A330neo prospect gains traction

Note: The following was distributed to our e-mail list December 23. Last week, American Airlines (as predicted) swapped the A350-800s for A350-900s.

The possibility of Airbus launching an A330 new engine option appears to be gaining ground.

Our Market Intelligence tells us that Airbus is considering a decision soon, probably next year, with a target entry-into-service date of 2018.

A decision to proceed with an A330neo would come after one to drop the A350-800, according to our information. Airbus has systematically switched -800 customers to the larger, and more profitable A350-900 and A350-1000. There are now just 79 A350-800s in backlog.

Customer

Qty

Comments

Aeroflot

8

 

Aircraft Purchase Fleet

12

For Alitalia

Asiana

8

 

AWAS

2

Probably will swap to A359

Hawaiian Airlines

6

Waiting on US Airways

ILFC

6

Probably will swap to A359

Kingfisher

5

Good as gone

Libyan

4

 

US Airways

18

Expected to disappear now that AA merger completed, replaced with A359/A351

Yemenia

10

 

Source: Airbus, Nov. 2013

79

 Leeham Co Chart

We identify 37, or 47%, that probably are already at risk of cancellation in favor of the larger A350-900 or A350-1000. These 37 are highlighted in red and pink. Another 10, those for Yemenia, are probably already iffy, according to Market Intelligence. The total of 47 represents 59% of the backlog. We have no information on the remaining customers’ intentions.

The A350-800 is supposed to enter service in 2016, but if built is widely expected to shift to a 2018 EIS so Airbus can free up slots for the A350-1000 and -900. EIS for the A330neo is said to be 2018, according to Market Intelligence. A decision to launch this program is anticipated in 2014, after US Airways and Hawaiian Airlines decisions are made.

Engine makers pushing Airbus for neo

GE Aviation is said to be pushing Airbus hard to proceed with the neo, using the GEnx-2B engine now on the Boeing 747-8. The -2B is a bleed air engine, which the A330 requires, while the GEnx-1B used on the Boeing 787 is not. It’s been suggested to us by a source familiar with engines that the Airbus GEnx could be a combination of the 1B and 2B technology, however. Expanding the 2B engine to the A330 would be one way for GE to recoup its development expenses for the 2B, a problematic situation today with the slow-selling 747-8.

Rolls-Royce is also said to be interested in powering the A330neo with its Trent 1000-TEN used on the 787, but like the GEnx-1B, this engine is not a bleed air design and would have to be modified for the A330. Although the Trent 1000 and 1000 TEN have a solid customer base with the 787, the program delays and constant engineering tweaks boosted research and development costs, prompting Rolls to look at new markets for the engine as a way to recoup the over-inflated investment, we are told.

The timeline makes it unlikely Pratt & Whitney could offer a Big Engine version of its Pure Power Geared Turbo Fan. Officials previously have said a Big Engine would not be ready until about 2020.

A330neo considerations

It’s unclear if the A330-200 would be a candidate for a neo treatment. Customers began demonstrating their preference for the larger A330-300 some time ago, although sales for both aircraft have fallen this year compared with recent years. Airbus wants to keep A330 in production into the next decade, and an A330neo would be the shot in the arm needed to do so.

Airbus’ Leahy told us a year ago that an A330neo would require a significant investment and some major structural strengthening in the body and wings to accommodate the heavier GEnx or RR Trent engines. He also said the neo would require a centerline main gear.

But these considerations are not major obstacles, according to one expert familiar with the challenges. The engine makers would wind up funding about 90% of the development costs, and the A330 is stable mate to the A340 family, which had a centerline gear. This could be incorporated into the A330neo without too much difficulty.

More to the point, an A330neo—even with the investment required—will be a far less expensive airplane to acquire through purchase or lease than the A350-800. Because Airbus sold far more A330s since the 1994 introduction than had ever been dreamed, tooling costs have long since been recovered. This gives Airbus great pricing flexibility.

Rendering the A350-800 superfluous

An A330neo, particularly an A330-300neo, would render the A350-800 superfluous.  A quick analysis back in May by the blogger Aeroturbopower, which follows engines and their benefit to airframes, concluded the A333neo has lower fuel burn per passenger than the A358.

Source: Aeroturbopower. AirAsiaX maximum onfiguration, all airplanes.

Whatever fuel burn disadvantages an A330neo has to the Boeing 787 will be narrow and Airbus’ ability to shave margin on the capital cost to the customer will more than likely make up most of the difference, if not all of it and provide an advantage.

In the chart below, by our new affiliate in Europe, using typical three-class seating assumptions advertised by Airbus and Boeing, we include a prospective A330-200neo and calculate the percentage differences between the current A330s, the A350-800/900 and the 787-8/9. The A350-1000 and 787-10 are in the next size up and are excluded from this demonstation.

An A330neo will be markedly more efficient than the “A330 Classic” and within 3%-4% of the fuel efficiency of the 787-8/9. This chart demonstrates that the A350-800, at a much more expensive cost to acquire, offers little advantage beyond a significantly longer range.A330-neo fuel mile and seat mile diagram 18 Dec 2013

110 Comments on “A330neo prospect gains traction

  1. Great article Scot, thank you.

    @ Keesje, seems like you glass ball is working perfectly 😉

    Some more exitement ahead in the Boeing vs Airbus game!

    Happy new year to you all and I hope to read more great stuff here next year.

  2. “GE Aviation is said to be pushing Airbus hard to proceed with the neo, using the GEnx-2B engine now … ”

    GE never does a bespoke engine for Airbus 😉
    My impression is that the 787 engines do have a bit of Mk1 pedigree having struggled to reach spec performance for what? 6years?.

    “New European affiliate ..”

    Will there be a dedicated introduction ?

    Finally I would like to follow Bob and wish everyone a nice 365day set of nice experiences.

  3. Since when does GE push Airbus to do anything though, if Leahy is to be believed lol

    • contingency planning?
      GE
      is not on the A350XWB that sells rather well
      probably has spent a lot on the GenX-1/2
      knows about twindling sales for the classic 777
      knows the real sales numbers for the 777X and its prospects.

      then:
      isn’t the GenX-2 a bit compromised via its reduced fan size ?

  4. I question the A-330NEO fuel burn compared to the B-787-8/-9. The A-330 airframe is a lot heavier than the B-787 airframe, and then add into the A-330 the heavier structure needed and the centerline MLG needed, it just doesn’t add up to a margin of just 3% to 4% of the B-787. Additionally the B-787-8/-9s are designed for a different mission (longer) length than the A-330 is. The GEnx-2B67 (currently the only version of the -2B engine) has about 500 lbs less thrust than the GE CF-6-80E1 currently offered on the A-330, and some 4,500 lbs less thrust than the GE CF-6-80E2 engine. This is going to mean longer T/O rolls on the runway and less high/hot capability because of the heavier A-330NEO airframe over the current A-330.

    • “The A-330 airframe is a lot heavier than the B-787 airframe”

      The OEW numbers I have are as follows:

      > B787-8: 118 tons
      > B787-9: 124 tons
      > A330-200: 120 tons
      > A330-300: 125 tons

      The NEO should add around 2-3 tons extra weight.

    • “I question the A-330NEO fuel burn compared to the B-787-8/-9.”
      Well of course you would, you obviously have all the assumptions to arrive at the right figures…

      “and then add into the A-330 the heavier structure needed and the centerline MLG needed, it just doesn’t add up to a margin of just 3% to 4% of the B-787.”
      Why on Earth would they need CMLG? Do you have info that they will bump up the MTOW beyond the current LG structural capability?
      Additional structure is needed – yes, but not much.

      “Additionally the B-787-8/-9s are designed for a different mission (longer) length than the A-330 is.”
      A330-200 has only marginally lower range than the B788 and flies very long missions. A330-300 and particularly neo will improve what is still considered to be the best medium/long range aircraft. If the neo is available by 2018, it will take another decade for Boeing to kill off this plane.

