Pontifications: Horizon Q400 theft spurs thoughts about solo pilot idea

By Scott Hamilton

Aug. 13, 2018, © Leeham News: The bizarre theft of a Horizon Airlines Bombardier Q400 at Sea-Tac Airport Friday night by a 29-year old employee will take some time for investigators to unravel.

The employee, a ramp agent, appeared to have no other motive in mind other than a last joy ride before ending his life.

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Farnborough: Boeing reconsiders metal fuselage for NMA as cost remains major challenge

July 16, 2018, © Leeham News: Farnborough: Boeing has returned to considering a metal fuselage for the New Midmarket Aircraft as an alternative to the ovoid-based composite design that has been the focus for the past two-three years, multiple sources tell LNC.

Boeing hasn’t been able to narrow the cost of the composite design to a point where selling the aircraft in the $70m-range is feasible, sources say.

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Future Mobile A220 final assembly line already pushing capacity

July 11, 2018, © Leeham News: The order for 60 Airbus A220-300s, when added to the order for 75 A220-100s by Delta Air Lines and the anticipated order for 60 A220-300s by USA start-up carrier Moxy Airlines, nearly fills out the new Mobile (AL) production line through 2024, an LNC analysis reveals.

Construction of the A220 Final Assembly Line (FAL) begins this year. The first delivery is planned for mid-2020.

JetBlue and Moxy show first deliveries in 2020, according to company documents. Delta’s deliveries begin this year from the Airbus Canada Montreal facility, but will shift to the Mobile plant.

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Pontifications: Growing aerospace in the US Southeast

By Scott Hamilton

June 24, 2018, © Leeham News: We’re a week away from the partnership between Airbus and the Bombardier C Series program becoming effective.

Beginning tomorrow, Leeham Co. and Airfinance Journal hold the Inaugural Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference in Mobile (AL), where Bombardier will be a C Series Final Assembly Line.

The US Southeast will also be a competitor for the site selection of the FAL for the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA) should Boeing decide, probably next year, to proceed with this new airplane.

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VLA era is over; are 777X, A350-1000 too large?

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Introduction

June 18, 2018, © Leeham News: The era of the Very Large Aircraft appears over.

The Boeing 747 passenger airliner, while nominally still offered for sale, is in reality dead.

The Airbus A380 limps along in what may prove to be a vain hope that airport congestion will spur sales next decade.

The next level down, however, doesn’t appear very strong.

Sales of the Airbus A350-1000 stalled at 200 or less for years.

Sales of the Boeing 777X likewise stalled following program launch in 2013-2014. Although the 777X has twice as many orders as the A350-1000, fully 72% of them come from three customers, one of which is in serious financial trouble and may cancel or defer some or all its orders.

Summary
  • Orders for the largest Large Twin-Aisle aircraft lag the Small and Medium Twin-Aisles.
  • Big 3 in the Middle East are major customers for the 777X, A350-1000. Iran Air also buyer of -1000.
  • While Big Twin languishes, small- and medium-twins remain in demand.
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Airbus sees potential for A330neo sales; Boeing sees opportunity

June 6, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus remains confident that the sales boon for the slow-selling A330neo is just around the corner, but an analysis of Airbus’ current operator lists shows significant inroads by Boeing for its 787.

Airbus is counting on aging A330ceos by 2020 to spur sales of the A330neo. But Boeing already sold the 787 to 19% of the A330 operators. Look for more aggressive campaigns. Airbus photo via Google.

LNC outlined Airbus’ strategy last December in which officials are confident the A330neo will see an uptick in orders as the current A330 operating fleet, now called the ceo, ages beginning in 2020.

The new sales chief, Eric Schulz, reiterated Airbus’ confidence at the IATA AGM this week in Sydney, Australia.

But 19% of the 109 A330 operators already ordered the 787. One, American Airlines, already announced the 787 order will replace the A330s in its fleet. Air Canada long ago made a similar announcement. Hawaiian Airlines canceled an A330-800 order in favor of the 787-9.

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Countdown to Airbus-CSeries deal: boost needed to backlog

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Introduction

May 28, 2018, © Leeham News: Bombardier and Airbus may clear regulatory approvals next month, allowing for consummation of the latter’s acquisition of 50.01% of the CSeries program.

If all works, this will be well in advance of the Farnborough Air Show that begins July 15. Industry eyes will be on the FAS to see what orders might be announced by Airbus for the CSeries, which reportedly may be renamed the A210 and A230 for the CS100 and CS300 respectively.

As May fades to June, Bombardier has beefed up its skyline quality, but there are some orders that are in doubt, including a big one for 40 airplanes.

Summary
  • No sales since Dubai Air Show.
  • Airbus-CSeries deal expected to close next month.
  • Three questionable orders affect nearly 20% of backlog.
  • Farnborough Air Show will be keen to watch for news.

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Pontifications: Uncontained engine failures are rare but not unknown

By Scott Hamilton

April 23, 2018, © Leeham News: Last week’s engine malfunction on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 was another in a rare, but not unknown, uncontained engine anomaly in recent years.

All recent similar failures didn’t cause a loss of life or serious injuries if the passengers were evacuated. Unfortunately, this accident caused one fatality and seven injuries.

Let’s put the context to this issue.

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Pontifications: Limited operations raise doubts over Paine Field airline service

By Scott Hamilton

April 9, 2018, © Leeham News: This fall, the Seattle area will get a second passenger airport: three airlines will begin service at Paine Field, in Everett, which is also home to Boeing’s massive wide-body production plant.

Alaska, Southwest and United airlines will offer 24 fights out of two gates that are under construction.

It’s the first passenger service from Paine Field.

It’s not hardly enough.

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Boeing displaces Airbus at Hawaiian, wins 787-9 deal; airline cancels A330-800 order

Feb. 20, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Boeing has displaced Airbus at Hawaiian Airlines, winning an order for 787-9s. Hawaiian canceled an order for six A330-800s, the only order on the books for this sub-type.

An announcement could come as early as this week.

The campaign has been underway for months and the outcome was expected. Airbus offered to cut the price on the -800 and also offered the A350-900. The latter always was considered too big by carrier executives.

Boeing’s effort to displace Airbus A330neo at Hawaiian is part of an all-out, hand-to-hand combat campaign by Boeing to kill the A330neo program in advance of the potential launch of the Boeing 797.

LNC detailed the battle here.

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