A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

Last year the first Airbus Market Survey in Latin America provided valuable insights on how airline executives in the region perceive market evolutions and fleet requirements.  Airbus has just launched their 2014 Airbus Market Survey in Latin America.

In the 2013 results Airbus discovered that:

  • Intra-regional connections was the top long term network development opportunity
  • The market has a “very optimistic near-term outlook”
  • Criteria for new aircraft is driven by fuel burn, revenue generation ability and fleet rationalization
  • Airlines need to see savings of 15% to transition to same generation and 25% to transition to next generation
  • Best age to replace aircraft is between 8-12 years or a 15-20% cost improvement

With that backdrop, let’s look at this market.  The table shows the regional fleet earlier this year.  Over 77% of the fleet is narrow body (single aisle).  This is why the intra-regional market shows up… Continue reading

CFM provided this video of their new engine’s start to the flight test program from October 6, 2014.  This is the engine competing with P&W’s GTF. The LEAP will be the exclusive engine for the 737MAX program and is available on the A320neo program.

An intriguing data point discovered yesterday is that the MAX engine is close to the ideal size for the Bombardier CSeries, if that OEM were to consider offering an engine selection.

Rumors about a Boeing 757 replacement from Airbus have been swirling for months.  Many industry followers have been discussing the Boeing 757 replacement “gap” – because the aircraft OEMs today tout as replacements, the A321neo and 737MAX9, don’t quite meet the bar.

The Boeing 757 is a special aircraft with unique payload/range capabilities.  The way the aircraft is used today is quite different than what was envisaged at EIS.  The capability to operate long thin routes enables it to develop new markets, connecting secondary cities in the US with the same in Europe or South America.

Airbus shared with us that their design concept and it consists of the following key data points:

  • True transatlantic range (100NM more range than 757-200w)
  • Similar seat count to 757 but with true long range comfort. Lie flat bed business class and 18″ wide economy comfort.
  • 25% lower cost per seat… Continue reading

Hello world! The man under the engine provides some scale. This is a big airplane.

2014-10-21_10-43-27

The prototype is expected to make its maiden flight soon. First deliveries are expected from late 2016.   Launched in 2009, the KC-390 is planned as a replacement of the C-130 with the Brazilian Air Force.   The aircraft features fly by wire controls and IAE V2500-A5 engines.  The KC-390 can carry up to 23 tons of equipment, 80 personnel, 64 paratroopers or 74 stretchers.  Brazil has ordered 28, while there is interest from Argentina (6), Chile (6), Colombia (12), Portugal (6) and the Czech Republic (2).

To the beat of traditional Japanese taiko drummers, Mitsubishi rolled in their new MRJ. About 3 1/2 years behind schedule, the aircraft apparently has been noted for high quality workmanship already.  Mitsubishi is building 78- and 92-seat versions  developed at a cost it estimates at $1.7bn. The company plans to conduct a first flight in June, with the larger model available first. Continue reading

A story out today might lead readers to think a CSeries order from Austrian is imminent.  Its not.

We contacted Austrian and we were told “I am pleased to confirm that we achieved a framework-agreement with our workers council, so now we can be optimistic about the future of Austrian Airlines – including  some thoughts on the fleet modernization. Currently there is neither a decision made regarding the model nor to the number of aircraft.”  Of course you would expect the airline to say this until things are official.

But we were advised by a contact within parent company Lufthansa “…there is nothing to really talk about; don’t know where the rumour originated because there are many things to be done first.”

The Bottom Line:  It could happen, but it isn’t there yet.  The competition between CSeries and E2Jets is still ongoing.

In the business of buying airplanes, an airline will always seek the lowest cost.  Just as they do with every other production input – lowest cost wins every time.   So how is it that with the pending Azul order, “Boeing has not been given the opportunity to present a proposal for single-aisle airplanes“?

On the face of it, this looks like a selection that could not secure the lowest costs for Azul.  How does this make sense? As an Azul shareholder you would want to be certain your company secured the lowest cost option. Let’s go through some data points and thoughts to see if a pattern emerges.

Airbus wins the deal:

  • Creative marketing on the side of Airbus.
    • Driven by the fact the airline already committed to A330 and A350-900s
  • Which offers common flight-deck ratings
  • And, lets say it again, creative marketing. Volume… Continue reading

2014-10-14_12-11-14Today Gulfstream announced their G500 and G600.  But there’s more news around the G450 and G550 which is being replaced by these new models.

The news is specifically G550-based.  The US Navy will become the fourth customer for the G550-based Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW), which is already in service with the Israeli Air Force (pictured), Republic of Singapore Air Force, and also ordered by the Italian Air Force.  The US Navy is replacing two NP-3D “Billboard” range monitoring aircraft with the G550.

Interestingly, the US Navy says that the G550 CAEW is the  “Only One Responsible Source and No Other Type of Supplies or Services will Satisfy Agency Requirements.” Look here for more on the procurement language.

The aircraft would be utilized by Naval Test Wing Pacific’s Naval Weapons Test Squadrons at Point Mugu.  The aircraft used by this group is… Continue reading

K66216A Boeing Joggle Press operator prepares the first 737 MAX fuselage stringer for the press by brushing on lubricant.  And with this the process starts the production of the first 737 MAX fuselage stringers at Boeing Fabrication Integrated AeroStructures in Auburn, Washington.   The MAX will be the fourth generation of the 737.

After forming, Boeing will send the stringers to Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita for incorporation into the first 737 MAX fuselage. From there the fuselage is shipped to Boeing’s Renton facility where employees assemble and build the 737 MAX.

The program is on track to begin final assembly of the first 737 MAX in 2015. The airplane will be part of the flight test fleet and is scheduled to fly in 2016.  The process started this week promises a great deal.  Boeing claims the 737 MAX will be 14% more fuel-efficient than today’s most… Continue reading

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