Chicago, USA | April 5, 2019– As we work closely with customers and global regulators to return the 737 MAX to service, we continue to be driven by our enduring values, with a focus on safety, integrity and quality in all we do.

We now know that the recent Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents were caused by a chain of events, with a common chain link being erroneous activation of the aircraft’s MCAS function. We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it. As part of this effort, we’re making progress on the 737 MAX software update that will prevent accidents like these from ever happening again. Teams are working tirelessly, advancing and testing the software, conducting non-advocate reviews, and engaging regulators and customers worldwide as we proceed to final certification. I recently had the opportunity to experience the software update performing safely in action during a 737 MAX 7 demo flight.  We’re also finalizing new pilot training courses and supplementary educational material for our global MAX customers. This progress is the result of our comprehensive, disciplined approach and taking the time necessary to get it right.

As we continue to work through these steps, we’re adjusting the 737 production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries, allowing us to prioritize additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight. We have decided to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 airplanes per month to 42 airplanes per month starting in mid-April.

At a production rate of 42 airplanes per month, the 737 program and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain.

We are coordinating closely with our customers as we work through plans to mitigate the impact of this adjustment. We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to minimize operational disruption and financial impact of the production rate change.

In light of our commitment to continuous improvement and our determination to always make a safe industry even safer, I’ve asked the Boeing Board of Directors to establish a committee to review our company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build.  The committee will confirm the effectiveness of our policies and processes for assuring the highest level of safety on the 737-MAX program, as well as our other airplane programs, and recommend improvements to our policies and procedures.

The committee members will be Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., (Ret.), former vice chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will serve as the committee’s chair; Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen, Inc.; Lynn J. Good, chairman, president and CEO of the Duke Energy Corporation; and Edward M. Liddy, former chairman and CEO of the Allstate Corporation, all members of the company’s board. These individuals have been selected to serve on this committee because of their collective and extensive experiences that include leadership roles in corporate, regulated industries and government entities where safety and the safety of lives is paramount.

Safety is our responsibility, and we own it. When the MAX returns to the skies, we’ve promised our airline customers and their passengers and crews that it will be as safe as any airplane ever to fly. Our continued disciplined approach is the right decision for our employees, customers, supplier partners and other stakeholders as we work with global regulators and customers to return the 737 MAX fleet to service and deliver on our commitments to all of our stakeholders.


It is hard to believe but it has been 25 years since our first newsletter was sent out and we thank all of our readers that signed up, we thank all the folks we have interviewed, and we especially thank all of our sponsors – because it is the sponsors that provide you IFExpress news! So let’s embark on 2019 with the latest round of aviation news.

You will notice that this year’s aviation industry magazine, Aviation Week has voted Boeing’s Dennis A. Muilenburg as its 2018 Person of the Year. He is this week’s BUZZ because we thought our readers might like to a face with the name. The Aviation Week folks chose a person, in this case, who has had a major impact on the industry while at Boeing where he has been employed since 1985. After joining Boeing, he served in positions in commercial airplane and defense. He was promoted to vice president  of the company in 2015. Meanwhile in the Airplane Company, Jim McNerney restored order after inheriting a company that had been lumbered with negative politics that were accompanied by numerous Airbus wins. It took McNerney almost 10 years to steady Boeing and propel them into their recent growth. In February 2016 it was announced that Muilenburg would replace McNerney and Muilenburg would become the chairman of the board of directors. Congratulations Dennis!

Along another line, it looks like the 797 will be an airplane whose size fit holds 225 – 265, slotting it between the 737 and the 787/777X. The new jetliner will have a range of approximately 5,000 nm (9,260 km). We expect the plane to kicked off later this year. And, yes, our rectangle above is a drawing of the product in flight.


