March 30, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is unlikely to develop a Middle of the Market airplane for a sector that could be a “mirage,” write two aerospace analysts.
Buckingham Research, in a note issued yesterday, did a “deep dive” into the MOM potential and concluded there isn’t a big enough market to support development of a new airplane. Buckingham recently upgraded Boeing stock to Neutral (Hold) from a Sell.
Bernstein Research, in a note published March 15, ventured that the MOM demand could be a “Mirage of the Market.” Bernstein is a Buy on the stock.
Goldman Sachs remains in the camp that Boeing may well proceed with development of a MOM airplane, at the cost of billions of dollars. Goldman concludes Boeing is in a lose-lose situation with the MOM. Goldman is a Sell.
March 28, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The first US-built A320ceo family member took to the skies for its first flight last week. The A321ceo, destined for JetBlue, is the first assembled at the new Airbus A320 plant in Mobile (AL).
This is a milestone for Airbus, obviously. The Mobile plant was first proposed as the assembly site for the KC-330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) proposed for the US Air Force to replace the aging Boeing KC-135s. Northrop Grumman, which paired with Airbus parent EADS (as it was then known) to offer the KC-330, won the contract. The celebration was short-lived. The Government Accountability Office overturned the award. Northrop bowed out of the next round of competition, which Boeing won.
Airbus subsequently decided to create an A320 assembly site at the same Mobile location planned for the KC-330. (I visited the site for grand opening last September.)
This is the fourth A320 assembly site, after Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin. Airbus hopes the Mobile site will help spur sales in the US, where it still trails Boeing in market share.
Milestone for US Aerospace
While this plant is a milestone for Airbus, it’s a milestone on a much more macro level, too. This is the first commercial airplane assembly site by a second airplane manufacturer since Boeing closed the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and MD-95 (aka Boeing 717) assembly lines in Long Beach (CA) in 2000 and 2006, respectively. The last legacy MDC assembly site, for the military C-17, closed early this year.
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’.
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.
March 8, 2016, © Leeham Co.: Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbo Fan technology was what prompted a used airplane lessor to place its first new airplane order,
selecting the Mitsubishi MRJ90 in the process.
Jep Thornton is a partner with the small lessor Aerolease, a 20-year old company that has up to now concentrated on acquiring McDonnell Douglas DC-8s, Airbus A300s and Boeing 757s for conversion to cargo aircraft. Aerolease has about 40 aircraft under management and ownership.
Thornton and Mitsubishi announced at the Singapore Air Show last month a Letter of Intent to order for 10 MRJ90s and options for 10 more. Deliveries begin in three years.
March 1, 2016, (c) Leeham Co.: The manufacturers and their customers remain unclear 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
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.
“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.
Dec. 7, 2015, © Leeham Co: Boeing rolls out its first 737 MAX tomorrow to no press fanfare. Today there is a limited press tour of the assembly line, but, according to reporters who were invited, there will be no press briefings.
It’s an inexplicably low-key event for what Boeing otherwise touts as a major evolution of the venerable 737 line.
As good as Boeing claims the airplane will be, and as much spin as Boeing’s marketing department tries to put on the rivalry vs the Airbus A320neo, the 737 MAX clearly is second fiddle—and it’s not going to get better.
By Bjorn Fehrm
Aug. 31 2015, ©. Leeham Co: After examining the characteristics of the Boeing 767 to serve the market segment that Boeing is studying for its Middle of the Market (MOM) requirement, the 225 passenger/5000nm sector, we will now finish the series by looking at how the 767 can be made economically more competitive.
We will study the influence of improved aerodynamics like Aviation Partners Boeing’s Split Scimitar Winglet for the 767. We will also look at what engine PIPs can provide and also look at what a re-engine could bring.
Finally we examine at what happens when we add crew costs, underway/landing fees and maintenance costs to form Cash Operating Costs (COC) followed by capital costs to form Direct Operating Costs (DOC).
By Bjorn Fehrm
Aug. 31 2015, ©. Leeham Co: Last week we started to look at Boeing’s 767 to see if it can serve the passenger and range space which is not well covered by modern aircraft: the 225 passenger/5,000nm sector. Boeing calls this the Middle of the Market or MOM. Boeing recently said that there is some increased interest for the 767. We analyze why and what can be done to increase any chances of it having a new life as a passenger aircraft.
We started with comparing the 767’s different variants to the most likely MOM aircraft from our series “Redefining the 757 replacement requirement for the 225/5000-sector”. We will now continue and look at the 767 in detail, its strong suits and its less efficient areas. We will also discuss what can be made to address the less efficient areas.