Airline Logos: Mary Kirby posted this one. A bit off our usual beaten path, but we find this quite interesting. Speaking of airline logos:
We just completed a series of flights on US Airways and asked in-flight and ground personnel what they think of the merger with American Airlines. Granted, the sample was miniscule, but each was enthusiastic about the merger.
We also saw, in person, for the first time the new American paint job and tail livery. It doesn’t look any better in person than in pictures. As we’ve written before, US Airways management, which will run the merger company, is likely to hold an employee contest for a combined companies livery. They did this for US Airways, which proved popular for morale (though personally we were lukewarm to the outcome).
Boeing ups 20 year forecast: The 2013-2032 outlook has been released. Numbers are up slightly. Airbus releases its update in September. Interesting point: The 407 seat 777-9X is placed in the 300-400 seat sector by Boeing rather than the Very Large Aircraft (which begins at 401 seats), reports Reuters on Twitter.
A350 Photos: Nothing new in the story but the photos are pretty cool.
I know this is probably the least important part of the business, but to my mind the decision to use Continental’s unbelievably bland graphics palette for the merged United was a dumb mistake. Still bugs me whenever I see one of their aircraft. Even the old red and gold continental paint had more character than the current look, which appears to have been designed by a focus group.
CO management retained CO look because, they said, of the higher cost to repaint in the more complex US livery than the simple CO livery. At the least they should have retained the tulip.
Couldn’t disagree more about the AA livery, to be honest. Looks excellent in real life IMHO, even in rainy London weather.
I also find it hard to believe that US/AA are going to be able to find a justification for re-painting those 100-odd planes that will be flying in the new AA livery by the time the merger is completed; particularly considering that many of those that won’t have been repainted by then won’t get any new paintjob at all before leaving the fleet for good (AA’s MD-80s, US’s 737s and some of AA’s and US’s 757s come to mind), i.e. the by-then-repainted/newly delivered 100-odd planes actually constitute a pretty large portion of what is going to be AA/US’s fleet five years down the line.
Boeing is forecasting almost 25,000 new build NBs in the next 20 years. JL over at Airbus thinks he can maintain 60% of those sales, leaving Boeing with less than 40% and BBD and EMB the rest? That means JL thinks he can sell some 15,000 A-32X-NEOs. Good luck with that, Airbus does not have a NSA design waiting in the wings like Boeing does.
Boeing also thinks just 760 VLAs (400+ seats) will be sold in the next 20 years. That is an average of 38 per year. Me thinks that is inflated way to much. I think the number will be much closer to (under) 400 than that. Airlines are just not ordering the big 4 engine jets like they use to.
It took airlines about 35-40 years for them to order about 1,350 B-747s, and another 10 years to order about 270 A-380s (and another 112 B-747s). I am beginning to think the big jet fab is about over.
You’ve misunderstood Leahy’s comments. He says 60% vs 737 sales, not 60% of all single-aisle sales.
Boeing’s 760 VLAs includes ~200 freighters.
Who tells you they don’t? The only difference between Airbus and Boeing in this regard is that Boeing already tried selling their “NSA” but were forced to go with MAX instead. Also, given the significant investment into NEO/MAX (and their respective EIS dates of 2016 and 2017), I don’t see either of the two manufacturers launching an all-new A320/737 successor for EIS any time before 2022 at the earliest. Both will want to get plenty of deliveries out of NEO/MAX before embarking on a major development campagin.
Incidentally, Boeing’s prediction of ~38 new VLA orders anually (averaged) is actually higher than the number of A380s John Leahy claims Airbus will be able to sell and deliver (around 25-30) a year in the next few years. Boeing would at current probably considers themselves very lucky if they got that difference of around 8-13 orders a year for the 747-8, especially in ten year’s time.
And yet, Boeing is just now peddling the ever-larger 777-9X to customers, which they somehow lob into the “Large” instead of the “Very large” category, although it is nominally above 400 pax.
to be honest, the VLA could as well be called the quad category now the 340 has stopped muddeling the picture.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if Airbus by 2020/2021 would be producing at least 70 A32X-neos per month: 30 in Hamburg, 20 in Toulouse and 10 each in Mobile and Tianjin. If Leahy wants to maintain at least 60 percent single-aisle market share, Airbus will have to significantly ramp up production after 2015. It’s a no-brainer, really. Also, if the market should retract, Airbus could slow production at the FALs in Mobile and Tianjin.
As for the 400 VLAs: Well, that should just about cover the demand from Europe and the Middle East over the next 20 years. 😉
The only NSA I’ve in mind is the one that Boeing promised to be 20% better than current generation planes which is quite unconvincing when the NEO or the MAX gets to almost 5% of that target.
“Boeing says that its new airplane as currently envisioned will be about 18-20% more fuel efficient than today’s airplanes. Airbus promotes the A320neo as about 15% more efficient when equipped with sharklets in combination with the CFM LEAP-X or Pratt & Whitney GTF. Boeing largely agrees, noting it concluded a 737RE would have a fuel burn improvement of about 10-12%”
Or do you have something newer to talk about?
Of course Airbus are studying narrow body concepts. Just because they haven’t said anything in public doesn’t mean they are sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
Airbus are test flying some interesting new systems on an A320 next year.
Boeing has an NSA design, but they need to wait for an engine. If Airbus had one, they wouldn’t have gone with the NEO. Airbus said in the past they would not do a NSA until about 2030.
Airbus went for the NEO because they knew a new plane would only be slightly better than the NEO. Airbus have explained this many times, they must have had a basic concept of a new plane to reach this conclusion.
