Implications of the Dubai Air Show orders

With the Dubai Air Show wrapped up, it’s time to assess the events and the implications.

 

Boeing launches 777X

Boeing launched the 777X at the show with orders and commitments for 182 777-9s and 43 777-8s, the latter the Ultra Long Range (ULR) version. These orders were driven by Emirates Airlines, which ordered 115 -9s and 35 -8s.

 

All had been widely telegraphed, and follow Lufthansa Airlines’ order for 34 777-9X previously anounced.

 

The 777-8 competes directly with the 350-passenger Airbus A350-1000; the 777-9, at 407 passengers, is in a class by itself between the -1000 and the 467-seat Boeing 747-8.

 

Boeing forecasts a 20-year demand for 670 350-400 seat (including the 405-seat 777-9) sector. Airbus forecasts a need for 779 aircraft in this sector. Airbus had booked 176 A350-1000 orders going into the show and added 10 more.

 

This means Airbus and Boeing have sold 186 and 259 aircraft in this sector respectively, or 445 in total. Boeing converted three options of the 777-300ER to a firm order. Now we’re at 448, of 67% of the Boeing forecast or 58% of the Airbus forecast. There are 278 777-300ERs in backlog, for a total of 692.

 

There are 306 747-400 passenger models in service and another 23 Combis, or 329. There are 501 777-300s in service. This equals 830 excluding the 777-300ER backlog or 1,108 including the backlog,

 

 

747-400

777-300ER

A350-1000

777-8

777-9

In Service

329

501

0

0

0

Backlog

0

278

186

43

182

Total

329

779

186

43

216

 Sources: Airbus, Boeing

 

We believe the Airbus and Boeing forecasts understate the 20 year demand just on the replacement potential of today’s 1,108 747-400s and 779 777-300ERs in service or on backlog. In addition to the replacement requirement, traffic growth will support more aircraft orders.

 

Airbus and the “A350-1100”

We previously analyzed the Airbus dilemma over how it should meet the development of the 777-9. Airbus doesn’t have a direct competitor to this aircraft, though officials claim the A350-1000 is this competitor. We disagree and so do Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways. According to our Market Intelligence, Airbus has held conversations with Emirates about a stretch “A350-1100” version. Qatar’s CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, publicly expressed interest in an “1100” model.

 

Airbus previously dismissed the idea of an “1100” of roughly equal capacity to the 777-9 because it did not see a market for the airplane of this size. Based on its forecast of 779 airplanes and the existing sales, this logic is apparent. Since then, however, Airbus officials indicated they are at least looking at the possibility, though no formal study is underway.

There is a concern in some quarters that Airbus has already missed this opportunity and Boeing has too great a lead.

We continue to believe Airbus will eventually proceed with the “1100.”

 

Boeing 747-8

We think it significant that no orders were announced for the Boeing 747-8I passenger model or for the 747-8F. We have long believed the 777-9 spells the end of the 747-8I. While Lufthansa Airlines has ordered the 8I, the 777-9 and the Airbus A380 and sees a need for each of these as each serves different market sectors, there is little the 747-8I can do that the more economical 777-9 can’t. Lufthansa likes the 747-8I for hot-and-high airports, such as Mexico City, but there are few of these markets that support the continuation of this airplane now that the 777-9 is official.

 

The 747-8F’s future depends on the recovery of the cargo market. Boeing forecasts this to occur next year. But one cargo conversion company, which doesn’t play in the 747 space, doesn’t see the business case of a new-build 747-8F when there are abundant 747-400Fs parked in the desert and those 329 more passenger and combi aircraft available for conversion at a far less expensive price than it costs to buy new. Additionally, this company believes the belly capacity of the 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300, and the existence of the 777-200LRF, provides plenty of capacity that diminishes the economics and requirement for the 747-8F.

 

Airbus A380

The order by Emirates Airlines for 50 A380s is a badly needed shot in the arm for the program, which saw sales stall at 262 for an extended period (259 net of cancellations). There are several orders that are iffy (Hong Kong Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, two for Air France) and dead (Kingfisher Airlines), among others. Emirates plus a pending confirmation of an MOU for Doric Lease are needed to fill near-term production slot vacancies and boost the book-to-bill deficit in the program.

