Thursday, 15 December 2011

Saj Ahmad quiet on P&W JetBlue win

Saj Ahmad, the unrelenting cheerleader for CFM, had nothing to say when JetBlue selected the Pratt & Whtiney GTF for its A320neo order. This was a hot competition between P&W and CFM. JetBlue leases a lot of Embraer E-190s, which are powered by GE engines, from GECAS, a sister company to CFM.

Aeroturbopower, who obviously knows something about engines and a lot more than Ahmad, delves into some technical issues between the GTF and LEAP engines. But as Fact Checker has long pointed out, facts don't seem to be important to Ahamd.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

SAj Ahmad and "StrategicAero Research"

Saj Ahmad now identifies himself as being with "StrategicAero Research", whatever that is. The website for this company is and initially is "Under Maintenance, Check Back Later".

The first evidence that Ahmad now uses the new name appeared 11 December in the Gulf regional newspaper "The Nation".  Ahmad's Fleetbuzz Editorial password protected website still is published.

Friday, 9 December 2011

SAj Ahmad's lack of understanding SEC rules

Fact Checker finally got a copy of Saj Ahmad's "protected" posting on the Pratt & Whtiney geared turbo fan and it is stunning in its lack of understanding.

Ahmad relies on Pratt & Whtiney including what is called "Forward Looking Statements" in the press release that are required under US securities laws to attack P&W claims on fuel efficiency.

“It comes as a surprise to see Pratt & Whitney caveat all of its fuel burn claims from once cited as "16%" to now "double digit" in its press releases”, Ahmad writes.

If he is surprised, he hasn't been reading his own writings. He has been whinging on about "double-digit" references for years.

He then repeats P&W's Forward Looking statement:

"Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in forward looking statements include changes in the health of the global economy and the strength of end market demand in the aerospace industry; as well as company specific items including the ability to achieve cost reductions at planned levels; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies including this engine, and new products including the engine discussed in this press release; and delays and disruption in delivery of materials and services from suppliers."

“Why else would such a forward looking statement contain, what effectively amount to get out clauses, if the technology suite in the GTF was or is as good as Pratt & Whitney claim to be”? Ahmad writes.

This shows a remarkable lack of understanding (or worse, a willful desire to ignore) US securities laws.

This is a typical Forward Looking statement from one of the most successful companies in the world, Southwest Airlines"
"This website contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are based on, and include statements about, the Company"s beliefs, intentions, expectations, and strategies for the future. Specific forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and include, without limitation, words such as "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "may," "could," "intends," "goal," "will," "should," and similar expressions and variations thereof. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual results may differ materially from what is expressed in or indicated by the Company"s forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to, the factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and in other filings, the press releases and materials contained on this website. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, or developments, except as required by federal securities laws."

There is very similar language between Southwest and P&W.

If this example is not enough, then look at the Forward Looking statement of Boeing and note the similarities between the statements. Of course, Saj loves all things Boeing but this doesn't come in for the same sort of whinging directed at P&W.

"Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words such as "may," "should," "expects," "intends," "projects," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "targets," "anticipates," and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements.  Examples of forward-looking statements include statements relating to our future financial condition and operating results, as well as any other statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact.  Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions, which may not prove to be accurate.  These statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from these forward-looking statements.  Among these factors are risks related to: (1) general conditions in the economy and our industry, including those due to regulatory changes; (2) our reliance on our commercial customers, our suppliers and the worldwide market; (3) our commercial development programs, including the 787 and 747-8 commercial aircraft programs; (4) changing acquisition priorities of the U.S. government; (5) our dependence on U.S. government contracts; (6) our reliance on fixed-price contracts; (7) our reliance on cost-type contracts; (8) uncertainties concerning contracts that include in-orbit incentive payments; (9) changes in accounting estimates; (10) changes in the competitive landscape in our markets; (11) our non-U.S. operations, including sales to non-U.S. customers; (12) potential adverse developments in new or pending litigation and/or government investigations; (13) customer and aircraft concentration in Boeing Capital Corporation's customer financing portfolio; (14) changes in our ability to obtain debt on commercially reasonable terms and at competitive rates in order to fund our operations and contractual commitments; (15) realizing the anticipated benefits of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances or divestitures; (16) the adequacy of our insurance coverage to cover significant risk exposures; (17) potential business disruptions related to physical security threats, information technology attacks or natural disasters; (18) work stoppages or other labor disruptions; (19) significant changes in discount rates and actual investment return on pension assets; and (20) potential environmental liabilities".

Sunday, 27 November 2011

While Saj Ahmad disses GTF, Time magazine honours it

Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz has renewed the long-running attack on the Pratt & Whitney GTF, returning to his private postings but issuing inflammatory headlines and Tweets. In his latest, Ahamd, the "analyst" without a public CV, claims concerns continue with the GTF.
In the meantime, Time magazine honoured the engine as one of the 50 best inventions in 2011. Time has been doing this list for years.
With Ahmad's post returning to "protected" status, there is no way to know if he talks about the challenges CFM is having with the LEAP-X engine. Or is it possible to know if Ahmad talks about the concerns the industry has about the exoctic materials for the LEAP-X that are used to try and meet the GTF fuel economy.
How about making this post public, Saj?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Saj Ahmad: All mouth and no trousers

Saj Ahmad resurfaced in recent weeks, showing a complete lack of "analysis", but resorting to invective and insults instead of providing any rational or rationale for his positions.
He started with insults for John Leahy of Airbus, followed by a remarkable display of hypocrisy over the A350.
His latest is over scruitiny of A350 delays, with the question why the delays are receiving the same attention as those of the Boeing 787.
Never mind that Airbus is owning up to delays well in advance of consturction of the first A350.
Boeing rolled out the 787 and said the first flight would be two months later.
As further delays were revealed, led mostly by Jon Ostrower of Flightblogger, but also by JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and some other key analysts, who was the biggest denier? None other than Fleetbuzz Editorial and Saj Ahmad.
Ahmad was the biggest denier of delays for the 747-8.
Boeing denied delays all the time and Ahmad was the biggest denier of them all.Also, the 787 scruitiny began as roll-out neared.
This makes his latest missive all the more hilarious.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Saj Ahmad back to his insulting ways

NO comment from Fact Checker is needed.