Airbus have said on a number of occasions that they are waiting for next gen engines (open rotor or suchlike) before they commit to a new narrow body.
They hardly had a full-blown design. They had a concept that still would have required time to be launched and then would have required another 6 years of development. When they revisit the idea of an all-new A320/737 replacement in around 10 years’ time, I’m pretty sure there will be very little left indeed of the 2011 NSA concept they had before they went for MAX instead.
Not even Boeing went with the design they had and did MAX instead.
Seems there are more deciding factors than just “do we have an idea, any idea, for something new” -> If YES: Do new plane; If NO: Do re-engine.
Airbus for instance have said that in their eyes the significant investment in an all-new plane is not worthwhile, as sharklets and engines already give them ~15% improvement over CEO-NG with much less lead-time than an all-new plane that, launched in 2011/2012, would cost about ten times as much as a re-engine but only give them around ~20% improvement. Doesn’t sound like they didn’t have a concept for a new plane, but that they decided that the time wasn’t right for it.
Strictly speaking, they said “not before the middle of the next decade” (http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/airbus-to-green-light-neo/).
In any case, do you seriously believe that Boeing are going to spend the significant development cost on MAX (more than Airbus spends on NEO), having it enter service in 2017 (> 1 year after NEO), and then artificially reduce the ROI on that investment by launching an all-new successor in 2019 for EIS in ~2025, less than 10 years after MAX EIS, and with maybe 10% improvement in economics over MAX?
I don’t see that happening, and Boeing shareholders are probably hoping I’m right on that. So whether we’re talking A or B, I don’t see a new A320/737 class airplane EIS before 2030 from either of them. Both have to see a business case for spending the billions required to get a new small plane in the air, and that business case doesn’t exist until technology is available that will allow them to surpass MAX/NEO by a significant margin in operating economics (i.e. more than 10%)
According to Bloomberg Boeing will reduce production rate of 747-8 to 21 per year. Boeing predicts a market for 760 large wide-bodies within the next 20 years. That are about 38 large ones per year. So Airbus will just sell 17 A380s per year? Has Airbus to trim its production rate or will Boeing trim again?
Good luck with that, Airbus does not have a NSA design waiting in the wings like Boeing
Did Boeing ever ave much more than some projected figures? I’d have said that actually Airbus are in the driving seat at the moment in the narrow body field – the NEO family is costing a lot less than the MAX, and they’ve sold a lot more. They can afford to wait , let Boeing start on the NSA that they need more urgently and then respond when they judge that the time is right.
That target has long moved and I wouldn’t be surprised if that NSA has been dustbinned already. It will be a long time before Boeing gets back to a new replacement concept or maybe not if the NEO runs away with the orders. But I think from Boeing’s current standpoint, the latter is less likely. ::)
Eads: First flight a350 Friday at 10:00
As correctly predicted by UKair on the 6th of June 🙂
As Keesje has drawn up, Airbus has can rewing the A320. They have a more comfortably wide fuselage and fly by wire. Perhaps more Al-Li can be added. Like the 777x, the business case is there for a rewing and taking advantage of the design and infrastructure already in place. A new wing will give them a few points more efficiency on an A321, an A322, and a transAtlantic A320plus.
A strange statement. Either you’re saying that, before the MAX launch, Boeing pushed the NSA concept without knowing how to build an engine for it or that the launch of the NEO forced them to consider re-enginining the NSA even before it could be launched.
Given the amount of money Boeing is pouring into the MAX program (significantly higher than the NEO) and that its EIS’s 1 1/2 years after the NEO, I don’t think Boeing would bring up the replacement for at least well into the next decade. Airbus has said that the NEO is good for 15 years and by 2030, new technologies might be available at their disposal that could be used to make a much better replacement and I’m sure Boeing wouldn’t slip up on this. That isn’t to say that Airbus is not carrying out studies on it behind the scenes, but they have other programs to focus their resources on at this time just as Boeing. Whatever design they had for the NSA, I think it’s gone the way of the Sonic Cruiser. 15 Years from now, we could see a new concept that has little in common with the current one.
When Boeing was considering the NSA, they said it would not have an EIS until at least 2020-2022, because it needed a new engine.
How much money is Boeing pouring into the B-737MAX?
In relative terms, it’s said to cost twice as much as the NEO.
You can take that report with a grain of salt, but it’s still going to be significantly higher than NEO in my opinion, maybe not exactly twice as much.
…and they went with MAX instead.
Seems like it just wasn’t the right time for the NSA given the market conditions. These included factors like oil prices going up now and many airlines demanding a quicker and cheaper answer than an all-new plane in 2020 or thereabouts – and Airbus’ NEO offering airlines just that and racking in orders by the hundreds.
The alternative to MAX was for Boeing to basically watch Airbus win 75% or more of the current replacement cycle in the best-selling market niche.
As Airbus did with the A350 Mk.I, Boeing swallowed their pride (literally, if you watch that AA press conference) and did what was probably best.
FlightGlobal quotes Mike Bair in 2010 estimating a 737 re-engine to cost US$ 2 – 3bn for airframe development (i.e. excluding engine costs). They haven’t publicly commented on the topic since as far as I’m aware.
Airbus stated they estimate A320NEO airframe development costs to be around €1bn (~US$1.32bn).
Boeings initial projection for the NSA was “just 6..12 month behind the NEO”.
