B737 Max and A350 Travails
- Gol, one of Boeing’s most important B737 MAX customers, reached an agreement with the manufacturer on compensation for the aircraft’s lengthy service disruption. The deal includes an unspecified amount of cash, and also the cancellation of 34 orders. Gol now has 95 MAXs on order, down from 129. But the Brazilian low-cost carrier emphasized that it “remains fully committed” to the MAX. Gol has seven MAX 8s already in its fleet and was supposed to have received 25 more last year. Some of its orders are for MAX 10s, the largest version of the plane.
- Boeing got an even bigger blow from GECAS, one of the industry’s largest aircraft lessors. The unit of GE terminated orders for 69 undelivered 737 MAXs. It still has 82 on order, and 29 already in its possession. Earlier this month, the lessor Avolon cancelled 75 MAX orders, underscoring the pessimism pervading the aircraft market.
- The A350s previously part of Latam’s order book are now part of Delta’s order book, the result of a deal negotiated when the two formed an alliance last year. Delta, though, Reuters reports, is in active discussions with Airbus about deferring some orders. As a reminder, the widebody market, and especially the larger widebody market, was weak even before the current Covid crisis
- How weak is it now? Longtime aviation banker Bertrand Grabowski tells the Seattle Times that airlines can now buy a 10-year old B777-300ER for “no more than $50m.” That’s a big discount from pre-crisis prices, and far less than $200m-plus Grabowski said it would cost to buy a B777-X, even after the substantial discounts many airlines typically get.
- Fortunately for United, BOC Aviation is still willing to buy both widebodies and narrowbodies. The U.S. giant sold six B787-9s and 16 B737 MAX 9s to the Singapore-based lessor, which is owned by Beijing-based Bank of China. BOC surely got its planes at a heavy discount from what they were worth a few months ago. But United is trying to raise cash in any way it can right now.