      • But when things die they die very quickly. I find it hard to believe that an airline would continue to invest in the A330 anything. Put new engines on it, add new aero equipment, and yes you will have customers. Look at the 767, it coninutes to have customers at a rate much slower than the A330 and the 787. So you sell 100 to 200 more, but at some point the cost of producing those frames will be more trouble than Airbus will want to admit. The 787 will destroy the A330 over the long term and Airbus will pay a significant price for this over the next 30 years. It will be a subfleet in their offering and customers will expect service for the program for the next 30 years. The A350 will be compromised by the strategy and both the A330 NEO and the A350 will sufer from this plan. There will be three production lines, the A330NEO will have a number of variants because the customers will have different needs and Airbus will accomodate all of this completixty into their production for 100-200 frames. Bad idea.

      • “So you sell 100 to 200 more, but at some point the cost of producing those frames will be more trouble than Airbus will want to admit. The 787 will destroy the A330 over the long term”

        Right now, even if Airbus could sell a heap of A350-800s, they simply can’t make them. Extending the sales life of the A330 by 5-10 years gives Airbus enough time to:

        a) get A350 production to 20+ month to accommodate demand for all variants
        b) develop an optimised -800 that should have significantly more sales success

        It makes perfect sense as a bridging strategy, even if you don’t see it as a platform for the next 30 years.

      • @l7room
        “I find it hard to believe that an airline would continue to invest in the A330 anything”
        Boeing must ask themselves the same question, 10 years after dreaming the 787. But the A330 continuous to produce the sales and delivery figures which are incredible. The neo will only reinforce it.

        “So you sell 100 to 200 more, but at some point the cost of producing those frames will be more trouble than Airbus will want to admit.”
        Yes, and nobody wanted the single aisle neo, according to Boeing, the rest is history. Keesje has listed all the advantages the neo will bring, if it is available airlines will buy it.

        “Bad idea.”
        If you approach it in your simplistic manner then of course it is.

  5. “An A330neo will be markedly more efficient than the “A330 Classic” and within 3%-4% of the fuel efficiency of the 787-8/9.”

    And perhaps larger winglets could cut another 1-2%?

    Question for the experts: would it be worth investing in a larger wing? A larger wingspan should cut fuel burn a bit further, but a new wing will make the upgrade perhaps too expensive.

    • The A330 already has 10% more wing area than the 787 ( 361m² versus 325m²).
      Virtual span extension aka (better) winglets of any ilk would make sense imho.

      Then GE would have to backport bleed support to the GenX-1 as the -2 is
      stunted by the 748 airframe limitations.
      Even at spec weights the 787 isn’t all that much lighter than todays A330 deliveries.

      We do return to the overhypedness of the 787 on a regular basis 😉

  6. Well backed up article. I think its credible GE is pushing. They need to maintain a substantial share of Airbus aircraft / airlines, eroded by the A350, A320 NEO GTF and Asian RR preference.

    • Well backed up with what? There is no factual basis for the “GE is pushing” assertion anywhere in the article beyond the article stating it. Last I checked, RR was the leader in A330 engine sales and not a peep about them “pushing Airbus” even though they have the most to gain from this Leeham A330NEO wet dream. Didn’t Airbus themselves dismiss the A330neo talk some time ago? I still feel no point in an A330neo but if Airbus boosters (like Leeham) want Airbus to waste money then that’s on them. Boeing couldn’t be happier, I’m sure

      • RR was the leader in A330 engine sales and not a peep about them “pushing Airbus”

        Seems you overlooked this from the post:

        Rolls-Royce is also said to be interested in powering the A330neo with its Trent 1000-TEN used on the 787

        Neutron, you’ve obviously got a bee in your bonnet about us, for you’ve been rather pissy in your comments before about us. That’s fine. But your language in your post above crosses the line. Shape up or you will be blocked.

  7. IMO, if Airbus is going to decide to go for the A330neo option, they should ask for an engine at least as advanced as the one being offered on the 777X. It’s not Airbus’ problem that the engine manufacturers somewhat got themselves burnt on the 787. Incidentally, the thrust range for a new engine for an A330neo would also suit an A388neo nicely. Hence, you’d automatically have a greater market for an all new 70,000lb thrust-class engine than what would be the case if it was purely designed for an A330neo only.

      • Fully in agreement on GE. Delaying EIS by two years from 2018 to 2020 is OK IMO if you’d get a significantly more efficient engine onboard. An all new RB3039-type engine should be some 7-9 percent more efficient than any legacy constrained Trent-1000 derivative engine. An A330-300neo flying around with such an engine would certainly put a lot of downward pricing pressure on the 787. Not good from the point of view of Boeing if they are planning to reach the point of break-even before, say 2025, if their sales margins on the 787 would be further eroded post 2020.

      • Are you two aware that the 787 will have had, what 9 years of a lead on PIPs over the A330NEO? The weight differnece will have grown by then and the entry pains will be well over. The 787-9 and the -10 will be significantly better in performance when a plane designed from the 90s enters the airways. All of this for 100-200 frames is disappointing for a company like Airbus to even consider

      • Are you two aware that the 787 will have had, what 9 years of a lead on PIPs over the A330NEO?

        The Trent-700 engine on the A330 has received a number of PIPs since EIS in 1995. It still can’t overcome a 12 plus percent deficiency in TSFC vs. the Trent-1000 engine***. I’m sorry, but the GEnx and the Trent-1000 are no longer state-of-the-art engines. PIPs only leads to a couple of percentage points in propulsive efficiency betterment. An all new engine allows for at least 10 percent better TSFC.

        ***(slide 12): http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEsQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.industrialtechnologies2012.eu%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fpresentations_plenary%2F01_Ric_Parker.ppt&ei=y8jBUpSiH6SCzAPp7IAI&usg=AFQjCNF7KPF6usxBz8_kxBYbGc0RLQx6aA&bvm=bv.58187178,d.bGQ

    • OV-099” engine manufacturers somewhat got themselves burnt on the 787.”? You mean after 1,000 sales of the B787?

      We know you never have anything positive to say about a Boeing product but comments such as those is simply silly.

      • 5.5 years after projected EIS and 2/3 major PIPs initial engine specs have just been met.
        5.5 years after projected EIS of a tenAmonth airplane ~200 engines have actually made it into a state that delivers revenue to the manufacturer. ( power by the hour: no hours, no mon, sorry about that 😉
        Lucky for the “engine”ers they could hang engines on lots of A330 in that timeframe. compare to the original RB211 gestation that nearly killed RR.

      • “OV-099, engine manufacturers somewhat got themselves burnt on the 787.”? You mean after 1,000 sales of the B787?

        1000 sales from the point of view of Boeing, not the engine manufacturers.

        You seem to have missed out on the fact that both GE and RR essentially has had to redo the GEnx and the Trent-1000 programmes respectively after the initial development period that were geared towards an EIS in May 2008 (T1000).

        As Scott pointed out in his above:

        Although the Trent 1000 and 1000 TEN have a solid customer base with the 787, the program delays and constant engineering tweaks boosted research and development costs, prompting Rolls to look at new markets for the engine as a way to recoup the over-inflated investment, we are told.

        Interestingly, as Daniel Tsang last year pointed out, the Trent-1000 will only meet the original SFC target a decade or so after the original EIS date (May 2008). Wouldn’t you agree, therefore, that the engine OEMs indeed got themselves burnt on the 787 by promising to much to Boeing back in 2003, falling far short of expectations in 2008, and starting to generate revenues some 3-4 years later than what was initially planned for, all the while having to substantially increasing expenditures on the additional engine development. Or perhaps you believe that everything has been perfectly hunky-dory for the engine OEMs on the 787?

        In particular, the new Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN engine would reduce the engine’s specific fuel consumption (SFC) by 3% from the Package B standard and meet the original SFC target after the latest tweaks to the engine included in the Package B improvements still had a SFC shortfall of 3%, against earlier reports of the Package B engine missing the original SFC by 2% while the Package A engine had a 4.3% SFC shortfall, people familiar with the situation said. The TEN engine will incorporate design tweaks such as rising line intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) and blisks in the first 3 stages of the high pressure compressor (HPC) but it will only enter into service in 2016, implying that the Package C engine which provides a 1% incremental improvement in SFC is still 2% short of the original target in the foreseeable future

        http://www.aspireaviation.com/2012/11/27/boeing-no-rush-future-widebody-strategy/

        “We know you never have anything positive to say about a Boeing product but comments such as those is simply silly.”

        What is silly, is to jump into the fray not thoroughly being familiar with the topic at hand. 😉

        As for your silly “we-know-you-never-have-anything-positive-to-say-about-a-Boeing-product”-comment; I have not been too impressed with what IMO is a clear lack of long term strategic thinking on the part of Boeing’s management post the merger with MacDac.

        If a topic would deal with Boeing success stories, I would more than gladly jump into the fray and say all hail to the Dash 80, 707, 727, 737-100/-200/-300/-400/-500, 747-100/-200/-300/-400, 757, 767 and 777-200ER/-300ER.

  8. Low hanging fruit seems to be a popular phrase these days, and a NEO version of the A330 will IMHO have either a 350 or Sharklet type addition to the current wing as the extra weight compared with the existing winglet is unlikely to have any impact on the structural integrity of the wing as it exists..
    Only one engine would be considered, and frankly I would not want to be the GE man on the ground.
    My best wishes also for 2014.

  9. The extend of the modification options on a A330NEO would be determined by the gains, time to market and development risks (in terms of time and investments).

    An EIS of 2018 would mean Airbus has a developement time of about 3 years. They looked at GP7000 in 2000, A350mk1 in 2004 and GENX in 2006 so they probably have a good idea on the WiPy work package. Likely GE would maximize the fan for the available space, regardless of the 747-8i fan size. And  a thrust rating optimized for the requirements. GE did that for the A330 CF6-80E1 too. I think a 15% sfc improvement is what GE advertizes. Combined with a bigger fan and Sharklets not unlikely IMO.

    In terms of restvalue / cargo conversion / fuel efficiency they might consider the existing A330F nose landing gear for all NEO’s. It enables a bigger more efficient fan size too. More then compensating addition (said to be minimal) drag.
    http://blog.flightstory.net/wp-content/uploads/a330f-blister-fairing.jpg

    Sharklets seem almost a given. Airbus looked at it some time time ago.
    http://www.aeroweb-fr.net/uploads/media/large/2012/03/1744.jpg

    The A330 NEO enjoys an extensive 330/340 approved modifications catalogue developed for worldwide operators. The best could be included as standard. https://www.modstore.aero/modifications/type(29)/A330 Futher options on the A330 NEO are plenty. Stretches, underfloor lavatories, crew rests, new interiors, A350 cockpit enhancements, weight savings of several tons by means of engineering out A340, composites, Al Lithium, etc. limitted probably to “low hanging fruit” by EIS date.

    Versions of a NEO; A330-200, A330-300, A330-200F, A330-300F, MRTT NEO, A330 Regional.  Maybe a 3 row stretch of the -200 to position it better among competitors/further lower CASM? 

    Biggest advantages of the A330 NEO seem a smoothly running, mature paid for production line/ suply chain, commonality with 1400 A330/340s amongst 100+ operators, worldwide maintenance, crew availability, 2018-21 slots, low price, predictable efficiency and costs, favored, benchmark 4-6-8 abreast F-C-M cabin seating.

    Apart from AirAsia X, I could see e.g. Ryanair, Delta, Cathay, China, FEDEX, Garuda, Turkish, Iran as interested. 

    • Is there actually any reliable information around on the potential gains of removing A340 specific details?
      Noteworthy: any improvements to A330 would be available on shorter notice and in higher numbers than the carefull but slower ramp up for the A350 could provide.

      Question to the proprietor:
      Are there rumors around what extra outlay the 787 users have to cope with beyond the as gamechanging announced regular operating cost.
      How much of the gamechanging reductions have actually materialised in theory at least?

    • This is interesting and it all will be done because you seem to have a handle on John’s thinking. I tip my hat to you. Other than the wing mod this is the first A350 and we saw how well that went. GE will meet the engine requirements for this program and it will be an effective frame because Airbus produces excellent frames. But again, sometimes people have to be smart and know ehn to say when. This will impact the Airbus widebody strattegy for years to come, and it will be very much in the way of the A3340.

    • When Boeing does a derivative, it’s bad, but when Airbus does one, it’s wonderful.

      Eight abreast seating in coach is a disadvantage,not an advantage to the airline customers.

      Ryanair? Seriously? I guess they are a candidate for some version of the 787 too, then.

      • I think most agree that the 777-X is not all to bad 😉 Maybe not as good as Boeing presents it (given the 9 abreast vs 8 abreast realities of life), but it will be pretty close to wonderfull as well..

    • “Maybe a 3 row stretch of the -200”
      And call that the ‘A330-400’?
      An MRTT based on the ‘A330-400F’ derivative would put BA in a very nasty squeeze on the KC-Y, too.
      Maybe even go with that as the initial A330neo model?

  10. Can someone explain the difference between A330neo and the first A350 design???

    Most thinks planed for the “neo” sounds identical to the emprovements planed for the 350 (not xwb).

      • However, if an RB3039-type engine would be used on an A330neo, it should more than make up for the deficiency (weight-wise) in not having a composite wing. Hence, an A330neo that would EIS in 2020 would be more efficient than the A350 mk-1 that was to EIS in 2010, and that with an investment a lot less on part of the OEM, than what would have been the case if the A350 mk-1 programme would have been allowed to proceed back in 2006.

  11. Good piece, Scott. However introduction of the A330neo does not threaten the future A358 prospects, in my opinion. It would give Airbus time to draw on any available technology iteration (including newer engines) and the in-service A350 experience, to truly deliver an A330 replacement. A358 is just going to be postponed…

    • How many new commercial airliner projects can Airbus do? They currently have the A-320NEO, A-319NEO, A-321NEO, A-350-900, A-350-900R, A-350-1000, A-380 PIP, A-350-900F, A-330-300-242TONNE, A-340 value enhancement, A-380 enhancements, and possibly the A-350-1100.

      • Within a period of slightly more than 8 years, airbus manged to achieve first flight on the all new A380, all new A400M and the all new A350. Taking into consideration the fact that Airbus is a significantly larger enterprise today than when they launched the A380, they should IMO have few problems carrying out the potpourri of projects that you’ve presented above; unless of course, if they would choose to do a “Boeing” and suddenly decide to lay of thousands of workers. 😉

      • Boeing has: 737-7, 737-8, 737-9, 787-9, 787-10, 777-8, 777-8F, 777-9, 747-8 PIPs, 787-8 PIPs, 757RS, 737 MAX RS and the KC-46A. That’s 12 Airbus to 13 Boeing. What’s your problem, KC?

        Your continual all-things-Airbus-are-always-bad is really tiresome.

      • A-320NEO, A-319NEO, A-321NEO, A-350-900, A-350-900R, A-350-1000, A-380 PIP, A-350-900F, A-330-300-242TONNE, A-340 value enhancement, A-380 enhancements, and possibly the A-350-1100.

