Airbus, Boeing agree on NMA–for now

One concept of the middle of the market airplane.

One concept of the middle of the market airplane.

Oct. 12, 2016, © Leeham Co.: It’s rare when Airbus and Boeing agree on product strategy, but officials of the two companies seemed in almost perfect alignment in separate interviews by LNC last week.

Barry Eccleston, president of Airbus Americas, and Mike Sinnett, VP of Product Strategy for Boeing, each said there is no consensus yet among customers for the Middle of the Market airplane (MOMA), also known as the New Mid-range Airplane (NMA) at Boeing.

Eccleston was interviewed on the sidelines of the annual Seattle conference organized by the British American Business Council Pacific Northwest. Sinnett was interviewed on the sidelines of the annual Governor’s Conference organized by the Aerospace Futures Alliance, a lobbying group in Washington State.

Read more

Boeing CEO reiterates production targets

Dennis Muilenburg

Denis Muilenburg, CEO of The Boeing Co.

Sept. 15, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The CEO of The Boeing Co. is sticking with current guidance for production rates through the end of the decade despite “hesitation” in wide-body orders.

Dennis Muilenburg, speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes will move up from today’s delivery stream of around 740-750 aircraft to “well over 900.”

Read more

Will United’s new president open door for Airbus?

Scott Kirby moves from president of American Airlines to president of United Airlines. Photo via Google images.

Scott Kirby moves from president of American Airlines to president of United Airlines. Photo via Google images.

Aug. 30, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Will Scott Kirby’s move from president of American Airlines to the same position at United Airlines lead to a major shift in fleet acquisition at the Chicago-based carrier?

This is an intriguing question that may take some time to answer.

Kirby spent 20 years with American CEO Doug Parker through their careers at America West Airlines, US Airways and American.

Read more

State officials need to act now, ahead of lean times coming at Boeing Everett

August 4, 2016 (c) Leeham Co.: With the news that Boeing may terminate the 747-8 program, effective around 2019 when the current backlog expires, the obvious

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is running for reelection. He needs to think about the coming lean times at the Boeing Everett plant in less than three years. So does his challenger and all the incumbents and candidates for Legislature. USA today photo via Google images.

question arises: what happens to the assembly line space now occupied by the massive airplane?

Given that the State of Washington elected and appointed officials generally view Boeing in a reactive rather than a proactive mode, an open letter to them seems appropriate.

It’s imperative that Washington officials begin planning now for some lean times ahead for the Everett plant. Waiting until 2019 is too little, too late.

Read more

Pontifications: A321LR actions put pressure on Boeing to launch 737-10

Hamilton ATR

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 1, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The order last week by JetBlue for 15 Airbus A321neos, with the option to convert these to A321LRs for potential trans-Atlantic service, comes within two weeks of Norwegian Air Shuttle converting orders for 30 A321neos to A321LRs. NAS is going to use the LRs for trans-Atlantic service.

We’re aware of at least two more campaigns for A321LRs with carriers that would use them for trans-Atlantic operations. There are undoubtedly more.

The  A321LR is an option, allowing airlines that have already ordered the 321neo to switch before construction of the planes begins. The LR EIS is 2019.

To date, Air Lease Corp, TAP and NAS have ordered the LR. Astana is taking the LR on lease from ALC. The JetBlue and NAS deals up the pressure on Boeing to make decisions on whether to launch the stretch of the 737-9 MAX, to what’s commonly called the 737-10; and whether to launch the New Mid-Range Airplane (NMA) for the Middle of the Market (MOM) sector.

The NAS announcement is significant. NAS has a large order for the 737 MAX and A320neo families. The original intent was to use the MAX on longer routes and the A320neo on shorter routes. NAS is also acting as a lessor and leasing out the A320neo family. Now, with the selection of the A321LR, this is another airline that chose the A321LR over the MAX 9.

