Dominating Wide-Bodies: Boeing claimed at its investors’ day yesterday it will dominate the wide-body sector. This, predictably, caused some mirth among our Reader Comments.
We agree with Boeing–for the next several years.
The 777-9X will have a monopoly in its seat size, just as the 777-300ER does today. Boeing’s greater production plans, both announced and with figures bandied about for some time, also support this.
Below is our chart, based on announced production numbers, anticipated 787 production and our own prognostications.
Production rate is per month.
What do you think?
Saving the 747-8: The Puget Sound Business Journal has this article about Boeing’s latest effort to improve sales prospects for the 747-8, particularly the passenger model. Only 31 Intercontinentals have been ordered by airlines (vs 262 Airbus A380s). This is only a 10.5% market share for Boeing.
Delta Waits: Delta Air Lines hasn’t ordered the Boeing 787, the Airbus A350 or the re-engined aircraft. The 787s it inherited from Northwest Airlines’ order and merger have been pushed out to 2020 and, for all intents and purposes, may as well be considered canceled, though they are still on the books. Why no orders for the new or re-engined airplanes? This article explains.
China OKs 787: Chinese authorities have at long last certified the 787 for operation by its airlines. China Southern was one of the early launch customers but swapped delivery slots to avoid the so-called Terrible Teens (overweight, highly re-worked models). Chinese carriers hoped to have the 787 in service in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, and when the 787 was named, the number “8″ was said to be a good number in China (thought there was never really any doubt about the name since 8 was next in sequence).
But certification was delayed and delayed. We’ll probably never truly know why, but market rumor reported a nexus between the Chinese certifying the 787 and the FAA’s dawdling on certification procedures for the COMAC C919. Not that the Chinese would ever play politics with airplane deals, mind you….
In the November election, Washington State and Colorado voters approved recreational use of marijuana. As anyone who ever tried MJ knows (except a certain former President, who says he didn’t inhale), MJ has a sweet odor that is very distinctive.
Who has flown an airplane and hasn’t smelled that pungent odor of jet fuel being sucked into the cabin now and then during push-back and start-up (except maybe that former President, if he didn’t inhale then, either)?
Ballard Biofuel in Seattle may have the answer. Let’s all inhale.
Last year yielded a few surprises in an otherwise predictable year.
Jim Albaugh shocked the aviation world when he retired unexpectedly at age 62. He was expected to remain in his position as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes until mandatory retirement at 65.
EADS CEO Tom Enders unleashed a surprise merger proposal with BAE Systems. The deal didn’t work due to German government opposition, but he ultimately accomplished a governance restructuring—a key objective of the merger—that will reduce government meddling in the future.
Those were about it. Boeing’s much-anticipated Authority to Offer the 777X didn’t happen. ATO for the 787-10 was stealthily granted. Airbus and Bombardier, to no surprise, delayed the A350 and CSeries by a few months. Boeing came roaring back to become sales leader for the first time in about a decade, on the strength of 737 MAX sales.
What’s ahead for 2013? Here’s what we see.
With the spurt of 737 MAX sales over, narrow-body sales competition between Airbus and Boeing should return to normalcy. Will twin-aisle sales become the next growth market because of the first flight of the A350 and the program launch of the 7870-10? Will ATO of the 777X evolve into a program launch as well? Will Bombardier’s first flight of the CSeries and subsequent testing validate its claims for the new technology airplane and finally spur a large number of sales of the “show me” crowd?
Here’s our OEM-by-OEM rundown.
Odds and Ends: E-190 v Superjet v BBD in Russia; China’s aviation; WestJet’s speed dating; Crandall speaks
E-190 v Superjet v Bombardier: With the finding that the pilot of the demo flight of the Sukhoi SSJ 100 Superjet simply flew into a mountain in Indonesia, rather than there being a problem with the airplane, the cloud has been lifted from the aircraft. So the direct match-up of the SSJ vs the Embraer E-190 can now be compared and this article does so. Bombardier’s CRJ-900 and CRJ-1000 also compete.
China’s Aviation: Airbus and Boeing think China pose the greatest threat in the future, but this analyst is less enthusiastic.
WestJet of Canada: The low cost carrier took a bold step to order up to 45 Bombardier Q400s to feed itself. Now it’s using speed dating to decide where to fly the airplanes.
Crandall speaks on AA-US merger: Former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall weighs in on the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.
Top 10 Stories in 2012: Here’s a piece we did for CNN International on the Top 10 stories, David Letterman style, for 2012.
Airbus A400M: Airbus claims it’s ready to go. First deliveries slated for next summer.
C919–orders, no deposits: How firm are the 380 “orders” for the COMAC C919? Good question. According to a Chinese media report via this Western news story, there are no deposits for the “orders.”
Washington State’s Signal to Boeing: Gov. Christine Gregoire, in her final budget (see leaves office next month), put $25m in for aerospace training and STEM education. The Puget Sound Business Journal explains the significance of this.
Update (already): Seems Mobile (AL) is put out we didn’t include the Airbus announcement of a production plant there in our Top 10. Over at CNN, a reader commented that the Delta Air Lines purchase of an oil refinery was worthy. Feel free to add your comments about what should have (or should not have) been included in this list.