 

But customer concentration is increased with the Emirates order, now accounting for 140 (42.5%) of the 329 orders confirmed and announced. Airbus continues to bank on airport congestion and traffic growth combining to boost sales. We think the 777-9 will cut into this demand. The question is whether Airbus proceeds with an A350-1100 to retain some of this diversion in the family or whether it allows Boeing the monopoly to do so.

52 Comments on “Implications of the Dubai Air Show orders

  1. If the A380 is deemed too large for many route combinations, there is also the chance that the B777-9 is. Or to phrase it differently: if you can fill a 407-seat aircraft (which usually demands lots of connecting traffic) [and you are not Emirates], you can also take the full step and use an A380 (which seats roughly ~20-25% more).
    In the end, it boils down to CASM. This strongly depends on the “C” (that is cost, or more precisely, fuel) and the “AS” (that available seats). The latter will see a massive reduction of average economy seat standard.
    Airbus is in a bad position here as both widebodies (A350 and A380) cannot go beyond their reference economy laout of 9 respectively 10 abreast. Airbus thought that future passengers demand more comfort, and lost the bet. Or didn’t they?

    • I don’t know why this has to be repeated over and over and again, but the effective floor area of the A388 is about 58% larger than that of the 777-9X (i.e. 545m2 vs. 345m2). Hence, the A388 can have a lot more seats than just the 20-25 percent delta that you’re talking about.

      It’s almost as if the 777-9 has reached mythical proportions. It’s pretty amusing though. 😉

      As for the A380 supposedly not being able to go beyond 10 abreast on the main deck; is that some kink of joke?

      With just a little bit of modification the A380 can go 11 abreast on the main deck, while having the same seat comforts as that of the 787 at 9 abreast and 777 at 10 abreast. 11 abreast having the same seat comfort as that of the A350 is possible if the floor underneath the outboard is raised slightly, while the fuselage frames around the windows are re-contoured.

    • The A380 is in a glass half full/empty situation. I don’t buy the “you must get the A380 because of airport congestion” argument. Airlines will fly whatever plane makes them most money. On the other hand, I don’t think higher density A380’s are “too much plane” either. If you can justify a 777-9x on a route, you most times can fly an A380 instead.

      The A380 has the nice feature of a wide main deck suitable for densely packed economy, and a narrower top deck suitable for a more intimate arrangement of premium seats.The 777 cabin is wider than ideal for the 4 wide herringbone arrangement of business class seats that passengers prefer.

      Airbus needs to focus on CASM efficiency. Emirates seem to be pushing for a re-engine, which would help this. Also the program really needs the -9 variant (carry even more passengers at probably a third less cost pp than the 777X) and a freighter conversion facility. These both require investment that may be hard to justify against competing programs. Chicken and egg.

    • Lufthansa Airbus A380-800: 526 (8/98/420)
      Air France Airbus A380-800: 530 (9/80/441) (replacing Y+ with regular Y)
      Emirates Boeing 777-300ER: 354 (8/42/304)
      Emirates Boeing 777-9X: 371 (8/49/314) (my assumption based on the stretch)

      This shows how different the seat counts are. The A380, as configured by AF, will seat 43% more pax than an EK 779. That’s a huge difference. A difference that underscores just how effective this aircraft can be for airlines that require high capacity but not at the level offered by the A380.

      My assumption for the A350-1000 based on similar seat pitch as used above is 321 (8/42/271).

      Please don’t quote me on any of this, it is just my opinion. I like playing around with aircraft seating arrangements…

  2. Apparently LH only firmed 20 of the 34? Complete shot in the dark, I am really just guessing, could the 14 options (which everyone believed to be firm) be leverage for conversion of 748i purchases to 779, i.e. LH not taking all 19 748is remaining on order? I doubt it myself but would be interested in other people’s thoughts on it?

    For the A351, I believe many airlines that ordered the A350 have conversion rights to the A351 (I believe SIA is one of them) so the actual orders even without new orders may increase for the model?

    • could the 14 options (which everyone believed to be firm) be leverage for conversion of 748i purchases to 779, i.e. LH not taking all 19 748is remaining on order?

      I don’t think they’d be leverage for converting 748i to 779, to be honest.
      Also, keep in mind LH have a total order of 19 748i, but only 10 are left to be delivered, all slated for delivery before the end of 2015. I don’t think there’s much time left at all to cancel any of these, as some parts for the first planes to be delivered in 2015 have probably been produced already.

