A small review of 2019 - and outlook for 2020

Looking back at what happened at Civil Aviation in 2019 first of all there are two things belonging to Boeing: most important of course the grounding of the B737MAX. A lot was written about it, so I won't do... at least it was good for every lessor who had a B737NG or an A320 coming off-lease, making a good lease rate for the next lease. But bad for all the airlines which now has to pay the higher lease rates...
Boeing now stops B737MAX production for some weeks or months, also the suppliers will at least slow their output. That could give some of them breathing room -  at least all the casting houses for turbine blades were running over capacity...
The second "important thing" from Boeing did not happen - at least so far: the NMA. Who knows if Boeing would have launched it if the B737MAX did not happen?
Airbus meanwhile launched the A321XLR and now has a few hundred orders for it, some of them maybe only because NMA was not launched. A320neo family production is still a problem, this time not because of missing engines, but because of missing cabins. Airbus maybe should have launched a new-build freighter version earlier...😂
Production of the A220 though went better than predicted by Airbus. According to the Airbus Family Flight Page 44 aircraft were delivered so far and 48 had a first flight. I guess the four remaining aircraft will be delivered until the end of the year.That would be three more deliveries than anticipated and about 45% more than in 2018 (33 deliveries). A welcome break from Bombardiers policy to forecast more deliveries than actually were delivered.
But with the recent announcement from Airbus that building the so-called "pre FAL" I doubt that out of Mirabel there will be a big jump in delivery numbers out of Mirabel in 2020. Airbus made some progress in completing the aircraft, building more capacity in the "back part" of the assembly process. But as long as there is no capacity increase by building the "pre FAL", the input of new aircraft at the "front part" cannot be increased very much.
Another six aircraft for Delta and one for Jetblue should be delivered from Mobile. I wait to see the combined delivery goal from Airbus...
A little bit of a disappointment is the Embraer E2 Family: deliveries for the E190E2 and the E195E2 are still below 20! I doubt that Azul will get six E195E2 until the end of the year, so far they got four. Also Helvetic only got two of their anticipated four E190E2, with the second aircraft (HB-AZB) reaching Zurich only yesterday.
At least Embraer managed to get the E175E2 in the air before the end of the year. But without a customer and with no changes in the US Scope Clauses in sight, where is the program heading to?
Talking about orders, at the beginning of the year, John Slattery promised that 2019 would be the year of the big orders for the E2. Sure the order from KLM is good for the program but not  really a new order as they take the aircraft from existing lessor orders.
Slattery also promised large orders for 2018. Maybe we have to wait until the merger with Boeing is finalized, but there are two questions to this theory:
1. When will the merger be finalized: the EU is holding up the process and that might be e political response to the U.S. tariffs against Airbus.
2. Will Boeing have any priorities to sell the E175E2. They have to rebuild trust in their own bread-and-butter product, bring the 777-9 into the air and through flight testing, maybe launch, market and sell NMA...

Spacejet... I don't know. FTV10 is still not in the air and this is the aircraft which MITAC needs for certification flights. The main problem will be to build trust they can manage to build the M100, on paper a very good aircraft...

So far, so good! I know, this review and outlook is incomplete, but these were the topics that came through my head this morning...

I wish everyone (who wants one) a Happy Christmas!
And really everyone a peaceful 2020 - the world needs it!


