777F, 747-8F orders help former’s bridge, solidify Boeing as freighter king

Subscription Required

Introduction

Aug. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: The surge of orders at the Farnborough Air Show for Boeing 777 and 747-8 freighters is welcome news for Boeing, which still had production gaps to bridge between the 777 Classic and the 777X.

The 747-8F orders, for five, helps breathe life into this struggling program.

The orders also add to Boeing’s virtual monopoly in new-build cargo aircraft backlogs.

Summary
  • 777F orders and commitments now nearly double the remaining 777-300ER backlog.
  • Three new-build freighter models swamp Airbus offering of just the A330-200F.
  • Airbus pitching UPS for A330-800F.

Read more

Pontifications: Supply chain meltdown

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 6, 2018 © Leeham News: It happened to Airbus. It sort of happened to Boeing. It was bound to happen in a much bigger way to Boeing, and it has.

Some 40 737s are now sitting around the Renton assembly plant in a major supply-chain meltdown.

This follows the highly publicized, two-year long supplier meltdown at Airbus as Pratt & Whitney and CFM fell down on engine deliveries and technical problems for their GTF and LEAP-1A engines, respectively.

Read more

Boeing 777-9 or Airbus A350-1000 for the Gulf carriers?

By Bjorn Fehrm

Subscription Required

Introduction

May 17, 2018, © Leeham News: The recent agreement between the US and the Gulf carriers limits the expansion of the carriers on the US market. As the premier long-range destination area from the Gulf is the US market, this will influence the lift needed by the three.

All three carriers, Emirates, Qatar Airways (Qatar) and Etihad, have decided on the 777-9 as the mainstay for their long-haul needs. With the change, the question arises, will Qatar increase the buy of the A350-1000 instead of taking the 777-9 and will any of the others reconsider?

To understand what’s involved we compare the capacity and the costs of the 777-9 and A350-1000. How large is the difference? Is the A350 the better choice if the extreme long-haul capacity needs decline?

 Summary:
  • The maximum range and per seat costs of the 777-9 and A350-1000 are close when compared apples to apples.
  • The advantage for the 777-9 at full aircraft disappears quickly as load factors decline.
  • If the needed capacity of the long-haul US routes declines, the 777-9 can be too much aircraft for the Gulf carriers.
Read more

Wide-body production rates show mix of strength, weakness

Subscription Required

Introduction

May 14, 2018, © Leeham News: Wide-body production rates by Airbus and Boeing are expected to go up modestly during the next three year, with a jump in 2022—if Boeing 777X production rates head for 7/mo in late 2022, as the company projects.

The supply chain was asked last year by Boeing for a Rate Readiness Assessment that suggests a rate of 5/mo in late 2021 and rate 7/mo a year later.

Airbus is expected to boost production of the A350 to 13/mo as early as late next year. Meanwhile, the A330 production rate is coming down due to soft demand.

These rates omit impacts of the US withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, in which some 100 Airbus orders, mostly wide-body, and some three-score wide-body Boeing orders disappear with the action.

Summary
  • Production rate hikes driven by A350, 767, 787.
  • A380, A330, 747, 777 remain weak.
  • Is entire twin-aisle market continuing a down-gauging?

Scott Hamilton will discuss production rates at the Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference next month in Mobile (AL). Click here for more information.

Read more

Qatar may up-gauge A350-900 to -1000, buy more

Feb. 20, 2018 © Leeham Co., Toulouse: Qatar Airways may up-gauge some of its Airbus A350-900 orders to the larger -1000 and it may buy more A350s for its leasing company, CEO Akbar Al Baker said at the delivery of the airline’s first -1000.

Qatar is the launch customer of the A350 program, including the -900 and -1000.

Departing Airbus preisdent Fabrice Bregier, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker and Rolls-Royce CEO Chris Chorlerton take questions at a press conference during the delivery of the first A350-1000 to the airline.

The first -1000 was legally delivered to Qatar at the end of last year, but handover for scheduled service was delayed until today because of issues with its new QSuite premier business class supplied by Rockwell Collins, he said.

