Bloomberg has a good story looking beyond the Boeing 787 issues at the FAA’s reliance on industry to certify airplanes. The story details a number of cases where flaws crept through the system, leading to deaths–a circumstance, of course, that did not happen with the 787.
We have written a couple of posts about the relationship between the FAA and industry in response to focus following the 787 battery issues. We pointed out this relationship is nothing new.
The Bloomberg piece is well worth reading.
The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance today endorsed commercial air service at Paine Field in Everett (WA). The move is highly controversial. The Snohomish County Council and the City Councils of Edmonds and Mukilteo, adjacent suburbs, oppose the service.
PNAA made the announcement at its conference in the Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, a few miles from Paine Field.
Allegiant Air, which also spoke at the conference, first proposed commercial service at Paine a few years ago. Alaska Air Group, based in Seattle and the largest carrier at SEA-TAC Airport, opposes service at Paine but has filed the paperwork with the FAA to commence service if Allegiant does. Alaska Airlines and sister company Horizon Air would provide some 50 flights a week to a half-dozen destinations. Allegiant proposes four or five flights a week to two or three cities.
PNAA, a trade group that represents more than 100 companies with nearly 100,000 employees, said commercial service will benefit the supply chain, employees and residents who live north of Seattle who currently have to rely on the congested I-5 and I-405 corridors to go to and from SEA-TAC. The Seattle area is considered one of the Top 10 most traffic congested cities in the country.
Paine Field has about 400 flights a day, only one-third of the airport capacity. Boeing’s wide-body production is at the airport and accounts for only about 5% of the operations. The balance is private aviation and MRO traffic.
Odds and Ends: Bernstein: no 777X before 2020; Alaska, Frontier and Competition; A380 repair costs; Boeing labor challenges
No 777X before 2020: Bernstein Research, in a note issued today, says it doesn’t see delivery of the Boeing 777X before 2020. Also: on a recently completed trip to Asia, Bernstein wrote this:
There’s clearly huge demand for the 787. There was a lot of excitement about it, but Boeing was heavily promoting the 747-8, for which the company is certainly seeking more orders, with few orders for the passenger version and the air freight market being very weak. To date, the majority of orders for that airplane have been freighter orders. This is a relatively small program, but we think it is the most difficult within Boeing’s portfolio right now. …[Y]ou’re probably not going to see the growth that Boeing had once hoped for there. That’s certainly how we have been making assumptions, as well.
Alaska, Frontier and Competition: The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has this analysis about Alaska and Frontier airlines, which aside from being a little geographically-challenged, is one of CAPA’s usual well-researched and thought-0ut looks at airlines. (In fairness, CAPA often strays from the Asia-Pacific, but we couldn’t resist the quip.) CAPA now actually calls itself Centre for Aviation.
A380 Repair Costs: Aviation Week has this article detailing the costs to Emirates Airlines for repairs to the Airbus A380 wing bracket cracks.
Boeing Labor Challenges: Boeing seems headed for war again with labor unions. Here’s an article from The Everett Herald with several links within it; one from MyNorthwest.com about SPEEA; and one from The Seattle Times about SPEEA.
Cargolux and Qatar: We posted some news about Cargolux and Qatar yesterday; The Seattle Times has this piece about the threat to the Boeing 747-8F from Cargolux’s problems.
With the announcement by Alaska Airlines for 20 737 MAX 8s, 17 737 MAX 9s (and 13 Next-Generation 737-900ERs), Airbus and Boeing continue their battle for the US market.
There are still a number of customers who have not ordered either aircraft. US Airways has been exclusively an Airbus customer. Airbus lost a hard-fought battle to Boeing in the competition for the A321-737-900ER order. ILFC orders seem to be on hold pending its Initial Public Stock offering.
|737 MAX||A320neo||No Order Yet|
|American*||Spirit Airlines||US Airways|
|Aviation Capital Group**||Frontier Airlines||Delta Air Lines|
|Air Lease Corp||Aviation Capital Group|
|*To be affirmed in bankruptcy court**Commitment, not yet converted to firm order||ILFC|
There are two items of note for low-cost carriers that we find interesting:
- AirAsia’s bid to buy Batavia Air looks like it is to become a political football, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.
- Canada’s WestJet is adding premium coach class to its long-standing single-class service. We find this one particularly interesting.
Then there is this analytical piece from Seeking Alpha about a variety of potential mergers.