Logical conclusions: Airbus wide-body decisions

A330 programme. The long range programme presents no new challenges. However, managing the order book beyond 2016 becomes more challenging due to competition from A350 XWB and Boeing 787.

—From the Airbus Group 2013 Annual Report

We have written previously that Airbus faced a production gap, a major drop in backlog orders from 2016, with no orders at all from 2020 (excluding the 27 orders placed in March by China, for which we don’t currently have delivery data yet).  Back on December 29, we noted that the prospect of the A330neo was gaining traction–and it’s even more so today.

Market Intelligence from multiple sources indicate that Airbus will announce at the Farnborough Air Show that it will proceed with re-engining the A330 into a new engine option configuration, including sharklets similar to that on the A320 family.

This will give a needed boost to the A330 line. There have been a dearth of orders, in part, no doubt, to the industry waiting to see whether Airbus will proceed with the A330neo. Recall that there had been a drop in A320 family orders in the run-up to the launch of the A320neo.

We have now completed a comprehensive study about the business case for the A330neo and how competitive it would be vs. the Boeing 787-8 and -9, and what price Airbus has to offer to help make the airplane competitive. This proprietary study is based on our proprietary economic modeling which, along with our own Market analysis, concludes that there is a business case to proceed with the A330neo. We concurrently believe Airbus will discontinue offering the A350-800, although this announcement may not come for some time. Among the reasons: Hawaiian Airlines wants the A350-800 as offering the passenger capacity and the range it desires. The A350-900 is too big, officials currently believe. But an A330-300neo won’t offer the range Hawaiian wants (it will fall about 1,500nm short, according to our estimates). If Airbus discontinues the A350-800, Hawaiian may well re-issue its Request for Proposals that will give Boeing a shot at getting the 787-9 into Hawaiian. Given the planned production boost to the 787 line (12/mo in 2016, 14/m0 in 2018 or 2019), Boeing now has delivery slots to offer to match that of the A350-800 schedule.

But we don’t think Airbus is done once it launches the A330neo. We believe Airbus continues to look at the prospect of re-engining the A380, c.2020, given additional impetus from the large customer for the A380, Tim Clark of Emirates Airlines. This article in The Wall Street Journal is the latest on this topic.

We expressed our view February 3 in Updating the A380: the prospect of a neo version and what’s involved.

Emirates’ Clark indicated that the last 25 of his new A380s could be powered by new, efficient Rolls-Royce engines fits with the February 26 RR announcement for the 2020 availability of its Advance engine. Our February analysis showed that the A380 is competitive with just seating changes until the 777-9X enters the market. After the 777-9X EIS, bigger changes are needed to defend the A380’s position as the most efficient of air transport. How the Advance closes this gap will be the subject of an upcoming analysis.

We also believe Airbus continues to evaluate the prospect for an A350-1100. As precise as the Advance announcement was from Rolls Royce as future oriented was the follow on, the Ultrafan. This has clear grounds; the Advance business case is firmly footed. It will be the engine for the A380neo as described but the real opportunity will be the A350-1100. The surprisingly good start of the 777-9X has made an Airbus counter in the 400 seat segment more urgent than expected. The A350-1000 needs a 400 seat sister, yet stretching the existing Trent XWB engine on the -1000 would be complicated. With no improvement in engine fuel consumption, it forces a higher maximum weight to keep the range, which forces a larger wing, which forces stronger engines, which…. Or, alternatively, keeping the current Trent XWB and wing means reduced range, similar to the Boeing 787-10 approach.

The Advance works like a magic wand on this viscous circle. More efficient and lighter then the Trent XWB, it enables a 2020 EIS of a 400 seat A350 which weighs fractionally more than today’s A350-1000. It means no new wing, no new landing gear, etc, just a fuselage stretch married to Advanced engines and you have your 400 passengers flown the distance asked for.

73 Comments on “Logical conclusions: Airbus wide-body decisions

  1. I believe Airbus has no choice other than cancelling the A-358, too. There are still 34 orders for the A-358 from HA (6), IY (10), AWAS (2), OZ (8), and SU (8). OZ and SU have other models of the A-350 on order, so those 16 A-358s could be converted to other models. But the 18 combined A-358 orders from HA, IY, and AWAS were ordered without another A-350 model. All of these could easily be cancelled by those airlines (probably not because they would loose their deposits) or Airbus (who will push the A-359 and the A-330NEO). But these airlines have no responsibility to commit to order anything else from Airbus. So the possibility of loosing 18 more A-350s to the B-787 is very possible.
    The A-330NEO will get the green light, soon, beginning with the A-333NEO, then the A-332NEO. They have several customers asking for it, but that does not mean these customers will order it. But I believe the A-330NEO will not have an EIS before 2020. RR and Airbus will want to hang the same new engine on both the A-330NEO and the A-380NEO that Tim Clark is demanding Airbus build. Airbus will do what ever its largest customer, Mr. Clark, tells them to do, and that will be the A-380NEO.
    Boeing could counter the A-330NEO with a B-767MAX for the -300ER and -400ER models. Boeing already has the GEnx 2B-67 engine flying on the B-748, and PIPs are on the way. GE could offer a 58,000-63,000 thrust version of the GEnx-2B engine relatively quickly if there were to be a B-767MAX.