FleetBuzz Editorial
Typical cop-out from armchair expert. Do one,
FleetBuzz Editorial
Funniest I ever seen! Bwhahahaha!!! & "efficient" if there ever was one. = .

Friday, 11 November 2011

Saj Ahmad finally publishes a public post--with no analysis

Saj Ahmad, the self-proclaimed "analyst", finally published a public post  after more than a year. No wonder he keeps his posts private. This post about the A340 termination and A350 delay was completely absent of any analysis or information. It was a self-congratulatory bloviating piece of opinion.

A true "analyst" would provide information and analysis about why Airbus did what it did. Nothing.

There still is no information about his CV that gives anyone any basis on which to determine his credentials.

Ahmad's "About":


FleetBuzz is a private intelligence and analysis resource for the aerospace, airline and aviation industries.
Do not ask for a password to the content because you won’t be given one.
Strictly by invitation only.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Saj Ahmad is back with his snide comments

After a long and blessed absence, Saj Ahmad--the "analyst" without any discernable CV--is back with his snide comments.

Instead of offering useful commentary, Ahmad is up to his old tricks of trashing Airbus:

"Will John Leahy follow thru on promise he made to shoot himself now that A350-900 is delayed? CEO might be 1st to it!"

"Time To Kill Off The Waste-Of-Time Airbus A350-800"

These pointless, snide comments provide no useful "analysis" and certainly no facts.

When is Ahmad going to actually provide useful comment for all of us to read?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Where is Saj Ahmad about Embraer 2,000nm concept?

According to Flight International and Merrill Lynch's aerospace analyst Ron Epstein, Embraer is planning on a new airplane with 2x3 seating and 2,000nm range.

These are both elements Ahmad has bleated about for two years with the CSeries (even though he constantly misrepresents the CSeries range capability).

Where is he on the Embraer concept? Silent, just like he is silent on Boeing's No Launch Operator for the 737RE.

What's that game, Where's Waldo?

Where's Saj?

Friday, 29 July 2011

Speaking of no launch operator, where's Saj Ahmad?

For the past two years, that sage "analyst" Saj Ahmad complained bitterly that Bombardier didn't have a launch operator for its CSeries.

Neither does Boeing for the 737 re-engine. American Airlines doesn't want the plane until 2018 and Boeing planes to introduce the 737RE in 2016. Boeing doesn't want to be the first to operate the 737RE.

Where's Saj? Awfully quiet, that's where. Not a peep.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Saj Ahamd twists facts, again

Saj Ahamd, the self-proclaimed aviation analyst without a C.V. that is available to see his credentials, is at it again.

In a tweet he once more tries to perpetuate that the current CSeries was launched in 2004 and 2008 is a re-launch. The 2004 version was a similar but different design using old engines and old materials. Bombardier withdrew this design from the market and in 2008 launched the current design, using advanced materials, an advanced engine and larger capacity.

And, as usual, Ahamd selectively chooses the "facts" to fit his irrational hatred of the CSeries. While he perpetuates the myth that the current CSeries does not have trans-continental US range (despite the fact that the Bombardier website clearly shows a 2,950nm range for the extended range version), while Ahmad points to the 2004 press release to bolster his "case" about short range, the headline in that very release and the text point to the CSeries trans-continental range. If this self-promoting analyst-without-C.V. is going to use the 2004 press release to perpetuate his myths, then he has to drop his myth about the range and rely on the same press release that headlines trans-continental range.

The duplicity is there for all to see.

And then there is his next Tweet, "A320 consumes 10-15% more fuel than 737", linking to an article--but neglecting to add that in the very same sentence, the reporter includes that Airbus disputes the figure.

Once more this self-proclaimed analyst-without-C.V. selectively chooses his "facts".

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Saj Ahmad: the "analyst" who can't make up his mind

"...the market penetration for new A320neo’s will be high,” said Saj Ahmad Chief Analyst at FBE Aerospace London.--Khaleej Times, 24 June, 2011.

"Airbus A320neo may be scapped." Fleetbuzz Editorial, 5 April, 2011.

"The fact that a big Asian airline has decided to agree in principle to commit to the CSeries should alleviate concerns about Bombardier's ability to market and sell the airplane, particularly when Airbus and Boeing combined have over 4,000 A320s and 737s yet to be delivered," said Saj Ahmad, a chief analyst at FBE Aerospace.--Wall Street Journal, 21 June, 2011.

This is the first nice thing Ahmad has ever said about the CSeries. Who knows--maybe hell will freeze over after all.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Covertly promoting himself: Saj Ahmad does email campaign

Fact Checker learned that Saj Ahmad, the self-promoting "analyst who doesn't tell anyone what his credentials are, endlessly promotes himself by sending journalists an unending stream of long unsolicited comments on a never-ending series of topics, ranging from maintenance, repair and overall to one of his favourite bashing targets, the A350. (Fact Checker was shocked, mind you, shocked when he recently had something nice to say about the Bombardier CSeries following the order by Korean Air Lines. If there is anything Ahmad hates worse than Airbus, it is Bombardier.)

Given his long unsolicited and frequent missives, you have to wonder how he has time to be an analyst (for money, that is).

