What has Airbus got in the CSeries?

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 18, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Bombardier and Airbus changed the airliner landscape yesterday. Analysts say it’s the largest industry change since Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas in 1997.

So, what has Airbus bought for no money? A me-too, or a world-beater?

The me-too that grew

CSeries was developed as a step-up regional airliner from Bombardier’s CRJ series. It started more as a me-too than a world-beater. Gradually the design grew in capability.

In the end, the CSeries became more than a step-up regional. The present CSeries transports 100 to 150 passengers on routes of up to 3,300nm. These are flights lasting over seven hours.

And it flies these routes with better passenger comfort than a Boeing 737 MAX or Airbus A320neo.

These are non-regional routes flown with non-regional comfort levels by a non-regional aircraft.

So, we need to change the yardstick from regional to mainline. Now defined as mainline, 130 to 240 passengers, covering 3,000nm routes (which is what you need for a transcontinental flight in the USA).

The competition is then Airbus A320neo line and Boeing’s 737 MAX series.

Embraer’s E-jet doesn’t qualify in this segment. It’s a regional airliner, designed to carry 75 to 130 passengers and on routes of less than 2,500nm.

Airbus’ versus Boeing’s single aisle

With the CSeries, Airbus now covers the range from 100 to 240 seats with its single aisle products. And it does this with four models. The CS100 for the 100-120 seat segment, the CS300 for 120-150 seats, A320neo for 150 to 180 seats and finally A321neo for 180 to 240 seats.

We can skip the A319neo. With 20 orders in total, whereof 18 from Frontier airlines, it’s an artifact in the market of single aisles.

Of the range, the CS100 and CS300 are state of the art. They are clean sheet designs, created after 2008. The A320 stems from 1988, pepped up with upgraded engines and over the next year, upgraded cabin (Airbus Airspace).

The Boeing 737 MAX covers the range from 140 seats to 230 seats. The 737 MAX 7 was recently increased in size (it’s now a chopped MAX 8) and no longer covers below 140 seats efficiently.

The new MAX 7 is a 140 to 160 seater, followed by the MAX 8 covering 160 to 189 seats (after which it’s exit limited). Finally, the MAX 10 covers 180 to 230 seats (we can forget the MAX 9; it has no longer a place in the line-up–this is taken by the MAX 10. And the MAX 8200 is a special for Ryanair).

Neither of the 737s are state of the art. In fact, they are warmed over four times: the original -100/200 series to Classic, Classic to NG and finally NG to MAX. A lot of the technology stays the same at each makeover.

And this is a positive when it comes to maintenance costs, but not for the pilots. They are still banging their head against a narrow cockpit roof which stems from the 727. As does the sound level and flight controls.


The base design of the 737 MAX is 20 years older than the A320. And it’s a whopping 40 years older than the CSeries. It has point-to-point Avionics versus Ethernet connected IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) that run Avionics functions in software.

It has steel wires, versus the best Fly-By-Wire in the market. The MAX cockpit and flight controls work as designed, but are light-years from the cockpit and flight controls of the CSeries. The A320neo cockpit and flight controls are somewhere in between.

For the systems, it’s the same: 1960 technologies versus 40 years younger tech. There is simply no comparison. Once again the A320 is somewhere in between.

All have the new generation of engines. The MAX the CFM LEAP, the CSeries the Pratt & Whitney GTF and you can have the A320neo with either. The CSeries GTF has an in-service issue level the same as the LEAP, nothing to worry about.

The A320neo GTF is the variant that got to market too early. It has problems that should have been caught in flight testing. But there wasn’t enough of it. Time was up, and an unmatured variant spoiled the Pratt reputation once again.

The cabins

The area which has changed the most for the MAX is the cabin. It now sports an excellent Sky Interior. It compensates for a narrower fuselage compared with an A320neo. The narrower cabin seats in the MAX are compensated by the roomier feeling of the Sky Interior.

But the difference to the CSeries is another half inch on top of the A320 difference for the normal seats and another inch for the middle seat in the triple (CSeries seats are 18.5 and 19 inches wide, A320 18 inches and MAX 17 inches).

In an equally airy cabin design to the MAX, it makes a difference.

Operational use

The 737 MAX gives the A320neo a match on operational reliability and can beat the A320neo on maintenance costs. But the CSeries is designed to be better than both on maintenance costs. It uses modern technology, Carbon Fiber structures and Alu-Lithium hull, to lower the maintenance costs below the MAX.

The danger when new technology is introduced is that it hits initial reliability. Early problems need a weeding out period. The flight and maintenance crews need to learn what are fault indications they can ignore and those they can’t.

For the 737 and A320, the crews are well down this path at least for the ceo and NG generations. But the CSeries is a new aircraft.

The CSeries has bucked the trend of a problematic first introduction. Initial operational experience has been good. In fact, the CSeries will probably replace the Boeing 777 as the most pain-free jet airliner introduction.

Aircraft economics

We will compare the aircraft’s economics tomorrow. A319neo versus 737 MAX 7 and CS300.

Why Airbus?