Read more

Weekly analyst synopsis: Farnborough recap

Analyst SynopsisJuly 20, 2016: Aerospace analysts had somewhat different takes on the commercial aviation portion of the Farnborough Air Show. This week’s analyst synopsis includes some of the analyst reports. Between now and the end of the month, earnings season begins reporting the second quarter results. Airbus reports July 27. So does Boeing. Bombardier and Embraer report after July.

Read more

Farnborough redefines the MOM sector

AirbusNewJuly 19, 2016, © Leeham Co.: If anything came out of the otherwise dull Farnborough Air Show, it was that the Middle of the Market airplane debate is as muddled as ever.

Boeing didn’t launch, or even say much, about the prospective 737-10, a slightly larger version of the MAX 9 intended to close the gap between the 9 and the Airbus A321neo. Boeing illustrates the 737-8-based MAX 200 as a separate model in its product line up. The 737-10 will slot in above the MAX 200, if built.

Boeing increased the demand in its 20-year Current Market Outlook for the small, twin-aisle airplane by 5%–a move Airbus claims is aimed at the Boeing Board of Directors to entice it to approve launch of the New Mid-range Aircraft, or NMA as Boeing now calls the MOM aircraft.

Boeing LogoAirbus said the MOM sector ends at 240 seats (single class) and only a single-aisle airplane makes sense. This is a shift from long-standing messaging that the A321neo covers the lower end of the MOM sector and the A330-200/800 covers the upper end. This message was advanced as recently as the Airbus Innovation Days at the end of May.

With the rhetoric changing a bit, is it time to redefine the MOM sector?

Read more

Airbus’ Leahy shifts a bit on MOM aircraft


Subscription Required

John Leahy, Airbus COO-Customers. Airbus photo.

July 14, 2016, © Leeham Co., Farnborough Air Show: Basking on an order for 30 A321LRs on the final day of the Farnborough Air Show, Airbus’ top salesman said the Middle of the Market sector stops at 240 passengers and it’s best served by a single-aisle aircraft.

John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer-Customers, said twin-aisle aircraft down to 240 or even 220 passengers don’t work economically against a single aisle. The A321LR (Long Range) seats a maximum of 240 passengers and it is single-aisle. Even though Airbus has a 250-seat A330-200R (Regional) and an A330-800 (7,200nm-plus range), Leahy didn’t attempt make a case that these aircraft are suitable for the MOM sector.


  • A 767-200/A310 size replacement isn’t viable.
  • Boeing’s 20-year market forecast for the mid-sized twin-aisle is for consumption for the Board of Directors.
  • The A330-200R and A330-800 aren’t good MOM aircraft.

Read more

Boeing: Our 737 MAX product range will come to market as planned despite changes

By Bjorn Fehrm


Mike Delaney. Source: Boeing

July 13, 2016, ©. Leeham Co, Farnborough Air Show: Mike Delaney, Boeing’s Vice president and General manager for Aircraft development in the Commercial Airplane division, promises unchanged delivery times despite late changes to the company’s 737 MAX line-up.

Delaney went through the changes for the MAX program as part of a larger presentation, outlining the status for all ongoing aircraft developments within Boeing at the ongoing Farnborough Air Show.

Max 7 2016.05

The original 737 MAX 7 seen in the picture has just grown 12 seats. Source: Boeing

Read more

Prices set for years, Boeing cost-cutting goes straight to bottom line

April 12, 2016: Prices for Boeing and Airbus planes are set through the remaining decade, meaning any cost-cutting being pursued by Boeing will flow straight to theBoeing Logo bottom line, a new note issued yesterday from Bernstein Research concludes.

“Pricing on more than 80% of deliveries is already set through the decade,” the note says. “Despite the competitive pressures, however, the reality is that most of the competitive situations are about deliveries in the next decade. This creates a situation in which most of every dollar of cost savings will flow to margin during this decade because most of the planed deliveries are already priced. The same is true for Airbus.

“This has not been the case in prior cycles because backlogs then tended to be only about three years of production, rather than the eight years that we see today. In those cycles, Airbus and Boeing would cut costs, but then compete away the value. That price competition will now be happening primarily on deals for delivery after 2020,” Bernstein says.

Read more