Odds and Ends: No 90-seat ATR for now; 777X work; JAL says A350 was ‘better;’

No 90-seat ATR: Aviation Week reports that for now Airbus Group, which owns 50% of ATR, won’t green-light a 90-seat ATR turbo-prop due to the adverse impact a development program would have on profits.

Competing for 777X work: Electroimpact is based near Paine Field in Washington and it supplies Boeing and Airbus. It’s interested in participating in the Boeing 777X work. The Everett Herald has this story focusing on the company. Meanwhile, Reuters has this story about the pressures the Airbus and Boeing supply chains are under to cut costs.

JAL: A350 was ‘better:’ Japan Air Lines says its choice of the Airbus A350 was made because the airplane was just “better” than Boeing’s offering. CNBC reports.

No highway in the sky: Just on the ground. See this series of photos to see what we’re talking about.

31 Comments on “Odds and Ends: No 90-seat ATR for now; 777X work; JAL says A350 was ‘better;’

  1. JAL statement is pure gold for Airbus! Any update on ANA’s campaign and the future of Japan-made wings?

    • IMight explain why JAL went bankrupt because ANA was “just better” than they were!!! So if China told the world everyone should join their nation’s thrust because the entire scheme is “Just Better” than the rest of the world, you would be the first to step up? Come on please, this person is a financial leader in JAL!!! How do you measure “just better”? Airbus had better logos, better lunch, better performance, better service support, better resale package. What was better, but as he said its all business.

      • I think you shouldn’t ask all these questions in this forum. You should give JAL a call and ask to speak to their CFO or CEO so you can discuss with them how, precisely, they determined that the A350 was a better fit than what Boeing was offering, what their criteria were, how they were gauged, etc.
        Nobody in the comments section – quite probably not even Scott himself – can authoritatibely answer this for you.

        As it stands, though, with two or three comments in the last three days alone to the effect of “JAL should tell us what they mean by ‘better’ “, you’re exposing yourself as somebody who’s having a really, really hard time accepting JAL’s decision; it’s a moot point to even begin the thought experiment of “what would l7room be saying if JAL had selected Boeing and said exactly the same thing about the 777(X) that they now said about the A350”.

        Seriously, if you have a problem with JAL’s decision and – worse – their recent statement of the A350 simply being “better” (for their needs), give them a call. If you do, please report back in case they do let you know, as I for one would be seriously curious about the details of JAL’s fleet evaluation process.

        • JAL compared the deals and made their decision. Surely, it was the package deal that won them over as it is in any business case. So, in the case of aircraft purchases, it is not just the physical aircraft, its features, performance, expected reliability, etc., but the total cost of the deal including primary and ancillary costs over the expected life of the aircraft at the airline.

          No CFO would accept any less in a comparison. Considering the marketing goals of Airbus in Japan, surely JAL’s SFO saw a real good package deal.

        • Yes, and who knows, the A350-1000 being 20t lighter then a 777X, more comfortable for long haul and credibly available from 2018 might also have helped.

  2. No brainer there. For airlines that aren’t going 10 abreast on the 777x, the A350-1000 will always trump it. The 777X’s advantage only starts to show when it’s configured at 10 abreast vs a 9 abreast A350.

  3. An Airbus A321 without wings does not weight 58t. I would rather guess something like 18-20t if the fuselage is still equipped. If not, we are rather talking about 15t or less.

  4. on the 90 seat ATR, Airbus says:

    “We have no divergence with Finmeccanica except for the timing,” Lahoud says. “We want to enjoy the success [of ATR], and any new project would have an adverse effect [on profits].”

    It seems Airbus isn’t against ATR launching a new aircraft per se, but feels it isn’t necessary now. They seem to have a winner with the ATR72-600 against the Q400 at this moment and want to reap the benefits of a few hundred more orders. The Q400 is far more expensive and consumes 30% more on most trips. The higher speed of the Q400 just doesn’t pay off. No need to rush anything..

    (knew I made that pic with my phone & even found it back 🙂 ..)

    An re-engined ATR-82 was considered long ago, 8-12 seats extra. Maybe its possible as a compromise with Alenia, if BBD stretches the Q400NG.

  5. re: ATR, it seems of interest that Airbus suggested they were open to changing the corporate structure of ATR, which sounded like it might occur soon. That sounds like it might lead to Alenia launching a 90-seater in a JV with ATR without any investment of $ or engineering from Airbus, but benefitting from ATR name and maintenance support, etc.

    • Or, possibly, they want Alenia as a “risk sharing partner”. I can’t see Airbus as a risk sharing partner for Alenia

  6. 2 bn € is a lot of money if the final product costs about 1/4 of a 320 and less than 100 are produced. Additionally, despite being a turboprop, the 90seater would capacity-wise be in a tough competitive environment.

    “open to changing the corporate structure of ATR” sounds more like, “now that ATR is for the first time really worth something, we re willing to cash in on it!”