( Taken out of Microsofts book of fibs then. “announce a better product just around the corner but never deliver. seed “FUD” fear uncertainty and doubt, works )
But Boeing neither had the technology available nor the the production methods
ready. Microsoft in its ecology was able to use this repeatedly. But for Boeing this tool
got blunted rather fast. Nobody took the “NSA tomorrow” for real ( OK,. some with a job in astroturfing were adamant that this was real, still around 😉
News flash Airbus A350 to fly on the 14 June 2013 at 10 am Paris time Good Luck Airbus.
You know, it would help if you had at least a little idea of what you are talking about.
Airbus has been developing the new programme, A30X, since the early part of the last decade. Originally conceived as widebody replacement, it gradually morphed into NSA with all the bells and whistles you can think of. Airbus had a design in two plans: 1) HBPR jet engine and 2) Open Rotor. The overall saving delivered were in the region of 15-20%, which JL has been consistent in saying is not enough. The aim is 30%. To achieve that, the current (at the time) engine technology was could not deliver, hence gradual postponement of the launch to 2025, then 2030. Boeing thankfully realised that if they were to launch their NSA for EIS in 2020, they would be soundly beaten by the Airbus within a decade. Neo/Max was the only sensible option in merging the current frame and the best available, current engine technology.
For your background info:
“You know, it would help if you had at least a little idea of what you are talking about.”
I’ll ignore that, I will not get into trading personal insults with you.
The Airbus A-30X is not a “program”, it is a concept. It is no different than other concepts they have, like the double deck twin “A-370”. Boeing also has several concept airplane designs that, like Airbus, will never leave a piece of paper.
Take a look at these conce3pts from both OEMs:
Aviation history is full of concept designs.
You can think what you want but I can assure you far more engineering and design has gone into that ‘concept’ than I would care to mention in a public forum. But you can, of course, stick with something that makes you more comfortable like “Airbus does not have a NSA design waiting in the wings like Boeing does”. This represents a typical attitude of somebody who is completely oblivious of Airbus’ capability or the will to compete, but never mind.
“I will not get into trading personal insults with you”
Nether will I, it was a statement of the obvious.
While I’m aware of Airbus having formally talked about such a thing called A30X, I don’t think they ever mentioned anything about a twin deck twinjet but I’m happy to be proven wrong. The A370 concept is probably something drawn up by enthusiasts.
I think you’re correct in saying that the A30X is not a program and whatever it turns out to be may not look like those illustrations. But it’s a provisional name for a concept that is being studied with more purpose than any of the others you would have seen, i.e. a much needed narrowbody replacement. At least this part takes it a step above everything else.
I think Boeing will come up with an NSA before Airnpbus with the A30x. EiS around 2023-25 if things go as they currently look.
And please stop the personal attacks, nobody benefits & Scott closes the discussion.
So in your view Boeing will launch the NSA around 2020, ie 3 years the EIS of the MAX? No chance. Both will launch at pretty much the same time for EIS around 2030.
Given past performance of both airframers, they’d have to launch today to get EIS in 2023. I don’t see that happening at all.
Like the NSA?
Seriously, do you or anyone else really believe that Boeing has a ready-made plane that they will just shelve for now and pull out in 2023 just to hang new engines under it? If so, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn and a very nice used Audi A4 to sell you.
Whatever Boeing has done on the NSA is not worth a bucketful of spit anymore. They maybe able to pull some individual items, but when the time comes they’ll go straight back to the drawing board with a clean sheet of paper.
And that time won’t come until 2025, in my view, if the MAX maintains at least 40% market share..
The Li-Battery problems could well have been caused by doing just that and “unshelving” old developement.
My early EIS for the NSA assumption around 2023 is based on my opinion the NEO is structurally better then the 737 MAX on all relevant aspects. Recent sales seem to confirm that. NEO is sold out for a long time, MAX begins to gain orders on early availability / attractive financing.
This decade nothing beats a GTF A321 in terms of payload range, low noise, cargo capabilities, seat capacity and fuel efficiency. On top of that I think Airbus has feasible future options with the A320 platform.
If Airbus launches a optimized 200 seater and/or a bigger wing variants Boeing has to move early. The iconic 737 that set new standards for 45 years has reached the end of its development cycle. The MAX is something Boeing wanted to avoid in the first place. Three years ago they were ready to go with probably a high wing 2-3-2 NSA.
I also believe that the A320 is structurally better suited for basically its first major upgrade than the 737 is for its thirds major upgrade. Still, I do believe that MAX will allow Boeing to hang on to ~40% of market share competing against NEO, which will be sufficient for Boeing to recoup their investment cost in MAX (which, remember, are higher than NEO development costs) and hold off on an all-new NSA until a real jump in technology is possible that allows improving on MAX/NEO by at least 20%, ideally more.
As UKAir wrote and I have kept saying for a while now:
I think NB capacity requirements are moving up quickly.
Boeing is/was well positioned with the 800 and 900 capacity above the A320.
Airbus last week mentioned they expect *Half* of A320 deliveries to be for the A321 (see 8:20) going forward.
He says so 2 weeks before Paris..
The 737-9i MAX is where the limits on range, capacity, engine thrust and air field performance vs the A321 become damaging.
Airbus knows the A320NEO is a bit small to replace a 25 yr old A320 and the A321NEO a leap. So I think a A320 stretch might be on the agenda. Which might trigger Boeing into an NSA early.
“Airbus last week mentioned they expect *Half* of A320 deliveries to be for the A321 (see 8:20) going forward.”
Which directly leads to asking about how much potential demand the new smaller NBs could actually fill? will increased efficiency just reopen this window for a short time while the main demand wave continues to upscale ?
I agree that Airbus is probably in a better position for a stretch like the A322 you mentioned a few times now than Boeing is for a 737-10MAX.