Why did the high tech CSeries end up at Airbus? Boeing would have had more use for a modern complement to a 737 on its fourth refresh. Guess Boeing is asking itself this question.

103 Comments on “What has Airbus got in the CSeries?

  1. BBD attempted to interest Boeing in a partnership as recently as last summer, but was rebuffed.
    When the CS100 was flying around North America a few years ago testing airport compatibility, it made numerous stops in Seattle, which was much more often then any other western city. I doubt they were just stopping to fuel up.

  2. It will be interesting to see whether this initiated further development of flight controls by Airbus to bring them to current state of the art. Although there have been significant incremental improvements through subsequent model launches the basic architecture hails back to the A320. Or is Airbus compromised by the in situ ‘standard’ they created?

    • Airbus could need the new active sidesticks that Bombardier and Gulfstream incorporates into their new versions. Few customers would pay for retrofit, intermix flying would be hard, safety will be greatly improved. So I guess Airbus will wait for a few new accidents and EASA action that will enforce it on new Aircrafts from a date in the future (all depending on the media coverage and wealth of the pax and parents in the accidents) maybe coordinated with the A322 launch or a quick CS500 launch as a stop gap solution.

      • The CSeries do not have Active Sidestick. Only G500/600 and KC-390 employ this technology currently. And on my point of view is completely pointless.

      • CSeries have passive sidestick with hard stop to limit within the flight envelope. However, the pilot can push or pull through stops, if need to clear a cliff… The big difference from Airbus is the FBW architecture which is similar to Boeing concept, except the “maneuver augmentations”.

  3. Could this force Boeing to drop/delay the MoM and proceed with a NSA?

    What will the cost be to develop a clean sheet 787-8″lite” (new wing etc)? Was surpized to see how often the 787-8’s are used on <3000Nm sectors.

    • I think so. I think it may also mark a shift from AB away from the A380 plus as they look to make gains elsewhere instead.

    • The 737max order book it pretty full, customers that will continue to order future airplanes are lined up and locked in. Max was a stop-gap anyway. Boeing’s NSA timing only may move forward when C Series starts producing at 10+ per month but it won’t change the order of MoM first, NSA second.

  4. N I H factor?
    In recent memory:
    DH-8 adventure
    MD-11 adventure
    DC9-95 adventure aka B717
    Maybe Boeing could have acquired Convair 880/990 and L-1011 designs, too.

    • I think this is a valid point. ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating.’ From a strategic point of view, this development intrigues aviation enthusiasts – myself most definitely included.

  5. My guess would be ‘when’ airbus re-wing and maybe re-profile the nose/cockpit [matbe to that beautiful c-series nose] to a next-gen a320/321/322 they will update the FBW to state-of-the-art [next-30yrs] standard… basing it somewhat of the c-series. Then upgrade the c-series to that std. aslo to bring them into the family.

  6. The beauty (i would have thought) of having a FBW and computerised control system is that you can change it to a more common system (as we have seen across the A320/A330/A380/A350 lines).

    How much it is possible to standardise the cockpit and/ or control laws to increase commonality is interesting, whether that simply be the placement of icons/ menu structure on the control systems, or changing some of the flight control laws to replicate the ‘common’ Airbus theme is interesting. By reducing the differences here it will decrease airlines costs for those who either choose a common supplier, or wish to employ new pilots (ex A320 for example). I actually wonder if BBD actually thought of this when designing the BBD??
    I am sure there are other systems which could be changed to increase commonality for Airbus users.

  7. I should have added the big question mark on how easy this would be for an aircraft that is already out there.

    • Short-term thinking take the cash cow route and churn out the A320neo for the next 10 years and wait for Boeing to do something. Longer term thinking get the CS500 fully developed and ramped by 2020 to spike the NSA before it is out of the hutch. A relatively cheap entrant and one that can soak up the massive order book for mid sized narrow bodies and take Airbus to 60-40 or 65-35 market share in production at something like 800+ per annum. It is quite startling how convenient this is as it allows development of the A321/2/3 with a new wing etc etc

      • With this “deal” AB are covered from the 100-220 seat class single aisles. Aircraft such as the CS500, 320+, 322 could be developed at relative low cost and in “short” development periods.

        They are however in real need for something new/good between 220 and 300 seats. Will this give them the window to do that?

      • I don’t agree with the new wing view for the A321/2/3. I think Airbus have got carbon cracked. Anyway the hard bit with carbon is the wing. Airbus did get good numbers from the A350 fuselage with much more to come. For example a carbon floor.

        I think if Airbus do a new A320 series it will be all carbon. The same question applies to both Boeing and Airbus: Which first, NSA or NMA

        I do think they will do the CS500. It will end the A320neo down and the 737-8 MAX down. Easy money that will help pay for an all new NSA or NMA.

        @Anton I do agree with your view that Airbus have a gapping hole in the medium to long range 200-300 seat market. I think the A321 is too small and the A350 too big. A 7/8 abreast is required – a brand new A330

        Looking good for Airbus, not so good for Boeing

        • “I don’t agree with the new wing view for the A321/2/3. I think Airbus have got carbon cracked”

          You do know cracked carbon is not a good thing?


