Lion Air: Aviation Week has an article that falls short of a full profile of Lion Air but one which discusses some of the thinking of those huge airplane orders.
Boeing on IAM deal: In the crush and rush of the events yesterday, we didn’t see this Boeing statement on the tentative agreement for extend the IAM contract for eight years in exchange for building the 777X in Seattle.
CSeries: It looks like software upgrades, vibration and shimmy tests are done and flight testing in back on track. Yesterday Bombardier’s CSeries had its fifth flight and its sixth appears coming today, according to Fliegerfaust, a blog mostly dedicated to CSeries news.
Looking toward the South: As a follow-up to our previous post, Implications of the IAM-Boeing talks on 777X, here is a commentary from The Wall Street Journal about the migration of US industry to the South, were unions have a more difficult time.
Lion Air and CSeries: Indonesia’s Lion Air, which made news a few months ago with the prospect of a large order for the Bombardier CSeries, poured cold water on the prospect of placing one any time soon, according to this article in Aviation Week. Seeing actual flight test results from the larger CS300 is key, the airline’s head told AvWeek.
But Lion Air told The Wall Street Journal that an order for 50 CSeries could come by the end of the first quarter. A key piece of information in the AvWeek and WSJ articles is this, from the WSJ:
Mr. Kirana said Bombardier claims the larger of two CSeries models with 160 seats will be able to fly with the same economics as much larger Airbus A320neo jets, which carry around 160 to 180 passengers. He said the Bombardier CS300 jet’s range and economics makes it attractive for new longer international routes to smaller cities in China.
787 Fuel Advantage: In the never-ending war of words between Airbus and Boeing, readers know we always connect with airlines to cross-check what the OEMs say.
As readers also know, Boeing promotes its 787 as being 20%-25% more fuel efficient than today’s airplanes. With the (also) never-ending prospect of Airbus proceeding with an A330neo, the question arises over what the delta is between the A330 and the 787. We asked a fleet planner. The answer: 10% in favor of the 787, a gap that an A330neo could narrow considerably (but be unlikely to close altogether) with new engines and sharklets. So how about that 20%-25%? These figures compare with the 767 and A340 respectively, the fleet planner tells us.
The news that Asia’s Lion Air might be planning an order for the Bombardier CS300 energized the media and those that follow the OEM. If Lion Air follows through, this would be a major defection from Airbus and Boeing, which have large backlogs with this Low Cost Carrier.
It would be a major breakthrough for Bombardier. But there are key questions about the prospective order.
How big will it be? Lion Air’s president was quoted as saying up to 100, but this leaves a huge spread of 10 to 100, presumably in a combination of orders and options. Ten wouldn’t mean much in the all-important momentum/image battle. Fifty would. One hundred would be great. But…
How can Lion Air, a carrier that has spotty financial results and a safety record that earned it banishment from flying to Europe and a raft of accidents within Asia, afford, support and staff another order?
How can Lion Air, with 550 Airbus and Boeing A320 and 737 family jets on order, absorb yet another fleet type?
Boeing’s next twin-aisle strategy: Aspire Aviation has this long article looking at when Boeing will launch the 787-10 and 777X.
Our thoughts on the topic: We are hearing EIS for the 787-10, as Aspire reports, will be 2018 or beyond and that EIS for the 777X will likely be 2020 or beyond. As always, the situation is fluid and things could change. Aspire’s projection of a formal 787-10 launch in June is timed, probably not so coincidentally, for the Paris Air Show. (Unlike the boring Farnborough Air Show, Paris already is shaping up as a prospectively exciting show. Bombardier announced first flight of the CSeries is now expected in June [before, during or after the Show?] and Airbus would like to fly the A350 before the show–something that will likely be a challenge.)
We know Boeing continues to wait as long as it can in hopes Airbus will commit to a final design of the A350-1000 before launching the 777X, but time may be running out unless Boeing is willing to extend the gap between EIS of the -1000 and EIS of the 777X.
A 2018 or later EIS of the 787-10 means Boeing will avoid the EIS of two airplanes (the MAX and the -10) simultaneously, which could be a lesson-learned from the 787/747-8 programs. Readers may recall that Jim Albaugh, former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said Boeing would avoid this in the future after experiencing the problems of the two programs.
Perhaps, and this is speculation, extending the time between EIS of the 787-10 and the 777X is partly driven by the same concern.
Given program history, at least some Wall Street analysts we’ve talked with are already raising the prospect that the 737 MAX EIS (4Q2017) might slip. Why? They are concerned about the broadening design creep as well as development of the CFM LEAP-1B. Can they point to anything concrete? Not yet. Chalk the conversation up to Boeing’s poor performance on the 787 and 747-8 programs and the fact that there are still industrial issues with the 787 suppliers, according to the chatter.
It’s now official: Lion Air has been revealed it is a customer of the Boeing 737 MAX, joining American Airlines as the only two of nine disclosed customers.
We previously identified Lion Air as one of the original five airlines to announce commitments.
The revelation was made in connection with President Obama’s trip to Indonesia.
The type of MAX was not identified, but with a list price of of $21.7bn ($94m per unit), this suggests the planes could be the 737-9, the priciest of the 737 line. There is a 201/29 split for MAX and -900ERs. Options for 150 have also been revealed.
Lion Air is the largest customer for the 737-900ER.
The news article described the deal as an “order.” A signing ceremony is planned for November 18 Indonesia time, so we’ll see if the commitment has been converted to a firm order. If so, it would be the first.