    • But these airlines have no responsibility to commit to order anything else from Airbus. So the possibility of loosing 18 more A-350s to the B-787 is very possible.

      Indeed, just like Airbus lost FedEx and UPS as customers when Airbus cancelled the A380F. Yet, I would wager that overall, cancelling the A380F at the time was 100% the right decision.
      At the moment, given Airbus’ likely launch of the A330neo, continuing work on the A350-1000 in particular, plus a possible A350-1100 development, cancelling or shelving the A350-800 may again just be the right decision, even if it means losing these 18 orders (having said that, Airbus may still retain all or a proportion of them anyway).

      Airbus will do what ever its largest customer, Mr. Clark, tells them to do, and that will be the A-380NEO.

      Well – they may do it because it simply makes sense as they need to stay competitive with the 777-9X, or because Clark tells them. Probably a question of perspective. On a side note, Clark is also the largest customer by far of the 777, and particularly of the 777X.

      As for the likelihood of a 767MAX – let’s not go there again.

      • One big advantage of a big vision, you can dictate to the OEMs the specs of the aircraft/engines they design.

      • If Airbus is smart they will listen, especially since he specified the capabilities and cost for the 777-9. So he knows exactly what is needed from the A380neo. One could speculate in a revised carbon wing with masisve winglets that also are fuel filled, the RR Advanvced Engines hopefully lighter than the Trent900’s, A380F Take off weight. A strech fwd of the wing to reach 80m total length and a revised aft body made as an extension fwd of the carbon tail structure. Hence Airbus needs Clark to convince SQ, AF, LH, BA, Qatar to come to Paris 2015 to order.. Most likely will not AA, DAL or UA be there.

    • In cases like this, A350-800 customers will typically kept happy by compensation. Just like with the 787 delays. Compensating the fact they have to fly longer with e.g. their A330-200s and 767s versus new A350-800s. Costs of missed revenues, additional maintenance costs, higher fuel bills. All very quantifyable/ negotiatable.

      • That didn’t work for the customers, FedEx and UPS for the A-380F. Nor did it work for the SAAF for the A-400M.

        • How could Airbus have possibly hoped to keep Fedex and UPS when they don’t offer an alternative? I’m sure that in cancelling the programme they accepted they would lose them. It’s different with the A350-800 because they can offer an alternative and pay compensation to keep the customer sweet.

      • KCT HA and IY do operate young A330-200 and could get more. Now, coming back to the A350-800, does that really make any difference for those airlines and their A350 orders?! Yes, of course!

  2. A RR family of 70,000 -79,000 lbf Advance-type engines should be just about perfect for not only an A380neo and an A330neo, but for an A350-800 and an A350-900neo as well (i.e. MTOW of the A359 reduced by 9 metric tonnes to 259 metric tonnes; max thrust reduced from 84,000 lbs to79,000 lbs). So, you’d have the A330neo family having a MTOW of 242 metric tonnes and the A358/A359 having a MTOW of 259 metric tonnes. A 6 plus percent lower TSFC and one tonne plus lighter engines (x 2) would enable the A359neo to take off at a lower MTOW level while maintaining range/payload perfromance. IMJ, the A358 should be reduced in length by seven fuselage frames and not 10 as originally planned, and it would fly around with engines having close to 10 percent lower TSFC than those on the 787-9.

    Actual and notional range for neo models (i.e. pax and bags only):

    A330-200: 7200nm
    A330-200neo: 8500nm
    A330-300: 6100nm
    A330-300neo: 7200nm
    A330-400X: 6200nm

    A350-900: 7750nm
    A350-900neo: 7900nm
    A350-800: 8800nm

    A380-800: 8500nm
    A380-800neo: 9700nm

    • OV-099, I’m not sure the economics could support pax and bags only A-330NEO, A-350NEO, or A-380NEO. Flying close to those distances, without cargo, it would be very difficult to make a profit on those long range routes. Of course they will actually fly with cargo, but the extra cargo weight would reduce these ranges.
      If you look at the A-340-500 and the B-777-200LR sales combined, you will notice there is not very much demand for aircraft with more than 9,000 nm ranges. In fact, I don’t see much demand, except from a very few airlines, for airliners with ranges above about 8,500 nm.

      • KC, payload/still-air-range for pax and bags only is actually what the OEMs are talking about when they mention the range capabilities of their products.

        Here are the equivalent figures for some Boeing airliners:

        747-8I: 8000 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).

        787-8: 7850 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).
        787-9: 8185 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).

        777-200LR: 9395 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).**
        777-300ER: 7825 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).

        777-8X: 9300 nm still-air range (pax and bags only).
        777-9X: > 8200nm still-air range (pax and bags only).

