Odds and Ends: Boeing market share; Airbus to Mobile, 777X v A350 and more

Boeing to gain market share: Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst for The Teal Group, forecast at the annual conference last week of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance that Boeing will achieve a 56% market share in the coming years. Here is the story in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Airbus to Mobile after all? Dominic Gates reports what has been circulating for months: Airbus may open a Monile (AL) production line after all.

777X vs A350: Aspire Aviation has a long piece about Boeing’s plan for development of the 777X to meet the forthcoming competition of the Airbus A350.

Oil prices this summer: This won’t be good news for the airlines, though it should spur sales for Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier. The former CEO of Shell predicts oil will hit $120bbl this summer.

787-9 advances: Boeing is proceeding toward design definition of the 787-9, applying lessons learned from the 787-8 program.

320 Pax 787-10: Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s VP Marketing, said at the Singapore Air Show that Boeing could launch the 320-passenger 787-10 soon.

A380 cracks: Aviation Week has a close-up of the A380 cracks, with artwork that illustrates just what is what. The ever-candid Tom Enders, now the CEO of Airbus parent EADS, admitted Airbus “screwed up.”

43 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Boeing market share; Airbus to Mobile, 777X v A350 and more

  1. Although the market share is an important and often cited figure, it is futile to determine it.
    One could use the list prices of the delivered aircraft, but as hardly anyone pays list prices, the benefit of having a good market is questionable.
    One could use the number of delivered aircraft, but that is equally a no-message (counting A380s versus B737s).
    One could try to use delivered aircraft times list price and deduct assumed discounts. Again, this might be a useful figure, but it depends strongly on assumptions and isn’t very trustworthy.
    After all, the turnover doesn’t tell anything about the profits or better to say the “discretionable income” of the company (what it can spend on future projects).

    After all, the true marketshare is close to impossible to determine. Possibly it is also of no specific relevance, more important is how healthy the product line is and how good the margins are. Boeing had a close to 90% market share in late 1990ies.

    • You could compare the profit statements ?

      Ahh I forgot, those are about as meaningless with the significant differences in bookeeping rules. ( forex one would have to take away 2/3 of B’s 787 inventory value and than recompute the profits for a recent comparison )

      Compare market share as accounting of seats sold/delivered times range ?
      Maybe weight by seatclass and cabin pressure/humidity ;-?

  2. “Boeing to gain market share: Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst.”
    – It seems to have been a pep talk for the local community, full of disclaimers & unlikely assumptions.

    “Airbus to Mobile after all? ”
    – A low risk approach like Tjianjin seems to ahve worked (slowly increasing local content/manpower)

    “777X vs A350: Aspire Aviation has a long piece”
    – Wath I have seen fom the -X sofar is similar engines/wings but a higher OEW for similar seat/cargo capasity..

    “787-9 advances: Boeing is proceeding toward design definition of the 787-9”
    IMO the planning sounds over-ambitious (again) to meet old ambitious contracts

    “320 Pax 787-10: RAndy..said .. Boeing could launch the 320-passenger 787-10 soon.”
    – IMO the 787-9 should be well defined, build and tested first to realize the (interesting) 787-10 specs.

    “A380 cracks: Tom Enders, CEO admitted Airbus “screwed up.”
    – Refreshing

  3. At the apex of what Dick later called the tremendous drug-like rush of the 787 program, he predicted that Boeing would grap a 61 percent market share between June 2007 and June 2017.

    Although this June 2007 forecast of his failed to materialise – big time, and granting Dick the benefit of the doubt; still, this latest forecast of his doesn’t sound very reassuring, does it? 😉


    June 8, 2007 – Washington, D.C. (Dow Jones) –A new Teal Group Corp. forecast of the commercial jetliner market calls for Boeing Co. (BA) to grab a 61% market share over the next 10 years. Airbus is projected to win just 39% of the jet transport market, measured by dollar value, over the same period, said Teal Group aircraft analyst Richard Aboulafia. Teal Group is a Washington-area consulting firm with a large number of aerospace and defense industry clients.

