Sept. 9, 2019, © Leeham News: Reports increased last week that Europe’s EASA safety regulator may go its own way in recertifying the Boeing 737 MAX.
The head of IATA, the international trade group, and CEOs of several airlines and one lessor expressed fear and concern EASA won’t act with the Federal Aviation Administration to lift grounding orders of the MAX.
At the Regional Airline Assn. annual conference last week, buzz among journalists focused on one unverified report, based on EASA’s doubts reported during the week yet to hit the media, could significantly extend the grounding—measured in months, not weeks.
I know efforts are being made to verify the information.
If true, the effects would be devastating.
Sept. 2, 2019, © Leeham News: It’s time to catch up on Odds and Ends.
In its second quarter earnings call and 10Q Securities and Exchange Filing, Alaska Airlines said it was returning one Airbus A319 and two A320s off lease this year and next.
These airplanes are from its Virgin America acquisition, which introduced the Airbus family into the all-Boeing Alaska mainline operations.
Alaska officials have said several times they are evaluating whether to phase out all Airbuses and return to an all-Boeing fleet, or keep the Airbuses and operate a mixed fleet indefinitely.
I wondered if this was the start of the phase out.
“We are planning to return 1 A319 this year and 2 A320s next year at normal lease expiration,” Brandon Pederson, EVP and CFO of the company, wrote LNA. “This is not part of a broader fleet decision, nor a phase out of the smaller Airbus aircraft. Leases on the remaining 50 A319/A320 aircraft in the fleet have varying maturities through 2025.”
Aug. 26, 2019, © Leeham News: My column July 22 entitled Embraer counts on Boeing heft for E2 sales boost raised a few hackles in Sao Jose dos Campos, headquarters of Embraer.
It wasn’t meant to. Rather, slow sales of the E-Jet E2 this year caught the attention of more than a few in the market, so I thought putting some perspective on the issue was worthwhile.
After all, sales of the Bombardier C Series were slow between the announcement of selling 50.01% of the program and consummation of the deal nearly a year later.
Such is the case with E2 sales pending consummation of the Boeing-Embraer joint venture, which has a target date of closing by year end, I wrote.
Aug. 19, 2019 © Leeham News: There have been no widebody orders placed by China with Boeing since President Trump launched a trade war in March 2018, hurting American’s biggest exporter and affecting the US balance of trade.
In fact, there have been no announced orders by China with Boeing since October 2017. Only 22 China orders were announced in 2017.
Boeing has a large number of Unidentified 737s listed on its website. It is widely believed that China accounts for perhaps as many as 25% of these, but Boeing won’t comment.
China historically accounted for between 25% and 33% of Boeing’s annual deliveries.
Since 2011, China took delivery of more than 170 widebody passenger and freighter jets, or 9.3% of all widebodies delivered by Boeing.
Aug. 12, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg so far is sticking to a previously timeline in which the company expects to turn over to the Federal Aviation Administration next month the software fixes for the 737 MAX.
He continues to hope that this results in the lifting of the FAA’s grounding order and return to service (RTS) in the early fourth quarter.
He also sticks to the long-offered entry-into-service timeline of 2025 (though previously indicated there could be some slippage) if Boeing proceeds with the New Midmarket Aircraft, for which the business case still hasn’t closed.
And finally, he reaffirmed that first flight of the 777X will slip to early next year.
He made the remarks Aug. 7 during an appearance of a Jeffries Co. investors conference.
None of this was news, actually. All had been discussed on the July 27 2Q2019 earnings call. But this all served as a reaffirmation for the MAX information, where things are so fluid that new information sometimes emerges day after day.
Aug. 5, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus last week won a big, validating commitment from Air France-KLM Group for 60 orders and more options for the A220-300.
The contract won’t be firm until later this year, but the AF Memorandum of Understanding (when converted) brings the A220 order book to 611. There are some other commitments that haven’t yet been converted to orders.
Through mid-July, there were 86 A220s in service. There were 465 Letters of Intent, MOUs and Options before the Air France deal was announced.
But of those firm orders, 110 of them aren’t so firm. In fact, some of them really shouldn’t even be on the books.
July 29, 2019, Leeham News: Despite threats and fears of cancellations for the Boeing 737 MAX following two fatal accidents of virtually brand new -8 MAXes, few order cancellations directly attributable to the crashes have occurred.
So far, there isn’t a discernible shift to Airbus, either, data shows.
July 22, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer still appears to be in a bit of a holding pattern following the Paris Air Show in which it announced orders and commitments for only 76 EJets. Two additional orders announced at the show were previously under the Unidentified category.
This seems to be following a pattern set with the Bombardier C Series, in which sales were slow while the market waited for the deal to close in which Airbus acquired 50.01% of the C Series program.
July 15, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing can’t catch a break.
Some may argue it doesn’t deserve one, given what’s come out about the 737 MAX development. And the sloppy production of the 787 at the Charleston (SC) plant. And the FOD issues with the KC-46A at the Everett (WA) plant.
To be sure, Boeing has gotten a lot of bad press it’s deserved. But last week, two pieces of news had connections to the MAX that were (1) overwrought and (2) unwarranted.
July 8, 2019, © Leeham News: When a company authorizes or sponsors a book about some major event, the book is usually a puff piece meant for the coffee table in reception.
Airbus authorized the book, Airbus: The First 50 Years, but it’s no puff piece. It’s an honest, candid accounting of how the company came to be, navigating through country and corporate politics, face offs with rival Boeing, reporting the insider trading allegations and ending with the as-yet unfinished corruption scandal investigations.
Nicola Clark, the aerospace reporter for the International Herald Tribune, did a superb job up to her usual reporting standards while avoiding the puff pieces that usually come with an authorized book.