        ** Three optional auxiliary fuel tanks included.

        NB: Please do not that an A330-200neo, for example, should be considerably more capable, range-wise, than the current model 787-8.

        • Well, since we know nothing about the engine, or other improvements about the A-330NEO, A-350NEO, or A-380NEO, anything that has to do with range or capability is pure speculation. Isn’t it?

        • There’s a difference between speculation and estimation (i.e. educated “guess”). All of the range numbers for an A330neo, A359neo and A380neo are based on the projected reduction in fuel burn if using the RR Advance engine (i.e. a one percent reduction in TSFC typically leads to a one percent increase in the still-air range) Of course, if an A332neo/A333neo were to use GEnx/T1000 derived engines, then the range at still-air would be less than what’s indicated.

    • I think it is right choice to fly. It’s very good range. Is that capabilities? I think Delta will order A330-200neo. This is right one. They can fly nonstop from Seattle to Singapore or Bangkok.

  3. Also, seems to me RR is the only engine mft that must be on 330neo (and really needs 330neo to go ahead) to remain a viable business.

    • Do you think so?
      They’re still very much in the game with the Trent 1000 on all 787 variants, plus they’re the exclusive supplier on the A350, which has over 800 firm orders at this point.
      RR’s biggest problem is arguably their lack of presence in the narrowbody market in the next generation of aircraft (i.e. the NEOs, MAXs, E-2s, MRJs and CSeries out there), not whether or not an A330neo is given the green light.

      • Yes. Even though the timeframe is apparently too short for them to make a NEO offering, P&W have fantastic volume in SA + with military programs and the weight of United Technologies behind them should have a solid base for several years. GE similarly have weight behind them and are v strong in both SA and TA, while being weak on the 330. If everything stayed status quo they would still be strong. RR meanwhile are locked out of SA and the volume base this provides and locked out of the 777. If the 330 was reengined with GE only, GE’s combined 787/330 volume advantage would allow them to drive development pace and costs beyond RR’s ability to keep up. RR would become a bit part player on 787 and have almost all its civil eggs in the 350 basket, backed with a declining military side and no larger organisation behind them. Not viable, to my mind.

        • Rolls Royce only had a 32.5 percent stake in IAE. IAE has AFAIK about 45 percent market share of the A32Xceo market and zero percent market share of the 737NG “market”. Assuming a 50 percent market share split between the 737NG and the A32X-series, Rolls Royce had around a 14.5 percent stake in the A32X-market, but only some 7.3 percent stake in the entire single aisle market. That’s not a whole lot compared to their market share in the widebody market place.

          That’s why Rolls Royce probably figured out that they would be better off in the long term going alone in the future single aisle market (i.e. without P&W). Enter a RR 81-inch diameter UltraFan engine optimised for the single aisle market which could be ready for service from 2025 The UltraFan will incorporate a geared planetary drive system that drives a variable pitch fan system and that will have a 15:1 bypass ratio and overall pressure ratio of 70:1. The UltraFan engine should be up to 15 percent more efficient than the A32Xneo’s PW-1100G engine. As the core architecture of the UltraFan will be directly evolved from the core of the Advance engine, the UltraFan will be a relatively straight forward undertaking. If RR would be invited by Airbus to provide yet another engine option for the A32X-series, Pratt should be able to respond with an upgraded PW-1100G engine. But what about GE/SNECMA? How would they respond? In fact, I would be much more worried about GE/SNECMA than about RR. If and when Airbus launches an A360X super-twin and an A350-1000/1100neo using the same engine (i.e. TSFC minus 5 percent in favour of the new engine vs. the GE9X, ) while rendering the 777X much less competive than foreseen by the general electric company, GE would IMJ risk only having a viable product on the 787.

          Finally, a RR UltraFan engine should IMJ easily be able to capture a much bigger slice of the total single aisle market for RR than what they accomplished through their earlier stake in IAE — assuming of course, that they’re invited by Airbus to come aboard.

    • I’m one the record saying that GE’s refusal to provide an engine for the A350-1000 will og down in aerospace history as one of the greatest strategic blunders ever. Certainly, RR is reaping the harvest of GE’s collossal miscalculation.

      • Correction: …..will go down in aerospace history…..


        If you bothered to check the stats it’s GE all the way and Boeings Exclusivity Contract with GE bars Airbus from using the G-90, Genex1-B, Genex-2B and the fuel efficient GE-9X Goliath hits Airbus where it hurts. Let’s face facts Boeing invests billions with GE for state of the art jet engines and why should Airbus profit from Boeing’s investment for GE Research & Development for the top rated fuel efficient engines? The day of Airbus buying top quality “Off the Rack Jet Engines paid for by Boeing has come to end!!! ” Airbus is up the creek with an underpowered outdated RR-XWB-97 Rolls Royce Triple Spool engine that has reached it limit of 93,000 pounds of thrust. You will discover the Boeing and GE are married and Boeing will have an Exclusivity Contract for a new engine GE builds for Boeing. Airbus got it’s start 1972 by unfairly purchasing Pratt Whitney jet engines that Boeing billions to develop. Rolls Royce is to small to compete with GE and Airbus will have to find another source for their jet engines since GE told Airbus they will not build their dream super engine for Airbus. In fact Airbus executives asked GE to design and build Airbus an all new super engine. GE said no and Airbus asked GE why not? GE replied, ‘Why we want to compete with ourselves?

