EADS reported its first quarter earnings and in the process reiterated plans to fly the Airbus A350 in June.
Speculation remains rampant that Airbus will fly the airplane in time for the Paris Air Show.
Meantime, sales for the giant A380 languish, with open delivery slots in 2015–the year Airbus has said the program will break even. Like the rival Boeing 747-8I, sales of the Very Large Aircraft have stagnated while sales of the Big Twin engined airplanes have flourished. Airbus, like Boeing on the 747-8, took a huge write off years ago on the A380 program.
Airbus is sticking with its 20 year forecast of 1,300 VLA Passenger sales for Airbus and Boeing, and officially expects to capture 50% of the market. We’ve believed the forecast to be, kindly, optimistic. But the A380 has nearly 90% of the VLAP market and we expect this to remain the case. Airbus might reach its goal of 650 sales over 20 years, but even this is likely to be generous. This are new sales on top of the 272 already sold.
In a lawsuit between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney a few years back, it was revealed Airbus expected 630-650 program sales, which means about 42% of the sales have already been reached. (It took Boeing nearly 40 years to reach 1,300 747 sales, and for a time the 747 held a monopoly in the “jumbo jet” market). No orders for the A380 have been booked so far this year.
Tanker-like Redux: As you read this story, it sounds a lot like Boeing vs EADS, right down to the build-it-in-the-USA element.
Ryanair’s 200 737s: News emerged that Ryanair will firm up an order soon for 200 Boeing 737s. This has been hanging “out there” for some time. We learned of this likelihood a couple of months ago. It was all hush-hush while Ryanair took another run at Aer Lingus.
Pan Am landmark: For those filled with nostalgia, this news is sad: the famed Pan Am Worldport faces the wrecking ball.
New Winglet use: This is pretty cool. Via Steve Trimble of Flight Global.
The National Transportation Board will have a briefing today at 2:30 ET. In advance of the briefing, NTSB issued this terse statement:
The following factual information has been developed about the battery: It consists of eight cells of 3.7 volts each. All eight cells had varying degrees of thermal damage. Six of eight cells have been CT scanned and have been disassembled to expose their electrodes. All electrode windings in the battery are in the process of being photo-documented and are undergoing microscopic examination. In the coming days, the remaining two cells will undergo the same examination. Additional information will be provided tomorrow.
Meanwhile, The Seattle Times has this story about the battery system.
The Wall Street Journal has this story about Boeing’s innovation for the 787.
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: Bombardier lands Delta’s RJ deal; 787 events in perspective; Airbus/China; Enders victory
Delta Air Lines: Bombardier, in a welcome development, landed a major order with Delta for 40+30 CRJ900s, beating out Embraer’s E-Jet proposal. Delta has a large, installed base of CRJs and EMB wasn’t too optimistic, in management-analysts meetings last week, according to research notes. But BBD liked its odds, considering the CRJ is more fuel efficient than the E-Jet (being a small airplane), even if the E-Jet is far more comfortable.
For BBD, the order is important for two reasons. First, the CRJ backlog is shrinking. Deliveries begin 2H2013, and this illustrates the point. Second, with BBD sucking up cash in advance of CSeries first flight in 1H2013, the deposits, progress payments and delivery payments are welcome, indeed.
The next face-off between the two OEMs is American Airlines, where both have large installed RJ fleets of aging aircraft.
Boeing 787 events: Airworthiness Directive. “Emergency” landing. AirInsight puts things into perspective.
Airbus lands China orders: Hmm. EU suspends plans to impose ETS tax. Airbus lands orders for 60 A320s and 10 A330s. What do you make of that…
Enders now 1-1, sort of: Tom Enders, CEO of EADS, lost his bid to acquire BAE Systems due to German government interference. The merger would have reduced government meddling, balanced EADS commercial and military business, put EADS on a more equal footing with Boeing and positioned EADS better for US DOD contract bids. But Enders has now won a corporate governance restructuring that ends government meddling in daily operations. He still hasn’t achieved his other goals, but this one is so huge that we rate Enders’ won-lost record 1-1.