Odds and Ends: Airbus neos; 757RS/A320RS; charity efforts

Airbus neos: The conversation continues, with Tom Williams, EVP of programmes, giving an interview to Flight Global about the A330neo and the A380neo. Plane Talking has another version of the Williams interview. Notable in Plane Talking’s report is the indication Williams said it will be a year before a decision is made on the A330neo. Our information is that a decision, whether yes or no, is due this year. PT also reports Williams indicated an A380neo would be a 2020s product. This suggests the prospect of a new engine from Rolls-Royce, which is under development, or conceivably a Big Engine Pratt & Whitney GTF could be considered.

757RS/A320RS: Aerotubropower, whose expertise is engines, discusses the implications of the planned improvements in fuel burn on the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan and what this means for the replacement of the Boeing 757, 737 and Airbus A320 families.

Charity efforts: IAM 751, the touch-labor union for Boeing, is often portrayed as a bunch greedy members who feel a sense of entitlement. One can certainly debate this point, but what isn’t debatable is 751’s efforts at charity throughout the year. Every once in a while, we pop over to 751’s blog. Today (Feb. 19) the first four items are about philanthropic efforts in Pierce and King counties.

Just as 751 members are often cast as greedy, so is Boeing, so it is only proper in this context to point out that Boeing also engages in philanthropic endeavors throughout the US (we don’t know about abroad). Here’s a link to some of Boeing’s efforts.

104 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Airbus neos; 757RS/A320RS; charity efforts

  1. I do not see Airbus or Boeing doing a stand alone 757 replacement, then tackling the 737 replacement after like some have suggested. If anything the 757 replacement will be generally part of the 737/A320 replacement programme and will be a variant of those families, just like the A321 and 737-9 are today. And I don’t see a programme launch for this family from either OEM until 2025 at the earliest for EIS in early 2030.

  2. The B-757RS doesn’t have to be a part of any B-737RS/A-320RS program. It could become part of a larger airplane program like the B-787 and A-350 families, or something else. There is no one saying the B-757RS has to be a NB

    • Do you mean a shrink of the 787 and A350 aircraft or another family between these two and the B737/A320 families?

    • The B-757RS doesn’t have to be a part of any B-737RS/A-320RS program. It could become part of a larger airplane program like the B-787 and A-350 families, or something else.

      True, but there’s a problem with that – namely that widening the scope from “pure 757 replacement” means cannibalising the just-introduced smaller 787 variants, unnecessarily shortening their lifespan.
      Boeing won’t be too keen on that.

      Which is why I still believe that Boeing will address the 757 replacement market (which I still think isn’t as large as some make it out to be, as a lot of 757 missions are flown by 737-900ER and A321, and soon 737-9 and A321neo, leaving just very few hot & high and long range missions without a real equivalent in new-built planes) when the 737RS is due, by way of upsizing – with the new family centred around the model that’s roughly 737-9 size, with a stretch to properly cover the 757 category, and a shrink to cover the 737-8 market.

      Airbus are likely to do the same thing – although they may be able to build a business case for a new widebody family that replaces the 757, A332 and A333, plus an A320RS that covers pretty much the same sizes as today (minus the A318).

      Having said that – I still think it’s more likely that they’re going to go with the same approach I suggested for Boeing above, i.e. an A320RS that covers today’s A320, A321, plus one size up. On top of that a proper redo of the A350-800 at some point to cover the A333(neo) replacement, leaving just the A332 without replacement… which shouldn’t be much concern, given that even today, the A333 is way more popular than the A332, as it’s very close in capability but offers much more revenue potential.

  3. The 757 replacement seems the optimum size for a radical departure to a BWB configuration.
    A 220-250 seat single aisle is awful for gate efficiency, passengers and requires extremely tall (and therefore heavy) landing gear.
    But… Twin aisle tube and wing is too draggy for the number of passengers..
    Additionally, the conventional and weight efficient low wing, wing mounted engine configuration is not open rotor friendly and even UHB turbofans are becoming increasingly difficult to package
    A BWB configuration that keeps the passengers centerline and puts LD3 cargo on either side allows for a highly aero efficient configuration that doesn’t expose the passengers to unusual/unsettling flight motions.
    Large seatback flat screens connected to passenger selectable exterior cameras and IFE would both reduce weight and mitigate the “no windows” complaint often cited as a barrier to customer acceptance.
    High mounted Open Rotor fans, as demonstrated in the X-48C would allow short and light landing gear as well as using the fuselage and vert stabs to reduce noise footprint
    a 18F/207Y BWB configuration with 9 wide x 32 pitch econo and 6×60 first class would have a ~100′ long pressure vessel, producing a realistic 225 seat aircraft fitting in the gate box of a 737-800.
    Sadly, the odds of Boeing doing anything radical under current management is near zero.

    • I believe the biggest obstacle to a PAX BWB is the inability to ensure an emergency evacuation of all crew and PAX within 90 seconds.

      • A single aisle replacement BWB also has to ensure turn around times and therefore a ground handling (cargo, refueling, catering, cleaning,…) as good as a barreled fuselage.

        The next problem is how to shrink or stretch a BWB aircraft?

        • The next problem is how to shrink or stretch a BWB aircraft?

          Very good question – any such change, which is routinely done these days to maximise R&D spent on a particular model, would be way more complex, as you’re changing the whole wing geometry as you add/reduce length.
          We all know how complex and thus costly wing design is and how manufacturers like to keep using the same wings with only minimal changes to cover as many variants of a given model as possible.

        • A BWB commercial airplane is a white buffalo … it doesn’t exist, never will exist. Not only do you have to think about emergency evacuation, but you also have to think about passenger comfort. People in the middle section, especially in the middle seats, of widebodies don’t do very well without seeing out a window very long. Imagine that being multiplied many times by only having the periphery passengers seated at a window. Combine that with passengers who sit near the windows, especially near the bulge in the rear, will suffer from motion sickness due to the buffet and roll effects from maneuvering, their moment arm is much longer than in a tube.

          So, as inefficient as a tube is aerodynamically, one must also focus on passenger comfort. As engineers like to gripe, the worst thing about airplane design are the passengers! They’re way too picky and their specifications aren’t constant LOL! In all seriousness though, it won’t be until some whizbang virtual reality to give the impression of being outside or something comes along that a BWB will ever make sense.

  4. The FAA would require an aircraft configuration like the X-48C to be certified as single engine, assuming one exploding engine would take out the other(s)

  5. A BWB is not a very efficient pressure vessel, adding quite some weight relative a tube of the same size (floor area).

    Not having windows is a major turn off for passengers, monitors or not.

    And I do not believe either of the big two are ready for a radical departure from tube and wing (for commerical transport, military is different), especially as they mention more than once that they do not for se _any_ new programs for 10 yrs.

  6. BWB works for A380+ size, below it is pointless.

    aeroturbopower has pointed out an important issue: any aircraft sized above the current single aisles* will use the same engine technology as the re-engine models, and any improvement will be shared in both platforms. Hence, any improvement in efficiency needs to come from airframe technology. Now, the A320 and B737-8 are basically hanging in the extreme sweet spot for single aisles, any larger aircraft would be less efficient (unless some outlandish technology would be used). The quest for more range would make the aircraft less attractive for distances below 1500nm.

    * please note how I try to avoid the phrase “B757 replacement”. The B757 is replaced, what we talk about is an aircraft between the B787-8 and A321NEO in terms of capability.

  7. “The A320 and B737-8 are basically hanging in the extreme sweet spot for single aisles.”

    The A320 has become small as an A320 replacement. For 174 seats you have to really push it. Zodiac has its new aft galley complex bringing A320s seats for galley, but it is still limited. Ryanair say they skipped the A320 because the 738 has 2 more rows / revenue. The A321 is way larger (+40-50 seats…) and more expensive then the A320. So Airbus has an issue there. But that’s a different topic.

    IMO for NSA / A320RA you need an aircraft that offer unbeatable perfomance 150-180 seats under 2000NM. Making it likely you need another one for 250 seats/4000NM.. I think Airbus has a low risk opportunity Boeing doesn’t have.

    “* please note how I try to avoid the phrase “B757 replacement” ”
    Agree, the discussion always seems to narrow down to this subtopic of the bigger market requirement.