    • I think AB will laubch the NSA off some kind of retrofitted CS 500 platform. I’d put money on it. Boeing will be in all kinds of trouble then.

      • If and when Airbus decides to move onto a clean-sheet replacement for the A32X Family, then for the smaller ones of the new generation Family-to-come they will apply its Wankel-concept cross-section (three-elliptical) to resolve unwanted spherical wall-panel interference with shoulder/head clearances and at the same time offer adequate overhead storage volumes.

    • I think they will go with the CS500 fairly soon. They can produce it in large numbers in Alabama, where labour is cheapest, without having to ask France or Germany.

      • That would be driven by the customers. Delta would be the main one who still flies 150/160 seat/3 class 5 across MD88s and MD90s which are getting on in age.

        • No, they will get the 100 and 300 up and going, fill the orders and then Airbus will have to decide if they want to cut off A320 sales for C-500 sales.

          About the time Boeing announced the NMA would be a good launch time, take away some of Boeing ego.

    • I think it is blindingly obvious they will go for a stretch. The cost of the design is chump change compared to the benefits. Point two below is enough, the rest just add to it.

      — A CS500 sale does not automatically equate to a lost A320 sale, it could have been a B737 sale otherwise.

      — Airbus can control pricing to ensure they don’t lose money going from one to the other. Airline want’s a cheaper airframe, fine, A320. Airline wants better efficiency, fine, pay more for a CS500. I don’t see the loss to Airbus there.

      — Airbus have a *slight* CASM problem with the A320 vs the 737-8. The larger size of the -8 leaves them at a somewhat disadvantage. A single stretch CS500* at 36 seat rows is a direct comparison to the A320 in capacity but better in CASM than both 737/A320 and worse in range.

      — Airbus are losing sales to the 737 line due to slot congestion, so being able to offer more slots on either A320 or CS line is likely to lead to new sales (point 1 rehashed)

      — For some airlines, they’d like a common fleet with capacity bound by 100-200 seats. For other airlines, they’d like capacity bounds of 150-250 seats. Now Airbus can offer both ranges. Overlaps is not necessarily worse as Airbus can charge more for each sale as the aircraft range is worth more as a whole than a mixed fleet.

      *A double stretch CS700 at 41 seat rows is better than the 737-8 and doesn’t directly compare to A320 – but tailstrike issues are likely prohibitive.

  8. I don’t understand what it has to do with which manufacturer would CSeries complement more? Airbus were first to propose the deal and they got it. Boeing was too busy with preparing to fight Bombardier in court.
    The bottomline is quite simple – neither Airbus, nor Boeing wanted to have a new competitor in the market. Each chose their own way to achieve this. Boeing –
    to fight (calling mommy for help), Airbus – to go fishing with a win-win bait. Bombardier ate the bait, Airbus will eat Bombardier. End of the story.

    • I tend to agree….hope I’m wrong thinking that way but Bombardier is finished, at least in its present form. Next will be the Q400 and then money losing Learjet which has been a drag for many years; time to liquidate! AB an B have indeed utilized some very clever strategies.

  9. Good article. The only point I’ve got it about reliability that then leads to a question.

    Dispatch reliability excluded planned maintenance. The combustion liners PW GTF on the A320 series only have a life of ~500 hours, which means an engine must come off wing every 2 months for maintenance. Is the C series similarly affected?

    Utilisation is a better measure of reliability than dispatch. For example, Cathay are using their A350s for on average 13 hours a day (see Aviation Week article). That is way up there given thay they have only been in service for ~18 months.

    I wouldn’t mind knowing the daily utilisation of the C series and the A320neo series for an OEM can claim very high dispatch reliability even though the airplane is constantly in the shed undergoing maintenance.

    • AirBaltic flies their CSeries 14h a day and, on some routes, even more.

    • early Cseries engines have 2500 hour liner inspection interval. The ones being delivered now have 6000 hour interval. KAL will get all 6000 hour equipped engines.

      • P&W will get the GTF fixed (or has)

        Keep in mind that getting time on an engine in real service is very hard in a tests program.

        More hours in a week of steady ops than 12 months of testing (probably an exaggeration, but two engine at once is twice the test time)

        100 hours a week say, double that with 2, in a month you have close to 1000 hours real testing.

  10. What has Airbus got in the CSeries? A technological platform still on the test bed just waiting to be enriched by engineers from both companies! Bjorn, that’s what we would have liked to hear more about: what is the potential for long-term technological development that Airbus has just offered with the CSeries?

    • No, you have a final product you don’t mess with, get it into full production and service and make some money.

      • Yes, it spent too long in development as it was, but it was a totally clean sheet with plenty of new tech, so is understandable.

        • I think not the TID, more the on and off impact and change in target market (and design)

          At the same time a lot more time to work out the whole operation and that seems to be paying off big time.

          Other than the engine (which are looking to be getting through the worst) its been pretty amazing.

          • @Transworld:
            “I think not the TID, more the on and off impact and change in target market (and design)”
            Also the fact that unlike Boeing’s Max or Airbus’ 320Neo, CSeries was BBD’s 1st crack into the mainline narrowbody marketplace ever….CS1(let alone CS3) is succeeding no legacy BBD product when even the E2Jet is a successor product for EMB. Naturally, this took 8yrs for the program to materialize fm official launch to EIS.

            IMHO, CSeries development duration(i.e. official launch to EIS) wasn’t too long when we compare it with other recent clean sheet programs launched since 2000 outside the mainline narrowbody space:
            MRJ=2008-2020(Current plan for EIS)=@ least 12yrs
            C919=2008-2020(Current plan for EIS)=@ least 12yrs
            350=Dec 2006 – Jan 2015=Nearly 8yrs
            787=Apr 2004 – Oct 2011=7.5yrs
            380=Dec 2000 – Oct 2007=Nearly 7yrs

  11. The C Series is a state of the art product aimed at a dismal market segment. Nothing smaller than the Max8 and 320 sells, and it’s not because of technology. These two have a combined backlog of multiple thousand aircraft, made with the same old tech as their smaller dead siblings. Airbus didn’t pay a cent for controlling interest; that alone should be proof enough of how important this deal actually is.

    • You should stop repeating this nonsense about a “dismal market segment”.

      That purported “sweet spot” is exactly where there happens to be a local minimum in seat mile cost, governed by the contemporary airliner offerings. There is absolutely no reason why in this global, diverse, dynamic industry, there should be a – purportedly “natural” – “demand trough” between 100 and 150 seats, which, by logic, has to be a good size for a large number of markets. As soon as there is a competitive offering, there will be demand.

      End of story.

      • I sort of agree, I think that in the future there will be a demand for every size of airliner, no more point to point or hub and spoke arguments, it will be a mix of everything.
        That said, one of the things that has been pointed out to me by reading leeham news is that there is the same amount of isle space with 5 abreast as 6,same thing for 7&8 abreast. So as long as you can fill the seats 6 abreast is always going to be a more efficient sweet spot,all else being equal. The number seats abreast obviously affects the proportions of an airliner so that there is a bit of a dip for aircraft of size of the Cseries. It does look like it’s going to be a pleasure to fly in, and the horror of deplanning will be much reduced. I imagine that turn around times will be better as well, or are they governed by the amount of people who have to pass through a door?

      • There is no reason for a “demand trough” anywhere if you refuse to examine causes, and you said “natural” not me. There is nothing natural about aviation.

        There is not just a trough, but a chasm, just above 76 seats where union labor agreement scope clauses effectively prevent use of aircraft in the US. Ask Embraer how well their non-compliant E175-e2 is selling.

        Rapid growth in aviation has made pilots somewhat harder to come by. Ask Ryanair about pilot salaries. So maybe you would put pilots in small airliners, but people who actually run airlines are putting them in larger aircraft.

        The C series is by all accounts a “competitive offering”, has been on offer for years, addresses your beloved 100-150 seat segment, but sales are so dismal the company is selling itself for free. Where is your logical demand?

        • @Peter:
          “Nothing smaller than the Max8 and 320 sells.”
          “The C series is by all accounts a “competitive offering…addresses your beloved 100-150 seat segment, but sales are so dismal.”
          A few counterpoints re your argument about no significant mkt exists above 76seats(i.e. the union clause limiting regional outsourcing in the U.S.) and below Max8/320Neo size.
          1. It’s a mkt situation unique to the U.S. but not global.
          2. DL betting on upto 125 frames of CS1 sort of spoiled your argument even within the U.S. mkt…..even fellow Big3 UA and AA rarely committed to 100+ frames in a single order for the past 10rys. Besides, the 76seats scope clause limit is pretty irrelevant to non-unionized but still large U.S. customers like JetBlue and Spirit.
          3. Max7/319Neo doesn’t sell because most customers found its trip cost being almost equal to Max8/320Neo i.e. no overall op cost impact even if U fly a Max8 @ partial pax load equivalent to a full pax load Max7. In other words, there’s only upside Rev$ opportunity by operating Max8/320Neo instead of Max7/319Neo even if traffic volume is more suitable for Max7/319Neo size…not all upgauge cases are due to ascertained/proven traffic growth.
          4. Max8/320Neo will costs more to acquire upfront but a tiny global fleet of Max7/319Neo as a result of 3. makes exiting Max7/319Neo assets costly. Life time capital/financing cost for larger vs smaller ended up being a wash.
          5. In terms of firm orders, CS3(243 frames) has already won against 319Neo/Max7(101 frames combined) for yrs.
          6. Potential customers for CS3 hesitated not because of the product – it’s basically a Max7/319Neo with significantly lower trip cost than Max8/320Neo which Boeing/Airbus is unable to create. It’s because customers are worry about BBD unable to keep CSeries program alive for 2 or more decades over an airframe’s economic life….they don’t want to end up with a modern equivalent of Fokker F70/100 or Boeing 717 stuck with nearly no liquidity in the used mkt or a rapidly vanishing aircraft life-cycle support network.