But realistically, I don’t think an A322 would EIS before 2019. So far, Airbus hasn’t even publicly spoken about whether they are toying with that idea, never mind given authorisation to offer, i.e. any hypothetical launch of a stretched A321 is still a year away at last.
Furthermore, I am not convinced that such a plane, once launched would cause Boeing to throw all ideas of getting adequate ROI on MAX overboard, and pull the trigger on an NSA that would only provide ~10% improvements over NEO/MAX at a much higher price point for Boeing and the airlines.
I would guess Keesje is talking about a 6-7 frame stretch of the basic A320 (A320.5 or A322?), and not of the A321 (i.e. A321 is stretched by 13 frames).
IMO, Airbus could quite easily launch a relatively low cost A320 derived family — as Keesje has suggested. It should have significantly larger composite wings (span 40m plus), overall body lengths of around 45m, 50m and 55m, and could possibly have a twin-aisle option for the largest aircraft (1-3-1). Aircraft model numbers? A324, A325 and A326. 🙂
A ‘mini-stretch’ of the basic A-320 does make sense. But the “twin-aisle option” does not. Why would any airline choose to have 5 across seating (1-3-1) on an airplane designed for 6 across (3-3)?
KC. please do have a look at my response further down thread. 🙂
A couple of things everyone seems to be assuming are that it will be Airbus or Boeing to fill the sub 787/A330 capacity space and that there will be just one design. I’m not convinced on either.
Unlesss its economy goes badly wrong, I would be surprised if, come 2030, China isn’t able to produce a truly competitive aircraft in the 100ish-200ish space that they can get out of the door at a lower cost than either Boeing or Airbus and so turn into a strong export model. It could be that any such lower initial price outweighs any fuel/operating efficiency advantage Boeing or Airbus may have, simply pricing Boeing and Airbus out of competing here and up to a somewhat larger ‘new small(er) twin aisle’ instead.
Add in Embraer and you could see models in the 100-200 space being developed more for regionally specific operating conditions. After all, the 21st century is not one where North America/Europe is going to be the major market.
As for Boeing and Airbus activities, both must have permanent NSA teams working up new proposals on a regular basis so that they know what IP they need to source, develop or fund, and any proposal must become out of date almost as soon as it is ‘finalised’. Which doesn’t matter, because it is an ongoing process.
I wouldn’t assume that salaries in China are going to be the same they are today, particularly in highly specialised areas like commercial airliner development and production. If building airplanes was really that much cheaper in China, Airbus would have long tried to significantly increase the output of their Chinese FAL – instead, most of the production rate increases are shouldered by their legacy sites in Hamburg and Toulouse, plus the new FAL in Mobile.
Also, purchase price is only one factor in making the decision to buy from A, B, or C. Maintenance cost, reliability and fuel consumption also play into it – if China wants to build a plane that is truly competitive in all these aspects, I would wager that the price they’ll have to charge is not going to be that far off from what you pay for Airbus, Boeing or a (hypothetical) CS500.
John Leahy suggested that he may be able to do that in the A340-600 vs 777-300ER battle. We all know the result of that.
What you suggest will be even harder to pull off if (well, when) oil prices go up further.
I do agree with you, though, that there may be more competitors in the 100-200 niche than we currently have – a CS500 comes to mind. But in my view, any such competitor would have to be actually competitive on economic terms in order to pose a threat to Airbus’ and Boeing’s market share in this sector.
In my eyes, that rules out China until at least 2035. The ARJ-21 is getting close to six years after first flight and still not certified, and the C919 is at least three years from EIS.
If they want to get a competitive plane in the air by 2030, they’d basically need to launch it by the time ARJ-21 and C919 actually enter service, rapidly decreasing the lifespan particularly of the C919, which is an all-new design meant to form the basis of a family of aircraft.
I somehow don’t see that happening, as even China can’t print money as it suits them.
The US Fed prints money. China has that money ( as US dept ).
The best they can do is exchange that for gaining capabilities.
buying, learning, …
Everybody has a fear of China and it’s capabilites but I really think that people need to realise what we are talking about here. This is not cheapo electronics that can be developed or “copied” in a year or two, shoved out the door and reiterated if that doesn’t work so well. One needs to build up a whole system, the processes and the infrastructure to build passenger airliners. Don’t forget that Airbus was not really a brand new company when they first started out. They were an amalgamation of 3 established aerospace firms. Still they took quite a few years before they became full competitors.
China does not really have that yet, unless they find a western company that can get them on that road much faster, more than likely to the long term disadvantage of said company.
On the other hand, look at Russia, they have, or had a fully functioning aerospace industry whiel they were the USSE and 24 years later, still cannot yet compete with Boeing and Airbus.
To sum it up, be aware of the potential “danger” but lets not overestimate said “danger”.
I agree re labour costs (actually I assume rough equivalence on direct labour costs with N America and Europe long before 2030), and this is one of the reasons I believe they will have a competitive 100-200 seater. China remains an export driven economy and as its labour cost advantage erodes its ability to compete in lower margin, lower tech industries, so its leadership will be driven to develop its ability to compete in more advanced sectors. One of which, and one they can’t ignore, is civil aerospace.
The China FAL is a JV and often considered (by Boeing among others) to be ‘symbolic’ more than economic.
Re purchase price being just one factor, that is why I wrote “any such lower initial price outweighs any fuel/operating efficiency advantage”. Operating to cover any non-initial costs. I see no reason for China to come up significantly short on any of the factors (maintenance, reliability, fuel) that you mention, but I do see them as able to address any shortfall through lower initial costs to ensure lifetime TCO and cash positions are competitive with existing suppliers. On economic terms.
On current projects, it isn’t surprising that Chinese organisations make mistakes when they are on steep learning curves, but that is precisely one of the points of these projects: to learn. ARJ-21 has always to me seemed as much or more about developing the organisational knowledge necessary for successful production as it is for an actual commercial product. 14 years from C919 EIS is plenty of time to develop a further generation that learns from gen 1 (ARJ-21) and gen 2 (C919).
China doesn’t need to “print money” to compete.
I’m not afraid of China at all. I’m glad to see them technologically advance and innovate, which has taken them well beyond ‘”cheapo” electronics’ already. All good competition.
Re the need ‘to build up a whole system, the processes and the infrastructure’, they are doing that. Plus they don’t have the drag that was cross-cultural integration and politicking that Airbus had in its early years, and they do have a vastly larger, somewhat captive market, neither of which Airbus had.
As for Russia, they were/are a completely different kettle of fish. Their civil programme had very little commercial ability (selling mainly to governments instead), the aircraft had more of a nod-and-wink to military use (eg the rough field performance) than any effort to compete with Western products, the culture has never been entrepreneurial, their IP generation is way behind, their workforce less well trained, the economy has been on its knees twice since China’s late 80s economic emergence, and most Western potential buyers would have been very wary of the old enemy in a way they weren’t/aren’t of product from China.
Actually Airbus had orders for 251 A380s in the first 10 years (2001 – 2011) and in that same time Boeing had orders for 189 747s. That gives a total between the two of 440 VLAs for that 10 year period. If one were to multiply that by 4 (to get 40 years), one gets 1760.
By comparison, Boeing has orders for a grand total of 1528 B747’s over a period of 47 years (starting in 1966).
One must also observe that Boeing’s prediction of the VLA market has been somewhat negative over the past decade, ever since the A380 came out.
If Boeing is predicting 760, one could assume that this is a bit of a self justifying prediction to make them look better for not doing anything better than the 747-8, just as one could assume that the Airbus predictions are a tad on the high side to show that it was worth it to go ahead with the A380.
The past 10 years seems to mirror the pattern of the last 47. No better and no worse. Granted the newer and larger twins may make a dent in this but I still do believe that there will be a market for larger aircraft and the trends do seem to support that. Narrow bodies seem to be getting larger, twins seem to be getting larger. Quads still seem to be selling at the same rate as they did 47 years ago.
I cannot prevent people from bashing the A380 and that is certainly there right, if they choose to do so. It seems though, that in many cases, this hatred and bashing is somewhat unjustified. At least now there are some numbers out there for discussion.
Boeing also seems to be be rather busy emanating PR towards “materialising”
their low predictions.
That’s the gist of it. Each side has some explaining to do to their shareholders with regards to their choices.
Take a look at the 737 MAX backlog sofar:
We have seen some information on the actual prices Southwest and AA paid.
Lionair doesn’t seem a rich customer, Obama & Im-Ex were flown in to seal the deal.
Apart from the great UA order not many 737-9i’s sold. So while the total commitments might look good (1300+) the bigger legacy carriers are missing in action. Many lessors with not yet placed aircraft.
E.g. AF, BA, Easyjet and Delta have yet to choose. Will they select the 737 MAX? At what price? I wonder where the adequate ROI will come from and for how long. That’s why my 2023.
AA and Lionair incidentally also ordered A320NEO, so by that token I don’t believe they pay significantly more for NEO than they do for MAX. Instruments similar to Im-Ex are available to Airbus as well, by the way, e.g. COFACE and Euler Hermes; according to some reports, the latter are involved in financing one out of three Airbuses sold (http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/hermes-buergschaften-exportbuergschaft-fuer-jeden-dritten-airbus-1924430.html)
Don’t forget that about 40% of the total MAX backlog is put down as 737-8 in the books, but is actually “tbd”
Don’t get me wrong – I do expect Airbus’ NEO to solidly outsell Boeing’s MAX by around a 60:40 margin. Boeing can comfortably live with that, though and it doesn’t provide a business case for Boeing to pull the trigger on launching an NSA within a year of MAX EIS. (Because that launch date would be required for a 2023 EIS of a Boeing NSA.)
You could ask the same thing about NEO – will AF, BA, U2, DL choose NEO? At what price?
I don’t quite share your vision of doom and gloom for Boeing regarding MAX, even if Airbus steadily outsells them. And I don’t see an A322 – if launched, which I don’t think is a given just yet – shifting market shares to 70:30 in Airbus’ favour. If it had the potential to do that, Airbus would already have at least publicly peddled the concept – or even launched it – which to my knowledge they haven’t.
“We have seen some information on the actual prices Southwest and AA paid.
Lionair doesn’t seem a rich customer, Obama & Im-Ex were flown in to seal the deal.”
Didn’t Lion Air also order A320? At full listed price I suppose. Also, the government of France had nothing to do with that order.
Of course Lionair also ordered 200 NEO, on top of their 400? 737. I guess they can be classified as “soft” orders for everyone including Airbus. But for Airbus its a smaller piece of the cake.
And what if Airbus market share goes up to 65%? Or >70% in value (e.g. US legacy’s ordering many A321NEO). http://www.pdxlight.com/neomax.htm At some point it can cross a line, where Boeing stake holders are no longer comfortable with where they stand..
BTW, the Mary Kirby thing was pretty cool. I like the 1930s logos better, but then again, I live in East London, so am pre-disposed towards ‘retro’ style. 🙂
Good design is timeless … look at the KLM and Lufthansa logos, both basically 50 years old (older than the 737!) and still looking good.
