This week’s featured link:
Mitsubishi to turn MRJ into cheaper, smaller ‘Space Jet’ – Nikkei Asian Review
It is going to be really interesting to watch what happens in the regional jet space in the US. Bombardier has basically given up while Embraer has focused its development efforts on the E2 which is too heavy to be flown by US regionals (per their agreements with the big three). So who will step in to fill the void? Mitsubishi’s MRJ is an airplane I figured would be dead on arrival, but the pivot to make it attractive to the US market creates a real opportunity. I look forward to hearing more about these plans in June.
Two for the road:
A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO – Leeham News and Analysis
Now THAT is some impressive spin.
Wow Air Collapse Decimates Iceland’s Economy – Bloomberg
Air travel matters to an economy, and Iceland is taking quite the hit. Iceland is unique enough that I wonder if there is a case for government funding to keep numbers up. It rarely if ever makes sense, but this should become a fascinating case study once the market levels out and it can be fairly evaluated.
If the A380 was a “success” because it taught lessons which in turn made the A350 a success than I would say Airbus should repay Germans the $600m and be done with it. I would hope that the evolution of products build on the lessons learned from the prior be it airplanes or motor vehicles or whatever. That’s just common sense, but if that’s the way you want to take it – pay back the launch aid.
Personally I agree that interview is all spin from a CEO that doesn’t want to admit that they misread the market that bad. I’ve always thought the A380 to be more ego driven than anything else. Just because you can build something doesn’t mean you always should.
I understand that Mitsubishi has had a “70” seat variation in the works from the get-go. Even the MRJ 90 can be configured to meet the various U.S. airlines’ scope requirements.
The MRJ 90 would have to include 12 first.business class seats and “Comfort-plus/Main Cabin Extra” seating, but getting to 76 seats wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
That is not allowed. There is a weight cap as well as a passenger cap.
The airplane is too heavy.
Oops! Now that you mention it, I do remember that. Thanks.
Stewart – You’ll have to ask the unions.
I know this will probably show my naivete, but it seems to me that some of the current scope restrictions are a bit silly. I understand the general idea, but I really do think that both sides could benefit by allowing a bit more flexibility. It seems to me that it would be possible to negotiate an increase in the size of outsourced aircraft in exchange for reduced numbers (expressed as percentages), coupled with some shift of capacity to the mainline. To me that’s not too dissimilar to what Delta seems to be doing (but maybe I’m missing something). Expressing scope in percentages would allow outsourcing to grow only if the mainline grows. But again, maybe I’m just naive.
I love tying two stories together!
A380 a success? That surely has to be putting lipstick on a very big pig! (and don’t call me Shirley! :))
Even Emirates is trying to find new uses for their fleet of A380’s!
Maybe Airbus can claim the A380 a success if they can sell it to the airlines as a new RJ!
Just a thought! :) :)
A 76 seat A380 would be the Best Airplane Ever™. Too bad that, as CF noted above, scope limits weight and not just seats. If the MRJ is too heavy, I don’t know what kind of diet the A380 could go on to meet the weight limits. :) :)
I mean, the A380 was a PR success that created new technologies that are now being used on planes like the A350 right? The A380 itself is probably a commercial and financial failure but it’s not all doom and gloom.