New blog on the bloglist

You might have already seen it: there is a new blog on my blogroll:
Saj Ahmad Fleetbuzz Fact Checker
If you re-read my very first post,where I tried to explain my motivation to write my blog, you can understand why this blog is on my blogroll. Obviously I am not the only one who feels nerved by the biased blog of Ahmed Saj. From my own knowledge of what is going on in the industry I can only agree with the author: Saj has obviously no contacts other than to Boeing and uses excerpts knowingly false or in a wrong context.
I guess at least some of his statements will be proved to be wrong in the coming weeks and months!
So I really recommend reading the Fact Checker...


AirAsia eyes A320NEO

News broke yesterday that AirAsia's CEO Tony Fernandes held talks with Airbus COO John Leahy and CEO Tom Enders about a mass purchase of the A320NEO. According to Fernandes the order would be similar in size to the existing order for 175 A320, so expect something like a firm order for 100 and a further 50 options or so to be announced soon. Maybe together with the also "pre-announced" order for more A330's, maybe firmed during the Paris Air Show in June.
If you look at AirAsia and the other two carriers which came forward to order or to sign an LoI for the NEO, it becomes clear who are the prime targets for Airbus when the A320NEO was launched: the fast-growing LCC's in Asia (IndiGo, AirAsia, Tiger) and elsewhere (Virgin America in this case). A few years back the prime targets would have been on different continents - this is a clear sign of how the world has changed in the last decade.
Why are these large LCC's attractive (potential) customers)? They already have (or will have in 2016) large fleets - adding another subtype (in case of the NEO it's "just" another engine) in an equal large scale does not produce a lot of headaches. And by being one of the launch customers for one of the NEO engines, they can bet on getting good deals not only regarding the purchase price of the engines but also for aftermarket packages. Remember IndiGo was the launch customer for the V2500Select.
Even Ryanair, at least in public, talks about adding another type to their B737-800 fleet, altough that might be just chatter get better pricing from Boeing. Southwest though, already having different types of the B737 in their fleet and adding the B717 with the purchase (merger) of airtran can be expected to have a closer look to diversifying the fleet more, but this would, if at all, point more in the direction of the CS300 (or a CS500) to replace the B737-300 and later -700.
So expect to see more big orders for the A320NEO from LCC's - but not only from LCC's...


Boeing's very ambitious plans

A lot of media articles are out there today covering what Boeing CEO McNerney told the audience at the Cowen and Co. conference: "We're gonna do a new airplane that will go beyond the capability of what the [A320]NEO can do." (Flightblogger has all the quotes)
Well, once Boeing really does a new airplane (in the A320/B737 category), it has to be better than the NEO for sure - otherwise there would be no reason to do it anyway.
But he went further on and said that the B787-10 would be a good replacement for the A330. No argument against that...then he also said, that Boeing is studying upgrades for the B777 (which is not new), but that these are targeted for after an EIS for the B737 replacement, which would be around 2020. In the meantime Boeing could do the 787-10.

??? Please what ???

After the more than three year late 787-8 Boeing should concentrate on delivering the B787-8, developing and the delivering the 787-9 before talking about three(!) new or at least heavily upgraded aircraft. Boeing lost too much credibility since the roll-out of the 787.

Interestingly Teal Group VP Aboulafia forecasted this week that Boeing would have to react against the NEO with a re-engined 737. And also Scott Hamilton reports that studies for the re-engining did not stop.
So by now nothing is certain - despite doing the B787-10, then B737RS and then 777up, it could also be 737RE, then 777up and then, if at all, the 787-10. I don't see an urgent need for the B787-10 anyway, as the 787-9 would pretty much do the job of the A330-300. The 787-10 would probably need a new undercarriage, more thrust than the Trent1000 and the GEnx are capable today and customer needs are diverging in terms of payload and range - a problem that reportedly also faces Airbus with the A350-1000.
I would be very interested to hear what major customers like Southwest are thinking about these ambitious plans...