For the first half of this week, I'll be in sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the MRO Americas. MRO, for those of you not familiar with the aerospace industrial alphabet soup stands for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul. This blog has focused primarily on the development and manufacturing of new aircraft, but what happens after they're handed over to customers? These multi-million dollar assets need a lot of loving care, and the business of providing that care is a massive part of the industry. The Flightglobal team will be producing two issues of Interactive Flight Daily News, which will be posted here.
Europe Vs. The Volcano
As this week unfolds, air travel in and around, to and from Europe will be very slowly getting on its feet again. The eruption of the Ejyafjallajökull volcano - dubbed E15 by the US military for its seemingly random arrangement of letters was inflicting $200m in lost revenue daily to the airlines of the world. Has the dust (ash) settled? Or will volcano delays become a way of life for the airline industry? The impact is not only on airlines. Aviation manufacturing supply chains that rely on the air shipment of structural sections will find movements impeded by this latest aerospace industrial crisis. Is this the end of a tumultuous event or the the first chapter of a new reality for aviation?
Boeing vs. Airbus, Finally.
EADS, and Airbus by extension, announced this morning that it plans to bid on the KC-X tanker contract solo. EADS was not able to find a US partner to make its bid, so the European airframer will fly solo in its quest to crack the US defense acquisition market. During the previous competitions (I've lost count), EADS' presence was downplayed, giving prominence to its US partner, Northrop Grumman to present a "American face" to its bid. EADS taking the reins on KC-X is certainly a bold move, but it clears away some of the natural spin. One can only hope this is the beginning of the final chapter of the KC-X tanker saga, one that pits Boeing vs. Airbus in the most direct way possible.
On Wednesday, Boeing is set to announce its first quarter 2010 earnings. While I won't be covering it directly because of MRO, I'll be doing a post-mortem later this week on the 737 Re-Engining, 787 and 747-8 updates provided on the call.
Airlines will be announcing first quarter earnings this week and that should provide an interesting barometer of the economic health of the planet. Naturally, this presumes that a massive virtually unpronounceable volcanic ash cloud doesn't complete curtail that recovery.
The second half of this week will take me somewhere a bit different. I can't yet disclose where I'm headed due to an embargo, though stay tuned on Thursday.