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The news that Ray Conner is being replaced at the helm of Boeing commercial comes as no surprise. Since January last year there was a definite sense of inevitability following the rise of Dennis Muilenburg as CEO.

It is logical and expected that Mr Muilenburg would surround himself with his own team and begin to shape it to begin moving forward with his own strategy. To that end, it became clear that Mr Conner and Mr Muilenburg were not singing the same tune for the past few months.

The appointment of Kevin McAllister to replace Mr Conner is the latest phase in what we would call the “financialization” of the Boeing company. Namely, a gradual migration away from core industrial activities towards a more balanced portfolio of production and service capabilities. This gradual shift had been initiated under the leadership of Jim McNerney and will now extend fully into the… Continue reading

Mexico’s VivaAerobus took delivery of its first A320neo October 5.  Its last leg of the ferry flight to Mexico is the longest A320neo flight to date. The leg was from Keflavik, Iceland to Monterrey, Mexico and took nine hours and 32 minutes.  The aircraft saw fuel burn 18% better than the airline’s current generation A320s powered by V2500s.

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The aircraft undertook its first passenger flight on October 18.  “On day one of passenger service, the aircraft conducted eight flights carrying about 1,160 passengers between various cities in Mexico.” according to Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO VivaAerobus.

More than a year since its engines were delivered, the C919 fired them up for the first time last week on November 9th.  The C919 is powered by the LEAP 1C, and is the third of the LEAP-engined models, after the A320neo and 737MAX.  The LEAP 1C engines closely resemble those found on the A320neo, known as the LEAP 1A.

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China Eastern Airlines will become the first customer to take delivery of the C919. COMAC has received 570 orders for the C919 from 23 customers, including Air China and China Southern Airlines. Now that its engine shave been run, the next steps are likely to be taxi tests.  Absent any problems, the aircraft will move to high speed taxi tests.  Then comes first flight – this was planned for 2016.  But we don’t think this is likely given the short time remaining to year end.… Continue reading

Boeing Business Jets unveiled its BBJ MAX7 as the newest addition to its BBJ fleet. The BBJ MAX7 will have a range of up to 7,000NM. This should allow connecting key city pairs between Asia, the Middle East and the United States.  The BBJ MAX7 is longer than the 737NG-based BBJ.  Because of its more fuel-efficient LEAP-1B engines, the BBJ MAX7 will have reduced fuel burn and requires less cargo volume for auxiliary fuel tanks.

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Boeing says the BBJ MAX 7 inherits the features of the BBJ MAX 8 and BBJ MAX 9, such an updated flight deck, improved aerodynamics, reduced noise profile, and fly-by-wire spoilers.  Despite being larger and more capable than the current BBJ, the new MAX7 should have the lowest operating costs of any BBJ. Boeing says it has  seen strong interest in the BBJ MAX 7.

The table lists the total 737-based… Continue reading