        GE and Boeing have circled the wagons since Airbus is unfairly subsidized by Germany, France, Britain and Spain. Plus Airbuses use of dirty business tactics is not welcomed in the US and the fact that American’s do not want Airbus building USAF military aircraft. Presently there is new congressional bill being sponsored to ban foreign owned companies from build US Military Aircraft. We rebuilt Europe after WW2 and it’s time they build their own jet engines instead of lying that A320-neo is all new fuel efficient plane. However Airbus forgets to mention that the only reason the A320-neo is fuel efficient is because of the GE LeapX fuel efficient jet engines designed and built in the USA!

        • AS I remeber the initial A300 was CF6-50 powered. Later you coould order it with P&W JT9D-59A engines which a few airlines did like JAL and SAS.
          Well the jet engine is a European invention that was given to the US and GE was selected to build the first copies. The great influx of European engineers and later Asian did well for GE/PWA. Like Gerhard Neumann to GE. Now the flow has more or less stopped from Europe and we will see the impact on American industry from that. Mainly in cars, high speed trians, aeroplanes and boats.

  4. Emirates 777-300ER 3 class (7 abreast business, notorious 10 abreast in the back) has 360 seats.


    The 2020 777-9X is 2.7m (2/3 rows) longer. To declare Boeing has now entered the 400+ seat segment with the -9X and base all projections on that, is a bit over enthusiastic IMO.

    AirAsia will stuff 425 seats into their A350-900s, but please let us not state this VLA is a 50% CASM reduction opportunity for BA to replace their 300 seat 747s..

    E.g. BA would put ~320 seats in a 777-9X, ANA ~235, nothing like 400+.

    Emirates could put 390 passengers in their 777-9X (2 class, 7 abreast business, if they finally sign the contract..) But if they do, they would put 600 on their A380s (11 abreast maindeck) in an apple to apple comparison (premium bars, 777x & A380, both in or out?).

    Comparing aircraft, for Emirates, seat capacity differences do not determine everything, unless it is 50%.

  5. @Scott: On the A330neo, as you state market intelligence says this is becoming quite likely, is there any indication of the engines in the running for this? Particularly with regard to RR, is the Advance still in the running?

    The Advance works like a magic wand on this viscous circle. More efficient and lighter then the Trent XWB, it enables a 2020 EIS of a 400 seat A350 which weighs fractionally more than today’s A350-1000. It means no new wing, no new landing gear, etc, just a fuselage stretch married to Advanced engines and you have your 400 passengers flown the distance asked for.

    There are two problems with this, though:
    Firstly, you lose engine commonality across the A350 family. That may or may not be a problem; mostly, airlines will stick with variants of a single engine type to power a family of planes. Then again, BA flies RR and GE alongside each other on its 777 fleet, and LH flies CFM alongside IAE 2500 on their A320s, and will do the same thing on their neos (with CFM alongside PW, that is).

    Secondly, you’re suddenly giving a single member of an aircraft family a new generation engine, and quite early into the A350 programme, too. While not every customer may want/need the extra capacity a -1100 would offer, I’m sure all would like to take advantage of the fuel savings RR promises for the Advance. There’s some trade-offs to be made there for sure – restricting the thrust range for Advance to higher-thrust applications would obviously restrict its potential applications, while protecting the investment into the Trent XWB (and mean Airbus wouldn’t be forced into an A350neo too soon); on the other hand, offering RR Advance variants covering a larger range of thrusts would enable an A330neo (with a 2020 EIS) as well as an A350-1100 and possibly A380neo, but it would also potentially mean a re-engine of the A350-900 and -1000 quite early on in their respective lives.

    Having said all that, I’m curious regarding the actual success of the 777X. So far, Boeing has recorded only 66 firm orders for the type.
    I’ve no doubt they are going to firm the additional commitments as well – but pulling the trigger on an A350-1100 based on the current 777X sales may be a bit premature. Particularly considering the conundrums described above that a -1100 would create.

    • I’m thinking one step ahead…. 🙂

      First, an Advance powered A350-800 and an A350-900neo could have engine commonality with both an A380neo and/or an A330neo. Not too bad IMHO.

      2nd, an A350-1000neo and an A350-1100 could have engine-commonality with an all new A360X super twin family that would come online post 2025. Hence, the Trent WXB-97 engine is IMJ an “interim” solution.

      Now, the 777-9X is in need of an engine (i.e. GE9X) that must have at least a 5 percent lower TSFC than the TXWB-97 engine, in order just to match, or slightly beat the fuel burn cost per seat of the A350-1000. An A350-1000neo and an A360X family would have an engine that should have at least a further 5 percent reduction in TSFC over that of the RRAdvance engine and the GE GE9X engine.