  8. The forum consensus (+ aeroturbopower) is clear : the ‘757 niche’ (180-250 pax over 3,500-4,200 nm) cannot sustain a stand-alone newbuild 757R per se. aeroturbopower says Airbus has ticked all current 757 applications (network scanning) and the result is edifying : only 5 (five !) routes cannot be satisfactorily operated with A321 CEO TODAY, never mind by A321 NEO tomorrow …

    Summing up, there are apprx some 1,000 units 757 out there flying today, or 1,000 attractive sales opportunities available for Airbus to seize undisturbed (their in-march into this juicy market has started). To aggravate the head-ache this situation represents to Boeing, up their sleeve, Airbus has THREE GAMBITS, available to be played ANY TIME, SINE DIE on the Sporty Game chess-board opposite Boeing :
    – H21QR + 3 ACT (Auxiliary Container Tank); and/or
    – A322 + 3 ACT; and/or even better :
    – H22QR + 3 ACT

    The conclusion is : whatever newbuild Boeing can think of in the way of – whichever – 757R (it’s a nut for Boeing to crack, Airbus can safely sit back and relax) Airbus are and will be picking up “The Lion’s Share” of the ‘757 niche’, undisturbed : the train left the station when Boeing decided to max the 737 NG !

    There is however basically ONE (and only one) COUNTERMOVE available to Boeing : to draw the napkin from the table ! No napkin, NO FEAST ?! Most of my co-forumists here know what I’m hinting at : to max up the 757 + a full cabin revamp, extending the useful lives of what is after all (well done, Boeing !) some excellent work-horses, enough to bridge the time-gap until Boeing can come up with its NFB (New Feeder, Boeing) ? Condition for success : PLAY THIS MOVE NOW ! : Airbus are entangled in a set of immediately PRESSING issues (NEO, A351, A359 ramp-up, A330 revamp …) and may not react appropriately in due time to deter the tackle ?

    • H21QR

      Excuse my ignorance, but what does this refer to?

      to max up the 757 + a full cabin revamp, extending the useful lives of what is after all (well done, Boeing !) some excellent work-horses,

      That would probably work, if Boeing hadn’t dismantled the 757 production line nine years ago.

      Sure, you can start re-engining and revamping the existing fleet, but how much are you going to get out of that? The actual frames aren’t getting any younger, and to extend their useful life along with a re-engine is a very costly proposition.
      Don’t forget that, of the 1049 757s ever delivered, only ~210 are 15 years or younger, with the youngest turning 9 this April. In other words, ~80% of all 757s ever built were delivered more than 15 years ago. Even if launched today, a conversion would take at least two years to get certified, i.e. even your youngest 200 frames would be 11 – 17 years old then.
      What you get after conversion then is still a ~13-odd year-old plane for about half the price of a new plane. I can’t see too many airlines going for that, as much as they say they love their 757s.

    • One part of this equation that is missing is short field performance. I cannot see the 321 operating off SNA’s 5700 foot runway on transcons and other runway limited airports.
      I realize that today’s aircraft design and required features are all about fuel economy. When the 757 entered service in 1982, fuel was not that much of an issue, but in 2014, it makes a huge difference. Today’s aircraft sacrifice performance for low fuel burn numbers.
      The 321CEO needs a lot of runway, and I don’t know if the 321NEO will be much different because again its all about lower fuel consumption.
      There may never be an aircraft to replace all facets of the 757, short field performance, range, and hot and high airports.

  9. The bargain is 25-30 M$ + NRD&D cost per H52QR retrofit (‘NOW’) + MAX retrofit (later, the sooner the better ?), vs 110.1 M$ (A321 ceo, ‘NOW’) or 120.5 (A321 NEO, but when ?) for # the same number of seats and a much better pax-appeal for H52QR. In terms of ROIC expectations, the 757 revamp is the better avenue if you can buy 7 – 12 years of extra residual life ? It borrows a life-line to NFB/NFA ? A useful economic life of 30+ years is not extraordinary, see Airlnsight’s posting yd. A ‘piece-of-cake’ for the happy Engine OEM (up to 2,000 additional Leap-X vs GTF sales !) and an unexpected opportunity for Residual Value recovery for 757 owners … makes sense if the adhesion to the project is for 700+ 757 units ?

    Sorry for my fuzzy acronymes, l advise to apply Google research ?

    • The bargain is 25-30 M$ + NRD&D cost per H52QR retrofit (‘NOW’) + MAX retrofit (later, the sooner the better ?)

      Problem with that is that it’s not a “now”, really, even for the “H52QR” retrofit alone, assuming there’s much interest in it to begin with. You’d need to develop and certify it, and with a major cabin reconfig (e.g. 1-3-1) you may even have to do another evacuation test. That’s a lot of time and effort to reconfigure and enhance some 10+ year-old frames to get a bit more life out of them.
      Not a cheap proposition at all, and not available “now” – 2016 at the earliest, and that would be for a potential fleet of ~200, if you only take 757s into account that are less than 17 years old at that point. If you’re lucky, you’re going to capture ~100 of these.
      Sounds like a non-starter, to be honest.

      , vs 110.1 M$ (A321 ceo, ‘NOW’) or 120.5 (A321 NEO, but when ?)

      Well, you’re comparing actual cost of the proposed H52QR with the list price of the A321(neo). Realistically, you’re looking at 40-50% discount off that list price, while I can’t see the proposed H52QR rework coming in much under $30m given the scope you proposed. The new engines alone will come in at ~$8m apiece (at least).
      If the math was that easy and compelling in favour of a reworked used 757, somebody would have started reworking 757s a few years ago.
      But in reality, you’re looking at getting a 10+ year-old frame in 2016 for ~$25m, versus a brand-new A321 today for ~$60m which has newer engines, can do most of your 757 missions, and has another ~20 years of life in it. Alternatively, you can fork up ~$70m and get an A321neo in ~2018, which can virtually do 95% of your 757 missions, and which will last you well into the 2030s.

      for # the same number of seats and a much better pax-appeal for H52QR.

      That’s debatable – if the proposed H52QR twin-aisle was really all that compelling, why didn’t Boeing go with it on the 737MAX, seeing as the 737 has the same fuselage diameter as the 757. One that makes it a less comfortable proposition than the A320.

      In terms of ROIC expectations, the 757 revamp is the better avenue if you can buy 7 – 12 years of extra residual life ?

      Seems pretty expensive, to be honest. Get 7-12 years of extra life vs. spend 2x the amount and get a brand new plane with 20+ years of life in it.

      It borrows a life-line to NFB/NFA ?

      At quite a price, which only makes it worthwhile for airlines that really, really, really want their 757s because they operate one of the ~5 757 missions an A321(neo) can’t do. And that’s a very select few, which narrows the potential customer base (and thus revenue) of a 757 revamp even further.

      A ‘piece-of-cake’ for the happy Engine OEM (up to 2,000 additional Leap-X vs GTF sales !)

      Not really – you’re not going to be able to capture 100% of the whole 757 fleet ever delivered.
      Focus on the last five or six years of production and if you’re lucky you’re looking at ~200 that would be worth even considering spending another $25m-30m on.
      There’s also the small matter of thrust ratings – Leap and GTF are so far not available with thrust ratings much over 150kN. The 757 started at 162kN, up to 193kN – and with weight increases introduced by wing modifications to hold the new, heavier engines, you’d probably need more than that to retain performance.

      • @ anfromme, re ” a brand-new A321 today for ~$60m … alternatively, fork up ~$70m and get an A321neo ” ?? It seems to me that you presume John Leahy has ample PoA from the Airbus Supervisory Board (+ from the equivalent governance body c/o the concerned engine OEM) to – systematically and ad libertam – deep-discount his products despite the same being of limited availability and in strong demand after the 2011 buying craze … why do you think John still sells his aircraft at floor-level prices, there is strictly no reason for this ? John is paid to make money for Airbus, not to give away Airbus’ production, achieved at the patient and merituous expense of European aerospace Workers’ blood, sweat & tears ?!

        • @ anfromme, re ” a brand-new A321 today for ~$60m … alternatively, fork up ~$70m and get an A321neo ” ?? It seems to me that you presume John Leahy has ample PoA from the Airbus Supervisory Board (+ from the equivalent governance body c/o the concerned engine OEM) to – systematically and ad libertam – deep-discount his products

          Pretty much, yes.

          It’s common knowledge that both Boeing and Airbus generally offer deep discounts over list prices. It’s not just Scott that reports on it. There’s also a pretty good breakdown here: http://theblogbyjavier.com/2014/02/15/boeing-commercial-aircraft-discounts-update-for-2013/
          This assumes an average discount of ~47% for Boeing for 2013. Mind you, that’s average! Airbus won’t be far off that, either.
          That’s what my very rough costs for an A321/A321neo were based on – actually, I was using a discount factor of ~45%, i.e. 55% of list price actually paid.
          $110.1m * 0.55 = $60.5m
          $120.5m * 0.55 = $66.3m

          Why do you think John still sells his aircraft at floor-level prices, there is strictly no reason for this ? John is paid to make money for Airbus, not to give away Airbus’ production, achieved at the patient and merituous expense of European aerospace Workers’ blood, sweat & tears ?!

          What? At no point did I suggest that Leahy was selling below production cost.
          Nor did I say that Boeing wasn’t doing exactly the same thing.
          These discounts have been the norm on both sides of the atlantic for years. So all the money that Boeing and Airbus make is actually made with the profit margins generated by the discounted prices.
          (Sure, the more customisation you request and the smaller your order is, the less discount you’re going to get.)

  10. I don’t think twin-ailes are the way to go for the A320/737 replacement.

    3-3 is the most efficiant seeting layout for single ailes. Going second aile means more unused space and (more importantly) a larger body and more weight.
    Most airlines seem to prefer the A320 as smallest model nowadays and would love to have a A322 as top model. Demand for the A319/320 may be distorted however because both have almost the same trip cost. So a slightly larger and optimized A319 with similar seat mile costs might be more successful.
    The next generation of singlebodies could be just a slightly longer variant of the existing tubes. Maybe with a dedicated new wing for the A322.

    I wonder how much weight and fuel burn could be safed by a dedicated short range wing for an A320R.

    • There is an undeniable gap of seating capacity between A321 (220 max seating capacity) and A350-800 (440 max) as well as for 737-9 (215 max) and 787-8 (380 max). Maybe Airbus could do an A322 (260 max) and an A350-200R (330 max) with a new small wing. Could Boeing do B737-10 and a B787-7R with small wing while refurbishing the 777?

      • Why should Airbus do anything other than improve the efficiency of existing programs and increase their Financial Health? I mean, the 737 program is being eclipsed by the a320, the 777 Program has seen its better days and will be eclipsed by the a350 Program, and the 787 Program is a Financial Succubus that is draining Boeing of cash and hindering its ability to invest in the future. Given Boeing’s situation, just how can they possibly present a real challenge to a financially-healthy Airbus?

        Remember: Every 787 delivery is a win for Airbus.

    • “I wonder how much weight and fuel burn could be safed by a dedicated short range wing for an A320R.”
      Don’t expect more than 5%. Rather less. If it was such a low hanging fruit, someone would have grabbed it.
      Otherwise, I fully agree on your conclusions although I would love to see a small twin aisle, but I know (after I really did some research), that it doesn’t work out.

    • @ nofly, re “3+3 is the most efficient seeting layout for single aisles” ?

      I offer to reword your proposition into “3+3 is the most efficient seeting layout for narrow-bodies”. In the context of 757, this aircraft is PRIMO a narrow-body and SEGUNDO it so happens it is a single-aisle [3+3] … now you say this choice is OK, because “3+3 is the most efficient” (I hope you will accept this reformulation does not alter the intent of your wording ?)

      I now offer to prove to you that your proposition is ambiguous :

      Take a fleet of 160 units 757 active during 17h (whereof one hour schedule slack) in each period of 24h : with [3+3] layouts – typically – 96 aircraft will produce 6 flights, the remaining 64 units doing only 5 flights, total 96 x 6 + 64 x 5 = 896 flights/24h.

      With [1+3+1] instead of [3+3] layouts, of the same 160 units, employing the SAME flight and cabin crews over the SAME 17h, 104 aircraft would do 6 flights, the remaining 56 units doing 7 flights !!, total 104 x 6 + 56 x 7 = 1,016 flights/24h.

      Question : which configuration is the most “efficient” ?

      • Seriously, if 1+3+1 was more effective in the fuselage diameter of a 737 or A320, we’d see this in action already.
        So reality seems to disagree with you here.

        Also, if you look at the math, it doesn’t make sense. Never mind that you don’t show how you arrive at the numbers you’re giving (where does the increase in flights come from, and where do you get the base numbers from, what typical route lengths are you assuming, etc.), I think you’re using the wrong metric to maximise/optimise, which makes everything thereafter irrelevant.

        An airline doesn’t solely try to maximise the number of flights. It tries to maximise the number of people carried over X amounts of flights. (Or actually: The amount of revenue generated per flight.)

        Now – seats – at 1-3-1, you you have one fewer seat per row vs 3-3. Even for an A320, that’s at least 20 seats you loose. Even more on an A321 or a 757, particularly on densely configured planes. Aer Lingus has 29 rows in their A320s and 36 rows in their A321s. So for them, 1-3-1 would mean losing 16% of capacity per flight (i.e. 16% of revenue potential), while increasing the required load factor to break even, as their trip costs are going to remain the same. That would be a very ineffective use of equipment. Sure, they could hitch up prices, but what for, given that as a passenger I’m still stuck with the same legroom as before, i.e. it’s not even economy plus-level comfort that pax would get (and possibly be willing to pay for) at 1-3-1.

        So yeah, passengers will disembark more quickly because there is fewer passengers to begin with.
        But per passenger, you’re still bound by the amount of exits in use – if you only use a single exit, you don’t gain anything by going twin-aisle. If you use two exits, you already gain because you can have half the pax exit through the front and the other half through the rear exit.

        Imagine going to FR and telling them that, in exchange for removing 33 seats from their 737-800s, they can shave about 4 minutes off their turnaround times. Possibly. Maybe. Probably not, though. I have a hunch what their answer is going to be.

        • @ anfromme, re “… you don’t show how you arrive at the numbers you’re giving (where does the increase in flights come from, and where do you get the base numbers from ?)”
          No tricks, simple arithmetics solving for N = ? (number of flights in 16 hours) the Curfew Equation : (N-1).FT + N.GT = 960′ based on average 2h10 FT for 752 with 50′ GT, vs average 2h06m FT for H52QR, with 30′ GT, assuming an average feeder-type fleet model (eg Delta ?)

          The pax-flows (single aisle) vs (single wide aisle) vs (twin aisle) is debated here : http://www.runwaygirlnetwork.com/2014/01/02/fat-shaming-has-no-place-in-dialog-about-seats/#comment-2711 (Airbus says the Type B (32″ x 73″) exit door never was and never will be a critical path item to ground turn-around, only cabin jamming is !)

        • @ anfromme, re “1-3-1 would mean losing 16% of capacity per flight (i.e. 16% of revenue potential)” :

          anfromme, I’m convinced you understand aircraft, so let’s not beat around the bush chasing the odd hare … (we could eg look at EEs or FA complements, IFE revenues, CIL/COL revenues, Product Differentiation, line freight revenues etc etc cf my Pamphlet about the 236-seater A321 – did you like it ?) … let’s simplify the issue here down to the crux of the matter : seat count, in a RYR context ! :

          I’m saying feeder aircraft costs split hourly/cyclic/fuel as 45/20/35 so 16.5 minutes saved on TAT on a 140′ leg (flight time + block time) has the same cost-effectiveness as 15 % less trip fuel :
          – (16.5/140) x 0.45 = 0.053
          – 0.15 x 0.35 = 0.053 …… making more true than ever that “time = money”

          The ‘sweet spot’ H21QR LOPA proposal to RYR sits 199 pax, and if now my aircraft flies the average RYR leg 5.3 % cheaper than with A321, then it competes directly on a cost-per-seat mile basis with an A321 seating 199/0.947 = 210 seats. But NB : with 210 seats, MOL needs one additional flight attendant, wherefore he needs six more seats to pay for that ? Conclusion : SMC H21QR @ 199 = A321 @ 216, BUT :
          – do you really believe the TAT will only be 16.5 minutes shorter ?
          – how much lighter will H21QR be, ie how much less fuel/maintenance/ATC … ?
          – (etc etc … not to abuse this thread, I’ll refrain my enthusiasm adding issues)

          And I’m full ready to accept the challenge of examining the REVENUE side of the yield equation, I have lotsa literature available on my bookshelves : just ask !?

          And what goes for H21QR vs A321 [3+3] goes also +/- for H52QR vs 752 [3+3]

        • As a matter of fact, anfromme, some if not all your concerns are addressed in this little Pamphlet : http://media.wix.com/ugd/4f7666_8025416a5df54a55adc9aeaec3dd066e.pdf?dn=H21Q

          I already saw that when I was searching for the H52QR and H21QR acronyms you used.
          Let’s just say it didn’t convince me, as evident by my post above, which was written after I’d had a look at that little pamphlet.
          So we’ll have to agree to disagree.
          I’m happy to reevaluate my position once a real-world fleet planner has seen the wisdom in 1-3-1.

  11. Airbus are entangled in a set of time immediately PRESSING issues (NEO, A351, A359 ramp-up, A330 revamp …)

    The A330 revamp is the train has not yet left the station, and the 787 is already very … too far!

    Airbus has only capitalize the 787’s problems, but in reality Airbus fingers crossed to see the arrival of other potential problems, but I think that all things take their end and 787-9 & -10 and will be better able a new problem for Airbus!

    I am not of your opinion on your “Safely Airbus can sit back and relax”
    This is a claim that can only come from a chauvinism which you do, since we now know that you are French …

    Of course, I understand your chauvinism, but it is my duty to come and fix this “nonsense” to believe that Airbus is in its current situation sit and be relaxed!

    It is necessary and those who believe are in total bewilderment!

    Contrary to what Keesje say, it is also unfounded to believe that Airbus has less risk than Boeing to launch a new program to replace the A320neo & 737MAX because it’s airplanes will not arrive before 2026 to 2030 and by then it is certain that Airbus should launch a real serious contender against the 787’s

    But instead of that, Airbus prefer to speculate before the world that there is a future, and for the A330neo and A380neo for! … Not sure!

    Admittedly Airbus decision will not occur until one year and will not be sure they will be launched!

    What is the business case of the A380neo’s?
    Already well as the A380-900 was canceled due to lack of customers?

    Which takes on Emirates? Ok! …

    Boeing has great flexibility in its programs to sit and stay relaxed!

    ‘Cause the 787’s & 777-X’s have accumulated nearly 1700 in the frames alone, I do not even talk about the 773ER, I would favor not talk!

    I’m through!

    The A350, before talking about ramp-up must that it is already in use, there is still work, and there will be some misses until at least 2017 to 2018 EIS as all airplanes.

    Airbus will then arrive at a rate of 10 frames / month when Boeing will be 10 with 787 (12 in 2015) and 8.3 777, perhaps a rate of 10 / month in 2020 with the 777-X! !

    For me, Airbus can not be relaxed as you claim and I think Boeing can reserve the right to replace the 787-8 & 787-9 while the -10 will be untouchable for a long time!

    I think you went too fast, which most are blinded by your chauvinism permanant because you think that the A350 “rocks the house” alone against the 787 & 777-X, now you know that it is necessary !

    Let maneuvers diverssions and speculation

    I’m waiting to see what Airbus will launch in the next two years, then we will still launch the Boeing 737RS in 2020 and you know how long it takes to develop a brand new all airplane Boeing as Airbus!

    • Are you sure about that?
      “‘Cause the 787′s & 777-X’s have accumulated nearly 1700 in the frames alone,[…]”
      Try to ask Boeing first: http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/index.cfm
      Orders for January 2004 through January 2014

      787: 1031
      777-X: 66

      777F: 132
      777-300ER: 630
      777-300: 2
      777-200LR: 52
      777-200ER: 37
      777-200: 0
      all 777: 853
      +767: 173 (including 90 -300F and 4 -2C tanker)

      “I do not even talk about the 773ER” – according to Boeing you did.

      A350: 812 orders
      A330: 258 backlog + 377 delivered since 2004

      About 2100 Boeing against 1400 Airbus (67 %) widebodies orders within the last 10 years.

      Now compare the backlog:
      B787: 910
      777-X: 66
      777: 314
      Boeing widebody backlog: 1290
      Airbus widebody backlog: 1070 (83% of Boeing)

      First Airbus dissolved Boeing’s VLA advantage and now Boeing’s widebody advantage is also melting.

      “PRESSING issues”?
      The NEO forced the MAX,
      The A330 forced the 787 and
      now the A350 forced the 777X.

      Maybe Airbus could bridge the time until GTF is available for an A330NEO.

      BTW what about an A340GTF? This engine will be available soon.

      • “A330: 258 backlog + 377 delivered since 2004”

        Airbus delivered over 700 A330s since 2004.

        “Now compare the backlog:”

        And once you include the 747-8 and A380, you’ll notice Boeing and Airbus each have about 50% market share in the wide-body market.

      • This is your way of seeing things,

        and that it belongs “to you,

        The 737-400 forced the A320,
        The 767 forced the A330
        The 747-400 forced the A380
        The 787 forced the A350 (non XWB), in vain …!
        The 777 forced the A350-XWB
        The 777-X alone, alone, alone ….

        Now that is what Airbus will be forced to do??

        Must go to Caesar what belongs to Caesar …

        • The 737-400 forced the A320,

          …which in turn led to the 737NG; and NEO forced Boeing’s hand to do a MAX.

          The 767 forced the A330

          And before that, the A300 led to the the 767. When the A330 eclipsed the 767, it led to the 787.

          The 747-400 forced the A380

          …and the A380 led to the 747-8.

          The 787 forced the A350 (non XWB), in vain …!

          …and 7 years on, an A330neo still looks like a valid proposition to counter some 787 campaigns, while the 787-10 was a response to the A350-900.

          The 777-X alone, alone, alone ….

          The 777X of course being a response to the A350XWB.

          Where I’m getting with this is:
          In a duopoloy, you’ll constantly have one player moving ahead of the other in one niche or another. It’s never a one-way street, though, i.e. it’s not solely driven by one of the players.
          To suggest that Airbus is always ahead is just as ridiculous as suggesting the opposite, like you do.

        • anfromme,


          The A300 was like a response 747-100/-200 in the 70s.
          Then forced to attack the 727 A310!
          Then the 767 forced the A300-600,
          then A340-200/-300 was as a response to 747-400!

          We can go away like that …

        • The A300 was like a response 747-100/-200 in the 70s.

          The existence of Airbus is a response to the existence of Boeing.
          There. I said it.

          Then forced to attack the 727 A310!

          The 727 was actually a victim of the 737 Classic. The A310? Hardly in the same category as a twin aisle with a maximum of 50 more seats versus the maximum seat count in a 727.

          then A340-200/-300 was as a response to 747-400!

          Except it didn’t have nearly the capacity. It was only the A340-600 that got close and was – to a point – aimed at the lower end of the 747-400 replacement market.
          So no – the A340 wasn’t a response to the 747. The A340 was much more aimed at the L.1011/DC-10 replacement market, just like the 777.
          As for the A340-200 – I never had much of an idea what that was aimed at, and neither did the airlines, going by its sales numbers.

          We can go away like that …

          Which was exactly my point. Airbus and Boeing keep pushing each other and trying to grab market share from each other. Nobody ever draws ahead for too long. It’s a constant game of playing catch-up, which drives innovation.

  12. “replace the 787-8 & 787-9 while the -10 will be untouchable for a long time!”

    Excuses me

    *Only the 787-8!


  13. Kessje,

    You contradict yourself because you say that the A321 and more expensive than the A320, which is true. But for your A322neo Concept there is a contradiction in the sense that it would be more expensive! We know that such a concept does not find its market, look at the 757-300 which has sold more modestly than -200!

    A more A322neo will not necessarily compete with a 787-8 or even A332 due to lack of belly freight!

    I think your A322neo, would provide no value …

    • An A321 is about 17 % more expensive than an A320 but offers around 21 % more seating capacity. You can expect about the same figures for an A322 compared to an A321.

    • A A322 would not have the range to compete with a 787-8 or A332, thats a different class. It would be a people mover for modest range. Lufthansa would love that plane, they’re already using the A321 on many inner-european and inner-german feader routes which could be upgauged then. For short range I think cargo is unimportant.

  14. And you people thought I was crazy!! Mr. Williams comments explain the A330NEO in the same terms I said!!! Here we go with his quote-“Williams believes that there is still a “very good market” for the A330, especially for operators who do not need the range of the A350 or Boeing 787, because of its cheaper pricetag. The aim is thus to make the A330 compatible with the A350 offering.” Between the lines, we can’t kill the golden calf, so we will ride it until the market tells us the good thing is over. No A350-800 until we are forced to develop the A330 killer. And, Keesje, they say no sharklets either. If Pratt has its way the GTF is the single engine. If you do that the advantage of the low maintenance cost might go out the window. Intro of new technology. But you get the development cost covered by the engine maker!!! If you’re going for the value play why add the complexity of a new engine? The strategy is getting muddy. Stay with the plan, low cost, low investment, customer accepted, share holding, frame.
    “We think there is an opportunity to keep flying the A330 alongside the A350 for quite a period of time. We don’t see it as a case where the A350 comes in and suddenly the A330 disappears. We think we can keep building the A330s, certainly through this decade,” says Williams.

  15. “Contrary to what Keesje say, it is also unfounded to believe that Airbus has less risk than Boeing to launch a new program to replace the A320neo & 737MAX”

    I was pointing at A320 development opportunities such as A322, not a new program.

    IMO Airbus can/ will wait what Boeing does and react ~2 yrs later. Boeing discovers denial won’t save the 737 and will have to move first. Just hint for Leahy Airbus looks at an inbetween “A320.5” 200 seater might push a button in Chicago.

    If a 150 seat <1500nm aircraft and a 250 seat 4000nm aircraft can't be combined in a competitive way, they won't be combined.

    So Boeing might as well focus on a real 230-300 seat light twin that can be pushed to 5000NM also without cargo as well.

    Still way lighter then the big 787/A330s and perfectly suited for transcon, leisure, trans atlantic and intra Asia. 2000 Aircraft until 2035? It still would have to offer something "unbeatable" for the massive 140-190 seat <1500Nm markets as well.

  16. I wonder if Boeing’s slender wing concept will play a role to replace narrowbodies. Here’s an article and picture of it: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2014/01/26/boeings-slender-wing-is-braced-for-future-fuel-savings/

    This seems to support current technologies to increase space for larger GTF engines and using CFRP for longer, slender, and flexible wings. Since narrowbodies frequent smaller airports, a high wing might be a compromise for the fuselage to remain close to ground and minimize ground equipment needs. The trade-off with CFRP barrels may result in a longer fuselage to support fuel, larger doors, and room to move 200+ down a single aisle.

    A market for a 757 replacement with scant discussion is north-south hemisphere flights. Cargo is important as VFR bring consumers goods to the southern hemisphere while fresh food products fill the cargo bays on the return flight. Conversely, the most discussed markets for a 757 (trans-atlantic & continental) target premium fares and speedy flights. It would be interesting if the next generation of engines and wings could modify its flight profiles to achieve efficiency whether its cargo-laden flight or one filled with premium fares.

  17. ” IMO Airbus can / will wait Does what Boeing and react ~ 2 yrs later . Boeing discovers denial Will not Save the 737 and Will Have to move first . Hint for Just Leahy Airbus looks at an inbetween ” A320.5 ” 200 seater might push a button in Chicago. ”

    Boeing will do nothing at all for the simple reason is that they are satisfied with their position !

    Boeing is number 1 for the second consecutive year in terms of delivery and their profit margin is very satisfactory since much larger than the competition.

    J. Mc Nerney absolutely know that it’s time to reap what they have sown after the launch of the 737MAX , 787-10 & 777-X!

    all it means simply that Boeing will not move an inch !

    I will not tell you ” IMO ” but it is very sure this is Airbus to move and press the button … !

    The problem is, what Airbus button is pressed ?

    Airbus must find a chair for the game of musical chairs and one chair is occupied by a single opponent …

    • Yes, McNerney knows what he’s doing. For him, it seems, it’s all about force du jour and not about long term strategic planning.

      Hmm, “profit margin is very satisfactory since much larger than the competition”; well, that’s apparently partly due to the fact that Boeing prefers to back-end load their capital losses on the 787, unlike that of the competition.

      737MAX ≈ 40 percent market share, and falling?
      787-10: OK product, but the programme remains in the red for the foreseeable future.
      777X: Probably the second most hyped product launch in aviation history.

      • OV-099, it is true that the A380 is a cash machine! It was a year late and has been certified with cracks in the wings … Given the status of the program I hope Airbus happen to correct this error without it does not cost much money. Indeed it is strange that Airbus does not talk much. Airbus, they prefer silence about it. The A350, one year and a half late. Not yet delivered, so, no problems!

        Yes I understand it is beautiful position of Airbus seen in this perspective. Not only the position of Airbus is behind, and now, i convinced that Airbus boys have much more to say …

        • Checklist,

          Well…let’s consider the Airbus A380. It appears that the first 150 aircraft were sold for too “sporty” a price, so Airbus wasn’t going to make money from them anyways. Additionally, there were penalties aplenty associated with the fact that A380 EIS was delayed about 2 years due to the incompatible software hosing up the wiring runs. Last, there was the $350 Million wing fix.

          But…all this is behind Airbus. It has been accounted for and the losses taken, and Airbus will start making a profit on the A380 in 2015 (an a per-aircraft-delivered basis). Also, they have a 6 year backlog for the A380. All is looking fine. The Airbus A380 may not be a big seller any time soon, but it is no longer bleeding money, either.

          Now…let’s consider the Financial Succubus known as the Boeing 787. Thus far, Boeing has amased a capital deficit of $21.62 Billion in deferred production costs and $3.377 Billion in deferred tooling costs for a grand total of about $25 Billion in deferred costs for this one aircraft – the “Dreamliner”. These costs do not include Research and Development Costs which are estimated to exceed $20 Billion – but Boeing has already paid for these costs so I don’t consider them an issue.

          Last year, the 787 Program incurred ~$5.7 Billion of Deferred Production costs and Boeing give “Guidance” that there will be more Deferred Costs to come. Now…this additional Deferred Costs occurs after 114 frames have already been delivered. THIS IS A PROBLEM. A BIG PROBLEM.

          After After 5 years of Low-rate Initial Production and Production that is quickly ramping, the 787 Program has not even come close to breaking even on a per-unit basis even though the average unit sales cost of the production block (i.e., 1300 aircraft) are being used as the standard. This means that even though the first few hundred or so 787s may have been sold at a “sporty price”, there are about a 1000 more which will not be sold at such a price (or so it is assumed) and yet Boeing is still losing money.

          I mean think about it, a $5.7 Billion loss on 65 aircraft is about a loss of $88 Million an aircraft. That’s crazy! Did you know that in 2012 Airbus was selling the Airbus a330-200 for $84 Million a copy after discounts? And people wonder why the 787-8 is no longer selling – or why the a330 CEO is a real possibility?

          Did you know that the 777 program broke-even on a cost-per-frame basis with less than one-hundred units delivered – yet the 777 Frame was considered a financial failure until it started selling like mad in the early 2000’s? The 777 took well over 400 Frames delivered to cover it’s Program Deferred Production Costs. Did you know that the Lockheed L-1011 never made a dime – not a freakin’ dime – on a single L-1011 it ever delivered (it delivered 249 frames) although the aircraft was a wonder to fly and loved by airlines, pilots and passengers?

          Now…seeing that the 787 program is probably losing about $80 Million a frame on every aircraft delivered, how can you possibly deride the success – or lack of success – of either the A350 or A380 Program due to their ability to generate cash? And – you can’t possibly know how much cash the A350 will, or won’t, generate at this point, but, Airbus is able to put it’s expenses on the Balance Sheet. Can the same be said of the 787 Program?

        • “it is true that the A380 is a cash machine.”

          True, if it’s used correctly.

          “We’re looking at optimizing the space on this aircraft and making it more efficient,” Doric’s managing director, Mark Lapidus, told Bloomberg Television on Nov. 8. “It’s a cash-printing machine for an airline that is using it correctly.”


          “It was a year late.”

          Actually, it was 18 months late.

          “and has been certified with cracks in the wings …”

          Clearly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Cracks appear all the time on aircraft. It’s normal. When cracks are found, various OEM service bulletins apply, depending on the size of the crack.

          As for the cracks that occurred on the wing-rib feet on the A380, the original service bulletin said that checks must be made before an aircraft reaches 1,300 flight cycles, or within six weeks for A380s with 1,216-1,383 flight cycles, or within just three weeks for those with 1,384 flight cycles, or more.. This was based on the EASA mandated inspections, which caused Airbus to arrange for both retrofits and production modifications costing several hundred million euros.

          As for your interest in cracks, perhaps some further education on your part is warranted. 😉

          Aircraft structural components commonly contain flaws, defects, or anomalies of various shapes; these either are inherent in the basic material or are introduced during the manufacturing and assembly processes. A large percentage of service cracks found in aircraft structures are initiated from crack nucleation sites such as tool marks, manufacturing defects, and surface microinclusions (ref. 1 ) . Under the combined influences of environment and service loading, these flaws may grow to reach catastrophic sizes resulting in serious reduction of servicelife or complete loss of the aircraft. Thus, to a great extent, the integrity of the aircraft structure is dependent upon the safe and controlled growth of cracks as well as the achievement of residual strength in their presence.

          The operational life (service life) of aircraft structural components is affected by the magnitude and cumulative effects of external loads coupled with any detrimental environmental action. The presence of moisture, chemicals, suspended contaminants, and naturally occurring elements such as rain, dust and seacoast atmosphere can cause deterioriation in structural strenghth due to premature cracking and acceleration of subcritical crack growth (refs. 2 and 3).


          “Indeed it is strange that Airbus does not talk much. Airbus, they prefer silence about it.”

          LOL, you’ve got to be kidding.

          “The A350, one year and a half late. Not yet delivered, so, no problems!”

          I don’t believe Airbus was trying to fool anyone when they decided to stretch out the development period, for various reasons. Based on 40 years experience of shipping nearly completed fuselage and wing assemblies to the final assembly lines, and based, on valuable lessons learnt from the A380 programme, where the costly mistake of using a CATIA 4/5 mix led to a clogging up of the A380 final assembly line, IMO it was prudent on the part of EADS not to accept incomplete fuselage assemblies on the final assembly that would later have to be heavily modified.

          Isn’t that the total opposite to what Boeing did with the 787? You know, to keep on producing incomplete airframes as there was no tomorrow.

          Now, it’s much cheaper for an OEM to accept development delays upfront during the period of development and testing, than before the final assembly line is active. In fact, that’s part of the syllabus of Manufacturing-101! 🙂

          As for the ongoing testing of the A350, it looks fine by me.


          “Yes I understand it is beautiful position of Airbus seen in this perspective. Not only the position of Airbus is behind, and now, i convinced that Airbus boys have much more to say …”


          It’s interesting to note though, that you’re resorting to the tiresome language which is so typical for the malcontent Fleetbuzz-crowd. It’s pathetic, really.

  18. For those here who believe the A322 is some “new concept”, please be informed that André Bord (Chief Engineer, A320 Family Programme conceptor) already FROM THE START (# 1982) designed a FIVE-members family of feeder aircraft, whereof A322 was to be a 10 x 21″ = 210″ stretch beyond A321. This was considered to be the practical upper limit, as it puts the max rotation angle at take-off to 10 degrees (8.3 degrees for DC-8-63). A322 has 13 AKH (10 for A321). But A322 was put in the cup-board sine die because of the infamous ‘757 syndrome’ which end-users start experiencing when you get 35 or more rows of [3+3] seating lined up … setting a practical length limitation (vs in-flight service and ground turn-around) to the single aisle [3+3] narrow-body tube as a concept.

    The solution ? Re-shuffle you Emergency Exit distribution and go [1+3+1] !

  19. Personally i fial to see how Airbus was ‘forced’ into the A320, A330 and A380 when they had no predecessors that werw e.g. loosing marketshare.

    “Boeing will do nothing at all for the simple reason is that they are satisfied with their position !”

    Checklist, I can’t imagine Boeing really agrees with you. The 777 will be replaced by A350s at the biggest operators, the 787-10 / 777X hype is not yet translating in signed contracts yet, 787 sales stagnate and Boeing has no A321 answer. And this post will not quickly be deleted by VV 😉

    • Keesje,

      I’m sure Airbus would agree with you, they like Pinocchio’s nose and you are a good smoothie! What can you say about the 787? Stagnant …? After absorbing the market and have been in sumum, I think it is normal that one time when you’re at the top you can not do that below.

      However, the 787 and 777 will also convinced Qatar Airways to order in 2008, the 787 and 777 when they were 100% Airbus!

      I saw NWA order 787’s when they were 100% A330’s!

      I also saw Etihad order also for the first time 787’s & 777’s in 2008 when they were 100% A330/A340! And after?

      I see Qantas (JetStar) who want to get rid of in favor 787 Dreamliner than the A330! And LHA, which orders the 777X, it’s never order 777’s before (777F recently.)

      It proves that the market is large and the new twin-engines Airbus and Boeing are efficient. This is just how Boeing is positioned in the market that makes the difference in the widebody. So yes Pinocchio’s nose hits hard and Airbus can not disagree with you! Congratulations.! …

  20. In regards to charity.

    Boeing does it purely for the PR hype, there is no concern for the communities involved, let alone the US, they have made it clear in that regard.

    The union lives in the community and the members care and contribute far more than just what the union gives. I think the union does care both about the community and how they are perceived.

    And its relative, Boeing could give 100 times what they do, anything the union gives come out of the overall and percentage wise is far higher than Boeing.

    I would give zero credit to Boeing Upper Management (I believe the employees union or not care as much for their country and communities as does the union) I would not even call Boeing management cold hearted, greedy, manipulative, vendetta driven as befits the Chicago mafia yes. Care about anything other than themselves, not even a glimmer.

  21. Keesje else,

    since you include Airfrance who, supposedly abandoned 777. You must know that in 2011 the French ministers had pressure on Airfrance to order the A350! But then, AF has a long partnership with General Electric for GoldCare of engines. Ministers have earned. There have been no A350. But 787 & 777-8X /-9X! Do not imagine the American senators exorter the american carriers to order only Boeing! United example without A350-1000? While s is happened in 2011? John Leahy left crying in the brad French ministers pleading for AF ordered A350s?? … Certainly. Keesje no glory!

    • Utterly irrelevant: The issue was over whether the maintenance of the RR engines (the only choice) would be primarily through RR – the standard procedure or through Air France. The fight was between the management of Air France and its maintenance department union – the latter tied in with national politics which is where your French minister pressure is coming from.

  22. Is Mr Checklist a new arrival on this site – his prose seems very reminiscent of Mr. Nightwatchman on another comments forum, but Mr. Nightwarchman seems to be very much an Airbus supporter whereas Mr. Checklist certainly isn’t. Perhaps he’s dual personality. Regardless, if they are one and the same person I fear that future discussions will become far lengthier!

    • I don’t even understand the point he/she tries to make most of the time. I understand English not being one’s first language, but the wording of his posts is very strange and head scratching

      *hopefully this doesn’t contravene the blog’s comments policy*

    • Keesje, you are stupid or you do it on purpose? I’m talking about new customers for Boeing and Airbus at the expense of, you talk about postponement of orders! What postponement of orders? By whom? When it? You pollute to hide the fact that Airbus has to press a button that does not know which. And I for my part I am delighted to see Keesje as Airbus boy not knowing what to say … Oh that you give VV spanking? …

      • Dear checklist, NWA, QF deferred / cancelled 787. AF did order A350, as did QR, Ethihad who will replace their 777s with them. As will BA, JAL, AA, UA, Asiana, SQ and Kuwait. No opinion but a reality taking place in the next 6 years.

        The 777X will not leave the line for the next 6 years. IMO Boeings strongest cart in that period will be the 787-9. The 787-8 seems small, the 787-10 excellent for flights up to 5000NM, but not for long cargo heavy flights from Asia.

        Pls correct me if I’m wrong in my post.

        • Will be well Keesje you tell us deferred A380 Thai then canceling the order Kingfisher discreetly withdrawn by Airbus. Concealment is a form of lying … But anyway I do not see the connection with the subject is that Qatar is a new customer for Boeing. That’s it!

        • Will be well Keesje you tell us deferred A380 Thai then canceling the order Kingfisher discreetly withdrawn by Airbus. Concealment is a form of lying.

          Firstly, Boeing and Airbus don’t put out press releases for cancellations. They’ll both list them in their monthly breakdowns, but they won’t list the customers associated with it.

          Now, with regard to the Kingfisher order particularly, you really, really, couldn’t be more wrong. Seriously.
          I’ve never seen any airframer be as open about a cancellation than Airbus was in this particular case.

          Airbus mentioned it – without being asked – during their annual results presentation press conference, where John Leahy said that Airbus took the initiative on this; as per Leahy, the owner of Kingfisher maintains that he’s going to sell the airline, but Airbus figured that even if that succeeds, a bunch of A380s isn’t exactly what Kingfisher needs right now, so Airbus took them off the order book, along with their A350s.
          Again – Leahy’s own words, and Airbus have put this up on Youtube for anyone to see and hear.
          You’ll find the bit about Kingfisher about 35 minutes into the video.

