The Case Against The Airbus A220 And Embraer E2
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May 8, 2020 - by Courtney Miller for theaircurrent.com
In the immediate term, cash is king. Purchasing any new aircraft will be a challenging prospect for years, and without a large presence in current fleets by the Embraer E2 and Airbus A220, it may slow the adoption of the sector.
As COVID-19 obliterates commercial aviation, a conventional wisdom has set in that gives an edge to small airplanes. It's not that simple.
Purchasing commercial aircraft is a complicated process. Beyond the legal and financial challenges of completing the purchase, simply coming to an internal agreement can be an exercise in organizational decision making.
As complicated as it may be to align network requirements with aircraft size, range, and efficiency, the realities of operating the new aircraft extend well beyond the fleet and network planning teams. The ability to maintain, staff, and recover from disruptions can stress even the most optimized network. The lack of third-party support and unknown lifecycle costs can impose damaging impacts to an airline's cash flow, even if the aircraft is perfectly sized for the market. These are huge hurdles that must be cleared.
Such are the challenges new small narrow-bodies, the E2 series from Embraer and Airbus's A220 face. With new small narrow-body aircraft entering the scene from traditional regional jet manufacturers (the Airbus A220 started life as the Bombardier CSeries), renewed attention has been placed on the segment. Yet, even with the massive market demonstrated by earlier generations of small narrow-bodies, adoption has been slow - a testament to the myriad of decision points airlines face, and the hurdles each represents for the new fleet of old
Especially in the new world that's being reshaped by the global pandemic, where the risk of shutting down air travel is a reality rather than a deep contingency, the equation has further changed.
This crisis unlike any the commercial aviation industry has never seen, has disrupted more than networks and cash flows.
It will have long lasting effects on the...
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