Airbus and Boeing square off at ISTAT

Andy Shankland, senior vice president of leasing markets for Airbus, and Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing, were next up at the ISTAT annual meeting in San Diego today.

The following is a synopsis and paraphrasing of their presentations and free-wheeling discussion.

AS: In service passenger aircraft, all ages, all series, there are now 5413 vs 5394 A320s vs 737s, with the A320 in-service than the 737 for the first time.

RT: You can all look at the data and look at the math but have a different perspective. The market is good and it is getting better. Passenger traffic has exceeded capacity, driving increasing production rates.

Boeing now has 34 customers, including 10 lessors, for 1,807 737 MAXes, though many are unidentified.

We now have a widebody coverage that seamlessly covers 220-500 seat coverage.

AS: The industry needs stable fuel prices, regardless of the price, so airlines can deal with it, he says, citing an unidentified executive of a US airlines.

If interest rates go back to normal levels, this means $2 or $3 per seat on an A320.

RT: The next step in single aisle technology is difficult. The biggest challenge to us was not technology, it was production system.

AS: responds that “it’s fair to say the 737 MAX was launched in Toulouse, bring a hearty laugh from the audience.

Question: A319neo and 737-7 haven’t sold well-is this just a blocking action to keep people in the family?

AS: No question A319 will be third in the family but it has a role to play. “We’re totally committed to the A319neo.”

RT: We’re seeing some strengthening in lease rates for the A319 and 737-700, and with stability oil prices, we’ll see some more orders, but like Airbus, the smallest member will be third in the family.

Concerning the 757 replacement: We’re at a place where we have more questions than answers, says Tinseth. Shankland maintains that the A321neo is the 757 replacement.

Tinseth believes there is a large market for the 787-8 going forward, opening up a potential of ~450 markets in the world, such as London-Austin (TX). “I believe 787-9 will put pressure on the A330-300.”

Shankland thinks that in the long0-term the 787-8 is “just a little bit small.”

Shankland uses Boeing’s term to explain that Airbus “brackets” the 777-9 with the A350-1000 and the A380.

Tinseth continues to defend the 747-8I, with the VLA market “failing,” and calls the A380 is a “one-trick pony” with “one customer” [Emirates]. Tinseth calls the VLA sector a cargo market now.


19 Comments on “Airbus and Boeing square off at ISTAT

  1. AS: In service passenger aircraft, all ages, all series, there are now 5413 vs 5394 A320s vs 737s, with the A320 in-service than the 737 for the first time.

    Per, there are 6,011 active 737s and 5,606 A320s as of today. They might catch up very soon but his numbers are wrong for now

      • What would the difference be? Is Ascend accurate (more current) compared to other sources?

    • Given that both numbers are lower than your quoted from it might be that Ascend is faster at capturing when planes leave the fleet. That would be confirmed by significantly lower number for Boeing (which is expected since the older types of 737 (original+classic) are probably retired at faster rate now).

  2. If the VLA market is a cargo market now, how come more VLA passenger than VLA cargo jets have been sold in the last [insert number of years here] years? That statement does not make sense.

    On a side note, on my trip on THY to Ankara via IST last week, I flew a 77W LHR – IST (4 hour flight) and an A333 IST – ESB (45 minutes flight). Both planes were full in Y, not so full in C (no F). Unfortunately the 77W was a very crappy wet-leased Jet Airways model, but in any case, it shows that at least some airlines have no hesitation abusing long-range widebodies in the worst manner, if this makes sense to them for strategic reasons.

  3. I just reviewed and got similar information: 737s listed as active comes to 6,050 compared to 5,590 A320s listed as active. Does Ascend keep better records?

  4. Interesting to note in the CIT piece that over the last few years only 13% of 787 orders were for the 788. That rather makes the point of there not being a great market in the size class.

    • The 787-8 and 787-9 share the same wing, so that data could simply be a symptom of the smaller plane not beeing competitive against its larger sibling. I haven’t seen any public performance comparisons on the web, yet. So its only speculation.

      The A319-Neo and 320-Neo are a good example what happens when the trip cost is similar. The additional seats are effectivily free and most customers buy the larger variant.

      • A319 and A320 used to be produced on a 45/45 % basis ( remainder going to A321, A318 only in traces anyway)
        Probably on a range/capacity runoff. ( As with the A330-200 versus -300 there appears to be a distinct trip point where the bigger type starts to have enough range to move the trip cost/capacity decision into the foreground.
        NEO ( and MAX ) range extension seems to have breached this for good. ( observe : few A319 sales )

  5. Shankland has a point re- 787-8, which is obvious in the last few years as sales for it has stalled while the -9 has caught up. Going forward I expect more of -9 and -10.

    • Cancellations ( for good, for change ) centered on the -8.
      Getting away from an obvious “Mk1” product and accommodating reduced demand after 2008.
      Without the GFC ( that reduced near term demand ) the 787 order book would have collapsed long ago and Airbus would have produced the A330 at 15..20 frames a month 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *