While competition between Airbus and Boeing snares nearly all the headlines and all the “sex,” competition for engine orders is less sexy and receives less attention.
Part of this is because of the increasing trend toward sole-sourcing. The Boeing 737 has been sole-sourced by CFM International since the creation of what is now called the Classic series: the 737-300/400/500. Pratt & Whitney believed at the time Boeing was upgrading the 737-200 that airplanes were up-gauging and bet its future on the Boeing 757 size. It was one of the classic corporate blunders of all time.
Shut out of the 737, P&W joined with Rolls-Royce and MTU to build the International Aero Engine V2500 for the Airbus A320 family. IAE came to the table late, giving CFM a solid head start on the program with a variant of the CFM 56 that powers the 737 Classic and later the 737 NG.
IAE trails to this day, but has done a remarkable job of coming from behind. CFM tends to be favored on the A319 and A320 while IAE is the preferred engine on the larger A321. IAE offers more thrust and better economics on the A321 while the CFM has better economics for the smaller Airbuses. CFM’s reliability is legendary and tends to be better than the V2500.
The blog PDXlight has done a marvelous job of dissecting the engine market share of the A320 family for the New Engine Option. We asked PDXlight to do the same exclusively for us for the A320ceo family. The results are below the jump.
In the November election, Washington State and Colorado voters approved recreational use of marijuana. As anyone who ever tried MJ knows (except a certain former President, who says he didn’t inhale), MJ has a sweet odor that is very distinctive.
Who has flown an airplane and hasn’t smelled that pungent odor of jet fuel being sucked into the cabin now and then during push-back and start-up (except maybe that former President, if he didn’t inhale then, either)?
Ballard Biofuel in Seattle may have the answer. Let’s all inhale.
The Toronto Star was quick to post this story.
Canada’s Porter Airlines was the unidentified “Americas” customer announced some months ago to have signed a Letter of Intent for 12+18 CSeries.
The companies revealed today that the customer is Porter Airlines, which chose the CS100 for operations at the highly restricted and difficult Toronto City Airport.
The airport is on a small island near downtown Toronto and currently is restricted to turbo-prop service. Porter operates Bombardier’s Q400.
The runways are short; the longest, 8/26, is a mere 3,988 ft. Porter is asking authorities to extend the runway.
There are also noise restrictions, but Bombardier, Porter and Pratt & Whitney say the CSeries Geared Turbo Fan engine, combined with the airframe, won’t be a noise nuisance.
This is another win for the CSeries at noise-sensitive and difficult airports. Swedish airline Malmo ordered the CSeries for one of its difficult airports. An unidentified customer, believed to be but never confirmed as PrivatAir, was widely reported to have ordered the airplane for service to London City Airport, another short-field, noise-sensitive airport that also requires a steep glide slope due to surrounding buildings.
Here’s a story from The Province posted this morning in advance of Porter’s announcement.
Bombardier earnings call today:
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.
We talked about this a month of more ago: the prospect LionAir would order 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft. Today (or was it yesterday, in Asia?) comes this report that LionAir signed an order in December for as many as 220 A320neos (with PW GTF engines, we understand).
Through November Airbus recorded a net of 585 orders, compared with Boeing’s year-end total of 1,200. Reuters believes Airbus will end 2012 with around 900 orders.
LionAir has been exclusively a Boeing customer.
Update, Jan. 10: Avolon (a lessor) announced today it signed an order for 20 additional A320s in December.