Airbus lifted the embargo on John Leahy’s presentation, allowing immediate publication.
There is no aircraft order bubble, says John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus. Emerging markets and passenger traffic doubling every 15 years, bolstered by GDP growth, means orders will hold up, he said, leading off the Airbus Innovation Days Tuesday.
Highlights of Leahy’s address:
- There are 42 mega cities accounting for 99% of the long-haul traffic. Aircraft size is moving up and in 15 years, Leahy says RPKs will double, requiring aircraft like the A380.
- Leahy predicted the A320neo will maintain a greater market share than the Boeing 737 MAX of about 60%-40%.
- He claims the A320neo is 1.6 tons lighter than the 737 MAX.
- Leahy said the A320neo and A321neo now seat 189 and 240 seats respectively (in maximum capacity configuration). The former matches the 737 MAX and the latter has 25 more seats than the 737-9.
- He predicts China will become a competitor in 25 years.
- The competitor to the 787-10 is the A350-900 at 331 pax vs 315 pax with more range and cargo capability or derating the A359 gives a lighter aircraft at the same range.
- The 35 more seats of the 777X means the larger airplane than the A350-1000 is 35t heavier than the latter aircraft.
- The A380 hasn’t been fully optimized by many airlines; it could easily take 50 more seats.
- The A330neo is an interesting idea; we have to look at the money we have to spend and cannibalizing our A350 program. It will be the same size as the 787-9, which will have 1,000 mi more range. We could cover 92% of the routes with a wider seat and much lower capital cost. We have to look at the resources. It may not happen by Farnborough.
- No A350 slots are available until 2019-2020. Effectively sold out through 2019 though could move some positions around.
- In a walking press “scrum,” we asked Leahy, “if there is a potential market for 1,100-1,200 A330neos, why wouldn’t you do the airplane?” Leahy replied that the answer may be self-evident but once more noted that cost and resources will be important considerations. Talks with the engine makers, Rolls-Royce and GE, continue to determine the potential cost split between Airbus and them.