But at the Airfinance Journal annual conference today in Dublin, an executive declined to be specific about the details of this assessment.
By Dan Catchpole
January 21 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing number crunchers are feverishly working through engine bids from Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and CFM International, the partnership of Safran and General Electric (GE), the three competitors vying to power Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). Boeing is expected to ask for a best and final offer by the end of January, with engine selection planned in February.
Boeing faces big challenges in closing the business case, though. The process has slogged on far longer than company leaders had expected. Even so, Boeing executives’ relentless optimism about the NMA business case stands in sharp contrast to the skepticism of many industry insiders. At least two of the engine makers, for example, think market demand is about half of Boeing’s public forecast.
Each of the three engine makers vying to get on the NMA have some significant liability. The industry insiders and analysts interviewed for this article say is the decision really comes down to Pratt and CFM. Given the pressures on NMA business case, many see a scaled-up CFM Leap as the front runner. It offers the least risk, even if it also has the least upside.
Jan. 7, 2019, © Leeham News: As the airline, lessor and aerospace industries await Boeing’s decision whether to launch its New Midrange Airplane (NMA, aka 797), as of last month the company still hadn’t closed the business case.
The aerospace analyst from JP Morgan met last month with Boeing’s top executives in Chicago. CEO Dennis Muilenburg and CFO Greg Smith told Seth Seifman that the business case must stand alone, on a program P&L basis, and not rely on aftermarket MRO services through Boeing Global Services. A Boeing spokesman last week reaffirmed the business case is still a work in progress.
As LNC has written many times, the business case involves the usual cost, pricing, production, supply chain and related issues.
But one overarching issue is how bid the market demand is. In large part, this drives everything else.
And market demand continues to be a matter of debate.
By Bjorn Fehrm
December 19, 2018, © Leeham News.: Next year is a time when Airbus hopes to leave its troubled 2018 behind.
But 2018 was also when the company wanted to leave the troubles of 2017 behind it.
Not only did 2018 not improve. In a number of ways it turned worse.
Turmoil in the management ranks brought back memories of the politically infested Airbus of 20 years ago. And there were other issues.
Production problems with the A320 continued. The A330neo was further delayed and the A380 order from Emirates to save the program took forever to materialize. The negotiations to fix the contracts for A400M couldn’t be brought to a close.
There were two bright lights in the year. The A350 was now out of its cabin supplier problems and delivering aircraft to plan. The other was the gift from Boeing’s suing Bombardier and its CSeries the year before. The top modern Bombardier CS100/300 became Airbus A220 on the first of July. Price tag; $1 for 50.01% of the program.
Update, Dec. 7: Embraer to appeal injunction.
According to the Google translation of a Brazilian newspaper, the injunction appears to be intended to halt any completion of the deal during the interim between the November presidential election and the assumption of office by the president-elect. The Google translation does not appear to indicate the injunction is based on any specific objection to the proposed JV.
Dec. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: In a stunning piece of news, a Brazilian court blocked the proposed joint venture between Boeing and Embraer.
If the action holds, this is a major blow to Boeing’s future plans.
The new joint venture, which LNC dubs NewCo for the lack of a name, was to be responsible for all future Boeing aircraft of 150 seats and below, according to a Memorandum of Understanding revealed by Embraer’s labor unions.
This is critical to Boeing’s long-term future for the 2030 decade. Read more
JPM’s aerospace analyst Seth Seifman met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, CFO Greg Smith and Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-marketing Randy Tinseth Dec. 4. In a research note issued yesterday, Seifman reported that the business case for the New Midmarket Aircraft still hasn’t closed—but “if Boeing launches the NMA, it will be with the intention of earning a return on the aircraft itself that is comparable to existing programs; it will not be a plan to accept lower margins on the aircraft and make it up in the aftermarket.” (Emphasis in original.) Read more
Dec. 3, 2018, © Leeham News: Safran, the French company that is a 50% partner in CFM International, believes Boeing will launch the New Midmarket Airplane next year.
Safran held its investors day last Thursday.
In sideline conversation, one of those attending reports that Safran met recently with Boeing and is convinced the NMA is a “go.”
(Others, elsewhere, remain skeptical.)
Engine company responses for proposals are due this month to Boeing. CFM, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney are competing for the engine selection.
It’s believed Boeing would like a dual source (certainly airlines do), but in all likelihood, the odds-on favorite is that the NMA will have a sole source engine. The betting is that it will be CFM. Read more
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 8, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we flew a Boeing NMA from the Middle East. We found the aircraft would be well suited to serve this market.
Now we finish the coverage part of the series with checking how useful the NMA would be for North American based carriers.
Update, Nov. 6: Boeing said the Wedgetail will be assembled in Renton, as it has in the past. Discussions are underway with the UK to perform final modifications there (similar to how KC-46A tankers move from final assembly to the Everett Modification Center for installation of military equipment). However, no agreement has been reached yet.
Nov. 5, 2018, © Leeham News: A UK defense publication reported late today (US time) that Boeing agreed to final assembly of the 737-based Wedgetail radar and surveillance airplane in the UK.
This marks the first time a 7-Series commercial-based airplane will be assembled outside the US.
The 737 finishing center in China, which opens this year, installs interiors and paints the airplane of finished 737s.
If the report is confirmed by Boeing, this marks a huge strategic and psychological step in how Boeing Commercial Airplanes approaches final assembly in the future.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 1, 2018, © Leeham News.: Last week we looked at how a Boeing NMA would function as a medium range airliner in the Asia-Pacific.
We now continue with flying the two aircraft variants from Middle East locations, exploring how large an area in Asia, Europe and Africa the aircraft would cover.