Odds and Ends: Airbus 20 year forecast; Boeing in WA State; water bombing a fire; Rolls-Royce’ Classic Airliners

Airbus forecast: Airbus announced its 20 year forecast update today in London (Boeing’s update came in advance of the Paris Air Show in July). Here are links to the update:

Reuters, via Fox News

The Star of Malaysia

Airbus summary and news release

Global Market Forecast video and document.

Overall demand increased, according to the forecast. The demand for the Very Large Aircraft sector remains flat at 1,300, a figure which generally has varied very little since Airbus first began forecasting this sector. Boeing’s forecast is sharply lower. We basically agree with Boeing’s number but believe Airbus will have the lion’s share of this sector.

Boeing does not categorize its 406-seat 777-9X as a VLA even though at this capacity it falls within the sector’s long-standing definition of >400 seats.

Boeing in Washington State: KUOW, one of the public radio stations here in the Seattle area, has an, in-depth report on Boeing in Washington State and the challenges the state has in keeping Boeing here. The text is here, along with the broadcast.

Michel Merluzeau, of Kirkland (WA’s) G2 Solutions consultcy, says the center of aerospace has shifted to the US Southeast from Washington State. We’re not sure the “center” has shifted, yet, but it’s certainly tilting that direction.

Putting out a fire: With a hat-tip to JC Hall of Esterline for bringing this to our attention, this video clip needs no explanation.


Rolls-Royce: Aviation Week has this story about the future of Rolls-Royce in commercial aviation now that its joint venture with Pratt & Whitney (International Aero Engines) is over.

Classic Airliners: Loads of photos here.

36 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Airbus 20 year forecast; Boeing in WA State; water bombing a fire; Rolls-Royce’ Classic Airliners

  1. I have long been baffled that the United States has zero modern fire-bombers. Even poor Greece and Spain have many. All I can assume is that the old Not Invented Here syndrome has reared its ugly head.

  2. In the Airbus news release, Leahy said,

    “Airbus is well positioned to compete in the widebody market with its A330, A350 and A380 families – which cover a segment that is expected to require six different aircraft from its competitor. “The airline industry needs simplicity; it does not need ‘two of these,’ ‘four of these’ or ‘five of these,’ to cover the market.”

    Leahy never passes up the opportunity to say something stupid, does he?

    • Leahy is right. Boeing product portfolio is a hodgepodge of brand new, old and ancient product designs that compete between themselves within the same parameters whereas Airbus has a much more coherent and diverse offering with clear differences.

      • As I see it, Boeing’s product portfolio consists of five planes: 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787. The 767 line is being kept open for the military tanker program, and they manage to make a few commercial sales a year.

        I don’t think the A350 program has show much coherence, starting with the warmed over A330 that was scrapped, and ending with the XWB that tries to compete with both the 787 and 777.

    • “Leahy never passes up the opportunity to say something stupid, does he?”
      Its a responds to Boeings (stupid?) remarks they have Airbus locked, have the market better covered etc.

      Airbus suggests they will up A320 series production, well before the NEO takes over. Apparently filling the last A320 non-NEO slots wasn’t too much of an issue.

      • Well, Airbus’s “one size fits all” isn’t that good. Just look at the B-767, over 1000 sold, the B-777, over 1200 sold, B-747, over 1500 sold, and the B-787 is rapidly approaching 1000 sold (the A-350 is almost at 700 sold).

        Leahy likes to group the sales of the A-330, A-340, and A-350 together and give a combined number of sold WBs. The A-380 isn’t burning up the sales records. You like to claim the B-77W is killing the B-748 and replacing the B-744, but never mention it also is killing A-380 sales.

  3. 406 seat 777-9X is less than 400 seats?? Are Boeing are getting realistic or tying to avoid 777X being killed off internally by somebody reading their own market analysis?

    • It is not without reason that the moniker “Mini Jumbo” was introduced in some articles this spring/summer for the 779X. Popped up in unisono in several places so my guess is it can be found in a nonpublic “cheat sheet”.

    • If Airbus is forecasting 1300 VLA’s, they must be expecting a lot of 777-9 sales, because it sure isn’t going to come from A380 and 748 sales.

