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Commercial Aviation Analysts

The table tells the story. Airbus is off to a much slower start than Boeing this year.

Of course, it is still very early in the year. But the negative order number at Airbus must be of concern. Especially when compared to Boeing’s orders.

Boeing has delivered 28% more aircraft than Airbus. And to underscore how soft Airbus’ numbers are, Boeing had a book/bill of 0.73 while Airbus had -0.12.

It is early days, and Airbus has some catching up to do. Airbus’ single-aisle deliveries of 60 compares reasonably to Boeing’s 66 single-aisle deliveries. For Airbus, the neo deliveries are a challenge. Boeing is about to start MAX deliveries.

Orders are expected to be off this year, with book/bill under 1. So the big race is deliveries. Airbus is way ahead on single-aisle orders for the re-engined models. But it looks like Boeing is going to deliver their re-engined models… Continue reading

We continue our review the market for the MOM this week.  Last week we explained that we see the replacement market at about 2,200 aircraft.  This excludes any growth – we know the market will grow, but did not project that growth in a replacement analysis. 

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If you run a VVIP operation, and you are looking for an aircraft that can fly non-stop between almost any two points and is going for a bargain, take a look at this.  There are a limited number of very special and highly capable A340-500s available. Continue reading

Boeing's 737 MAX 10X is the latest and largest variant of the 737 line.  Reactions to the aircraft range from Boeing's confidence based on feedback "numerous airlines and interest from parts suppliers" to some muted concern among lessors.   Boeing is offering the MAX 10X to customers but it has not yet formally decided to go ahead with it.  Airbus' John Leahy is predictably among those unimpressed by the 10X and said last week at ISTAT, "I hope they do it" and he was not cheer leading.

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Boeing’s MAX family is likely to get a new member soon, the MAX10x.  The picture below was shown at ISTAT Americas.  This model will slot above the current MAX9, with 12 more seats.

The 737 is a remarkable aircraft.  It has seen an amazing number of variants over the past 50 years.  A half century and still getting upgrades and development!  A unique aircraft. Continue reading

Embraer announced that it is forming innovation teams in Silicon Valley and in Boston, in the United States. The objective is to explore business opportunities in the future of air transportation, with the collaboration of startups, investors, academia, and corporations. The team will seek partnerships that enable new business models and technologies. Operations will begin this month.

Giving us some background on the project is Mr Antonio Campello, Embraer’s Director of Corporate Innovation.  We spoke with him by phone.

 

Last week saw the usual excellent presentations from the industry was presented at ISTAT Americas 2017, an annual event of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading, 5-7 March.  A key takeaway for us what the focus Airbus and Boeing placed on capabilities.   Airbus stressed the capabilities of the A321neo and the A330neo.   Boeing did the same for the 787.   Whereas just a few years ago, the stress was on fuel burn savings, the new mantra is about what these aircraft can do with airline route structures.  There is useful guidance here for Bombardier and Embraer.

All four still talk about fuel efficiency – but it is no longer the primary point.  The emphasis has changed; from fuel savings to capabilities, particularly range. It appears the two big OEMs see that now is the time to discuss how the aircraft can do so much more in terms of range.  Airbus,… Continue reading

The third in our series of airlines fleets is United Airlines.  United has the smallest fleet of the three mega-carriers.  The table below lists the airline’s current fleet.

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If we look at the active fleet in the middle of the market category – aircraft between 180 and 250 seats with moderate range capabilities, the story is quite striking, as shown in the diagram below.  Boeing’s position in that market, initially staked out by the  757 and 767, has not grown, and from 2014-2015 actually declined.  The 737-900ER has not been able to keep pace with retirements, and the 737 MAX9 and potential MAX10 appear to be too little too late to effectively compete as a 757 replacement.  The average age of the Boeing fleet remains quite high, reflecting the recent market capture by Airbus as 757/767 replacements.

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American Airlines is the second in our airline fleet reviews.  The airline today has a fleet based on  various mergers, the most recent being US Airways (which had previously merged with America West). This followed a wave of airline consolidation that started some years ago with Delta and Northwest.

The US airline consolidation that took place over the the past decade saw the creation of “mega-carriers”: American Airlines and US Airways, United and Continental Airlines, and Delta-Northwest. At the end of  2016 another merger occurred between Alaska and jetBlue.  The outcome of this is that there are now ten large US carriers from 18 a decade ago. With the latest merger the industry now sees four carriers with over 80% of domestic capacity. There are three network carriers (American, United, Delta) plus one formerly ‘low cost’, carrier (Southwest).

Of the mega-carriers, all US-based, American has the largest fleet.  The airline… Continue reading

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