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Viking Air

This tag is associated with 3 posts

SUMMARY: Canada’s Viking Air is shutting down its expensive $7.5M Series 400 Twin Otter production for 90 days and laying off 212 workers (46% of work force) as deliveries have exceeded sales for sometime and one cannot live off one’s backlogs for too long before you have “white tails”, which apparently there are 6 right now in Calgary. The 19 seat utility market is tough, roughly 33 aircraft deliveries per year by just 4 OEM’s, and surely no one really makes money in the market ? While Viking has delivered 120 in the past 7 years, it is far short of the 2006 forecast of 440 (at a price of $3.195M) over 10 years (off by 300%). Could the much higher price (+134% on 2006 price) have something to do with the lower demand ? off course like with all the other OEM’s, the high price ($279,000 to $447,000 per passenger seat) has killed the market (B737-800/A320 at around $275,000 per passenger seat), but with very low production rates what can you do ? Nothing ! Now, Viking is looking at the out of production turbine powered $37M per copy CL-415 water bomber as a possible new production program. The turbine CL-415 had just 90 deliveries in 22 years of production (4.1 per year) while the radial engine CL-215 had 125 deliveries over 21 years (6.0 per year), so no BIG market here in water bombers, maybe 4 to 5 per year ? but I think a 30 seat regional amphibian can make a difference, the CL-215C ‘Transport’ (2 delivered to Venezuela long ago) is a 30 to 36 passenger certified version and the market is out there all over the world, more than for a firefighter, and surely another 4 to 5 CL-415C ‘Transport’ per year, can change the business case for re-starting the production line for the CL-415 ? 10 aircraft and $+375M in annual revenue sounds good (that is equivalent to 50 x Series 400’s).

READ” Blog on 2016 Turboprop Market (click General Aviation) for more info on the 19 seat market in the March 9, 2017 issue   Viking Air has announced on May 31, 2017 that it is shutting down production of its $7.5 million Twin Otter Series 400 for 90 days and will lay off 212 starting … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Consolidation in the Canadian regional airline industry is slower than I expected, but recent acquisitions by West Wind Aviation of Osprey Wings and Harbour Air (aka “World’s Largest Seaplane Airline”) acquisition of Salt Spring Air on top of EIC acquiring Provincial Aerospace and Chorus Aviation acquiring Voyageur Airways earlier in 2015 gives me some hope for more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in this sector over the next 1-3 years. In fact, Harbour Air itself has sold 49% of it’s equity to a Chinese investor in 2015, and is now planning to enter the highly questionable Chinese seaplane market , just as it solidifies it’s dominant market position in and around the Vancouver area having also acquired Whistler Air (in 2012) and West Coast Air (in 2010), and then divested itself off Prince Rupert based North Pacific Seaplanes (in 2013). There are 6 privately owned Canadian regional airlines that could be in play in the next 2-3 years, as several airlines are well into their 2nd generation of management by owners and most do not have a 3rd generation waiting to take control and few are actually growing and basically stuck in their traditional market. Publicly owned Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) with 5 airlines now has shown that you can make money with regional airlines as long as you have good management, a good market position/niche and financing behind you. The industry is changing, in the north, most airlines are now First Nation owned and the remaining privately owned airlines will find eager investors if they truly want to sell and are prepared for suitors before they need a buyer, as most small airlines are unprepared to generate interest with potential buyers, as they don’t even know how to value their business’s worth, what are its attributes and how to attract a broader pool of investors willing to pay more for the company. Last, I will discuss the growth of seaplane airlines around the world and the need for new aircraft beyond just old landplanes with bulky and heavy floats attached, for the industry to really grow.