How soon do you think Airbus can bring out such variants considering that the launch of the NSR would happen sometime in the middle of the next decade, with an EIS towards the end of it? Also, considering Airbus is spending around a billion dollars for minimal modifications on the NEO frame, isn’t it going to cost a lot more to do stretches and further wing mods? I would think that the EIS for such variants should be no later than 2020.
I don’t think Boeing should be too concerned with their narrowbody line up to bring up the NSA earlier. As you said, the -8 MAX can help drive the bulk of their narrowbody sales while the A321 does it for Airbus. And if they still contend that they will “dominate” the widebody business, they should be happy to settle at 40% market share with Airbus on narrowbody sales until they go for the replacement.
What would they be used for? A 40m plus wingspan moves it from ICAO ARC code C to D, which is A300 territory. And you’re probably looking at an investment bigger than what went into the 737NG development, i.e. new wings, stretches etc.
“A 40m plus wingspan moves it from ICAO ARC code C to D, which is A300 territory.
As is the case with the 757.
A A324/A325/A326 family could use optional 777X-like folding wingtips in order to make aerodrome reference code C
“What would they be used for
A324X, A325X and A326X should be optimised for ranges greater than 4000nm (Pax + luggage)
A31Xneos-rewinged and outfitted with 2nd generation contra-rotating GTF engines, should IMO be optimised for ranges around 3000nm
A314X, A315X and A316X – Open Rotor,
all new fusealge with 5 across (2-3) and optimised for ranges around 2000nm. EIS: mid 2020s with initial open rotor testing completed by the end of this decade.
A324X, A325X and A326X would not have to carry fuel in the hold – as does the fuel volume constrained A321. Hence, the volume for containerised cargo would be substantially greater than what’s the case with the A321. With plus 4000nm range, the aircraft should easily be able to cross the Atlantic with pax and cargo. The 55m long mode could feature twin aisles for added comfort (i.e. airlines benefitting from the twin aisle passenger attraction) while increasing cargo capability further.
NB: I don’t subscribe to the “twin aisle feeder” concept, but a 55m long A326X, flying TAL routes, could be viable in a twin aisle configuration.
Aeroninja, the problem with the math for the a380 is that there was an initial burst of orders followed by a long period of dribs and drabs. The only airline that seems to be able to make the a380 work on a volume basis is Emirates working on a MidEast transfer hub model. No one else is ordering large numbers and if you look at the recent few years they are not getting anyone else to bite. It is not the lack of early delivery spots, it is the fact that it is so large and such a big capital investment that it is less flexible than a large twin for most airlines who have thin margins.
The a380 is kind of like the luxury liners of old…its just that airlines are opting for efficient transport container ships…
Hm – between January 2011 and just now (“recent few years”), they got Asiana, Transaero, Skymark and Hong Kong Airlines as new customers. Not too shabby.
“Large numbers” is also a curious concept in this context – we maybe got a bit spoiled by the numbers Emirates orders planes in. 24 A380 for SIA and 12 for BA are nothing to be sneered at if you look at the value of those orders. Even in its heyday, the 747 didn’t usually sell dozens at a time. Most orders were single-digit ones.
Just to put some perspective into this…
A very strange comparison looking at the size of the average container ship these days. The largest ever just got launched, but won’t retain its title for long, as the next record-holder is just around the corner, launched less than a month from now (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/biggest-container-ship-in-world-inaugurated-in-hamburg-a-902846.html)
Your comparison is very strange in another aspect as well, because it’s up to the customer whether they use the A380 as a luxury ship, a ship tightly packed with 3rd class passengers, or indeed a mix of both. Its main differentiator is the amount of floor space it offers – you just need to come up with a way of laying out that floor space with something that works for your airline. Not everybody will be able to do that. Don’t forget that 747s were never really bought factory-new by just anybody.
Yes, due to – among other things – the concept of economies of scale, cruise ships and container-ships are getting ridiculously large, while new 400m long high speed train sets can carry more than 1000 passengers, curiously enough, the airline industry somehow does not have to obey the laws of economics. Go figure. 😉
I guess the point I was making is that there are a large number of alternative aircraft to the 380 and that few airlines seem able to make it work. Otherwise, there would be more demand and no open slots and no deferrals of aircraft. Somehow, the business case is not very robust or they would be making more than 21-30 a year and selling more than that number. Hopefully it will improve in the future and they already made the investment so it makes sense if they take a wait and see approach for a decade or so. I am dubious that there is a pent up demand for the a380
Remember Boeing has the NSA design when they launched the MAX, but: it’s Airbus that “don’t have the appetite to do a ground-up airplane” 🙂
Re A320 future options, I guess a new wing for larger further range are a significant project, investment in a different segment.
The low investment “low hanging fruit” IMO is the A320 “Plus” stretch. The A321 is way longer (236 seats) then the A320 (180 seats). Way more expensive, a big step up for e.g. low cost carriers.
The 737-800 benefits from a few rows more then the A320 and the 737-900 a few rows on top.
Using the existing NEO wings, it would be a low investment, offering slightly more seats then the 737-8 MAX. Minimum crew rates of 1:50, made carriers like Ryanair, Easyjet and Jetblue knock on Airbus door for a 200 seater before.
Maybe instead of the A318 and A319, that resulted in low commitments sofar and will face the CS300 / E200G(?) in the future.
With the A321 potentially getting half of NEO (other half A320, a very low number of A319 ) orders demand will center on the A321 in no time.