Monday, 13 June 2011

Saj Ahmad, the Airbus-basher, and his A350 predictions: are they any good?

Saj Ahmad has a multi-year history of being a basher of all things about Airbus (except when he uses the A320neo, which he also has a history of bashing, to bash the one thing he hates ever more--the Bombardier CSeries).

All you have to do is check out and Google searches to see his venom toward Airbus, exceeded only by his buddy, the late Doug McVitie.

Ahmad's latest comes in an article on In it, he is quoted as follows....

“With Emirates, Etihad and launch customer for all three A350 variants, Qatar Airways, hoping that Airbus can avoid the pitfalls seen by Boeing on the 787, it appears increasingly likely that a series of crippling delays are inevitable for Airbus’ latest wide-body airplane,” said Saj Ahmad, Chief Analyst at FBE Aerospace, London."

"He said it is certain that the A350XWB airplane will be at least 18-24 months late with the subsequent A350-800 and A350-1000 models also being delayed by similar timescales."

“Airbus is still coming to terms with the problems and delays faced on the A380 programme and now with the A350 poised to slide as well, the big three Arab carriers, as well as leasing companies like DAE and ALAFCO will have to seriously consider their near-term capacity options,” Ahmad said."

On a high level, these comments may appear to be reasonable. However, his predictions that "it is certain" the A350s will be "at least 18-24" months late are awfully, to use his word, "certain." Only time will tell if this is correct, but remember that this comes from the same person who steadfastly refused to believe the Boeing 787 and the 747-8 were going to be late. Ahmad made excuses for Boeing through half the 787 delays and relented in his unremitting defence only after it became too embarrassing to defend the airplane. He followed a similar patter with the 747-8, refusing to concede delays were coming to this programme.

Although  he claims to be a sage analyst and particularly well connected to the Middle East (he boasts of his dual bases in London and the Middle East), Ahmad fails to realise that DAE Capital, the leasing company, is winding up its business and has been cancelling all its new orders. DAE doesn't care when the A350 is delivered. It will have cancelled all the orders well before the delivery date.

Will the A350 be delayed? Yes. Delivery schedules already slipped from the first half of 2013 to the second half. Will they be delayed "at least" 18-24 months, as Ahmad predicts? There is little in his history on predicting the 787 and 747-8 will be on time or that Airbus won't proceed with the A320neo programme, or that airlines and leasing companies won't buy the Pratt & Whitney geared turbo fan to give confidence that this prediction is any better than those.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

More myth-busting for Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz

It's time for some more myth-busting of Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz.There's so much fodder--where to begin?

In a blog posting 13 October 2010, Ahmad said,“While Airbus seems poised to push ahead with re-engining the A320 family, more likely because it has no choice or money to go with a more comprehensive update due to its cash commitments on the A380, A350 and A400M  - it is likely that Boeing will sit on the sidelines to come up with something as game-changing for the narrowbody market in the same way as the 787 has been a game-changer for the widebody market.To that end, the relationship that Boeing has with CFM International as well as the room for improvement on the current CFM56-7BE engine, Airbus could find itself saddled with a GTF engine that delivers less than 9% better fuel burn while incurring $2 billion or more for that privilege and Boeing could achieve the same without a new engine, thereby increasing commonality for operators and keeping the costs down. That is far more of an incentive for buyers than is Airbus’ proposals and it resonates because we haven’t exactly seen a queue of customers banging on Airbus’ door to get the GTF engine given that it is still laden with performance issues that Pratt & Whitney simply chooses not to want to discuss. One only looks at the pathetic sales of the CSeries to see that the GTF is as big a problem as the airplane and that’s why airlines won’t buy it.”  

Fact: Ahmad comes up with "less than 9%" out of thin air, or at least he doesn't cite any source for this claim. Airbus said over and over the A320neo uses up to 15% less fuel, with 3.5% coming from the sharlets. This means 12.5% comes from the engine.

More: EADS has a cash balance of more than 11 billion euros. That's a lot more than Boeing has, and Saj continually boosts the idea Boeing will proceed with a new airplane to replace the 737. If EADS doesn't have the cash required for a new airplane, what about his favourite company?

More: where does Ahmad come up with "Boeing could achieve the same without a new engine...."? No facts, no sources, just another thin-air claim. Even Boeing doesn't make this claim.

More: P&W "doesn't want to discuss" performance issues? P&W has frequently discussed performance issues.

More: All A320neo orders so far have been for the GTF. The fact is, Saj, that the customers aren't lining up for the Leap-X.

Performance and the GTF. In Chapter 3 of the Saj Ahmad/Fleetbuzz Comedy Show, Ahmad persistently criticises the GTF and likes to say it hasn't flown on the CSeries. At the same time, he persistently touts the performance and fuel savings of the CFM Leap-X.

Fact: What makes this so laughable is that the CFM Leap-X hasn't flown at all and it is years behind in testing vs. the GTF. The GTF has flown on the P&W test 747 and on the A340-600 test airplane. He also dismisses the positive comments of Boeing's Mike Bair about the GTF.

A320neo: Orient Aviation has a good article talking about the neo and another talking about the GTF. In it, Tom Ballentyne quotes Airbus' Tom Williams endorsing the GTF and P&W's testing methodology. Ballentyne also quotes Lufthansa's Nico Buchholz, the head of fleet planning, about the GTF engine and the A320neo. While Ahmad continues to dismiss the neo (except when he bases the Bombardier CSeries, then the neo is the cat's meow) and the GTF, Ahmad has never interviewed Airbus or Buchholz, so he chooses to ignore their information.