    • RR Trent 1000 TEN and GEnx are likely the choices. They are “now;” and oh, BTW, they are not untried technology (see Delta Air Lines).

      • Cheers – that’s what I would have expected, too, given Airbus sees challenges for the A330 from 2016 onward and RR Advance wouldn’t help them there, with its ~2020 EIS.

      • Hanging the T100Ten on an A330 would lead to a near direct runoff between A330 and 787 on pure airframe efficiencies, wouldn’t it?

    • The A350-1100 doesn’t have to be alone with the Advance. Why not hang it under the regular -1000 as well and do a -1000R instead of the much talked of -900R? Airbus can have two aircraft competing almost head to head with the 777X line up. Just takes one engine and one stretch and probably a few other minor modifications.

  6. I think Airbus will go no-nonsense on the A330 NEO. Just let GE pay the GENX mk II integration & throw it on the market EIS 2018.

    Maybe quick win OEW reductions, new cabins and slight stretches to
    – to balance CG (engines)
    – enhance CASM.
    – offer the same seat count as 787-8 & -9, but with 18 inch wide seats in M
    – offer a few more cargo container positions then 787-8 and 787-9

    “We have now completed a comprehensive study about the business case for the A330neo and how competitive it would be vs. the Boeing 787-8 and -9”

    I would love to see it, based on your earlier market info the 787 has about 10% fuel advantage over the A330 CEO,
    (https://leehamnews.com/2013/11/05/odds-and-ends-looking-toward-the-south-lion-air-updates-cseries-interest-787-fuel-advantage/ )
    apple to apple seat counts, 13% better GENX engines (http://www.geaviation.com/engines/commercial/genx/genx-2b.html ) and Sharklets.

    Explosive / hard to digest material from the look of it.

    I see Randy inventing the 787 has always had a 20% fuel advantage base versus the A330 any moment now. Maintaining a 5% advantage vs the A330NEO. He quickly invented 737NG vs A320CEO 7% fuel advantage base situation too, when launching the 737MAX.

    • It’s worth pointing out that so far this year Boeing has announced sales of just 1 787 (to a bizjet customer) compared to Airbus’s 23 (nett) A330s. Although Airbus can’t get complacent they are hardly at the point of desperation yet.

      • This isn’t really surprising, is it?
        A330 are on a 2+ years availability horizon while the 787-8/-9 is below the horizon to the right and appears to not come any nearer soon. _Delivery Numbers_ just don’t show visible progress .

        • If you don’t see visible progress with the 787 delivery numbers then you’re either blind or woefully biased. Any way you slice it, Boeing is making considerable progress on 787 deliveries.

          Here is the worst way to look at it:
          2012: 3.8/month average
          2013: 5.4/month average (not accounting for 4 missing months due to grounding)
          2014: 6.5/month average (26 over first 4 months only)

          Also, only 3 more frames need attention for the wing crack issue.

        • to stay with facts:
          2011 : 3 ( or 3 / 4 * 12 = 9 ? )
          2012 : 46
          2013 : 65
          2014 : 72 ( 18 / 4 * 12, ignoring for now any pot. accelleration )
          Still, they appear to lag behind any given projection. During grounding production never stopped so there should have been a delivery rush in the month after grounding was lifted. This did not happen. Deliveries continue to seesaw strongly from month to month. I’ll take my reservations down when they can raise deliveries in a consistent way.
          ( as a tentative guess I would expect an increase of ~20 frames per year : 85..88 for 2014, 105..110 for 2015 .. 1000th frame around 2020 )
          Anyway, what would your projection show as earliest availability for orders placed _now_ ( any 787 type ) ?

        • to stay with facts:
          2014 : 72 ( 18 / 4 * 12, ignoring for now any pot. accelleration )

          You have a typo there – it should be 18/3, not 18/4. You did arrive at the right projected number, though 😉
          To be fair, though – according to planespotters.net, Boeing delivered 8 787s in April (down from 10 in March), which gives us the following projection:
          2014 : 78 (26 / 4 * 12).
          Also, in fairness to Boeing, while there is some fluctuation in 787 deliveries month-over-month, deliveries don’t just depend on output, but also on allotted delivery dates, payment from airlines, etc.
          For example, the A330 line is very mature and stable, and yet actual deliveries fluctuated a good bit – April saw twice as many A330 deliveries as February did.
          Jan 2014: 9
          Feb 2014: 6
          Mar 2014: 9
          Apr 2014: 12
          You’ll see similar fluctuations in A320 series deliveries (29, 37, 45, 40).

          In short – I wouldn’t jump to conclusions on annual 787 output based on just the first three or four months of the year.

        • “Still, they appear to lag behind any given projection.”

          At the beginning of 2012, Boeing projected 35 – 44 deliveries for the year.
          Result: 46
          At the beginning of 2013, Boeing projected more than 60 deliveries for the year.
          Result: 65

          For 2014, Boeing is projecting 110 deliveries. We’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens, but if the last two years are any indication, it probably will.