          Call me an optimist/utopian but Airbus assuming control over the CSeries program now will just about remove the last barrier to more sales in the 100-150seat mkt stated in point # 6.

          • My sincere thanks; I intended to reply along similar lines.

          • …also, if it was such a “dismal” market why did Boeing go on about the CS?

          • @FLX

            Half your counterpoints are against arguments I never made. The -700/319 are dead; explaining why is just violent agreement. I don’t think congratulations are in order for brand new product that barely manages to outsell two dead ones. While we are at it, the MD80/90 is also dead. Reincarnated as the 717 it died again. Em190/195 is walking dead; backlog is 50 units and ERJ stock is down 50% in the last three years, 60% in ten years.

            Airbus and Boeing narrow body backlog, 738/320 and larger, is **ten thousand units**.

            Dismal means different things to different people. I think 360 orders in nine years of selling to the entire world (including non-scope clause JetBlue/Spirit, plus Delta and everyone else) is dismal. Bankrupting your company, running to the government for a bailout and then selling it for nothing to deep pockets is dismal. You and Bernardo may think this is a stellar performance; you are entitled to your own opinion.

            It really comes down to whether lack of confidence in BBD was a decisive factor in this failure, or whether the littered carcasses of 100 seat aircraft models means a weak market turned dismal. If the former, Airbus will be able to revive the program and we will see an explosion of orders.

            BBD expected to get 160 units per year but averaged a quarter of that. Care to make this interesting?

    • Airbus and Boeing haven’t sold much below 800/MAX8 and A320 — because the 700/MAX7 and A319 simply aren’t very good, and yet the two have blocked BBD in many deals in the past. As Bernardo says, the opportunity is there, just need to offer the customers the right product.

      • Was wondering about the thrust requirements of a CS500. Apparently BBD with the CS series was to use PW1500G’s only.

        Wonder if there will be any merit for a LEAP1-CS with say 73″ fan and higher thrust for a CS5/7 (PW1500G max around 24KLb)?

        Could be especially be useful to have more commonality for airlines using aircraft using LEAP1A’s or B’s?

        • I think the 1500 will be fine for CS500. No need for the larger engine. They might have to do a thrust bump but the engine has some headroom from what I undestand

      • “because the 700/MAX7 and A319 simply aren’t very good”

        Southwest Airlines bought 510 737-700 aircraft and is the world’s largest operator of the model, in contrast to your claims of defectiveness. Southwest now orders only the -800/Max8 and has converted previously placed -700 orders. The airplanes are the same but the market has moved.

        • Southwest bought the -700 because it fits their specific business model.

          But if it’s such a great aircraft, why isn’t anyone else buying them? (And the same question goes for the A319.)

          • SW is moving up to the -8 and the 7 has become the 7X.

          • @thysi:
            And WS is a special case in terms of sales opportunity. Essentially, they will gladly operate any aircraft as long as it’s still a 737 that can be operated legally by their existing 737 cockpit crew qualification….their whole strategic biz model depends on such a fleet op plan.

            WS still want CS3 level op cost per seat to remain cost competitive in the future and the only way to get there is thru upgauging fm 73G/733 size to Max8 size under their 737-only fleet rule.

    • Thanks, it’s brain fade. Too much eletric aircraft writing 🙂 . Fixed to Alu-Lithium which is a lighter and more corrosive resistant alloy than the normal Alu alloy used in structures like for A320neo and the MAX.

  12. “Embraer’s E-jet doesn’t qualify in this segment. It’s a regional airliner, designed to carry 75 to 130 passengers and on routes of less than 2,500nm.”

    Funny, there was a time when this site considered the E2 and C-series direct competitors.


    Embraer has relatively dominated this market and picked up a billion in orders at the Paris show this year. There is little indication of a pent up demand to order aircraft larger than the E195E2, but smaller than the A320/737, both of which, despite their age, still present tremendous advantages.


    • This was before the several upgrades of performance that BBD announced. In fact using Airbus rules (less stringent than BBD rules) the vanilla A320neo flies 150 pax@95kg 2,900nm (no extra ACT) whereas the CS300 flies 130 pax @95kg 3,500nm.

      Put in an ACT in the A320neo and it flies 3,400nm, still short of the CS300. We are now using 5% contingency fuel for both aircraft, not the 3% which is Airbus normal rule.

      • Don’t throw away the E175E2’s, they suddenly could fall into a nice position. The CRJ’s are not the most economical as far as I know and are getting outdated.

        There could be a niche market for an CS300LR, one class 2-2 lay out at 36″ pitch for full service Transatlantic premium “economy” for passenger that wants quick turnarounds?

        ~100 Pax and ~3800Nm range with one aux tank (JFK-LHR)?

        • @Anton:
          “Don’t throw away the E175E2’s, they suddenly could fall into a nice position. The CRJ’s are not the most economical as far as I know and are getting outdated.”
          But U’ve forgotten that the 175E2 won’t be alone in that “nice position”.

