Assessing A320 production rate interest in >70/mo

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Introduction

Sept. 17, 2018, © Leeham News: With the supply chain under major stress and Airbus and Boeing trying to recover from scores of “gliders” sidelined at airports without engines, each company nevertheless continues to study production rate increases for the A320 and 737 families.

Airbus publicly has said it’s looking at rate 70/mo. Boeing publicly acknowledges it’s looking at rate 63/mo.

Supply chain sources tell LNC Airbus is studying an even higher rate, into the “70s,” at early as 2020—a date that most consider out of the question.

Boeing is known to be considering a rate of 70/mo for its most profitable program.

Today, LNC looks at the A320 scenario. A future post will examine the 737.

Summary
  • Airbus is scheduled to deliver more A320 members in 2019 than production capacity. Some of these may be parked backlog airplanes.
  • 2020-2021 sold out at rate 60/mo, 2022-2023 nearly so.
  • Rate increase to 70/mo opens opportunities for Airbus, pressure on Boeing.

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Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman, Air Lease Corp. Photo via Google images.

Sept. 13, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Air Lease’s executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says that Boeing could make a decision on whether or not launch the 797 model mid-year 2019.

If so, the timing could coincide with the Paris Air Show.

“In the NMA market, whether Boeing will launch the 797 is a ‘multi-billion dollars question’, he says, adding that right now the US manufacturer is assessing the engine availability.

“There are two potential engines applications. They are all derivative engines,” he says at the UK Aviation Club Lunch on 13 September.

“We all know the problems that Airbus and Boeing have been going through with the new engines on the Max and the Neo as well as the 787s,” he adds.

And for him Boeing is very ‘cautious’ on a decision. “They are trying to understand what is the real market demand for this aircraft and all indications points out to a decision sometimes in the middle of next year,” he says.

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Pontifications: Boeing wins certification of KC-46A; B-52 MRO model may be key to profits

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 10, 2018, © Leeham News: While Boeing Commercial Aircraft grapples with more than four dozen unfinished 737s clogging the space at Renton Airport and Boeing Field, Boeing Defense had some good news last week:

The KC-46A received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the first delivery is due for late October.

Final military certification is still to come and the wing-pod drogues need certifying, but at long last, Boeing can move forward.

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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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