In a wide-ranging press conference, Al Baker also said:

Read more

Airbus readies A350-1000 for delivery, dismisses Boeing 777-9

Feb. 20, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Toulouse: Airbus will deliver its first A350-1000 to launch customer Qatar Airways within hours, making the end to a nearly two-month wait for the ceremonial handover.

The aircraft was legally delivered to Qatar in the closing days of 2017, but issues with the QSuite interior held up the hand-over until today. The airplane will enter revenue service between Doha and London Heathrow Airport.

Airbus’ Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing, extols the virtues of the A350-1000 in advance of the handover of the firzt one to Qatar Airways.

Earlier today, Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing, extolled the virtue of the A350-1000 and, in a response to a question, dismissed the coming Boeing 777-9 as a threat to the -1000. She also waved off the prospect, for now, of stretching the -1000 into a “2000” that would directly challenge the -9.

Read more

2018 an important year for wide-bodied airplanes

Subscription Required

Introduction

Feb. 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This will be an important year for wide-body sales in commercial aviation.

It would be overstating to say 2018 will be a pivotal year for wide-body airplanes, but there should be some important developments.

Summary
  • Boeing may—or may not—launch the twin-aisle New Midrange Aircraft this year.
  • Sales of the 777X remain stalled.
  • Sales of the A330neo remain stalled.
  • Airbus must decide whether to boost the production rate of the A350.

Read more

Top 10 aviation stories of the year on Leeham News

Dec. 31, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airplane development and the whimsicle made the Top 10 stories on LNC in 2017.

The Top 10 are a statistical listing of the most-viewed posts, not some judgment call on the part of LNC.

Here is the rundown.

Read more

American hopeful Trump Administration will take on Mid-East 3 airlines

Subscription Required

Introduction

Oct. 2, 2017, © Leeham Co., Grapevine (TX): American Airlines officials dodged commenting about the specifics of the Boeing-Bombardier trade dispute when asked about it at the investors/media day last week in this Dallas suburb.

Instead, the general counsel, Steve Johnson, offered up only a general statement supporting the Trump Administration’s hard line on trade.

The reason for this generality is obvious: American, along with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, is engaged in its own trade war and needs support from the Administration.

AA, DL and UA are battling Big Three airlines from the Middle East over being subsidized and abusing Open Skies treaties. The US carriers want Trump to knock down the ME3, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

Oddly, no question was asked of the American officials about the current state of the battle during the day.

LNC asked American CEO Doug Parker about the issue following the event, however.

Summary
  • Recent meeting with US was encouraging.
  • No commitment yet from Trump Administration.
  • Market conditions don’t matter to ME3, American says

Read more

VLA sector dead, Boeing claims, but Large Wide Body also struggles

Subscription Required

Introduction

Sept. 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing declared the Very Large Aircraft sector dead in its most recent Current Market Outlook, removing the category entirely when the 2017 CMO was revealed at the Paris Air Show.

Airbus A350-1000. Sales are slow–is the 350-450 seat sector the next VLA? Airbus photo.

But the Large Wide Body (LWB) category appears to be on life support.

The LWB is 350-seats and above. This includes the Boeing 777-300ER, which is already on its way out, the 777-8, the 777-9 and the Airbus A350-1000.

The Medium Wide Body (MWB) category centers around 300 seats. This includes the A330-900, A350-900, 777-200LR and 787-10.

The Small Wide Body (SWB) includes the 787-8, 787-9, A330-200 and A330-800 in the 220-275 seat sector, twin-aisle aircraft. This does not include the 220-240 seat high density Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737-10 single-aisle aircraft.

Boeing’s CMO defines the twin-aisle markets differently: Small wide-body:  <300 seats,  Large wide-body:  >300 seats.

Summary
  • Airlines prefer smaller wide bodies.
  • Downsizing trend begun with 787 continues.
  • Smaller outsells larger in seven of last 10 years.
  • Two of the three years involved extraordinary events.

Read more