Dec. 23, 2019: Except for 2019’s Top 10 Stories, LNA is going to try and take off publishing from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.
However, if there is breaking news, we’ll report it.
By BRYAN CORLISS
Dec. 16, 2019, © Leeham News — Even as Boeing’s board of directors met this weekend to discuss a potential 737 MAX production reduction or freeze, the company has continued to hire workers it will need desperately once it finally gets the go-ahead to resume deliveries of the grounded jet.
This is extremely unusual for Boeing. Historically, hiring at the company all but dries up after Thanksgiving, largely because of a provision in its contract with its union touch-labor workers that makes December a lucrative month to be a Machinist–but an expensive month for Boeing.
Two factors could be driving the hiring: a need to quickly install mandated updates on nearly 800 grounded MAXes once the grounding is lifted, and a long-term global shortage of exactly the kinds of workers who have the necessary skills to do those jobs.
Aug. 26, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus faces near-term challenges with its production skyline for the A330, even at a reduce rate of 4/mo, an analysis shows.
Looking forward from next year, when there are slightly more deliveries scheduled than production rates—a function of some leftover 2019 builds—Airbus faces an easily-filled gap in 2021 but huge production gaps beginning in 2022.
Even if Letters of Intent and options were fully converted to firm orders, big production gaps will exist.
A production rate cut seems inevitable in the near future.
March 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Digital transformation is critical to Boeing’s evolving business model. But suppliers are in no rush to hand over their data to Boeing.
For more than a year, the airplane maker has been moving toward a new system for managing inventory and parts. As LNA noted last year, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ management expects the new system, known as SAP, will streamline parts delivery and cut costs for Boeing and suppliers. BCA has been pushing suppliers for more transparency of their own supply chains and production flows. It likely would not surprise many industry watchers if BCA moves to integrate its suppliers into SAP in some fashion down the road.
Managers and executives at several suppliers told LNA that they expect Boeing to push for greater access to their companies’ internal data in coming years. They expressed ambivalence between potential efficiency gains and loss of autonomy.
News last week that Airbus finally, at long last, is appears about to launch its Xtra Long Range A321XLR this year is overdue. Doing so will make Boeing’s NMA business case more difficult to close.
The aircraft should have been launch in late 2017, an insider told LNA recently. But the corruption scandals enveloping Airbus disrupted plans and drove executives to indecision. Launching the A321XLR was put on hold.
Feb. 18, 2019 © Leeham News: Airbus’ decision to end the A380 program clears the path, if chosen, for a plane that was studied three or four years ago: the stretch of the A350-1000 to the size of the 777-9.
A 400+ passenger “A350-2000” would have encroached too closely on the A380’s 500+ passengers. Officials feared the A350-2000 would hurt the sales prospects of the A380.
With the A380’s last delivery now planned for 20xx, this becomes a moot point.
The prospect of a new, Rolls-Royce Ultra Fan engine for the A350 around 2025 will give the -2000 significantly superior economics to the 777-9 and a longer range, a preliminary analysis by LNA shows.
But at the Airfinance Journal annual conference today in Dublin, an executive declined to be specific about the details of this assessment.
By Scott Hamilton
Jan. 21, 2019, © Leeham News: As Leeham News begins its 11th year, we’ve undertaken some changes consistent with the rebranding of our affiliate, Leeham Co. Leeham Co. celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Our rebranding research last year illuminated an important distinction that led to a name change. Leeham News and Comment is now Leeham News and Analysis (LNA).
The new name more accurately reflects Leeham News’ approach to covering commercial aviation news by drawing on our expertise to tell you what it means.
Because we believe there’s more to real news than publishing a news release, we serve our readers with higher value news by spotting emerging trends, adding historical perspective and delving into the analysis behind the headlines.
Jan. 21, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week’s Airbus North America Tour (#AirbusNATour on Twitter) was a whirlwind 2 ½ days encompassing Montreal Mirabel, Columbus (MS) and Mobile (AL).
To those who don’t follow Airbus Americas closely, the Mississippi stop might be a puzzle. I’ll come back to this to explain why an international group of media, including me, made this trek.
Let’s start with Montreal.