Will rising fuel prices revitalize new aircraft sales? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

August 9, 2018, © Leeham News.: We continue last week’s article about how changing fuel prizes affects fleet plans. Last week we studied how long-term rising fuel prices will favour new, more fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft.

Now we make the analysis with Widebody aircraft in the segment 250 to 300 seats.

Summary:

  • The crossover fuel price where a new generation Widebody is a good investment is slightly different than for the Narrowbody.
  • As for the Narrowbody, the maintenance costs for a half-life Widebody and how these are handled influence the crossover fuel price.

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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.

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The changes to the A350-900ULR

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

June 28, 2017, © Leeham News: Airbus has published more information about the A350-900ULR Singapore Airlines will get after the summer.

The new A350-900 Airport Planning Guide from Airbus shows the A350-900ULR has a deactivated forward Cargo compartment. It’s good for the performance of the aircraft. We explain why.

Summary:

  • For a ULR aircraft, the carry of cargo is an exception.
  • The standard A350-900 has cargo bays with 36 LD3 positions. On the A350-900ULR only a few would be used.
  • Airbus, therefore, decided to run with only one cargo hold, by it gaining performance on the ULR missions.

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Airbus risks losing market share if it doesn’t boost A350 production

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Introduction

June 11, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing is increasing the production rate of the 787 next year from 12 to 14/mo.

Airbus is reducing the production rate of the A330neo from 10 to 6/mo.

Last year, buried deep in its website, Airbus indicated plans to go to rate 13/mo, although no date was listed.

With few sales of the airplane last year or so far this year, will demand support a rate hike next year? If so, a decision is needed pretty much now to go forward.

One London-based aerospace analyst tells LNC the top executives say no rate hike will be coming.

Scheduled deliveries may lend a clue.

Summary

  • Boeing is winning the wide-body order race and retaken the lead in market share.
  • Airbus’ former top sales chief bemoaned the lack of delivery slots for the A350.
  • Supplier issues still slow A350 deliveries.

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Pontifications: Photo essay

By Scott Hamilton

June 11, 2018, (c) Leeham News: In a change of pace, here are a number of photos gathered from recent visits to museums in the US and Canada.

Lockheed L-1049 Constellation of the Airline History Museum of Kansas City Downtown Airport, Photo by Scott Hamilton.

The Lockheed L-1049 Constellation of the Airline History Museum in Kansas City is labeled the Super G, but it actually is an H model, delivered as a passenger/freighter. It was restored to G markings in TWA colors. The airplane was airworthy until 2007, when an engine fire prompted the museum to park the airplane. AHM hopes to restore the airplane to flying operation.

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How competitive is A330neo? Part 3.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

June 7, 2018, © Leeham News: In Part 1 we compared the base characteristics of Airbus’ A330-900 and Boeing’s 787-9. In Part 2 we compared the fuel consumptions. Now we continue with the other costs of operation.

With these we form Cash Operating Costs and then add capital costs to get Direct Operating Costs.

Summary:

  • The operating costs for the A330-900 and the 787-9 are close.
  • The difference can be compensated with lower capital costs. Monthly lease rates for the A330-900 are below the 787-9 lease rates.
  • We think there are other Boeing strengths which turn the deals the 787 way.

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How competitive is A330neo? Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 31, 2018, © Leeham News: We continue our analysis why the Airbus A330neo has lost to Boeing’s 787-9 in recent sales campaigns. In the first part of the series, we analyzed the key data of the aircraft, including their weight, drag characteristics and payload capacity.

Now we continue with flying the aircraft over typical routes with our performance model. What’s the route capacity of the of the aircraft and how about their fuel consumption?

Summary:
  • The equalized range difference between the aircraft boils down to a maximum of 15-hour routes for the A330-900 versus 17 hours for the 787-9.
  • There is also a difference in fuel efficiency between the types.

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How competitive is Airbus’ A330neo?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 24, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s 787-9 has won some important fights against the Airbus A330neo. After Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines and a possible loss at United, one asks: Is the A330-900 not competitive against a 787-9? The aircraft are similar in size and use the same engines.

We take a deeper look at the A330-900 compared with the 787-9 to understand what’s behind this trend.

Summary:

  • The A330-900 and 787-9 are virtually identical in size.
  • They are also aerodynamically closely matched.
  • Their primary difference is the method of construction, with the Carbon Fiber structure of the 787 giving a lower empty weight.

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

By Bjorn Fehrm

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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.
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Pontifications: Engine problems are getting worse

By Scott Hamilton

May 14, 2018, © Leeham News: The engine problems are getting worse.

These have moved beyond the technical issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, GE Aviation GEnx, Pratt & Whitney GTF and CFM56.

The problems are trickling down to the maintenance, repair and overhaul shops.

LNC previously touched on the back-up in MRO shops due to the RR Trent 1000 problems, affecting even Trent 700 (Airbus A330) MRO scheduling. We’ve also reported the knock-on effect of the GTF MRO on other engine shop visits.

The mandated-inspections of CFM56 fan blades in the wake of the Southwest Airlines accident last month inundated MRO shops with unexpected visits.

Now, a European appraisal company forecasts that the “bow wave” of CFM56 shop visits will create a crisis for spare engines and parts.

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