Farnborough Air Show, July 14: A330 program analysis after neo launch

It was pretty much the worse-kept secret in advance of the Farnborough Air Show this year: Airbus launched the re-engining of the A330, designating the new engine option the A330-800 (the A330-200 successor) and the A330-900 (the A330-300).

Rolls-Royce, as had been widely reported, becomes the sole-source engine provider of the Trent T7000. Airbus also gave it new A350 style winglets and have made enhancements to the cabin with improved seating, IFE and mood lighting, In total Airbus claims to have improved the fuel consumption with 14% per seat. Deliveries will start in Q4 2017.800x600_1405309967_A330-900neo_RR_AIB_01Rebranding the A330, dropping the -200 and -300 names, and adopting the more modern -800/-900 speaks to the significant upgrade of the airplane. Parenthetically, this also follows the pattern set by Boeing decades ago when it went from the 737-200 to the 300/400/500, then the 700/800/900 and now the 7/8/9. It speaks to adopting new technology and is consistent with the sub-type branding of the A350.

Predictably, Boeing has been dismissing the A330neo in advance of the launch and will continue to do so now that the program is a reality. This is in keeping with the pattern followed by Airbus and Boeing over each other’s product development.

Airbus saw great success with the A320neo, which was vociferously dismissed by Boeing until the latter launched its own “neo” program with the 737 MAX. In fact, if one stops to think, Boeing has been a master at re-engined programs, as noted above with the 737. It also reengined and refreshed the 747 several times. The 747-100 was a sole-source Pratt & Whitney engine. The 747-200/300/400 added upgraded PW engines plus powerplants from Rolls-Royce and GE. The 747-8 is a sole-source GE engine.

There is no reason to believe the A330-800/900 won’t be a success. It certainly won’t be the runaway success of the A320neo family–the market sectors are very different–but the neo will add new life to a program that was already far more successful than Airbus (and Boeing) ever figured it would be.

Will the A330neo be a true competitor for the Boeing 787? Boeing doesn’t think so, and once more technical details of the A330neo are released we will re-run our analysis and come up with our own conclusions. But based on advance information and data, we concluded the A330neo comes within 3%-5% of the 787 operating costs and Airbus can make up the difference with pricing the fully amortized A330 to a price point Boeing will have difficulty matching.

More to the point, the 787 is sold out past 2020–and the A330 has plenty of slot availability long before Boeing can deliver the 787, especially with a Q4 2017 availability of the 330neo. If airlines need a new wide-body airplane before the A350 or the 787 can become available, the choices are the Boeing 777-300ER or the A330-200/300 and 800-900. The 777-300ER and the A330s are different seating sectors, so in the end, choice will come down to how big an airplane is required.

Availability and price will really drive the success or failure of the A330neo. We think it will be a success.

76 Comments on “Farnborough Air Show, July 14: A330 program analysis after neo launch

  1. First delivery in Q4, 2017. Hence, A330 production will very likely not see much of a “gap” at all.

    • In fact, a two-year overlap in CEO/NEO production was mentioned, I believe – similar to what Airbus did with the A320 re-engine.
      I’m surprised at the Q4 2017 EIS, to be honest; I expected Q3 2018 or thereabouts.

      • Airbus, apparently, needs another 200 A330ceo orders in order to maintain output at 10 per month until 2020.

  2. RR mention a 10% SFC improvement with the 7000, compared with 20% for the Advance they were touting for decade end. Obvioulsy there will be PIPs after Q4 17, but I wonder how long RR see the 7000 lasting (given their forecasts for 2020-2025 tech) and therefore how long Airbus see the -800/900neo lasting.

  3. Great news, and a great release date of end ’17.

    Love the 330 for it’s passenger friendly cabin width in front and back… It’s just the right size!!!

    It’s also ‘enough’ plane for EU-US routes… AISA-MEA-EU routes… With space for people, bags, cargo. I think it’ll have a great future… As an aircraft that is designed for 7-11 hr flights.

    If it ain’t broke… Don’t ‘go broke’ fixing it

  4. Pls, somebody solve this riddles:

    1) Airbus needs 3 1/2 years to design and deliver the A320neo, where the only change is a new engine, this being a super priority project

    Now, they indicate the same time for the A330neo, even if announcing tht other important changes will be included, without which they would not ome even near to the B787 performance

    2) Airbus states that with new engines the performance would improves 14%
    compared with the best conventional aircraft

    A few days ago, they tooted that the E350 improvement , which is very similar to the B787neo, is 25%,!! Meaning that the A330neo would remain 10+% below the B787, which is precisely what Boeing tells!!.

    All this shows that this project i combination of a propaganda and desperation act,
    which as by product, if they sell it at a loss to compete with BOEING, as by product
    they will stop many sales of the present A330 and of the A359 with the larger versions!!

    • Time until entry-into-service can be set by many critical paths: availability of the engine, engineering & flight testing, market considerations, production facilities. So the time to EIS will never be shorter than engineering & flight testing (well, Boeing for a while thought it could do this on the 787). The EIS of the A320NEO wasn’t set by the time required to design the airframe.

      The engine percentage advantages have to be taken with great care. You also mix cash operating cost figurtes with fuel burn advantages. Overall, I recommend more reading before making statements like yours, otherwise it might eat into your reputation fast.

