This week saw the GTF-powered A320neo flying again. This is no doubt of great relief to both the aircraft and engine OEMs. Even so, it appears Airbus may be signalling a delay. On an analyst call today Airbus spoke of contingency plans for delay of A320neo certification. These include the fact the majority of A320 deliveries in 2016 are of the “ceo” variety. Continue reading
We hear it all the time – fuel costs are the airlines’ biggest input cost. When looking at the data, it certainly is the largest input on flight operations. However, what does it look like for the aircraft airlines depend on most? The workhorse aircraft seating from 125 to 200 passengers? Airbus and Boeing dominate these segments and their aircraft set the tone.
In the chart below we use the US DoT Form 41 data to illustrate what fuel costs are on a per seat per flight hour basis for the past six years.
Of course, fuel prices and hedging contracts also influence these costs, and each airline has a different net cost per gallon over the period. Another potential bias in the data is route length, which differs for each of these aircraft. Shorter routes tend to have higher fuel costs because there… Continue reading
Recently we’ve seen a number of instances in which software problems have emerged on commercial aircraft, most recently, a glitch that could shut down a Boeing 787 in flight, rendering the electrical system that controls the aircraft useless. We’ve also heard that a member of the hacking community, who runs a computer security service, may have caused a United Airlines aircraft to change direction after taking control of the aircraft via the wi-fi system on board.
Couple this with prior glitches with both A380s and 787 that have been told to us by industry insiders, who are afraid to go public to protect their jobs, and it appears the industry has a new problem to address — keeping aircraft systems safe from hackers, viruses and other threats. So far, we’ve seen some gaps that don’t add to our confidence that the industry is doing all it could, either… Continue reading
The use of DoT Form 41 data is something many analysts argue over. Is the data reliable? (Sometimes) Do the airlines report the data honestly? (We hope) Is there reason to doubt the numbers (More often than anyone likes). Even with these caveats, Airbus and Boeing will use the data to make a point that supports their position in a campaign. Even with the questions about the data, it remains the most detailed source of airline and aircraft operational data anywhere.
So, as we often do, we go into the data and see what the latest numbers tell us. We decided to examine how the two most popular aircraft in the industry compare over the last five years? Continue reading