IMHO A321 is the right size, no need to go in between A320/A321 and demand for a “A322” will not come about before “brand new design” NB craft will appear.
I think the A320+ is the optimum spot for the sharklet wing and new engines. But Airbus very graciously gives this prime real estate to the MAX 8 and 9. On behalf of Washington State, thank you Airbus.
I have to come back to challenge this – I don’t think Boeing ever had a design (or what I would term a design, by which I mean detailed plans) for the NSA. It had a set of calculations that it showed the airlines and they were clearly not blown away. The impression seems to be that Boeing realised that upgrading the 737 with bigger engines would be difficult and their preference was to avoid that; Airbus had no such issues and couldn’t see that an all-new design would be much better than the NEO. In the end the market decided the issue for Boeing
The MAX IS indeed waiting in the wings for Boeing to launch in 2020. Everyone is clearly forgetting that the MAX is Boeing’s trojan horse to fool Airbus into thinking they’re going to compete with them using that plane and then once they get Airbus to commit to the plane to the point where they can’t back out, they’ll suddenly spring out the NSA and surprise Airbus who by that time will be so deeply committed to the NEO, they won’t be able to reply, while the NSA runs away with the market.
Yes the above is pretty much the summary of the thoughts of a certain “blogger” who I shall not name on how the NB market will play out over the next decade, I kid you not 😀
Is this the same blogger who believes that the NEO was launched prematurely and without sufficient design studies, but never says the same for the MAX?
The 2020 launch is a bit premature. The MAX and NEO have a backlog of over 3000, likely to top 5000 by 2015. The perfect time to EIS the NSA is towards the end of 2030 when this wave of orders start needing to be replaced.
Strange thing to build a Trojan MAX horse twice as expensive than the whole city of NEO Troja.
@Davenport: I believe we’re thinking about the same person 😉 One of the most objective bloggers on the internet
@mhalblaub: yes you would think so, but apparently nothing beats the cost of stopping Airbus lol
Uwe, the gap between the A320 and A321 these days is 7 meters, more then 50 seats (25%) and E17 million in list price.
Imagine you are a low cost carrier flying aging A320s, looking for replacements.
The A320NEO doesn’t provide any growth and isn’t available for many years. The A321 is also far away and requires changing your business model.
Inbetween is the 737-8 MAX. A little less efficient/ higher trip costs, but the 12 extra revenue seats compensate a lot and Boeing is eager.
When would you expect an “A320 6/13th” to be available for use ?
Obviously not before all NEO variants are available plus a couple or three years.
It could be done fast, e.g. if they skip the A319. However it seems they are still tuning the A321NEO and that one has highest priority.
Beside that, it is hard to pressure a supplier that sold 2400NEO’s and has a NB backlog of nearly 4000.
Maybe a combination of big A320 operators, willing to commit to hundreds, Unwilling to settle for an extra discount on A321s, threatening to buy 737-8s.
Or a rich start-up, looking for a 200 seater, waiving with a 737-9 MOU.
So far the airlines failed to convince Airbus. But times change.
Keesje, I am curious. Are you looking at the A320.5 from the eyes of an airline, Airbus, as a plane fan or just form some other point of view?
I don’t think Airbus shares your enthusiasm for such a model, not with the combination of the successful NEO sales numbers and with what they have on the plate for the next 10 to 15 years (after XWB would conceivably be an A330 successor and perhaps the A380 stretch).
From an airline point of view, the airlines tend to go with a single NB fleet and so they will mix and match from one OEM or another to suit their needs from the choice they have. Airbus must certainly get some feedback from the airlines but the content and amount we will never have an idea about but suffice it to say, Airbus must be getting some feedback on this concept that we aren’t getting.
If your promotion is that of an aircraft fan, then I understand your enthusiasm, even if I don’t see Airbus seeing the economics the same way as you do.
I think Airbus should have stretched all three members of the family, to exploit the gains in the engines and wingtips.
Optimal lengths would be:
A319 – 36m
A320 – 41m
A320 – 46m
Like VV says, launched too soon. They should have heeded the words of Ernest and Julio Gallo.
The A320.5 would make a serious dent in the 737-800 business case. That reason alone justifies the launch of this variant. It could quickly become the best narrowbody seller. Enough so to threaten the A320 itself. For why would an airline want to buy the A320 when an A320.5 is available? The A320.5 would actually kill the business cases for both the 737-800 and the A320.
Well, if they’d heeded your advice, you’d been looking at a $3 billion plus programme instead of a $1 billion one. That would not have been a wise thing to do IMO. Airbus has now forced Boeing to invest some $2 billion, at the minimum, in what looks to be, sales-wise, an inferior product. Fast forward to 10 years post A320-neo EIS, and you’re looking at what IMO could very well be a suitable time for a 2nd upgrade to the A320-series, but now with all new composite wings – tailored for “cheap” mass production – and 2nd generation GTF engines having a contra rotating fan. This time around, the wings should be fully optimized for the base model (i.e. A320-800X), stretched, perhaps, by a frame or two, it would have less fuel volume (and structure) due to the more efficient engines, and finally, range would be about the same as that of the current A320 (i.e. up to 3000nm) and not that of the A320neo. Of course for this to happen, trip fuel savings should be reduced by upwards of another 15 percent over that of the neo.
If Airbus should re-wing the A320-series, why not make two all new ones – one smaller and one larger. The smallest wing should have slightly more wing area than that of the current model, or about the same as that of the 737NG. The large wing could have a chord-wise insert a la the A340-600-wing, but in contrast to the larger A340’s wing, this one should have a substantial increase in span to at least 40m (i.e. two optional 777X-type 2.5m folding wingtips would enable the aircraft to park at code C compatible gates). Putting the larger wing on a conceptual A324X/A325X/A326X-family, you’d get a single aisle family having at least 4000nm range (i.e. for the base model), while having a significant cargo capability on shorter sectors.