    • It is very possible for the 777-9X to seat 407 if the A350-1000 can seat 350. Assuming one more seat per row for 25-30 rows plus 3 more rows due to the stretch and we already have 405-410. Using the stretch for 1 more row J class and 1 more row of Y, instead of 3 more Y, we get a total of 392-397. So that assumption is not ludicrous and I actually based it on an Airbus assumption of 350 for the A350-1000.

      Is it not unfair to use ANA (or even JAL for that matter) as an example for seat counts? It is like using Korean or SIA low density A380 configurations to make an argument…

      Also, with the new 369 seat 2-class version of the A350-1000 now used by Airbus we can calculate what a hypothetical 777-9X would be: 416-429 seats.

      • What keesje basically means is, Airbus and Boeing uses other cabin configurations. Per Aspire Aviation:

        “Airbus’ standard 3-class configuration more accurately reflects the dynamics in today’s global airline industry in assuming a 60 inches seat pitch for business class seats whereas Boeing assumes a 39 inches seat pitch for business class seats and a 61-inch seat pitch for first class seats in its calculation, while both aircraft manufacturers assume a 32-inch seat pitch for economy seats. Aspire Aviation believes this makes the 407 3-class seat count for the 777-9X somewhat high while the Airbus’ 385-seat assumption on the 777-9X slightly low. A middle ground around 395 seats in a 3-class configuration therefore seems more suitable when evaluating the economic performance of these aircraft, as higher seat counts can significantly distort the per-seat comparison between them, as could stage length.”

      • Who cares what the counts are, customers are buying the frames and feel comfortable with the dimensions offered. Whether Boeing or Airbus use one definition or another matters not, the customers define configs.

  3. As regards competition in the 350 to 400 market segment.

    1) Forecasts are fuzzy because aircraft types, whether existing or in project, do not come with clear-cut seat numbers (Air Asia A330 have astonishing seat numbers, some 77s have a low seat density, etc). You tried to clarify the situation, and the picture you draw is consistent, though you could have added A346 retirements.

    2) According to the latest Boeing numbers, the heralded 34 LH 779 orders seem to have morphed into 20 orders (with 14 options ?).

    3) You cannot posit that two airplanes with significant capacity differences do not compete at all. Very often, the middle ground is the battle field. The 779 may have no competition when the customer needs a 400 + capacity, as was the case with Gulf airlines, which might have preferred an even bigger aircraft. Likewise, the 778 being a niche aircraft, Boeing’s lineup does not include a competitive next generation offering for most of the 350-seat market. The 779 and the A350-1000 will compete when the customer could be satisfied with 370/380 seats. There was indeed a competition for the JL order, there is another one ongoing for ANA’s, and I am quite sure there will be many more. The bottom line is : Airbus has the edge at 350 seats, Boeing is winning when close to 400 seats are needed, it is probably a tossup in-between.

    • In hindsight, maybe Boeing should have put two of the big new GE engines on the 747I. Maybe that would have flown (figuratively).

  4. As regards the A380.

    1) You rightly point out to the fact that EK’s order does not solve short-term production/delivery issues.

    2) EK has indeed an overriding influence on the A380 program. EK’s share of the total backlog (< 50 %), however, is smaller its share of the 777X backlog (over 60 %). Does this suggest that the market is assessing the 779 as a VLA ? Of course, this may change when more customers show up.

    3) I am a little bit surprised that you are silent on EK's decision to open up its engine selection for competition and to push for an engine upgrade to achieve 10% fuel saving. There is also talk of winglets (how could they do that ?) to save 3% on fuel, and of a new cabin with higher-density seating.

    This points to an upgraded A380 version. What do you think can come out of it ?

  5. I would also like to add that I am neither advocating for the 777x programme nor bashing Airbus and its programmes. I benefit in no way from either company. I just don’t appreciate personal biases getting in the way of factual information for the sake of agendas that don’t or shouldn’t exist.

