While competition between Airbus and Boeing snares nearly all the headlines and all the “sex,” competition for engine orders is less sexy and receives less attention.
Part of this is because of the increasing trend toward sole-sourcing. The Boeing 737 has been sole-sourced by CFM International since the creation of what is now called the Classic series: the 737-300/400/500. Pratt & Whitney believed at the time Boeing was upgrading the 737-200 that airplanes were up-gauging and bet its future on the Boeing 757 size. It was one of the classic corporate blunders of all time.
Shut out of the 737, P&W joined with Rolls-Royce and MTU to build the International Aero Engine V2500 for the Airbus A320 family. IAE came to the table late, giving CFM a solid head start on the program with a variant of the CFM 56 that powers the 737 Classic and later the 737 NG.
IAE trails to this day, but has done a remarkable job of coming from behind. CFM tends to be favored on the A319 and A320 while IAE is the preferred engine on the larger A321. IAE offers more thrust and better economics on the A321 while the CFM has better economics for the smaller Airbuses. CFM’s reliability is legendary and tends to be better than the V2500.
The blog PDXlight has done a marvelous job of dissecting the engine market share of the A320 family for the New Engine Option. We asked PDXlight to do the same exclusively for us for the A320ceo family. The results are below the jump.
The Washington State Senate budget adopted last Friday killed funding for the Office of Aerospace, which was created less than a year ago.
The move was driven by the need to find more than $1bn to fund education and the State’s long-running budget shortfalls, brought on by the 2008 global fiscal crisis.
It’s understandable that the Senate, which is controlled by fiscally conservative Republicans and what we call here “Roadkill Democrats” (they’d be called Blue Dog Democrats in Congress), want to make drastic budget changes. The State, which has been controlled by Democrats in the Governor’s Mansion and in both houses of the Legislature, went on a spending binge following the election of Christine Gregoire and Democratic Super Majorities in 2004. The Ds increased spending by 33% on projected 16% increases in revenues. It was wholly irresponsible then and was perpetuated until the fiscal crisis began.
When the current Legislature was being formed, two Roadkill Democrats left their caucus and joined the Republicans in the Senate to form the first GOP control of the Senate since…well, we can’t recall specifically but it may have been around 1996, when we first moved here.
We won’t get into the social cuts of the Republican budget, because that’s not the area we cover in this blog. The move cutting the Office of Aerospace is a big mistake.
The rivalry between Airbus and Boeing intensified in recent weeks with Airbus landing another major order from a previously exclusive Boeing customer, LionAir. Boeing announced another major order just a day later, Ryanair, retaining exclusivity with this customer.
The market share battle between Airbus and Boeing was fierce and prolonged. The introduction of the A320neo family placed more pressure on Boeing, particularly when it became clear Airbus was going to land American Airlines as a major customer for Current Engine Option and the New Engine Option. Boeing, which had been dismissing the neo as a viable option and dithering about whether to proceed with a new design to replace the 737 NG, found its hand forced. Having no other choice, Boeing launched the MAX, a re-engined version of the 737 NG.
With all the recent orders, we’ve done the math and determined market share for the current generation and re-engined types and sub-types. This data is through March 31 and only includes orders that have been listed as firm contracts, not those that have been announced but not yet firmed up.
Sources are Airbus, Boeing and Ascend Worldwide.
Post-SPEEA Vote: The ratification of the contract offer by Boeing by the SPEEA technical workers is welcome news. It gives Boeing and its stakeholders certainty at a time when the 787 issues remain outstanding and the developmental programs of the 777X, the 787-9 and 10, the 737 MAX and the KC-46A are at important stages. Although SPEEA took a loss over the pension issue, the union was able to extend the previous contract provisions over economic issues for another four years. Call this a draw for the two sides.
LionAir and RyanAir: On Monday Airbus announced an order for 234 A320ceo/neo family members from LionAir, previously an all-Boeing customer. Today Boeing announced an order for 175 737-800s from RyanAir, an exclusive Boeing customer. There were no MAXes in the order, however. RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary has not been a fan of the re-engined 737.
ANA skeptical of 787 timeline: Reuters has an interview with All Nippon Airways in which it expresses some skepticism about the Boeing timeline of returning the 787 to service within weeks. ANA calls this a “best case” scenario.
On the other hand, LOT, which took the 787 out of its schedule through September, now says the airplanes could be back in service by summer.
Vote in the Polls: All Nippon Airlines has begun its effort to rebuild the 787 brand flying in its colors. Boeing began its effort last week. Is the view of the 787 turning? If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to vote in these polls (scroll down after clicking the link).
Paine Field Pleads its Case: Targeted for closure in Sequester, with a decision to be announced this week, the director of Everett Paine Field pleaded his case to remain open in this letter: FAA Tower Closure – Paine Field (1).
Well wishes: Daniel Tsang, founder of Aspire Aviation, has been hospitalized in Sydney, Australia, with an unknown ailment first thought to be measles but it’s not. Well wishes to him.
Air France 447: More data has surfaces on Air France 447, the Airbus A330 that plunged into the Atlantic on a flight from Brazil to France several years ago. In a cooperative post-investigation that included Airbus and Boeing, efforts to replicate the crash in a simulator failed.
It separately emerged that the pilot of the flight had one hour of sleep and the co-pilots also didn’t have the requisite sleep.
Racing Toward 2,000: At ISTAT, Airbus COO Customers John Leahy said he expected to gain another 200 orders this month for the A320 family, reaching 2,000 orders for the neo in the process. Lufthansa and Turkish have since announced orders.
A400M certified: The troubled Airbus A400M has been certified.
Beating back anti-droners: Boeing and supporters killed legislation in Washington State that would have outlawed drones. Boeing’s subsidiary Insitu is headquartered in Washington and considered leaving to Oregon, across the Columbia River. A coalition is also working to have Moses Lake (WA) selected as a drone testing site under an FAA program.