Bjorn’s Corner: Airbus A330neo flight test starts

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 20, 2017, © Leeham Co, Toulouse: The Airbus A330neo flew its first flight yesterday. The aircraft lifted off from Toulouse Blagnac Airport in front of invited airline customers, suppliers and media. It landed after a successful four-hour mission.

We’ll take the opportunity to look at the A330neo changes and its flight test program. We also look at the drag reducing changes from A330ceo to A330neo.
The A330neo changes

The A330neo program started three years ago. The A330-300 and -200 get new engines/nacelles/pylons, an upgraded wing and a new cabin interior, Figure 1.

The initial Max Take-Off Weight  is the same as the A330ceo, 242t. An upgrade program will bring this to 251t in 2020. This will increase the range of the A330-900 to 7,000nm.

Figure 1. The different A330neo changes. Source: Airbus.

Normal for an Airbus neo program is new engines with their nacelles. The A330neo engines are larger (112-inch fan for the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 instead of 97 inches for the Trent 700). Therefore the nacelles are mounted higher relative to the wing.

This necessitates extensive flow analysis to avoid interference drag between wing and pylon/nacelle, Figure 2.

Figure 2. The A330neo nacelle air flow simulations and final Safran nacelle. Source: Airbus.

Interference drag is when the flow of air gets squeezed, so the local flow accelerates to supersonic flow. This creates supersonic shock wave drag. Therefore, such changes are carefully analyzed with CFD (Computer Fluid Dynamics) software tools.

Different to the A320neo program, the A330neo wing is extensively upgraded, Figure 3.

Figure 3. The A330neo wing changes. Source: Airbus.

The wingspan has been extended with 3.7 meters to reduce induced drag. Induced drag is the drag due to weight. The lower pressure on the wings over-side sucks the higher-pressure air on the underside, up around the wing tips. There is a large vortex carpet left behind the aircraft (Figure 4), which consumes energy in its formation.

Figure 4. Vortex sheet after a Cessna Citation. Source: NASA

To lower induced drag, wingspan is increased, often with winglets. These use the vertical dimension to increase the effective span (the span the air sees).

For the A330neo, Airbus changed the A330 classical winglets to larger Sharklets, resembling the ones from A350. When the wingtips are changed; this changes the wing’s pressure distribution. To fine-tune the distribution for lowest drag, the wing’s twist and belly fairings are adapted so the span-wise pressure distribution comes close to an elliptical shape (the shape of lowest drag).

Airbus also cleaned up the first slat’s dog-tooth to remove interference drag and the flap track fairings shape to lower form drag (it’s a pressure drag, formed when the air can’t follow the shape of the fairing optimally).

Figure 5 shows different results from CFD runs to work on the drag improvement for the A330neo. The colors show areas of homogeneous pressure. By such tools, the designers can verify that they have reached the pressure distribution they seek for lowest drag.

The final picture is where the produced Sharklet is laser scanned to verify that the shape after productions is as designed.

Figure 5. The analysis of the wing changes for the A330neo. Source: Airbus.

Flight tests

The final verification of the changes for better engine performance and lower drag is done with flight tests. I was invited to watch the first flight  for the A330neo yesterday in Toulouse.

The total program for the A330neo contains 1,100 flight hours. These shall be flown until next summer, after which the aircraft shall have its certification and be delivered to TAP Portugal.

The flight test program is flown with four aircraft, Figure 6. Two test aircraft do the A330-900 flight tests, followed by the first TAP Portugal aircraft, which will perform cabin and function + reliability testing before delivery. The final aircraft is the smaller A330-800 test aircraft.

Figure 6. The A330neo test aircraft. Source: Airbus.

Figure 7 show the test program in more detail.

Figure 7. The A330neo flight test program. Source: Airbus.

The first aircraft (MSN 1795) starts with handling and flight envelope checks.This was the purpose of yesterday’s first flight, Figure 8. The aircraft took off at 09.57AM for a four-hour test flight, where the general handling in clean and landing configuration was checked. Because of the 200 invited guests (A330neo customer airlines, program partners/suppliers and media), the flight had to end at 14.00. So, the test team had four hours to accomplish as much as possible.