      Thursday, 28 April 2011

      Saj Ahmad got it wrong (again) on Pratt & Whitney GTF

      Saj Ahmad's 10 Aug 2010, "analysis" via GLG (through Google News) is so laughable it deserves to be reproduced in its entirety. Fact Checker's Fact Checks follow.

      Pratt & Whitney may end up a big loser if either re-engining doesn’t happen or if it is blocked out on a new narrowbody. 
      1. CFM International is under pressure to find another platform for the LEAP-X engine, but being aligned with the COMAC C919 means that they will have less to worry about than Pratt & Whitney.
      2. Pratt & Whitney has to develop three different fan and core engines for the Mitsubishi MRJ, the Irkut MC-21 and the Bombardier CSeries. That’s three times more risk than CFM is taking on. Further, any re-engine efforts by Airbus and Boeing would mean a fourth engine needs to be developed and would not be available until at least 2016, by Pratt & Whitney’s own admission.
      3. The MC-21 will struggle to sell beyond Russia and the MRJ can still be usurped by Embraer, who are rightly playing their cards close to their chest right now. The CSeries, as we all know, has been a six year long disaster yet to turn any corner (if ever). The C919, being a different animal may not sell well, if at all beyond the Chinese border, but in sheer unit terms, it will outsell and out deliver its nearest rivals in the CSeries and MC-21 combined.
      4. If Boeing re-engines the 737, the fact that the LEAP-X engine can fit with less headaches (and cost) than previously thought, Pratt & Whitney would be isolated from one of the big two OEMs. It cannot hope to recoup its engine investments on the marginalised MRJ-MC-21-CSeries triumvirate. Even if Pratt & Whitney is selected by Airbus (who want the GTF engine through the IAE consortium), they will be pitted directly against the LEAP-X. There are hardcore A320 customers who will not operate anything other than CFM engines – for Pratt & Whitney to make them switch will be an arduous task if not outright miraculous since the LEAP-X exists.
      5. Pratt & Whitney’s capital outlay for (potentially) four new engines against one CFM engine will be difficult to cover, especially if within a decade the move to a clean sheet replacement emerges – does Pratt & Whitney have the financial and engineering resources to partake? Probably, but that doesn’t mean they can deliver – the woeful PW4098 and PW6000 engines are proof of that.
      6. And while Pratt & Whitney’s partner in the IAE consortium, Rolls-Royce, continues to deride the benefits of the (essentially four decade old) geared turbofan design, the U.K engine maker is believed to favour the airline view of going toward a new narrowbody design ahead of re-engining the current A320 and 737 families.
      7. Pratt & Whitney is certainly back into the market and has made its presence felt, but the love isn’t being shared by everyone in the industry. The company is already dead in the large airplane market and its success in the narrowbody market is at the mercy of its competitors and their offerings.
      8. With CFM International at relative ease knowing that the C919 will be a hot seller post-Zhuhai Air Show, Pratt & Whitney may yet be marginalised all over again because of its alignment to products whose own longevity is questionable.

      Fact Checker's Fact Checks
      Going down Ahmad's "analysis" point-by-point:
      Summary: Airbus has more than 300 orders for the A320/321neo and so far every customer who has chosen an engine has selected the Pratt & Whitney GTF. With Boeing putting off proceeding with a new airplane for another year or two, there is little to worry about for Pratt. Boeing says it likes what it sees in the GTF.
      1. CFM "has less to worry about than Pratt". This is another of Ahmad's fitting the situation to suit his purposes. As another one of Fact Checker's posts revealed, Ahmad runs hot and cold on C919 depending on his point of the day.
      2. Pratt's GTF core is scalable; Ahmad completely overstates the risk. Furthermore, one needs to remember that nothing Ahamd has written suggests he has talked with any independent, knowledgeable engineers--rather, it seems his information is derived from his small circle of nay-sayers.
      3. The MC-21 has sold to Malaysia and in fact has more sales than the C919. Ahmad once again gets his facts wrong on the CSeries launch date: it was launched in 2008; 2010 minus 2008 is, by anyone's math except Ahamd's, two years not six. Ahmad also wrote the C919 will sell well at least within China. Keep this thought in mind.
      4. "Pratt won't make CFM customers switch to GTF because Leap-X is available." Don't count on this.
      5. Sheer speculation that, in fairness to Ahmad, will takes years to provie right or wrong.
      6. Considering this had been in the press for months before Ahmad wrote this "analysis", this is hardly a sage opinion.
      7. This is a baffling statement that defies rationality or fact checking.
      8. "The C919 will be a hot-seller post Zhuhai Air Show". See Fact Checker's previous post in which Ahmad ran down the C919 just 30 days later. Also, the C919 had disappointing sales at the Zhuhai air show in November (only 55 firm orders) and none since.

      Saturday, 16 April 2011

      Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz: getting it wrong on airline analysis

      Saj Ahmad has been a regular contributor to the Arabian Supply Chain website, and is often called by certain Middle Eastern press to provide analysis and commentary on airline matters in the Middle East.

      But his track record at Arabian Supply isn't any better than his track record on matters involving Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, and Pratt & Whitney.

      Take a look at this one example. It's typical; note the comments by readers. Another example, also ar Arabian Supply Chain, is also the subject of a "Fact Check". Or this one, in which Ahmad once more misrepresents the facts about the CSeries. The readers justifiably challenge Ahmad on this "analysis."

      His column touting the COMAC C919 is another episode in the Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz industry comedy show. While he praises the C919 here, in other columns--including on his now-hidden Fleetbuzz Editorial--he's dismissed the C919 threat to Boeing. He can't even keep his own opinions straight.

      Ahmad has this to say about the C919:

      “China may well have broken the barriers to entry and emerge as a viable rival to Airbus and Boeing, but given that it has based the ARJ21 on an old design and the C919 is more than likely a rehash of a reverse-engineered Airbus A320 – China has to find a way of producing airplanes that it can sell en masse beyond its borders.

      "Airbus and Boeing already have great relationships with many carriers – will these airlines really support a state producer if Airbus and Boeing already fit the bill for them?

      "Unlikely. What China needs is innovation, not emulation. Right now their aerospace activities bear a striking and scary resemblance to their carmakers, who have plagiarized many cars by bigger and better automakers.” Sept. 11, 2009.

      It hardly gets more harsh than that. Or more contradictory of his own opinions. He may as well be chasing his own tail.

      Tuesday, 5 April 2011

      Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz wrong again on A320neo

      Saj Ahmad, who has been wrong on CSeries and GTF and on Airbus generally, gets it wrong again on the A320neo.

      On the very day Airbus held an all-day media briefing on the neo, Ahmad publsihed (for invitees only) a piece headlined "A320neo may be scrapped?"

      This merely continues his long-running theme that the neo programme is doomed--except when he wants to use the neo to make his ridiculous and wholly unsupported (and unsupportable) claim that the neo kills the business case for the CSeries. His back-and-forth demonstrates that either he can't seem to make up his mind or he changes his opinions on a whim to advance his tenuous theories and agenda.

      As recently as 26 January, Ahmad wrote that "Airbus’ decision to pursue the A320neo could prove to be a very short-lived affair." Then just five days later, on 1 February, he wrote another one of his bash-the-CSeries pieces in which he claimed the launch of the A320neo programme kills the CSeries. Now he headlines a post suggesting the neo programme may be scrapped.

      Which is it, Saj? The neo will be a short-lived affair or the neo kills the CSeries? If the neo is short-lived or scrapped, then there is no programme to affect the CSeries. Or the neo kills the CSeries, which means it won't be short-lived or scrapped.

      That's not all. On 17 January--just two weeks before he says the neo will be short-lived--he writes that the neo means Boeing can't do nothing about the 737 future. "The 737 is still a winner until the A320neo arrives," the sage "analyst" writes in his 17 January post.

      "For right or wrong, the A320neo has irrevocably changed the competitive landscape. No longer is it a proposition – its real and also stands a good chance of taking a slice of the pie at Delta Airlines’ most recent narrowbody RFP," he writes in that post.

      His whirly-durvey pirouettes are enough to make your head spin. He could give a ballet dancer lessons.

      Flightglobal reports from the Airbus neo briefing that John Leahy expects more than 500 orders by Paris Air Show (Saj, how do you explain your view the programme will be short-lived or cancelled?), and the GTF will be the lead engine, at least 9 months and "no more than a year" ahead of Saj's favorite, the CFM Leap-X (boy that GTF is a "bad" engine, isn't it, Saj?). Aviation Week said Airbus is "confident" in the GTF engine offer and the ability to advance the neo introduction six months to October 2015.

      Indigo, Lufthansa validate PW GTF, throwing out Saj Ahmad's persistent (and unsupported) criticisms

      Indigo Airlines last week announced an order for 300 P&W GTF engines for its previously announced order of 150 Airbus A320neos and yesterday Luftansa announced that it selected the GTF for its order for 30 neos.

      This puts to rest the persistent (and unsupported) criticism by Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz Editorial about the GTF.
      Here is the press release about the Lufthansa order and for the Indigo order.

      Jon Ostrower had a story last week about the Indigo order.

      While Ahmad continues to whinge on about Pratt & Whitney "double digit" fuel savings and his allegations that P&W isn't specific about fuel and cost savings, CEO David Hess last week was widely quoted from the media day about 16% fuel savings and 20% maintenance costs savings.

      Ahmad's long-standing (and unsupported) criticism about the GTF is amply illustrated in this laughable GLG posting of his (which was largely replicated on Fleetbuzz Editorial) from April 2010.

      Fact Check has no doubt that Ahmad will find a way to fault these two orders. But it's clear the industry is endorsing the GTF, regardless of Ahmad's past (unsupported) bias against the engine.

      Tuesday, 22 March 2011

      Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz: Getting it wrong on Pratt & Whitney's GTF

      With Saj Ahmad's track record of getting his facts wrong, it's not surprising that he does so consistently over the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine.

      Ahmad persistently writes: PW won't say definitively what the fuel and maintenance savings are for the engine. He constantly claims PW only promotes "double digit" savings. Fact: P&W CEO David Hess said in an interview with Bloomberg News that the engine saves 16% on fuel and 20% on maintenance costs. How much more definitive can you get than that?

      Ahmad constantly writes that Boeing isn't interested in the GTF engine. Fact: Aircraft Technology magazine got a very different story from Mike Bair, head of the 737 future programme. Boeing likes the engine, has no concerns about its reliability and Bair says he's "glad Pratt is back in the game."Ahmad also ignores statements by Airbus' John Leahy that Airbus has no concerns about the GTF.

      Ahmad writes that airlines are highly skeptical of the GTF. Fact: Airlines are very interested in the GTF. They have questions, certainly--but the same is true about LEAP-X. Flight Global has an extensive story about the considerations of both engines.

      Ahmad writes that Bombardier's CSeries, which uses the GTF, was launched in 2006 (despite the fact that Bombardier itself says 2008). Fact: Flight Global has it right in a long article about the challenges to Airbus and Boeing.

      Friday, 11 March 2011

      Revealling Saj Ahmad, Part 2

      A reader raised a question on another post whether Saj Ahmad is or has been paid by Boeing, given his boastful Boeing-boosterism and close relationship with Boeing executives.

      Has or he hasn't he? That's a good question.

      Fact Checker understands from three sources that Ahmad is not and has not been paid by Boeing. Following the exchanges on the other post, which referred to GLG, Fact Checker was provided the following Biographical information that Ahmad wrote on GLG.

