Malmo and CSeries: Malmo Airlines, a small carrier in Sweden that is a subsidiary of Braathens, last week said it withdrew as the launch operator of the Bombardier CSeries. Malmo has five CS100s and five CS300s on order.
First delivery was scheduled for the second half of next year. The oil line failure in a Pratt & Whitney GTF engine on May 29 has set the flight testing back, although BBD hasn’t said by how much. We believe it will likely be a day-for-day setback and it’s possible that EIS will actually slip to 1Q2016.
The flight test fleet is expected to return to the air this month.
According to the Ascend data base, Lufthansa Group’s Swiss Airlines subsidiary was to be the second operator, also in 2015. We don’t expect Swiss to change its planned delivery schedule.
What order bubble, Revisited: We recently asked the question, What order bubble?
The orders don’t stop coming. Boeing landed a big fish with a large order from BOC Aviation, bringing net orders to 918–easily on the path to 1,000. Airbus lags at just over 800 net orders through July (it only reports monthly, not weekly as does Boeing), but we see Airbus hitting 1,000 this year, too. There were 121 MOUs announced at the Farnborough Air Show for the A330neo and we expect most of these to firm up, if not all. (There will likely be some swaps by Air Asia from the A330ceo to the neo, however.) We expect more A320 orders as well.
Boeing’s BOCA order was the lessor’s largest ever and included two 777-300ERs. Boeing is attempting to combine -300ER orders with 737 and 777X deals in order to bridge the production gap between the 777 Classic and the 777X.
GE Aviation and GE Engines naturally benefited from the 737 and 777 BOCA deal, since they are the sole-source engine providers on the airplanes.
MRJ lands JAL: Japan Air Lines ordered 32 Mitsubishi MRJ90s for delivery from 2021. This is the fourth customer for MRJ. JAL’s rival, All Nippon Airways, was the launch customer for the MRJ90. JAL also ordered up to 27 Embraer E-Jets.
MH370: New information emerged this week on the flight path of Malaysian Airlines MH370, which disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed in the south Indian Ocean.
We’ve been asked by local media if MAS can survive. We believe it can, given the government backing. It’s the flag carrier and we don’t think Malaysia will allow the airline to go out of business. Korean Air Lines survived following a series of crashes and the Soviet shootdown of KAL 007 during the 1980s. MAS may become a very different airline, but we think it will continue.
Dual sourcing: There is always much angst in Seattle among the labor groups and Washington State’s elected officials when Boeing decides to put work outside the state. Much of this angst is because Boeing uses this as a sledgehammer to beat up unions for concessions and the state for tax breaks.
But dual sourcing isn’t really a bad thing. Pratt & Whitney is dual sourcing to avoid a single point of failure, as this article explains. Boeing, of course, has made the same point but it always gets submerged by its heavier-handed tactics. We’ve often made the point that if Boeing wants to set up assembly lines elsewhere, why not use the Natural Disaster Risk Diversion as the reason–and nobody could argue the point (well, they could, but it is a valid concern).
FAA overflights: It’s big news here in the USA, likely far less so in the rest of the world: the racial unrest in the small Missouri town of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, where an unarmed 18-year African-American male was shot six times by a white policeman. Police say the young man attacked a police office. Witnesses say he had his hands up to comply with the officer’s orders. A grand jury will attempt to sort out facts. In the meantime, demonstrations–some peaceful, some not, some with looting–have turned Ferguson into an armed camp of police looking like the Army, in Humvees, battle gear and automatic weapons.
CSeries schedule: An intriguing news item came out of Russia this week concerning the Bombardier CSeries. Lessor Ilyushin Finance Co., which has more orders for the CSeries than any other customer except Republic Airways, claims (according to the article) that BBD sweetened the terms of the final contract following the engine incident in May that results in a grounding of the test flight during the investigation and fix.
The issue was tracked to a faulty oil seal. The fix, according to our sourcing, is relatively easy and straight-forward, but Transport Canada hasn’t green-lighted a return of the test fleet to service yet, and it still may be a few more weeks before it does, we’re told.
BBD maintains that it still plans first delivery in the second half of 2015, but we’re also told all the schedule margin is now gone. And here’s where we get to the heart of the IFC news report.
According to Russian Aviation, IFC has rescheduled deliveries from November 2015 to April 2016, a five month shift to the right. There is no indication, although it is inferred, if this is reflective of a new program delay–or whether this is a rescheduling at IFC’s preference.
Bombardier and Russia: More from Russia: The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Bombardier’s plan to open a Q400 assembly line in Russia has stalled over the crisis in Ukraine.
Boeing and Russia: Boeing has close ties to Russia for its commercial aircraft division, relying on Russia as a large supplier of titanium. The Ukrainian fighting was already affecting the supply chain. The Puget Sound Business Journal has this explanation.
MH370: While the world is focused on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Runway Girl Network has an intriguing piece about MH370, the Boeing 777 that disappeared five months ago. She has a video about access to the electronics bay on the 777, a topic that we discussed at the height of MH370’s disappearance. RGN’s article explains the concern as well.
Regional Airline pilot sickout: A campaign is underway to have a US pilot sick-out Sept. 1-5 for regional airlines.
Update, 1:10pm PDT: Jon Ostrower of The Wall Street Journal Tweeted that US intelligence officials confirm a SAM was fired at MH17; details to follow at The WSJ.
Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 (flight MH17) has crashed in Ukraine and government officials claim the airplane was shot down. As yet, this appears to be unconfirmed.
We’ve already been asked for our reaction. Here’s our statement.
“It’s hard to have a reaction within minutes of the first reporting. Reports claim the airplane was shot down, but has this been confirmed? Reports say the airplane was at 10,000 meters (roughly 33,000 ft), and cruising altitude, in-flight break-ups due to something wrong with the airplane are highly, highly unlikely, certainly suggesting an “outside force” may have been involved. But until a shoot-down is confirmed, the only reaction can and should be prayers for the victims.”
Here’s what will happen next, aside from the emergency response to the crash site:
These are, except for #1, standard areas of investigation.