The Chart:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The fable of Mighty Queens and Whales.

If you have been placing your ears to the ground you will know already the Bad News.

If anything the trends were clear many years ago, even before there was any talk of the Whale ever flying. It was the sour grapes of not having a product at the top of the scale that made them do it. In all of the RFP's leading up to the launch of the Whale there was one product they couldn't build and couldn't compete with and they sorely wanted to have their market share believing that the segment would remain forever.

It vanished into thin air.

Then there was the builder of the Queen of the skies, who tried desperately to keep it relevant, who had to stick to its guns on a runaway program that certain quarters liked and others hated. Paying the price for that victory meant that you had to live with its pitfalls for the lifespan of its existence. A price that they are still paying today, despite its successes.

There was no way out for them. Its triumph was tainted by the enormous cost of running the program, producing a product that was so highly leveraged, that was famous the world over and created the false appearance of roaring victory..

In fact nothing could be further from the truth.

Deep in their heart of hearts were men trying to push the envelope. Going from iteration to iteration and trying all sorts of permutations and combinations. They were building at the edge of their limits trying to make mountains of gold from the small  molehills of efficiency that technology could yield to them.

In the end it was bunk. 'Lets not build for the market, lets create that market for ourselves' they said and so began the journey that led them to where they are today.

The Queen of the skies had already sailed into the sunset even before the Whale could be rolled of of her hangar, but it was the prestige and status of being the keeper of the Crown that kept her builder believing in the legend, whilst soaking up all that steam not realizing the true cost of it all.

There is something very poetic in all of this, that if you cannot be satisfied with all you have gained, then there is no limit to how much you have already lost. As for the Builder of the Queen the Skies, its reign comes at a price, a price that only its builder can afford to pay.


  1. Does anybody know if this represents a new top-up order for (four) 747-8 by ABC?

  2. That article is simply referencing the 4 unidentified orders that came in December for 747-8Fs. It is actually two orders, one for three frames, and one for one frame. The article also mentions a firming of 5 additional frames at FIA 2018 from their original 20 frame MoU. After this most recent delivery, they had 12 remaining on that MoU. The 5 new firm orders have not been put on the books yet, but that seems to be typical for how they are handling this. They only firm them in one to three frame increments it seems.

    So, either of the two orders in December could be ABC. My guess is the singleton, and the three frame order is potentially either Silk Way or Cargolux, who have both expressed interest in ordering more frames. Those are my most likely guesses. It would be nice if the three frame order was a new operator!

  3. I'm surprised that Air China hasn't taken any freighters, since Both ABC and SW are buying them to support China's one belt one road initiative. I think such n order might be a nice carrot to dangle in front of the President but I doubt He would fall for it.

  4. This isn't a new sale, but Qantas is upgrading two 747-400F operated by Atlas Air to 747-8F for the increased pallet positions