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Recently we posted a premium article on single aisle backlogs that elicited some debate.  This is welcomed because the subject is important and views will vary.

The essence of our view is that we find the OEM target of a rate of 60 single aisles each per month difficult to comprehend.  The view is primarily based on oil prices. The next chart illustrates the influence oil prices have played on single aisle fleet decisions.  The oil price spikes clearly impacted decisions.  It is during this period that we saw the arrival of the CSeries (initially pitched as a fuel saver) and then came the fuel saving A320neo and 737 MAX.  High oil made airlines and lessors jump at fuel saving aircraft. Continue reading

Earlier this week, at the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers conference in Dublin, AerCap’s CEO Angus Kelly indicated that “we see big deferrals in the wide body market.”  He indicated that in the short-term, there is over-ordering, and that some of the big airlines are chasing the same passengers.

He implied that the order books at Airbus and Boeing don’t reflect "what is going to be delivered" and that some airlines may not take their orders.  We’ve recently seen Airbus cut A380 production and Boeing cut 777 production, and defer an increase in 787 production as wide-body orders have cooled.   While Mr Kelly's forecasts large-scale order deferrals and doesn’t trust the official backlogs from the OEMs, he cites that fundamentals such as traffic growth continue in the right direction, and he is not concerned about the number of overall passengers - the question will be who is… Continue reading

Airbus produced their numbers for 2016 today.  They were better than expected – mainly because they hit a book to bill of one.  Airbus reported 732 net orders and 688 deliveries generating a book to bill of 1.06.  Airbus projects a ratio of under one for 2017.

Airbus had its usual year end flurry of orders – 60 A320neos for Flynas and 42 single aisles for the Chinese Bank of Communications.   But even so, orders were off a lot (350) from 2015.   What do the results look like in perspective? Continue reading

The Airbus Beluga XL, based on today’s A330 jetliner, will have an enlarged fuselage “bubble” section that is six meters longer and one meter wider than that of the Beluga ST – an aircraft derived from Airbus’ earlier-production A300-600.  Here is a picture of the currently in-service Beluga ST. Continue reading

Most airline delays occur on the ground. Ground operations have long been static because the fundamentals of aircraft pushback and taxiing have not changed much.  Nevertheless, there seem to be some real opportunities to save time, especially by reducing a common source of ground delays: tugs and ground crews.

An innovative solution, advanced at one time or another by companies such as Crane, L-3, Airbus, Lufthansa, and a Safran / Honeywell joint venture (EGTS), is to provide the aircraft with an on-board drive – motorized wheels that are powered by the onboard APU.

WheelTug, the smallest of the innovators in this space, has received FAA approval of its certification plan. Interestingly, it is also the only company left that is known to be actively working on what is more popularly called “E-Taxi.”  WheelTug also chose a different technical solution than the other players by putting the… Continue reading

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