    • Your misconceptions at work 😉
      The 787 and A350 XWB are not on par. TXWB spec perf. is 6% ahead of the 787 engines at spec. TXWB already is better than that spec while the 787 engines are “just there” ( after how many years of delays and PIPs?)
      Then I expect Airbus to have the more efficient airframe too.

    • otontisch,
      Not sure what the punchline is in (1) but there had been a huge amount of design work done in the last 7 months. Given the engine change (~10% improvement) + the aero cleanup and seating change (~4% improvement), Airbus essentially closes the gap on the operating costs v 787. Combine that with the lower purchase price, near term availability, well oiled production line (@10/month), next to nothing development costs and the decision to launch was a no brainer…

      “All this shows that this project i combination of a propaganda and desperation act”
      Propaganda is what you will now be hearing from Boeing, who know very well that the neo will destroy the 787 value.

      Last time a product was launched to keep its competitor honest on pricing we witnessed the B748. The neo announced now is based on a very popular a/c that is the A330 currently being pumped out at 10/month. See the difference?

    • Airbus market the A350XWB as being 25% more efficient than the 777.

      I think if you look through some of Leeham’s older entries, you will find that the industry seems to view the 787 as around 10-12% better on fuel per seat than the A330ceo, assuming the 787 is at 9 abreast.

  5. A330neo will be the low cost alternative of the B787:
    – lower capital cost in buying it
    – therefore less need to have it utilized to the utmost
    – potentially lower maintenance cost, due to availability of many competing maintenance shops
    – availability of pilots (A320 pilots will do)
    I wouldn’t expect to see Lufthansa going for a A330neo, but I could imagine many airlines from emerging markets making the choice.

    However, in the wide body business even small disadvantages in cost add up to large amounts of money over time. So the A330neo will be a program with short life expectancy. Furtherm, before I read any B767neo non-sense: the A330 is unique in combining a very modern airframe (both by its aerodynamic design and its performance … not far from the B787) with dated engines (in fact, those of the B747-400, MD11, B777-200ER with adapted fan diameter). The B767 shares the dated engines, but also has a dated airframe.

  6. The wing on the A-338/9 looks a lot like a modified version of the wing on the A-358/9. Is Airbus grafting the A-350 wing and center wing box onto the A-330, even though the fuselage is a different width?
    Will the A-338/9 also get the landing gear from the A-358/9, too?
    The A-350 already has some 740 orders in the same market the A-330 is. The B-787 has about 1030 orders (including the 165 already delivered) in this same market, too. That is already some 1770 orders and deliveries. How big is this market? Can it support another type? I have not included those A-330s ordered and delivered since 2004, when the B-787 was launched.

    • No, the A338/A339 will have the same wing as the current versions, but the span will be increased by 3.7 m.

      • It will also get a mid wing re-twist and a few other aero clean ups and improvements.

        • Yes, but they won’t change the wing box except for what’s required for internal strengthening.

        • Correct, the concept won’t change. They are looking to extent the wingbox to get rid of the current wingbox/wingtip/winglet joint to save some weight and then plug in the new winglet.

        • Also, the the wing-to-body fairing and Slat-1 will be modified. Would that be a droop-nose-type leading edge device on Slat-1?.

        • The slat is the same as the 242T (WV080) version. FTF is also the same.

  7. 25 units worth 6.9B, that is 275mil each, the 787-9 cost 250 mil, didn’t they rely on lower cost acquisition as the main argument to be competitive against the 787 ? 

    • That’s at catalog prices (i.e. including engines). The point here is that Airbus can go lower than Boeing on “actual pricing” (i.e. including discounts etc.) due to the fact that the A330 production line has long since been fully amortised.

  8. The “XWB” is now “Wider” than what now? Both the B787 and the A330neo?

    • There seems to be more than a few people who think that Airbus came up with the designation “XWB” simply as a marketing ploy against the very popular 787. That is only partially true.

      The same people forget that the Airbus first response to the 787 was the A350 with the same fuselage width inherited from the “A-300 family”.

      It is only after considerable pressure from key customers that they decided to design a new and wider fuselage in order to satisfy the demands of those customers. Airbus then decided, and only then, to redesign the A350 with a much larger fuselage in order to accommodate more passengers. That is where the designation “XWB” comes from.

      It can be said that the original A350 was a very advanced A330neo. But customer pressure forced the issue into a brand new platform that would eventually take on the 787 and 777 both at the same time.

      So to answer your question, the XWB is wider than the original A350, the 787 and the A330neo. But if the A350 XWB is much larger than the original A350 and the new A330neo, it remains only marginally wider than the 787. But enough so to seriously compete also with the larger 777.

      It was a very well calculated risk, but one that was not part of the original plan which was much less audacious. Still, Extra Wide Body or not the A350 would never be able to compete with the 777X in terms of shear capacity. That is if everything else was equal, which it is not: one being smaller, but more advanced, than the other.

  9. So 10 more seats in the A330-900 and 6? more for the A330-800, and that gets the savings? Interesting marketing pitch on the Airbus website, get some slight mods to the interior, the current parts inventory can remain, and you get the 18 inch seat. Do you have to do the D-Check and do you have deal with corrosion issues? Hey, anybody notice that the A330 region got no orders from China? Thought that was going to provide 300 in the bag sales? Guess this announcement means DL will now close the RFP and grant the win to the A330-800/900s. The airshow with a first real display of the A350-900 (I know Singapore and Dubai had it too) and it is kicked to the curb by the announcement of the A330NEO.

    • The A330 airframe is now mature, which makes it predictable. But above all it is easy to maintain because of it’s conventional technology that everyone understands.

      The 787 will probably have a reduced number of airframe issues, but more complicated ones to manage for the average operator.

  10. They are also putting an electrical designed engine on a pneumatic aircraft? Part commonality with existing A330 just went out the window, and by the way this aircraft will show up three years from now. That means the 787-8,-9 fleet will consist of 350-450 frames. By the time the A330-900 hits the market the airline industry will be flying with what looks like almost half of the current A330 global fleet? Will that mean the 787 will be the industry standard when the A330NEOs show up? Airbus will be working to make the A350-900 and -1000 more than simply an afterthought and will also be calling the A330-800, -900 a what? Final thought the A330-900 will not be competing against the current 787 versions but will be competing with 787s that have 3-5 new PIPs and 3 frame performance improvement plans. 787s will be performing at +99% and the MRO world will be focused on an entire industry based on 787/A350 maintenance activities. A330 will be coming out of fleets replaced by 787/A350s and the operating fleet of A330 will be significantly less than this decision day. Yeah Boeing will have to offer deep discounts to compete against the A330NEO.

    • Wow, such Negative waves! The T7000 will have the electrical provision removed and replaced by bleed air – and presumably, just like the 7867 engines, it will continue to be improved, just as I’m sure Airbus will continue to work on the A350s

  11. Some interesting questions come to mind now that the A330 NEO is a reality.

    1. This aircraft looks a lot like the A350 Mk1 which the market rejected. What has changed?

    2. We have assumed that because the A330 capital costs are sunk that Airbus will have a major price advantage over the 787 which will offset the fuel cost differential. Boeing right now has around 1000 787 orders. At what point can Boeing look at the existing order book as having covered the capital costs and price much more agressively as well?

    3. What about engine costs? We have two engines competing on the 787 vs a new derivative (I presume) on the A330 NEO. If RR is paying a major portion of the bill for the 330 NEO development and will preusumably want to recover some of that how will engine pricing affect the total cost of any deal?

    4. What about mx costs? How will those factor into a long term ownership evaluation?

    5. If Airbus is offsetting fuel burn with capital cost at what assumed fuel price over time does that work? You would think an airline that’s honestly competing the 787 with the NEO would want some margin in those numbers to account for increases in the cost of fuel.

    6. Finally how do the 787/330 truly compare on seat count especially if you have both at 8 across in economy.

    • Revisit all of the promises that sold the 787 Dreamliner and check if they have materialised.
      Druglike Rush , forsooth! They are all on cold turkey now 😉

    • The A350Mk1 launch configuration was the third and most advanced iteration since conception in mid-2004 (i.e. featuring an all new composite wing). The A330neo is, in fact, similar in concept to the first iteration. What has changed is 10 years of further A330 maturity, a better engine that’s going to be significantly better than the initial T1000/GEnx engines that were developed too hastily and a 787 programme which turned out to be no so dreamlike, after all.

      Look at our friend Jacobin777, StratAero and all the other Boeing surrogates. They’re making a significant amount of noise in response to the launch of the A330neo and its competitiveness, but the signal to noise ratio from these “sources” are seemingly ridiculously low. Apparently, it all about FUD. The fact of the matter is that if Boeing wants to reach break-even on the 787 at some time in the future, they can’t match the A330neo in pricing. They’ll have, the advantage, of course, of selling further airframes to existing customers, but many of those are also existing A330 customers — and it remains to be seen if the bigger 787 windows will clinch a deal with all things being equal.

      Air Lease had been one of those pushing for Airbus to revamp the jet and said on Monday it thought the move would extend the life of the top-selling A330 family by at least another 20-25 years.

      There is a compelling price difference between the A330neo and any other wide body. I think it was a very smart, astute move on the part of Airbus,” Air Lease President and Chief Operating Officer John Plueger said.


      • @OV-099

        I do believe the A330NEO will sell in decent numbers but I do not believe it will be as competitive against other Boeing (and Airbus) products.

        I am especially curious to see how the A339NEO compares agains the B787-10 as I believe both will serve on “regional trunk routes” (though the B787-10 AFAIK will have better range).

        The good news for the A330NEO is that the A330 has an exellent customer base and Airbus will be able to take advantage of it.

        Apropos, I find it quite sad and a bit humorous you take the time to address me personally (incorrectly I might add). One would think people have better things to do. 🙂




        • Just a reminder to everyone that my Reader Comment Rules don’t allow personalities and personal attacks. The interaction Jacobin and his responders haven’t really gotten out of hand yet but I do want to raise the yellow flag here.


        • @Jacobin777

          If you do believe that the A330neo will sell in “decent numbers” why the need to retweet stuff such as how the A330 family supposedly is going to be “getting spanked silly” *** in performance/efficiency against the 787? Nothing wrong with being a Boeing and 777 fan, but spreading FUD isn’t really necessary, is it?

          *** Retweeted by Jacobin
          StratAero @StratAero · Jul 3

          #A330 family “getting spanked silly” in performance/efficiency against @BoeingAirplanes 787-8 http://is.gd/RHLjVn

          Retweeted by Jacobin
          StratAero @StratAero · Jul 3

          Airbus faces problem as A330 surrounded by better alternatives like 787-8, 787-9, 787-10, #777X http://is.gd/RHLjVn

          Retweeted by Jacobin
          StratAero @StratAero · Jul 3

          A330 orders struggle as more airlines induct revolutionary superior @BoeingAirplanes 787s http://is.gd/RHLjVn

          AFAIK, the 787-10 and the A339 will have about the same range. The extra volume on the lower deck space on the 787 will not matter much, though, as the payload capability of the dash-10 is not good enough in order to fully utilize that additional volume on routes exceeding 3000 – 3500 nm — and payload carrying capacity is not a deciding factor on, for example, intra Chinese flights. However, the A339 should be compared to the 787-9 and not the 787-10, just like how the A338 is matched against the 787-8. Obviously the larger aircraft will have a lower operating cost per seat, but it costs more to buy and to operate. Nice try, though, by Boeing to start talking about the dash-10 when they are trying to ridicule the A333 and A339neo.

        • @OV-099

          “Decent numbers” is still relative. As I mentioned previously, I don’t see the NEO selling in great numbers relative (important word) to the B787/A350-which can be construed as “spanked silly”.

          You’ve made some bold statements (regarding the -10) that payload isn’t important (at least in China) but many “regional trunk routes” do have a lot of cargo. Carriers such as CX carry A LOT of cargo in the belly of their pax planes.


          ” A330-300 to around 6,000 miles. But Airbus also says that a majority of the flights of the aircraft are 2,000nm or less—“regional” service within Asia, Europe and the Middle East.”

          Leeham.net-July 29,2013.

          This leads one to possibly conclude that the B787-10 will be able to carry fully pax+cargo on a number of routes.

          We also have:

          ““So both the passenger revenue capability of the airplane and the underfloor cargo capacity of the airplane (B787-10) increase significantly over the 787-9, with minimal changes to the aircraft,” Udvar-Hazy says. “The result is that the unit economics of the airplane, in terms of seat-kilometer cost and the additional cargo capability . . . put it in a very unique and advantageous position.””


          IMHO the A358 should be more “matched” up against the B789 as the difference between the B789 and A358 is smaller than the difference between the A358 and B788.

          I would posit the same regarding the B787-10 as currently the A333 and B787-10 are of a more “apt comparison” (unless we go with the so-called “A359XWB-Regional”).

        • @jacobin777

          So, “decent numbers” is sort of the equivalent of the “meaning of the word is”; in other words, you are trying to construe the meaning of “decent numbers” in whatever way that seems to suit you. Back in the real world, though, “decent numbers” is still much better than being “spanked silly”. 😉

          In contrast to you and StratAero, quite a few current A330 customers seem to like the performance of the A330neo and it’s lower purchasing price; in other words it will have about the same cash operating costs as the 787, but it will have significantly lower capital costs. A330-300 customers not needing the additional range of the 787-9 or A350-900, or the extra capacity of the 787-10 and A350-900, will now have an option of skipping the new generation clean sheet designs and opt for the A330neo.

          Over the lifetime of the programme the success of the A330ceo/A330neo vis-à-vis the 787 should be measured in number of sales of both programmes from April 2004, at the time of the official launch of the 787 programme.

          As for the 787-10, it will have a range of around 3800nm at the maximum structural payload; or about the same payload/range as the current A330-300. However, the 787-10 will be flying around with an additional 8 LD-3 positions — assuming the same pax count. Thus, it’s not realistic IMJ that the 787-10 will be flying around most of the time with a lower deck full of extra cargo. Of course, there might be a few, relatively short, but cargo-heavy routes might make full use of the lower deck volume on the 787-10. Also, buying 787-10s might not be consistent with maintaining flight frequencies on intermediate ranged routes and a high frequency of, say, current A333s still offer a massive amount of cargo capability.

        • @OV-099

          “However, the 787-10 will be flying around with an additional 8 LD-3 positions — assuming the same pax count. Thus, it’s not realistic IMJ that the 787-10 will be flying around most of the time with a lower deck full of extra cargo. Of course, there might be a few, relatively short, but cargo-heavy routes might make full use of the lower deck volume on the 787-10.”

          Generally speaking I admire your objectivity OV. But in the above statement you have not entirely convinced me with your argument. I believe that the 787-10 advantage in cargo capacity is more valuable than you might want it to be.

          That being said, I do recognize that at the beginning you have indeed specified “IMJ”. 😉

        • @OV-099

          I really don’t need to play with semantics here. Of course “decent” will be whatever suits me-its relative in the first place. To me a few hundred is certainly “decent numbers” but compared to the B787 and A350 which has/will sell >1,000 each to me is “spanked silly”. Simple as that.

          Right now, so far, only 1 company has purchased the A330NEO. I expect a number of carriers to eventually order but its so far 1. If the A330NEO has basically the “same cash operating costs” as well as “significantly lower capital costs” as well as earlier availability then who would bother with the B787-10 (or even -9)? LOL!