  4. If Airbus is planning to boost neo production to more than 60 frames per month, they need increased narrowbody manufacturing capacity in addition to a fourth FAL. For example, by locating A320neo centre and aft fuselage manufacturing facilities in Wichita (KS), in addition to a fourth A320 FAL in Mobile (AL), Airbus would have access to a well-established pool of skilled workers in Kansas, some of whom could also be lured to move down to Mobile for a while. The existing A320 centre and aft fuselage production infrastructure in Europe would be maintained at the current level of output, while production would need to be increased for the wings and forward fuselage at the existing European facilities. A Wichita production hub could be geared towards producing more than 20 centre and aft fusealge sections per month for both a Mobile FAL and to the existing FAL in Tianjin. Shipment to Mobile could either be by Belugas (new frames likely required), or by the way of overland shipment to the Mississippi River and by barges the rest of the way to Mobile. For shipment to Tianjin, completed centre and aft fuselage assemblies would be shipped from Mobile to China via the Panama Canal.

    • Yes, but with a lead time of half a decade until the neo reaches full production levels, and with seemingly guaranteed high neo production levels for suppliers for at least another decade (i.e. 2017-2027), IMO Airbus should be able to get to 60 neo frames per month by the end of this decade if the decision to do so is made in the near term.

      • 60/mo? Maybe, but at what cost? And what happens to that capacity when the next downturn hits? Suppliers get slaughtered.

      • Might I add that at 60+ neo units per month, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the duoploy would remain the same as today. As I said in a previous comment, if Airbus continues to make big inroads with the neo among NG customers, it’s highly likely that they will hike up production to previously unseen levels half a decade hence, possibly with a new FAL and sub-assembly facilities in the US, in order to secure more than 60 percent of the NB market share by 2020.

      • @Howard, What happened during the last downturn (some would call it a global economic melt down)?

  5. Scott, I have been to Mobile, AL. I have no idea where Monile, AL is.

    OV-099, why wouldn’t Airbus, if the built A-320NEO fuselarges in Kansas just ship those sections by train, like Boeing does? It would be far cheaper than by road then Mississippi barge (which also requires an extra lift of the fuselarge), and a lot further cheaper than by Beluga. They could then seperate the shipments in Mobile for their FAL or the Chinese FAL.

    I find the diagrams of the cracked footings of the A-380 wing are interesting. Of the two types of cracks, the ‘type 2’ crack is much more serious as it could lead to total failure of that foot bracket. The ‘type 1’ crack, around the hold the bolts go through is less serious as it could only lead to a partial failure of the foot. the total failure of one, two, or even three foot brackets should not threaten a flight, but any more than that could lead to a failure of the rib, due to more than allowed side ways movement and stress under certain flight conditions.

      • Scott, I & my pinkie (finger) understand that Monile is clearly a neighbourhood of Mobile, I am also aware of your site’s criteria concerning criticism of submitted grammatical or spelling errors.

        I felt therefore that I should come to your defence, if some commentators are splitting hairs, I would like it to be known that I’ve failed to locate fuselarge in the OED

    • Airbus wouldn’t be shipping whole fuselages, only fuselage sections without an aerodynamic nose, and they can’t travel very fast unprotected. I’m not sure the track infrastructure owners would allow too low a speed on their network. Also, lifting fuselage sections onto barges is not a big deal. However, Airbus could us conventional RORO vessels as well.

      • Lifting fuselage sections to barges is certainly not a big deal. Airbus does it currently in Hamburg for the Tianjin shipments, and Bombardier does it from Northern Ireland for the CRJs.

