The year 2011 is almost over and 2012 is ahead of us. So what did the year tell us in terms of aviation? And what does that mean for 2012? Well, here is an an excerpt of what I wrote one year ago:
Maybe the first orders for the -NEO will be announced in January, as Scott Hamilton predicts.
Maybe we see some orders for the CSeries complete until the end of January, when the financial year of Bombardier ends.
If there is indeed a flush of orders for those aircraft, we should hear something out of Seattle (aka Chicago) regarding the future of the B737 soon. Southwest seems to prefer a reengining as they do not believe that Boeing will be able to pull out a successor around 2020...
There was certainly not a flush of orders for the CSeries - I expected some more (or at least larger - orders than what we have seen.
But the orders for the A320neo clearly made the B737MAX becoming a reality (eventually), so Southwest gets what it wants.
In the light of the financial uncertainties surrounding the so-called Euro crisis, 2012 will be completely unpredictable in terms of new aircraft orders. But the future market is the narrowbody sector is clear: Airbus and Boeing are focusing on reengining, Embraer will follow after the B737MAX enters airline service. The only all-new aircraft of the western hemisphere will be the Bombardier CSeries and once the aircraft flies it should benefit from that fact.
The chinese C919 as well as the russian MS-21 could become good aircraft - both will have a lot of western technology built in. But if they will become true contenders is dubious. One just has to look how difficult it is for a well-known western OEM like Bombardier to break into the Airbus-Boeing duopoly.
Airbus has to show a lot of progress in the A350 programme to build confidence. The last few weeks showed first fuselage sections coming together, but at this point in time the B787 was on track as well...
Boeing has to deliver - the B787 namely. Until today they lost against every delivery target they set themselves.
Bombardier has to show the same progress as Airbus for the A350 with their CSeries - a first flight towards the end of the year would be good for them.
Embraer said they want to decide about the engine for their reengined EJets until the end of 2012 - the race is on between a LEAP derivative, a GTF (maybe PW1524G derivative) and maybe also an offer from Rolls Royce.
Tomorrow that new year (not just in aviation) starts - have fun everyone!