Jan. 4, 2016, © Leeham Co. Let’s take a walk through our outlook for 2016.
Boeing is 100
The Boeing Co. is 100 years old this year. July 15, to be precise. This is the last day of the industrial portion of the Farnborough Air Show.
There will no doubt be all kinds of celebrations at the Air Show. To the extent possible, I would imagine Boeing will try to have a whole lot of orders to announce there. There will be all kinds of run-up to the 100th anniversary. Few throw a party as well as Boeing. (Just don’t sing “Happy Birthday;” I never have liked this song.)
It’s a great achievement and we should all celebrate with Boeing for the next seven months.
Dec. 7, 2015, © Leeham Co.: Oil for West Texas Intermediate Crude closed Friday at $39.97. International Brent closed at $43.05. These figures continue to breathe life into used aircraft and raise questions about new orders.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen Delta Air Lines extend use of 15 Boeing 757s. Earlier United Airlines decided to refurbish 21 Boeing 767-300ERs. United is also leasing in 38 used Airbus A319s. Southwest Airlines is acquiring more than 20 used Boeing 737-700s through leases.
New aircraft orders are off for Boeing this year. Through Dec. 2, Boeing posted 568 net orders. Unless there is an explosive month in the remaining 24 days of this year, Boeing won’t meet a book-to-bill rate of one.
Airbus hadn’t posted its November orders as of Friday, but through October, the company recorded 850 net orders, comfortably more than a 1:1 book:bill. It announced 108 firm orders in November, with 14 of these representing a swap from A350-900s to A330-900s.
What is the affect of lower oil prices on the new airplanes?
Nov. 23, 2015, (c) Leeham Co. An Airbus A321 is blown out of the sky over Egypt.
Two Air France jumbo jets are diverted due to bomb threats.
ISIS stages multiple, simultaneous attacks in Paris. Additional attacks are thwarted. Police raids in Belgium take place.
ISIS is declared a clear and present danger in Europe and the US.
The worries on a global basis are obvious. Being far more parochial, given the focus of LNC, what is the impact and potential impact on commercial aviation?
Nov. 16, 2015, © Leeham Co. Boeing will target “long term liabilities” in its contract negotiations with SPEEA, the engineers union, its president quoted CEO Dennis Muilenburg as telling him in September.
Ryan Rule, president of the local SPEEA union, met for an hour with Muilenburg when he was here for a visit by China’s president Xi Jinping. Rule termed the meeting cordial. He told Leeham News last week that Muilenburg wasn’t specific about the “asks” Boeing will seek in contract negotiations next year, citing only “long term liabilities,” which Rule took to mean health care and pension benefits.
Nov. 9, 2015, (c) Leeham Co. Airbus last week launched its A380 flying test bed with the A350-1000’s Rolls-Royce Trent XWB 97,000 lb engine placed in the number two position.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw the photo was that if Airbus put three more engines on it, you’d have the A380neo. Or maybe call it the A380TXWB. Done and dusted, as they say in England.
Oct. 19, 2015, © Leeham Co. Bombardier is dominating the aerospace news lately, given the reports of talks with Airbus about selling a stake of the CSeries program to the European company; a report that it planned to approach Embraer for a business tie-up; and on Friday, a long analysis by Reuters about BBD’s financial challenges.
Last week I chronicled Bombardier’s history predicament of how it got to where it is today, a very deep hole that the new management—which only got on the scene last February and which has spent much of the year reorganizing the company and hiring a new team—has to dig out of. It’s not an easy task and it won’t come overnight.
Let’s take yet another look at things, given the continued headlines last week.
Oct. 12, 2015, © Leeham Co.: The news agencies, stock markets and aerospace analysts last week went wild when Reuters reported there were talks going on between Bombardier and Airbus whereby the latter would take a majority stake in the CSeries program.
Within hours, both companies said talks had ended. As could be expected, the stock went into another tailspin.
Then United Airlines said it wants pilots to approve a contract, and is dangling a 100-seat airplane order for mainline operations as an incentive. The CS100 fits into this category, as does the Embraer E195 E2.
It is worth recapturing reasons BBD finds itself in its current predicament.
Oct. 5, 2015, © Leeham Co. Airbus appears to be closing in on a decision to boost the production rate of the A320 family to 63/mo by the end of the decade, a new report from Bernstein Research Group says.
Boeing is sure to follow with rate boosts for the 737, Bernstein writes in an Oct. 1 note.
Leeham Co. has been predicting these moves all year, and in LNC’s interview with Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders last month at the opening of the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile (AL), Enders indicated the decision to boost rates would be made by the end of the year.
Sept. 21, 2015, © Leeham Co.: This Friday, Sept. 25, is the date that at long last, Boeing and the US Air Force expect the first flight of the KC-46A that is equipped with the fueling system.
A “bare” KC-46A made its first flight last December. Then it spent the next six months or so on the ground. First flight of the second KC-46A, the one with the fueling system, has been delayed several times. All the program margin is gone and it’s going to be a challenge for Boeing to stay on schedule to deliver 18 combat-ready KC-46As to the USAF by 2017–two short years away. To try and stay on schedule, Boeing started production of the the airplane concurrent with the flight test aircraft, a risky proposition that could result in major rework or other difficulties if Murphy’s Law comes into play.
The KC-46A is the successor to the KC-767 International tanker program, which was an industrial disaster. Only eight airplanes were produced, four for Italy and four
for Japan. It ran years late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. There were flutter and design issues. These problems became part of the risk assessment by the USAF in the KC-X competition evaluation between Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS–and one of the reasons why the Air Force selected the Northrop KC-330 offering (later named the KC-30).
Boeing successfully challenged the contract award and won the next round with what became known as the KC-46A. Boeing claimed it benefited from lessons learned from the KC-767 International program.