        The bugger is the inventory holding cost of a 2 week sea excursion, plus the non recurring for the factory. Tianjin cost around 2 billion dollars, sure much of it covered by the Chinese, but that won’t be the case in the US. All total it means they won’t make any money on those planes. They don’t in China, as evidenced by comments from Enders himself. Those costs also eat away at the much vaunted Forex difference. That sure doesn’t help much in China either, with their currency pretty much pegged to the dollar still.
        Airbus would need to start building fuselage sections and wing in the USA. Until then, I remain sceptical.
        Not to mention the US airlines don’t give a hoot where their airplanes come from, that’s all just PR eyewash.

  6. Oh yeah, about Boeing capturing 56% of the commerical airplane market. I could see where that could happen in terms of dollar value, if Boeing does everything right on the B-737MAX, B-777X, and B-787-1000, and Airbus steps on themselves with the A-350.

  7. I was at PNAA, and really the only one cheering for this build in the US thing was that guy from G2. Who else is pumping this plan?

    • In public, nobody (except maybe Alabama). They don’t want to upset the French unions. In private, we can assure you this is getting serious evaluation by EADS.

  8. Re: “777X vs A350: Aspire Aviation has a long piece about Boeing’s plan for develop-
    ment of the 777X to meet the forthcoming competition of the Airbus A350.”

    It is extremely interesting to open this sight above and find out how poorly the A350
    stacks up to the latest versions of the proposed 777s, because:
    Av. history confirms that in most cases, the first a/p launched in a certain category,
    like the 707 over the Comet, the 727 over the Trident and the 737 over the DC9,
    won in the end with a much larger share of that market!

    With the 777 having been launched in 1991, I was afraid it would be replaced by the
    A350, launched about 15 years later, forcing Boeing to develop an all new a/p soon!
    But somehow, Airbus appears to have messed that one up big time, the 777X
    versions of the “old” 777 design, now showing much better range/payload and seat-
    mile costs performance, at least on paper, for now. Good for them!

    • 707 before Comet ? ( the comet was the first commercial airliner, nothing could be earlier ,-)
      727 before Trident ? ( Same year EIS with the Trident having had FF one year earlier and a significantly earlier programme start anyway )
      737 before DC9 ? ( DC 9 (EIS 1965) precedes the 737 (EIS 1968) by 3 years.

      Boeing tended to be second to market and leveraged first military spending then later
      “accessorizing” from existing components ( microsoft of airplanes 😉

      • Rudy didn’t say the B-707, B-727, and B-737 came before the Comet, Trident, and DC-9.

        BTW, wasn’t the Comet I a hair raising success? I heard it was a blast to fly on. That is what happens with German and British technology combine.

      • Is there really any need for what you have just written, TOPBOOM? Incredible to how you manage to sink to new depths with your constant snipes.

      • As you may already know, Rudy is saying the later 777X might just trump the earlier A350XWB as the “[later] 707 [has done] over the [earlier] Comet,” etc.

        Then, I read the Aviation Aspire article too and ran out of mental breath reading those long sentences (some of which are called “run-on sentences”). This seems to be common in some aviation blogs like Ben Sandiland’s “Plane Talking” at Australia’s Crikey, and at Jon Ostrower’s FlightBlogger at UK based FlightGlobal. But, I’ll give Jon credit for improved lately.

        • When you can read and write in Chinese and English and be as proficient as Daniel, then come back and complain about runonsentencesrunonsentencesrunonsentencesrunonsentences…..

      • Oh dear, not only quite unnecessary, but once again KC’s comments are riddled with inaccuracies.

    • We conclude the ability to, “read and ‘write’ in Chinese and English,” justifies poor blog writing in English? Is proper English in a decline in Hong Kong and Australia?

      These are just lowly blogs, but hopefully, blog writing colleagues should encourage improvement over excuses for being mediocre.

      It’s a good thing those bloggers aren’t aircraft engineers.

  9. Sorry fellows, I did confuse you all a little, but obviously I intended to
    highlight the fact that THOSE airplanes were launched first in certain
    gatagory, generally lost out to the following models from a competing
    manufacturer, because if the follow-on manufacturer could not make
    sure that this was in fact the case, they would have kept their monies
    in their pockets!
    That’s why I am surprised that when Airbus launched the A350, 15 +
    years after Boeing launched the 777, they were unable to make sure
    that the A350 would be a much better a/p compared with the “old,” but
    much improved 777!

