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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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Hawaiian Airlines’ unique geography continues to benefit the company in 2016 as favourable capacity trends are one factor in its industry outperformance in unit revenue metrics. Hawaiian’s outlook for the remainder of 2016 remains positive as industry capacity on its routes to North America and long haul destinations remains relatively benign.
The airline is acknowledging slight pressure in its inter-island operations due to heightened competition with the smaller operator Island Air. Hawaiian plans to adjust its inter-island schedule later in 2016 to maximise peak flying and cut some off-peak flights.
Hawaiian is expanding service to the Tokyo market in 2016 after being awarded new slots at Haneda airport. But the expansion is not affecting Hawaiian’s overall growth targets of a 2.5% to 5.5% increase in capacity, which is significantly lower than the double-digit expansion it recorded from 2011 to 2013.
Air Canada is undertaking a significant international push, just as the UK has voted to exit the European Union and terrorist attacks have swept Belgium, France and Turkey. Despite the pressure those circumstances are creating for revenue and yields, Air Canada has a reasonably positive outlook for demand in 3Q2016.
The airline has posted declines in yields and unit revenues for numerous quarters, but stresses that outcome remains a by-product of its strategy to grow internationally. Expansion by the company’s low cost subsidiary rouge has increased Air Canada’s mix of leisure customers and its growing average stage lengths have also pressured unit revenues. However, the company continually declares that its expansion is margin-accretive.
Air Canada no longer provides specific capacity guidance but has no plans to slow its growth in 2016, the bulk of which is directed to international markets. The company’s message is that its capacity increases should in fact be absorbed, even accounting for a major capacity push that started in late 2Q2016.
WestJet's positive unit revenue trend. 2016 still challenging for airlines, but investors encouraged
Canada’s second largest airline WestJet endured a tough 1H2016 that encompassed plunging unit revenue and a difficult start to its highly anticipated launch of widebody flights to London Gatwick. But its prospects are looking slightly more positive for 2H2016 as sequential trends for its unit revenue performance improve, and its London operation is showing sustained signs of reliability. However, the shaky launch of service to London has created some cost pressure, which has driven WestJet to revise its 2016 unit cost guidance upwards.
Although WestJet has adjusted its capacity in Alberta, which is suffering fallout from the reliance of its economy on the energy sector, the airline has not declared that the weakness in the territory has hit a bottom.
WestJet continues to maintain system capacity guidance of 7% to 9% for 2016, and maintains that the bulk of the increase is driven by the four 767 widebodies it is operating to London. Perhaps in a bid to quell some concern about its high single-digit growth, the airline also stresses – stripping out the 767 growth – that its capacity increases are in line with Canada’s GDP.
The operational challenges Canadian low cost airline WestJet has encountered in its launch of widebody flights to London has done little to quell investor concern about the carrier’s ability to execute low cost long haul flights successfully. Mechanical problems with the Boeing 767s have triggered cancellations and operational challenges, which has created passenger frustration, and resulted in reaccommodation and other expenses that are not insignificant.
WestJet has been working to smooth out the operational teething pains of the twin aisle jets, and is assuring that the hiccups are temporary. However, the less than ideal launch could call into question WestJet’s ability to spread the low cost model and stimulate traffic from Canada in the North Atlantic market. The company is attracting a higher level of scrutiny since it is the first LCC based in North America to attempt to spread the model on long haul flights.
Despite the shaky launch of its long haul flights with widebodies, WestJet cannot ignore long-term opportunities presented by the long haul market from Canada – with a value in the billions. WestJet can ill-afford to cede all the revenue to rival Air Canada and non-Canadian airlines operating on trans-Atlantic routes. In the short term the airline finds itself in a position of now attempting to engender passenger confidence that its operational snafus are temporary, and its product proposition remains intact.
Garuda Indonesia is close to completing a new 10-year fleet plan outlining narrowbody and widebody growth. An overdue order for new generation widebody aircraft, along with a top-up order for 737 MAX narrowbodies, is expected by the end of 2016, potentially at the upcoming Farnborough Airshow.
The new fleet plan supports an ambitious plan to expand Garuda’s international network – both regionally and in the long haul sector. Garuda is also striving to strengthen its domestic position further with narrowbody growth.
According to CEO Arif Wibowo, the group's new overall strategy is: “To dominate the domestic market, expand regional where the opportunities are and subsidise long haul growth.” This is the fourth and final part of a comprehensive series of analysis reports published by CAPA on the Garuda Indonesia Group.
Alaska, jetBlue and Southwest cost projections; good in the short term but long term challenges loom
Just as the large three global US airlines – American, Delta and United – work to contain their unit costs, their rivals Alaska, jetBlue and Southwest are committed to keeping their respective unit costs in line as the current revenue environment in the US remains weak.
The latter three airlines face different cost dynamics in the future. Alaska is attempting to embark on a merger with Virgin America, which will inevitably create some cost pressure as the full integration gets under way. Southwest is in the middle of complex pilot and flight attendant negotiations, which makes predicting its cost performance in the near- to mid-term difficult. At some point jetBlue will also conclude a new pilot contract that will affect its cost structure.
Cost performance results for Alaska, jetBlue and Southwest for 2Q2016 and the full year look reasonably favourable, although Alaska has refined its 2016 targets slightly, driven in part by increases in performance-based pay. But its costs should remain competitive compared with its peers, and solidly lower than those of the larger network carriers.