  6. For three-class arrangements, a seat density of 1/sqm is close to what can be observed in reality. The B777-9X will have somewhat better value because it loses lees floor area due to stairs. Additionally, it can feature rather large underfloor facilities given its ample supply of cargo volume. But I agree, the 407-seats is probably the upper end of layouts we will observe. Most operators will go for a 4-abreast business class, an 8-abreast premium economy and a 10-abreast economy. Emirates has a very dense layout in its B77W with 6ABR first, 7ABR Business and 10ABR economy. Not representative for most operators.

  7. I don’t see a lot of room for warranting much investment in a new A380 derivative. They basically launched with the shrunk model and now the (prospective) larger one makes less sense than it did 20 years ago. Emirates share of the backlog factoring in pending cancellations is really over 50%, on a 10 year old+ model.

    Keesje is pretty right that very few 779’s will ever seat 400+, but he goes overboard I think analyzing it down to a simple 2 row stretch/same as the 351 in the real world. It’s going to seat more and will have similar economics and more cargo than the 351. Which is incredible since it’s use of composites will pale in comparison.

    • They basically launched with the shrunk model and now the (prospective) larger one makes less sense than it did 20 years ago.

      How so?

      Keesje is pretty right that very few 779′s will ever seat 400+, but he goes overboard I think analyzing it down to a simple 2 row stretch/same as the 351 in the real world. It’s going to seat more and will have similar economics and more cargo than the 351. Which is incredible since it’s use of composites will pale in comparison.

      No, it’s not incredible – the stretch (vs the 773) and higher capacity (vs 773 and A351) are exactly why its economics are competitive, despite it only being a revamp. That’s the problem Airbus had with the A350 Mk. I, which otherwise employed the same approach as the 777X: They used pretty much the same sizes as the A330-200 and -300, instead of stretching the airframe.

  8. I think Boeing are betting too much on 17″ seats. The last spell of “Normal” economic conditions from 1990-2007 gave us 18+ inch 777s and 787s. (planned) 17″ 777x’s won’t be popular unless the great recession lasts past 2020, does anybody see this happening?? The explosive growth of LCCs is a great recession and developing world phenomena. In the developing world the gap between rich and poor in is increasing, we are reaching the point where if you can’t afford a comfortable flight, you can’t afford to fly anyway, in fact probably can’t even afford the bus. Oil prices are pretty stable now, despite ME unrest. So I think it is a huge bet planning a 17″ product. Airbus can offer an 18″ product at a comparable CASM and for the truly desperate a 16.5″ one (Air Asia X and Cebu Pacific’s A330s must have the lowest CASM of all, surely?)

    Even poor me pays a few dollars more to avoid the worst airline/flights. At least when I am spending my own money, and I am pretty sure nobody is making anything out of tickets bought by my boss!

    With the 777X “designed for” the ME3, and now that the ME3 have made their order, where will more orders come from for this type. I can see some possibilities but I can’t see 400 orders. Allowing for what I don’t know, so to speak, I think maximum sales for 77X series in the foreseeable future must be around 500. 500 was good, 20 years ago, but now? Remember, this will cost 50- 70% of a clean sheet design

    • I think Boeing are betting too much on 17″ seats. The last spell of “Normal” economic conditions from 1990-2007 gave us 18+ inch 777s and 787s.

      The 787 didn’t make its maiden flight until 2009 and didn’t enter service until 2011. Most airlines are going for 9-across seating in economy, which will have the same width as the 777-9 @ 17.2 inches.

      17″ 777x’s won’t be popular…
      They will be popular with the airlines, that’s all that matters.

      Even poor me pays a few dollars more to avoid the worst airline/flights.

      Most people shop on price and schedule. If you can afford to spend more, book Economy Plus.

      • 787 was designed before the crash.

        Aircraft are only popular if they make money, the “old” 9 wide 777s made a lot of it in before 2008.

        Most people today book on price, but 777-X isn’t in service today. I’ve not got a crystal ball but I expect the economy of the developed world to be better by then.

  9. CASM information is for decision-making by Retail Psychologists (the golden boys in charge of piloting in real-time the Pricing Unit of the CRS) – it provides an Accountant’s answer to the book-keeping question in a Bottomline Strategy context : “at what minimum price shall I need to sell the next ticket onboard flight NNNN to make a yield contribution ?”. As long as the LH aircraft cabins discussed here are outfitted – not for minimizing CASM, but – for maximising net Trip Yield … any reference to highest density CASM is pure abstraction. A much more relevant issue is freight revenue contribution to Trip Yield ! Inasmuch as Freight is contracted forward by Professional Forwarders, “Freight Revenue” for Flight NNNN comes in as an Accountancy input (ie, 100 % certain) early up in time in the trip account book-keeping/closing process. The advantage of 777X (when it will fly ?) lies here (vs A380, with its double deck entailing a greater need for CIL in the holds).