          According to information which I provided, the vast majority of A333 routes are <3800NM which even using your data (which I question) would still allow the B787-10 to carry maximum pax+cargo.

          I guess we'll see how the market "plays out".

          • 1) The only source telling that the A330neo will be cheap is AIRBUS. Fact is that the only commitment (of 25) indicates an average (for 800 and 900)  listed price of about $270M, which is even well higher than the of the Price list for the present model, in turn even slightly higher as the of B787!

            Which does not impede that they can sell it at a dumping, money loosing prices in the future!

            2) It is obvious that no Airline will use an aircraft as the B788 with a range above 9.000 miles, on a regular route of 3,000, for which is would be to large and heavy and Mr. Leahy/ For such flights, the B783 ould be adecuate, a still not sold aircraft which only client was a Japanese Airline, which changed itl later for B788 (or 9?), neither an similar range A330neo!! Here a single aisle as a A321 neo or B73max or even hypothetical  B757neo could be used.

            Let see what will happen in the next weeks. The fact that one of the main proposers of the A330neo, AIR LEASE only committed 25 units is not a good omen!!

        • @Normand Hamel

          The 787-10 has IMJ too short on payload/range capability in order for it to fly the major air freight routes with a full belly between Asia and Europe/USA. Hence, it will have to compete with all sorts of aircraft flying, for example, intra-Asian sectors. Also, one should keep in mind that air exports from Asia to Europe/USA is much larger than the other way around. In 2007, for example, it was 74 percent larger on Asia to Europe compared to Europe to Asia (i.e. source in 2nd link below). This means, of course, that large widebodies are flying around with quite empty bellies on routes from Europe/USA to Asia.

          One shouldn’t assume IMJ that just because you’ve got an aircraft with a very big empty belly capable of carrying large loads of additional cargo, it will be suitable for air cargo, all of the time.

          Now, for Asia/Pacific carriers the international freight-load factor averaged 64.3 percent in April of this year, which would seem to indicate that a 787-10 wouldn’t really have an advantage over the A330-300/900 in the freight department.


          Furthermore, substituting the 787-10 with A320s/737s/A330s on intra-Asian flights doesn’t mean that much more cargo will be carried even if the cargo carrying capacity is increased.

          1.6 Air Cargo Capacity

          1.6.1 Short-Medium-Haul

          Short/medium-haul routes generally have high frequency service with passenger aircraft, but most of the timings are not suitable for air cargo. The normal pattern of flights between medium to large cities would be a morning peak between 7-9 a.m., another around the middle of the day and a third evening one. That would give four aircraft return flights or “rotations” a day (low-cost airlines might achieve five). Of these only the early evening one might be suitable for feeding long-haul flights, but the schedule lacks a later evening departure to give a next day delivery possibility for intra-regional express cargo.

          1.6.2 Long-Haul

          Long-haul passenger flights are usually operated with wide-bodied aircraft with up to 20 tonnes or more of cargo capacity in the lower deck. Some of them depart late evening, which suits the pattern of freight delivery. They can handle all but certain categories of cargo (e.g. dangerous items) and outsized cargo shipments. The frequencies of service are often once a day, with at least three or four times weekly operated as a minimum. This allows express operators the possibility of a two- or three-day delivery commitment.


        • @jacobin777

          It’s intellectually dishonest to start comparing the number of total sales of the 787/A350, which were launched in 2004/2006, with the number of prospective sales of the just-launched A330neo. Any reasonably objective observer would, of course, compare the combined A330ceo/A330neo orders with 787/A350 orders from the day(s) the 787/A350 were launched. IMJ, the A330ceo/A330neo should quite easily be able in garnering more than 2000 orders (i.e. starting the count in April 2004) — a projection shared by quite a few influential people in the business, but not by the fringe elements in the aerospace commentariat. Believing that the A330neo will just sell a few hundred seems to be based more on hope than reality.

          AFAIR, the A320neo was launched without any firm orders at all. Estimating the “poor” chances of success for the A330neo after being in the market for only one day, is nothing but ludicrous — but if such a shallow and superficial “analyisis” suits you, then that’s fine with me.

          As for the 787-10 and air freightvplease do take a look at my response to Normand Hamel above.

        • @OV-099

          “Intellectually dishonest” because you say so? LOL. You instigated this by stated “Boeing surrogates”. All I’ve said (retweeted) was that the A330CEO/A330CEO will be “spanked silly” by the B787 (and I also stated the A350XWB on this forum). There was nothing else to take from it.

          AFAIR, there was no talk about the A32XNEO/CEO from me. 🙂

          Regarding the B787-10 and freight/pax/range/etc., please see my comment above.

          Thank you!

        • @jacobin777

          Intellectually dishonest not because I say so, but because making a false or misleading comparison is an intentional fallacy and if it’s intentionally made in a discourse, it’s intellectually dishonest. It’s as simple as that.

          Also, claiming with a seeming absolute certainty that the A330neo supposedly will be “spanked silly”– a term formulated by that exceptionally good friend of yours — is BTW an intentional fallacy as well.