        Before I comment on what you’re saying, I have to ask: Is there a particular reason for you insisting on spelling Airbus’ type designations with a hyphen, when the official designation is non-hyphenated?
        Anyway. A very interesting way of counting you have, when really, Airbus has only two major projects that are both well on their way at this point – those being the A320 series NEO treatment and the A350. Granted, the A350-1000 will require a good bit of additional work. Everything else you list is limited in the amount of resources it requires and mostly the sort of thing that’s going on behind the scenes all the time at both OEMs anyway. (To wit: The number of MTOW and range improvements the A333 has seen since it was initially introduced.)
        A320neo will EIS in 2015. By next year, most of that project’s engineering resources will be freed up as the plane enters certification. Launching an A330neo next year would fit in with that timeline quite nicely, actually.

  12. Please revisit thee old stories again. It was only NINE years ago. Back to the future?

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sia-opts-for-777-300er-but-7e7-decision-is-postponed-186435/

    Airbus is also proposing the “A350” to other carriers including Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and Northwest Airlines, say the sources. It would be available shortly before the 7E7’s 2008 service entry, they add, and would have the A330-200’s fuselage, but substantial wing modifications and more-efficient engines.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/qatar-signs-mou-to-launch-genx-on-a350-201549/

    The MoU, covering business valued at around $1.6 billion, formally marks the launch of the GEnx engine on the A350-800/900. Although not yet confirmed by GE, the deal is believed to specify the GEnx-1A-72 engine for the -800 and the more powerful, 75,000lb thrust class -75 variant for the -900.

    • Yes, back to the future by letting the engine manufacturers do the heavy lifting. Thus, in order to stay competitve, Airbus wouldn’t need to develop a legacy constrained $5-6 billion wing having a cruise speed of “only” Mach 0.83.

      • OV-099,

        Why is the M0.83 an engine issue? Isn’t it more a wing design related?
        Are you insinuating that the A330neo will have brand new wings like the last A350 iteration before it was cancelled and superseded by the A350XWB?

        Or does it mean that the A350 that was replaced by A350XWB had never been formally cancelled and thus is still on offer? Indeed I have no memory about any formal cancellation of the A350 (pre-XWB).

        It is interesting that the aircraft abandoned in 2006 because it was not “good enough” becomes suddenly good enough to be relaunched again.

        I am quite confused by now because the A350-800XWB was supposed to be much better than the A350-800 (pre-XWB) and it was exactly the reason why the A350-800 (pre-XWB) was abandoned.

        So, what really happened? That is the question we should ask.

      • What happened? Sometimes it is better to adjust your strategy when the market demands so. Just like Bombardier with the C130, Boeing with the 787-3 and Embraer with their 5 abreast.

        Years ago Airbus didn’t re-engine the A330, telling us it would do fine. Amazingly they were right, selling 800+. E.g to Delta a few months ago. Anyone predicting that 9 years ago would be have been locked up.

        Maybe Airbus decided they rather sell 600+ A330NEO’s instead of 200 A350-800s this decade. Its more profitable to fill A350 slots with -900s and -10000s. And if the world economy recovers, the A330F/MRTT NEO’s can sail along, with little competition.

      • Keesje said on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 9:25 AM

        Years ago Airbus didn’t re-engine the A330, telling us it would do fine. Amazingly they were right, selling 800+. E.g to Delta a few months ago. Anyone predicting that 9 years ago would be have been locked up.

        So what do you think about the A330neo? is it amazingly right too?
        Isn’t 800 orders during 8 years a normal number? I think Airbus also sold many A330 during the sae period.

        So what is the possible real reason that pushes us to believe that the A330neo is the right solution today when we know that t was abandoned many years ago. What has really changed?

        I am very puzzled by the situation. Is the A350XWB good enough? If so, why do we this fuss about the A330neo?

        I am a little bit confused.
        I think we need to ask the right questions and try to find the right answers.

        The A330neo is a very serious subject that needs to be analysed thoroughly and understood. This is clearly more than a simple subject of “light” discussion in blogs or discussion forums.

        The stake and implications are huge and far reaching for the industry. I hope professionals out there will provide us with deep analysis and conclusions.

      • OV-099,

        Why is the M0.83 an engine issue? Isn’t it more a wing design related?
        Are you insinuating that the A330neo will have brand new wings like the last A350 iteration before it was cancelled and superseded by the A350XWB?

        Or does it mean that the A350 that was replaced by A350XWB had never been formally cancelled and thus is still on offer? Indeed I have no memory about any formal cancellation of the A350 (pre-XWB).

        V V, You seem to be misinterpreting what I’m saying.

        No, an A330neo will not have new wings.

        Mach 0.83 is not an engine issue. It was a wing legacy constraint on the A350 mk-1 carried over from the A330 (Mach 0.82). It still would have been a costly undertaking. IMO, an all new wing should be put on a non-legacy A350-derived aircraft instead (i.e. all new wing accounts for upwards of 50 percent of the total costs for an all new airliner). However, an A330neo would delay such an undertaking for the better part of the 2020s. Therefore, Airbus should aim for the most advanced engine technologies that are available, not old tech like the GEnx and the Trent-1000.

        As Scott pointed out in his comment above: “An A330neo will be markedly more efficient than the “A330 Classic” and within 3%-4% of the fuel efficiency of the 787-8/9”.

        That’s would be achieved by using 787-derived engines.

        I’m advocating all new engines at least as advanced as the ones that are going on the 777X (i.e. preferably RR3030-derived ones).

        Finally, as for your nonsensical ramblings about the A350 mk-1 supposedly not formally being cancelled, what exactly are you trying to achieve by making such a comment?

      • .
        OV-099 on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

        Sorry for misinterpreting your statement.

        So I understand that a possible A330neo will have M0.82 or M0.83 as the optimum speed compared to M0.84 or M0.85 on the 787. I do not think it is a big issue for airlines anyway.

        OV-009 asked,”Finally, as for your nonsensical ramblings about the A350 mk-1 supposedly not formally being cancelled, what exactly are you trying to achieve by making such a comment?

        If the A350 Mk1 has never been formally cancelled, it would be very easy to restart the whole program all over again. If my memory serves me well, there were about 200 firm orders for the A350 (pre-XWB) and most probably there were some commitments too. Some airlines dropped the orders and others converted the orders to A350XWB.

        The question is obviously what those airlines, those who converted the A350 pre-XWB) to A350XWB, would think about the A330neo, especially if the A330neo is offered at lower pricing than the XWB with a very close efficiency gain.
        I really do not know. I am just trying to understand what the repercussions of a potential A330neo launch could be.

        So, according to your knowledge, do you think the A350 Mk1 has formally been cancelled or not?

        As I already said, this is a very serious subject that needs to be analysed thoroughly and must be fully understood. I sincerely believe that an A330neo launch will have far reaching consequences.

      • V V, the wing of the A330-300 and A340-300 was designed for an optimum cruise speed at Mach 0.82. The A350 mk-1 wing was constrained in the design in order to use a dimensionally identical centre wing box to that of the A333/A343 (i.e. without the centre spar). However, like the larger wing on the A345/A346, the A350 mk-1 was slightly tweaked in order to allow for an optimum cruise speed at Mach 0.83 (i.e. like the A345/A346). Hence, an A330neo will obviously cruise at Mach 0.82.

        Why I mentioned this in the first place was to point out that,

        1) IMO it’s subpar to build a multibillion dollar wing while being constrained by a legacy design, and

        2) that if an A330neo would be outfitted with engines as advanced as the GE9X, the TSFC fuel burn delta for an A330neo outfitted with such advanced engines over that of the “old” GEnx and Trent-1000 engines, should more than negate the extra weight and inefficiencies of the existing wing over that of an all new one using the “old” engines (i.e. A350 mk-1).

        If the A350 Mk1 has never been formally cancelled, it would be very easy to restart the whole program all over again. If my memory serves me well, there were about 200 firm orders for the A350 (pre-XWB) and most probably there were some commitments too. Some airlines dropped the orders and others converted the orders to A350XWB.

        Carl Sagan used to say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        Claiming that the A350 mk-1 was not “formally” cancelled is an extraordinary claim, isn’t it? Hence, it’s you who should come up with the evidence that Airbus never “formally” cancelled the A350 mk-1, not me. 😉

      • .
        OV-099 on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 1:56 PM

        OV-099 said, “Claiming that the A350 mk-1 was not “formally” cancelled is an extraordinary claim, isn’t it?

        No, it is not extraordinary at all.

        I don’t remember having seen any formal cancellation of the program. If any body can provide me with a formal statement from Airbus that it cancelled the A350 Mk1, I would be very happy to see it.

        Please NEVER forget that the A350 Mk1 had gone well over the ATO and even the formal launh, it was industrially launched and it got around 200 firm orders when the A350XWB was launched.

        Some A350 Mk1 customers cancelled the order and other waited until several years before converting them to A350XWB. However, there has not been any clear statement that the A350 Mk1 program was cancelled. It was simply “de facto” cancelled without any formal death certificate.

        But, the issue is not important since the rumours say that there is a possibility that the A330neo (or basically the very first iteration of the A350) will be resuscitated.

      • Then I’d suggest that you contact Airbus personally, in writing, by asking them about it, instead of wasting bandwidth making much ado about nothing.

        But, the issue is not important since the rumours say that there is a possibility that the A330neo (or basically the very first iteration of the A350) will be resuscitated.

        AFAIK, the A350 mk-1 always included an all new (but legacy constrained) wing. Airbus first response. though, to the 7E7 included a “lite” version of the A333-200 as well as re-engined A330 versions using the same engines as that of the 7E7/787. Hence, the very first iteration of the A350 won’t be resuscitated unless Airbus chooses to go with an all new composite wing, which obviously is very unlikely.

      • Isn’t 800 orders during 8 years a normal number?

        Firstly: Not really if you look at typical widebody order numbers before the mid-noughties.
        Secondly: Bear in mind that we’re talking about the A330 here. To be selling about 100 on average between 2005 and 2013 is quite a feat considering the A330 had its EIS in 1994.

        I think Airbus also sold many A330 during the sae period.

        Exactly – it was the A330 that keesje was referring to here, as his reference do DL’s September order made clear; DL ordered A330, not A350.

        If the A350 Mk1 has never been formally cancelled, it would be very easy to restart the whole program all over again.

        Whether or not they “formally” cancelled the project, I doubt they threw away the enginering work already done on the A350 Mk. I. So they’re free to reuse it for an A330neo. But don’t forget – the A350 Mk. I was withdrawn within just over a year of first order and less than a year after its industrial launch. So presumably, there hadn’t been that much work done on it that’s still worth reviving eight years later.

        The question is obviously what those airlines, those who converted the A350 pre-XWB) to A350XWB, would think about the A330neo, especially if the A330neo is offered at lower pricing than the XWB with a very close efficiency gain.

        They might buy it. 🙂
        Don’t forget the A330neo would be sized well below the A350-900/-1000. The only model that would potentially suffer from an A330neo is the A350-800, which Airbus isn’t exactly selling aggressively these days, to say the least.

        So, according to your knowledge, do you think the A350 Mk1 has formally been cancelled or not?

        It’s a moot point, really. The official line was that the A350 was “redesigned”, with the redesigned model called the A350XWB. It remained the A350 project throughout, so there was no technical cancellation of the A350 programme. But work on the first approach for that plane was quite definitely stopped, and airlines had to convert or cancel their orders for the old model. There then was a second industrial launch (in December 2006) of the A350 programme, by then called the A350XWB.

        I don’t remember having seen any formal cancellation of the program. If any body can provide me with a formal statement from Airbus that it cancelled the A350 Mk1, I would be very happy to see it.

        See above – you won’t find that, as there was never a formal “A350 Mk. I” programme; Airbus always called it the A350, which “only” got a major redesign. So any formal cancellations of works/efforts that exist will be internal Airbus communications referring to different development aspects of the initial A350 approach. For all we know, the team that developed the flight deck for instance may have simply continued working away, only adjusting to changes in the size/shape of the nose section.

        However, there has not been any clear statement that the A350 Mk1 program was cancelled. It was simply “de facto” cancelled without any formal death certificate.

        I actually agree with you here – it was “de facto” cancelled. The key word here being “de facto”. I.e. it’s totally pointless debating whether or not it was formally cancelled; for all intents and purposes, the first iteration of the A350 was cancelled over seven years ago.

        But, the issue is not important since the rumours say that there is a possibility that the A330neo (or basically the very first iteration of the A350) will be resuscitated.

        No, it won’t. We’re currently only talking about the possibility of an A330neo, which won’t get new wings, nor a fuselage with more use of carbon fibre and Al-Li, among other things. All things the A350 Mk. I would have got. By contrast, the 777X is an almost exact equivalent of the approach Airbus had for the A350 Mk I.

  13. “Your continual all-things-Airbus-are-always-bad is really tiresome”-just like what certain others do on this blog re Boeing.

  14. Very frankly, although the rumours about a revamped A330 with better aerodynamics and better engines are credible, we still have to ask the question on the following points:
    1. What really happened to the various iterations of A350 (pre-XWB),
    2. How this A330neo would eat into A350XWB market

    I sincerely think a revamped A330 will be a good aircraft, just like a revamped 777-300ER will be a good aircraft.

    Now, the questions are the ones asked above, especially the one about what really happened to the various iterations of the A350 (pre-XWB). Why have them been abandoned? Were there real and valid arguments to abandon the A350 (pre-XWB)?

    If there were valid arguments to abandon the various A350 (pre-XWB) then why do those arguments become invalid today?

    This is a very interesting issue that needs a thorough analysis.

    There are many questions to be asked and to be answered. I am sure the readers of this blog are expert enough to ask the right questions and to provide the right answer.

    • Because the guys and dolls high on the “drug like rush” at the time are all on cold turkey now.
      The original A350 was killed by the perfect storm of a well executed PR campaign (that was _not_ followed up by a real product.). It was a completely reasonable albeit utilitarian unsexy answer to the “Dreamliner”.
      Airbus appears to have done the right decission at the time, accepting the demise of the MK1, having the A330 soldier on, quite successfully at that, targeting the place just below the 777 with the XWB ( cloaked by the scope of the original namegiver for the type ).
      Remember the Leahy phrase: 787 is a chinese copy of the A330 😉
      Just like the COMAC product engines are instrumental for its acceptable performance.

      • Uwe,

        you said, “The original A350 was killed by the perfect storm of a well executed PR campaign (that was _not_ followed up by a real product.). It was a completely reasonable albeit utilitarian unsexy answer to the “Dreamliner”

        Can you please recall to us what you call by “perfect storm of a well executed PR campaign”? What has been stated during that very specific PR campaign?

        It still does not answer the question whether there were valid reasons to abandon the A350 (pre-XWB).

        Are you, Uwe, insinuating that the only reason of the A350 (pre-XWB) abandon was a “perfect storm of a well executed PR campaign”? If so, are you telling us that it was not a real and valid reason but a mere “PR campaign”?

      • Forget PR – airlines execs tend to be good at math!

        I would be astonished if Airbus go ahead with a NEO with a GENX/T1000 only solution.

        What is the point of investing so much just to produce an inferior product merely to try and cut Boeing’s 787 margins?

        As Boeing meet there 787 accounting block numbers in early 2020s, they will then be able to pick and choose which orders they want, while Airbus are left to pick up the low-value scraps of this the largest WB market segment.

        And what about the longer term? is this just going to be a 5 year stop-gap before a ‘true’ contender is announced?

      • BouncerN on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

        BouncerN said, “And what about the longer term? is this just going to be a 5 year stop-gap before a ‘true’ contender is announced?

        Interesting questions.

        There must be more questions to be asked. Somebody may want to compile them.
        It is possible that the answer to some of the questions will contradict the answer to other questions.

        That’s why we need to ask the right questions and try to obtain a coherent set of answers. It is possible that this A330neo subject is more complex than man people think. It needs a systematic research and deep analysis before one gets to a clear conclusion.

        Perhaps people at Airbus are also working to build a coherent rationale argument to be presented to its Board of Directors and shareholders before they can launch it.
        Maybe you, the experts who comment in this blog, can help them find the right questions and the right and coherent answers.

      • “”” The original A350 was killed by the perfect storm of a well executed PR campaign (that was _not_ followed up by a real product.). It was a completely reasonable albeit utilitarian unsexy answer to the “Dreamliner”. “””

        I remember that kerfluffle when Airbus was pretty-much assaulted from all sides by an airline industry that was drunk on CFRP Koolaide. At the time, I kept wondering “Why do the Airlines care what an aircraft is made of as long as it’s the better option for making them money?” Of course, a lot of those airlines have gone bust so they no longer matter.

        Then, after Airbus had redesigned the A350, some airlines wanted Airbus to use a monocoque construction technique as used by Boeing on the 787. Thank Gawd Airbus didn’t do it or they too would be facing years of Red Ink on the A350 Program.

        http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/more-bad-news-at-airbus-new-a350-rejected-by-airlines-a-485374.html

        Anyways, if the OEW numbers I saw above are correct and the Analysis provided by Leeham is correct, then I think the A330NEO is going to make Airbus some nice coin and will be a great obstacle to the success of the Boeing 787. Also, if airbus could develop a full-blown A330NEO derivitive with all the “bells and whistles” as was originally proposed – and do so for the $5 Billion Dollars stated – then I think Boeing has a lot to worry about. A whole lot.

        http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/airbus-unleashes-a350-for-long-range-twin-dogfight-199582/

        Anyways, does anyone have more sources for the actual 787-8/9 OEW and Range? Please share if you do.

        Thanks and Happy Holidays to all.

      • .
        Re: Jimmy on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 10:33 AM

        Jimmy, your links are quite interesting. I can read in the first link the following paragraph.
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/more-bad-news-at-airbus-new-a350-rejected-by-airlines-a-485374.html
        QUOTE
        The first version of the new A350 was rejected out of hand, now the second version hasn’t come up to scratch either. A number of important customers are demanding changes in Airbus’ technology, which could cause further delays at the troubled aircraft manufacturer.

        If the first version of the A350 was “rejected” by airlines, what do you think about a proposal for an A330neo today? Do you think “airlines” would accept an A330neo NOW?

        The A330neo is a very serious subject and we need to find coherent answers to all the questions asked by people out there. So far, I fail to understand the big picture and I need your help, from experts like the readers of this blog, to understand the whole thing.

      • V V,

        I answer to your question. The A330 NEO as described by Leeham sounds like it is a very low-cost and low-risk endeavor for Airbus which can make airlines money. A big advantage of the A330 NEO are that it is a known quantity that is relatively inexpensively produced and can be priced accordingly. Also, Leeham said that the Engine OEMs would underwrite 90% of the R&D for the A330NEO – this is good for Airbus and should help them price the aircraft more competitively. Additionally, there is an installed service base already out there for the A330 – and this has got to play a factor in favor of Airbus. And…since the type will be similar, there shouldn’t be a lot (well…let us say less) of Pilot Training involved if a carrier already had Airbus A330s in their fleet.

        On the downside, the A330NEO is going to burn more fuel than the 787, and this will add to cost of ownership. However, overall the A330 looks like it can make money as well or better than the 787. I really do think that the smaller purchase price of an A330 NEO will trump the 787s Fuel Savings – and I think it’s going to be a Looooooong time before the 787 can even come close to matching the price of an A330 NEO (unless – I figure – Boeing has some more Billion$ it wants to flush down the tubes).

        I could be wrong – I am not an aircraft Operational-Financial Analyst. But this is what I figure.

        Hope this helps.

      • .
        Re: Jimmy on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 1:04 PM

        The A330 NEO as described by Leeham sounds like it is a very low-cost and low-risk endeavor for Airbus which can make airlines money. A big advantage of the A330 NEO are that it is a known quantity that is relatively inexpensively produced and can be priced accordingly. Also, Leeham said that the Engine OEMs would underwrite 90% of the R&D for the A330NEO – this is good for Airbus and should help them price the aircraft more competitively. Additionally, there is an installed service base already out there for the A330 – and this has got to play a factor in favor of Airbus. And…since the type will be similar, there shouldn’t be a lot (well…let us say less) of Pilot Training involved if a carrier already had Airbus A330s in their fleet.

        I hear you and understand your rationale.

        Nonetheless, don’t you think that the efficiency gain and also the incentives, as you mentioned in your response, would attract (or distract?) airlines from the A350XWB?

        It is possible that even at this “rumour stage” many airlines would ask for more information about it.

        If you may, it is as if Airbus launched a”guerilla marketing” against the A350XWB. In any case, if I were an airline CEO, at this point I would ask for clarity on both the A330neo and A350XWB offering.
        If an A330neo launch is a possibility, don’t you think some airlines would wait a little bit before taking the decision to order A350XWB or 787 or A350XWB?

        Does this mean that A350XWB orders will “freeze” a little bit?

        The A330neo is a very serious subject and need to be understood clearly.

      • VV, I would not put too much weight on what Der Spiegel writes.
        A notorious Airbus basher, it is rather US aligned “Transatlantiker”. This is more pronounced in their english language articles ( which regularly are not direct translations from the DE part.). The times when Der Spiegel exposed FJ Strauss’ misdoings and the Lockheed bribery scandal are long gone by.

      • In any case, if I were an airline CEO, at this point I would ask for clarity on both the A330neo and A350XWB offering.

        I do admire your tireless attempts at spreading FUD about not only the A330neo (which is only a rumour at this point anyway), but about the A350XWB as well; one of your favourite targets of FUD, it should be said, considering how often you have in the comments section of this blog predicted its imminent demise.
        Anyway – I’m sure airline CEOs are better informed about how A330neo and A350XWB are differentiated. Simply put, the A330neo is positioned against the 787-8 and -9, while the two main members of the A350 family are positioned above that. If nothing else, airline CEOs could refer to the diagrams listed above in Scott’s article. They show quite nicely that an A330neo would only overlap with one member of the A350 family (the -800), by way of an A330-300neo.
        Other than that, A330neo and A350 can live happily side by side, just like 787-9 and A350-900 are going to be living happily side by side in many airlines’ fleets.

      • The original A350 was killed by airlines and lessors like Singapore and ILFC, not a PR campaign. Stop trying to change history to suit a biased and obviously flawed point of view. I mean, come on.

        • Read the Aboulafia newsletter where he referenced that “drug like rush” for the 787 (years later when the high had worn off and the true shape of things became visible.)
          Campaigning and Meme insertion for a completely overvalued product were perfectly executed. Run as full spectrum warfare with a wide range of the press coopted into it, some with visible links, others with behind the scenes linkage to Boeing.
          The “fully rational market participant” is an endearing storyline but … wrong.

          Compare to the timeline for the NEO introduction which started out with similar opposition from a wide range of opinion presenters but then that opposition fizzled. The now obvious historic overstatements from Boeing for the 787
          had destroyed quite a bit of credibility all around.

      • Everyone’s aware of the delays/problems the 787 has had coming to market, but I think even hardened sceptics will find it hard to disagree that in service (and as it matures further) it is finally becoming the game changing aircraft the hype promised.