      As you can see, at one point in the private, members-only GLG web site, he claimed he worked "with" Boeing "to devise, formulate and execute strategies."

      So has Ahmad been paid by Boeing in the past? Or is Ahmad exaggerating his qualifications and experience? Fact Checker doesn't know which is the truth.

      To set the background, the information referred back to Ahmad's brief "About" on the presently off-line Fleetbuzz Editorial.

      To recap, from his public blog, Fleetbuzz Editorial, Ahmad posted the following:


      Fleetbuzz Editorial  is privately run and funded. This site has no affiliation, partnerships or sponsorships with any aerospace firms, airlines or brokerages. (Emphasis added.)

      From his "About" on the same blog:

      Having a base of operations both within Europe and the Middle East, he has accumulated extensive and varied operational experience with various major blue chip airlines and also in the financial services sector.
      Ranging from passenger operations, airside/landside operations, fleet planning & scheduling, cargo operations and logistics as well as general airport security, he has had direct experience with the industry.

      But on the GLG website, he wrote:

      Saj Ahmad 
      Aerospace/Airline Analyst
      FBE Aerospace

      Saj Ahmad is the Chief Aerospace Airline Analyst at Fleetbuzz Editorial. Having a base of operations both within Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Ahmad has accumulated extensive and varied operational experience with various major blue chip airlines and also in the financial services sector. Mr. Ahmad covers major global airline and commercial aerospace news along with discussion and analysis and liaises regularly with senior executives of the Boeing Company as well as working with Boeing to devise, formulate and execute new strategies. He has direct experience ranging from passenger operations, airside and landside operations, fleet planning & scheduling, cargo operations and logistics as well as general airport security. (Emphasis added.)
      The GLG  website, Dated May 29, 2009

      This was altered slightly a short time later: 
      Saj Ahmad is Aerospace/Airline Analyst at Fleetbuzz Editorial. Having a base of operations both within Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Ahmad has accumulated extensive and varied operational experience with various major blue chip airlines and also in the financial services sector. Mr. Ahmad covers aerospace and airline discussion, offering detailed analysis and background. He liaises regularly with senior executives of the Boeing Company. He has vast experience in both aerospace and airline sectors, ranging from passenger operations, airside and landside operations, fleet planning & scheduling, cargo operations and logistics as well as general airport security. Mr. Ahmad also assists numerous Middle East carriers on strategies for growth and provides regular consultations with an array of airlines and executives. [Emphasis added.]
      GLG site, June 20, 2009

      Still later, Ahmad again slightly altered his GLG Bio:

      Saj Ahmad is an Aerospace/Airline Analyst at FBE Aerospace. Based within Europe and the Middle East, he has accumulated extensive and varied operational experience with various major blue chip airlines and also in the financial services sector. He liaises regularly with EADS/Airbus SAS and the Boeing Company. Mr. Ahmad has vast and extensive experience in aerospace and airline sectors, ranging from passenger operations, airside and landside operations, revenue management, fleet planning & scheduling, cargo operations and logistics as well as airport security. Mr. Ahmad offers detailed intelligence, analysis and background and strategic research in the aerospace/airline sectors. He also provides strategies for growth and regular consultations with an array of airlines as well as providing analysis for global media outlets, numerous radio stations and web-based publications, including specialist aerospace periodicals. Mr. Ahmad regularly features for the BBC and other TV media. (Emphasis added.)
      GLG site, May 13, 2010

      His most recent GLG Bio is once more altered slightly:
      Saj Ahmad is Chief Aerospace and Airline Analyst at FBE Aerospace. Based within Europe and the Middle East, he has accumulated extensive and varied operational airline experience and has also worked in the financial services sector. He communicates regularly with EADS/Airbus and the Boeing Company. Mr. Ahmad has a wide range of experience in the aerospace and airline sectors, ranging from passenger operations, airside and landside operations, revenue management, fleet planning & scheduling, cargo operations and logistics as well as airport security. Offering detailed intelligence, analysis and strategic competitive research, he provides analysis and commentary for various media outlets, newspapers, numerous radio stations and web-based publications, including specialist aerospace periodicals. Mr. Ahmad regularly features internationally on aerospace/airline coverage, from the Middle East, US, Asia and Europe and is a frequent contributor to the likes of the BBC and others. (Emphasis added.)
      GLG site, January 20, 2011

      Tuesday, 8 March 2011

      The Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz Industry Comedy Show

      Saj Ahmad's long-running comedy show took yet another episode today with his silly posting, "747 Intercontinental Draws First Blood Over A380 at Air China."

      The Chinese flag carrier ordered five airplanes to replace ageing 747-400s and to provide VIP transport for the government. The order, which China said was sharply discounted, is also widely viewed as partial compensation for the long-delayed 787 orders at Air China.

      China Southern ordered the A380 long ago. Since all orders have to be approved by the government, the proper headline should be, "Boeing at long last evens the score with the A380."

      Watch Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz complain about ILFC GTF order

      International Lease Finance Corp. announced a MOU for 100 A320neos, selected the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan for at least 60 of them.

      Watch Saj Ahmad complain about and dismiss the order for the GTF. He has nothing good to say about this engine and makes excuses to criticize it. Note that his favorite engine, the LEAP-X, so far hasn't been ordered. (Ahmad has yet another fawning Leap-X article, "Ahead of the Curve.")

      Also watch for Ahmad to use this order to criticize the Bombardier CSeries. It doesn't matter that ILFC did NOT order the A319neo (which is heavier than the CSeries and not as economical) but confined the orders to the A320 and A321.

