Odds and Ends from Paris Air Show

  • A350-1100, A380neo
  • A350-900, 787-10 thrust issues

June 18, 2015: The industrial part of the Paris Air Show is over, and here are some closing odds and ends. We may have some more next week when we decompress.

A350-1100 and A380neo

The prospect of an Airbus A380neo was one of the top topics this week. Airbus suggested a neo might include a modest stretch, which was the only piece of new information about the neo topic in the public press conferences. We have more on this after this….

The Wall Street Journal reported that Airbus is talking with customers about the prospect of a stretch of the Airbus A350-1000, commonly referred to as the A350-1100. The Seattle Times reported there are no customer talks (link not available-we used up our free access, but you could search The Times).

We asked John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers of Airbus about the A380neo and the -1100 on the sidelines of the closing Air Show press conference:

“We look at a lot of things,” Leahy said. “We’ve been looking at it but it’s not obvious yet it makes a lot of sense. It would have 40 more seats and it might have a bigger fan on the engine. But the real question is, are we chasing something that’s not there [a demand]? We know why [Boeing] added 40 seats to the 777X [-9]. The 350-1000 killed the 777-300ER. They are trying to put lower seat-mile costs on the 777X. They have a bigger and heavier airplane and they need to lower seat mile costs.

“We’re now looking at, is the market shifting in their direction? If it is, then we should be looking at a straight stretch of the A350-1000. The debate is still going on. I think we will have something by the end of this year or the beginning of next year as to whether we would do it or not.”

There is a large product gap between the -1000 and today’s A380. If Airbus stretches the airplane to seat 50-100 more passengers as part of a neo package, this gap would increase, making the A350-1100 more desirable to fill this gap.

Leahy said a decision on the A380neo will likely come by the end of this year or early next year. There are market expectations that a decision would come at the Dubai Air Show in November. Emirates Airline, the largest customer for the A380 and the one pressing most for a re-engined A380, is headquartered in Dubai. Leahy wouldn’t commit to a decision by then.

“It’s too early to say,” he said.

A350-900 vs 787-10 thrust

Leahy weighed in on the controversy that emerged last week at the IATA AGM, which emerged after our interview with Emirates president and COO Tim Clark. Clark said the Boeing 787-10 has insufficient thrust for his operations out of Dubai in the very hot summers. The A350-900 has the thrust but is heavier than the 787-10. The issue became a heated international debate.

Leahy said Clark “is right that the 787-10 is very much under-powered, so I don’t know how it’s going to work well at all in the Middle East in high temperatures. It’s not going to work well anywhere where you have high temperatures or high altitude.”

Defenders of the 787-10 point out that Emirates’ neighbor, Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, also in the UAE as is Dubai, ordered the airplane. If it works for Etihad, why won’t it work for Emirates, they ask. Leahy gave no ground.

“We haven’t seen that it works for Etihad yet. Maybe [CEO Jim Hogan] only wants to fly it at night,” Leahy quipped. “We know that they have very limited performance in hot temperatures and high altitudes.”


48 Comments on “Odds and Ends from Paris Air Show

  1. In my opinion Airbus should stretch and reengine the A380 over the 80 Meter mark. Make it real big to outshine the competition and reduce the cargo disadvantage.Todays version of the Double Decker is already to big for most operators,so make it really outstanding and untouchable for just a few handful of airlines.Make Emirates to buy an extra 50 ceo birds to bridge the gap and sell them 150-200 copies of the big neo. Others, like Singapore,Cathay,Turkish,BA etc. may follow!

    I think there is no immediate need for a further stretch of the A350-1000.The ME3 bought by far the majority of contracts for the new Triple 7 from Boeing.You can´t take Lufthansa not serious anymore, because they buy all kinds of planes nobody else does. Other than that I can´t understand, how it make sense to uplift 30 tonnes(weight difference between A350 and 777x)for just 40 or so passengers, on each start,except for the ME3.

    • Lufthansa airline is a bit dependent on the more profitable Lufthansa Technik. They need LH to buy planes with engines, nacelles, landing gears and APU’s they want to serve, hence the wild variation of the fleet of LH and the cooperation deals with OEM’s LHT signs. Just look at LH first ordering A320neo with PW110G engines and the next batch with LEAP-1A’s. Now LHT can serve both. It is similar with the A350-900/-1000 and 777-9. LHT want to do all expensive parts of these aircrafts in house or with OEM’s. If Airbus do the A350-1100 with new RR engines LHT will be there making LH order some to get the licenses they need. It will be the same with the A380neo and -900 LHT will twist their arms to buy both. Flying “self loading cargo” makes less money than doing engine, APU’s, landing gears and thrust reversers.

