Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Boeing’s quarterly profits slump while new industrial problems emerge

While Boeing continues to struggle with the grounding of its popular 737 MAX jet, the American planemaker is seeing other problems surface as it decides to reduce production numbers of its 787 Dreamliner. Beyond either further reducing output of the 737 MAX or even halting production completely, plans for the production of a successor to the 777 mini-jumbo, codenamed NMA, are also being delayed.

According to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the company is now targeting early 2021 for the first delivery of the 777X, and sees a total of three 777-program deliveries per month in 2020, verses 3.5 per month set in 2019. Despite these revelations, shares in Boeing rose 1% to US$340.28 at midday trading on Wednesday, October 23. Analysts believe that the cut in 787 production to 12 units per month, scheduled for 2020, is tied to the current U.S. trade war with China and that situation could easily be resolved in the near future. Boeing has reported a 53% drop in quarterly profit and a negative free cash flow of US$2.89 billion in the quarter, compared with a positive free cash flow of US$4.10 billion a year earlier. Core operating earnings fell to US$895 million or US$1.45 per share, from US$1.89 billion or US$3.58 per share, a year earlier.

Boeing is also undergoing a management restructuring which has so far seen CEO Dennis Muilenburg stripped of his role as board chairman and, on Tuesday, October 22, Kevin McAllister, the commercial airplanes division’s top executive, was also ousted. However, as CEO, Muilenburg remains in the crosshairs for any further revelations regarding the 737 MAX.

The Federal Aviation Authority is currently demanding an explanation as to why text messages from a former Boeing Pilot describing erratic behaviour of the 737 MAX simulator software were not allegedly revealed to regulators until last week and also what the content of those messages was implying.  


Three new business jets are certified and ready for service with Safran Nacelles’ thrust reversers

A trio of new business jets equipped with thrust reversers from Safran Nacelles are entering service following their certification by airworthiness authorities – reinforcing the company's role as a
preferred nacelle system component supplier in this high-end aircraft sector.

The three business jets are Bombardier's Global 5500 and Global 6500, powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines; and the Cessna Citation Longitude from Textron Aviation, which is outfitted with Honeywell HTF7000 powerplants. All of them use variants of Safran Nacelles' in-production thrust reversers, benefitting from the maturity and service experience gained during decades of operation.

Boeing appoints Stan Deal CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Ted Colbert CEO of Boeing Global Services

Boeing has named Stan Deal to succeed Kevin McAllister as president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Ted Colbert to succeed Deal as president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, effective immediately.

Vishwa Uddanwadiker is appointed to Colbert's former role as interim chief information officer and senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics.


Czech Airlines orders four A220 and up-sizes three A320neo to A321XLR

Czech Airlines has ordered four Airbus A220-300 aircraft and opted for additional range by up-sizing a previous order for three A320neo to A321XLR.

The two fuel-efficient aircraft types will complement Czech Airlines’ existing fleet of six A319 and one A330-300, and allow it to continue extending its network to reach more markets. The airline will also benefit from the commonality of Airbus Family aircraft. The A220-300 will be fitted with 149 seats, while the A321XLR will cater for top comfort in a two-class layout with 195 seats.

Serbian government and MTU Aero Engines to cooperate in training of skilled labor

MTU Aero Engines AG and the government of the Republic of Serbia have inked a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), establishing their close cooperation in the field of training of skilled labor. The aim is to effectively address the specific needs of the aviation industry in the curricula of vocational and trade schools. The move clears the way for an adoption of a training scheme based on the proven dual system of classroom and work-place learning for teaching people the ropes of the aviation industry.

The decision to step up cooperation comes against the backdrop of MTU’s plan to open a dedicated engine parts repair facility in Serbia. MTU’s new shop will be located in Nova Pazova near Belgrade and is scheduled to be up and running in the course of 2022. In support of the project, a Serbian subsidiary, dubbed MTU Maintenance Serbia d.o.o., has been set up, and first employees have already been hired. Their focus over the next few months will be on developing a workforce to meet the company’s needs.

While construction of the new facility is under way, MTU will be training people for the skilled positions to be filled. This training will take place at local vocational and trade schools in Serbia and on site at MTU’s facilities in Germany along the lines of the MoC now signed.