      The press release from Airbus:

      ILFC selects 100 A320neo Family aircraft
      Strong endorsement for the industry’s benchmark eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft

      The world’s premier aircraft leasing company, ILFC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 100 A320neo Family aircraft, comprising 75 A320neo and 25 A321neo types. ILFC becomes the first customer for the A321neo, the largest member of the A320neo Family. In a separate agreement, Pratt & Whitney has been selected by ILFC to power at least 60 A320neo Family aircraft.

      The A320neo incorporates new more efficient engines and large wing tip devices called, "Sharklets" which together deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. This represents some 3,600 tonnes less CO2  per aircraft, per year. In addition, the A320neo provides a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise.

      In parallel with this order for the A320neo, ILFC will terminate its purchase agreement for ten A380s. “With 104 wide bodies on order and fewer than a dozen single aisles it makes perfect sense to rebalance our order book and position ILFC strategically on the fuel-efficient neo ,” said Henri Courpron, ILFC Chief Executive Officer.

      “We are delighted to welcome ILFC as the first lessor to order the A320neo,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “As an evolution of the highly successful A320,  offering the latest in fuel saving technologies, the A320neo is a natural choice for ILFC. Indeed the A320 Family will continue to be a great asset for both lessors and airlines for the decades to come.”

      “The A380 is a long term programme. Over the next twenty years we see a market of over 1,300 passenger aircraft in the very large aircraft segment. The A380 continues to win new customers and many are coming back with repeat orders.” Mr. Leahy added. “This year we’ve already won two new A380 customers and there are more queuing up

      Thursday, 3 March 2011

      Shoot the Dog, Part 1: Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz--quoting out of context

      Saj Ahmad frequently quotes industry people (although there are problems with how he selectively quotes them and leaves the impression he got the quotes but in reality lifts them from other sources) but he has a history of quoting people out of context.

      The most notorious example was Ahamd's "quoting" Pratt & Whitney CEO David Hess as "not impressed" with the Bombardier CSeries.

      What Ahmad wrote was:

      Pratt & Whitney President David Hess referred to being “disappointed” with low number of CSeries orders, six years after the program was launched – and with a delay on the program inevitable, prospects for the CSeries turning a corner are still a very distant prospect.

      What Hess is reported to have said--and it is not even a direct quote--is in the 2010 Reuters article that wrote:

      It was only a matter of time before the bleak and harsh reality of the CSeries weakness hit Pratt & Whitney.
      Hess said he was disappointed at the surprisingly low number of orders for Bombardier's C-Series aircraft for which Pratt provides the engine.

      Orders for the aircraft, which competes with Boeing's 737 and the A320 in the 100- to 149-seat segment, so far have failed to live up to expectations, totaling only about 90.
      Bombardier blamed a lack of orders for the plane at the Farnborough Air Show in July on issues related to a support plan for the engine. At the Reuters summit, Hess shrugged off the complaint, calling it a "misunderstanding."
      From the transcript of the interview, Hess actually said,
      “I think we’re all a little disappointed that we weren’t able to complete the deals to announce orders there (at Farnborough 2009), but I’m not concerned because it’s a great airplane offering operators great economics, which is why there’s so much interest from airline customers.”
       Ahmad not only misrepresented what was actually reported, he misstated (as he always does) the CSeries timeline, saying it was six years from launch. The fact is the CSeries was launched in 2008, not 2004. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Hess said the CSeries is "a great airplane with great economics and it will sell very well."

      Wednesday, 2 March 2011

      Saj Ahmad is wrong on the CSeries again and again and again

      Bombardier's CSeries has been the target for years of Saj Ahmad's rants that have no bearing to reality. It's time to go down his puffery one-by-one.

      The following is from Ahmad's 1 Feb 2011 column slamming the CSeries.

      Ahmad wrote: Considering that Bombardier swore blind that it would have the CSeries in service by 2010 (and has failed on that score) and a dubious set of Chinese partners building core components, the recipe for disaster (and delays) is already cooking in the oven. Fact: Ahmad constantly goes back to the original CSeries concept and timeline. This concept was dropped due to poor market reaction. The current CSeries version was launched in 2008 with an EIS of 2013. Ahmad knows this (if he did even a modicum of research) and ignores the facts.

      Bombardier dropping an early concept of the CSeries is no different than Boeing dropping the concepts for the Sonic Cruiser, 747-500, 747-600 and 747-X. But Ahmad never talks about the false starts at his favorite company.

      Ahmad wrote: Pratt & Whitney is equally glad that its reliance on the CSeries and other poorly selling platforms like the MRJ and MC-21 have been pushed onto the backburner as they tout their GTF engine to prospective A320 customers. Fact: Where the bloody hell does Ahmad have the basis to make this statement? He certainly didn't get it from PW. He's making this up out of thin air.

      Ahmad wrote: No longer do they [airlines] have to worry about the inability of the CSeries being able to emulate transcon route....Fact: The CSeries ER had 2,950nm in range, more than enough to serve US trans-continental routes. Ahmad knows this and ignores it, and this makes for a lousy "analyst." Or if he doesn't know this, it makes for a lousy "analyst." Either way, he is wrong, wrong, wrong on the facts.

      Ahmad wrote: And with Lufthansa steadfastly refusing to be the first customer.... Fact: Lufthansa's Nico Buchholz, the executive vice president of fleet planning who ordered the CSeries, said he ordered deliveries when he needed the airplane (2014), not for the honour of being first. A 20-minute podcast has Nico in his own words praising the CSeries. But this doesn't fit Ahmad's biased and irrational distaste for the CSeries so he continually ignores the truth.

      Ahmad also whinges on and on about how the CSeries can't be stretched because it will need a new wing (so he says). Fact:  Ahmad is no engineer and apparently doesn't bother to talk to anyone who is. The Montreal Gazette interviewed Chet Fuller of Bombardier who says the wing is capable for taking a larger airplane. Once again, Ahmad is wrong.