  10. The notional 389 was rumored to require no new wing, it’s basically a tad over-built for this model (800). (But, it won’t be built until the 350-1100 kills it’s older sister.) And at that point, toward 2030, I don’t know how A would want to commit to it, as a tri-engined BWB from B would simply destroy the economics.

    • As John Leahy pointed out: “We are not about to spend $1 billion to take 2 tons out of the plane,”

      However, IMJ Airbus could make the A380-800 about 20 tonnes lighter if they switched to CFRP on the wings (i.e. estimated 6 tonne weight saving per wing) and the fuselage (i.e. estimated 8 tonne less for the entire fuselage).

      As pointed out earlier, an A380-type fuselage with two full passenger decks will see even higher weight-savings than a what is the for a single deck aircraft if the fuselage is built out of CFRP. The way the A350 is built architecturally is very similar to the A380, and it shows how Airbus could make the A380 very similar again to the A350. The metallic cockpit (Section-11) on the A380 would remain the same. Same goes for the empennage (Section-19) and everything below the main deck on the centre fuselage (Section-15). However, fuselage sections 12, 13-14,16-18 could become all composite like the way it’s done on the A350.

      • AFAIR Airbus had a widely scoped programm running that would take 10t..15t out of the plane by way of improving stress oriented material distribution targeting mostly beefy pieces of structure. This project should still be sitting in the aisles .. and waiting.

  11. Don’t bet your pants on a BWB anytime soon (that includes 2030 in this perspective). Deviating from the tube shape for the pressure vessel comes at a cost. The BWB is a great aerodynamical shape, but its efficiency as a pressure vessel is not exactly impressive…

    BWB’s are not exactly new. The Horten brothers and Jack Northrop developed them in the 30’s (the former) and 40’s (the latter), and if they would have been so great should we not have seen some by now? Or do flight control computers just now catch up? Or is CFRP tech still not good enough?

    Also, what is the evacuation plan? How many isles do you have and how do you route them do a door (that needs to be in an outer wall)?

    And why would Boeing have the upper hand regarding BWB’s? There are plenty of other companies working in the field too. Dassault comes to mind, there are also others.

    • With a BWB, on top of the challenges in getting it aerodynamically stable, using its shape for a pressure vessel, fitting it into airports, and evacuating it, I also see a challenge in seating arrangements. How do you compartmentalise first and business? How do you board 300+ people into an arrangement that’s much more complex than the traditional aisle-based layout?

      And then there’s passenger comfort/preferences, of course: Who here is really all that keen on flying 10 hours on a plane where the next window seat might be 20 metres or more in any direction?

      • the argument that says customers won’t accept BWBs because of no windows should be a non-starter these days. put a nice big flat screen on the back of every seat and a set of cameras scattered around the airplane that the customer can select.

        eliminating windows and replacing them with a set of cameras pointing in various directions with various zoom levles and slightly larger screens on every seat (which most newer planes already have) would save multiple tons per aircraft and provide a better user experience. who really wants to try and crane their neck to peek out a tiny window only to see their view blocked by the wing? who wants to look out the side anyway? wouldn’t you rather look out the front? or below, or up at the stars at night?

      • the argument that says customers won’t accept BWBs because of no windows should be a non-starter these days. put a nice big flat screen on the back of every seat and a set of cameras scattered around the airplane that the customer can select.

        That sounds very much like the same school of thought that claimed teleconferencing was going to obliterate 90% of business air travel.

        Having a few hundred screens in a room is manifestly not the same thing as having an actual window, even if those screens show you some view of the outside world (plus video artefacts).

        who really wants to try and crane their neck to peek out a tiny window

        Well, while you can zoom in or out with cameras (although obviously not on an individual basis, unless you have one camera per passenger), your “window” into the view, i.e. your video screen, is still going to be no larger – if even that – than today’s aircraft windows.

      • Whoever thinks that BWB are a great idea, should just look into math books and calculate the chord in a circle with let’s say meagre 30 degrees (+/- 15 degrees roll) with a circle of a radius of 3 meters (normal aircraft) and a radius of 30 meters (BWB) … this is the distance a passenger travels up and down … and now think about the last approach to an airport you made as a pilot or a passenger. You should opt for a full plastic interior . It’s better to clean with a pressure washer afterwards 😉

    • I hope there never is a BWB, those things are just awkward looking haha!

  12. With forecast of 700 to 800 aircraft needed over the next 20 years, and a production rate of 8.5 per month at Boeing, and about that many at Airbus too, that suggests there is a huge capacity overhang coming. Production at current rates for those same 20 years is about 4000 aircraft. What will consume the excess production capacity? What am I missing?

    • You have a pretty good point Rob. The real crux of the question I think is “where is this growth to come from?” My suspicion is it is predicted by both A&B to come from Asian and ME carriers. Euro/North American population (and mobility/wealth) are not increasing. I’ve seen demograpic time bomb predictions for the arab countries coming up too.

    • I think this is because the 777-9, even though Boeing says 407 seats, isn’t included in the ‘Large Widebody’ segment in their forecast. This segment includes only 780 a/c in their forecast while the ‘Medium Widebody’ segment includes 3,300 a/c and the ‘Small Widebody’ segment includes 4,530 a/c. Added up, that’s an average of 431 widebodies a year. Seems about right when adding 14 787 per month + 8.5 777 per month + 14 (?) A350 per month + 1.5 (?) A380 per month + 0 (747-8) per month by the end of the decade. The average for the last 10 years will be a bit above 431 and the average for the first few years will be quite a bit below as A350 and 787 production ramp up.

  13. Will the 77X have new separation issues given the longer frame and wider wing?

  14. Well, money talks and …
    The market is speaking and thus far, the 777-8,9x is off to a fast start. Therefore, arguing about superior CASM/m2 and normalized seating between manufacturers and so forth does not seem to have swayed the buyers towards the 350-1000 or the 380-800.
    It appears that the 1000 is not capable enough for the ME3 (compared to the 777x) and the 380-800 is too much plane (and risk) for the Rest of the World (if they could make money on it by filling it with 600-700 seats they would…but no one seems to be doing that. People are using it like a luxury liner, not a troopship). It will be interesting to see if the ROW likes the 777x as much as the ME3. If the Pacific airlines go for it, then I think it would force a 350-1100. Interestingly, the American and European airlines don’t seem to be driving the design of the 777, perhaps they had more influence on the 350?
    Although the altered specs that Scott mentioned earlier this month on the 350 program were apparently available in 2011, it seems to be that the promised specs are not good enough for the ME3 and that the paper specs that the 777-x program is promising has trumped the potentially earlier availability of the 350-1000.

    Mu 2cents worth of observations…

    • You may be right. But if you add a column to your Table of 777x then you get:
      Emirates 350-1000: 20 777x: 150
      Qatar : 37 777x: 50
      Lufthansa : 0 777x: 34

      That is why if the Pacific airlines order a significant number of 777x for their >400 seat needs then I think an 1100 has to be launched. The Boeing “box” strategy may be working to some extent or the 1000 may not be optimized enough for the ROW needs…

      • Mike, EK has 70 A350s on order and might pick up their 50 options, Qatar has 80 A350 orders. It appears LH firmed 20 777X and 25 A350s and stated they might convert to -1000s too. IMo the first round of the A340/777 replacement battled was completed before Dubai 2013 but drowned in denial.

        I see the chances of Airbus launching a -1100 slim for the next 4 yrs. The -900 and -1000 captured a good part of the 300-350+ segment. Covering the slightly larger niche probably hasn’t the highest priority. Pushing out 400 A350s to EK, CX, BA, JAL, UA, QR, AF/KL and LH before the 777X gets into servive. Convincing Korean, AA and ANA. All more important.

      • At least A got some of the 777 market. It remains to be seen which manufacturer is going to get the lions share or if it will be a split. Still,it looks difficult for A to compete with B’s 2 lines with 5 models (787/777x) with 1 line with basically 2 models (given the 8 is moribund). I am sure A will sell well as neither manufacturer can produce enough aircraft fast enough.