I spoke to Patrick du Che, Airbus SVP Flight and Integration tests, after the flight. He was pleased the aircraft could clear the full speed envelope from Stall to Max speed (Vmo at 340kts) and Max Mach (Mmo at 0.86) in this one sortie.

The aircraft also cycled landing gear and all movables positions (slats, flaps, spoilers). During the flight, the pilots also tested Fly-By-Wire direct mode (fly by electric wire) and normal mode (fly with computers in the loop).

Figure 8. First flight mission profile. Source: Airbus.



218 Comments on “Bjorn’s Corner: Airbus A330neo flight test starts

  1. This bird looks quite “dangerous”, like ready for a serious argument or even a brawl. In comparison the 787 looks more elegant, maybe more feminine?
    I’m looking forward to a spectacular race for orders over the next years.

    • Kindchenschema
      787 layout (nose, shorter gear ) panders more to cuteness.
      Not clear how much direct target and how much result (from reaching other objectives).

    • @Gundolf:
      “…looking forward to a spectacular race for orders over the next years.”
      Why need to look forward when we can look backward? It has already been racing with 787 for orders for over 3yrs since program launch in Jul2014….feel free to decide if it has been “spectacular” or not.

      Unlike a clean sheet design, 330Neo is a low risk derivative development. Even its turbofan is a low risk derivative(unlike propulsion for 320Neo program) in which the baseline version has been in service for 6yrs. Therefore, the typical justification for many potential customers to watch & wait until 1st flight before order commitment does not really apply for the 330Neo program.

      • Well, since the NEO was launched both planes have won a similar number of orders. And while I don’t think that the NEO will be produced 14/month, I don’t expect that Boeing will be able to sustain that rate for the 787.
        So yes, I expect a rather close race between the two. And yes, I’m sure there are quite a few airlines closely watching how the NEO will perform and how well the production ramp up goes.
        Interesting match: An almost perfect aluminum plane against a not quite perfect carbon plane…

        • I don’t buy the waiting.

          You know what you would be getting more than close enough to order it if you wanted it.

          Its been sitting at 212 orders since very early and no increases.

          Air Asia is talking about dropping their orders (66)

          They are working on the 800, of which there are 6 orders I believe for Hawaiian only.

          In the meantime, in a down market the 787 continues to sell, not large numbers but still selling.

          • I think that there will be many more orders to come and almost certainly an interest in longer range versions.. ..the 250+ ton versions giving the -900 a range of over 7000nm and the -800 of over 8200nm. Yes, even the -800 will sell as they are building it and even increasing the range. So Airbus, must know something we do not.

          • Jose:

            I am a reality based kind of guy.

            There has been zero interesting in the 800 other than HA (or they were nudged into 900 or A350)

            My Kentucky figuring based on history, the pop up with the 787 delay and all was 250.

            I don’t see the activity to push this t0 even 500.

            Time will tell of course.

            Right now, 146. That’s fewer than the slow selling 777X.

          • @TW

            It seems that the well oiled sales machine at Airbus has ground to a halt amidst understanding who is culpable for possible dubious sales practises. The dramatic fall in Airbus sales has occurred concurrently with the investigation taking place and I believe they are closely linked. As I understand it JL is being required to hang on but there is no succession plan and further down the sales team there is a lot of disruption and loss of focus. Whether this is a reason for the lack of A330neo sales is difficult to know

          • Its good this rot is coming to a meltdown, then things can be sorted out.

            The longer it lingers the more damage it causes. Hope by Dubai they could show some new resilience, maybe send some of the tech and design guys over to sell their own aircraft?

        • @Gundolf:
          “…since the NEO was launched both planes have won a similar number of orders.”
          Hard to compute the term “similar” in the above statement when since Jul2014 upon 330Neo program launch, total net firm order accumulated as of Sep2017:
          Excluding recent commitments announced since Sep17 such as JL’s firm for 788 x4, MH’s LoI for 789 x 8 and TK’s LoI for 789 x 40.

          Assuming HA sticking with 338 firm order despite what CEO Dunkerley said here last wk:

          “I don’t think that the NEO will be produced 14/month.”
          Agree. At such rate, the entire current back log will be delivered in about 2.5~3yrs @ the latest.