  23. Jimmy,

    The 787 will be a cash machine from 2015 and there will still be some 787. Your comments are surreal when you say that the 777 does not lead to profit before 2000! Anyway the 777 is a cash machine that saved the 787 for both the A330 which save the A380, except that Boeing has sold more than 1,000 Dreamliner and may sell more than 1600’s 777. I think your words are too alarmist to Boeing Airbus while everything is fine! Airbus earns a lot more than its competitor but he can not even take a serious competitor launch this face has 787 completely missed! ! Amazing! ! Airbus earns a lot more money than Boeing and just want reengined the A330! When you win a lot of money (be called). ‘Cause you hear Airbus full of money could easily launch a viable competitor against the 787 “missed”. Airbus full of money, not [edited as violation of Reader Comment rules] launch a competitor to the 787 or 777 – X, Boeing no money, but Airbus would be limited only reengined the A330 (neo) … I admit that I am completely lost ! …

    • Checklist,

      Instead of calling my conclusions “surreal”, why don’t you check some of them out? I mean, here’s a good article about 777 accounting that demonstrates that the 777 wasn’t near as popular as many think:


      Also, you can double check the conclusions of that article and what I have said against Boeing’s 10K reports which can be found here:


      Funny thing, the highest year-end deferred production cost associated with the 777 that I could find was $2.488 Billion in 1996 dollars (refer to 1996 10K) – adjusted for inflation that would be $3.71 Billion in today’s dollars as adjusted by:


      So…we know that it took well over 400 777 Frames to break even on the production, yet the 787 program has run up a deferred production cost that it already 5.8 times greater and which even Boeing admits will rise to $25 Billion (6.7 times greater). And I think it’s headed to $40+ Billion. So….how long do you think it will take for the 787 program to Break Even – 2500+ Frames? Meanwhile, assuming a interest rate of 5% per year, the interest alone on $25 Billion is an additional $1.25 Billion/year drag.

      So…tell me about this 787 “Money Machine” won’t you?

      But…all is not necessarily smooth for Airbus either. Airbus still has to negotiate the A350 Production-Ramp Financial Gauntlet. However, if the time and delays they have taken pay off, then they should get to profitability pretty quickly – especially considering their recent A380 experience and the lessons learned from the 787. And, if Airbus can manage to Break-even on the A350 Program by 2020 (that’s less than 400 frames) as they project, then they will become the undisputed financial giants of the Aerospace World and potentially rule the commercial jetliner market for a generation (i.e., Gloria in excelsis Deo).

      • So I’ll chime in on this furious swarm of data and he say/she say. Let me start by saying that we need not to be ignorant of facts as we all can read. The 777x program will not be hype but a definite program, with folding wingtips. Those who love to pounce of the short comings of the 787 are blind the dirt Airbus is hiding in the performance guarantees of the failed A340 program and the financial obligation that they have to pay on those. I won’t mention 4 engines 4 _____. The A350 program as it is fine and will be for a while, just as the 787 and it’s horrible accounting ledgers. Present day the 787 program holds more than 1000 orders despite cancellations, 3 month grounding, fuel leaks, fuselage fires, battery fires, non dimming windows, faulty software, hydraulic leaks, yet the A350 program will likely peak where it is (+/-70) as most of the major blue chip carriers and new comers have placed orders already. Pissing match? No. Just facts. Furthermore can you explain how in 20 years the 777 program has managed 1164 deliveries while the best selling wb in present day history did 1482 deliveries in 48 years? Let’s say that EK, QR come on board with their respective commitments that’s another 200+. Toss the life raft. Boeing is going under. Oh Singapore http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA190L020140210?irpc=932 and Ethiopian http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA160NY20140207?irpc=932 are look into inking deals soon too. So the 777 program being taken over by the A350? Get at least 1100 delivered in the next 2 decades then we’ll talk.

        • I don’t think it’s just “facts”(probably wishful thinking) to state that the A350 will not get more than 70 additional orders in its lifetime. Unless you meant before EIS? Which is probably true.

          The irony of you accusing someone else of “spouting off” when most of what you’ve written is your opinion and what you’d like to see/seeing happen from your warped pov not actually “facts”, as there is none to be found in your post.

        • “I remember a certain Ryan Air chairman calling the MAX a dog to then order 175 of them. ”

          AFAIK, Ryanair ordered another 175 737-800NGs and not 175 737MAXs. Of course, they might order the MAX in the future, but they are not a MAX customer as of today.

        • Rotate…,

          I disagree with most everything you said, because it just doesn’t seem to be factual. Anyways…here’s two quotes of yours that I’d like to discuss (since replying to all of your screed would take more than I care to invest).

          Quote #1: “””Furthermore can you explain how in 20 years the 777 program has managed 1164 deliveries while the best selling wb in present day history did 1482 deliveries in 48 years?”””


          Because they are good programs…just not as good as the A330/A340. Let’s talk facts, shall we?

          The A330 and A340 programs are presented as two different aircraft, but they are actually varients of the same plane. They were designed by the same engineers at the same time. They entered service during the same year. They use the same fuselage, empenage, wings, and avionics. They were made on the same production line using the same tooling by the same workers. They were co-developed at a cost of less than $4.5 Billion – much less than what it cost to develop the 777. Thus far, 1,432 of these aircraft have been delivered – and there is a lot more to come. Thus far, a cumulative 1,690 of these aircraft have been ordered. So…neither the 777 nor the 747 are the best-selling widebodies in history.

          Quote #2: “””The Airbus dog breakfast comment? I remember a certain Ryan Air chairman calling the MAX a dog to then order 175 of them. “””


          This makes me laugh – thanks! Actually, the “Dog’s Breakfast” comment referred to Boeing’s messy product lineup covering the widebody market and not the performance of Boeing’s aircraft. But…now that you mention it, the Boeing 737 sale to Ryan Air could be metaphorically classified as a “Dog’s Breakfast” in its own right.

          Back in 2010, Airbus’s Louis Gallois fed Boeing his a320 “table scraps” when he refused to do business with Ryanair because they are reknown for being cheap…too cheap. Instead, he said, “We will leave Boeing working with Mr O’Leary.”

          Airbus gets the good orders, Boeing gets the “Table Scraps”: that really is a “Dog’s Breakfast”.


      • Interesting,

        According to you Jimmy, 400,777 to break even 1200 787! Wowww!

        But Boeinf is completely lost! They really need to stop their activities immediately! But tell me, Jimmy, you think how many A380 are delivered in time.

        How many frame it reach its break even? And if you can do the same thing for A340-200/-300 & A340-500/-600 … Just to continue to laugh a little longer.

        I’m sure it will amuse Sophie! XDDDD!


        • According to you Jimmy, 400,777 to break even 1200 787! Wowww!

          Did you actually read Jimmy’s post and the articles he linked to?
          If you want to exclusively talk about failures (or modest successes – remember the A340-300 sold moderately well and used the same platform as the A330, so much of the development cost was shared between both programmes), why focus on a single manufacturer only? There’s plenty that the competition has to offer with regard to scrapped and unsuccessful programmes.
          Seems like a slightly silly exercise either way.

        • Both of the “big two” have skeletons in their cupboards – how many 757-300s or 767-400s were sold? I doubt if the combined total equalled that of the contemporary A340-5/600

  24. Could you gentlements please think about where the place here is and stop these meaningless arguements XDDDDD (can’t help laughing

    • Sophie yes, we do laugh a lot of risk since Boeing lost a lot of money and launched the 777 – X while Airbus is a lot of profit and considering only “neoised” their planes! it is a sign that they have a lot of money at Airbus. Lot of money and no appetite! Laugh a! …

    • I agree totally Sophie – the pointless stream of “mine’s better than yours” comments are boring and diminish this hugely stimulating and professional blog.

      • We couldn’t agree more that the tit-for-tat comments are useless and don’t contribute to a stimulating discussion. But as we’ve said before, we’re not in the business of censoring as long as our Reader Comment rules are honored.

  25. Scott, I disagree with aeroturbopower´s assessment of remaining routes that require the B752s performance. Anything farther than 2600nm (ESAD) will be an issue for the B737-9MAX and about 2800nm (ESAD) for the A321neo will result in reduced payload (in both cases between 170-180 seats config). I found in a couple of hours 26 current TATL, HI and SAM routes that are well beyond that, up to about 3340nm (GC dist). There are more, as summer routes were not displayed in the Schedules I found. 22 of those routes are at a Great Circle distance of more than 3000nm, the ESAD will be quite a bit more westbound.
    While I am moderately optimistic that 757RS (or whatever name its given) studies will come to anything, lets realise that every single percent they manage to squeeze out of the NEO/MAX is still only about 30 additional nautical miles at most. So any 2-3 percent improvements that have been hinted at for either type will only yield another 100nm.