  4. I think the 9X is about 2 seat rows longer then the 777-300ER. Does that make it a VLA? ANA “stuff’s” 777-300ER with 220 Seats. Or are we undergoing a perception campaign learning us Boeing hasn’t been unvoluntairy removed from the passenger VLA segment they ruled for 40 years?

    • I thought the ICAO designation was the real definer of which class a plane was in. The whole purpose of the folding wing tips was to keep the 779X from going up a category and incurring the extra landing fees that a VLA carries.

    • Air Canada can fit 450 seats into a -300ER, chief. ANA must not be trying very hard, then.

  5. If they’re only talking about the A380 and 747 in ten or twenty years, a more accurate term would be very old aircraft forecast.

  6. Leeham:

    “but believe Airbus will have the lion’s share of this sector.”
    Leeham crystal ball up to 2032??

    • Airbus has 86% of the VLAP market now. Boeing isn’t going anywhere with the 747-8I. If one accepts Boeing’s definition that the 777-9 isn’t a VLAP, then once the 748I dies, Airbus gets 100% of this market. Seems pretty cut and dried to us.

      • Leehamnet,

        It is possible that the 747-8 freighter will keep the 747-8 Intercontinental on offer. Just like the USAF tanker will keep the 767-300ER and 767-CF on the offering.

        Don’t count the 747-8 Intercontinental out so quickly. The chance that the A380 stops its production earlier than the 747-8 is not negligible.

        Both the A350-1000XWB and the 777-9 will offer double digit percentage improvement in per seat cost compared to both the A380 and the 747-8 Intercontinental. Let us never forget this.

        • The debate of the VLAP sector is not about A351 or 779 (the latter based on Boeing’s definition), so we don’t know why VV is injecting these into the discussion.

          Our market intel suggests Boeing will discontinue the 748 when the 779 enters service.

  7. It’s too late for Boeing to have a new credible entry prior to 2025 so it’s a pretty safe bet.

  8. The A380 was almost saved by the orders of Emirates.

    Apart from that the program is suffering.

    Take the case of the 777-300ER he does not need the orders of Emirates to be a cash cow

    I do not understand why Boeing does not see the 777-9X as a VLA.
    It will injure the heavy Jumbo quad engines code F (ICAO) who has no
    cargo volume against the 777-9X

    747-8 the tangled web will remain in freight. Mentioning the A380F has not the market.

    Someone is it not agree with this??

  9. Halting the 380F was one of the better Airbus decisions of the last decade. How many 747 freighters are in the desert, even -8Fs..

    • The better question is how many B-747-400F/-400ERF/-8Fs have been sold since the A-380F program was delayed/cancelled?

      What about the B-777-200LRF?

      At one time Airbus had at least 23 A-380Fs on the books. UPS and FedEx each had 10, IIRC and after the A-380F was no longer available ordered B-744Fs and B-777Fs.

      Airbus currently has just one freighter offered, the A-330-200F. It has been selling poorly. In fact, the freighter it most closely competes against, the B-767-300ERF has sold more freighters than the A-332F since the Airbus freighter was launched.

      Yeah, good decision by Airbus.

      • You missed to mention the price tag for a B-767-300ERF and an A330-200F. The A330 is still selling quite well and Boeing tried everything to keep the line “busy” for the KC-46. How many B-767-“Lite” Boeing is going to sell?

      • BTW mhalblaub, The A-330 pax variants are selling very well, but we were talking about the freighter variant. The A-330F has sold 44 examples (originally about 62 were sold, but many have been canceled), and has delivered about 24 of them.

      • Last year Airbus got 52 freighters on the order book. Now “just” 44. Intrepid Aviation, a lease company, switched from 12 freighters and three 330-300 to 4 freighters and ten 330-300. So the A330-200F is selling poorly? Maybe an A330-300 is more valuable than a freighter.

        Since 2007 Boeing sold 134 B767 in total including 81 freighters. About 54 aircraft are still on order. In that period Airbus delivered nearly 500 aircraft.

        I guess nobody at Airbus bothers about the “poorly” selling -200F as long as Airbus can sell the A330 production anyhow.

  10. Normand Handel, “Quebec has been collaborating with California for more than twenty years, using CL-415 to put out fires:”

    True, but that has nothing to do with selling them in the states. But it does kill the idea that the water bombers weren’t allowed to fly there. As I said, it was an anecdote from my boss.

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