          If you don’t mind, though, being perceived as a surrogate for Boeing-marketing by spreading FUD about Airbus products, please feel free to continue retweeting the silly stuff coming out of StratAero. 😉

          As for the 787-10; yes I did read what Steven Udvar-Hazy had to say in that AW&ST link you provided. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the 787-10 is not capable of carrying much extra cargo on flights carrying a full load of pax from Asia to Europe/USA, and that due to the nature of high frequency intermediate ranged flights, such as intra-Asian ones, the 787-10 would most of the time not be flying around with a belly full of extra cargo. Again, please do read my response to Normand and the links provided.

          As for Steven Udvar-Hazy, apparently he believes that Boeing can’t close the pricing gap between the 787-9 and A330-900 in any significant fashion.

          At an Air Show press conference announcing that he would be Airbus’s A330neo launch customer with an order for 25 of the widebody jets, Udvar-Hazy said the plane will be very successful in the medium range segment, which covers 70 to 80 percent of the routes flown by widebodies.

          The other 20 to 30 percent of routes require more long-range airplanes such as the Airbus A350-900 or the Boeing 787-9. The implication is that only ultra-long haul carriers need those much more expensive airplanes.

          ALC president John Plueger pointed to the “compelling price difference between this A330neo and any other widebody.” And Udvar-Hazy said he doesn’t believe Boeing “can close the pricing gap in any significant fashion.”

          Thank you, to you too. 🙂


        • I don’t think it says anything about Airbus or Boeing strategy. The 2004 paradigm that CFRP fuselages would be able to be produced in large numbers at low cost in ten years, or twenty years, has not materialized.

    • “1. This aircraft looks a lot like the A350 Mk1 which the market rejected. What has changed?”

      – Airbus has sold 800+ regular A330s since then. Built up a large worldwide fleet, support networks and also allowed them to fully pay off all development costs. Airbus may not have been able to discount Mk1 competitively as they are able to right now. SUH, the Mk1 killer, is now happy with what he’s getting for the lower price.

    • Dear 121 Pilot,
      the A350 Mk1 was killed by Boeing PR although it would have been a good aircraft. The 7E7 was announced by Boeing right after the Sonic Cruiser was killed. The CFRP concept of a cheap to produce aircraft has not materialized yet.

      According to your second question I guess Boeing is still losing money on every 787 delivered due to the cheap prizes offered to the early costumers. Boeing can not offer aggressive pricing in the near future because Boeing is even behind delivery schedule and sold out right after 2020.

      The development costs will be diverted between the expect production range. With a forecast of about 100 A330NEO for Farnborough alone it would be just 20 Million per aircraft.

      The costs for the A330 are well known. Nobody knows for sure how CFRP will work on the long run.

      It is quite easy to reduce the fuel price risk: buy enough futures contracts for fuel.
      If the price for the A330NEO with future contracts is cheaper than a B787 then Boeing will have a major problem in the future.

      Emirates has today a fleet of more than 30 smaller A330/A340. Even Emirates can’t expect to fill a 777X on every route they offer. The A330-200NEO would be a nice aircraft for low density routes with a range of at least 7,650 nm. That is Dubai to Auckland or Dubai to La Paz (La Paz to Dubai might be something different…) or Buenos Aires.

      • I think MEA airlines will have a large interest in this aircraft for EU/ASIA flights, new markets, smaller airports, that a 777 might be hard to fill, and an a320/320 hard to reach. it’s a great ‘medium/long’ twin that deserves extension.

    • “If Airbus is offsetting fuel burn with capital cost at what assumed fuel price over time does that work?”

      Exactly at what price? I don’t know. I do know that a lot of buyers for the A330 NEO are going to find it compelling, though.

      But…here’s the real kick-in-the-pants as far as the A330 NEO is concerned: What if the A330-900 NEO is just as operating-cost efficient as the 787-9 on most routes like Airbus says it is? [and there is good reasons for thinking this is so] If this is so, can you imagine the “wailing and gnashing of teeth” that is going on at Boeing HQ right now? It would be Epic….just Epic!

      • Airbus tells “What if the A330-900 NEO is just as operating-cost efficient as the 787-9 on most routes like Airbus says it is? [and there is good reasons for thinking this is so] If this is so”

        This is exactly the problem! All the data which AIRBUS supplies rather informally is totally unsupported or rumor based, including the EIS. Why do you think, as all the fantasy data supplied by Airbus were true, why the Board was so reluctant to approve the project??? Why we do not hear enthusiastic endorsement from Mr. Enders? Remember the first A330neo, which essentially  was the original A350, the first significant Aircraft  which had to be cancelled inspite existing orders because it was publicly rejected by Airlines and analysts???? 

        And I still wait somebody explains why the “cheaper” A330 has List prices equal of higher as the ones of the B787?? 

        • Nonsense!

          The A330neo was given authorisation by the board this weekend for an official launch today. There was no prelude period such as an intermediate “Authority To Offer” milestone as was the case with the 777X**. How that can seen as reluctancy by the Airbus board to launch, beats me.