    That, I am afraid, will (also) be the case with A380, which came on the
    scene 40+ years after the 747 and was unfortunately completely un-
    derestimated, if not ridiculed, by Boeing Man’t., until it was too late!
    I am afraid that the 747-8I, not the “F”, with an about equal seat-mile
    cost compared to the A380 and it’s inability to be stretched any further,
    came too late to challenge the A380 in any significant manner!
    This also, because the A380STR with it’s significantly lower seat-mile
    cost, expected to be launched in the next few years, as well as the very
    serious problem of Airport Congestion already being experienced at
    many ports around the world, I believe the A380STR will dominate the
    l.r. very large aircraft market for several decades to come, just like
    the 747 did!

    I reported earlier and for those who missed it: I went to see Boeing CEO
    Phil Condit in late Nov. 1997 and urged him to assume that Airbus
    WOULD launch the A3XX, after having the discussing the spec. for the
    program with 20 747 operators since 1994/5, to either prevent it with a
    new design, or prepare for that eventuality.
    Regrettably, Phil’s response was:
    ” Rudy, I will give you my personal guarantee, that Airbus will NEVER
    launch the A3XX!”
    Why did others at Boeing at that late time, NOT see the need for a much
    larger and new technology-based (777?) replacement 747 for this century?
    I had already retired 8 years earlier and I was ONLY a Boeing Salesman!

    At least Boeing could have announced they would, as I suggested to do
    with a Blended-Wing -Body based design, which I believe would have
    scared the H. out of Airbus and may have caused them to put the A3XX
    on a very low burner, at least!

    • Good question. Maybe B didn’t think the market could support two types in that niche of the market, forcing a competition to the death – always costly and quite unnecessary.
      Why they would think that while they were averaging more than 30 orders per year I do not know. Surely, 12/year should be enough to make a business case work in this niche (not the reality perhaps, but the fantasy document written before it meets the real world).

      I don’t think a bwb would have scared A. One of B’s biggest anti 380 points was airport compatibility. A bwb wouldn’t do better in that respect.
      Also, the tech challenges of pressurizing a non spherical cabin, the emergency requirement of emptying the cabin in under 90sec and questions of putting pax right in between two two story fuel tanks are unresolved problems.

    • The Aspire article reads similar to a A350Mk1 to Dreamliner comparison … from 2004.
      i.e. it compares a minimum advance view of the A350XWB to the most rosy picture that
      Boeing could provides.
      OT: it is greatly amusing to read all those analyst from that timeframe spouting their wisdom 😉

      The continuous rise in certification requirements together with being able to grandfather
      widely scoped inprovements onto an old type to stay competitive obscures the actual technical advances made. This is imho quite valid for all of Boeings type rehashes: 737, 747 and a future 777x. Just imagine:
      What performance would an A380 done with current tech but to 1965 cert specs have?

      • Uwe :
        The continuous rise in certification requirements together with being able to grandfather widely scoped inprovements onto an old type to stay competitive obscures the actual technical advances made. This is imho quite valid for all of Boeings type rehashes: 737, 747 and a future 777x. Just imagine:
        What performance would an A380 done with current tech but to 1965 cert specs have?

        You’ve mentioned this before, always without any details attached. Since most 747-8i systems and structure are now certified to a higher amendment level than the A380, exactly what Part 25 FARs are you referring to? You have implied the A380 would be a more capable aircraft if it were designed to the same rules as the 747-8i, so I assume you have something in mind more significant than the cabin exit configuration. Humor us and tell us some of the ways the A380 would be a more capable aircraft if it were certified to the same Part 25 amendment levels as the 747-8i. Or are you just parroting something you heard elsewhere?