          “Anyway, what would your projection show as earliest availability for orders placed _now_ ( any 787 type ) ?”

          The real answer to this question cannot be known unless we can see Boeing’s real delivery schedule which most likely includes a certain number of open slots, and is also constantly changing due not only to Boeing’s production issues, but also changing airline schedule requirements. However based only on current and declared production rate info and the current backlog, and also assuming that nothing changes, my estimate of the earliest availability is September 2020.

          My 787 backlog estimation at the beginning of each year:
          2014: 917 (1031-114) 114 delivered from 2011 through 2013
          2015: 807 (917-110)
          2016: 687 (807-120)
          2017: 555 (687-132) rate break to 12 in middle of 2016
          2018: 411 (555-144)
          2019: 267 (411-144)
          2020: 111 (267-156) rate break to 14 in middle of 2019
          111/14=7.93, so September is the month

          • Of course, the recent delivery years have included the re-work airplanes. The real test comes as the re-work airplanes are “burned off” and deliveries become strictly new production airplanes.

        • I think the 787 program has already reached the point where deliveries are dominated by new production airplanes.

          2011: All 3 deliveries were extensively reworked
          2012: 33 out of 46 delivered were reworked; ~72%
          2013: 9 out of 65 delivered were reworked; ~14%
          2014: 2 out of 27 delivered (so far) were reworked; ~7%

          There are only 15 more frames that require rework, and Boeing has rightly chosen to prioritize production and delivery of new frames over the reworked ones. They are only going to rework them as fast as the airlines want them. I believe Boeing will only deliver a few more (2 or 3) reworked frames this year giving a max total of 5 reworked frames out of the 110 they intend to deliver; 4,5%.

  7. Well, there were “challenges” last year as well. It doesn’t have to mean anything significant, though. 😉 There are plenty of A330ceo deals that could happen at Farnbourough and/or before the end of the year. If the Chinese deal goes through, A330 output could be retained at the current level until 2018, or so. Rushing things might not be the wisest course of action since an Advance-powered A330neo should be more than competitive with the 787 for another decade post EIS, while a GEnx-powered A330neo would still be be slightly inferior to the 787 in 2018 and would in all likelihood have a significantly shorter production life than an Advance-powered A330neo.

    Nov 14, 2013

    European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. cut its free cash outlook for the full year as it spends more on aircraft programs including the A350 and said it may need to review output of its A380 superjumbo amid slack demand.

    The parent of Airbus SAS predicted a 1.5 billion euro ($2 billion) cash outflow instead of breakeven, as it reported third-quarter earnings. If Airbus doesn’t find customers by year’s end to fill A380 delivery slots for 2015 it may be forced to trim production below the 30 units needed to pull the program from deficit, Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm said.


    and then; three days later on November 17, 2013:


    Emirates’ whopping order for 50 of the world’s biggest jets should end doubts about the A380 that have tested the nerve of manufacturer Airbus, the airline’s chief said – adding it was so sure of filling the planes it might have bought 10 more.

    The record $US23 billion ($A24 billion) A380 order at the Dubai Airshow turned round the fortunes of a recently slow-selling jet that is synonymous not only with Europe’s industrial ambitions, but also the rapid growth of its largest customer.

    “For us the A380 is the future. And we don’t like anyone talking about it not being around,” Emirates airline president Tim Clark said in an interview. “I want to make this absolutely clear, to Airbus and the EADS board, that we are here for the long-term. We will take more if we can, we have demonstrated that.”

    Emirates already dominated the A380 backlog with a total of 90 ordered out of 259 since it was launched in 2000. After the new deal it has 140, or almost half the planes on order.

    Yet some other airlines have cancelled or deferred as they worry whether they can fill the giant jet in tough economic times. Industry analysts say doubts have grown over whether as many as 30 further aircraft will be delivered as planned.

    “I’ve been very vocal with the Airbus management, saying don’t bottle out of this … it’s a really good aircraft,” Clark said.


  8. I seem to remember someone Airbus said a possible A350-1100 would be a simple stretch.

    It would be logical from an Airbus standpoint to have the A350-1000 wing enlargements, new landing gear and engine optimized for higher MTOW, not just the -1000.

    RR never made an engine without any growth potential. I think the A350-1000 enlarged wing, systems and engines are specified for further 10-15 % growth, e.g. a future HGW -1000, -F and -1100.

    Just like A340-500 and -600. 777-200LR, F and 300ER etc.

    BTW it seems Airbus completed some STOL tests on the A350 😉

    • Another A350 test, probably fbw; the pilot probably pulling the stick in the most left low position, checking if the system keeps the aircraft within the flight envelope at low level, with a recovery margin for a goose entering the left engine at the worst moment.


  9. Scott: can we take the technical high road and call Winglets winglets and not that S….. PR thing Airbus came up with?

    If we don’t where does it end. Shark body? Boeingletts? Shark Fin?