          ** http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/boeing-nears-authority-offer-777x

          The real story here IMO is that Airbus will only be spending as much on the A330neo as Boeing is on the 737MAX (i.e. excluding engine R&D paid for by the engine OEMs), while Boeing will have to spend upwards of 5 times as much on the 777X. IMJ, therefore, Airbus will have the financial and human resources in 2018/2019 and be perfectly positioned to launch an all new mega twin family for entry into service at that time. That would be very bad news for the 777X. Due to the low cost of developing the A330neo, the undertaking of an all new programme by the end of the decade would seem to be viable. Since the A320neo seems to be good to go another 15 years, an all new mega twin would appear to be the next logical thing to do.

          • You say “”The real story here IMO is that Airbus will only be spending as much on the A330neo as Boeing is on the 737MAX (i.e. excluding engine R&D paid for by the engine OEMs), while Boeing will have to spend upwards of 5 times as much on the 777X””

            You are nearly 100% right (the “5 times more” is un unsupported figure. neith I nor you know the real figure. They will spent even less as it seems the will not do anyting more than change engines and add some winglets.

            But…When doing the same with the A320neo, they were initially successsful as BOEING had not anything competitive. The lateter B737max is more or less equivalent, but has additional “comfort” perks

            But here they must compete with the B787, and the doubtful 14% improvement would leave them about 10% below the conf performance data of the latter, And as two achievement, the A330neo will kill A330 sales iduring a few years and additionally virtually much of the A359 (The A358 is already virtually gone), as BOEING did probably with the B747-8i by intraducing the B777-9

            But: BOEING can afford to do so, as they have the nearly state of the Art  B777-8+9 to sell, whilst AIRBUS will depend of an all metallic and factually still obsolete A330neo

            Finally, even if Airbus will offer at a loss the A330, which as anybody can see has presntly the same List Price as the N787 (fact which their blogger friens are consistently ignoring), this would help very little, as in view of the explossively increased fuel costs the Capital cost factor has lost muh of its importance!!!

            I would be very nice if somebody respond to this with FACTS, no comments regarding my interlect!!.  

        • “”And I still wait somebody explains why the “cheaper” A330 has List prices equal of higher as the ones of the B787?? “”

          Well…you caught us. Yes…you have shamed all us Airbus Fanboyz by exposing our rabid Airbus-pricing fables. I am utterly destroyed.

          Or…maybe not.

        • Dear OV-099,
          I expect an A350-1100 with Rolls-Royce “Advanced” engine by 2020. I do not expect a B777-10X with a folding empennage.

          I could imagine the sole source deal for A330NEO engines is somehow linked to a “faster” development of the “Advance”. I would like to hear a comment by Randy Tinseth then Airbus announces an A350-1100 “Advance” for 2019. Not the official version…

        • TC, the A350-1100 would need a longer landing gear in case RR “Advance” would need a much bigger fan than the current RR XWB. According to my understanding the “Advance” will not have a big increase in fan diameter. Fan diameter for RR XWB is 3.00 m and 3.25 m for GE90-115B.

        • @otontisch

          AFAIK, the A320neo has slightly less than 60 percent of the market vs. the 737MAX. Also, the R&D costs for the A320neo is in the neighbourhood of $1 billion while the equivalent figure for the 737MAX is about $2 billion. Not sure what comfort perks you’re talking about, though.

          AFAIK, the 787-8 burns fuel at a rate of about 20 percent less per seat than the 767-300ER and about 15 percent less per seat than the A330-200 (i.e. in an apples to apples, like-for-like configuration). Hence, an A330-800neo should be very close to the 787-8 on fuel burn per seat. The A333 is rather better positioned vis-à-vis the 787-9 on intermediate ranged route sectors, so the A339 would probably equal the 787-9 on fuel burn per seat on routes less than, say, 4500 nm.

          The current 777 is no more state-of-the-art than the current A330, albeit with the former having an engine that has a lower TSFC. The 777X will have a state-of-the-art wing and engine, but that doesn’t mean that the whole platform will be state-of-the-art. In short, the 352 MTOW 777-9X needs an all new expensive wing and engine in order to compete with the A350-1000 on fuel burn per seat, while the A330 doesn’t need a new wing to compete with the 787. Would that seem to indicate that the base A330 platform has a longer economic longevity than the 777 base models (i.e. including the 77W/77L)? — and would that be based upon the A330 already having an excellent wing with a high aspect ratio more akin to the ones on the 787 and A350, than what’s the case with the current 777 wing and a very high MTOW?

          Finally, despite all of the FUD that has been thrown around, Airbus doesn’t have to sell A330neos at a loss — far from it. However, due to the enormous cost of developing the 787, Boeing is giving Airbus the opportunity to sell A330s at a higher price than what would have been the case if the 787 had been planned originally to be developed on an 8 year schedule, rather than the ridiculously compressed 4 years. Also, Airbus seems to want to “exceed” Boeing on list prices. If you’d noticed, John Leahy typically refers to list prices times the number of units when a deal is announced — same thing does Boeing, btw. The higher the dollar value, the better the deal looks, apparently. 😉 However, it doesn’t mean much anyway as civil aircraft purchasing typically includes massive discounting.

