737MAX costs vs A320neo

AirInsight takes a look at the Boeing claims of 4%-7% cost advantages of the 737MAX vs the A320neo. The analysis comes to a slightly different conclusion than Boeing.

22 Comments on “737MAX costs vs A320neo

  1. “The analysis comes to a slightly different conclusion than Boeing.”

    Excellent analysis by AirInsight.

    I’m not surprised at this. After all, it is the marketing folks at Boeing coming out with those numbers.

    At the end of the day money talks and we’ll let the order book speak for itself. In the end, it will be about financing, delivery slots, etc. which will probably determine which carrier orders which plane.

    • AirInsight also said that if everyone (Airbus, Boeing, GE/CFM, and P&W) hits their promised numbers the B-737MAX still comes out 2% better operating costs than the A-320NEO.

      You are right about Boeing’s marketing folks coming out with the initial numbers. But why didn’t you also say Airbus’s marketing folks (i.e. John Leahy) are also pushing numbers on the A-320NEO?

      • Your complaint should probably be registered with Airinsight, not Scott. If Airinsight has discovered Boeing is 2% optimistic in their assessment of the MAX against the NEO, that means Airinsight has discovered Airbus is around 6% optimistic in their assessment of the NEO against the MAX. That seems more newsworthy than the 2% discrepancy we’re seeing reported on… But maybe Airinsight just wasn’t able to connect all the dots.

      • @KC:

        CM’s comment were correct. I was only mentioning Boeing only because of Boeing’s comments. Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. KC135TopBoom :
    AirInsight also said that if everyone (Airbus, Boeing, GE/CFM, and P&W) hits their promised numbers the B-737MAX still comes out 2% better operating costs than the A-320NEO.
    You are right about Boeing’s marketing folks coming out with the initial numbers. But why didn’t you also say Airbus’s marketing folks (i.e. John Leahy) are also pushing numbers on the A-320NEO?

    Maybe because the post he was replying to was in regards to number posted by BOEING and Airbus isn’t mentioned? What do whatever numbers Airbus have posted have to do with anything when the airinsight link posted was addressing numbers by Boeing?

  3. I don’t know – there’s a lot of wild-ass guesses in there (e.g. identical LEAP & GTF figures) so the margin of error must be WAY above the 2% difference they find.

    My conclusion would be – you can’t draw any conclusion!

  4. The 737 and a320 were close to equal.

    Now Airbus introduces clearly superior engines.

    Boeing isn’t following. (probably fo good reasons, I don’t think the NSA is off the table..)

    >BPR : >Propulsive efficiency. No rocket science.

    IMO Boeing is trying to blur the picture by introducing new variables, contradicting figures and raw bluffing.

    Next: I expect Boeing affliates to start creating doubts around the PW GTF anytime now.

  5. Like you always do, keesje, you never finish what you are saying. BTW, BPR is part of the engine efficiency story, it is not the whole thing. How can Airbus have superior engines that don’t exsist yet to a Boeing selected engine that doesn’t exsist? We don’t know the difference between the LEAP-1A (Airbus) engine from the LEAP-1B (Boeing) engine, other than fan size.

    Who has been casting doubts about the PW-1000P?

    • @KC: Some people make the same comments over and over again hoping it will eventually become true. I heard the same comments when the A346 was “pitted” against the B77W. We know how that turned out.

      Again, I think at the end of the day, both planes will do well for both manufacturers and carriers. It will all depend on delivery, mission profile(s), support, m/x, price, financing, etc.

    • Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you believe an engine with 12″ less diameter in the fan will be as good as the normal size engine, there is a bridge in Brookylin that is waiting for you to buy it.

      Sure, CFM may be tweaking or optimising the LEAP-1B for the Maxi-737 but do you really believe they can get that much more effeciency out of it? If they indeed can do so, don’t you think that COMAC and Airbus will demand the same sort of effeciency optimisation for their engines?

      As I mentioned in another post, while the GE portion of CFM might be willing to jump through hoops for Boeing, I seriously doubt that the SNECMA portion is quite so willing to drop the priorities for their other customers.

      • Exactly. This is something I genuinely don’t understand… if the fan diameter is optimal at size X, then it HAS TO BE LESS THAN OPTIMAL at size X-Y.

        Why do people have some religious or magical belief that the engine manufacturer WHO SUPPLIES BOTH FAN OPTIONS will somehow make the sub-optimal option as good as if not better than the optimal option?! It literally does not make sense!

