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Commercial Aviation Analysts


A controversial tweet from Donald Trump has caused concerns about the future of Air Force One.  The President Elect tweeted —

The President Elect appears to be coming down hard on one of the key companies he supports for job creation and international trade, likely as a show of force to reduce the budget for the airplane.

The reality of the situation is that Air Force One isn’t just any 747.  It needs to operate as an airborne command post, communication center, be protected from electromagnetic pulses from nuclear blasts,  incorporate missile defense systems, be capable of airborne refueling, and operate in extremes, whether polar cold or desert hot, using internal systems.  None of those are standard on a commercial 747, and are very high cost items.  The current 747-200s, long out of production, are 30 years old and becoming more difficult to maintain.  Clearly, replacements are needed and have… Continue reading

Yesterday Boeing released their 2015 O&D numbers.  Let’s look at the numbers.  First a chart to show the scale of O&D changes between 2014 and 2015.  We excluded the BBJ numbers from the chart but have them in the tables – but they are small and have little impact on the big picture. Continue reading

Russian airline, Transaero, deep in financial difficulties, was supposed to be taken over by Aeroflot.  Turns out Aeroflot won’t be doing that because the company cannot get the 75%+1 share of Transaero it had expected.  The takeover has fallen through.

Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters yesterday that the government will not allow the airline to even sell tickets.  With its debts unable to be paid, and no state bailout, Transaero looks doomed.  Yesterday a report in Russia said the state moved on a bankruptcy.  The share price is down to 20 rubles (about $0.31).  Could there be some shareholders holding out for something?

It would appear a power play is in the works. Aeroflot has no need to rush to rescue Transaero.  Once the state withdrew a parachute, Transaero debt and shareholders were left hanging.  Whereas they might have been given a severe haircut before, now it looks far… Continue reading

2015-01-12_12-32-28AirInsight’s newest report is will be available Friday, January 16th.

The report consists of 46 pages with 23 tables and charts.

The report discusses potential engine options, the market for very large aircraft, frequencies, capacities, and constraints, and competitive economics, in reaching our conclusion regarding the business case for an A380neo.

Our report is available for pre-order at $495.

The fact that the Very Large Aircraft segment has slow demand is not in doubt. Sales have been at lower levels than either Airbus or Boeing predicted. Today, they are nowhere near the number that Airbus predicted, and even lower than the number Boeing predicted, which is about half of Airbus forecast.

Last week the future of the A380 was highlighted when Airbus’ CFO, Harald Wilhelm, stated that he thought Airbus might have to discontinue the A380 program in 2018. While his was one voice at the annual investor day, other voices were much more supportive of A380. Obviously John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, does not share Mr. Wilhelm’s views.   However the media jumped on his words because they were the most headline worthy. That was all it took for shares in Airbus to take a dive. Continue reading

As Lufthansa tweaks its business to become more competitive, it has undertaken some interesting actions on the long haul fleet. As the chart below shows, the three aircraft involved are seeing significant changes. The key item here is Lufthansa adding premium economy seating.


The 747-400 loses first class and gets nearly 12% more seats. This allows the airline to focus this fleet on markets which are more leisure focused – or as the airline puts it, “markets where there is less demand for first class product”. Example? Bangkok.

The 747-8 by contrast keeps first class. The addition of premium economy sees fewer economy seats. This fleet is focused on markets where demand for first class is justified. Examples? USA, India, selected Asia markets plus Mexico and Brazil. Possibly Argentina from October (yes how about that, defaulting Argentina). Interestingly Argentina and Venezuela have traditionally been the best first class markets for… Continue reading

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