July 15, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing can’t catch a break.
Some may argue it doesn’t deserve one, given what’s come out about the 737 MAX development. And the sloppy production of the 787 at the Charleston (SC) plant. And the FOD issues with the KC-46A at the Everett (WA) plant.
To be sure, Boeing has gotten a lot of bad press it’s deserved. But last week, two pieces of news had connections to the MAX that were (1) overwrought and (2) unwarranted.
May 28, 2019, © Leeham News: The first E175-E2 prototype is now in production at the Embraer plant here at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, despite having no firm orders and only a single conditional order for 100 aircraft from a US airline that so far can’t use the airplane.
Embraer designed the airplane with the hope the so-called Scope Clause would be relaxed in contract negotiations this year and next by pilots for American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines. It’s become clear that relief is unlikely.
April 29, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing reduced the production rate on the 737 line in mid-April from 52/mo to 42/mo in response to the grounding of the airplane by regulators worldwide.
The company and others said they didn’t know how long the airplane would be grounded.
But Boeing told suppliers to keep producing parts, components and the fuselage at rate 52.
The announcement was made April 5. At the same time, Boeing gave suppliers the rate ramp-up schedule.
April 29, 2019, © Leeham News: With first quarter financial results beginning to be reported, the impact of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX is beginning to emerge.
The first out was from Boeing itself, followed by a few of the airlines that operated the MAX before it was grounded March 13.
Boeing reported the grounding cost it about $1bn, for just the two weeks the airplane has been on the ground.
Norwegian Air Shuttle, which was using the MAX on new trans-Atlantic services, lost millions of dollars.
American Airlines will take a $350m hit from the groundings.
Southwest Airlines surprised many with a stronger-than-expected first quarter despite having 34 MAXes on the ground and a cost of $200m.
Air Canada extended the removal of its MAX fleet from its schedules another month, to Aug. 1.
April 15, 2019, © Leeham News: This column will no doubt light up the blog-o-sphere.
There’s been a major debate going on since the crash of Lion Air JT610, the Boeing 737-8 MAX that immediately became a huge controversy.
Boeing immediately blamed the pilots. So did some pilots of some US airlines, who said if the Lion Air crew had just flown the airplane, it wouldn’t have crashed. It was a training issue, some said.
Having got tremendous blow back over Lion Air, Boeing publicly held its tongue when Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed five months later.
Still, Boeing officials quietly still said there was nothing wrong with the airplane.
Some US and Canadian pilots maintained, publicly and privately, that a lack of training and pilot skills in the Third World was responsible.
They’re not entirely wrong.
March 18, 2019, © Leeham News: There’s a saying that history repeats itself.
When it comes to the crisis of the Boeing 737 MAX, I’m reminded of the crisis Lockheed faced in 1959-1960 when the Electra propjet crashed in September and the following March, killing all aboard both airplanes.
The Electra entered service Jan. 12, 1959, with Eastern Airlines. It was considered a pilot’s airplane. Coming off decades of piston engine aircraft and early in the jet age, the Electra was the only airplane that was over-powered, piston or jet. Timing, however, was poor and crashes soon overtook the euphoria.
Feb. 6, 2019, © Leeham News: Bombardier’s new approach to replacing aging 50-seat CRJ200s and address persistent complaints about carry-on baggage issues for the CRJ family follows an example set last year by Embraer.
Bombardier’s CRJ550 is a reconfigured version of the CRJ700, with reduced seating, on-board carry-on baggage storage areas and extra legroom.
Initially, these will be reconfigured CRJ700s. Bombardier will offer new-build CRJ700s.
Embarer last year created the 70-seat E175 SC (special cabin), reducing seating from the 76-seat E175 to a 70-seat E170-sized airplane. Embraer no longer offers the E170. More legroom and greater opportunities for premium class seating come with the SC configuration.
Update, Dec. 7: Embraer to appeal injunction.
According to the Google translation of a Brazilian newspaper, the injunction appears to be intended to halt any completion of the deal during the interim between the November presidential election and the assumption of office by the president-elect. The Google translation does not appear to indicate the injunction is based on any specific objection to the proposed JV.
Dec. 6, 2018, © Leeham News: In a stunning piece of news, a Brazilian court blocked the proposed joint venture between Boeing and Embraer.
If the action holds, this is a major blow to Boeing’s future plans.
The new joint venture, which LNC dubs NewCo for the lack of a name, was to be responsible for all future Boeing aircraft of 150 seats and below, according to a Memorandum of Understanding revealed by Embraer’s labor unions.
This is critical to Boeing’s long-term future for the 2030 decade. Read more
Sept. 24, 2018, © Leeham News: This week we catch up on Odds and Ends.
Boeing has reversed the number of 737s piling up at Renton Airport and Boeing Field and is starting to burn off the “gliders” and other aircraft plagued by traveled work.
Although some aerospace analysts came away from the investors day this month skeptical that Boeing would clear the backlog by year end, barring another hiccup of size, it looks like the company will do so.
Spirit Aerosystems said it had caught up on the delivery of fuselages while Boeing told aerospace analysts at its investors’ day this month that delays were still causing issues.
How does this conflict of information converge?
It’s a matter of sequencing the fuselages back into the system, I’m told.