    • Saw an interesting article saying that Clark wants the ¨full sized¨380-900 stretch, not just half of one. (50 seats) If RR can improve the T900 by 5-6%, which is the basis of EKs last engine selection, an A388 must have nearly a 9000 mi range, that is pretty much into niche territory and I recon a 100 seat stretch and an 8000 mi range would be closer to the market. Doesn´t matter if only EK orders anymore, they are ordering enough to pay for their own development, the important thing for Airbus is to ensure that they pay enough for their order to cover the development costs.

        • The A380 stretch is not that easy as you hit the 80m box and if you stretch a few meters in front of the wing the c.g. moving fwd might be acceptable up to a limit then trim losses becomes too much and you need to stretch the fuselage aft of the wingbox as well. Heavier Engines also move c.g. in the wrong direction. Big split winglets should help and the top one could be fuel filled working as a trim tank together with its tail tank. Not many Aircrafts can hit the upper one with its wingtips. Also increasing wing sweep help c.g. with a fwd fuselage stretch only, but Airbus sounds hesitant to develop a new 777-9 type of all Composite wing for the A380 right now. The Japanese might want to do it after loosing the 777-9 wing work?

          • The A380 was designed to be a A389 to begin with, however during development Airbus wisely choose to start with a A388…

    • I agree that 9-x size market seems it have been spoken before. however, the range of the a350’s need to be increased to that beyond the 777-x models.

  2. Really, the 350-1000 killed the 777 300ER
    Just like the 777X killed your a350 1000…
    When your program gets 1100 plus orders. .Then you can gloat all you want.

        • @TNR and others, let’s remember that Reader Comment rules call for avoiding personal attacks.


    • The only killing that happened so far was that of the
      B777 classic killing the A340. The 777-x will not kill the A350 and the 777-x will not kill the A350. In reality, they are different aircrafts. The 777-200/300ER will simply vanish gracefully over time.

      Sooner or later, the same will happen with the A330.

      • How could the 777 classic kiill off the A340, they were into service about the same time.
        The 340 deliveries only dropped off after the B777-300ER came into service

  3. “350-1000 killed the 777 300ER”

    Gee, it only took about 15 years to do that..LOL.

    • First and foremeost the 773ER superseded the 747-400. The fact that Boeing’s margin on the 7773ER is better than the margin on the 747-8I helped to get 777 rate to 8.3 and 747-8 rate down to 1, including freighters.
      I find it amusing that some people like to see the battle between Airbus and Boeing as a war where the one sustaining comparably lower losses will prevail. We are in business though, and business is about making profits.
      As I see it, both the 350 and the 777X programs will be profitable, like both the 737 and the 320 programs are profitable, very much so.
      Did you listen to what what Fancher said about sigle-aisle competition at LeBourget?

  4. Good point, and only 2 yrs. For the 777X to kill the a350 1000..
    The sales speak for themselves. .

    • I think its too early to say one way or the other on the 1000

  5. If the A350-1100 is stretched 3m to 77m like the 777-9, which will have better rotation angle?

  6. Here’s the rub, Airbus won’t furnish a NEO with a quarter, half or full stretch for just EK themselves. If EK flakes on the NEO like they did when they asked for 11 abreast seating, Airbus is the one holding the bag.

    In my opinion the A350-1100 is a dream more than it is a project down the road. An airplane of the size they want ( a 779 competitor) would breach the territory of the A380, which the 779 does right now. And with sales of the A380 being abysmal, they’d be wise to just concentrate on A380 and accept what comes of it.

    • An airplane of the size they want ( a 779 competitor) would breach the territory of the A380, which the 779 does right now.

      – Are you implying that it is better for Airbus to let the 779 take away sales from the A380 than getting their own competitor to do it?

      • Airbus has a chance to squeeze Boeing by doing the A350-1100. Boeing had to do the 777-9 to match the A350-1000 on seat mile cost, an A350-1100 will do the same aqueeze on the 777-9. The 2 engine economics for a +400 seat aircraft sounds optimal. The 777-9 and A350-1100 forces Airbus to modify the A380 to do what no other 2 engine aircraft can do in payload and range for better seat mile cost. There is a risk Airbus cannot force GKN to do a brand new optimal wing for the -1100 and has to do with a modified -1000 wing, and if the -1100 becomes too good forces Boeing to do the 797.

  7. I don’t buy that the 777X is a competitor to the Airbus A380. Adjunct maybe. Its definitely an alternative as will be the A350-1000 where you go for frequency vs size, not like the days where there was no choice.

    I view it differently as no choice and a competitor though in a twisted way maybe by being a choice it is. Certainly not like the original 747 situation.

    You can further load up the A380s, far outstripping what you could cram into a 777X. If inroads get to be enough for operators they will do so (or try).

    Air Canada is doing a good job of cramming 777s these days. Ungh. but then I don’t have to fly those routes so not a problem for me.

  8. I’m saying that the hypothetical super twin is just a good conversation to have, nothing more. Airbus can 1) produce said super twin, make it equal to the 779 or surpass it 2) concentrate it’s efforts on the A380 NEO and its stretch marks and so on. Following through with this super twin means you almost canabalize the other planes in your portfolio, ie the A380.

    If the 779/8 weren’t an issue to Airbus there wouldn’t have been talk of a NEO for the A380 and the 1100. Boeing launched the 777-9 and 8 due to the efficiency gap between the 77W and the A35J. Now the 777-9 and the 777-8 are out pacing the A35J. While everyone is drunk on A321/20 NEO orders, a huge last minute buzzer beater deal by Wizz and Airbus winning in Paris (as you knew they would), there was still no orders for the A380 or the A35J and no announcement of the A350-800 yet more orders went the way of the 777-8 and the 77W. And still no word on the A350-800 and whether it’s coming or going.

    Lastly, SQ came out and said that they are looking for aircraft to send from and to the mainland to the US. Basically reviving the old A345 route from ewr to Singapore. With 70 A350’s on order either 1) conversions of the 70 could come if they choose Airbus or a 772LR order followed by a 778 order. Low density, minimal cargo etc.

    • No matter how much Airbus concentrates on the A380neo stretch, there aren’t going to be a lot of customers lining up for it.

      There are, however, a lot of existing 77W operators who may be looking to grow their capacity but not so much as to warrant an A380. This is the market what Airbus may be looking to test with the -1100.

      • Exactly. There is no telling how big the market really is for the size of the -9X or range of the -8X outside of the Middle East.

        • Clark said the thought the market for the A380 stretch was 500.

          I think some perspective is in order as Boeing set a false standard with the 787 series. They offered them so cheap that lots of airlines went for a great deal. Ergo a huge backlog and impediment

          The A350 orders are very good but not those numbers and the delivery is still quite some time out as the production is ramping up.

          Its also occurred to me that Airbus is not directly competing with Boeing in most segments. I.e. the decision to try to split the line between the 787 and the 777 (new or old) with the A350.

          Boeing on the other hand waits until Airbus has taken a solid position and is too late with their offerings allowing Airbus to keep succeeding.

          Interesting dynamic.

          • Any actual proof Boeing them so cheap, cheaper than the discounts given on the 350?

          • No idea on A350 discounts.

            I did not link the 787 prices but I think Scott could fill in some of the actual sales costs and what that has meant to profibility .

    • The A350-800 is earlier mentioned to be something else than a shortened A350-900. There is a chance it will be a A350-1000 body with cheaper A350-900 engines, landing gear and systems, same MTOW but with shorter range. Airbus version of the B787-10 trick and a bit like it was designed from the beginning until they realized they must beat the 777-300ER performance with the A350-1000 and forgot to tell Mr. Clark about all the changes. He might be this version of the A350-800 launch customer at Farnborogh-2016?

  9. I think airbus has to forget the a380. There is no interest for the aircraft expect in the middle east. So airbus has to continue and create an a360. This new aircraft will be assentially an enlarged a350. this version will be a one to one replacement of the 777-300ER.the second will be a 777-9X competitor and the third version will be a 80 meter long mega twin that it will be able to accomodate the same number of passengers as the 747-8

    • Well if you come up with the launch aid I am sure Airbus would be happy to do that!

      Its not going to happen, Airbus portfolio is currently fixed and they will compete with what they have or variation of that.

      Boeing is fixed in all but the Single aisle and the so called MOM and I have yet to figure out where that gets them in the single aisle area.

  10. I think Boeing wants to launch a MoM but only can so, if the 150-220 seat NB segment is well covered for the coming 15 yrs.

    This week big Boeing customers GECAS, Turkish & Korean again made clear it is not the case.

    So w’ll probably see a small MoM/big NSA covering 170-240 seats.

    Not because Boeing wants to, but because they have to.

    Just like Sonic Cruiser/7e7 a decade ago and NSA/MAX 5 years ago.

    • They are now pushing 3,000 orders for the MAX and the sales keep coming. They are under no pressure for quite some time. They will take their time and do it when it makes sense, like how the 787 forced the 350.

  11. How many times will we hear of the Sonic Cruiser being shelved? We got the memorandum. Noted. Thanks for the_____th time. It all goes both ways. They both react to each others offerings, sometimes because they have to and others because the market needs something different.

