Recent news on the need for Air India to update the software on its fleet of 787s caught our attention. The software update announcement is unusual. There have been numerous issues with the 787, but software has not been one that has attracted a lot of attention. There was a report in the WSJ earlier this year about United Airlines updating software on its 787s after installing the battery fixes. The update was apparently focused on “problems flowed from the types of software bugs”.
In mid-November Aviation Week reported that Boeing was looking at a 787 software update. This update appears to be focused on “simplifying” the systems that have been sending warnings that were “nuisance messages”. This was followed up with another story post the Dubai air show covering roughly the same issues. Continue reading
There has been much talk about how Airbus needs to respond to the 787. Earlier this week, speaking on one of our podcasts, Boeing’s Randy Tinseth said Boeing has the A350 bracketed. Airbus has said they don’t need to respond to the 787 because the A330 can accomplish this. When Airbus’ Chris Emerson spoke with us on his podcast, he highlighted the A330′s lighter weight and low costs as compelling for airlines – reflecting Airbus’ continued confidence in the A330.
Airlines looking at the middle twin segment have, in other words, appear to have a choice between: Airbus’ lower entry costs, combined with a well established delivery schedule and consequent low risk. Or Boeing’s lower fuel burn and the promise of better economics going forward, albeit with a less consistent delivery schedule and operational glitches carrying more risk. Continue reading
The news about Iran’s interest in buying new aircraft seems to have struck a chord. Here’s a look at Iran’s fleet of commercial aircraft to see what they have available. The chart below lists the fleet by airline and type. The newest aircraft in the fleet is an ATR 72-200 with an original delivery date of November 1, 2002. Continue reading
Iran has been under sanctions on commercial aviation since 1995. Its airlines fly old aircraft and safety has been compromised frequently. The national fleet averages 22 years old. One report suggests that 100 grounded aircraft could come back into service once parts can be bought.
For the fleet still operational, Iran has had to suffer service disruptions of all sorts. In the EU, fuel supply has been a frequent problem. During sanctions an estimated 1,700 people have died in Iranian aircraft crashes.
Take a look at this 727 doing an emergency landing in 2011 without an operational nose wheel. It is a remarkable flying skill that nobody got hurt – there were 94 passengers and 19 crew on this flight. Continue reading
Boeing had an excellent show in Dubai. The company sold 225 777X models plus 30 787-10s and 90 737s. All told, at retail, this amounts to over $100bn. Great numbers, but also a bit wobbly.
These orders essentially come from three airlines. These are strong airlines with impressive growth tracks. Bear in mind these same three airlines also ordered well over $20bn worth of aircraft from Airbus. It was a blowout spending spree, for which these airlines are now well known.
Let’s get to the wobbly bit. For Boeing there is a growing dependency on these three airlines. (Its even worse for Airbus’ A380 program) Take a look at these charts. Continue reading