8/03/2015

Boeing revises ranges of their aircraft

I already wrote back in 2012 that there is something not adding up in Boeing's range esimations for the B737MAX. Now Boeing officially revised the range numbers for all Boeing aircraft.
Boeing says this has to do with revised assumptions for pax, bags and seat weights. We don't know how Boeing revised those numbers, but as I wrote back then something did not add up from the beginning when comparing the range of the B737NG with the B737MAX.

7/14/2015

Will the "nuclear deal" lead to higher narrowbody production rates?

Now that obviously the sanctions on Iran will be lifted in the near future after the "nuclear deal" was reached, both Airbus and Boeing will have no problem in finding buyers for their last-of-the-line A320ceo and B737NG. Airbus is overbooked anyway but could afford to allow customers who want to do so to delay deliveries and to switch to the A320neo. Boeing will find Iranian airlines willing to take B737NG's, as there are still delivery slots open in 2017 and 2018 and maybe in 2019.
The real question though is if the pressure to go to even higher rates than already announced (52 for the B737NG/MAX in 2018 and 50 for the A320ceo/neo in 2017) will now lead to quick decisions at both Airbus and Boeing.
But also Bombardier and of course Embraer could benefit from the accord: Bombardier could especially find customers for the CSeries and Embraer could sell more of their E1 line to bridge production to the E2.
Boeing also might sell some B777's to bridge their production gap between the B777-300ER/B777F and the B777-X.

7/10/2015

A320neo testing running out of time for EIS 2015?

Yesterday Flightglobal reported that this year Boeing could, for the first time since 2001, deliver more narrowbodies than Airbus. Boeing delivered 243 civil B737 plus 6 for the US Navy until June 30, Airbus delivered 238 A320. Although normally Airbus delivers more aircraft in the second half of the year (H1 2014: 237, H2 2014: 253) and Boeing had also more deliveries in the first half o f 2014 (239), it will be hard for Airbus to beat Boeing this year. This has to do with the transition to the A320neo, where production times should be a little bit longer initially than for the A320ceo.
Also it is questionable if all planned A320neo deliveries in 2015 will be handed over this year. This is highly dependent on when flight testing with the PW1100G will restart and if there are no more hickups in the flight testing.The Flightglobal article suggests that flight tests will start once the now delivered  engines are podded to the nacelles and integrated into the aircraft. This might be at the end of July. The last flight of a PW1100G powered A320neo happened on April 30th, so three months would be lost by then.
Airbus so far insists that deliveries will start towards the end of the year as planned. With the original first delivery targeted for the end of October, there must have been ample margin in the original flight test program or Airbus has to accelerate testing once the aircraft are back in the air.
But also the CFM LEAP-1A powered first A320neo has not been in the air for two weeks now. We don't know yet what is the reason here, if it is engine or aircraft related (although I would be very surprised if it has anything to do with the airframe). So any learning from the CFM powered aircraft that is transferable to the PW powered aircraft is delayed also.
The margin is getting shorter everyday, and Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker alias U-Turn Al is probably already thinking about how he can make his "fun" out of the situation.

Is there a China Narrowbody Order Gap?

Looking at data from ASCEND there is a gap in narrowbody orders from some chinese airlines. Look at China Eastern for example: before they announced to order 50 more B737NG for delivery between 2017 and 2019 their last four B737NG deliveries were scheduled for early 2017. So there would have been a delivery stream gap before China Eastern would get their first of 60 B737MAX in larger numbers.
The same can be said for other chinese airlines:
  • Shandong, Shenzen and Xiamen all get their last B737NG this year. Xiamen already announced orders for 70 more B737NG and B737MAX and it could already be included as one from an "Unidentified Customer"
  • China Southern also gets their last B737NG this year, so either they also have new orders in place as an "Unidentified Customer" or they will order soon
  • Air China ran dry of new deliveries for B737NG's and does not have any (official) order for B737MAX
The same can be said - more or less - for Airbus.
Air China and Shenzen already announced orders for a mix of 100 A320ceo & A320neo and I guess it is already in the books as part of the "undisclosed".
The same is true for China Eastern (70 A320neo) and China Southern (50 A320neo & 30 A320ceo). Some of the A320ceo aircraft subsequently trickled from the "undisclosed" to the China Eastern line of the Airbus O&D sheet. The same is true for Spring and Loong. Spring long ago announced to order 30 more A320ceo and they already might have ordered the A320neo. Also you can see some changes at Tibet Airlines.
The order for 60 A320neo from an "undisclosed asian customer" announced at the Paris Air Show might also be from China. 

Bottom line: the most of the "Unidentified" or "Undisclosed" customers should be chinese airlines. There are probably not much more narrowbody orders to expect in the next few years.

7/09/2015

A320ceo and B737NG backlog

After the B330 and B777 analysis, here is another update of the A320ceo and B737NG backlog.
Airbus is overbooked on the A320ceo for a long time now and also Boeing narrowed down