    For the record, TK KE and GECAS are customers of both OEM’s, not just Boeing.

    The MOM aircraft is in fact going to happen as much as Airbus says that they don’t need to. The saving grace for Boeing is that they cannot afford to make this aircraft 1) late and 2) par or slightly better than the LR or the NEO. This plane needs to knock it out of the park. I strongly believe that it will comprise of 2 models with 2 different engine offerings.

    • How big does Boeing see the market for a MoM? They did some predictions around the time the A321LR was launched.

      Does Boeing feel comfortable with the 737-8 vs A320 and 737-9 vs A321? Both are lagging by a good margin and prospects are not encouraging IMO.

      The longer I think about it, the more I’m convinced Boeing must be working out designs behind the scenes already. And most likely a smaller design then the MoM foreseen sofar. More an NSA then a MoM. A hole has to be plugged.. just like the past examples I mentioned.


    • “TK KE and GECAS”

      All three are large 737 buyers preferring NEO’s this week. They have MAX orders, MOU’s and options that Boeing IMO better keeps an eye on..

      • And yet the MAX keeps selling, the neo is not going to stop it from turning a nice profit. Boeing will not launch a vanity project like the 380 just because they losing % points in single aisle sales.

        • If Boeing is 100% comfortable with where they stand with MAX vs the NEO, it’s customer base, profitability and prospect, there’s just no reason to develop anything new for a while.

          Energy can be focussed on bringing the 777x into service and a brand new MoM launched later this decade.


          How about a 65-35% NB marketshare?

          I guess its the case for NB revenues already, because the percentages 321s/739s and customer names.

    • A sort of modern day 757/767 strategy, related but with different missions. I wonder if there is any easy crossover from b787 that will reduce the development cost? Perhaps the new twin aisle could benefit from the wing and cockpit of the b787.

      The issue I cannot reconcile about MOMis that everyone wants a twin aisle for easier access etc etc whilst the pricing of twin aisles against say the a321 puts them in a totally different market. The one thing I have seen in the past 10 years on lots of ‘mid haul’ is the increasing use of single aisle to replace twin aisle aircraft.
      I believe that trend will continue.

      • What about a B787-3 or even a smaller 787-2?
        The smaller wing for the 787-3 was cancelled after the problems to get the 787-8 out on time. Maybe Boeing will to able to bake some small new wings for the 787 after the 777X is ready.

        • That was the sort of idea but how do you reconcile the cost of such a twin aisle to a nearly capable a321 LR? The list price would be double for an aircraft whose mission capabilities will not be needed for most pairs between 3 and 6 hours

        • I can almost assure you that the MOM aircraft will have no type of dreamliner DNA.

          • I think it would be full of 787 DNA. Cockpit commonality, system commonality and the use of 787 composite technology where it makes sense would be rational IMO.

            In terms of configurations, dimensions and missions the 787 could be considered a kind of composite, enhanced A330.

            The same could be done for a small MoM. A little wider, more capable and efficient then the A321. Starting on the lower site of 737-800/8 applications and topping above the A321 in terms of range and capacity. Maybe it’s more an NSA but what’s in a name.

  12. “I think it would be full of 787 DNA. Cockpit commonality, system commonality and the use of 787 composite technology where it makes sense would be rational IMO.”

    I say almost because you cant shrink the 787 cockpit and a re-mold it into the MOM. (Single aisle vs Dual aisle) Ie the screens are going to be the same, the HUD will be the same and the yoke will likely be the same but the other components of the cockpit will have to be re-arranged to fit into a smaller space.

    “In terms of configurations, dimensions and missions the 787 could be considered a kind of composite, enhanced A330.”

    mmm the A330 has no room here since it’s Boeing were speaking of. The A330 and the 787 are a case of old vs new. Sure the A330 prompted the 787 but the 787 of today is ahead of the A330 that prompted the 787. (More use of composites, better technology, better in flight experience, newer engines etc.)

    “The same could be done for a small MoM. A little wider, more capable and efficient then the A321. Starting on the lower site of 737-800/8 applications and topping above the A321 in terms of range and capacity. Maybe it’s more an NSA but what’s in a name.”

    I agree that there will be 2 models, one covering the lower end and the other covering the higher end.

    • 2-3 Lenghts covering 170-250 seats I assume. 2 Fuselages means 2 aircaft types/ programs, like 757 and 767, 2 for the price of 1 doesn’t work.

      • Not necessarily, the 57 and the 67 were 2 different types. It’s no coincidence that the 77W and 779/8 pilots can fly the 787’s as well if I’m not mistaken. Since this family will have a single aisle, you can almost bet that Boeing is going to ride the line and try to get them certified for 37 and 57 pilots.

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