The Wall Street Journal reported late today that COPA, Aeromexico and GOL are lining up for the Boenig 737 MAX.
The WSJ article is subscription-only but perhaps it will show up on Google News, as some do.
COPA was one of the original airline “commitments” for the MAX last year, which we reported. We reported that Aeromexico had been expected to announce MAX and 787 orders at the Farnborough Air Show, as its absence was a disappointment to expectations.
GOL, of Brazil, is a long-standing 737 operator but Airbus made a strong push to win this business.
The Seattle Times reported that United Airlines, which last week announced orders for 100 MAXes and 50 737-900ERs, has options that could mean 310 orders from Boeing. United also settled its compensation issues with Boeing over the 787 delays.
Update, Aug. 1: Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has a long article with the views on the 777 successor from Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates Airlines–which operates more 777s than any other airlines.
Boeing has a wide-open mind about how to meet the competition coming from the Airbus 350-1000 to its 777-300ER, says Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The possibilities include and entirely new aircraft; re-winging the -300ER; putting new engines on; and putting a composite fuselage on the airplane.
The latter point is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. Reskinning the 777 would be a massive undertaking and essentially amount to an entirely new airplane.
Airbus’ John Leahy is famous for his witty one-liners, but the best one at the show goes to Boeing’s Randy Tinseth. As we were waiting for the Boeing press briefing to begin on Day 1, we remarked how dirty the Airbus A380 test plane was. A regular at air shows, the plane was parked right outside the media center. It clearly hadn’t been scrubbed down for looks, with dirt streaks all over the fuselage. The logos of the A380 customers at the front of the airplane were equally covered in dirt. It stood in sharp contrast to the new Boeing 787 parked just yards away from the A380, in its shiney white paint.
Said Tinseth, virtually giggling: “They don’t wash it because they’re afraid one of the logos will come off,” suggesting a cancellation. “And you can quote me on that.”
We told the story to one of Airbus’ top PR people, who grudgenly acknowleged it was a great line. No slouch himself, he retorted the 787 was so clean because it hasn’t flown much.
For all practical purposes for commercial aviation geeks, the air show is over. Even John Leahy left.
There was one significant order today, from Virgin America for 40+20 Airbus A320s with options to convert to A321 and to use sharklets.
Boeing announced a minor order swap involving three airplanes. Bombardier didn’t announce any CSeries orders, but then, we knew by July 12 this was unlikely.
Below are the orders through Day 4, minus a couple of minor ones due after we left the field to wrap up our reporting before going home. Over the course of the next week or so, we’ll pick write some additional stuff.
Boeing and EADS held tanker briefings this week–Monday for Boeing, Tuesday for EADS.
Boeing offered up top program officials while EADS offered up two American crewmen from its test flight program, a pilot and a boom operator. Boeing’s briefing was a standard presentation followed by Q&A; most of the briefing was taken up by the formal presentation.
EADS was an interactive briefing with reporters after a few brief remarks, with nearly the entire session devoted to Q&A.