An Overview of the U.S. Commercial Aircraft Fleet

Recent U.S. DoT Data Reveals Fleet of 7,309 Aircraft Flying as of Year-End 2017

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent, Forecast International.

The Boeing 737-800 is the most commonly used aircraft by airlines in the United States. As of the end of 2017, American Airlines operated a fleet of 304 aircraft of this type, ahead of Southwest with 181 aircraft, United Airlines (141), Delta Air Lines (77), and Alaska Airlines (61).  Source: BriYYZ (flickr user).

Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its annual Schedule B-43 Inventory database, which contains all commercial aircraft in the U.S. inventory as of year-end 2017. Some inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the raw data were identified and fixed by Forecast International by cross-checking with individual airline fleet data.

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Jair Bolsonaro Will Be Brazil’s Next President

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. Source: Wikipedia/ Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil

Brazilian right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro has won a runoff election to become Brazil’s next president. Bolsonaro defeated opponent Fernando Haddad with 55.1 percent of the vote. The two men, on opposite sides of the political spectrum, faced each other after they were the two top vote-getters in the first round of elections on October 7. Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in those earlier elections, a runoff was required. Continue reading

NATO Military Mobility in Europe Remains Key Focus of Alliance

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

With deterrence against a Russian incursion along its Baltic flank a paramount strategic concern of NATO, military mobility has emerged as a key Alliance focus over the past several years. Issues related to rail and roadway sovereignty across national borders, diplomatic notices, environmental concerns, bridge and tunnel heights, railcar and custom regulations, plus others, all combine to slow down west-to-east military resupply and reinforcement capabilities.[i] Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – The Khashoggi Murder and its Effects on Saudi-U.S.-Turkey Relations

 By Matthew Beres and Dan Darling, Forecast International.

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets.

This episode features Daniel Darling, Jim Head, and Derek Bisaccio on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and how his death impacts Saudi Arabia’s arms imports. Continue reading

Examining U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo departs from King Salman Air Base on October 17. He is accompanied by the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman. Photo: Ron Przysucha / U.S. Department of State

The news of the disappearance and killing of The Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi has put a spotlight on the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially the close security ties between the two countries. President Donald Trump remains reluctant to address arms sales in response to the crisis. He has contended that terminating those sales would hurt the U.S. economy.[i] Congress, however, is not buying the president’s argument and may seek to force his hand, if nothing else by seeking to delay or slow down the approval process for weapons.[ii] Continue reading

USAF Awards $2.3 Billion to Develop New Launch Vehicles

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Blue Origin New Glenn 2.   Source: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force has awarded three companies a combined $2.3 billion in contracts to help fund the development of new launch vehicles under the Air Force’s Launch Service Agreement (LSA) program. Under contracts announced on October 10, United Launch Alliance was awarded $967 million to develop the Vulcan Centaur launch system, Northrop Grumman was awarded $791.6 million to develop the OmegA launch system, and Blue Origin was awarded $500 million to develop the New Glenn launch system. Continue reading

It’s a Mess Up There!

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

An Ever Increasing Number of Items Are Orbiting the Earth
Source: NASA

Until somewhat recently, space was a peaceful domain where orbital and flying craft were unprotected, but adversaries are now developing systems to counter advantages.  Traffic is building in space, as many new entrants have joined the ranks of spacefaring nations and counter‑space capabilities are becoming more of a concern. The United States must adapt its satellite constellations in response to such growing threats and elevate its game in space situational awareness. Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing Report September 2018 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Both Manufacturers Report Strong Deliveries; Boeing Still Well Ahead in Orders Race

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent, Forecast International.

On September 3, Airbus booked an order for 25 A321neos for VivaAerobus, a low-cost carrier based in Mexico. The order was originally announced in July and also converts 16 A320neos to A321neos. VivaAerobus operates an all-Airbus fleet and has a total of 60 A320neo family jets on order. Photo Courtesy: Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered 87 and 69 commercial jets in September 2018, respectively, compared to 78 and 55 deliveries during the same month last year. September is traditionally a busy month for deliveries. Boeing has made a strong comeback after the company only delivered 39 aircraft in July as a result of 737 delays due to late deliveries of fuselages and engines from suppliers. Boeing has stated that it is making good progress toward fixing the logjam by year end and has also reaffirmed its full-year delivery target. In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

Heads or Tails – or Wedgetail? Britain Weighing E-7 AEW Purchase

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Australian Wedgetail AEW&C Aircraft

The British Ministry of Defence has launched exclusive negotiations with Boeing regarding a potential buy of Wedgetail E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on October 2 that discussions with the U.S. manufacturer are underway, though exactly how many aircraft and at what cost are still yet to be outlined. Continue reading

Elbit Systems Gains Critical Mass with New Acquisitions

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Condor 2 – EO/IR Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) system. Source: Elbit Systems

Ongoing conflicts and terrorism have increased the focus on defense systems for low-intensity conflicts, homeland security and cyber warfare – areas in which Elbit Systems is firmly established. Continue reading