Dec. 15, 2016, © Leeham Co.: The story about a Boeing official who asserted that the Airbus widebody strategy is a “mess” proved to be LNC’s most read story of 2016.
Our second most-read story is why the 787-8 is no longer favored by Boeing.
We list our Top 10 posts each year as we head for a wrap. LNC plans to finish 2016 on Dec. 23, returning Jan. 3, unless there is major, breaking news.
Here are the Top 10 LNC posts in 2016:
The Boeing official, who remained anonymous in our post, declared the Airbus widebody strategy is a “mess” and the A330neo is “dead on arrival.
The basis of his opinion is that the A330ceo is obsolete, the A330neo is not competitive with the 787, the A350-800 is dead, the A350-1000 is insufficiently competitive and the new 777X will have its sector all to itself.
Lessor CIT Aerospace, which ordered the A330neo, disputed the Boeing official. Read the story for full details. (Click on the headline in this, and all the other posts, for the link.)
In March, LNC editor Scott Hamilton Pontificated that Boeing no longer wanted to sell the 787-8. The hypothesis was simple: officials on earnings calls weren’t shy about saying the push was for the 787-9 and 787-10, which are more profitable, have more commonality and cheaper to build (on a relative basis) than the 787-8.
It was also a simple thing to see that the backlog for the -9/10 was growing and the -8 was shrinking. Except for Delta Air Lines, which probably will never take the 787-8, there are virtually no deliveries scheduled after 2020.
Boeing pushed back. Ted Reed, one of the writers for TheStreet.com, devoted a column to this subject after LNC published. Boeing called the 787-8 a “key component” to the 787 program.
Read both columns and look at the orders/deliveries. Then decide for yourself.
When it came to conference blitzes and PR marketing, Boeing for years beat Airbus hands down. Aside from the perpetual barbs proffered by John Leahy, COO Customers for Airbus, and the occasional jab by Airbus execs Tom Enders and Fabrice Bregier, Boeing’s no-holds barred, aggressive attacks and spin clearly won the war of words.
In March, Airbus used some of Boeing’s own tactics to turn the tables, and it did so quite effectively.
There wasn’t much to this post, but it ranked Number 4 last year in readership. We provided an illustrated look at the Boeing and Airbus wide-body product lines, along with some commentary.
Through November, Boeing captured 63% of the wide-body sales this year. (Neither the Boeing nor Airbus Iran Air deals are booked as firm contracts yet.) We’ve excluded 19 767-based KC-46A USAF tankers because, while on a commercial platform, this is a military airplane. If these are included, Boeing has a 67% sales share through November.
Few stories get more attention than any story involving the Airbus A380. It’s an airplane passengers love but which is forlorn by the world’s airlines.
It’s too big. It’s too expensive. But with the first A380s about to come off lease, maybe a used A380 leased in at a cheap price makes sense.
At least this is what Willie Walsh, CEO of the IAG Group (British Airways, Iberia, others) suggests.
But so far there is no commitment.
The Middle of the Market airplane (or MOMA, as we like to call it, and no, so far there isn’t a DADA), is a controversial concept. Basically, it’s a new 767-200ER/300ER. But is there a big enough market for it?
Good question, and Boeing is still struggling to figure this one out.
While LNC believes Boeing should do the airplane, due to its own product gap that extends to the 787-9 (not, as Boeing claims, the 787-8), there remains a lot of skepticism on “the street.”
Aerospace analysts don’t like the idea of Boeing committing $15bn to a new airplane. They want higher and higher dividends and larger and larger stock buybacks.
This article looks at what analysts said.
LNC’s Bjorn Fehrm, a former fighter pilot, was invited to fly the Airbus A350. This post details his prep work, filled with pilot observations and technical detail.
He later repeated the process to fly the Bombardier CS300.
This post, in April, really got the attention of Boeing employees in Longacres. And Airbus employees in Toulouse.
Airbus has a constant 55%-60% market share of the A320neo family vs the 737 MAX. The A321neo is just whipping Boeing’s 737-9, big time.
This post explains why Boeing should concede the market share battle and move on to designing a replacement for the 737 sooner rather than later.
This post, in July, on the other hand, opined that “Boeing is back.”
How could there be two such seemingly divergent views within a space of three months?
Boeing was studying the MAX 10, the MOMA, the 777X and peeking into the prospect of a 777-10X.
It also revised the 737-7, a sales dud, to have 12 more seats, thus a more attractive airplane. (So far, this hasn’t prompted more than a handful of orders, however.)
The 787-10 was then just months away from going into assembly at the Charleston plant.
The 787 production problems were behind it. The MAX production was going smoothly. Except for the 787 deferred production and tooling costs, a lot of things were coming up roses.
If the Airbus wide-body strategy was a mess, the company was considering doing something about it. A stretch of the A350-1000, by now called the -2000, was in active study. About the same size as the 777-9, Airbus isn’t (or wasn’t then) convinced there is a market big enough to justify a launch. Whether this program proceeds remains to be seen.