      • It seems to the 787-9 might have an advantage over the A350-800, if comfort and cargo capability are less important. The 787-10 might have an advantage against the A350-900, if comfort, cargo and network flexibility are not most important (long flights to/from Asia). The 777-8X most like will be heavy / less efficient.

      • “It seems to the 787-9 might have an advantage over the A350-800, if comfort and cargo capability are less important. The 787-10 might have an advantage against the A350-900, if comfort, cargo and network flexibility are not most important (long flights to/from Asia). The 777-8X most like will be heavy / less efficient.”

        @keesje, why do you make it sound like the Boeing aircraft are at some kind of a disadvantage when compared to their Airbus counterparts?

        It could go the other way as well.

        The A350-800 may have an advantage over the 787-9 if comfort is more important than efficiency. Let us not forget that the 777-200LR and also the A340-500 are probably the most cargo capable passenger aircraft ever and also very comfortable but that got them absolutely nowhere…
        The A350-900 may have an advantage over the 787-10 if using an optimised for long haul frame is more important than using an aircraft optimised for shorter sectors. Let us not forget the success story that is the A330-300 (which is my one of my favourite aircraft) as compared to the similarly sized – but less efficient on shorter sectors – 777-200ER.
        The 777-8X most likely will be heavy / less efficient – but with good reason because it will be a damn capable aircraft. It will offer similar capacity to the A350-1000 with the payload range capabilty of a 777-200LR.

        i would like to reiterate that I am not loyal to any manufacturer before someone starts saying I’m Airbus bashing. My comment is just for a little perspective…

  15. Surely Boeing and Airbus would have accounted for current fleet size + backlog in their 20 year forecasts for 350-400 seat a/c. Are they assuming a lot of down-gauging of a/c size over time? Also, why is the 777-8 included in the chart in the article but the A350-900 isn’t? Aren’t they of comparable size?

  16. Amongst the Dubai 777Xorder & media frenzy is a more noticeable lack of clarity on pricing, recent history dictates the early bird gets the deal but pays the price, this applies to both manufacturers.

    Our view is that as defections continue the business wanted & demanded & wanted a more radical product from Boeing. It’s inconceivable that those long loyal Boeing defections would have not had an input on the types design & full exposure of the new 777X statistics/design as we see them today.

    The fear is that Boeing is seen to be pampering to a specific Middle East fantasy market, which many consider is a car crash waiting to happen. Worryingly for Boeing when Airbus launches it’s 350 stretch (Trust me) we may well see the 777X positioned as the 737Max is now as being something of a compromise.

  17. “We are confident in the wing design. It produces incredible increases in lift and decreases in drag,” despite weighing more than the current metallic wing, adds Feldmann. “It’s the fourth time we’ve done a large composite wing, and clearly we are going down the 787 derivative path.”

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_11_25_2013_p32-638592.xml

    This leads me to the conclusion the 777X will be significantly heavier then th e777-300ER. I’m not convinced magic will keep GE9X thrust ranges below the GE90-11X levels.. Further more I see all Boeings efficiency claims are based on per seat calaculations. Airlines accepting 10 abreast on 12+ hours flights is not a background opinion but vital to the 777X business case. Most airlines fly 9 abreast on the 777. Or put in economy plus, lowering seatcounts / per seat efficiency too..

    EK and Boeing shouting 10 abreast on the 777 is perfectly OK and is up to the airlines has a reason. Better leave passengers opinion out of the discussion..

  18. To attain full maturity as an Industry, the ethical controls of Air Transport shall need to pass from the historical initiators – the Producers (Manufacturers and Operators) – into the hands of the End Users : the world’s travelers and people to whom aircraft and airports are their workplace.

    If aircraft are purchased by or on behalf of some “Xyz Airways p.l.c.”, never forget that the payors-in-fact are those who cash out the price for the airfares.

    A drastic first step to Air Transport maturation – industry-wide corporate liposuction – was accomplished with the Low Cost Carrier revolution; the second and final step – full ethical liberation from Producers – again will crave drastic changes to operator mentality : cabin safety, ergonomy and comfort shall be restored at the very center of aircraft cabin strategy decision-making.

    Final End Users legitimately crave that advances in technology be passed on as enhanced safety, improved cabin ergonomy and better passenger comfort and not only to reduce operating costs, ie to improve Operators’ profit margins.

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