    Aircraft have correct names for all those parts and they should not be subject to a sales campaign.

    • The A330 has winglets…. the A320neo has winglets…the 737MAX has winglets…

      Not very informative that way. The names are not just for a PR thing. They refer to a specific application.

    • I suppose we could take the literal road and say TransWorld is a bankrupt airline.

      I don’t presume to tell Airbus how to name its thingies on the end of its wings.


  10. Regarding fuel burn disadvantage: I am pretty sure the A330 NEO will not beat the B787 in fuel economics. However, looking at primary data (wing loading, aspect ratio, thrust loading, weights per seat) the A330 NEO will not have any major disadvantage. The (empty) weight per seat will be slightly higher, but that will be of limited relevance on short and medium ranges. But: there are many other things apart from the fuel burn.

    Indeed, the NEO would be an alternative for airlines that concentrate on sub 4000nm sectors. Seat count counts! If an airline sticks to 8-abreast in the B787, the A330 can be a good alternative.

    But let’s remain sober: the last re-engine versus all-new was the B747-8 versus the A380. Although not exactly same in terms of payload capability, the B747-8 was good on paper. It failed in the market place so far.

    • In my view, the 787-10 will kill the A330-NEO. The -10 will comfortably beat the A330-300 on seat mile costs, and will do the same for the A350-900 where you don’t need the payload range.

      Airbus will need to do a lighter, more efficient, version of the A350-900 to compete with the 787-10. They might as well do an efficient version of the -800 at the same time. That plane would be equivalent to the A330-200, trading capacity for range, compared with the A350-900 NEO.

      The A330 NEO lifetime is until the 787-10 comes on in big numbers, except possibly for an Asian regional plane seating 9 across in economy.

      • FF it seems LH and JAL ordered ordered A350-900 while they could have ordered 787-10s, So could Delta. It really depends on an airlines network requirements.

        “The carrier decided not to order the 787 for a variety of reasons. “The 787-9 is too small for our requirements and the 787-10 does not have the necessary range for around 40% of the destinations,” says Carsten Spohr, CEO of the passenger airline division.”


        The A330 has been declared dead/ inferior many times. Ruining M11, 772, 767 and 787-8 leads in the process.. The A330 has been Boeings #1 WB headache during the last 20 years. And it isn’t over, up for a 15% better NEO, EIS 2 yrs before the first availabe 787 slot.

        • I agree,it depends on the airline’s requirements: the A350-900 and 787-10 have sold in roughly equal numbers since the launch of the latter plane. I would expect the balance to tilt in favor of the 787 as that plane becomes both more available and more capable. There will be a movement from the A350-900 to 1000 for the same reasons.

          I suspect Airbus will want to do something about the 787-10 at some point by bring out a more efficient but shorter range version of the A350-900 (the A350-900 NEO or new model name). This will enable an efficient A350-800 NEO, almost as a side product. In turn this will drive the A330-NEO project, which now have a clear end-date, apart from various niche applications.

        • This is how I see the Airbus wide-body offering looking in 2020:

          A332-NEO (freighter and military applications)
          A333-NEO (high density regional aircraft with upto 3000 miles)
          A360-800 (or A350-800 NEO with new engine and wings. Range of 7000 miles or so. Equivalent to the 787-9.)
          A360-900 (medium range version of the A350-900 with new engine and wings. Range of 6000 miles or so. Equivalent to the 787-10)
          A350-1000 (becoming the workhorse of the fleet)
          A350-1100 (similar size to 777-9X but lower fuel costs and shorter range)

          With a relatively modest investment – one new wing and up to three new engines paid for by the manufacturers – Airbus can address most of the ground occupied by Boeing, while retaining superiority in the A350-900/1000 segment.

        • Kessje, on your other point, the 787-10 is competing with the A330-300 as well as the A350-900. Not so much yet, due to a lack of availablity on the 787, unlike the A330. That will change.

        • Sorry, I should say this is how I see the Airbus wide body range looking in _2030_

      • A stretched A330-400Xneo should be more than competitive with the 787-10 (i.e, lower fuel burn per seat) if it were to be powered by the Advance engine. That same engine (i.e. at least one tonne lighter per engine) could power both an A350-800 and A350-900neo having a reduced MTOW of 259 metric tonnes (i.e. down from today’s 268 metric tonnes of the A359), and a reduced thrust requirement of 79,000 lbs (i.e. 84,000 lb of thrust today).

  11. I think many take 787 beats A330 NEO in terms of fuel efficiency as a starting point, rather then as a result of a quantitive comparison. Because it is the New, Carbon $25 Bill Game Changing Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Too big to fail.

    If airlines say the 787 is 10% better then the A330 CEO, there is a NEO engine that is 15% better, weight reductions, more seats and Sharklets are likely, analyst sofar pulled their hands off & changed the subject. Maybe we can get a look at Scotts assumptions and calculations?

