Odds and Ends at the Paris Air Show, Day 2

Odds and Ends at the Paris Air Show, Day 2


Airbus owned the day again with a bunch of orders, including capturing a Boeing 737 operator, Garuda Indonesia. For the A320neo (In this context, we’re not counting SAS, which already operates A320s.) Up to now, Boeing has been dismissing the sales of the neo as being only to A320 airlines, as well as winning deals on price and asserting the neo only brings the airplane to “parity” with the 737-800. Airbus’ John Leahy, COO-customers, counters that airlines aren’t buying Boeing’s line and are buying the neo because it is more efficient than the 737-800. So, it would seem, lessors are also convinced. ILFC previously ordered the aircraft. Air Lease Corp, CIT Aerospace and GECAS also placed orders.

The ALC order could be considered particularly significant. Its CEO, Steven Udvar-Hazy, previously was cool to the neo and now placed a bet for 50 of them.

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Odds and ends on the final pre-Air Show day

 Odds and Ends from the Paris Air Show

  • While an order or two are expected to come from Qatar Airways’ mercurial CEO Akbar Al-Baker, the buzz here already is that U-Turn Al may yet again live up to his nickname. It’s been widely expected that he would, at long last, order the Bombardier CSeries, but Al-Baker is renowned in aviation circles for embarrassing OEMS. He’s done it to Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing and has flipped-flopped in his praise-criticism-praise for the CSeries and the A320neo. For Boeing, it was a major embarrassment when at the Farnborough Air Show in 2008 Boeing issued a press release announcing Qatar ordered the 777 only to rescind it hours later (even though it was correct) at Al-Baker’s insistence. Neither did he show up for the 787 roll-out even though Qatar’s logo was displayed in the roll-call of tail logos and a chair was reserved with his name on it. While Al-Baker recently trashed-talked the A320neo, word now is that he will place an order for the airplane (with CFM LEAP engines, maybe?) for a new Qatar leasing company. He has been feuding with Pratt & Whitney, and if he by-passes the GTF for the A320neo, this could mean PW hasn’t bent over to his demands—and the CSeries could suffer as a result.

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Boeing 737 re-engine studies very much alive

Boeing officials like to downplay the prospect of re-engining the venerable 737, but studies are very much alive as the company tries to figure out what the market wants and how to respond to the Airbus A320neo.

Boeing has shifted focus on re-engine studies despite already having a solution, officials said during a pre-Paris Air Show media briefing.

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Pre-Paris Air Show discussion and AirInsight preview

AinInsight will host a live pre-Paris Air Show discussion Friday, with guest Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. Sign up to participate here.

Also look for AirInsight’s Paris Air Show preview next week. We historically have done air show previews here but this year we’re combining our thoughts with our partners, Ernie Arvai and Addison Schonland at AirInsight. AirInsight will go down the airframe and engine OEMs with our outlook for orders and announcements.

Addison and I will be at the air show, providing daily coverage. I’m also attending the Boeing pre-air show briefings this week (with news embargoed to June 19); and the EADS/Airbus media day June 18, at which there will be an A350 briefing that had been scheduled for May 31 but was postponed to the media day.

Just a hint of AirInsight’s preview next week: we’re expecting Airbus to announced and firm up several hundred orders for the A320neo and more A380 orders; Boeing may have some 747-8I orders ready to announce; Bombardier should have more CSeries orders; CFM will get its first LEAP-X orders on the neo (and these will be large numbers) while Pratt & Whitney will continue to add to the GTF book; Embraer won’t announce a new airplane and neither will Boeing; ATR (an EADS company) will have a nice turbo-prop order; and we expect a major announcement from Rolls-Royce.

Odds and ends: More on DC-7B trip

Here are some more photos from our DC-7B trip. All photos by Scott Hamilton.


This PBY Catalina, a derelict but intact condition, is at the San Juan Airport. Given the loss of a PBY several years ago in a landing accident, could this become a new, restored edition?

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Odds and Ends: Entertaining recap on Leahy and NEO

1. Entertaining look at Leahy and A320neo

Max Kingsley-Jones, editor of Airline Business, has this amusing take on Airbus COO John Leahy and Leahy’s view of his latest toy, the A320neo.

Last week we received a couple of inquiries and comments about the investment Airbus has made in the NEO and whether this will be worth it. Figures publicly issued by Airbus were that the investment in NEO is about $1.5bn.

What is not discussed but which is widely known within insider circles is that the engine makers, Pratt & Whitney and CFM, are footing most of the bill. We don’t know the split between the engine OEMs and Airbus, but we understand the engine share is not insignificant. Thus, the actual financial risk to Airbus is, by R&D standards, pretty small. We remarked to one who inquired that NEO will probably have one of the best ROIs for Airbus of any program.

Aviation Week’s Robert Wall has this story about the NEO, emerging from the Airbus 320neo briefing last week.

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Odds and Ends: Three drivers for Bombardier; PW GTF gains momentum

1. JP Morgan looks at Bombardier

Aerospace analyst Joe Nadol has an interesting take on Bombardier and the next 12 months. Nadol begins with, “We believe Bombardier may be better positioned now than at any time in the 10+ years we’ve followed the stock,” and continues:

*  Three Important BBD Drivers: 1) CSeries, 2) CSeries, 3) CSeries. With the business jet and train businesses both poised for solid earnings growth, the CSeries is now clearly set as the key likely driver of the stock. There are two primary issues here. The first is demand, and we believe the program needs to start racking up more orders this year, even by the Paris Air Show in June. We believe there is a high level of interest, and we are fairly confident Bombardier will sell more aircraft. The partnership with Comac that Bombardier announced last week seems to foreshadow meaningful Chinese orders. Bombardier also has nearly $12 bil in financing for CSeries aircraft available from Chinese sources. The second issue is execution. Management noted that Bombardier still expects to fly the aircraft next year and also highlighted some recently achieved milestones for the engine. However, Flight reported in recent weeks that the date for first flight may have slipped by a few months into next fall, so the program does appear to be experiencing at least the normal level of fits and starts. Thus far, the CSeries appears on track overall, but execution obviously remains a major overhang given the complexity of the program and the well-known problems the industry has had meeting cost and schedule targets in recent years.

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Indigo selected PW GTF for NEO

Indigo Airlines of India selected the PW P1000G Geared Turbo Fan for its order of 150 Airbus A320neos.

We’re at the PW Media Day and will be filing additional reports today. Up to this point, most of the activities have been associated with military and space programs, which we don’t follow closely.

We did confirm that PW is providing the PW 4000 for the KC-46A tanker. There had been some minor speculation that the secretive Boeing bid might have included plans for a 767-sized GTF; this isn’t the case.

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Rolls-Royce, PW may be feuding but extend IAE to 2045

The feud between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney over patent infringements is nasty and in court, and the Rolls-Royce view that it doesn’t think much of the PW Geared Turbo Fan technology is well known, but speculation that this would lead to the dissolution of International Aero Engines in which both are partners can now be put to rest.

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Odds and Ends: Boeing to compete production site for new 737-class airplane

Odds and Ends begins below the photo.

We’re not big on photos but every once in a while we find one that we’ve very impressed with–like this (via Airliners.net) at LAX:

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