I have previously discussed the Canadian regional airline market, and that consolidation is coming as family run airlines are looking to sell their airlines, as witnessed by Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) of Winnipeg (TSX:EIF), which has bought 5 Canadian private family regional airlines in the past 12 years, and surely eyeing more: Perimeter Aviation in … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Paris Air Show 2015 is done, the winners were again the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing with 752 orders ($US 107.2 billion at “list price”) out of a total of 958 orders. The BIG loser was surely Bombardier which finally after 7 years from its launch, made its debut with both the CS100 and CS300 airliners, but left the show with 0 (zero) in new orders for their CSeries, Q400 and CRJ’s brands, which should be worrying, but after the show Bombardier said it was “absolutely satisfied”, with what ? The fact it had to choose the little known, barely profitable, Latvian government owned airBaltic as its launch customer for the CS300 (13 x CS300’s on order and 7 options) says novels about the poor quality of its order book. The airline’s order has a “list price” value of $US 1.44 billion, yet this airline has made a profit of only $US 11 million in the past 5 years on revenues of $US 688 million (1.6% net profit margin) ? unfortunately they have no “better” airline for such an important role. Meanwhile Bombardier now seriously talks of a stretched 160-180 seat CS500 to challenge Boeing and Airbus ? really ? it’s stock price keeps dropping, (TSE:BBD/B) is at $C 2.25 today down 45.8% YTD (year to date) and the corresponding drop in market capitalization to only $US 5.11 billion, investors are worried and Bombardier wants to spend more money on a CS500 to take on the big duopoly of Boeing and Airbus head on in the most lucrative market, the single-aisle/narrow-body segment ? Individual losers were the A380, A350-1000 and the MRJ, with no new orders, while little known Viking Air of Canada announces 50 “orders” from China for its pricey $US +7.5 million Series 400 Twin Otter even though the Chinese have a similar, good performing, FAA certified and cheaper Y-12E ? Embraer celebrated its 2 year anniversary at Paris of its E2 launch, booked 25 E2 orders at the show and now has 325 firm orders, while the CSeries is now 7 years past its launch (July 18, 2008) with only 243 firm orders, but realistically it is only 130 orders at best. ATR books 46 orders and 35 options at the show, as it solidifies its market dominance in the large turboprop market segment after 160 firm orders in 2014. Sukhoi’s SSJ-100/95 gets an order for 3 as shamefully up to 33 “white tails” (out of 85 delivered, or 39% of delivered aircraft) await customers even with price discounts of 56%, while the program struggles with production, sales, marketing, corporate governance and politics, as 51% partner Finmeccanica (Italy) is restructuring and understandably contemplating its exit from the Italian-Russian joint venture and surprisingly it also has doubts on its future with the very successful ATR program where its fully owned subsidiary Alenia-Aermacchi is a 50% partner with Airbus Group. Airbus and Boeing want to increase production of single aisle/narrow-body airliners (B737Max now has 2,773 orders and A320neo has 3,854 orders) to a possible 115 per month (Boeing to 52, Airbus to 63) by 2018 ! is that over optimism in this unprecedented period of growth ? can the already over extended supply chain even handle the extra work ? With an average monthly delivery of 112 aircraft in 2014 of all sized aircraft by both OEM’s (1,349 units), the latest Boeing 20 year forecast of 35,560 aircraft would translate to an average of 148 aircraft per month for all sized aircraft by both OEM’s, an increase of 32% on 2014 delivery numbers, with new orders in 1st half of 2015 already down on 2014 ? What role do speculative orders play in this order frenzy ? Deals at Paris are always quoted in List Prices but who is getting a good deal ? are you getting a good deal ? how do you know you got a good deal when almost everyone gets a discount, no one pays List Price and it is all so secretive, so how low can Boeing and Airbus go ? how about 64% off on big orders ? yup, enough to make sure that new competitors like the CS500, C919 and MC-21 do not win orders based on price. Lastly, Russia’s aggressive stand against NATO is seriously raising tensions in European countries on the Russian border, since 2008 Russia has annexed and integrated 4 Russian speaking enclaves/territories from 3 of its neighbors (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), now open conflict is a real possibility, and Russia’s military thinks a small tactical nuclear response today is possible without triggering a WW III ! in this political environment it is time for tough economic sanctions on Russia and especially its aerospace industry, the Sukhoi SSJ-100 is getting lots of financial support from President Putin, as it is the only Russian commercial aircraft ever built with any western appeal. It is time to stop buying Russian aircraft and stop ALL support for Russia’s aerospace industry, as any military conflict with Russia will make corporate profits absolutely irrelevant anyway !

With the 2015 Paris Air Show now behind us, it is worth to look at the final results of the big aerospace event and analyze the winners and the losers as it gives a pulse on which OEM’s are on top of their game and those that are not. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– The battle in the narrowbody … Continue reading