Busy decade ahead for new, derivative airplane EIS dates

The next decade will see an extraordinary number of new and derivative airplanes entering service, beginning next year with the Boeing 787-9 and ending in 2022 with what we believe will be a replacement for the Airbus A330.

Bombardier’s CS100 is currently planned to enter service in around September next year, 12 months after its first flight on September 16, 2013, but we think EIS will slip to early 2015. Bombardier seems to be laying the groundwork for this in statements that it will reassess the EIS date in a few months.

Beginning with the 787-9, there is a steady stream of EIS dates–and a couple of end-production dates of current generation airplanes.

This chart captures the airplanes and their dates. Most dates are based on firm announcements from the OEMs, but we’ve adjusted some based on market intelligence and our own estimates.

EIS Dates


The arrows to certain points within years are not necessarily representative of specific timelines within that year. OEMs generally are not too specific about and EIS date, preferring to say “first half” or “second half” or some derivative of ambiguity. The only specific that we’re aware of is Boeing’s revised EIS of the 737 MAX, from 4Q2017 to July 2017. Although the Ascend data base is quite specific, we’ve not attempted to be highly specific in this chart. (Have we been specific enough about all this?)

Readers will note that we have the ARJ21 arrow going to a question mark. This airplane is already seven years late, and supposedly it’s going to enter service next year, but we aren’t banking on this at all. COMAC/AVIC, producer of the ARJ21, has a dismal record of meeting target dates. Accordingly, although COMAC now says the EIS for the C919 is 2017, we’ve got this in 2018–and even this is likely generous.

Just as we’ve moved the CS100 slightly to the right, we’ve also done so with the Airbus A350-900. The first delivery in set for 2H2014 (July, to be precise, according to Ascend), but the second A350 test plane has yet to enter service and Airbus previously said that although the first flight wouldn’t be delayed following a wing production factory issue, subsequent FTVs (to borrow Bombardier’s term) would be. Ascend shows only seven A350s scheduled to be delivered next year; given the history of new airplane programs, we’re moving EIS to early 2015.

The end-production dates for the Boeing 737NG and Airbus A320ceo families are based on public statements by both OEMs that there will be a two year overlap with the re-engined products. Based on this, we assume the current generation E-Jet will also likely see a two-year overlap, but this is our conclusion and not from the OEM.

Likewise, the illustrated end production dates of the 747-8 and the A330 are our conclusions based on market intelligence and our best judgment, and do not reflect statements from the OEMs. However, Bloomberg News has this story quoting Airbus’ John Leahy that A330 production could continue for a decade, so we’re in the ballpark.

Sharp eyes may note that we don’t have an end-production date for the current generation 777 family. Applying the two year “rule,” this would suggest a date of 2022. But we think the 777-200LRF will live on in the form of a KC-777 (ultimately to replace the KC-10), and with it freighters, even though Boeing has said the 777-8 will eventually be offered as a freighter. Will Boeing continue to offer the 777-300ER in a scenario similar to the Airbus plan to continue selling the A330, overlapping the A350 by many years? We tend to doubt it, but we don’t have enough market intelligence to draw a conclusion for inclusion in this chart. Boeing has talked about the 777X being a full-on successor to the current 777, which suggests the -200 series would go, but our intel suggests otherwise because of the tanker potential. The 777-8X, which is essentially the replacement for the 777-300ER (though slightly smaller), probably will make the -300ER redundant.

Note that we have two airplane programs off-the-chart, so to speak: a Boeing 757 replacement c. 2025 and a clean-sheet replacement for the A320neo and 737 MAX families c. 2030. Boeing sees a need for a 757 replacement (and said so during the Paris Air Show briefings), and Airbus sees a replacement for current generation single-aisles around 2030. We think the latter might be advanced a year or two, but this is too far out to be more specific today. A decision on the 757 replacement would need to be made around 2017, given recent history of eight-year development timelines.

28 Comments on “Busy decade ahead for new, derivative airplane EIS dates

  1. I see you mention 757 replacement next decade. Many assume it will some kind of NSA stretch. Problem is if you build an aircraft capable of e.g 250 seats 4000NM, it gets slaughtered in the huge 150-180 seats segment by lighter, shorter ranged competitors..

  2. The 757 segment is dead, nicely covered by the 739 and somewhat by the 321neo. This week the A330 regional positioned itself nicely against any 767 variant Boeing may have contemplated 😉

  3. Scott, do you have ny specific information on the A330 replacement? i.e. The date you have there or if it will be a full replacement or a rework of the A330 along the lines of what Boeing is going to do with the 777?
    I wonder if they are even remotely considering an aircraft to bridge the gap between the A350 and the A380. You have also not included an A380-900. Does that mean you believe that to be a non-starter or that you have no info on that?

