Odds and Ends: E-190 v Superjet v BBD in Russia; China’s aviation; WestJet’s speed dating; Crandall speaks
E-190 v Superjet v Bombardier: With the finding that the pilot of the demo flight of the Sukhoi SSJ 100 Superjet simply flew into a mountain in Indonesia, rather than there being a problem with the airplane, the cloud has been lifted from the aircraft. So the direct match-up of the SSJ vs the Embraer E-190 can now be compared and this article does so. Bombardier’s CRJ-900 and CRJ-1000 also compete.
China’s Aviation: Airbus and Boeing think China pose the greatest threat in the future, but this analyst is less enthusiastic.
WestJet of Canada: The low cost carrier took a bold step to order up to 45 Bombardier Q400s to feed itself. Now it’s using speed dating to decide where to fly the airplanes.
Crandall speaks on AA-US merger: Former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall weighs in on the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.
CSeries picks up: Bombardier is ending the year with some upbeat news for the CSeries. First was an LOI for up to 30 CS100s from an unidentified customer. Next the wings arrived to be assembled onto FTV1 (Flight Test Vehicle 1). Then today it converted the MOU for 10+10 CSeries from AirBaltic to a firm order. BBD now has more than 350 orders and commitments for the aircraft. Update: Aviation Week has this item comparing early CSeries orders and E-Jet orders. CSeries stacks up pretty well.
Air Canada’s Rouge: Aspire Aviation has this column on the future of Rouge and the creation of WestJet’s Encore airline, and the impact on Canada’s aviation.
A380 v 747-8: AirInsight has this analysis comparing the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8. We discussed portions of this earlier, when the ad wars broke out between Airbus and Boeing, but this is more expansive.
Allegiant Air Acquires A320s: Allegiant Air is on a shopping spree again, this time acquiring nine Airbus A320s from Iberia Airlines.
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.
Ex-Im: Republicans continue efforts to shut down the Export-Import Bank, a move that would hurt Boeing Commercial Airplanes sales most but which also would hurt other industries as well. Delta Air Lines is the driving force behind the effort to cut off Ex-Im funding. As we’ve previously indicated, rules agreed to last year by Europe and the US changed the pricing model of the Ex-Im guaranteed loans to be market rates, solving a major objection of Delta.
Ending Ex-Im Bank funding would be a dumb idea. It would hurt American business and furthermore, fees generated a net $2bn for the US Treasury in the last five years.
757 Replacement: Boeing is already studying a replacement for the 757 with a loosely targeted EIS date of 2025-2026. This is called the New Airplane Study.
Qatar Airways: U-Turn Al-Baker has U-Turned his way out of the Bombardier CSeries. Although he continues to profess to be interested in the airplane, the first 2 1/2 years of production has now been sold out. Bombardier has moved on to customers it can rely on.
WestJet: ATR and Bombardier are waiting for WestJet to make its decision between the ATR-72 and Q400 for the airline’s entry into turbo-prop markets. The Q400 is thought to have the advantage for the longer-range operational requirements. The order could be for up to 40 aircraft. If Bombardier wins, this would follow a recent order for up to 20 Q400s from Eurolot. After a dismal year last year in which BBD sold only seven Q400s (against a net of 119 ATR turbo-props), BBD appears headed for a very good year.