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By MARI ECCLES
with Joshua Posaner, Simon Van Dorpe and Eddy Wax
— We are in Farnborough at the start of the airshow for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
— Why the German State Railways DB won’t give up its data.
— The battery industry is panicking on the Commission’s classification of lithium.
Hello and welcome to Morning Mobility. Hello from an extremely hot Farnborough airshow! I’ll be here all week; if you too, let me know!
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START OF THE FARNBOROUGH AIRSHOW: The aviation industry descends on Farnborough in Hampshire this week for the first major commercial airshow since Paris in 2019. More than 80,000 visitors are expected to experience the five-day bargain, which will be an opportunity for the sector to demonstrate how he is recovering from a bruised two years during the COVID pandemic.
What to expect? Much of the focus will be on aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing, which will showcase new models in hopes of snagging big orders. The fates of the two companies have been different in recent years: the American manufacturer has experienced difficult times commercially since two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX in 2018 and 2019. In the meantime, Airbus is expected to sell more of its long-fuselage model A321neo, including an order from the German carrier Condor. But there should also be bright spots for Boeing: the company can expect orders worth more than $15 billion for its 737 MAX from Lufthansa and Delta Airlines, according to Reuters. The Seattle Times reports that the potential orders for the US aircraft maker would represent a thawing of tensions between Delta and Boeing, after the manufacturer tried (and failed) to use government-imposed tariffs to prevent the airline from buying Airbus aircraft in 2018.
The pressure is there: Boeing will want a successful show. The manufacturer has fallen behind European rival Airbus, which dominates the order and delivery categories in 2022. But its 737 Max 10s, which it is bringing to Farnborough, are unlikely to be certified by regulators. here the end of the year. year, according to the BBC. This would subject it to new rules on cockpit safety alerts, which would force the manufacturer to modify the cockpit, requiring new training for pilots used to other 737 models.
Future of flight: Besides the commercial aspect, the airshow is also an opportunity to demonstrate how flying could change in the years and decades to come. Expect a big focus on “vertical take-off and landing electric planes” (what we like to think of as flying taxis).
Elephant in the room: Given that the air show coincides with record heat across much of the UK and Europe, it’s hard not to think about the climate crisis. The aviation industry will be keen to prove that it can decarbonize, with several panels focusing on sustainable aviation fuels and, in particular, new technologies.
WHY DB WILL NOT SELL ITS DATA: German railroad Deutsche Bahn has long been in dispute with private ticket sellers and train operators over its approach to data access. For example, it will not allow platforms to access key information on delays or sell discounted tickets; nor will it allow the sale of seats for alternative operators such as Flixtrain through its own dominant platform, a market leader called bahn.com (bahn literally means “railroads”). This site is effectively state funded, as the DB is state owned, and is a must for most European rail travelers as it has downloaded timetables for all European trains (although in most cases, the DB website cannot actually sell bookings for non-German routes, unless they start in a German city).
This long-running dispute between DB and its challengers is currently being examined by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (the European Commission is expected to legislate on some of the broader aspects of open data later this year, officials told us). According to our colleague Louis Westendarp, the DB claims that it is simply more efficient to manage its own distribution of tickets; however, the company is on shaky ground here given that the platform is so dominant and open data opened up the aviation market years ago. Many rail watchers expect a rapid period of market liberalization over the next few years. With efficient railways very important to going green, it is believed that it should be easier to book travel between major capitals by train than it actually is. This makes the DB case in Germany a critical test.
Find Louis’ full story here.
Upcoming airlines: Unlike airlines, where many platforms exist that can sell tickets from A to B around the world, travelers often have to go to different national platforms such as bahn.com to find tickets for transcontinental travel. For example, try booking a journey between Berlin and London, and see how difficult it is to find a unique price from one operator.
Now what? Germany’s Federal Cartel Office said in April that access to this data was vital because without it competition in the passenger rail sector is hampered. A final decision in the case could come in a few weeks, a person told Louis, but the watchdog wouldn’t be stuck specifying a date.
**A note from GE: GE is developing technologies to reduce CO2 emissions for a more sustainable future of flight. This includes innovating new advanced engine architectures such as open fan through the CFM International joint venture, megawatt-class hybrid electric propulsion, new advanced engine core designs, and supporting fuels research alternatives. Learn more.**
DECOMPOSE BATTERY CASH DUMP? The European Commission is great at announcing big numbers and big plans on things like batteries and hydrogen as part of its state-backed investment programs. However, it is less effective at breaking down where the money is coming from and where everything is going for strategic initiatives. The approval last week of a record €5.4 billion in grants for an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on hydrogen technology, Hy2Tech – essentially a multi-grant project States on Steroids – came with details of companies that got public funding from a 2019 IPCEI for batteries, which is pretty big of a deal.
How long? It took two and a half years for this information to come to light, and the document still only provides a range for the taxpayer subsidy each company got. The program aims to provide automakers with local battery cells to use in electric cars, rather than making them dependent on imports, mainly from China.
Who receives the money: Of the 41 projects, 15 are based in France, 10 in Italy and 6 in Germany, French MEP Christophe Grudler said in a statement. Some 2 billion euros out of the 5.4 billion in aid approved by the Commission come from French coffers. France’s northern Franche-Comte region, close to the border with Switzerland, hosts three major projects, Grudler said: €247 million for Alstom, €213 million for Faurecia and €114 million for McPhy.
And the winner is … ? The first beneficiary of PIIEC 2019 was the Automotive Cells Company (ACC), which received between 500 and 1 billion euros in French aid and between 350 and 510 million euros in German aid. ACC is a joint venture between battery specialist Saft Groupe and the Peugeot and Opel units of Stellantis. BMW left with between 73 and 122 million euros in German aid.
THE FREAK-OUT LITHIUM CLASSIFICATION: The European Commission will soon decide to classify lithium as a toxic chemical, sparking an outcry among battery and commodity producers who say it would derail the bloc’s transition to green energy. Specifically, lobbyists say it will undermine efforts to strengthen the bloc’s strategic autonomy over the production of battery cells for automakers (which is why so much money from the IPCEI program has flooded the sector as described here). -above).
Read Antonia Zimmermann and Leonie Cater’s full story here.
UK LAUNCHES AIR PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS: The British government launched an “Aviation Passenger Charter” on Sunday to inform travelers of their rights in the event of delays, cancellations or other travel problems at airports this summer and beyond. Airports like Heathrow are creaking under the strain caused by understaffing following the lifting of COVID travel restrictions.
‘Peace of mind’: The charter provides guidance on how to file a complaint and seek compensation. “The new charter will help give UK passengers peace of mind as they enjoy renewed freedom to travel, whether on holiday, business or to visit loved ones,” said the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Car sales in the EU have now fallen to their lowest level for the month of June since 1996 amid a crisis in semiconductors and the wider supply chain, it is reported.
The European Investment Bank is committed to cutting spending on roads, writes the Financial Times.
**A note from GE: GE outlined what is one of the company’s most extensive technology development roadmaps in its more than 100-year history. Multiple ground and flight tests planned during this decade will seek breakthrough new technologies for use in next-generation commercial aircraft engines that could enter service from the mid-2030s. Advanced engine architectures such that open fans, hybrid electric propulsion systems and new compact motor core designs – some of the technologies that will be demonstrated on testbeds over the next few years – will all be key programs to watch in 2022 and beyond. In addition to maturing these technologies for the future of flight, GE is also supporting efforts to increase the use and availability of alternative fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and hydrogen. Breakthrough technologies and alternative fuels both have a vital role to play in achieving the aviation industry’s long-term climate goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for commercial flights. Learn more.**