        The only way to sell an inferior product (ie. an A330neo with current gen. engines) against the 787 will of course be on price. A duopoly market environment should allow for premium pricing for both players, each with competitive products.

    • Thats the Point i ask my question above.

      For me it looks like Airbus built A350V1 as A330neo.

      Maybe with the stronger engines we can see a a330-500/600 neo?
      For Airlines how not need the range from a A350-1000.
      How much work would it be the 340-500/600 Combine with the neo wings and engine? ist it nearly the thame cell?

  15. I think everyone seem to keep forgetting that the A330 structure is a lot more capable then what it is. The A330 pretty much share the structure with the A340, which means the Wing is really design to carry the load for an A340 (both A330/340 uses the same wing), which means the A330 wing is design to carry up to 276.5 tons MTOW. So the amount for reinforcement really need for the wing for any new winglet or heavier engine will be quite minimal. The main reinforcement needed will be the engine pylon and mount for the heavier engine. If let say Airbus decided to add new winglets to the A330 NEO, as long as they keep the MTOW of the A330 NEO below 276.5 tons, I do not really see any need for Airbus to significantly reinforce the wing at all (if any reinforcement needed at all in the first place). Also, since the A330 structure is design for the A340, this is also the reason why Airbus is able to continually increase the MTOW of the A330 from the original 215 tons, to 217 tons, and to 233 tons in the current version (A330E). Just a few months ago, Mr. Leahy announce the latest A330 enhancement to bring it up to 242 tons. All without very much change to the basic aircraft at all, just some software changes. Since any load above 242 tons will exceed the wheel pavement load limits at many airport, that is why if Airbus want to increase the MTOW of the A330 NEO above 242 tons, they will need to incorporate the A340 Center MLG. By adding that, Airbus can easily increase the A330 NEO MTOW up to 276.5 tons (matching the A340), but this will of course by Engine Thrust Limiting. However, knowing the currently A330 has one of the the highest thrust to weight ratio of any widebody aircraft and has one of the best climb performance of any twin wide body (yes, it even beats the thrust to weight ratio of 777-200 / 777-300 / 777-300ER), I can see Airbus reducing that performance margin on the A330 NEO and bump up the MTOW even further without significantly increasing the Thrust of the Engine for the A330 NEO. Anyway, just my two cents.

  16. That’s interesting news, looking forward to know more of such A330NEOs, that could be interesting and to a certain extend game changing 😉

  17. “GE Aviation is said to be pushing Airbus hard to proceed with the neo, using the GEnx-2B engine now … ”

    “Rolls-Royce is also said to be interested in powering the A330neo…”

    Let me get this right: GE/RR are interested in investing more to take away sales from the 787 platform which are powered by, er, the same engines?

    So, RR/GE spend lots of money for net gain of zero!

    • A330neo with RR-only engines = net loss to GE.
      A330neo with GE-only engines = net gain to GE.
      And conversely for RR.

      Now, if P&W could build a PW4000G on that kind of timeline, it would be a huge win … they did say a few years ago that they might have such an engine by 2018.

  18. Scott, is there a specific customer (or customers) driving the timing and performance requirements on the proposed neo?

    • Woody,

      You have just asked a very relevant question.

      Does anybody here know which airlines would be interested to be the launch customer?

      Can anybody speculate whether the potential customer(s) is (are) A330 customer(s)?
      If so, do you think they would consider ordering A350XWB for the same fleet?

      • leehamnet on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 2:51 PM

        leehamnet asked, “VV, where have you been? Ever heard of Tony Fernandes and AirAsia?

        Mr Tony Fernandez said that the A330neo would be interesting. I haven’t heard anything from other airlines who are interested by the same thing.

        Those people who were usually very vocal about Airbus products like Vijay Mallay, Richard Branson, Steven Udvar Hazy and Mr Al Baker or Mr Tim Clark haven’t said anything about the “A330neo”.

        May I remind you that those people are the one who “rejected” the A350 (pre-XWB)?

        I do not believe Airbus would launch an A330neo only based on Tony Fernandez’s lucubrations.

      • Frankly, I suspect the A330neo is the manifestation of a possible “internal” fight. I suspect someone in Airbus is desperate because the A330’s value is plunging. He may think that the only move that can save theA330’s value is an enhancement, but an aerodynamic enhancement will improve the value at best by about 20 million US$.

        Without any improvement at all, the value proposition of the A330 would dropped by about 60 millions US$ per aircraft, which is very significant.

        As mentioned several times, there is a huge dilemma. It is about saving the A330’s value proposition against shooting the A350’s business case down.

        The decision is very difficult to take. The possible motivation that could launch the A330neo quickly is if the A350-900XWB takes one more year of delay.

        The A330neo is a very serious subject that needs to be studied thoroughly. The launch of A330neo has far-reaching consequences.

      • I don’t think Tony Fernandez is sleepless at night from desperation.
        ( elucubration, forsooth, had to look that up )
        His “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam” like quip of
        “I want an A330 reengine” has been a going concern for some years now.

        Supply path for the A330 are different to those for the A350. Thus blending production over from one to the other is not a major concern.
        Airbus would gain further utilisation for a glitch free working production process
        that can turn out 10++ frames per month. Further A330(NEO) sales would fill demand that can not yet be met by 787 or A350 production.
        Finally A330 sales are much more a danger to 787 future demand than for A350XWB sales. So you sowing FUD about an A330NEO is completely expected 😉

      • My suspicion is the Airbus will base their decision on a thorough internal study, and will probably discount the opinions of the pundits on here as part of that process. So it is probably rather pompous to write : “The A330neo is a very serious subject and need to be understood clearly” because I for one assume that Airbus have a very good grasp on their business.

      • VV,
        What you write today seems to have been authored by using a text editor to swap out 320 and insert 330 on what you had to say against the A320NEO 2+ years ago.
        Reality didn’t follow your trepidations at the time and it won’t follow it now.

        There are interesting details to talk about while we all know how FUD is introduced. Nothing new there.

      • Two follow up questions then Scott. First, what is your sense of how well Fernandes’ needs fit with other key targets (I’m guessing Chinese buyers). Second, assuming a large % do go to China, any thoughts on whether Airbus would try to set up a FAL in China to get them closer to the customers, have a natural exchange rate hedge (at least while the RMB has a peg to the USD) and provide 350 line growth space back in Europe?

      • Before arguing the devaluation of the A330 all the time, why not reading a little about the ASCEND first~XD

  19. BOUNCHER, GE is out of the A350 game, loosing terrain on A320 and A380. And has a suitable engine. So nothing much to loose.

    Add that 787 and A350 are sold out into the next decade. So not much to sell here.

    And RR wouldn’t sit on their hands watching the show.

    VV I think further deep studying the past can be skipped. The situation has changed. Time to move. Airbus can do a simple product life cycle extension. Little overlap with the larger more capable long range A350 XWB’s.

    • Re: keesje on DECEMBER 30, 2013 @ 1:08 PM

      keesje, “VV I think further deep studying the past can be skipped.

      It is not a deep study to the past. It is all about the future possible consequences of an A330neo. The A330-300neo will be a very good aircraft and will eat directly into A350-900XWB’s territory. So, I hope clever people like you can provide coheent answers with regards to the potential consequences of an A330neo launch.

      I do not understand your comment to BouncerN, “GE is out of the A350 game, loosing terrain on A320 and A380. And has a suitable engine. So nothing much to loose.

      Can you please elaborate a little bit more? For example what is the proportion of LEAP powered A320neo have been ordered so far? And what is the proportionof LEAP engines on the 737 MAX? 😉

      The other question is of course about the proportion of GP7200 engines on the A380 backlog. It is highly likely that Emirates will split the engine order for their latest 50 A380 orders, just because somebody must pour some Trent900 orders into the backlog, otherwise the GP7200 engines will overwhelmingly dominate the engine share on the A380.

