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.
787 to fly soon: Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing, says the 787 will be back in service soon. Tests should be completed within days and he is confident in the fix.
LionAir’s A320 order: In case you wondered what LionAir is going to do with all those Airbus A320s now on order, this story tells you. As we suspected, LionAir will follow the AirAsia Group model of setting up airlines throughout Asia. Some will obviously compete with Tony Fernandes’ airline.
777X v A350: Aspire Aviation has an analysis of the forthcoming Boeing 777X and A350-1000 competition.
CSeries Powers On, Compresses Schedule: Bombardier is racing toward its first flight. The company powered on the CS100 Flight Test Vehicle 1 yesterday and Jon Ostrower had this article about BBD compressing the schedule to stay on track for launching the CS300. Static testing of the wing has been completed.
Next phase for 787: With yesterday’s successful test flight of the 787, Boeing is ready to move on to the final series of tests to return the aircraft to service. The Wall Street Journal reports that the new battery containment system will be tested once again by pushing the battery to destruction. Boeing hopes to get the airplanes back in the air by May 1.
The National Transportation Safety Board will hold public hearings April 21-22.
A320neo vs 737 MAX: Following the recent round of orders, Airbus now has a 65% market share for its neo vs Boeing’s 35% share for the MAX.
First vs Business: Here’s a piece we did for CNN International on the merits of First vs Business Class.
Herb and Lamar would roll over: Southwest Airlines finally acknowledged what we’ve been whinging on about for years: it’s not the airline of Herb Kelleher of Lamar Muse any more. We’ve written many times that this “legacy LCC” drifted away from its low cost model, its focus on simplicity and its point-to-point strategy in a series of steps. It took the mainstream media a long time to catch up to what we wrote so long ago.
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.
tomorrow night: Update: Tomorrow is now today; the SPEEA vote results will be counted tonight (Monday).
The revote by SPEEA technical workers will be counted Monday night. Technical workers rejected the best and final offer from Boeing last month and authorized a strike. The professional engineers accepted the contract but authorized a vote, a technical maneuver that became moot with contract acceptance.
The issue leading to rejection was Boeing’s desire to shift from a defined pension plan to a defined contribution for new employees.
Boeing refused to improve its offer. Without the backing of the professionals, we think the technical workers will vote to approve the contract this time.
Vote results will be well into the evening.
Big Airbus-LionAir Order: At long last, the huge order we first referred to September 24 last year appears ready to be announced Monday, Paris time. Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and French papers are reporting the deal will be announced tomorrow. It’s for A320s (neos, maybe some ceos) and breaks Boeing’s monopoly with LionAir and the 737/737MAX. This is a huge win for Airbus.