How Boeing, Embraer benefit from a combination


Dec. 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Potential synergies exist between Boeing and Embraer which may be important to development of the next new, clean-sheet airplane for both companies.

E195-E2, Embraer’s largest airliner. A Boeing combination could lead to a new family of larger jets.

Last week, both firms acknowledged a Wall Street Journal report that talks have been held about a combination of some kind. No details were reported about what this would look like. The Brazilian president was quick to say the government, which holds veto power over any merger or acquisition of Embraer, won’t approve any deal that means EMB ceases to be a Brazilian company.

Joint ventures or minority ownership structure appears possible.

What are the potential benefits for Boeing and Embraer?

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Airbus 2017 in review and 2018 Outlook

Dec. 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s been a miserable year for Airbus.

Corruption investigations. Delayed deliveries due to engine issues for the A320neo. Delayed deliveries due to interior supplier issues for the A350. A year’s delay for the A330neo due to engine development issues.

Production reductions and doubts over the future of the A380. Continued cash drains and write-offs for the A400M. Internal turmoil as CEO Tom Enders dramatically changes responsibilities and reporting lines.

Getting walloped by Boeing at the Paris and Dubai air shows, losing the wide-body order race in a landslide and losing the narrow-body order race.

Next year will have continued challenges.

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History undermines Boeing claim of C Series impact: 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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Holiday schedule

Dec. 22, 2017: By and large, LNC will be taking the period between today through Jan. 2 off for paywall and news reporting.

We will publish year-in-review and 2018 outlook articles throughout this period, which were prepared in advance.

There could be some action at the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission with respect to the Boeing-Bombardier complaints. There are some filing deadlines during this period that may warrant attention and reporting.

And, as always, if there is a major breaking news story requiring our reporting, we’ll be there.

Otherwise: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 10

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 22, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: In the last Corner, we described how the Wright Brothers flew a manned aircraft for the first time, propelled by its own power.

Now we will disscuss what was known about what stopped so many projects from achieving the flight distances the Wright’s could do, the aircraft’s drag.

Figure 1. The Wright Flyer flies at Kitty Hawk, NC, at 17th December 1903. Source:

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US Commerce confirms tariff on C Series; parties await ‘harm’ determination

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Dec. 21, 2017, © Leeham Co.: To absolutely no surprise, the US Department of Commerce yesterday confirmed its preliminary finding that the Bombardier C Series is illegally subsidized and the company illegally “price dumped” the airplane into the US with the 2016 order for 75+50 to Delta Air Lines.

Bombardier told the trade commission this is a “partially assembled” aircraft: it has no interior, IFE, etc. It flies but it’s not a completed aircraft. Photo via Google images.

The DOC confirmed its proposed tariffs of nearly 300% on every aircraft or “partially assembled” aircraft.

The confirmation came the day after Boeing, Bombardier, Delta and other interested parties testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) over whether Boeing was harmed by the Delta deal and one with United Airlines that Boeing won.

If the ITC determines there was “harm” to Boeing, the tariffs go into effect upon importation. If the ITC finds no harm, the DOC’s case becomes moot and no tariff is imposed.

When Bombardier ships its wings from the Belfast plant to Canada–or to the US, once the Alabama plant is completed–does this qualify as a “partially completed” aircraft? Nobody at this stage knows. Artwork via Google images.

As LNC reported yesterday, Bombardier said its proposed final assembly line in Alabama will proceed regardless of the ITC ruling. BBD claims this FAL means the C Series becomes a US-produced product, immune to tariffs. Boeing claims the FAL’s purpose is to circumvent the tariffs and a circumvention tariff should be levied in that case.

  • This case is “uncharted territory,” says a trade lawyer.
  • What’s the definition of a “partially assembled” aircraft?
  • Appeals expected on ITC outcome.
  • Bombardier’s “fatal error.”

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The Supersonic dilemma

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 20, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: The Super Sonic Transport (SST) has a new spring. Aerion announced its new partner Lockheed Martin Friday and Boom got a new investor in Japan Airlines (JAL) the week before.

The design of a supersonic transport aircraft is exciting and difficult. Yet it isn’t the key challenge. The engine is.

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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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Boeing, Bombardier, Delta square off in new round of C Series trade dispute

Rob Dewer, VP of the C Series program, testified at the US International Trade Commission, Dec. 18 in the trade dispute following Boeing’s complaint.

Dec. 18, 2017: Boeing, Bombardier and Delta Air Lines squared off today in the new round of the trade dispute over Boeing claims BBD “dumped” the CS100 in an order with Delta Air Lines in 2016 in violation of anti-dumping and illegal subsidy laws.

The US Department of Commerce this fall, in a preliminary decision, ruled that a 300% set of tariffs should be levied on importation of the C Series. A final decision is due this week or next.

Delta was originally due to take delivery of the first of 75 orders next year. This has been postponed. Since the case started, BBD and Airbus struck a deal in which Airbus takes a 50.01% ownership stake in the C Series program. Bombardier plans to build a final assembly line in Mobile (AL), next to the Airbus A320 FAL, to deliver all aircraft ordered by US carriers from a US FAL.

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Pontifications: Alabama loses key committee slot in US Senate following election

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 18, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The special US Senate election last week in Alabama drew world attention of the showdown between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore.

Jones eked out a victory, becoming the first Democrat in 25 years to be elected to the Senate from Alabama.

I’m not going to get into all the issues, allegations and political implications of this race. Instead, a new item from Defense News caught my eye about the implications to the Alabama aerospace position in Congress.

Defense News’ headline is eye-catching: “Election leaves Alabama-shaped hole on Senate Armed Services Committee.”

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