          If the scope clause limit door eventually open for 175E2 to enter the U.S. mkt, that same door will also open for MRJ90 by definition.
          Total firm orders:
          175E2=100 fm 1 customer
          MRJ90=243 fm 8 customers including 3 U.S. operators

          Either way, I agree with Bjorn all E2 variants are not directly comparable with CSeries and therefore not really relevant to the discussion re the lower end mainline narrowbody mkt. E2 and CSeries do overlap in a few aspects(particularly in seat count) but overall, they are diff horses for diff courses(pardon my cliche’). In the most basic term: CS1/CS3 is capable for JFK/BOS->LAX/LGB(I suspect JetBlue will actually try this 5~7yrs fm now) westbound nonstop against headwind but no operator will try the same with 175/190/195E2.

          “There could be a niche market for an CS300LR, one class 2-2 lay out at 36″ pitch for full service Transatlantic premium “economy” for passenger that wants quick turnarounds?
          ~100 Pax and ~3800Nm range with one aux tank (JFK-LHR)?”
          1st of all, U made it sound like a PY product is not yet available for JFK-LHR mkt. A simple+quick search(which U could hv done for vetting your idea before sharing it here) will yield @ least 11 daily departures and we’ve not even accounted for EWR-LHR/LGW.

          2ndly, do U hv any clue about the mkt value(yes, U can trade) for a LHR slot pair in recent yrs? Why utilize such precious investment only for carrying 100pax when U can use the same for 300pax(Not hard for a 772ER or 359 to only hold 300 PY seats)? Charge those 100pax @ 300% typical PY fare to compensate for the privilege of “quick turnaround” @ LHR? Come on…

          Finally, why go to all these troubles just to deliver “quick turnaround” @ a London airport to customers when a similar, ready made solution is already out there in the form of Odyssey Airlines which actually has CSeries on order?

          • OK, don’t like the London airports in anyway and with Brexit coming, lets make it Brussels.

            Then you can connect with Eurostar by train to a number of places, including London (~2Hours).

          • If you do London, LCY would make much more sense for a premium product than LHR.

      • At the link I posted it was also noted that the performance targets have been exceeded as well by Embraer, as both EMB and BBD used some pessimistic assumptions on the GTF and weight probably, in 2014. We’re quibbling here over less than 500 miles of real performance range difference and less than 10 seats for 130-140 seaters. I don’t see it as likely that the C-series wins a huge number of clients based on that difference.

        “During his presentation, Slattery announced the range, hot and high takeoff performance, and short field performance of the E190-E2 has increased. After a superior performance in flight tests, the range of the E190-E2 increased from 2,450nm to 2,600nm.

        The hot and high takeoff range increased by over 200nm out of a city like Denver, and the short field takeoff range increased by over 100nm. No specific modifications were made to improve the range; the test fleet simply outperformed their range estimates.”

        • @texl1649:
          “the performance targets have been exceeded as well by Embraer.”
          But U forgot their targets are diff fm the start so the differentials remain with PW1000G performing better than expected by BBD and EMB.

          “We’re quibbling here over less than 500 miles of real performance range..”
          1st of all, it’s not 500miles but 500nmi which is equivalent to well over 1hr of extra cruise duration. If we’re talking about the largest E2 against the largest CSeries, the diff is 700nmi which is worth @ least 1.5hrs cruise duration.

          2ndly, we may be quibbling over 500nmi if we’re talking about 7,000-8,000nmi class ULR eagles like 789 & 359…just about 6~7% diff. But if we’re talking about 2,500~3,500nmi class chicks like E2 & CSeries, that diff is circa 14~20%. Even if we ignore the math and talk in layman terms, Bjorn is right about 3,000nmi is the absolute minimum which divides U.S. transcon(similar re Australia domestic transcon) capable fm not capable and even with better than expected performance results, the longest range E2(i.e. 190E2) still fall short below that mark. Now U can argue that transcon mkt is unimportant for aircraft sales overall but that will be a diff story….

          ” I don’t see it as likely that the C-series wins a huge number of clients based on that difference.”
          If that’s true, 190/195E2 will be even less likely than CS1/3 to “wins a huge number of clients” per current trajectory. Current total firm order:
          190/195E2=133 frames
          CS1/CS3=360 frames

          190/195E1 were hot in the mkt because no comparable competitor existed in the mkt in terms of tech, size and range. 190/195E2 no longer hv that luxury.

          • The single aisle Transatlantic is most likely just a phase the industry is going through, a MoM could change this.

            Iceland is however in a good position as a hub into North America (weather and volcano’s permitting). Tampa in Florida (one of my favorite airports) and Calgary for example could be within reach from Reykjanesbaer with an CS300.

            WOW and Iceland Air could open new routes between Iceland and Europe and Iceland and North America with CS aircraft.

        • Thanks, I kind of tanked on that one but knew it was a tank, just not what it referred to. Added Cargo Tank?

  13. Well, with Jetblue having already made clear for several years now its displeasure with the high costs of maintaining its Embraer 190s, including another mention earlier this year; with Jetblue reportedly having also said the C-series might work for them; with Airbus now in the picture for the C-series, I’d imagine the chances for Jetblue ditching their Embraers for a future smaller capacity jet with the C-series range & performance just increased greatly…

    This would also help Jetblue continue keeping up with Delta since of late it seems that Jetblue’s flightplan is to be a slightly kinder, gentler, just a touch less “worse” than Delta – or something I guess one could call “Delta Lite”.

