Retirement wave coming that will boost A330neo sales, says Airbus

March 6, 2018: Airbus is ramping up the messaging for the slow-selling A330neo, reiterating its view that a wave of retirements is coming from current A330 operators that will support new sales.

LNC first reported the message Dec. 6.

Jeff Knittel, the new president of Airbus Americas, reinforced this message yesterday at an industry conference.

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Aircraft financing “robust,” but ExIm Bank needs reinstatement, Boeing says

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Global financing for new and used aircraft is as robust as it’s ever been, says the president of Boeing Capital Corp.

Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corp. Boeing photo.

Tim Myers, speaking to reporters on a telephone press conference today, said new sources of financing, more of it and innovative structures are here to support record levels of aircraft deliveries and used aircraft financings.

Even so, he calls for the reinstatement of the US ExIm Bank as a source of funding support in the future.

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Engine makers “inside the tent” on Boeing NMA, but airframer still ponders provider

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The three engine makers, CFM/GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, are the only suppliers that have been brought “inside the tent” by Boeing for the New Midrange Aircraft, a company executive said today.

Launching the program is critical on the engine companies, says Randy Tinseth, VP marketing for Boeing. Boeing hasn’t decided—officially—whether it will have a

Randy Tinseth. Photo via Google images.

single-engine or dual-engine source for the aircraft because the program hasn’t been launched.

Market intelligence tells LNC that Boeing wants two engine choices. Intel also indicates all three engine OEMs view the market demand as sharply smaller than Boeing’s publicly-stated forecast of 4,000 Middle of the Market sector airplanes over the next 20 years.

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Embraer ponders new, smaller jet

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March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: News emerged last week that Embraer is considering a new jet family smaller than its current E2 line.

This would replace the E170, which Embraer decided not to upgrade to the E2. The E170 hasn’t sold wellin recent years, as the E175 became the preferred airplane in Embraer’s sub-90 seat market.

Embraer recognizes it needs a second family of airplanes to complement the E2. It’s been considering reentering the turboprop market, but demand is limited.

Restarting a sub-76-seat jet is not without risk, however.

  • Turboprop market is small over 20 years.
  • 60-99 seat market is a bit larger, but with competitors.
  • Business cases for each are challenging.

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Pontifications: Measured comments and “useful” information

By Scott Hamilton

March 5, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Nothing is as frustrating to a journalist as interview a great subject who doesn’t offer up anything especially useful.

I had a brief sideline interview with one such person at the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit 2018 last Thursday in Washington (DC). Great guy. Not much information.

Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, wasn’t going to be drawn into a discussion of two hot topics facing his carrier. Tilden had just come off an airline CEO panel, where he in his typical Boy Scout charm and enthusiasm opined about the state of the industry, praised the progress of the integration of Virgin America into Alaska and commented on a host of issues. But two topics didn’t come up.

I asked him about the competition vs Delta Air Lines in Seattle, where the two airlines are locked into a major market share battle. I also asked him about the fleet planning now that Alaska operates the Airbus A319, A320 and A321neo inherited from the acquisition of Virgin America. Alaska hitherto has been an all-Boeing 737 operator and recent, Ray Conner, former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and a good friend of Tilden, joined the Alaska board of directors.

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Insignificant impact on Boeing from aluminum tariff: JP Morgan

March 2, 2018, © Leeham Co.: President Trump this week announced tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum imports, sparking a sharp stock sell-off and provoking fears of a trade war.

Ever parochial in its coverage, LNC asked Boeing what the impact will be. A spokesman said the company is still assessing the impact.

But the aerospace analyst for JP Morgan today said it should be very little.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 19

February 23, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: In the last Corner we wrapped up the discussion on different drag types by discussing some less dominant drags.

To finish the series we will go through a typical mission for an airliner and study which drag is important when and why.

Figure 1. An aircraft’s drag profile as airspeed varies. The main part of Parasitic drag is air friction drag Source: Leeham Co.

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Southwest CEO sees 60% of fleet becoming the 737-7

March 1, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Southwest Airlines needs about 100 more Boeing 737-8s before turning its

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines. Photo via Google images.

attention to the 737-7, CEO Gary Kelly told LNC in a press scrum at the 2018 Aviation Summit today, sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce.

The current fleet of 737-700s won’t see retirements until about 2022, at which time the need for the 7 MAX arises.

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Professionals see two types for Middle of the Market sector

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March 1, 2018, © Leeham Co. Three industry professionals raised the question whether the Middle of the Market sector requires one aircraft type or two.

One raised the prospect Boeing might have to undertake concurrent aircraft development, as it did with the 757 and 767.

Richard Aboulafia, a consultant with The Teal Group, Ron Epstein, aerospace analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Kevin Michaels, president of AeroDynamic Advisory, made their remarks at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance last month in Lynnwood (WA).

  • Low-cost Embraer engineers may play a role in Boeing’s development of the NMA.
  • One consultant sees two distinct NMA aircraft.
  • Boeing’s vertical integration of the supply chain may make sense only with two concurrent of consecutive airplane programs.

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IAG’s LEVEL shopping for future fleet

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 28, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: IAG (parent of British Airways, IBERIA, Air Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL) presented the 2017 results Friday. The group’s airlines all had a good 2017 behind them.

LEVEL, the long-haul LCC started from Barcelona in June 2017 with two Airbus A330-200s, performed better than expected. With the market response to LEVEL, IAG’s CEO Willi Walsh sees the LEVEL business plan as confirmed.

The airline will now expand from today’s three A330-200s to at least 15 aircraft by 2022. The A330 is not a given, according to Walsh; the Boeing 787 could also be a good fit.

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