Archive For August 30, 2010

Additional Delays Cripple Boeing’s Strategy and Finances

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The impact of further delays at Boeing on operations, finances, and product update strategies will be significant, as further delays to the 787 and 747-8 programs will result in additional charges, increased operating costs, and likely impact product development strategies and timing for the 737/777 replacement/enhancement programs. (more…)

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747-8 delay illustrative of program problems

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The news that the head of the troubled Boeing 747-8 program, Mohammad “Mo” Yahyavi, was removed August 27 is long overdue and only endemic of the slow pace at Boeing to address and correct program difficulties.

Inexplicably, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney—who inherited a growing mess from former CEO Harry Stonecipher (and his interim successor and caretaker, the late Lew Platt)—has been excruciatingly slow to make changes in the 787 and 747 programs.

While the 787 has garnered all the attention and headlines for what is fast approaching three years in delays after seven program reschedulings, the less-visible 747-8 is also a poster child for Things Wrong at Boeing.

Even before the 787 roll out on 7/8/07, information was circulating that resources were being diverted to or retained by the 787 program from the 747-8 and other programs. As the 787 problems got worse, so did the insidious affect on other programs. Boeing’s plan had been that once the 787 entered service in May 2008, a replacement airplane for the 737 was going to be pursued, followed by one for the 777. But the issues with the 787 and 747-8 upset these plans.

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Another 787 Delay?

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Boeing very late August 26 announced yet another delay of its newest airplane, the 787.  Some are trying hard to say this is no surprise – but there is no way any further delays are welcomed by Boeing or its customers.  The 787 program has become a source of management embarrassment and a program that has billions of dollars in cost overruns and customer penalties, aggregating $20 billion by some estimates.

What are the key questions pertaining to this latest delay announcement?

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The case for an A321G

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Airbus is reportedly working furiously on plans to re-engine its single aisle family planes.  As we looked at the A320 family, we pondered how this strategy might unfold – after all its risky and cash is tight.  Very tight.

Moreover, nothing in the industry happens in a vacuum.  Any move by Airbus will elicit a response from you-know-who.  So what is the best move for Airbus?  The move they need to make has to be smart for them obviously, but also is best if made in such a way that it is hard for Boeing.  That is a real win.

In considering this we came up with an idea that perhaps the best move for Airbus is to re-engine with a P&W geared fan engine on the A321.  This means the latest engine ready soonest.  It also means making the move where Boeing has no easy response.  There is no 757 and no 787-3.  The 737-900ER would be eclipsed.

We linked what we think the numbers might look like.  You can argue with our assumptions used in this document (A321G), but we think a A321G (as we call it) makes a compelling case.

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The 787 Saga – What’s going on?

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It seems that Boeing’s 787 attracts a lot of attention.  Much of it is confusing.  Let’s face it, this is a fantastic idea for an airplane.  We know of nobody that does not want to see the program succeed. (more…)

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Consolidation Continues in Regionals

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In the wake of the Continental-United merger, the Continental regional affiliate Express Jet has been acquired by SkyWest, which operates United Express and Delta Connection services.  The value of the transaction was $133 million. (more…)

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