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.
In 2011 John Leahy of Airbus was voted the most influential person. Who do you think is the most influential this year? We’ll hide the results until the voting is complete.
Flight Global has this story in which Airbus says it remains committed to the A350-800, a sub-type that is the smallest of the A350 family and which has been the subject of much speculation that Airbus will choose not to proceed with it.
Airbus hasn’t helped matters because it’s been encouraging customers to switch to the larger A350-900. John Leahy, COO-Customers, some time ago told us the larger -900 is more profitable for Airbus and customers could get deliveries sooner.
But, according to customers we talk to, there are other reasons, too. First, according to one customer, is that Airbus is de-risking the program by getting customers to switch to the -900. The program has been delayed nearly two years and customers expect at least one more delay of three to six months to entry into service. Airbus is concentrating resources on the -900, and by switching customers from the -800, Airbus relieves the pressure on these resources.
This customer, which has switched its orders from the -800 to the -900, believes Airbus will build the -800.
Flight Global has this story which echoes what we’ve been told, citing Akbar Al-Baker of Qatar Airways: he switched from the -800 to the -900 because of the delays. But he now believes Airbus should discontinue offering the -800.
Airbus declined comment on the tie between delays and the switches.
Another customer switched its order did so simply because it likes the operating economics and revenue potential of the larger -900 better than the -800.
A key supplier, however, takes a dimmer view. The person we talked with believes Airbus will let the A350-800 go away, but this is his personal opinion and says that his company hasn’t heard anything to suggest this will be the case.
Eliminating the -800 would leave Airbus without a new technology competitor to the Boeing 787-9. Although some, including Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia, believe Airbus should proceed with an A330neo. Airbus so far dismisses such suggestions and it has not asked engine makers to consider such a possibility. But one airline fleet planner told us that he believes Airbus will one day proceed with the A330neo with an EIS of around 2020. This means Airbus would not have to ask engine makers to explore the possibility until next year or even 2014. So what is true today may or may not be true “tomorrow.”
Our AirInsight affiliate has published a short report in its e-newsletter (subscription only) about a new battle emerging among LCCs in Asia.
A new head-to-head battle appears to be shaping up in Asia.
Indonesia’s LionAir announced plans to create a new LCC, Malindo, which will be based in Malaysia and take on AirAsia.
AirAsia previously announced plans to acquire Indonesia’s Batavia Air—a deal that’s under regulator review and which may or may not consummate—in a bid to further penetrate the Indonesian market against LionAir.
AirAsia and LionAir are the two behemoths in the region, excluding flag carriers. AirAsia operates 100 Airbus A320s and has 272 more on order. It is poised to place an order for up to 100 more any day now. AirAsia was a launch customer for the A320neo and has been urging Airbus to proceed with a re-engining of the A330 to produce an A330neo—a move Airbus has so far resisted.
LionAir operates about 70 Boeing 737NGs and has an astounding 337 on order. It is the launch customer for the 737-9 MAX and was the first customer to sign a firm contract for the airplane. LionAir is poised to order 100 Airbus A320/A321 neos, presumably for the new venture.
Boeing v SPEEA, con’t: As ballots are mailed by SPEEA to its members to vote on the Boeing contract offer, Boeing issued this response to SPEEA executive claims about the offer.
Enders’ mystery injury: EADS CEO Tom Enders was supposed to accompany the German chancellor to China on a recent trip but had to cancel due to an undisclosed injury. This Bloomberg article reveals what happened in a profile of his efforts to get the French and German governments out of EADS.
AirAsia: Long-written about plans to buy 100 Airbus A320s are headed to the board for approval, according to this article.