  6. SomeOneInToulouse :
    Exactly. This is something I genuinely don’t understand… if the fan diameter is optimal at size X, then it HAS TO BE LESS THAN OPTIMAL at size X-Y.

    That is debatable.
    “optimal” is always connected to a value domain.

    optimal in context of best performance of a stand alone engine.
    optimal in context of some applied design in a constraining situation.

    Boeing “factually” says optimal in context of the constraining situation
    but insinuate that it means optimal in the standalone context.

    What will happen is that the optimisation for the 737 may be nigh perfect
    in scope of the limiting framework. But nonetheless well below the potential
    of the engine and below what Airbus will achieve with their less optimized
    pure engine.

    Currently the systemic disadvantages of the 737 eat up the the weight and crosssection advantage it has. This will be slightly more pronounced in the NEO to MAX comparison.

    • Since the engine supplier chose a larger diameter for the less-restricted A320 dimensions, “optimal” must be in terms of performance for this type of mission. And I doubt the 737 is intended to fly a totally different mission than the A320.

      Love the Boeing double-talk, by the way: “Airbus […] with their less optimized pure engine”! 😉

      In any case, I think Boeing is doing the right thing… but I don’t think they can claim to be better than the NEO and I certainly don’t think there’s any point arguing over percentages when we’re all shooting in the dark!

      • But the B-737NGs do fly different missions than the A-320 does. It flys TRANSCON all year long, in both directions, the A-320 cannot. It flys US West Coast to Hawaii, all year long, in both directions, the A-320 cannot. It flies TATL with more family members that the A-32X family can. They both fly a significant number of missions, up to about 1500 nms. The B-737NG, with its lower landing weights has lower landing fees compared to the A-32X family. The B-737NG is intended to fly missions the A-32X family cannot. It is almost the exclusive airplane flown in the high northern latitudes.

      • Boeing threw a smoke bomb. They totally loss narrow body aircraft market to A320NEO.

  7. SomeOneInToulouse :
    Exactly. This is something I genuinely don’t understand… if the fan diameter is optimal at size X, then it HAS TO BE LESS THAN OPTIMAL at size X-Y.
    Why do people have some religious or magical belief that the engine manufacturer WHO SUPPLIES BOTH FAN OPTIONS will somehow make the sub-optimal option as good as if not better than the optimal option?! It literally does not make sense!

    As I have incessantly mentioned, the order book in a year or two will speak for itself. There are a multitude of many variables besides the BPR of the two plane types.

  8. KC135TopBoom :
    But the B-737NGs do fly different missions than the A-320 does. It flys TRANSCON all year long,

    And isn’t the claim that the larger diameter is more efficient over longer hops?

  9. Some will keep debating/ questioning /dismissing/ blurring the BPR-sfc relation.

    Accepting it leads to conclusions that damages strong pre-occupations..

  10. Keesje, maybe you hung your hat on BPR alone, but even you cannot deny that 5 airlines disagreed with you 496 times.

    • Those 5 airlines are currently virtual rabbits in a tophat
      were you are shown for a proof the ears of the alleged first 😉

  11. To sum it up concisely, the 737 MAX is a lighter and more aerodynamically efficient airframe and wing. However, the A320 also has a wider cabin (3.70m vs 3.54m) which amounts to seats that are about 2 cm wider per passenger and hence a arguably more comfortable. The A320 NEO will have more slightly more efficient engines due to the ability to use a 78″ fan vs the 737 MAX’s 66″. However, because the airframe as well as engines are also draggier and heavier, the A320 NEO has higher fuel costs per seat and higher operating costs (by 4% and 7% by Boeing’s estimates).

    This isn’t all that different from the existing 737-800 vs A320 scenario. Despite the A320 having 68.5″ fans vs the 737’s 61″ (as well as marginally better TSFC), the 737 is recognized has having slightly better per seat, per trip and overall operating costs. The A320 however has the same wider cabin and training advantageous cockpit similarities with the A330/340. All in all, these are very competitive products and they roughly split the market right down the middle.

  12. Sam Wayne :Boeing threw a smoke bomb. They totally loss narrow body aircraft market to A320NEO.

    Have they? The NEO hasn’t sold much since the PAS, save the AA order. But AA also ordered 100 MAXs, and 4 other airlines ahve ordered an additional 396 MAX airplanes, according to Boeing.

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