Still, a 3000nm range capable single aisle aircraft is still too much aircraft for most sectors in, for example, Europe. IMO, max aircraft range (i.e. for pax/luggage) doesn’t really have to be more than 2000nm for most of these sectors. That’s why I believe 2025 would be a perfectly opportune time for Airbus to EIS a smaller single aisle family (i.e. A314X/A315X/A316X) powered by open rotor engines- roughly equivalent in body lengths to that of the CS-100, CS-300 and the conceptual CS-500X). Of course, this would be bad news for Bombardier and the IMO too-long-range-optimised C-series. By doing such a 777X-like upgrade to the A320, enough resources should be available for doing an open rotor powered aircraft concurrently with a larger and longer ranged A32X-800X series. With global airline travel doubling every 15 years, the OEM’s will be delivering more aircraft every year, and with revenues rising as well, they should be more than capable of handling more than one program at any one time. Due to the inherent advantages of the A320-design over that of the 737-design, Airbus should be able to do the “new single aisle with 6 across” (NSA-6) on the cheap, while developing an all new “single aisle with 5 across” (NSA-5), having revolutionary open rotor engines and optimised for the shorter single aisle sectors where the lower airspeed (i.e. Mach 0.75) doesn’t make much of a difference.
Well, I guess I’m curious as to what the cost of a new fuselage length, are we talking about 50 million or more like 500 million for a new unique length? If, it is more towards the high side, the 737-600, A318, and A345 were bad moves. The 772-LR was an off the shelf length, so it is not in that catagory. Makes one wonder about the financial wisdom of developing a unique length for the A358 or 777-8x.
AFAIK, the costs for R&D, flight testing and certification for the A330-200 was around $500 million (1997 dollar value). Please do note that the A330-200 does not have the same overall body length as that of the A340-200 (i.e. different fuselage sections shrinkage from the A333/A343).
Thanks, I guess that explains a few things.
Is the A358 the base model for an A350 freighter?
No, the A-350F will be based on the -900 version
…..or, to be precise, the freighter will be based on the A350-900R (i.e. the triple bogie, 308 MTOW version, and not the baseline A350-900 with a 268 MTOW and double bogies!) 🙂
MTOW in metric tonnes.
Contrary to earlier claims by Aspire Aviation, it looks like Easy Jet might not defect to the MAX after all.
This was always going to make sense. Airbus promised 95% airframe commonality between the CEO and NEO. They have the existing infrastructure, training and maintenance & spares in place for the NEO, so it would have asked for a really ridiculously low pricing from Boeing to get them back on the MAX. And if the CSeries does have a place in their fleet in the future, it would be better for them to operate it alongside the GTF powered NEOs for engine maintenance savings.
Yes, of course it makes sense. 😉
For Boeing though, when are they going to “make up lost ground” on single-aisles?
Boeing seems to hold out NB orders for 163 737s.
The NEO firm orders stand at 2,125 and the MAX at 1,376. The NEO was always going to lead the MAX by ~750 units if both continue with similar production rates (42/mo), considering how the former enters service some ~18 months before the latter.
For the above, one should also assume similar production ramp up.
Well, what happens if Airbus raises neo production levels by, say, 50 percent by the end of the decade? With Boeing seemingly having a hard time grabbing current A320 customers, and with numerous defecting Boeing-only 737 customers a fait accompli, would Boeing really have enough customers to actually match Airbus’ single aisle output come 2020? That’s what I meant with “making up lost ground” (i.e. paraphrasing Aspire Aviation).
Both the narrowbodies are not short of demand. So what we’ll be seeing is a “whatever you do, I’ll do it too” game and neither OEM will settle for being below the other. However, there’s a limit to how far they can increase production. I hope I need not introduce you to the concept of diseconomies of scale. 😉
I think market share is dependent on how much one can make their aircraft better than the other. You need to make your aircraft significantly more efficient to command the kind of premium needed to depress your rival’s margins to the point where they’re unable make investments to match further production increases or even end production due to losses. See 77W vs. A346.
30 years ago Boeing had upwards of 80 percent of the market (NBs and WBs). IMHO it’s a fallacy to think that it’s a given that Airbus and Boeing will split the market with equal share for both OEMs from here on out. Hence I wouldn’t necessary believe that Airbus would suffer from diseconomies of scale due to them having around a 60 percent market share on single aisles. 😉
From Boeing’s point of view, something needs to be done, that is if they want to retain an equal share of the single aisle market.
I wonder what the critical minimum market share is for Boeing in the NB segment. Not everything is fine. Even more the “value share”
Airbus has to ramp up production. They have 4000 A320s in the backlog, thats too long. No doubt they are working with critical streams in the supply chain as we speak.
@ OV-099 & Keesje,
This is precisely where the “backlog” Fallacy falls on its Face! OV, mentioned production rates? This is exactly the point that everyone should be concentrating on! The OEM’s make their money on delivers NOT backlog. If A increases production rate to 50-60 per month, B will follow.
In this case the larger backlog becomes a detriment NOT an asset… As the competitor has the advantage of faster delivery slots that could command a premium price.
Just look at the 787/A330 situation if you need any more proof.
If Airbus increases production to 60-65 per month come 2020, I’m not sure from where Boeing is going to get enough orders in order to match Airbus production-wise.