AIRBUS

  • AIR CANADA agreed to purchase four A321-200s (5681/5733/6210/6232) from WOW air for delivery in January 2019.
  • Moxy – The start-up U.S. airline code-named “Moxy” has signed a firm order with Airbus to purchase 60 A220-300 aircraft. Moxy is the new airline venture led by David Neeleman, one of the industry’s most innovative entrepreneurs and founder of JetBlue Airways. In addition to JetBlue, Neeleman also founded Azul Brazilian Airlines and is the controlling investor in the revitalization of TAP Air Portugal. Plans for Moxy, a low-cost airline were unveiled at the Farnborough International Air Show in July. “The A220-300 is the right airplane for a new airline that will be focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” said Neeleman. “With a low cost of operation and spacious cabin, the A220 will allow us to provide passengers with lower fares and a high quality, comfortable flying experience. The A220’s ability to operate profitably in thin, underserved markets across a broad spectrum of ranges is unique”. The order was completed the final week of December. Airbus will produce the A220-300 at a new U.S. assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of that plant, to be located adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility, will begin later this month. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
  • JetBlue Airways – JetBlue Airways has firmed up an order for 60 A220-300 aircraft, the larger model of the new, industry-leading A220 series. JetBlue’s existing Airbus fleet includes 193 A320 and A321ceo aircraft in operation, with an additional 85 A321neo aircraft on order. The order was completed the last week of December. Airbus will produce the A220-300 aircraft at a new U.S. assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of the plant, to be located adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility, will begin later this month. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

BOEING

  • Boeing delivered 69 737 airplanes in December and set a new annual record of 806 deliveries in 2018, surpassing its previous record of 763 deliveries in 2017. Even as Boeing delivered more jetliners, the company again grew its significant order book with 893 net orders, including 203 airplane sales in December. With a seven-year order backlog, Boeing increased production of the popular 737 in the middle of 2018 to 52 airplanes per month. Nearly half of the year’s 580 737 deliveries were from the more fuel-efficient and longer-range MAX family, including the first MAX 9 airplanes. At the same time, Boeing continued to build the 787 Dreamliner at the highest production rate for a twin-aisle airplane to support high demand for the super-efficient jet. The Dreamliner program finished with 145 deliveries for the year. Deliveries of various 777, 767 and 747-8 models rounded out the total of 806 airplanes for the year. 767 deliveries include the transfer of 10 767-2C aircraft to Boeing Defense, Space & Security for the U.S. Air Force KC-46 tanker program.
  • On the orders front, Boeing achieved sales success across its airplane portfolio with 893 net orders valued at $143.7 billion according to list prices. While growing the order backlog for nearly every program, the company showed particular strength in the twin-aisle category with 218 widebody orders last year.
  • The 787 Dreamliner extended its status as the fastest-selling twin-aisle jet in history with 109 orders last year or about 1,400 since the program launched. Highlights include Hawaiian Airlines switching from the Airbus A330 to the 787 and Turkish Airlines becoming a new customer. American Airlines and United Airlines added to the growing list of repeat Dreamliner purchases with 47 and 13 additional jets respectively. The 777 family continued its steady sales momentum with 51 net orders in 2018, driven by sales of the 777 Freighter to DHL Express, FedEx Express, ANA Cargo, Qatar Airways and other major freight operators. With additional sales in December, the 777 program exceeded 2,000 orders since its launch. The 737 MAX family also achieved a major sales milestone in December, surpassing 5,000 net orders with 181 new sales during December. For the full year, the 737 program achieved 675 net orders, including sales to 13 new customers.
  • GREEN AFRICA AIRWAYS, Nigeria agreed to order 50 737 MAX 8s, and option 50; it plans startup in 2019.
  • CHINA AIRCRAFT LEASING GROUP (CALC) agreed to order 25 737 MAXs for delivery starting in 2023, and option 25 more for delivery starting in 2025; deal increases its firm 737 MAX orderbook to 75. It is also committed for >215 A320s and 10 C919s.
  • FLYADEAL (Saudi Arabian Airlines) agreed to order 30 737 MAX 8s, and option 20; it will configure aircraft with 189 seats.
  • SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS signed MOA with Boeing that establishes (among other items) pricing terms for 737NG, 737 MAX, 767, 777F, 777-9 and 787 programs into next decade, investments for tooling/capital for 737 rate increases, joint cost reduction programs for 777X and 787, consent for acquisition of ASCO INDUSTRIES, plus release of liability for 737 disruption activity.
  • GOL completed sale/leaseback transactions with both Castlelake and Apollo Aviation Group for 13 737-800s that will be removed from fleet in 2019-2021 and replaced by 737 MAXs.

OTHER NEWS


OTHER STUFF, NON AVIATION