The NEO and MAX have taken the market by storm. Customers seem to be willing to stand in line – even though the 787 and A380 programs taught that sometimes one can order too early. Yet the desire for fuel efficient workhorses appears inelastic.
With that as a backdrop we find this Reuters interview of ILFC Henri Courpron really interesting. Among the aerospace cognesti the consensus is that China is far (many years at least) from being a serious aerospace player. They plausibly cite the ARJ as the first example. Yet here we have a member of the industry cognesti saying very positive things about China’s aerospace ambitions.
As Airbus and Boeing see delivery slots rapidly rush to the right for their workhorse models, while every airline is desperate to get rid of fuel guzzling older airplanes, where can they go for new airplanes? Mr Courpron is telling us that China may be more real than many think. He is not alone, Ryanair has been saying good things about the Chinese C919 too. If ILFC and other lessors decide to significantly support the C919 in order to secure more product availability the Chinese will be very pleased and work even harder to get their new airplane right. But, we suspect, the C919 will remain the choice only after an Airbus or Boeing cannot be secured for many years.