Assessing the SSJ100 future

Subscription Required

Introduction

Feb. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Sukhoi is Russia’s attempt at reentering the commercial airliner business. The SSJ100 regional jet is, by most accounts, an attractive

SSJ100 in CityJet colors. CityJet is one of two Western operators for the Russian-made airplane. Photo: Superjet International.

and efficient aircraft.

But it’s hampered by erratic production and questionable product support (largely due to the overhang of the Putin politics).

The aircraft was grounded briefly in December when a fatigue issue was found in the tail section during a routine inspection.

Summary
  • Nearly 100 SSJ100s are in service.
  • Two key Western customers.
  • Small customers base.
  • Captive Russian customers.

Read more

Bad weather slows MRJ90 flight testing

Feb. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: When Mitsubishi announced that it would conduct nearly all the flight testing for its new MRJ90 in Moses Lake in Eastern Washington State, one of the reasons was its history of good weather.

  • Mitsubishi presents today at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood (WA).

Hitoshi Isawa, EVP of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. Photo via Google images.

It turns out that this is the worst winter there in 20 years. Snow storms became blizzards, shutting down nearby Interstate 90, sometimes for days. Driving to Moses Lake from Seattle, where part of Mitsubishi’s engineering force is located, became impossible when three mountain passes were closed due to avalanches, rock slides and fallen trees. Temperatures reached an all-time low in Moses Lakes in two decades.

“I never experienced this kind of cold weather in Japan,” said Hitoshi Iwasa, Executive Vice President, Operations Support, in an interview with LNC last week. “Many people in Moses Lakes told me this is the coldest weather in 20 years.”

Read more

Assessing Bombardier commercial programs

Subscription

Introduction

Jan. 30, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier hopes to land a major, blue-chip order for its CSeries this year but otherwise isn’t counting on significant orders for its flagship airliner.

Officials don’t have available delivery slots until 2020, bar a few here and there, to attract sizeable orders.

The future of the aging CRJ could get a boost from recalcitrant Us labor unions who refuse to alter the 86,000 lb aircraft weight limit under the Scope Clauses. These make the Embraer E175-E2 and Mitsubishi MRJ90 too heavy for the regional airlines providing contract flying for the US majors.

The future of the Q400 turboprop looks bleak.

Summary
  • The CSeries delivery stream appears sufficient to match production ramp up through 2019.
  • There is a big production gap in 2020 at the target rate of 10/mo.
  • More than 50 firm orders have indefinite deferred delivery dates.
  • The backlog for the CRJ “falls off the cliff” next year, as does the Q400.

Read more

SkyWest MRJ90 commitment unchanged

Jan. 24, 2017, © Leeham Co.: SkyWest Airlines, which stunned the aviation community in 2010 with an agreement to order 100 Mitsubishi MRJ90s and options for 100 more, is sticking with the airplane so far in the wake of another delay.

The Japanese company Monday announced a new delay of two more years, making a total of seven. Entry-into-service with launch customer ANA is now slated for 2020. Before this announcement, SkyWest was slated to receive its first airplane in 2019.

“Our conditional firm orders of the MRJ aircraft remain unchanged, and are dependent on flying contracts and scope availability,” a spokeswoman said in an email to LNC.

Mitsubishi lists the SkyWest order as firm on its web site.

Read more

MRJ regional jet delayed until mid-2020

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 23, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Mitsubishi announced a further two years delay of the MRJ regional jet project in a press conference in Tokyo today.

The 90-seater variant of the aircraft will be delivered to the first customer, All Nippon Airways (ANA), mid-2020.

The previous scheduled Entry Into Service (EIS) of mid 2018, was announced December 2015. In total, the MRJ program has announced five delays, totaling seven years. Read more

The regional market and scope clauses

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 17, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Union contract Scope Clauses–the provision limiting the weight, capacity or number of aircraft operated by airlines for major carriers–are unlikely to be modified any time soon, panelists at the Air Finance Journal conference in Dublin said.

