More mirthful back-and-forth between Boeing and EADS.
Boeing today fired off a rebuttal ad to the EADS “Get Real” ad published right after it got back into the KC-X tanker competition.
Boeing also posted this message on its website:
Get the story here.
A second aerospace analyst has weighed in with the opinion that Boeing is likely to choose a replacement for the 737 rather than a re-engine solution.
Heidi Wood of Morgan Stanley published this note today, as Boeing’s investors’ day begins.
The bottom line – Another New Plane Ahead – BA’s Going To Do A New Single Aisle: We believe Boeing will be announcing a new narrowbody replacement to the well-worn and highly popular 737 instead of the less costly, but inferior solution of re-engining.
This means a $13B-type R&D effort ahead in lieu of a possible $2-3B R&D for re-engining, which was previously in our model. We are now lowering outyear estimates to reflect a projected new narrowbody 2012 launch and 2017-2018 entry into service (EIS, first delivery). We believe consensus earningsexpectations will be revised down significantly on higher R&D.
Why An All New Plane? We expect Airbus to announce an A320 re-engining sometime before yearend; BA will likely announce its plans around the same time. It is not generally known, but on a re-engine to re-engine equivalent basis, we believe the Airbus A320 ends up w/ a 8-10% better fuel burn than the 737, rendering the $3B R&D cost to re-engine largely ineffective. The 737 has been refreshed three times already since its first inception in 1967. And with 5 low end single aisle competitors ~mid-decade, we think BA is prudent to be pre-emptive with an all-new airplane.
Joe Nadol of JP Morgan and Joe Campbell disagree, thinking a re-engine is more likely.
So does Boeing rival Airbus, where COO-Customers John Leahy suggests all the talk about a replacement 737 is Boeing disinformation aimed at muddying Airbus’ waters.
Update, May 19: With all the references in Comments about the GAO ruling, we are linking the 150+ page report here, courtesy of Sgt. Mac: GAO KC-X 2008 Protest
Update, May 17, 4:30PM PDT: Reuters has this story that Boeing will bid for the tanker “despite concerns.”
We had been planning to write a column about whether Boeing may be in danger of being hoisted on its own petard when two news items appeared Friday (May 14) that accelerated this column.
The first appeared in Army Times/Defense News (sister publications), quoting an unidentified Boeing executive as saying Boeing might night bid on the KC-X because officials feared it could not win the contest because EADS would be able to undercut the price due to subsidies at Airbus. (This also would explain the question we raised in our post, Why aren’t they talking about the airplane?)
The second story appeared in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer refuting the Defense News piece.
In the previous post, we talk about the WTO issue being pursued by Boeing and its supporters. In this post we ask, “Why aren’t they talking about their airplane?”
This is about the strangest marketing campaign we’ve ever seen, and one of the things we do is marketing. Boeing has a product–but it’s nowhere to be seen in the public relations campaign.
Isn’t the KC-767 worth talking about?