Airbus has a major image problem with its A330 backlog: the aviation industry looks at the backlog and sees “two years worth of production,” assuming on its face that after 2016, there are no orders. Therefore the program is in dire straits.
It’s not that simple, as we’ve pointed out: firm orders extend to 2019, though heavily front-loaded to the near term–and certainly Airbus does have issues with the backlog.
The same industry looks at the Boeing 777 backlog, hears Boeing say it has three years worth of backlog and six years to fill a production gap to EIS of the 777X, blithely asserting there is no problem. This assumes 100% conversion of options, letters of intent and option LOIs.
We’ve previously plotted out the production gaps of both airplanes. Below we plot the orders, options, LOIs and option LOIs (Airbus does not list option LOIs) from the Ascend data base as of July 1. The plot lines are actually very similar near-term.
The above chart segments the various categories. This reveals the firm orders plot lines for the A330 and 777 Classic to be very similar beginning in 2015 through 2019. However, Boeing has about 31 firm orders in the TBD column in which Ascend doesn’t have delivery dates that, when allocated, could well boost the 777 delivery stream.
However, the next chart aggregates the categories. Even combining the categories continues to provide a similar plot line through 2019, after which the A330 disappears but the 777 does not. Boeing, however, has a large number in the TBD column that, when ultimately allocated to a delivery stream, gives the 777 a clear advantage (assuming conversions of options and LOIs).
The A330 is clearly more challenged the farther out it gets, but it’s not that far off the 777 excluding the TBD delivery stream.
Agree with all the above, BUT Airbus does have the A350 coming much sooner down the line, with deliveries starting this year, whereas Boeing has to wait until 2020 for the 777X (Granted the A350 is going up against the 787 as well).
Charles- where does the A350 come in to the discussion? This is about the A330 and 777 backlogs.
If the A330 production stations can be switched to A350 production stations with very little effort then A350 is very relevant to the discussion, subject to the ability of the supply chain to keep up with changing rates
“”…where does the A350 come in to the discussion? This is about the A330 and 777 backlogs.””
The A350 is the most-modern, highest-tech Jetliner to ever be built. (John Leahy of Airbus says so, and he awarded the France’s Legion of Honor Medal….so he has street cred.) As a result, the introduction of the A350 will undoubtedly impact 777 sales as Airlines see how cool this plane is and cancel their 777 orders in order to buy it. I mean…who wouldn’t choose the greatest plane ever built – the A350?
Both OEMs have some selling to do if they want to firm up production through 2022.
Surely it’s not realistic (for either manufacturer) to assume 100% conversion of options and LOIs — otherwise those would be firm orders already. What’s a reasonable assumption for a conversion rate for those?
nope and thats the point, not sure who they think they are fooling, pigeons have to roost sometimes
“Boeing and Emirates Airlines firmed up the order for 150 777Xs announced last November ”
Finally the opportunity to congratulate Boeing on what must be one of the largest orders in aviation history!
“The A330 is clearly more challenged the farther out it gets, but it’s not that far off the 777 excluding the TBD delivery stream.”
Side note: if the Airbus launches the A330NEO it will still enter service approx 2 years before the 777NEO. Instantly changing the picture.
“Side note: if the Airbus launches the A330NEO it will still enter service approx 2 years before the 777NEO. Instantly changing the picture.”
How do you know that without knowing what other changes an A-330NEO would need besides the engines and sharklets?
Looks like the 777x is a go. I thought Emirates and Qatar were working a deal for 200 together?
Airbus still has the option for the A332lite, 55m carbon wing, 55K engines, optimize economics for the 7 hour flight.
If: 1. The 330 neo enters service in 2018 2. Approaches or equals the 787 performance 3. Maintains the cost advantage compared to the 787
Then Airbus is to be congratulated on having an excellent product that will sell well in the regional widebody market. However, getting all three “ifs” right in a timely fashion with minimal effort at lowest cost possible will be the trick.
I would guess that Boeing will not be standing still either. Scott, are there PIPs and weight reductions etc planned for the 787-8 and 9 and the GE and RR engines?
GE doing a 787 PIP will prompt RR to do a 787 PIP that can also be made available to the A330neo if the engines are the same (aside from being a bleed version). It will be left to Boeing to do any improvements that bring about a meaningful advantage over its rival.
Weight reduction is on going, I believe GE has a second PIP in the works, not sure on RR.
Having the B777 line running at 30% of current output should be no problem. It will cost some people their job, which is very unfortunate. Boeing has advantages making those changes. Having a line running at 30% also allows a deep remanufacturing.
If Airbus doesn’t launch an A330 NEO it will probably shut down A330 production from 2020 onwards. However, the A300 continued for roughly 10 years after A330 was available. However, I doubt that A330 avhieve a similar success.
Setting 777 including the future X derivative up against the A330 without ( the yet to be offered ) NEO version introduces a significant shift to the picture.
The graphics should make that a bit clearer imho.
Taking that into account and with an ear to recent rumours they then argue the case for an A330 NEO quite well, don’t they?
Well, the A330neo would only impact on the 777-200 in the 777 Classic lineup. Not the hottest-selling variant of the 777 family any more to begin with.
Wasn’t this more of a “biography” comparison than a competing product thing?
We should continiue this discussion after Farnborough Air Show.