      • Which at least implies that Airbus is seriously studying a “proper” A330 successor (seeing as the A350 is somewhat above it, size-wise). While this makes perfect sense considering the gap they’d have between the A320NEO and A350, it’s also the first time I hear about this.
        For a 2022 EIS of an A330 “S”, we should expect a few first public concepts some time next year and a possible launch in 2015 (giving them seven years from launch to EIS, roughly in line with the time A350 development took – obviously allowing for some slippage…).

      • “Which at least implies that Airbus is seriously studying a “proper” A330 successor ”
        Not for anything like 2022…

        “For a 2022 EIS of an A330 “S”, we should expect a few first public concepts some time next year and a possible launch in 2015 ”
        No chance of that happening. If you do hear anything from the A330 it will be something like neo. The window of opportunity is closing and Keesje might get his dream.

      • Do you have any info on a possible A380 stretch?
        I know that Airbus have, through a couple of interviews from a year or so ago, sort of punted it into the post 2020 world. You haven’t mentioned at all so I assume you have info I don’t have, or your analysis doesn’t see that happening in the next 17 years or I have missed something else completely.

  4. thanks! great work!
    besides 380-900 two questions:

    Why do you assume that Airbus will make the first step on the NSA? If the NEO continues to sell better than the MAX, it will be Boeing who makes the first step.

    Do you want to say that you do not expect a bigger version of the 350, aka 350-1100 or -1200 to go against the 777-9? I would have thought that Airbus tries a similar operation as Boeing when they improved the original 777-200 ER and -300 platform to a 777-200LR and -300ER platform.

  5. You also forgot the MRJ70, MRJ100, SSJ100-130, ATR 90… or you think these aicrafts will not see the light?

    • There are no orders for the MRJ70. The MRJ100, SSJ130 and ATR90 do not exist. While neither do the 757 replacement and NSA, we included reference to these (and the potential A330S (Successor) because of the importance of these airplanes to the industry.

  6. The “Lite 330” is announced today. The range is 3000nm and the MTOW reduce about 200t, is it the so call 330R?

  7. Scott, for the all new designs in the 2020s+, how much do you feel dates are tied in to newer propulsion technologies, rather than aircraft structures, general market pressure etc.? More specific to propulsion technologies, given the potential many see in the tech do you feel a bigger GTF (maybe available sooner now since the end of the tech deal with RR) might be considered a big enough leap, or are the airframers tending toward open rotor, a la LEMCOTEC, requiring new airframe form factors and maybe scale prototypes to precede them?

  8. Scott, I struggle to understand the reasons why you predict further A350 delays in spite of recent indications to the contrary.

    At the Paris air show last summer, Airbus moved the first delivery from H2 2014 to Q3 2014. Likewise, Bregier very recently disclosed that the first commercial frame is entering FAL before year-end 2013. Do you think it will stay there more than one year ? You also seem to dismiss the faster-than-expected implementation of the flight test programme. As regards the second test aircraft (MSN3) cited to support your assessment, I see no reason to think it will not be flying next month as officially expected.

    Except if you have exclusive information challenging Airbus’ timeline, the only way I can understand your prediction is that you want to show yourself even-handed between BBD and Airbus, but this would be sheer posturing.

    • “you want to show yourself even-handed between BBD and Airbus, but this would be sheer posturing.”

      Oh, come on. Get real.

      I don’t make these predictions on a whim.

    • Well tbf, he’s not the only one predicting it, that’s basically what most analysts are predicting, but imo so far it seems to be based on nothing more than the rationale that the last new Airplane programmes from both OEMs have been delayed, therefore this one must too. All seems to be going swimmingly well for Airbus(*knock on wood*), so we’ll see.

  9. Where does your rationale behind the A330S come from? Considering everything we’ve been hearing publicly from Airbus indicates otherwise, are you hearing whispers of this actually happening or is it speculation on your part based on what you think Airbus should or will do?

    • There is nothing like A330S anywhere around 2022. Customer expectation are actually different to a new widebody. Airbus’ widebody product line is frozen: A330, A350, A380 – in the next 15 years we will only see iterations of that. The narrow body will also be developed further, with no new plane launches before 2030.

  10. Also, I assume your prediction on the end of the 747-8 is the ‘i’ and not the ‘f’?

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