    I say this because they’ve clearly abandoned David Neeleman’s vision of “bringing humaity back to flying” AND Neeleman’s successor, Dave Barger’s “You Above All” passenger-centric “we’re the anti-airline airline” that sought to position Jetblue as the flyers’ friend to turn to in an era of severe, and still ever increasing meanness and hostility towards most passengers (seat hardening, seat shrinkage, ridiculously tight row pitch, etc., that better resemble the hard, uncomfortable teeny-tiny hardened plastic chairs and desks one sees in a pre-K classroom).

    Now, however, with the cancer of airline meanness having recently infected
    Jetblue in the form of the same outlandish fees (including dynamic pricing for the first checked bag such that the first checked bag included with the Blue Plus tier often is MUCH HIGHER than $25) and the airline reneging on its original “plan” (which I suspect most of its flyers who built the airline into a success because it was the anti-airline airline viewed as a “promise”) to decrease row pitch by only ONE inch to 33” from 34” on its Airbus aircraft, instead of the TWO inches DECREASE they’re actually doing — something one expects the thieves, liars and disreputable folks at other airlines (NOT Jetblue until recently) to do.

    So, with its “role model” Delta soon to get its CS100s, and Jetblue’s updated business plan seemingly being one of simply “sucking (a little) less” than Delta, with Airbus now taking over the left seat of Bombardier’s C-series, it certainly would appear that the constellation of stars are aligning very nicely for Jetblue’s desire to rid itself of its costly and unwanted Embraer’s in the not-too-distant future…

    I guess we shall see…😉

    • Delta is going to have to wait on its C-100s while they get setup to assemble in US (or a court ruling to the contrary on the penalties)

  14. I’d be very worried if I was a Boeing executive. With this line-up, Airbus has Boeing bracketed the 737 completely. BA had a slight advantage with the -8, while Airbus is doing well with the A320 and extremely well on the A321. Adding the CSeries to the mix means Airbus can create compelling offerings across the size range. This inevitably means lower prices for Boeing. Moreover, the CSeries is state-of-the-art, and the A320 is more advanced than the 737. Airbus can therefore afford to wait it out: either keep CSeries and A32x as is, or move up to the CS500 for the mid-segment (imagine its capabilities after lessons learnt from the CS1/300, PiPs and Airbus-type incremental improvements) and re-optimize an A32x-based product for the 321/MoM niche. Boeing would have needed to do something in the nearer future anyway, that need now becomes more urgent. At the same time, the fact that the 737 now becomes a less-competitive commodity reduces margins, and so reduces the cashflow needed to develop a powerful competitor.

    Now look at comparative development capabilities. Airbus is pretty well finished for the time being: A35X is nearly certified, A320neo and A330 neo families are closing on completion, and nothing much is going to happen to the A380 in the near future. While the 787-10 is nearly done, Boeing is still very busy with the 777X and a few members of the MAX family, as well as the potential 797. They also still have to dig themselves out of the $30bn. Dreamliner hole.

    As Douglas demonstrated, it’s perfectly possible for an undisputed industry leader to become an also-ran in a very short time. It only takes a few bad and short-sighted business decisions. I hope, if only for the sake of its employees, that Boeing will stop paying their lawyers, finance people and executives as much, and redirect its attention to its engineers.

    • Boeing is fine with the hole. All they do is kick the hit down the runway.

      In the meantime spend tens of billions on share buy back.

      They are in great shape.

      You just have to understand how modern accounting works.

      • I understand a bit of it: it means that the next 30bn the 787 brings in will have to be written into deferred production cost, and cannot be used for, say, R&D, NSA, NMA…

  15. The reason this airliner went out of style is economics, CS fixes that big time. All kinds of opportunities for companies like Air Asia. Lion Air, Scoot etc to make big $$ on thinner routes,

  16. It strikes me that the C Series would fit in well for AK Airlines

    They already are an Airbus customer thanks to the tie up with Virgin.

    Add in comments about others offering regional jets and Ak is moving away from Turbo props.

    Might be an interesting play.

    • Brad Tilden, CEO Alaska, recently weighed in he’s a Boeing guy. (I.e. They’ll be trying to unload in fleet and ordered Airbuses over the next few years.) Perhaps Scott could further enlighten on this, particularly on the Horizon side of the operation.

  17. What percentage of A320 NEO’s are even ordered with ACT? How many 737/A320 routes are over 3000 miles?

    If you’re going 3000 miles, you probably have more than one class of passenger most times (not Ryanair or SWA), and you probably have more than 150 total passengers as well.

    Ferpe’s analysis here was probably right; the 321 with 160 seats with the ACT is more plausible. What’s not plausible is 150 economy seats in a CS100/300.


  18. Why did Airbus and not Boeing end up with the CSeries? I’ve wondered this too. Why can’t Boeing now offer more than what Airbus is paying ($1) for 50.1% ownership of the CSeries? It’s probably worth many billions to Boeing to prevent the CSeries from being given to Airbus. Why can’t they offer a sweeter deal?

