Boeing’s advantage going into 2018

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Introduction

June 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: One air show doesn’t make a trend, but the Paris event and other signs before it draw one inescapable conclusion: Boeing has momentum.

With Airbus about to undergo a sea change with the retirement of John Leahy, its COO-Customer who for decades has been its top salesman, Boeing will try to return to a sustained sales leadership position that it lost a decade ago under the hard-driving Leahy.

Summary
  • Boeing’s rare air show win was about more than just the 737 MAX 10.
  • Commercial acceptance of the MAX 10 was greater than anticipated.
  • Development of the “797” appears to be increasingly likely.
  • Airbus’ public response that it has the Middle of the Market covered falls short.
  • New blood at Boeing is important.

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MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

June 15, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We continued the comparison of Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 last week with an analysis of the cabins and systems. The week before, we compared project time plans, structures and aerodynamics.

Now we finish with an analysis of the economics of the aircraft.

Summary:
  • The MC-21 is the more advanced aircraft of the two. It uses carbon composites for the wings and empennage.
  • Coupled with more refined aerodynamics, the MC-21 offers a higher efficiency than the more classical C919.

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Pivotal year for A380

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Introduction

June 12, 2017, © Leeham Co.: This is a pivotal year for the Airbus A380.

Sales have dried up. Singapore Airlines is retiring five early versions of the airplane and there is no new home for them—these may headed for the scrap heap.

The Middle Eastern carriers, which are the largest users for the airplane, are in turmoil.

The backlog remains weak. Aside from Emirates Airline, which as noted is in turmoil, the other orders are with carriers that are unlikely to take delivery.

Summary
  • The A380’s future rests with Emirates Airline.
  • Any Performance Improvement Package is dependent upon Emirates placing a new order.
  • Boeing’s new 20-year forecast eliminates the passenger 747-8 from the Very Large Aircraft sector. Airbus continues to forecast a need for 1,400 VLAs.
  • Airbus to decide this year whether to reduce production rate below 1/mo in 2019.

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MC-21 and C919 compared. Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction 

June 08, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We started the comparison of Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 last week. We compared project time plans, structures and aerodynamics.

Now we continue with the comparison of cabin capacities and systems.

Summary:

  • The C919 cabin is a slightly longer copy of the Airbus A320 cabin. MC-21 sets new standards for cabins in the single aisle segment.
  • Both aircraft use Western systems to ease development and improve in-service reliability.

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Bombardier optimistic about China

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Introduction

June 5, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier’s activities in China, where the fuselage for the CSeries is co-produced, have been at a standstill.

None of the Memorandums of Understand or Letters of Intent have been converted to firm

Bombardier Q400.

orders. A recent news report suggested renewed talks between COMAC, China’s commercial aircraft enterprise, and Bombardier over acquisition of the CSeries program

LNC sat down with Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Airplanes, at the annual general meeting of IATA to discuss these and other issues.

Summary
  • An update on the COMAC-CSeries relationship.
  • An update on the slow-selling Q400 and CRJ programs.
  • An update on the oft-discussed CS500.
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Bombardier sees no merit to Boeing complaint, says president

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Introduction

June 5, 2017, © Leeham Co.: A decision from the US International Trade Commission

Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Airplanes.

(ITC) about the Boeing complaint of alleged Bombardier price dumping in its Delta Air Lines CS100 deal last April is scheduled to be issued June 15.

Bombardier believes the complaint to be without merit.

Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Airplanes, explains why in this interview yesterday by LNC at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Cancun, Mexico.

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MC-21 and C919 compared

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Note: With the first flight of the Irkut MC-21 in the weekend, we move the Qantas Ultra Long Haul article Part 2 to a later date.

Introduction 

June 01, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Irkut’s MC-21 and COMAC’s C919 both completed their first flights during last month. Both are new competitors in the market’s hottest segment, that for 150 to 240 seats.

