Boeing announced (19-Mar-2010) plans to accelerate planned production rate increases on both the B777 and B747-8 programmes. B777 production will be lifted from six to seven aircraft per month from mid-2011, earlier than the 'early 2012' initially planned. The B747-8 programme's planned production rate increases from 1.5 per month to two per month and will move forward from mid-2013 to mid-2012. Suppliers for both the B777 and B747 will be prepared to support the accelerated rate increases. The move will support "increasing customer demand in the recovering airplane market". The current production rate decisions are not expected to have a material impact on 2010 financial results. The company will provide a complete guidance update when it releases first-quarter financial results. [more]
Boeing to increase widebody production rates
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The CAPA airline fleet quiz: 15 challenging questions. CAPA Summit Singapore 2/3 March
Test your knowledge of the global aircraft fleet with this CAPA Quiz. If you have access to the comprehensive CAPA Fleet Database, it should be a breeeeze.
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Frontier and Spirit Airlines ramp up their fleets to support bullish views on passenger stimulation
ULCCs Frontier and Spirit hold orders for more than 150 Airbus narrowbodies to support the proliferation of the model across the US. Frontier’s fleet is projected to grow by 83% from YE2016 to 2021 – from 66 to 121 aircraft. Spirit’s current fleet forecast shows 46% growth from YE2017 to 2021 – from 108 aircraft to 158 aircraft.
Each airline is taking nuanced approaches to financial management of its fleet. Spirit has opted to purchase some aircraft off lease in order to enlarge its number of owned aircraft, while Frontier, which is just embarking on the process of accessing public markets, will use operating leases as its primary financing vehicle.
The planned growth by each airline reflects conclusions reached by Frontier and Spirit about the opportunities for the ULCC model in the US, despite changing market dynamics – namely a push by large US global network airlines to create pricing segments to compete more effectively with ULCCs. Despite the focus on price matching by larger airlines, Frontier and Spirit remain bullish on the opportunities for stimulation in the US market.