But the maneuvering to capture, solidify or preempt moves is already well underway by Airbus and Boeing.
Reuters synopsized this during its reporting at this week’s Singapore Air Show.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.
It would be overstating to say 2018 will be a pivotal year for wide-body airplanes, but there should be some important developments.
Boeing’s need for engineering talent from Embraer has been touched on by many media, including LNC. But a detailed analysis hasn’t been forthcoming, that we’ve seen.
Not discussed yet is the fact that new airplane programs at Boeing and Embraer wind down in 2021-22, leaving both companies in danger of facing the next decade without new products at a time when competition will be emerging.
The lack of new airplane programs endangers the engineering talent pool. For Boeing, this is already going to be critical as more than 5,500 engineers and technicians reach age 65 in the next 10 years.
Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane, if launched, will address part of the company’s new product requirement after 2020. On the other hand, Embraer has no new product, although officials have discussed potentially launching a turboprop program.
Jan. 8, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This is going to be a year of transformations.
This might be viewed with puzzlement by some. After all, only minor-modification models will be entering service this year: the Airbus A350-1000, the Boeing 737-9, the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 787-10. The first flight of the 737-7 should occur.
Flight testing continues for the Mitsubishi MRJ90, the COMAC C919 and Irkut MC-21.
The proposed deal between Airbus and Bombardier should receive government approvals this year. Talks between Boeing and Embraer may or may not result in a combination of some kind.
The Big Deal, however, resides in Everett (WA).
By Bjorn Fehrm
January 04, 2016, © Leeham Co.: We have discussed if the Boeing 767-300ER could function as a stopgap until an NMA would be available. We then compared it with Boeing’s 787-8 and Airbus’ A330-800 as alternative stopgaps. We didn’t include any single-aisle alternatives at the time, like Airbus’ A321LR or Boeing’s 737 MAX 10.
These aircraft have limitations in passenger capacity and range compared with the 767. The least compromised aircraft in an NMA role is the A321LR, which comes within 1,500nm of the range of the 767-300ER. We, therefore, use it as our single-aisle alternative when we look at further stopgaps until an NMA arrives in 7-10 years.
This is a continuing series of articles derived from LNC’s “retirement” interview with John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus. Leahy retires this month.
Jan. 3, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This is the year many expect Boeing to decide whether to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft, also known as NMA or unofficially, the
797, to serve the Middle of the Market.
The MOM sector is broadly defined as above the Boeing 737/Airbus A321 and below the Boeing 787/Airbus A330-200/800.
Others, including LNC define the market more broadly.
The Top 10 are a statistical listing of the most-viewed posts, not some judgment call on the part of LNC.
Here is the rundown.
Dec. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing had an outstanding year.
For the first time since 2013, it booked more sales of the 787 than it produced, the so-called book:bill ratio.
Total net orders through November were 633, almost twice that of Airbus through the same period.
This excludes orders announced at the Dubai Air Show which have yet to be booked.
The only lump of coal, coming just before Christmas: Airbus won a major deal from Delta Air Lines for 100 A321neos plus 100 options.
Other events propelled Boeing to an outstanding 2017.
Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.
LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.
This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.
The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.
Nov. 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: A revised mission focus for the the prospective Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA) is seen by a New York research firm.
Bernstein Research sees the NMA being redefined as a larger aircraft serving the Airbus A320/Boeing737 market rather than a replacement for the Boeing 757/767 “Middle of the Market” sector.
Bernstein has been cool to the prospect of a 4,500nm-5,000nm airplane. The analyst, Doug Harned, likes the proposed size—220-270 passengers in a 2x3x2 ovoid
composite fuselage configuration. But he sees a stronger market serving ranges of 1,000nm to 4,500nm.
So far, there is no market intelligence LNC knows of to support any inference Boeing has refocused the mission statement of the NMA, also known as the Boeing 797, though Harned is firm in his view: “The focus is now on the NMA category, which we see as the right positioning,” he writes in a Nov. 6 research note.
Airlines LNC checked with yesterday reaffirm Boeing’s focus at this time to be 4,500nm-5,000nm.