What next for EADS, Airbus in US?

With plans to assemble the KC-45 in Mobile (AL) in shreds, what’s next for EADS and Airbus in the US?

EADS and Airbus said creating a final assembly line (FAL) for the KC-X would lead to assembling A330-200Fs there as well. Without the tanker, the business case for the freighter FAL in Mobile didn’t exist, said officials.

The tanker contract is gone and Airbus now has a backlog of only some 50 A330-200Fs.

But Alabama officials believe Airbus should proceed with the A330 FAL anyway and some observers believe Airbus should put an A320 family surge line in Mobile–or a combination of A330s and A320s. Airbus believes there is at least another decade or more of life in both airplanes.

What should EADS/Airbus do?

18 Comments on “What next for EADS, Airbus in US?

  1. EADS/Airbus building a new FAL in the US now only makes sense if the A-350 will be built here.

    • Sure… After fighting against KC-35 to preserve American Job (which is just a hype), you can now envision an Airbus FAL in US. I am not sure this will be very weel received here overseas. Besides, regarding the market penetration of the A330 and considering the loss of the tanker contract, US is not the best candidate; Asia or Middle east is far better from this point of view.

      French idiom for this is saying “you can not have the butter and the butter money”.

      • I think the english idiom is
        “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” ?

        Airbus India seem to be expanding.
        (New) Job notices around from last fall.

        Airbus has Tier1 suppliers there. They say 😉

  2. If they want to add A320 capacity, wouldn’t it make more sense to expand the Chinese line?

  3. What about a business case of when the A350 becomes online, the existing A330 line moves to Alabama. Including P2F works.
    Why is Fedex focusing on 767-400, might be interesting business case for a A330-300(p2)f. UPS has might be next in line for replacing the A300’s–> A330-200(p2)f.
    Or make the Alabama the Americas dependence. Especially provide a lot of planes towards south America.

  4. Franck :Sure… After fighting against KC-35 to preserve American Job (which is just a hype), you can now envision an Airbus FAL in US. I am not sure this will be very weel received here overseas. Besides, regarding the market penetration of the A330 and considering the loss of the tanker contract, US is not the best candidate; Asia or Middle east is far better from this point of view.
    French idiom for this is saying “you can not have the butter and the butter money”.

    Then you might want to know DL is the second largest operator of the A-330 in the world.

    Victor Nauta :What about a business case of when the A350 becomes online, the existing A330 line moves to Alabama. Including P2F works.Why is Fedex focusing on 767-400, might be interesting business case for a A330-300(p2)f. UPS has might be next in line for replacing the A300′s–> A330-200(p2)f.Or make the Alabama the Americas dependence. Especially provide a lot of planes towards south America.

    Well, there is no P2F program for the A-333, just for the A-332. But, even that program is not launched as there are no used A-330s available anytime soon. FX is talking to Boeing about a B-767-400ERF, but no one knows if it will result in any orders. FX also is looking at the A-330-200F, but again, no order. They seem very happy with their new B-777-200LRF (12 delivered to date). FX does need to start replacing their DC/MD-10-10/-30s, and that, I believe is why they are talking to Boeing and Airbus.

    • Yes I might want to know it. Or perhaps I did but read the figures more globally. Total orders from North America for the A330 is 280 with 202 delivered and only 68 operated (Leasing company like ILFC in the orders count). In the same time, the orders are 388 in Asia, with 242 delivered and 336 operated. Maybe this is something you might want to know. Note that I have not included South Maerica figures because not changing anything in the facts.

  5. You do know most A-330s are operated by airlines (a few are VIP or government/military jets), not contentents?

  6. Well, there is no P2F program for the A-333, just for the A-332. But, even that program is not launched as there are no used A-330s available anytime soon. FX is talking to Boeing about a B-767-400ERF, but no one knows if it will result in any orders. FX also is looking at the A-330-200F, but again, no order. They seem very happy with their new B-777-200LRF (12 delivered to date). FX does need to start replacing their DC/MD-10-10/-30s, and that, I believe is why they are talking to Boeing and Airbus.

    Unless the A350 gets online. Then I see some A330 freeing up. But true not in big numbers. So that is why I did the p2 between (). Also FX is talking about new aircraft, see the 777F and 764F. Ups also got some newly delivered 767’s and 747. So I agree with you that the p2f program might not be all that interesting for airbus.

    But you mention the dc/md-10 replacement. What about the A300’s and 757’s FX en UPS together have some 120 of A300 and 100 of the 757. Both Airbus and Boeing don’t have an 1 on 1 replacement for sale. But it might be an interesting bait for Airbus and about an amount a FAL in Alabama might make sense.

  7. FX wants an A380F as soon as the Bus Boys can start building them. FX already has a new huge hanger in Memphis for them.

  8. They just added another 3xA330F. I still think they will go ahead with a FAL in the US.

    • I also think a new FAL makes sense. Airbus needs some space to produce the A350 somewhere and also wants to increase the A330 output. A new FAL for A330 in Alabama therefore isn’t impossible. I guess EADS wants to keep credibility. So EADS can’t announce to build a factory in the USA soon after the tanker contract.

  9. Airbus needs additional production capability and a better foothold in the US. Also US carriers would like to have their aircraft built in this country. A fair number of out of work aircraft people could use a good job too.

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