TP Aerospace

ACJ and Sabena technics to co-operate in self-protection

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and Sabena technics are to co-operate in proposing self-protection systems (SPSs) for Airbus corporate jets. Each SPS would combine an existing, state of the art, directional infra-red countermeasure (DIRCM) system with installation on an Airbus corporate jet. SPSs will initially be offered for the ACJ320 Family.

An SPS offers protection against missiles fired from man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), which are the most widespread missile-threat today. Self-defence systems are already in service on some Airbus corporate jets.The co-operation agreement was signed at the NBAA show, by Sabena technics Senior Vice president Sales and Business Development Daniel Soltani and ACJ President Benoit Defforge.


Drukair takes delivery of latest generation ATR 42-600

Bhutanese national flag-carrier Drukair has taken delivery of its brand new ATR 42-600 aircraft. The latest-generation turboprop aircraft, which will be used on the airline’s domestic and international routes, was chosen for its outstanding operational performance in challenging conditions. The airline’s ATR serves small airports in the Himalayan Mountains and links Bhutan with Kathmandu, Kolkata and Dhaka.

Through the introduction of the -600 series’ latest generation Standard 3 avionics suite, Drukair will benefit from RNP AR 0.3/0.3 which further enhances airfield accessibility and operational performance. Drukair’s ATR is equipped with the ClearVision™ system, which will provide pilots with outstanding vision and situational awareness. The aircraft will feature a very comfortable 40-seat cabin with generous pitch and stowage.

Airinmar secures Value Engineering contract with JetBlue

AAR subsidiary Airinmar, the global independent provider of component repair cycle management and aircraft warranty solutions, signed a three-year agreement with JetBlue to provide component Value Engineering cost oversight services for the airline’s Airbus and Embraer fleets.

The agreement covers the provision of Airinmar’s unique Value Engineering knowledge and expertise, along with in-house support systems across a wide range of JetBlue’s aircraft components. Under the scope of the services, Airinmar will assess repair costs to assure compliance with JetBlue’s contracted pricing terms, under either component flight-hour or fixed-pricing terms, as well as the cost evaluation of time and material quoted repairs.


Rolls-Royce unveils new Pearl engine family member for business aviation

Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Pearl® 700, the latest addition to its Pearl engine family for business aviation. The purpose-designed engine, the most powerful in the Rolls-Royce business jet propulsion portfolio, is the exclusive powerplant for the brand new Gulfstream G700.

More than 3,200 business jets in service today are powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The Pearl 700 is the newest member of the state-of-the-art Pearl engine family, first introduced in 2018 and marks the seventh new civil aerospace engine introduced by Rolls-Royce over the past decade. Gulfstream’s selection of the Pearl 700 to power its new flagship aircraft reaffirms Rolls-Royce’s position as the leading business aviation engine manufacturer.

Component Control

Boeing receives order for two BBJ 787-9 aircraft

A VIP customer was behind the purchase of two ultra-long range Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes. The order, placed in August, has a list price value of US$564 million. The VIP customer has requested to be unidentified.

The BBJ 787-9, is a business jet version of the technologically-advanced 787-9 Dreamliner. The airplane can fly 9,485 nautical miles while offering amenities such as larger windows, a lower cabin altitude, smooth ride technology, cleaner and higher humidity air, and a quieter cabin.

Boeing Business Jets now has 16 orders for the 787 variant, making it one of the world’s most popular widebody business jets.

Bombardier connects with GE to go big on big data

Bombardier has signed a Preferred Service Provider (PSP) agreement with GE Aviation. As of October 23, GE will power Bombardier’s cockpit and cabin connectivity solutions – including new, curated, service bundles that will simplify the selection of cockpit and cabin services with tip-to-tail solutions for new and in-service aircraft.

This agreement is a first step toward the launch of Bombardier’s comprehensive Smart Link Plus connected aircraft program. Launching in the second half of 2020, Smart Link Plus will help Bombardier customers drive operations and maintenance decisions by leveraging fleet-wide data.

GE Aviation is also working closely with Bombardier on the development of the Smart Link Plus box – a Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) “smart” box capable of generating key data for customers, enabling them to increase operational efficiency, and minimize return-to-service times through data-driven decisions. The smart box combines GE’s joint venture, Avionica’s, lightweight, highly functional and open architecture hardware with GE’s health and data management software. 

Bombardier MRO

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Advanced Engineering 2019
October 30 - 31, 2019 – NEC, Birmingham, UK

EyeforTravel Revenue Optimization and Marketing Summit
November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan