CSeries: Bombardier will reveal its first production aircraft March 7, the company said on its earnings call today. First year production will be 20-30 aircraft, and up to 120 a year by 3 1/2 years. BBD is still holding to its first flight target by the end of June, EIS of the CS 100 a year later and EIS of the CS300 by the end of 2014. Pratt & Whitney, BBD and Transport Canada announced certification of the GTF 1500G this week. This is the engine that will power the CSeries.
Russia a ripe market: BBD sees Russia as a ripe market for the Q400, CRJ and CSeries. (And for rail, but we don’t cover rail.) Ilyushin Finance yesterday announced it signed a firm order for 32 CSeries and optioned 10 more. This compares with 10+10 announced in an MOU at the Farnborough Air Show last year. On the earnings call, BBD said the Q400 already is operating in Russia and has proved to be a good cold-weather airplane there. CRJ-200s, which have fallen out of favor in the USA, are being remarketed in Russia with success.
American/US Airways, SkyWest and United targets: These three airlines are major targets for RJ sales campaigns this year.
Program Accounting: “Boeing averages the costs over 10 years. We don’t do that. We take the real price and the real cost.”
Politico has an article on the impact of Sequestration on the air travel industry: long lines at security, delays on the tarmac.
Update: Even as we posted this, Jon Ostrower Tweeted PW has been selected to re-engine the E-Jet. We’re trying to confirm.
Embraer faces declining deliveries this year and next due to declining orders and a declining backlog, reports JP Morgan in a research note issued January 8.
JP Morgan writes:
We are downgrading Embraer…because we believe the stock does not fully account for a decline in commercial deliveries. We are lowering our 2014 E-Jet delivery estimate to 60 from 80, and we see potential for both upside and downside to this estimate.
We forecast 85 E-Jet deliveries in 2013 and 60 in 2014, down from 105 in 2012. Our 2013 outlook is based on our view that the company has filled ~75 slots this year, reinforced by indications from management, and the trickle of orders since then. Visibility into 2014 volume is much lower. We estimate that only 21 slots are filled (using data from Ascend), and even if we allow for some reshuffling from other years, Embraer still has a decent number of orders to gather just to reach our estimate. Embraer has taken ~306 E-Jet orders the past five years, or 61/year on average, and our delivery estimates for 2014 and beyond are in line with this.
E-Jet backlog was likely down to ~162 aircraft at year end. This represents only 1.5x 2012 deliveries vs an average of 3.2x historically. The backlog is only 1.9x our 2013 delivery estimate of 85 E-Jets, indicating that without an order pickup, the lower rates we are assuming will not be sustainable. The estimated E-Jet backlog in units is down ~65% from its 1Q08 peak of 466 and has declined in 15 of the 19 subsequent quarters.
Opportunities still lie in the US. Embraer does have opportunities to rebuild the backlog, the most prominent of which are in the US. Last year, management indicated it would compete for 300-500 US replacement orders in the coming years. Embraer failed to capture the first of these as Delta ordered from Bombardier, but there are other opportunities, such as a potential order from American for up to 200 76-seaters. This order could take place in the coming months if American exits bankruptcy independently, but a merger with US Airways (as our airline analyst Jamie Baker believes is likely) could push this out to 2014. We expect a resolution on the merger question in the coming weeks. Either way, Bombardier will surely provide stiff competition, and we see it as at least a mild favorite. Embraer has also pegged a ~150 aircraft opportunity from United. Large US orders would clearly benefit Embraer but even with 20-30 deliveries into the US annually, production should remain below last year’s 100+.
We think EMB has seen a drop in orders because, at the end of 2011, officials announced they will re-engine the E-Jet. But throughout 2012, the market has waited for information about what the E-Jet RE will look like. The engine hasn’t been selected yet, as far as we know. A new wing is assumed, as are upgrades to the systems–which we hear will be borrowed from the KC-390 military aircraft.
As a result of the ambiguity, we think customers have been holding off ordering aircraft.
Furthermore, Bombardier has won some key competitions: Garuda and Delta Air Lines, where the CRJ proved to have lower operating costs and pricing considerations also favored BBD. The E-Jet is superior in passenger comfort to the CRJ, but for cost-driven airlines who don’t really care about passenger comfort, the lower operating costs of the CRJ may prove the winning combination with a more aggressive pricing and deal from BBD.
Embraer needs to make its RE decisions soon to regain momentum.
Embraer v Bombardier: While Airbus and Boeing gain the most attention and headlines, there is another hotly competitive sector: Embraer and Bombardier in the 90-125 seats market. Bloomberg has this item examining the competition here.
Boeing Delivers 601 Aircraft: Buoyed by 46 787s, Boeing delivered 601 aircraft last year, which by this metric means Boeing will best Airbus. Airbus won’t announce its 2012 results until January 17, but is expected to finish with around 580 deliveries.
Boeing ended 2012 with 1,203 net orders, including 914 for the 737 MAX and 1,124 for the 737 family. Through November Airbus recorded 585 net orders. Even with the famed “fifth quarter,” when Airbus is known to announce a whole slew of orders that in the past has overcome Boeing’s apparent lead, we don’t see John Leahy pulling this rabbit out of his hat this time.
Just as 2011 saw Airbus record record orders with the A320neo success, Boeing’s total was boosted by converting commitments to orders. The MAX program ended the year with 1,064 orders. The A320neo has more than 1,500 orders through November.