By Bryan Corliss
May 5, 2023 © Leeham News – Embraer on Thursday reported a loss in what typically is a slow quarter for the Brazilian jet-maker.
However, executives talked up plans for production ramp-ups and ongoing sales campaigns as they pointed toward growth in future quarters.
“We are on track and we are going to get there,” CEO Francisco Gomes Neto said.
By Bjorn Fehrm
May 4, 2023, © Leeham News: In our series about the viability of the business plans for small airliners (nine to 50 seats), we have covered how energy and fuel consumption scales with the size of the airliner.
The cost factor we examine today is the maintenance cost for keeping an airliner fit for purpose and safe.
We use the Leeham aircraft performance and cost model to get the data for the maintenance costs for airliners going from nine to 200 seats.
By Bryan Corliss
March 3, 2023 © Leeham News – Executives at Howmet Aerospace – who got burned in 2022 when expected production rate increases at aircraft OEMs didn’t materialize – said Tuesday they’re still taking a cautious approach to ramping up their operations
However, the company – which casts fasteners and engine components for aerospace and other industries – does see signs of growth ahead.
“We remain cautious about commercial aircraft build in the second half (of this year), until we see clear evidence of consistent production rate increases,” Howmet CEO and Executive Chairman John Plant said.
Production rates at Airbus and Boeing “will be controlled by the efficiency of both the aircraft assembly lines and the supplier parts, which leads to the final production being set by the weakest link in all of the supply chain,” he added.
Howmet reported strong growth for the quarter, with revenue up 29% year-over-year, driven by sales of engine components, aerostructures and fasteners.
The company reported profits of $148 million for the quarter, which was up 13% from the same quarter last year.
By Judson Rollins
May 1, 2023, © Leeham News: Could Africa’s first real “open skies” implementation boost its aviation recovery? So far, the continent’s rebound from covid has been anemic as food and energy crises, surging inflation, and debt tightening have battered consumers and producers alike.
A December report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed Africa’s post-covid traffic recovery on a trajectory like Europe or Latin America, with 2019 passenger volumes not expected to return until 2025. Industry economists believe the average African airline profit margin this year will be -1.7%. The US dollar’s continued strength hasn’t helped, given its impact on most non-labor airline costs, and looms as an even greater threat to profitability in coming years.
By Bjorn Fehrm
April 28, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 10. The engine choice. It discusses in detail the next-generation engines for the Heart of the Market airliners that today are called the single-aisle segment. What will be the alternatives and final engine choice? Will hydrogen-fueled engines play a role?
By Bjorn Fehrm
April 27, 2023, © Leeham News: We started a series about the viability of the business plans for small airliners (nine to 50 seats) last week in the light of a continuing decline of regional airlines in the US and Europe.
To understand whether fundamentals are stacked against small airliners, we look at operational cost factors and how these scale with aircraft size. Then we add the revenue and yield and discuss the conditions for viable business plans for different size aircraft.
This week we use the Leeham airliner performance and cost model to compare the airframe energy and fuel consumptions for airliners spanning nine to 200 seats.
Last in a series of four articles
By the Leeham News Team
April 24, 2023, © Leeham News: Congress missed the boat authoring the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act (the Act) because it felt that more regulations equals more safety. But the current Harvard Business Review notes that “Activity is not a measurable metric of success.” We think that additional layers of regulatory requirements are not necessarily additional layers of security.
Understanding that Congress was a bit wide of the mark, here are some of the changes we would implement if we were asked for our recommendations.
By Bjorn Fehrm
April 21, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 9. Engine core advances. It discusses in detail the next-generation propulsion system cores and what efficiency improvements to expect from different technological advancements.
By Bjorn Fehrm
April 20, 2023, © Leeham News: New Sustainable aircraft projects, for economical reasons, target small airliner types as first projects and then, after proving the concept, to move up in size. The number of 9-seat, 19-seat, and 30- to 50-seat upstarts announced over the last years must be in the hundreds.
They all claim major advances in environmentally friendly propulsion and that their first aircraft have viable business models. In their business plans, there are elaborate explanations why local air services will flourish through the introduction of small, environmentally friendly aircraft.
The reality is another. The airliner size, where more than 100 aircraft per year are delivered, is 200 seats increasing, and sales below 50 seats have slowed to a trickle. ATRs, the leading supplier of airliners below 70 seats, delivered five 50-seater turboprops during 2022 out of a total of 29. The 50-seater model stayed at around 10% of deliveries between 2014 to 2019 before COVID, when total production was 70 to 80 turboprops per year.
There are economic reasons for these low numbers, and these are not changing for the better. We will explore these reasons using our airliner Performance and Cost model in a series of articles, where we compare operational costs for 9-, 19- and 50-seaters to the larger aircraft.
By Scott Hamilton
April 17, 2023, © Leeham News: Boeing’s skyline for the 777X, reported by Cirium, suggests there will be a need to boost production higher than the company’s target of 4/mo by 2025/2026. The delivery stream data is good news for Boeing, which doesn’t detail this information. Boeing took a billion-plus dollar write-off on the program, which has been marred by delays, engine issues, and certification questions.
Boosting the production rate beyond 4/mo will be an important contributor to Boeing’s financial recovery in the second half of this decade. At its peak, Boeing produced 8.3 777s a month, or 100 a year.
The current production rate of the program is two per month, for the 777-200LRF. Boeing’s website says the combined rate for the 777 Classic and the 777X is three per month. But a year ago, Boeing said it was suspending production of the X through 2023. Corporate communications would not comment on the contradiction, citing the quiet period before the 1Q earnings call on April 26.
Air India’s order for 10 Boeing 777Xs in February (among more than 200 other Boeing aircraft) is welcome news for the slow-selling airliner.
The airline’s orders haven’t been listed yet in Boeing’s running tally of orders, meaning the firm contract hasn’t been signed.