Boeing firms 52/mo for 737: Boeing this morning announced what we reported in June 2013: that it will go to a production rate of 52/mo for the 737 in 2018. This will not be the last rate increase for the 737.
Airbus previously notified suppliers to be prepared for a rate of 54/mo in 2018 for the A320, which we reported some time ago.
Product strategy: In the continuing tit-for-tat in product strategy debate between Airbus and Boeing, often show slides representing their view of how their products line up vs The Other Guy. We’ve often criticized Boeing for taking liberties with how it views Airbus seat; for example, Boeing assigned fewer than 350 seats to the A350-1000, while Airbus now promotes the airplane as having 369 seats in a J/Y class configuration. Boeing assigns 467 seats to its 747-8I while Airbus to now viewed the 747-8 at 405 seats, a figure we generally use in our analysis to represent typical airline configuration.
Airbus recently showed the following slide presenting its current view of the product line up.
It’s certainly true that Lufthansa and Air China, the only two passenger airlines to receive and operate the 747-8, configure their airplanes with fewer than 400 seats and perhaps this is the basis for the Airbus representation.Airbus represents the 777X as carrying more passengers than the 748, and this certainly would not be the case in the event of normalized configuration. (But is does show how the 777-9X is killing the 748.)
However, we don’t understand how Airbus represents the A350 family as having more than 400 seats if the same configuration assumptions are used–and it is obvious to us that they are not.
The other airplane representations are reasonable.
Aircraft demand: Aviation Week has a detailed story about aircraft demand in the near-term, providing another take and a topic we’ve written about many times. (Continued below the photo.)
Aviation Week reports that some aerospace analysts believe the production rate of the Boeing 777 Classic should be reduced to as few as four per month. We see a decline in the rate inevitable, but we don’t see rates declining to this extent; we believe the rates will come down incrementally beginning in 2017 leading to the 2020 EIS of the 777X.
Some analysts also believe Airbus needs to reduce the rate of the A380 to one per month, according to the article. Airbus needs to deliver 30 A380s a year to achieve break even (a goal set for next year), which means Airbus will be delivering below its book-to-bill rate.