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Boeing is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft, rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
Boeing is organised into two business units: Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Supporting these units is Boeing Capital Corporation, the Shared Services Group and Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology.
Boeing’s main commercial products are the B737, B747, B767 and B777 families of aircraft and the Boeing Business Jet. New product development efforts are focused on the B787 Dreamliner, 737Max, 777X and the B747-8. The company has nearly 12,000 commercial jetliners in service worldwide, which is roughly 75% of the world fleet.
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United Airlines improved its fortunes in 2Q2014, and posted net profits that were not dramatically lower than its fellow US network peers. Along with an increase in profitability year-on-year the airline also exceeded its passenger unit revenue guidance and kept its unit cost essentially flat.
Additionally, the airline has outlined a plan for shareholder returns in the form of a USD1 billion share buy-back programme to be completed during the next three years.
The signs are encouraging even as United still has a long road ahead in realising the full value of its merger. But the airline is offering more specifics of how it intends to shore up revenue through additional network optimisation that includes improving its regional operations.
One of Air Canada’s key strategic initiatives during the next few years is to solidify its presence as Canada’s leading international airline, and its execution of that strategy is now more important than ever after rival WestJet has made the first concrete steps in acquiring widebody aircraft.
Part of Air Canada’s efforts in maximising higher-yielding international traffic is wresting sixth freedom flows away from the US to its Canadian hubs. This is particularly important over Toronto where the groundwork is in place to allow for seamless connections to Air Canada’s long-haul flights to Asia and Europe.
Air Canada believes that if it succeeds in capturing its projected share of the international transit traffic, it could generate CAD400 million (USD371 million) in annual revenue. But US airlines are improving their onboard product and bolstering long-haul flights, adding new challenges to Air Canada’s transit passenger scheme.
Leasing companies stepped into centre stage on the second day of the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, with a flurry of high value orders.
Since the beginning of the airshow, eight aircraft lessors announced a wide range of orders, totalling more than 400 aircraft, valued at over USD35 billion at list prices.
In particular, lessors have jumped on the chance for early orders for Airbus’ new A330neo. 65 of the 105 firm orders and commitments for the aircraft, launched on 14-Jul-2014, came from leasing companies.
Airbus and Boeing typically grab the headlines at the big airshows, but regional aircraft manufacturers had a particularly strong first day at the bi-annual Farnborough Airshow.
The smaller aircraft manufacturers – Embraer, Bombardier, Sukhoi, ATR, COMAC and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation – collectively announced firm and tentative orders for nearly 130 jets and turboprops, as well as options for another 120 aircraft.
With all orders and options included, the deals are valued at more than USD7.8 billion.
All the major US airlines are projecting strong unit revenue growth for 2Q2014 underpinned by continued strong domestic demand. Southwest so far has the highest projections of 8% while United is reversing a 1Q2014 unit revenue decline of 2% with 3.5% growth year-on-year in 2Q2014.
Although United’s estimated passenger unit revenue growth is still trailing its peers, the improvement is encouraging. The airline’s unit cost projections for 2Q2014 are also favourable, a welcome sign for investors looking for indications that United is really beginning to clear some major merger hurdles.
There are lingering concerns about a slight capacity imbalance in the trans-Atlantic market and weakness in Latin America triggered by a decline in business demand during the World Cup. But overall the positive momentum from 1Q2014 seems to be continuing for US airlines, which should result in solid profits for the summer high season.
WestJet’s official declaration that it intends to start operating widebody aircraft in late 2015 is not surprising given the airline’s commentary about acquiring twin-aisle jets has grown more robust throughout the past year.
However, within the span of two years WestJet is rapidly changing its business model: the introduction of both smaller 70-seat turboprops to compete in regional markets; and widebodies to go international, each adding new layers of complexity that requires absorption. But as with the shorter-haul regional market, WestJet has concluded that the opportunity in the long-haul space – nearly double the value of the transborder market – is too large to leave to its Air Canada competitor.
WestJet’s crystallising of its widebody ambitions caps off a raft of changes in the Canadian domestic market as the country’s incumbent airlines face potential pressure from upstart ultra low-cost carriers who believe Canada is ripe for the pay-for-frills model that exists in most other markets.