ISTAT Asia 2017: The fight for the lead

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 11, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus and Boeing had their customary presentation match at the second day of the ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) conference in Hong Kong. Each OEM stuck to a theme throughout their presentations.

Boeing’s was “market leader.” As the one that delivered the most aircraft during 2016, Boeing had the right to the claim. Airbus countered with “value protection leader.” The neo success saves airlines from having to change aircraft families.

The market leader

Boeing was the first on stage. Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s VP of marketing, started with promising the level of deliveries for 2017 that we saw in 2016: between 760 and 765 aircraft.

He then highlighted the 31 of March first flight of the 787-10. The next highlight will be the delivery of the first 737 MAX 8 to Malindo Air (the Lion Air daughter) later this month. Seems the disc problems for the LEAP-1B should not stop that.

The original target for the MAX 8 was delivery in 4Q2017, so second quarter is an achievement for the program. Tinseth then pointed out the revised MAX 7 and the MAX 8 both have two more seat rows than the Airbus competition.

The 737 MAX 10 was positioned as a direct competitor to the Airbus A321neo. With 5,000lb less empty weight, it should be a better performer, said Tinseth. The launch of the MAX 10 seems weeks away (Paris Air Show is the consensus).

The 787 is now a steady performer, with a 99.3% dispatch reliability. The aircraft type has enabled 140 new direct city pairs with its range and fuel efficiency.

Tinseth finished by saying the 777X had racked up a larger backlog than the Airbus A350-1000 and A380 together since its launch.

The value protection leader

ISTAT is primarily an aircraft financing and leasing conference. The theme of preserving any investment in existing aircraft was therefore carefully chosen by Airbus VP for Leasing markets, Mark Pearman-Wright.

The A320neo and A330 neo are the proof of the pudding. With more than 5,000 A320neos sold, it’s a runaway success, he said. The A330neo is more modest at 210 sold, but it keeps the A330 line relevant into the next decade for the type’s 115 airlines, says Pearman-Wright.

The A350 series is now positioned as the real long hauler. The -900ULR version is advertised with 9,700nm rnage and 19 hours endurance. What is not revealed is how many passengers are on board for such flights. Pearman-Wright also points out the A350-1000 version has been ordered by 60% of all A350-900 customers (yet with small orders; the total is 203).

He presentation was rounded off by showing ANA’s A380 livery for the Hawaiian flights. The whale of the air is finally painted as a fish (ehum,…turns out it’s a turtle).

The future of the wide-body market

The debate finished with a discussion if the wide-body market sees a weakening demand. Both speakers agreed that it’s more of a timing issue than a long term weakening market.

We are not yet into the large replacement waves for wide-bodies. These start in 2022-2023. The wide-body demand will pick up when large quantities of Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 shall be replaced.

21 Comments on “ISTAT Asia 2017: The fight for the lead

  1. The whale of the air is a fish ? ANA graphics sure look like sea turtles to me

  2. When will hear something about the the A350-900 ULR ‘s new range?

    • According to FlightGlobal and Singapore Airlines seating plans,
      I would say about 9700 nm with 170 passengers aboard.

      • SIA isnt going 9700nm with its passengers
        New York is 8300nm and Houston is 8700nm ( using simple Great Circle tools) practical routes may differ

  3. When do those ANA whales actually start flying to Hawaii?

  4. 9700nm…that is enough for London to Sydney or Melbourne, or?

  5. The 9700 nm range was recently revealed AFTER Singapore said it was acquiring the 8700 nm range airplane for 170 seats. So it is till not clear.

    • Not really. ULR trades payload for range, so if they go 8700nm they carry more payload.
      Originally it was thought they had extra fuel tanks but Airbus revealed it was just the fuel tank software was adjusted to allow more fuel , especially for the wing box-inner wing tanks

      • And then there is the A350-900R that carries lots of pax but little fuel with software changes.

        • Thats around the wrong way, the 900R is a HGW upgrade, while the 900ULR is just higher fuel load – the fuel software changes you mentioned- version of the standard weight plane.
          The 900R requires the features of the 1000
          without the extra length

          – a different engine, not an uprated version of the -900 engine
          – wing trailing edge extentions that increase wing area about 4%
          – triple axle bogeys instead of double axle
          – weight optimisations like CFRP-doorframes

  6. I finally see Airbus wisdom on the A380.

    Its a Flying Billboard!

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