    And spot on Sophie!

    • Did you noticed that Airbus introduced an aircraft lately into service what can reach 3,500nm at a payload of 20 t (@80 kg/pax about 250 pax) with incredible short field performance? Same fuselage diameter as an A330 (so much for 1-3-1). There is much room for a simple stretch and many possibilities to save weight. Engine fan diameter is about 5.3 m (17 ft 5 in) 😉

    • I can’t argue against the number of routes here. The number of FIVE routes that are actually flown with a B757 and that can’t be flown by an A321 came from Airbus. So it can be more than that and probably are. But let’s say there are 50 routes – that would be a possible demand of 100 aircraft to cover each route daily. Any shorter route can be flown more economically ,with the A321neo and the B737-MAX9, so the demand would be very very constraint and that is why I do not see a business case for such an aircraft. Whether it can be incorporated in a future A30X/B7X7 family remains to be seen – the compromise you have to make for the smaller aircraft family members and to cover the main bulk of routes below 1,500nm in form of non-optimal COC’s is probably too bad…

  26. Back to the real world! Here commebt I see things. We Boeing 787 with a production rate of 10/month and 12/2015! 777, 8.6 frames / month according to Boeing. Airbus! A350 Zero / month, A330 10/month now. The situation in two years! No change to Boeing 787 +777 = 20.6 (after 2015) Airbus A330 in a state of slow death (A330neo will be launched?) I’d be surprised if they do not launch a new program! ! (They have lots of money but not Boeing just run the 777-X).

  27. Boeing is ramping up 787 production, yes. But they have spread the cost over the “accounting block” of >1000 aircraft or so. Meaning they will make no money with it for a long time.

    Meanwhile the cash cow 737 is loosing market share and margin. The latter because of higher discounts to maintain market share and production rates. There is an old article about Airbus history where they stated in the long run you can’t be profitable with 30% market share, 40% or 50% is needed. That may have changed a bit because of the high volume nowaydays, but the underlying mechanism still exists.

    The 777-300R will remain a cash cow for some time. But to bridge the backlog gap to the 777-X, Boeing will have to discount heavily. So margins will go down while at the same time they’ll have to fund an expensive 777X programm.

    The 747 is already on life support. Did they even reach the end of the accounting block there?

    Fast forward to Airbus:
    A320: Cash cow, gaining marketshare
    A330: Cash cow, product life can be extended by NEO for small money. If they can sustain a production rate of 50% thats still a good money maker.
    A350: Healthy backlog, flight testing program looks good so far.
    A380: Break even in 2015.

    • A380: Break even in 2015.

      On a per-frame basis, we should add.
      The overall programme is far from breaking even. Still a better position than the 787 at the moment, which was much, much costlier, and probably won’t break even on a per-frame basis before 2016 at the earliest.
      Then again, the 787 may sell a few more than the A380 and won’t need a NEO any time soon. Then again, margins on the 787 are lower than on the A380, so you do need to sell more of them to make your money back to begin with, even before taking the hugely inflated cost for the programme out of the equation.

      • One question remains for me: “margins on the 787 are lower”.
        How much lower? Boeing sold several hundred 787 at a price I have to question that this price nowadays even covers production costs.
        Boeing sold more aircraft before the inglorious 7-8-7 roll out than after that PR stunt.

  28. Article in French. “The profitability of Eads is lagging behind Boeing” There must be a subscriber to read it but it’s free … The A380 is in question … You must not read the same thing!

  29. Here is the google translate link:

    “The A380 is in question”
    @Checklist where did you get that quote from ?

    Are the Airbus and Boeing numbers really comparable ?
    Boeing spreads much of the costs into the future, Airbus books it when it occurs.
    There is also an interesting info in that article about the difference in calculations for margins:
    “Airbus calculates its profitability between the price per unit production aircraft price sales to delivery, while Boeing establishes an average price over the life of the program for a number of airplane pass any difference Recipe in provisions.”

    Airbus’ cash flow is blood red. The A350 is the main cash drain at the moment. But I think that’s normal for a program before first delivery.

  30. What Scott has pointed out is true that the 757RS is a Boeing program not an Airbus one. And therefore discussions of how the 320NEO is the 757 replacement don’t address that the 737 MAX9 can’t do the missions that are required.

    There is another aspect for Boeing here and that goes back to the abortive 737RS that preceded the MAX. Boeing talked about how one of the major reasons they didn’t go clean sheet was that the technology to meet the kind of production rates required didn’t exist or wasn’t mature enough. The 757RS gives Boeing the ability to develop a fuselage and associated production system that will undoubtedly be used for the 737 replacement. Given the ability to share the costs and essentially trial the production system for the 737RS fuselage the case for Boeing gets even stronger to go ahead with the 757RS.Plus designing the 757RS and 737RS to share a common type rating will further expand the market for both products.

    I think too that the changing ways airlines have been using the 757 (long thin transatlantic routes for example) that a new generation airplane with new generations costs will find a ready home. Especially when you look at the growing trend towards larger aircraft and then start asking how those larger aircraft will fit into smaller airports like Midway for example. The 321NEO and 737MAX9 simply don’t have the runway performance required in a lot of those cases.

    For these reasons I think Scott is right that Boeing will launch a 757RS. And I strongly suspect that unless something like open rotor technology changes the game the 737 replacement will be a variation of the 757RS with a different wing and engines optimized for the 737 mission.

  31. the 321NEO and 737MAX9 simply don’t have the runway performance required in a lot of those cases

    I think the A321 doesn’t share that pain, it has better angles and more power.

    • The only replacement for the 757 will be the 757RS, not the A321neo or 737-9max. Those frames will never offer the range and short field performance of the 757. My only question is will the new 757RS still have the short field performance of the 757 along with the range or just the range?
      The long thin routes routes to Europe are in need of a 757 replacement as the A320 and 737 frames have gone as far as they can go and can not fill these routes to Europe. I’ve been to AMS, LIS, BRU, on 757’s as anything larger would be unprofitable so a true 757 replacement is needed.

  32. Just in passing these comparisons over profit % between Airbus/Boeing make no sense when they are used to judge commercial success. To do that one has to split off the defence elements (a very difficult task for Airbus with its reorganisation) quite apart from the already mention massive discrepancy in auditing. It is even worse in the case of Bombardier which is in some respects a train and signals manufacturer with aviation side interests!

  33. I´ll reiterate a comment I inserted into Krebs1, about feeder “community” speeds, vs cost-efficiency expectations for the next generation feeders (NFA, NFB) : with airspace jamming intensifying, “speed” (true, geographical speed, not airspeed) will be imposed upon operators by ATC, wherefrom speed is turning into a community issue, involving including Politicians, wherefore I fear to say Aeronautical Engineers most likely will not have the last word ?!

    Now, how can a regulator-superimposed common feeder fleet speed throughout possibly be turned into a cost-effective innovation ? Operators pay for ATC through the ATC fees levied by Eurocontrol & alias. These fees escalate. ATC agents strike, they also faint or fall asleep on their jobs from excess fatigue, are subject to mental stress/eye fatigue etc etc (professional ails) … Why not accept once and for all that the problematique of airline pilots flying feeder aircraft in formatted swarms at VGC (community ground speed) and the problematique of ATC agents regulating those same swarms not only are becoming two tasks of supra-human real-time capability, putting the Community in an obvious danger zone, but also are converging in interest with Aeronautical Engineers’ search for evermore operative cost-efficiency ?

    When the science of Engineers reach its limits as far as tweaking or redesigning the INDIVIDUAL AIRCRAFT are concerned, still much more can be achieved from acting upon feeder aircraft FLEETS, technically analysed as a SWARM, to be automated/optimised/controlled (flown/regulated) through ad hoc transponders accepting ultrahighspeed numerical data package transmissions from ground-based way-points with satellite redundancy, including GPS.

    Such an idea possibly could allow airlines doing away with the co-pilot, whilst alleviating the nerve-pressing difficulty of ATC, plus at the same time flying those feeder aircraft a little bit more fuel-efficiently, to the combined advantage for operators of 4 %, possibly up to 6 % better trip costs, at a greater SAFETY ?

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