    • @ chrisAustria re “open to changing the corporate structure of ATR” ?? :

      This phrase alludes to its anticuated form of incorporation : ATR is a GIE. If made into an SAS, it would recover full autonomy, it could open its capital, go public on the SE, issue ATR-obligations etc … enough to finance ATR-92 R&D ? Today ATR’s strategy decision-making is subdued to a complex dual process (a) internally @ EADS ; and (b) internally @ Alenia Aeronautica, the result @ ‘GIE’ ATR levels being a lack of clarity in purpose vs (a too large variety of) other issues competing for the same – EADS/Alenia-sourced !! – resources …

  7. ATR was a subsidiary of Aérospatiale – Aeritalia 50/50, explicitly and distinctly created in the very early 80-ies outside any German interests. It so happened (in 2000) that with the restructuration of European aerospace industry, the entire Aerospatiale was absorbed into EADS, bringing with it its little ATR sibling, a thrifty unit WITHOUT DIRECT GERMAN PARTICIPATION !?

    Since then, the fate of ATR is systematically being hampered with by the German wing of EADS (I am adverse to the use of “Airbus Group” to designate ‘ex-EADS’), influencing through their unhopedfor surprise-box stake in ATR to pull back the reins on this franco-italian gem joint-venture, if only to prove it can’t prosper.

    ATR doesn’t deserve to be held back on : it is about high time to give ATR free wings to operate their own business as they see fit, without interference from the “ex-EADS” German ‘grey hats’ whose agenda, it appears, is to spoil the party for ATR.

    • Are you sure about “German interests”? Just have a look around and try to recognize that CASA produces Airbus’ turboprops.

      • mhalblaub : we are not talking here about C-212 (originally derived from Ju-52 ?) nor C-295 but about the possibility for ATR (understand : the “historic” ATR) to recover a well-deserved autonomy, re-organising ATR outside the EADS sphere, so that the French with their Italian ATR programme co-inceptors may alone steer ATR’s fate undisturbed. There is no interference whatsoever with CASA, but there WAS some interference with F-28, F-50 and F-70 (the Germans had a stake in Fokker, RIP), possibly also with Do-228 ?

        • The F-70 was a jet and the Do-228 an aircraft for less than 20 passengers. 1996 Daimler pulled the plug at Fokker but that is history. So from 1996 on I can’t see a German reason to work against ATR.

    • Oh – the same prevalent “German interests” that are behind the massive defence job cuts in the Munich region and the unwillingness of Airbus to locate jobs in Germany in exchange for a loan from Germany?
      I would in fact argue that the French influence in Airbus/EADS was much bigger than the German one. The Deutsche Airbus GmbH as it was known at the time had to fight quite hard to get the A320 FAL in Hamburg, for instance, against French opposition.
      So even the outset of your theory is somewhat flawed, I’d say.

      Going further – as Airbus Group owns 50% of ATR, what interest exactly should they have in seeing ATR fail? This would have a significant impact on their balance sheet as well.
      Sure, they don’t want ATR to compete with their own line-up, but that conflict existed even when Aérospatiale was still around, as Aérospatiale owned 50% of ATR and 37,9% of the – much bigger, and much more profitable – Airbus.

      Also consider this: ““We have no divergence with Finmeccanica except for the timing […] We want to enjoy the success [of ATR], and any new project would have an adverse effect [on profits].”
      Don’t forget that margins on ATRs are much lower than on A320s; and while they got record-breaking numbers of orders in 2013, they still “only” got 89 firm orders and 106 options (http://www.atraircraft.com/newsroom/press-releases-details-1253-en.html). And it took them almost 30 years to get to these order numbers.
      So there is a point to be made about one shareholder – who would also have to provide financial and engineering support to ATR for any new project – being happy to see some worthwhile ROI on the ATR consortium.

      Having said that, I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusion on Airbus’ part, as I think that future profits should also be taken into account, which will require a new, larger plane at some point. No future profits without something to sell in the future.
      I’m probably also saying this because I do like new planes being launched – there aren’t too many such launches of newly-designed planes these days.

      So I’m a bit disappointed – but a conspiracy from the German/Spanish/French/whatever side in Airbus Group, it ain’t.

      • anfromme : welcome to the Party of disappointed avgeeks that ATR-92 was stopped ! But you are naming the ‘Airbus Group’ … what’s that ?

        The Commercial Brand name ‘Airbus’ with its associated Logo belong to all the Employees of Airbus SAS, one could argue that they also belong to Airbus Industrie Retirees who are still alive ? plus to the full community of Shareholders of Airbus SAS, whereof all the minority stakeholders. I’m not aware of any rounds of internal consultations or opinion polls or similar having taken place, nor am I aware of information to/consultations with the French/British/German/Spanish Trade Unions ? Did ever a votation take place, the agenda being “Employees of Airbus SAS, do you want your employer Airbus to be depossessed of its illustruous, hard-won Trade Mark and Name ?”. The extension to Holding Company EADS of the ‘Airbus’ brand is an outright Act of Hijacking, an unwarranted disappropriation, in absolute illegality.

        ‘Airbus’ as a Brand (in the sense of Vuitton, Loreal, Dior etc) has tremendous value, is the Protected – exclusive and inviolable – Property of Airbus and if (repeat : IF) its legally rightful Owners were asked and formally agreed to alienate this Commercial Brand, then somewhere a written agreement duly executed to such effect must exist, STIPULATING THE PRICE TO BE PAID BY EADS TO SAID RIGHTFUL OWNERS ?

        To confuse the (civil, commercial) Brand name ‘Airbus’ – a name of EXCELLENCE – with such (nebulous, MILITARY) affairs as “Typhoon” or “Eurohawk” or Cassidian – or with the tentative but aborted merger with BAe Systems (Missiles ?) etc, is too much for me.

        Were I still an active Employee of Airbus, I would go on strike immediately !

      • anfromme : welcome to the Party of disappointed avgeeks that ATR-92 was stopped ! But you are naming the ‘Airbus Group’ … what’s that ?

        It’s the trading name of EADS. Look, they even have a web page!
        (I know – legally, it’s still EADS, although that’s supposed to change by the end of Q1. Also, I think there only so far that you should take hair-splitting exercises.)

        The Commercial Brand name ‘Airbus’ with its associated Logo belong to all the Employees of Airbus SAS

        Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary, we’ll have to assume that it doesn’t belong to the employees any more than the name “Lufthansa” belongs to LH’s employees (or “Andersen Consulting”, “ValueJet”, “National Mutual”, “Datsun”, and many others to their respective employees).

        The rest of your post can be responded to in just a few summarising sentences:
        EADS/Airbus Group wholly own Airbus SAS (an entity that itself was only created in 2001, as a successor to Airbus Industrie). They thus also own all associated brand names, logos, trademarks of Airbus. (If you claim otherwise – please provide proof to the contrary. If EADS didn’t have the right to the name “Airbus”, how could they legally have used it as a name for their biggest subdivision?)

        If you feel EADS weren’t entitled to use the name of a wholly-owned subsidiary, you’re of course free to sue them.

        All of that leaving aside whether everybody is a fan of the renaming. But I think you’re pushing it a bit too far in not just saying “I’m displeased” but even “this was illegal”. A bit like an AA employee claiming their new livery and corporate identity was illegal.

        Were I still an active Employee of Airbus, I would go on strike immediately !

        See, others within Airbus Group might be going on strike because they’re losing their jobs. You’d go on strike because you don’t want them to be fired by a company that uses the same name as yours. To each their own.

        • yes anfromme, I feel dissatisfied, and I’m not alone !?

          They changed the name of the company and people need to adjust to it.
          Not a big story, to be honest, is it? Lovely piece of “light and fluffy” reading. Look: They changed the name and even the big shots get it wrong and have to pay €20 into a pot when they do.

          My own company constantly reshuffles business units, giving them acronyms that are a lot less easy to remember/get right than “Airbus”, “Airbus Group”, “Airbus Defence and Space” and “Airbus Helicopters”. And yet, we always manage to get the hang of it eventually. Well, most people do.

        • I have a customer that started out with a well known and reputable name in their venue. After a decade they are now into their 5th or 6th renaming.
          ( And rumors abound that the next change is nigh and might return to the original name of historic reputation 😉
          The relevance of Brand names in the presence of a good product is overvalued.
          And with a shi*y product a pimped brand name will only fend of your demise for a short time.

        • Brand renaming is akin territory marking by male cats … the newly promoted Leader who rebrands a product with strong I&P has reached his ‘level of Peters’.

          • ROFL.
            You may have something there, though!
            ( and it comes with a set of brand new brooms 😉

    • Interesting theory you have here. Let me see if I can summarize it for you. The Airbus Group, being currently run by the most ant-German German (or pro business executive, as some would phrase it) I have ever read about, is trying to hold ATR back because there is no German involvement there?!
      Got any other fanciful conspiracies?

      • I’m (1) pinning Enders on rebranding EADS at the expense of Airbus’ (hitherto protected, inviolate but now on the way to being spoliated ?) Image&Prestige; and (2) regretting nobody at the Helm c/o EADS (follow my eyes, but I’m not putting forward any name) was there to give a helping hand to the ATR Team (backed by the French/Italian wings in EADS !) so that ATR-92, a well-prepared ‘dossier’, could have been brought to the baptisfont, as was expected … I cannot believe this solid project was antagonized from anywhere else than the German side … but WHY ? If you have better info, I’m all ears ?

  8. “JAL says A350 was ‘better’ ”

    No need for the quotes around ‘better’. JAL didn’t use them.

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