Feb. 10, 2016 © Leeham Co. Boeing has a product gap that Airbus is filling with its airplanes, says Simon Pickup, strategic marketing director.
Pickup said Boeing has a gap in its product line between the 737-8 and the 787-9. The 737-9 and 787-8 aren’t selling, creating a hole in the market for Boeing that is filled by Airbus.
Feb. 10, 2016: Today is the second of three days of conference meetings organized by the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), in Lynnwood (WA). We’re providing live reporting throughout the three days.
The A321 and the smaller A330 fill this gap, says Pickup, who noted the A321neo outsold the 737-9 by 9:1 in the last two years and the A330-200/800 dramatically outsold the 787-8 during the same period.
The large backlog of the A320 drove the decision to launch the Mobile (AL) assembly plant and decide to take the production rate up to 60/mo by 2019.
The A321 now accounts for 40% of the family orders (the A320 is 59%). The growth came at the expense of the smallest member, the A319, which accounts for 1%. About 2,700 A321s have been sold (of which 1,100 are neos, compared with just over 200 for the Boeing 737-9). The A321 sold more aircraft than the Boeing 757, 737-900, 737-900ERs and 737-9 MAX combined.
Passenger traffic doubles every 15 years, which means the A380 is a good business move,
His comment was a direct response to Richard Aboulafia, the consultant of the Teal Group, who earlier in the day said Airbus should drop the A380 in 2020.
Every year at the PNAA conference, Aboulafia disses the A380. Every year, Pickup–who always follows Aboulafia in the conference line-up–stands up to defend the A380.
But Pickup acknowledged that the A320 family is the bread-and-butter of the Airbus airliners.
Pickup dodged a question how Airbus might respond to a clean-sheet Boeing Middle of the Market design that would be at least 10% more fuel efficient than the A321neo or the A330-800.