A220 Deliveries in 2018

How many A220 will be delivered this year? Well, if you read the Airbus Q3 Press Release, it will be 31. The press release said it will be 18 deliveries, counted from July 1st, when Airbus took over the program. There were 13 deliveries between January and June 30th, so in total that would be 31.
But I would say this is the upper limit. It could also be "just" 30.
Looking at specific customers it is unlikely they will get another four aircraft this year besides the first one delivered. Why: let's count:
The first aircraft for Delta, MSN 50020, was the 23rd aircraft for this year. Next in line to be handed over is 55044, a A220-300 (CS300) for Swiss. This could happen as early as tomorrow.
Then 55042 for Air Baltic should be the next one, having it's first flight on October 30th. Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Also 55045, again for Swiss, is waiting for the first flight - that should be every day now, as it is already a week late. We should expect a handover in late November.
The second Delta aircraft, 50021, is just before the pre-delivery stage. If it moves to the flightline quickly and gets through the test and customer acceptance flights as smooth as the first one, it could be handed over to Delta in late November as well.
That would be 27 until the end of November then. Then there is also 55037 for Korean Airlines and 55046, another one for Swiss. An the third one for Delta, 50022, could m ake it to the customer this year as well. These would be 30 then. I don't think that we will see 50018, on of the two remaining CS100 (A220-100) for Swiss getting ready this year. So Tanzania could be the customer of the 31st and final aircraft this year.
Remember that Bombardier said that they would ship 40 aircraft this year... 


First A220 order

It was just hours after Airbus officially renamed the CS300 to A220-300 when the first order under Airbus control came in yesterday. Jetblue ordered 60 A220-300 and took options for another 60 (per a MoU).
Also, Jetblue converted their order for A320neo to the larger A321neo, now having 85 A321neo on order but no A320neo anymore.
The 60 firm A220-300 will be delivered by H1 2025, the options would be delivered from 2025 onwards.
by that time the oldest A320ceo in Jetblue's fleet are 25 years old - time to say goodbye maybe? But then what? Jetblue could have ordered A320neo again, of course. But what if there would be a A220--500 (formerly known as CS500) by then? Maybe we have already seen a (tentative) launch order for the A220-500...


The Bombardier-Airbus CSeries deal

I think it is not overstated when I say the last week changed the landscape of civil aircraft manufactures for years and probably decades to come.
The deal between Bombardier and Airbus that most likely from 2019 onwards lets the CSeries to be a majority owned Airbus product has the potential to influence how the product landscape will look like in 2030. And that includes the products that will be there and also that will NOT be there.
Let's image two things:
  1. Airbus and Bombardier decide to do the "simple stretch" CS500, meaning no changes to the wing, the engines, the landing gear and the Max Takeoff Weight. That would be a roughly 2400nm aircraft with about the capacity of the A320(neo), but with significantly lower empty weight and thus lower trip costs for the typical ranges of up to 800nm. The (official) launch could come by early 2019, after the expected closing of the deal. EIS could then be in 2022 or 2023.
  2. Airbus will adopt much of the cockpit and avionic technologies from the CSeries described here by Björn Fehrm for the A320neo (+, ++ or whatever it is called then) and also scale the wing for an A322. Development of the wing could also start in 2019 with an EIS maybe 2024, leapfrogging the potential Boeing NMA.
That would leave Boeing with a big problem: they are in the middle of defining their NMA, or "Middle of the Market" aircraft. But with these potential developments from Airbus&Bombardier Boeing's B737MAX product line just would not be competitive enough. Boeing would have to react to that and instead of launching the NMA with an earliest possible EIS of 2025 they would have to focus on a B737 replacement first
Although a A322 would not be the perfect "Middle of the Market" aircraft it could take away to many sales from the Boeing NMA to let the business case look unattractive. And the shrinking market share in the mich larger traditional narrowbody segment would drain on the cash flow.
So this past week has the chance of really becoming a defining moment...


A320neo deliveries

Reuters reports that August (as well as full year) deliveries for the A320neo are disrupted by slow deliveries of PW's PW1100G. The goal is to deliver about 200 A320neo this year, only 78 have been delivered by the end of August.
That deliveries with the PW1100G are slow and delayed is not particulary new. Not mentioned in the article though is the fact that alos deliveries with CFM's LEAP-1A slowed down in the last two months. After delivering 10 A320neo with the LEAP-1A in June, there were 6 in July and 7 in August. For the PW1100G the numbers are 1 for June,  3 in July and 3 in August.
An indication for future delivieries is are the numbers of first flights with the respective engines:
In June 12 A320neo with the LEAP-1A made their first flights, then 5 in July and only 3 in August.
For the PW1100G the numbers are 0 in June, 4 in July and 8 in August.
So it looks like the situation at PW gets (at least) a little bit better, but worse for CFM.