They both challenge the present rulers: Airbus’ A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.  We made first analysis of the aircraft against their Western competition here, here and here.

We now dig deeper with a direct comparison between the MC-21 and C919 projects.

Summary:

  • In the first article, we compare the projects, the structural concepts and the aerodynamics of the MC-21 and C919.
  • Follow up articles will compare systems, cabins and overall performance for the aircraft.

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Bombardier’s missed opportunity for the CS500

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Introduction

May 29, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing worries that if left unchecked, Bombardier will launch the often-talked about CS500, a 160-189 passenger concept that would compete directly with Boeing’s 737-800 and MAX 8.

Image via Google.

Boeing alleges that Bombardier sold Delta Air Lines 75 CS100s at $19.6m, amounting to price dumping because of Canadian government “subsidies” received in a bailout. Boeing told the US International Trade Commission in a May 24 closing brief that Bombardier, in essence, will become the next Airbus if the ITC doesn’t nothing to penalize Bombardier by slapping 79% tariffs on the Delta aircraft.

As a result, Bombardier stands to drive Boeing out of business and with it, the US aerospace industry.

There are a couple of key flaws in this argument.

Summary
  • Bombardier missed its greatest opportunity to develop the CS500 as a competitive airplane to the 737 (and the Airbus A320).
  • Boeing claims the CS500 will kill the 737-800. But this model is slated to go out of production by 2019, long before the CS500 could enter service.
  • Boeing’s argument assumes the 737 MAX is a long-term airplane. In reality, the New Small Airplane is just around the corner, so-to-speak—which should surpass the economics of the CS500.

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Qantas’ ultra-long haul dream

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 25, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The headline is taken from a Reuter’s article by Jamie Freed from April . We helped Freed to check if the Airbus A350-900ULR and Boeing 777-8 could fly the coveted Sydney-London distance direct.

The article says it’s possible, if it’s not too windy. Here we go a bit deeper into what’s involved.

Figure 1. Airbus photo of A350-900 test aircraft in formation.

The question is not if it’s possible. It’s about how many passengers can be carried for the two jets and if it’s economic at the seat count. We use our aircraft model to take a deeper look.

Summary:
  • The direct distance Sydney-London is 9,200nm the shortest way.
  • On a windy day, this will extend to over 10,000nm air distance when going West.
  • Both the A350-900URL and 777-8 can trade passengers for fuel to fly longer.
  • We look at where the corner points are and where the trade stops giving us more range.

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Paris Air Show Preview

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Introduction

May 22, 2017, © Leeham Co. The Paris Air Show begins June 17, and few in the industry expect much in the way of orders this year.

The order cycle is on the downward side of the bell curve. Sustaining the 2,000, 3,000 or nearly 4,000 gross orders announced 2011-2013 simply couldn’t be achieved. The “order bubble” had to break, and it did. Last year, Airbus and Boeing reported some 1,400 orders between them.

Airbus guides that it will tough to achieve a 1:1 book:bill this year. Boeing is running about 1:1 book:bill so far but it also guides conservatively. Still, LNC thinks Boeing might surprise this year–and some of this could be at the Paris Air Show.

Leeham Co.’s new publication, Commercial Aviation Report, provides a Focus Report on the Air Show. This encompasses the expectations for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, COMAC, Irkut, Mitsubishi, CFM, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce into one easy-to-read package.

The pre-airshow press briefings by the OEMs begin next week. We don’t expect any earth-shattering news from these and we wanted to get our views out ahead of these briefings.

Summary
  • Boeing wants to launch the 737-10 MAX at the Paris Air Show. This could spur a group of orders that would give Boeing a rare win in the headlines vs Airbus on the latter’s home ground.
  • Mitsubishi plans to have its MRJ90 at the Air Show. One airplane entered the paint shop for ANA colors–this might be the one making the appearance.
  • Embraer expects to have its KC-390 there. Will the E195-E2 also make an appearance?

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