Monday, August 31, 2015

Single Aisle News - August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

Bombardier is reportedly close to securing new financing for its third-largest C-Series order, after Export Development Canada announced that it would no longer finance the order for Moscow-based lessor Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC).  Canada's government sponsored financier suspended support for the deal, following Russian intervention in the Ukraine and the imposition of international sanctions.  The new finance arrangement, however, is contingent on IFC securing signed lease agreements for the aircraft, which they are now close to achieving.

Bombardier's stock shares have continued to slide as investors wait to see if the manufacturer will secure additional sales for its new C-Series airline, following a gap of nearly one year since its last new order.  In the words of one market analyst, "The time has come for Bombardier to prove to the market that it can get orders on its self-proclaimed world-class planes, improve its margins and fix its balance sheet before asking investors to further believe in the company."

Despite the political turmoil in Russia, Airbus has declared a goal of matching Boeing's market share among Russian airlines by the end of next summer.  Airbus currently has 283 commercial aircraft flying among various Russian operators, compared to 296 aircraft that bear the Boeing label.

Russian manufacturer Irkut has confirmed to customers that its first MC-21 prototype is meeting its weight targets, as the first airplane begins assembly at the plant in Irkutsk.  The MC-21 features a mix of Russian-manufactured composite and structural components, and Western-supplied systems - including its PW1400G Geared Turbofan(TM) engine.  The airplane is aimed at delivering a lower cost competitor to the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 NEO.

What was most noteworthy from this year's MAKS air show outside of Moscow was the number of suppliers that did not show up.  Airbus was the only foreign manufacturer that brought aircraft for display at this year's event, and no new major sales were announced as Russian airlines - wracked by the financial crisis brought on by international sanctions over Russia's intervention in the Ukraine - delayed or cancelled existing orders.

Boeing executives continue to downplay reports that supply chain issues, such as reported delays in the supply of thrust-reversers from GKN, would delay production ramp-up of the 737 MAX.  The re-engined 737 MAX will feature CFM International LEAP-1B engines, which will require the thrust-reversers to endure higher temperatures.  Boeing is planning to increase production from its current 42 aircraft per month to 52 aircraft per month once the MAX reaches production in 2017.

Mitsubishi Aircraft continues to report that its new Mitsubishi Regional Jet is on-track for first flight in the fourth quarter of this year.  The MRJ will be Japan's first attempt at a producing a commercial jet airliner, attempting to wrest market share from regional jet manufacturers at Bombardier and Embraer.  With seating for up to 92 passengers the MRJ will be the latest aircraft to be powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW1200G Geared Turbofan(TM).

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