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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Airbus, Boeing square off with A330neo, 787 in advance of NMA launch

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Introduction

Feb. 8, 2018, Leeham Co.: Boeing hasn’t launched the New Midrange Aircraft (NMA, aka 797) and may not until next year.

But the maneuvering to capture, solidify or preempt moves is already well underway by Airbus and Boeing.

Reuters synopsized this during its reporting at this week’s Singapore Air Show.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Summary
  • Boeing 787 production rate increase to 14/mo next year is, in part, a head-‘em-off-at-the-pass maneuver to prevent customers from buying the Airbus A330neo.
  • The 787-8 could see a new lease on life as interim airplane.
  • A330-800 has steep uphill slog.
  • Airbus, Boeing face off 787, A330neo.

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Pontifications: Twelve Years of Turbulence at American Airlines

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 22, 2018, © Leeham Co.: American Airlines was the last of the big US legacy carriers to enter bankruptcy, in 2011.

Executives put up a valiant battle to avoid being dragged into Chapter 11, despite having two airplanes hijacked on 9/11. One was flown into the World Trade Center, the other into the Pentagon.

Only two months later, American lost a third airplane in an accident.

Delta, Northwest, US Airways and United airlines all filed for Chapter 11 after 9/11; there were several other airlines to do so. Not all survived.

American did, merging with US Airways as part of the former’s bankruptcy reorganization.

AA’s former general counsel, Gary Kennedy, teamed with the aviation reporter for the Dallas Morning News, Terry Maxon, to tell the story of Twelve Years of Turbulence, The Inside Story of American Airlines’ Battle for Survival.

The book is available now.

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Post-hearing briefs in Boeing-Bombardier trade case

Dec. 28, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s not often that levity appears in briefing papers in US government trade cases, but Delta Air Lines managed to draw LNC’s chuckle in its post-hearing brief in the Boeing-Bombardier trade case.

Dec. 27 was the deadline for Delta, Bombardier, Boeing and other interested parties to file post-hearing (Dec. 17) briefs and exhibits.

Delta’s introduction was novel to say the least.

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History undermines Boeing claim of C Series impact: analysis

Analysis

Dec. 22, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing blames a subsidized, price-dumped Bombardier C Series for the poor sales of the smallest member of the 737 family, the -700 and the 7 MAX, but history doesn’t support the claim.

The US Department of Commerce clearly ignored sales evidence that the 737-700 has been “done” for many years and the 737-7 MAX was an unattractive design

Boeing 737-7 MAX. Rendering via Google images.

that hasn’t been fixed with a redesign; airlines simply don’t want the airplane. Commerce levied tariffs amounting to 292% on C Series imported into the United States in the future.

The US International Trade Commission is currently awaiting post-hearing briefs from Dec. 18 testimony from Boeing, Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and other parties to determine whether Boeing suffered “harm” by the C Series deal with Delta and a near-miss with United Airlines.

If the ITC concludes Boeing suffered harm, the DOC tariffs stand. If not, the DOC action is moot. The loser at ITC is expected to appeal.

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Alabama plant goes ahead regardless of outcome in trade case, says Bombardier

Dec. 19, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Bombardier will build a C Series final assembly line (FAL) regardless of the ruling from the US International Trade Commission on whether Boeing was harmed by the order from Delta Air Lines for 75 CS100s and options for 50 more.

This is what Bombardier officials told the ITC, under sworn testimony, in the “harm” hearing Monday, according to a transcript.

Boeing officials argued that the plans for a US FAL at Mobile was a feint and that the line wouldn’t be built, claiming it doesn’t make economic sense.

Delta, for its part, said it’s negotiating a contract revision with Bombardier to accept deliveries assembled only from the Mobile plant.

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Airbus’ strategy for the A330-800

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The A330-800 entered the final assembly line last week at the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, France, amid doubts in the industry that the airplane will be produced beyond the prototype.

The first A330-800 is on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus. Source: Airbus.

There is only one order for the sub-type, six from Hawaiian Airlines—and Hawaiian is expected to cancel the order. The airline is running a competition between the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 787-8/9, according to market intelligence.

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Boeing moves EIS target for NMA to 2027: sources

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Introduction

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.

LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.

The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.

Summary
  • Technology is at the heart of the new target EIS for the NMA.
  • The 737 replacement was always intended to follow the NMA.
  • Supply chain asked for 767 production rate ramp-up feasibility.

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