    Put another way, isn’t it the fiduciary duty of Bombardier’s board of directors to seek out the best possible deal? If I were a shareholder I would be quite upset there was no attempt to seek multiple bids

    • @DailyReader: Toronto Globe and Mail reports Boeing was approached and turned it down.

      • Ah, thanks. Found it: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/how-airbus-landed-bombardiers-c-series/article36633257/

        Enders comes off as pretty smart for passing on the partnership offer 2 years ago when Bombardier thought it was in a stronger position. I wonder if the use of sidesticks had anything to do with Boeing turning down the April offer. Boeing must have known that there was no way to kill the C-Series, that it would be licensed to somebody (Airbus, COMAC) rather than being discontinued.

      • Boneheaded Boeing execs. Color me shocked and appalled.


        Could’ve had a FANTASTIC addition to the lineup for a fraction of the cost to design and build a new one. Nope. They decided to have Trump help them out and now they’ll (in my Emperor Palpatine voice) “pay for their lack of vision.”

  19. On something totally different, this CS thing is costing me money.

    Want to fly on an CS to see whats it all about. Flying to Riga early Dec with family of 5 on Baltic (CS300) with the excuse to visit the theme parks in Ventspils, looking forward to it. Also fitting in Norwegian as I never flew with them before (Xmas, “from dad to dad”).

    ….Couldn’t stretch the budget/excuse to get on an Swiss CS100.

  20. Boeing got unintended consequences? Serves them right.

    The question for Airbus is how is the CS better than A318 and such. You note more comfort.

    As for Embraer’s twin-under-wing line, many are being sold into the US – SkyWest has at least 75, Horizon intends to have 33 or more but has to get on the power curve for pilots.

    Fan engines are of course faster than turboprops. A group of us once convinced Pacific Western Airlines to stop buying Electras and instead buy 727-100Cs, one big advantage was about one hour less flight time Yellowknife to Resolute Bay. (The Electra was as fast at low altitudes as the 737 – 350 knots, but much slower at altitude. The flight was a few hours long.)
    (PW preferred to use 737-200Cs as it did to RB on scheduled flights but charter customers wanted more than two engines, they were convinced to accept three.)

    • If some of the CS design team skills are still around could we see AB going for a MoM?

      For AB a MoM could take on the “797” and some of the 787’s market. For Boeing a “797” would attrition some of the 787’s sales.

      AB will have “freedom” to pitch it’s MoM anywhere between the “322” and 359. Believe there could be a re-winged 321 (321+), The 322 could possibly be virtually a “new” aircraft with new materials, etc.

  21. What is Delta going to do to bridge the delay if they have to wait for US assembled CS100’s?

  22. Cs 500 is at question.

    It could free up A320neo slots to built A321neos instead, making more money.

    And offering the whole range from 100pax – 250/270/300 with a A320neo successor.
    A320fuselage is still good. Fits container, is comfy for SA 6abreast.
    Only question is if you could gain a weight advantage from carbon… or if it’s to costly.

    A320neo sold so well, Airbus can wait for Boeing to move and strike from backhand.

    The gap in Airbus portfolio is way smaller than Boeings-
    A321neo (with LR!) is 240pax 6800km or 200pax (2class)
    A330neo is 250 – 400pax 12000km with a much shorter optimum range.
    So the gap is small compared to a
    B737-9 vs. B787- 8 or rather 9 as the -8 isn’t a win financially.

    Both have that gap where Airlines in former days could use A300, B757 or early versions of B767 (200,300) in terms of range an pax.

  23. “Why did the high tech CSeries end up at Airbus? Boeing would have had more use for a modern complement to a 737 on its fourth refresh. Guess Boeing is asking itself this question.”

    I guess BBD, not unreasonably, saw Boeing behind the US trade case. Giving them control over the program would have felt like having to marry your rapist (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marry-your-rapist_law). Not something you do if you have *any* other options.

      • That *is* baffling. Especially as I always felt that Boeing had more of a “special relationship” with Embraer.

  24. What happens if Boeing buys BBD or 50.1% into the PW? AB is only buying 50.1% in the C-series.

    Something else could be cooking here?

    • That’s my assertion! This ain’t over yet! Six to eighteen months a lot could happen before a deal closes. As far as delivery delays, Delta is in good position to limp along B717s and MD88s and 90s – the aircraft that are to be replace. First of all, A321s are coming soon to replace some; and secondly, their in house mechanics have worked on more DC9s and it’s successors than any other airline.

  25. “The narrower cabin seats in the MAX are compensated by the roomier feeling of the Sky Interior.”

    No. Sorry. A fancy interior will not make my shoulders any narrower, nor will mood lighting offset my grumpiness that the guy next to me has a weekend’s worth of junk in his cargo pockets which are protruding under the laughably narrow new 737 armrest that makes the seat ‘wider.’

    The B707 fuselage was made for 1950s people who weighed on average 20 or 30 lbs less than overfed Americans (me included) are now.

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