The restrictive Scope Clauses are predominate in the US. These limit the ability of small airplane manufacturers to sell aircraft in the US. Most affected are Embraer, Bombardier and newcomer Mitsubishi.

Contract negotiations in December, concluded before Christmas, resulted in no changes, surprising some. This will impact planned purchases of aircraft.We sat with Bombardier’s Ross Mitchell, vice president of commercial operations, to understand why the scope clauses are so important and why they did not change. Read more

Aircraft list prices largely unchanged (Updated)

Update: Airbus Jan. 11 announced a 1% list price increase. The chart has been updated.

Jan. 10, 2017: Aircraft list prices are largely unchanged for 2017, the airline industry demand cools for new aircraft.

Sales in 2017 were down for the Big Two, Airbus and Boeing. Boeing announced orders for 688 aircraft, well off of last year, which also was a major decline from the year before.

Airbus announces tomorrow, with sales expected to be in a similar range.

Bombardier and Embraer announce later this month or next.

LNC compiled the current list prices from all the manufacturers, detailed in Figure 1 below.

Airbus and Boeing discounts typically range from 40% to 60%, depending on the customer, the airplane and the size of the order. BBD and EMB discounts may also be steep, depending on the campaign.

The balance of this article is for Subscribers only.

Read more

2017: the year ahead

Subscription Required

Introduction

Jan. 3, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The New Year is here and it doesn’t look like a good one for commercial aerospace, if measured against previous outstanding years.

There are some troubling signs ahead, piling on to a slowdown in orders from last year that didn’t even reach a 1:1 book:bill.

This year looks to be worse than last. Airbus and Boeing will give their 2017 guidance on the earnings calls this month and next. Bombardier and Embraer earnings calls are a ways off, when each will provide its guidance.

But LNC believes the Big Two in particular will be hard pressed to hit a 1:1 book:bill this year and may even struggle to match 2016 sales.

Boeing’s year-end order tally comes Thursday. Airbus’ comes on Jan. 11.

Summary
  • Wide-body sales remain weak.
  • Narrow-body backlogs and low oil prices continue to inhibit sales.
  • China, Middle East concerns emerging.
  • United Aircraft MC-21 and COMAC C919 begin flight testing.
  • Airbus A330neo, Boeing 787-10, Embraer E195-E2 and Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ-70 roll-out and begin flight testing.
  • Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737 MAX 8 EIS.

Read more

Clouds overhang Bombardier ahead of earnings call

Subscription Required

Introduction

Nov. 9, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier reports its 3Q2016 and nine month earnings Thursday and as the year prepares to enter its last 45 days, disappointment hangs over the company and the stock.

Summary
  • Despite winning firm orders for the CSeries from Air Canada and Delta Air Lines early in the year, no other new orders have been announced.
  • Deliveries of the CSeries will only be about half those projected, due to engine delivery delays from Pratt & Whitney.
  • The $1bn investment from the federal Canadian government hasn’t been achieved, but an announcement may come as early as next week that an agreement has been reached.
  • Boeing revised the design of the 737-7 to sit “right on top of” the CS300.
  • Embraer (Brazil) is taking the government bailout of CSeries to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in inquiries, with the USA lending support.

Read more

Less desirable aircraft for lessors

Subscription Required

Introduction

Part 3: Oct. 24, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Lessors select aircraft to add to their portfolios based on several basic criteria:

  • Is it a good airplane?
  • How are the economics?
  • Is there, or will there be, a broad customer base?
  • How “liquid” is the airplane?
  • How broad is the customer base?
  • Reconfiguration costs.
  • Commercial terms of the acquisition.

Lessors often conclude that while an airplane may be good technically and perfectly acceptable for airline use, failure to meet their specialized key criteria—notably liquidity and customer base—they may pass on the aircraft.

Summary

  • A surprising number of in-production jets and those in development don’t make a lessor’s list of desirable leasing assets.
  • The planes all are technically good aircraft.
  • Markets may evolve for some of the aircraft on the list.

Read more