      Fact Checker will return to this topic in the future.

      Tuesday, 1 March 2011

      Revealing Saj Ahmad

      As noted on other pages, the persona of Saj Ahmad is a mystery. He doesn't tell anyone about his background, his professional bona fides, his previous employers or his client list.

      The Montreal Gazette had an interesting article in 2010 that describes in some detail an encounter with Ahmad.

      Monday, 28 February 2011

      The disappearing Saj Ahmad and Fleetbuzz Editorial

      Fleetbuzz Fact Checker is new but apparently there is an affect already. Within 48 hours of the first read in England (Ahmad lives in London), Fleetbuzz Editorial went offline "for maintenance" and Ahmad's subscriber-only sibling blog disappeared behind a Wordpress announcement that you have to be "invited" to read it. The home page was available to read before, so people could see the headlines of his articles.

      Never fear. This won't stop Fact Checker. Fact Checker can access all of the past Fleetbuzz Editorials it wants to and dissect them. Then there is the rich history of Ahmad's GLG articles that were picked up by Google News.

      You can run, but you can't hide, Saj.

      Friday, 25 February 2011

      Saj Ahmad at Fleetbuzz gets his facts wrong again and again and again

      There is just no end to the number of times Saj Ahmad gets his facts wrong:

      Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan is a frequent target. He recently and perpetually claims Boeing has no interest in the engine. This is just flat-out wrong, wrong, wrong. Boeing is very interested in the engine and is holding close discussions with Pratt to power the replacement aeroplane for the 737.

      Ahmad recently cited a Boeing executive on "Pratt & Whitney's need to address questions no one seemed to be asking." This was referring to an article in Aviation Week .However, Ahmad, per his usual M.O., didn't cite the source, probably because doing so would show how selectively he chose his quote to unfairly portray what the executive truly said.

      Here is the full, relevant quote from the article:

      Piasecki has her own take on maturity of engine designs. For the NEO, Airbus is offering a choice of Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G geared turbofan (GTF) or CFM International’s Leap-X, the follow-on to the CFM56-7B that powers 737NGs. Both must prove themselves, she says, especially the PW1100G, the maintenance of which she regards as an unknown. “We love the GTF technology,” she says. “We hope to be working very closely with [Pratt] to understand the technology. But nobody seems to be asking such a fundamental question, particularly as it relates to the NEO.”

      While Ahmad selectively referred to the maintenance issue, he left out that Boeing "loves" the GTF technology and that LEAP-X must also "prove itself." Ahmad, who fawns over LEAP-X, doesn't at any time mention the questions over LEAP-X.

      Another topic on which Ahmad always gets his "facts" wrong concerns the Bombardier CSeries. Ahmad perpetuates his myth that the CSeries does not have US trans-continental range. Once again, wrong, wrong, wrong. Straight from Bombardier's website, the range is 1,850-2,950nm, more than enough to go across the US. Ahmad always and totally ignores the ER version offered by Bombardier with the greater range. This is just another sets of falsehoods he writes. He also conveniently ignores statements by Lufthansa's Nico Buchholz supporting the CSeries and from Virgin America's David Cush that the CSeries could perform all missions, including trans-continental routes, that Virgin needed.

      More information will be forthcoming.

      Monday, 21 February 2011

      Analysis, what analysis? No presenting all sides with Saj Ahmad

      Saj Ahmad tries to portray himself as presenting praise and criticism of his subject matter. He labours under illusions that his readers fall for this pretence.

      In fact, Ahmad not only isn't presenting objective analysis, but rather he routinely insert gratuitous and unnecessary cheap shots at programmes he doesn't like.

      For example, his recent posting about the Boeing 747-8I roll-out. In his headlines, and right up front, he takes shots at the A380. This is completely unneeded but consistent with his well-known and long-running dislike for the A380, but rather the focusing on the 747-8I rollout, he inserts the babble about the A380.

      Ahmad has often pointed out that Emirates Airlines is the largest customer for the A380 with something like 90 total orders now, out of about 300 total. In this, he is correct. But so what? Ahmad fails to acknowledge, or perhaps he does not know, or perhaps he does know but doesn't care, that the Emirates business plan expansion is built around the A380 as the key. Unless Ahmad believes that Emirates is going to go out of business, the airline is going to take all the airplanes.

      He also picks on the A350 constantly. Another recent post does nothing but run down the airplane, including the claim that an A350 customer believes Airbus should drop the model. But in typical Ahmad fashion, he makes this sweeping statement with absolutely no supporting evidence and for all anyone knows he is making this up. If this were true statement, Ahmad should quote the airline and source so that readers could judge for themselves.

      But Ahmad is famous for his anonymous statements. Long-time readers will see that about the only people he quotes directly as having talked to him are his buddies at Boeing. Quotes from Airbus, Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney, airlines and others are not identified as having been in an interview with him, but rather these are quotes in news articles readily available on the Internet. He weaves these quotes into his posts for credibility (and positions them as if he sourced them), but it there is no evidence to indicate he actually did any research to get them.

      So as you read his writings, read them carefully to understand where he is--and is not--getting information contained in the posts. And then judge the credibility accordingly.

      Sunday, 20 February 2011

      Welcome to the new Saj Ahmad Fleetbuzz Fact Checker

      It's a good thing you found this site. It's time to be fact checking Saj Ahmad and FleetBuzz Editorial.

      From time to time it will be necessary to fact-check claims, "facts" and other "information" Ahmad puts on FleetBuzz Editorial. His history demonstrates a disconnect that is mind boggling.

      Be sure to check out the tabs across the top of the page. This will get you started.