Feb. 1, 2021, © Leeham News: Understanding the real market demand for an airplane sector is a complicated thing.
What Airbus and Boeing say the market is for an airplane sometimes is a matter of what they don’t say.
On the Jan. 27 earnings call, Boeing set the program accounting for the 777X at 350 airplanes. This number declined from 400. Simultaneously, Boeing took a whopping $6.5bn forward loss on the program. (Not all is attributed to the accounting block.)
Later in the same call, CEO David Calhoun said, “Across the total widebody market of more than 8,000 projected deliveries over the next two decades, we see replacement demand for over 1,500 large widebody airplanes which are well suited for the 777X.”
Some interpreted this to mean that Boeing expects to sell 1,500 777Xs.
Well, not really.
So, let’s unravel these numbers and what “market demand” or “replacement demand” means. Everything discussed below applies equally to Airbus or Boeing.
Jan. 25, 2021, © Leeham News: JP Morgan thinks Boeing 787 production rates will come down more than the 5/mo planned from May.
Airbus last week announced ramping up A320 rates will be slower than previously hoped.
And Airbus’ widebody rates, while maintained for now, seem squishy.
By Bryan Corliss
Jan. 18, 2021 © Leeham News — Western Washington aviation enthusiasts may need to send out an extra Valentine this year, addressed to Alice – the nine-passenger electric aircraft being developed by Eviation.
Sometime around Valentine’s Day, mechanics should begin assembling the first production Alice at the company’s new final assembly site in Arlington (WA), about 20 miles north of Boeing’s Everett facility.
“We are literally setting it up,” said Eviation Chairman Roei Ganzarski, last week from one of the two hangars that the company has taken over at Arlington Municipal Airport, as equipment boomed in the background. “We’re putting in fixtures and furniture and paint.”
Ganzarski said his plan is to have the first production aircraft ready to start flight tests for FAA certification this summer – assuming that both Eviation and magniX, the company providing the electric motors to power the craft – are able to stand up new facilities, complete their initial hiring and get the first shipsets assembled on time.
“What an exciting year 2021 is going to be,” Ganzarski said.
Jan. 11, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week appeared to be an ominous week for Washington State for aerospace.
On Monday, The Seattle Times reported that Amazon surpassed Boeing as Washington’s largest employer. The retailer now employs more than 80,000 in the state. Boeing, following COVID- and 737 MAX-grounding induced layoffs, employs just under 59,000 in Washington.
The Times reported Tuesday that Boeing’s research and development center at Boeing Field will be closed. At its peak, the center was to employ 900. The expansion began a mere 10 years ago.
Previously, Boeing announced Oct. 1 that it will close the Everett 787 production line and consolidate the final assembly at the Charleston (SC) plant.
The exodus by Boeing from Puget Sound and Washington State is underway. But was closing the R&D center as significant as it seemed?
Jan. 4, 2021, © Leeham News: Beginning today through next week, Leeham News presents its annual Outlook series for the coming year.
We’ve been doing this for years. In recent years, the Outlook reflected continued growth in commercial aviation. The industry had the longest upward tick in the more than three decades I’ve been involved in the sector.
Not this year. As I wrote before the Christmas-New Year’s holiday period, 2020 was the worst year for commercial aviation I’ve ever seen in 41 years.
This year is the beginning of the end of the COVID crisis. Yes, the vaccines began distribution in December, but large spikes in COVID cases began simultaneously and are predicted to climb higher through the first quarter.
Over the coming days, as LNA provides its Outlook for 2021, readers will see what we believe will happen.
Dec. 21, 2020, © Leeham News: This is my last Pontification of 2020. I’ll be off between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
It’s only fitting to look back at what is the worst year in commercial aviation—ever.
I’ve just completed my 41st year in this industry. I’ve seen two Gulf Wars, SARS, 9/11, the Great Recession and several economic cycles.
Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas exited the commercial airliner business.
I’ve seen three groundings: the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Boeing 787 and 737 MAX. I’ve been on site of two significant crashes: the American Airlines DC-10 in Chicago and Delta Air Lines’ 727 in Dallas. I flew over a third, a Delta L-1011 in Dallas the day after it happened.
I worked for the first new airline certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board in 40 years, the first Midway. I also went through one bankruptcy and one merger, each part of the deregulation shake-out.
As a reporter, I covered some of the business giants, including Bob Crandall, Herb Kelleher, John Leahy and others.
It’s been a great four decades.
But nothing compares to the global industry disaster of 2020.
Dec. 14, 2020, © Leeham News: If you want a good business book to read over the Christmas holidays, get Lessons from the Titans by three analysts at the independent Melius Research Co.
The subtitle, a mouthful, aptly describes the book: “What companies in the new economy can learn from the great industrial giants to Drive Sustainable Success.”
Yes, I know. The first reaction to a “business book” is, how boring. Not so, this one.
The analysts are Scott Davis, Carter Copeland and Rob Wertheimer. They provide first-hand and often insider accounts of their coverage of some of the USA’s most significant industrial companies.
Nov. 30, 2020, © Leeham News: The Trump Administration this month indicated it might expand its ban on doing business with certain Chinese companies.
The Administration says the additional companies have ties to the military. Included in the listing is COMAC.
If the Administration follows through during its remaining lame-duck time in power, and if the new Biden Administration doesn’t reverse or modify the plan, the long-term effect could hurt the US aerospace supply chain.
Nov. 23, 2020, © Leeham News: I’m okay with flying on board the Boeing 737 MAX.
Yes, Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration screwed up royally.
And yes, there’s solid reason to distrust the company and the agency, wondering if they got it right this time.
Which is why for me the tipping point is the involvement of Transport Canada and Europe’s EASA are the reasons to trust getting back on the MAX.
LNA addresses the safety in our new podcast feature, 10 Minutes About. The inaugural podcast, 10 Minutes About the Boeing 737 MAX recertification may be heard here.
Nov. 16, 2020, © Leeham News: The European Union implemented tariffs Nov. 9 on Boeing and other US products in retaliation for the Trump Administration tariffs on Airbus and EU products.
This is the latest in the 16-year trade battle between the US and Europe over subsidies and tax breaks found to be illegal under World Trade Organization rules.
The US was authorized last year to impose tariffs on Airbus and other EU products. The Trump Administration initially imposed a 10% tariff on imported Airbus aircraft. A320/321s assembled at Airbus’ Mobile (AL) plant were exempt, even though major components were imported.
Trump increased the tariffs to 15% in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted worldwide. As a result, few Airbus airplanes were delivered into the US since then.