Pontifications: Airbus’ new edginess

Hamilton KING5_2

By Scott Hamilton

March 14, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Airbus is presenting a new edginess in the long-running war of words with Boeing, adopting a tactic Boeing has used for years to make its case.

The European manufacturer has never been shy about getting in its digs at Boeing, but generally Boeing’s messaging—years in the making and steadfastly adhered to—has had more sticking power than Airbus’.

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MOMentum appears to be slowing for new Boeing airplane

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Model design and paint by Camil Valiquette. Photo via Google.

March 10, 2016, © Leeham Co.: MOMentum for the Middle of the Market aircraft seems to be slowing from last year, as potential buyers and Boeing struggle to define an aircraft that would be affordable to build, affordable to buy and fulfill different mission requirements for capacity or range.

Meantime, Airbus is content to watch Boeing’s predicament, secure in what it believes is the winning strategy.


  • Attendees at the ISTAT conference last week had no consensus about what the airplane should be, when or even if Boeing should launch the airplane.
  • Some customers want range, others want capacity.
  • “757 replacement?” Not really.

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Boeing says Airbus widebody strategy “is a mess,” A330neo “dead on arrival”

A330-800neo. Airbus rendering.

March 9, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The war of words between Airbus and Boeing at the ISTAT conference Feb. 29-March 1 wasn’t confined to which company sold more single-aisle airplanes. Widebody aircraft were involved, too.

A Boeing official on the sidelines of the conference called the Airbus A330neo “dead on arrival.” He says that by the time the 330neo enters service, there will be 1,000 787s and A350s in service and delivery slots will be closer in than they are today.

The airplane is nothing more than a resurrection of the original A350 concept that failed in the marketplace, this official said.

Rather than ask Airbus for what would be a predictable response, LNC asked lessor CIT Aerospace for its assessment. To be sure, CIT is not without vested interest: it was a launch customer for the A330neo and it’s a large customer for the A330ceo. Still, it provides a third-party assessment.

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Pontifications: There are numbers, and there are numbers

Hamilton KING5_2

By Scott Hamilton

March 7, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The public relations battle between Airbus and Boeing was on full display at the annual conference last week of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) in Phoenix (AZ).

As usual, the respective officials of the two companies used numbers to make the case that their airplanes sold more than the other guy.

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Airbus needs more vertical integration, says official

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John Leahy

John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers. Airbus photo.

March 3, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Airbus may well have avoided the supplier-driven delivery delays on its A350s had the company brought some key work in-house and become more vertically integrated, says its chief operating officer-customers.

Airbus has been bedeviled by delays in business class seat and galley deliveries from supplier Zodiac, resulting in delayed deliveries of the A350-900 to several airlines.

John Leahy, in an interview with LNC at the International Society for Aircraft Transport Trading (ISTAT) conference Feb. 29-March 1 in Phoenix (AZ), said Airbus shouldn’t be at the mercy of suppliers of interiors. His wide-ranging interview also touched on several other topics.


  • Airbus should have become more vertically integrated 10 years ago.
  • Basic supply chain solid.
  • Speaks about PW GTF, CFM LEAP
  • Airbus considering higher production rate on A320 than the announced 60/mo.

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ISTAT Day 2: MOM business case remains a challenge

March 1, 2016, (c) Leeham Co.: The manufacturers and their customers remain unclearISTAT-logo_no_tag-(2c) about the need and design of the so-called Middle of the Market aircraft, their representatives said at the ISTAT AGM today in Phoenix. The business case has yet to be proved.

Participants in the Middle of the Market Panel are:

Ron Baur, VP Fleet, United Airlines

Robert Lange, SVP Market and Product Strategy, Airbus

Randy Tinseth, VP-Marketing, Boeing

Bert van Leeuwen, Managing Director, DVB Bank

  • We’re at the 2016 ISTAT AGM in Phoenix and will be reporting on presentations and news from the sidelines.

Van Leeuwen, the banker, said financiers would need to see at least 1,000 MOMs in the market with a broad customer base to feel comfortable financing the airplanes.

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Embraer weighs in against Honeywell-UTC merger


Fred Curado, CEO of Embraer

March 1, 2016, © Leeham Co. Embraer joined Airbus and Boeing in opposing the potential acquisition by Honeywell of United Technologies Corp.

  • We’re at the 2016 ISTAT AGM in Phoenix and will be reporting on presentations and news from the sidelines.
  • Update, 0800 MST: Honeywell withdrew its $90bn bid for United Technologies, it was announced this morning.

UTC rejected the merger—which came to light last week—but it is unclear if Honeywell will continue to pursue the idea.

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ISTAT Day 1: Leahy’s biggest fear: producing enough planes to meet demand

Feb. 29, 2016, (c) Leeham Co: Aircraft lessors financed 48% of the Airbus deliveries in ISTAT-logo_no_tag-(2c)2015, with direct sales and sale-leasebacks, says John Leahy, chief operating officer customers for Airbus.

  • We’re at the 2016 ISTAT AGM in Phoenix and will be reporting today and tomorrow on presentations and news from the sidelines.

“Lessors are a key and integral part of our strategy,” Leahy said. Airbus only financed 2% of its own products last year. Export Credit Agencies financed only half the numbers of Boeing, he said.

Leahy does not see a downturn any time soon.

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ISTAT Day 1: Boeing developmental airplanes progressing

Feb. 29, 2016 (c) Leeham Co.: The Boeing 737 MAX rolled out on time, the 787-10 is in ISTAT-logo_no_tag-(2c)production and the 777-9 is in firm configuration, says Randy Tinseth, VP-Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

  • We’re at the 2016 ISTAT AGM in Phoenix and will be reporting today and tomorrow on presentations and news from the sidelines.

Boeing is watching oil prices, the global economy, geopolitical hot-spots, cargo demand and several other factors for the near-and long-term.

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ISTAT Day 1: Used 777 values depend on engines, leases

Feb. 29, 2016 (c) Leeham Co.: The Boeing 777-200ER is not worth $7.7m or even $10m, ISTAT-logo_no_tag-(2c)but $37m to $47m, according to four appraisers who appeared today at the ISTAT AGM.

  • We’re at the 2016 ISTAT AGM in Phoenix and will be reporting today and tomorrow on presentations and news from the sidelines.

Doug Kelly of the consulting/appraisal firm Avitas notes that the Rolls-Royce Trent-powered 777s are, indeed, the least desirable airplanes. GE or PW-powered airplanes commands a $7m premium, he said.

AerCap is selling 777-200ERs with leases attached for more than $50m, Kelly said.

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