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The MoM continues to be a subject of considerable chatter among aviation and financial pundits and analysts.  It is generally focused on replacing the Boeing 757.  Today, the consensus is that the Airbus A321 continues to be the 757 replacement because it is the best aircraft in the segment.  But Boeing has frequently made the point that when speaking to customers, these customers want something more than what the 757 was.  A lack of obvious movement on the market by Boeing has been as odd, both by us and others.

But taking a closer look at this market indicates that Boeing is likely doing the right thing in taking its time.  Aircraft programs are very big bets, and an incorrect bet can be disastrous.

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Finnair has signed an agreement with ViaSat Inc to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe. The installation of the Wi-Fi equipment will begin in May 2017, and will be completed by June 2018.

With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer the fastest in-flight internet connection currently available on the market, which enables the use of video streaming services. ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet, and partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the European continent.

Last July, Finnair announced that its long-haul fleet of A330 aircraft would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017. Finnair currently operates six A350XWBs which offer passengers wireless connectivity. The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350s by the end of… Continue reading

2015-10-16_7-55-02Boeing announced EVA Airways’ intent to purchase up to 24 787-10s and two additional 777-300ERs, which is valued at more than $8bn at current list prices.  This is a nice piece of business from a good customer in a growing market.

However, given Delta’s CEO comment about a 777 bubble, the proportions in the order are not so reassuring.  Boeing has to work hard to back-fill the 777 line prior to the 777X.

A frequently mentioned view is that Boeing’s 777 program will see a production rate slowdown.  For example, JP Morgan reported “For BA, the potentially negative implication of DAL’s comments is that it is building too many aircraft, which is pushing down values, and this will eventually require production cuts to establish a new equilibrium.

Ken Herbert at CANACCORD Genuity noted: “We believe Delta’s comments were also somewhat self-serving.” As he points out, Delta… Continue reading

Late last week Airbus announced that it had started cutting metal for the first A330neo.  Airbus’ statement was:

The first A330neo is coming to life one year after the programme was launched, with the first ‘cutting of metal’ underway at its production facilities in Toulouse and Nantes. Machining of the first engine pylon started during the summer at Airbus’ facility in Saint-Eloi (Toulouse), while Airbus’ Plant in Nantes began production of the first A330neo centre wing box. 

The first A330neo Centre Wing Box rib 1 produced in Nantes uses an innovative Isogrid design with 330 triangular pockets which enables the part to meet all our rigidity, strength and low weight requirements.

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