    • Rudy, great to have knowlegeable seniors sharing first hand bits and pieces from the past. I experienced the same process, trying to convince boardmembers of (in my eyes) obvious investments, developments.
      Often it became clear to me decisions are taken purely on belly feelings of a few of them (“a previous (unrelated) project sucked too, don’t “like” that kind of technology). The rest doesn’t understand / agrees. Ignoring writing on the wall and to be proven clearly wrong 5-7 yrs later. That’s never adressed however, nobody wants to know, better look ahead.
      In the end you can only blame yourself not having been able to convince / manage their feelings at the right moment & try differently next time (forget the paperpile & influence their belly feeling early on).

  10. CM :

    Or are you just parroting something you heard elsewhere?

    Well my dear fellow, just to avoid that “parroting” I am not going to repeat things that have been discussed to exhaustion on this site ( and elsewhere ). for the learning effect it would imho be better that you do your own research.

    • I’ve read 747-8i the TCDS. I know the areas of compliance which are not at amendment level 25-120 – they are all listed. Based on your comments, it’s clear you have not. The notion we should be imagining a different level of A380 performance, if Airbus were able to certify it to the handful of grandfathered 747 amendment levels is truly laughable…

      Tell me, how much performance is the 747-8i gaining because the surround structure of the escape hatch is a fail-safe design, rather than damage tolerant?

      How much performance is the 747-8i gaining because galley stowage latches were certified to a different definition of “rapid decompression”?

      How much performance is the 747-8i gaining because the zone A flight attendants do not have a direct view of zone A passengers while in the attendant seat?

      How much performance is the 747-8i gaining by not having GF interrupts on hydraulic fluid quantity probes?

      You see, the real details are not nearly the “unfair” advantage you would like the world to believe. If you’re thinking I’ve cherry-picked the examples I am showing here, feel free to respond to my original request. Otherwise, please consider the irony that you are always blasting Boeing on these boards for distortion and PR spin.

      Oh, and one more thing to consider: Boeing regularly steps up to higher amendment levels than required by the FAA, when they believe it is warranted for safety. They do this even when it results in a performance penalty to the airplane. A great example of this is the flight deck bulkhead on the 747-8i. Boeing stepped up to amendment level 25-127 for the 747-8i, installing a fully ballistic (and heavy) bulkhead, even though they were not required by the FAA to do so. It’s a good example of an area where the 747-8i is well ahead of the A380 in cert amendment level, not to mention flight deck security.

      • CM, I certainly appreciate your credible contributions to this blog, contrary to others who go into “hiding” when their bluff is called.

  11. Ikkeman, Uwe and keesje:

    Yup, the BWB is back in the picture and with a bang!
    See Av. Week Jan. 16, 2012, page 21 and Flt. Int of Jan17-23, p 11.
    NASA, recently asked the three largest airframe makers to study
    advanced concepts for next-generation ultra-efficient airliners but
    “it did not count on so many surprices. But surprices there were,
    Boeing with the BWB, Lockheed and North A, all presented their
    final reports to NASA’s ERA program last week.” (Av. Week)

    It appears, that my enthusiasm for the BWB, ever since I saw a first
    presentation of it in 1994, by Dr. Robert Liebeck, who still manages
    the program at the B. Phantom Works, may have been justified,

  12. AVC :
    CM, I certainly appreciate your credible contributions to this blog, contrary to others who go into “hiding” when their bluff is called.

    Thanks for that, AVC.

    Like you, I enjoy Scott’s material and am frequently informed by insightful comments from other readers. Unfortunately, the wheat in the comments section is often buried very deep among the chaff from haters.

    I know it’s a waste of my time to get sucked in by their rhetoric (there are none so blind as those who will not see), but sometimes the anti-American and anti-Boeing biases are too much for me to take. In this case, the ridiculousness of the dis-information effort demanded a response.

    It helps to know others find some use for my posts, even when the intended target can’t seem to (or doesn’t have the courage to) engage in a dialogue which includes facts.



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