        • @mhalblaub

          One problem with an A350-1100, among other things, is that it would exceed ICAO Category 9 for fuselage length**. Many airport aprons around the world cannot accommodate aircraft longer than 76m. Therefore, the long term Airbus response to the 777-9X should IMO be an all new mega twin family where the smallest member would not have a larger footprint than the 777-9X. Also, an A350-1100 would only be able to match the 777-9X in seats, while an A360X mega twin with an internal width of 266 inches (i.e. 777X internal width at 234 inches) would have 11 abreast in economy; with 18-inch-wide seat bottoms; 2-inch wide armrest and 20-inch wide aisles. In comparison, the 777X will have 10 abreast in economy; with 17,2-inch-wide seat bottoms; 2-inch wide armrests and 18-inch-wide aisles. Furthermore, an A360-800X (i.e. the smallest member) would be a few meters shorter than the 777-9X, have about the same MTOW and triple bogie main landing gear, while having at least an additional 30-40 seats over that of the 777-9X. If developed, I’m not quite sure how the 777-9X would be able to compete with an aircraft having the same trip costs while carrying 30-40 more seats.

          ** http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/tech_data/General_information/Airbus_ICAO_FAA_ARFFcat-May12.pdf

        • @OV-099

          “One problem with an A350-1100, among other things, is that it would exceed ICAO Category 9 for fuselage length**. Many airport aprons around the world cannot accommodate aircraft longer than 76m.”

          – But why would it be a problem for the A350-1100 when the 76.5m 777-9X would exceed it?

        • Page 14:



          Maximum pax range___7450nm______6200nm

          A330neo Max pax range————————
          per Boeing——————————————

          787s Max pax range———————–
          per Boeing————————————
          assumptions______788: 7850nm__789: 8300nm

        • Hmm, that last comment was posted in the wrong thread. 🙂


          The 777-9X exceeds the Category 9 limit by merely a half meter. In contrast, an A350-1100 would exceed 79m in length in order to equal the 777-9X in passenger carrying capacity. That’s not a trivial exceedance of the Cat.-9 limit. Much better then, IMO, to go ahead with an all new A360-800X mega twin family where the smallest member would have the about the same length as the A350-1000 (i.e. Category-9 in length and Category-E in wingspan), but where the bigger A360-900X/-1000X models would be Category-10 in length and Category-F in wingspan and have a 747-type MLG instead of the triple-bogie MLG on the dash-800X. 🙂

  12. The EIS is slated to be Q4 2017. With ALC signing up for -900 deliveries starting 2018, I presume this model will be the first out. When might the -800 EIS?

  13. IMHO, you should make a distinction between the 747-400 and some of the latter Classics.

    I think well done to Airbus for this launch, I thought they lost their minds in not attempting to salvage the A330 product via derivative. So I guess the two neo’s they’re doing now means they’re following Boeing derivative iterations of their most popular aircraft. An effective philosophy.

  14. Looks like wingspans, like engine fans, are getting bigger for greater efficiency. The 788, 778, and A338 all have wingspans that are greater than their length. Looks like the A338 has the biggest wingspan to length ratio. Like the MAX, Airbus did a good job leveraging the strengths of the existing model into the future.

  15. Miraculously, the A330-900 with an 8 abreast fuselage and total length of 63.7 meters according to wikipedia will almost match the 314 passengers of the A350-900 which has 9 abreast and a longer overall length of 66.9 meters. Quite impressive. Who needs alchemy?

    • The standard A350-900 configuration has some 12 additional J seats (36 versus 48). In a similar premium configuration the A359 would offer some 35 additional Y seats. One can use the A359 for either more Y seats or more premium seats.

  16. @OV-099

    Thanks OV. I needed substantiation, which you provided to my satisfaction. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for those who claim that the A320 does not hold a significant advantage over the 737 in terms of cargo capacity.

  17. The A330 Neo is already selling well this week. The market is already speaking. Any engine and PIP’s the 787 will get over the next years, can also apply to the A330 Neo. There is no reason to believe this aircraft will be short-lived. More A330 Neo’s are being sold this week than 787 and 777’s.

    It would be more interesting to see if A350’s and 787-10’s are sold.

  18. See good chances for 330Neo being a top seller next decade.

    1. segment is growing: B757 B767 will go out of service in this period (almost completely) and there’s a general growth.
    2. A 330 is available fast. To the critics: Airbus is working on a A330 redesign for over 10 years. Remember A350 should be a overhauled A330 first. New A350 was just built after protest from customers. So Airbus has the plans lying around, just need new engines. But engines are available from 787 development, even 777 or A350 engines could be downsized.
    3. A330 is a proven vessel. B787 is making trouble already, will come up with more problems over lifetime. Nobody knows how new technique Boeing used will behave later on.
    4. Communality: Everything available. Pilots from A320, former A330, service, parts, etc.
    5. Cost: If Airbus can lower fuel cost per seat around 14%, close to the 787 level, capital cost will be the selling argument. 330 already is quite a comfortable plane for customer, so no 787 advantage here. Possible Airbus can disrupt 787 on cost side quite fast if it reaches fuel consumption target close to 787. If Airbus can get fuel burn under 787 level, it’s a no brainer for airlines.

    Matchup will be interesting. A350 competing with 777 and 777x, so new plane against refurbished. In the smaller long haul plane it’s the other way round. Ne model B787 vs overhauled A330neo.

    As Airbus did catch Boeing with A320neo, Boeing won’t be surprised with launch of A330neo, so there will be a reaction from Boeing quite soon.

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