  20. If we’re just into absurd engine/mfg theorizations today, how about A just buy back the A345/346 units and retrofit them with the new (twin) engines and winglets, then sell those 100-200 units at a huge profit so the airlines, engine makers, and lessors, in addition to Airbus profit hugely?

    Big, nearly worthless, gas guzzling available frames with the structure to handle the engines and A has the floor space to do the conversions. The A3435X-R models should appeal greatly to, err, someone (outside of internet speculation).

    • The 345/346 are design to be quads… But the 330/340 are design to be both twin and quads. Just by added a center landing gear, the 330 structure and the wings can already handle 276.5 tons MTOW… So lots of room for growth is already built into the airframe… No need to buy back the 345/346 and make things complicated 😉

  21. VV, GE’s GE90 is now facing the Trent XWB, the CF34 is washed away by the PW GTF at BBD, Embraer and also an the A320. The MAX has 100% of the CFM GE/Safran engines, but just 40% of the market. The GENX is facing the RR launch engine on the 787. GE is sharing the GP7000 with PW and missed the A350.
    GE too is in a defensive position. Open to opportunities now, apparently.

    • keesjae said, “The MAX has 100% of the CFM GE/Safran engines, but just 40% of the market.

      The 737 MAX will enter into service about two years after the A320neo? The difference of order count today represents exactly this EIS lag of two years. I am pretty sure you know about it.

      If I am not mistaken, when you consider only the MAX and neo, LEAP engines have something like 75% of the market.

      You can play with numbers and you can tell whatever you want with them.

      I have nothing against the engine manufacturers, but I think GE is quite busy delivering the GE90-115B, GEnx and they are busy delivering CFM56 and CFM-LEAP. In addition they are also busy developing the GE9x.

      Why do you worry about GE, keesje? Do you have some GE shares?

      • The 737 MAX will enter into service about two years after the A320neo? The difference of order count today represents exactly this EIS lag of two years. I am pretty sure you know about it.

        The gap between EIS of MAX and NEO was a fine explanation of the order delta between the two a couple of years after their launch. But in fact, the overall 60:40 ratio has remained pretty steady even after a full year of Boeing playing catch-up after the MAX launch, handily outselling NEO in that particular year.

    • I can’t see either RR or GE wanting to commit to more R&D expenditure over the next few years.

      Indeed, I would suspect that they are instead far more interested in getting some serious ROI/cash flow coming in from the 787, A350 & A320(LEAP) to help their balance sheets and to help finance their existing R&D commitments (ie. GE9x and Trent XWB-1000).

      And the GEnx & Trent1000 problems/delays surely make it LESS likely that they will want to throw even more money at these projects?

      • GE wants to put an existing engine on the A330 because that will suit GE, not necessarily Airbus. I’m not sure if Airbus is interested in old tech from GE.

        RR was left out on the 777X by yet another GE/Boeing exclusive deal. RR has always been trying to strive for in trying to have their triple spool engines on as many Airbuses and Boeing airliners as possible. RR is moving forward with the RR3039 engine. Again, it seems to me that an all new 70,000lb thrust-class RR3039 engine that would be some 7-8 percent more efficient than the latest Trent-1000 and GEnx engines, would be perfect for both an A330neo and an A380neo.

        An all new RR engine, therefore, would more than compensate for the legacy penalty of keeping the existing wing. Hence, In contrast to Boeing on the 777X, Airbus would not have to spend billions on an A330neo in order for the platform to remain competitive. In short, by letting an A330neo enter into service in 2020 and not a decade earlier, Airbus would use the added propulsive efficiencies to even out the material advantages on the 787.

        So, why is this possible for the A330 and not the 777-300ER?

        First, the cross section of the A330 is less than that of the 787. Not so on the 77W vs. the A350.

        2nd, the A330 wing already has a very high aspect ratio and much lower relative wing-loading than that of the 777-300ER. In fact the 77W is maxed out, both in MTOW and wing performance (i.e no growth potential).

        3rd, the A330 is optimised for significantly shorter range than the 777-300ER; so, it already carries less relative weight than the 77W. Hence, the OEW delta between the A330 and the 787 is significantly less than the OEW delta between the 777-300ER and the A350-1000.

    • Is anything known about GE / Safran work _and_ profits share for the LEAP
      and if that has changed versus the CFM56 engine?
      ( My impression was that Safrane shows more activity in the non PR hands on realm. Just like the GTF seems to stand on a higher non P&W IP and work-share )

  22. I’m an enthusiast but certainly not as big an expert as some of you guys. Common sense and theory based on what I read leads to only one conclusion in my head: an A330-300 neo should be at least as successful as the 777-x. The 777-x was designed for and by a few airlines in the Middle East who want to fly masses over long distances and put Asia and Europe out of business. Asian and European airlines who want to compete with them will buy it. That of course assumes it performs as expected and without troubles. That is essentially the business case for the larger or longer range 777-x models. Make no mistake however, the 777 is an excellent aircraft.

    An A330-300 neo on the other hand will appeal to a broader market and is also based on an already excellent and technologically advanced aircraft. It would be a lower risk and almost ” a sure thing” purchase. Since the A330 neo will be cheaper, almost as efficient as the 787 yet with a long proven excellent record, the case for an A330-neo is real. It could be argued, even better of a purchase than a 787 or 350 depending on their mission. In fact one could argue, that it’s proven record and advanced technology even for its age, will make it even more attractive and valuable.

    In the end, newness and beauty alone don’t sell by themselves. Clearly it’s about cost and risk ( and hopefully about reliability and passenger safety). If that theory holds, the A330 neo will be legitimate and stand tall on its own. If you factor in reliability and concern for passenger risk and safety, it should be a slam dunk!

  23. If GE is indeed ready to finance most of the A330NEO as reported just as the engine manufacturers are doing for the A320NEO, I’d say Airbus should go for it.

    • What prospective orderbook size would GE envision to make such an offer to Airbus?
      Every A330 sold now probably is an additional sale of two engines that will not take away from either 787 nor A350XWB both overbooked beyond the event horizon.

      • I wondered the same, if GE is indeed ready to finance it(and I find that hard to believe), they must want exclusivity which I doubt since RR is reportedly in on it and see at least a market for 300+ frames, since apparently one of the reasons they didn’t want to get in on all of the A350 models is that they were doubtful of how much it would sell.

  24. 5 November Scott asked a fleet planner about efficiency difference between the 787 and A330.

    “As readers also know, Boeing promotes its 787 as being 20%-25% more fuel efficient than today’s airplanes. With the (also) never-ending prospect of Airbus proceeding with an A330neo, the question arises over what the delta is between the A330 and the 787. We asked a fleet planner. The answer: 10% in favor of the 787, a gap that an A330neo could narrow considerably (but be unlikely to close altogether) with new engines and sharklets. So how about that 20%-25%? These figures compare with the 767 and A340 respectively, the fleet planner tells us.”
    http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/odds-and-ends-looking-toward-the-south-lion-air-updates-cseries-interest-787-fuel-advantage/

    GE claims the GENX is about 15% more efficient then the CF6 powering the A330.
    http://www.ge.com/tr/tr/assets/docs/GE-Turkey_Moving-Pillar_Hero-Secondart-Content_Airplane_Motor_Engineering.pdf

    Add Sharklets, a bigger fan diameter/BPR, and some earodynamic enhancements (belly LDG aerea) to the equation. Why exactly would an A330 be 3-4% less efficient then a 787? And if both are 9 abreast?

    I agree with most the biggest A330NEO competitor would be the 787-10. Also optimized for flight up to 5000NM/ 10 hrs with good load under real conditions (not to/from Asia).

    And yes, politics also play a role. Of course.
    http://1.1.1.2/bmi/cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/3/2/3/2147323.jpg

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