Kiran Rao, executive vice president, strategy and marketing.
Rao discussed the wide-body strategy for Airbus at Innovation Days on Wednesday. The following paraphrasing synopsizes his remarks.
- More than 3,500 wide bodies have been sold by Airbus, starting with the A300B2, the first wide0body twin.
- 1,200 wide-bodies are in backlog. A330: 250-300 seats; A350: 280-370 seats; A380 more than 500 seats (two-class, long range layout).
- Airbus officials, including Rao, continued to promote the company’s 18-inch seat campaign, comparing the A-Series against the Boeing 777/787 17-inch 10 abreast and nine abreast respectively.
- Boeing has to go 10 abreast with the 777 “because the economics don’t work at nine abreast.” Boeing had to go with nine abreast on the 787 rather than eight abreast because the “economics don’t work” compared with the A330 otherwise.
- Economics is the “most important criteria” and the “Airbus aircraft come out ahead.”
- Rao claims the A330 has lower maintenance costs, lower airport, lower navigation and lower capital costs. The A330 has simpler systems so costs less to maintain, particularly on the engines. The A330-300 is slightly lighter than the 787-9.
- For the first time we’ve heard, an Airbus official referred to the “A330ceo.”
- Each seat for a long-haul operator is worth $2m per year, so an A350-900 vs a 787-9 with 35 more seats can generate $70m more revenue per year.
- The A350-1000 has a 15% COC per trip and a 5% COC per seat advantage, Rao says. Assumptions: 4,000nm, $3/gal, 2 class configuration, 369 seats for A350, 405 seats for 777-9.
- 777-9X is inefficient without the stretch and a longer wing. It has inferior comfort, Rao says.