  12. If Airbus go ahead with an A330 NEO program using “current” RR powerplants, would that not seriously hamper the competitiveness of the aircraft in comparison to the RR Ultra?

    It is indeed a bit of a conundrum: wait for the better engines and suffer a few years or take the powerplant that is available earlier knowing it’s performance is not optimal.

  13. What if??
    Let me make some assumptios:
    a) RR is really interested in A380 NEO (or whatever)- EIS 2020 – 2025??
    b) GE and RR are somehow interested in A 330 NEO (or what they could call)
    c) RR has more to loose without the A330 NEO
    d) RR agrees with Airbus to a GRADUAL replacement of the Trent 700, first with the TEN1000, (EIS 2017 perhaps?? It is possible that the main calculations for the wing load and new pylon were made several years ago for A350 MKI, so they revisit that concept). RR pays almost all the expenses (2 billion, maybe?), for another 600 engines (300 more A330). Airbus makes a new winglet, or “air deflector unit”. 8 – 9% better SFC than the current A330, but close enough in the 4000 nm sector.
    e) After 2020, you have a RENEO, or MAXXX or what you would like, plus much more Airbus comitment (Al-Li, perhaps the A340-500 wing for an outstanding A-330-500). Perhaps even a A330 – 600, that will put some pressure on the 777x?)

  14. Meanwhile we await an A330NEO-Advance or NEO-Ultra etc, to my own account we may expect busy days ahead for the A330 CEO : putting the competitive picture bluntly, in the < 400 seat class WB market, for delivery in 2015, '16, '17 and '18, the A330 simply has no competitor, the 788/789 being sold out till 2019-20 ! The PAYBACK TIME for an A330 being 2.3 – 3.5 years (pending the market into which the aircraft is deployed) so for Strategic Planners with a decision leadtime of 4 years or less, rather than DOING NOTHING (waiting 5-6 years or more for the next 787 slot ?) the easy 'GO' decision is accepting an A330 slot close up : the financial risk is virtually NIL !! As the phenomena described here is on a sliding horizon basis, the A330 will always be the best buy to Planners with a short decision lead-time …

  15. Is there any indication of what else is included in the A330 NEO program? Or is it literally a New Engine Option, just like Trent was nearly a NEO, considering how much later in the program it came? A NEO featuring only a new engine and “Wingtip Devices” would be a low cost option paid for in a couple of hundred frames and replacing it with a newer version of a clean sheet 5-10 years later wouldn’t worry Airbus.

  16. “A NEO featuring only a new engine and “Wingtip Devices” would be a low cost option paid for in a couple of hundred frames and replacing it with a newer version of a clean sheet 5-10 years later wouldn’t worry Airbus.”

    Lets “assume” a 1.5 billion investment by both GE and Airbus.
    If a A330NEO’s have a list price of $250 Mill and a real price of $150 Mill, gieven a margin of 10% break even would be 100 / 1 year. Margins / prices might be higher for the A330 due to proven value, rest value, commonality, reliability, availability etc.

    • I guess a widebody NEO will be a bit more expensive, I rather thought it would take a 2 year program life extension to do it. So anything delivered after 2020 would be cream on the cake, but I guess there would be a few billion in to be made here.

  17. It would be interesting to have a business analysis of the following:
    1. 787 open slots begin when (20120?)
    2. 330neo entry begins when (2018?). So potentially 220 aircraft slots available
    4. Projected inprovements in 787 (I presume B doesn’t stand still)
    5. Gap in performance between 330neo and 787now and in 2020
    6. Gap in pricing between 330neo and 787s now and in 2020
    7. Price of fuel projections
    8. Projection over 15-20 years of ownership ie at what point does lower cost (330neo) get overtaken by better performance (787)? The 787 is the lighter newer aircraft… with presumably more room to make improvements)
    9. Investment needed by A to make the 330neo a go and how much do you throw into it?

    So if you could get a 330neo cheaper than a 787 at what percent does it make sense to buy and what happens as the 787 PIPs?

    Fascinating to watch ;0)

    • It would be very interesting indeed to get answers to all the points you mentioned. However, I think there is no hope getting true unbiased answers to points 5 and 6. I’m not saying that our host is biased, but any analysis is only as good as the info that goes into it.

  18. I think Airbus should split the difference between the 200 and 300, and go with one A330neo model at 61m length. Give it two MTOW ratings, one for regional, and one for full load 4000nm range.

  19. Ah, the infamous viscous circle. So thick and sticky.

    • The 787-10 approach for the A350-1100 is still a cheap and quick method. He clearly states that a new engine would be the pacing item. It would also be the most costly part of the development.

      But with RR announcing that they’re going to start working on the Advance regardless of whether they have a practical application and that they can indeed have it ready by around 2020, it is well worth a look.

    • I think Airbus will stimulate RR developing new engines for A350 and A380, being left in the cold by GE before. GE made a business decision protecting their 777 investment. Now Airbus will do the same.

    • Have RR really got the resources to develop what is effectively 2 separate engines (c.65-75K & 100-105k) by the 2020 time frame?

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