in a day, or even an hour, let’s take a rundown of where things seem to stand now.
By the Leeham News team.
Jan. 2, 2020, © Leeham News: This will be a pivotal year for Boeing.
It will be a year of challenges for Airbus.
Embraer Commercial Aviation should disappear.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries faces final decisions for the SpaceJet.
Overhanging international trade is the US presidential election.
These are just some of the headlines to look for in 2020.
Leeham News and Analysis provides its annual outlook as the new year, and the new decade, begins.
July 29, 2019, Leeham News: Despite threats and fears of cancellations for the Boeing 737 MAX following two fatal accidents of virtually brand new -8 MAXes, few order cancellations directly attributable to the crashes have occurred.
So far, there isn’t a discernible shift to Airbus, either, data shows.
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 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.
Jan. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus trailed Boeing in net orders in 2018 but it still holds a commanding lead in backlog market share.
With the companies reporting their year-end tallies, Airbus has a 56% share of the backlog to Boeing’s 44%.
Airbus carries the day with narrowbody backlog. Its share is 58% to Boeing’s 42%.
Boeing wins the widebody backlog, 53% to 47%, driven by a broader product line, including strong 777F and KC-46A/767-300ERF backlogs.
When the emerging narrowbody airplane programs of China and Russia, and Embraer’s sole entry into the 100-150 seat sector (based on two-class seating), Boeing’s narrowbody share of the backlog drops from 42% to 40%.
Charts are below. Data is based on firm orders only.
By Bjorn Fehrm
January 3, 2019, © Leeham News.: The last year was a quiet year for the airliner side of Irkut Corporation (Irkut). It continued testing its two MC-21 single-aisle airliners and rolled out the third test aircraft.
Behind the scenes, there were larger changes. Irkut was handed the shares of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), the designer and producer of the Superjet 100. The move is part of merging the Russian airliner industry into one company.
During 2018, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the parent of Irkut and SCAC, started the consolidation by moving all new airliner projects to Irkut, including the CR929 widebody project with China. The consolidation will continue 2019.
Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.
Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.
Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.
Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.
Editor’s note: The Farnborough Air Show begins next week. Mitsubishi is expected to have a flying display of the MRJ90 at an international air show for the first time. This is the last of three stories from Mitsubishi’s MRJ program update in Moses Lake (WA) last month.
By Dan Catchpole
July 10, 2018, © Leeham News: An engine flameout in August 2017 that left the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) test fleet grounded for several weeks was caused by a manufacturing quality issue on a component in the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan’s accessory gearbox, according to a Mitsubishi executive.
MRJ program chief Alex Bellamy said the manufacturing quality problem caused a machined component to suffer a durability issue, leading to flameout.