          “I don’t expect that Boeing will be able to sustain that rate for the 787.”
          Me neither. It’s likely a short-term peak rate to accelerate near-term cash generation for the program. But for 3~4yrs starting fm 2019, 787 does appear to hv the firm backlog+options to sustain 14/mth.

          “An almost perfect aluminum plane against a not quite perfect carbon plane…”
          Totally disagree @ a program level. If 338 is “almost perfect aluminum”, why extremely few hv been sold? If 789 is “not quite perfect carbon”(Or at least on par with 359), why 683 frames hv been sold?

          • FLX, why do I consider the A330neo the amlost perfect aluminum plane? You know, it’s actually not even true, as that bird contains quite a bit of composites too. But all its main structures are made in aluminum – and making the best use of it. Don’t you think it’s quite astonishing that its performance is on paar with the 787? According to Leeham the fuel cost per seat mile are almost identical:
            I don’t think that we will see that phenomenon again, that a carbon plane and an aluminum place are so similar. They even share the same engines.
            This is also why I think the 787 is not a perfect carbon plane. It’s basically overweight for what you could achieve with CFRP.
            Then there is the cost factor. I find that the A330 is extremely cost efficient in production, very similar only to the 737 and 320, which are made in much larger numbers, while the production cost of the 787 came out much higher than planed.
            I think we all can expect better performance and lower cost in the next generation of carbon planes. Not sure though if it will be the MOM or the 737 successor though.

          • B787 is selling now again because Boeing has dropped prices again.
            propaply selling for ~150 mio$ not gaining any of the deffered cost Boeing has on B787 program.
            Might be ok due to write off, and increased number brings scale effects cost reduction and increased aftermarket and service business.

            But priced to get B787 program +EV would give a A330neo a huge advantage in price.
            A330neo was also already well prepared from 1st A350 draft, combined with A350 tech it wasn’t a big effort for Airbus.

            True fact: A338neo and B778x do need orders.

      • I never said said they will sell like crazy, but i think there will be more than 6. I agree that, generally speaking, the neo program is doing as well as the 777x and A380 program which is ofcourse is not great.

      • The A330 neo is like the 737 Max in a way. Its not as good as the 787 (A320) but it does the job and it has its place.

  2. Wins the airframer who can deliver. The A330 comeback in the NEO guise is the logical answer to the dilemma posed by the slow A350 ramp-up, so shortly we shall have the wrestling A330/A350 (11 ? + 9 ?/month) vs 787 (14 ?/month) : the winner is Airbus (except if Boeing decides a 767-300ER MAX comeback ??).

    The 773/778/779 all play in another category so they don’t tally in here methink, oder ?

      • @ Christoph re “A350-1000 and 773ER fish in the same pool…” ?

        Not quite, imho … A351 are bait for predators, the Blue Marlin airlines, whereas 77w are bait for a type of sharks that Icelanders have named Häkarl, which they bury down 6 ft deep in the permafrost and dig up after five summers have passed, to delicately consummate with a swag of Svarta Daudi (Black Death) … believe me, quite an experience if you appreciate Maroille or Münster cheese ?

    • For a 767MAX you’d need new engines, but there are none of the right size available. But even with that they wouldn’t catch up with the A330neo, they would need a new wing too. That’s not going to happen.
      I agree with your conclusion: With not much difference in performance and efficiency in their widebody, regarding deliveries Airbus will overtake Boeing in 2019.

      • @Gundolf:
        “For a 767MAX you’d need new engines….they would need a new wing too….not going to happen.”
        Agree. 767Max is not a worthwhile effort and straying way too far fm the primary objective/reason(a temporary low cost bridge b4 any potential 797) for restarting 767 pax production.

        “…regarding deliveries Airbus will overtake Boeing in 2019.”
        Which is easy if we ignore 777 production or assume it is irrelevant to the 35K mkt prospects and pretend 767 military+freighter variants production is not occurring.

        • I would indeed exclude the military 767. But what about the 777? As far as I know there are hardly any open orders for the 777 in 2019 and the 777X will not be in production by that time. Maybe Boeing can still sell a few more classic 777s? Otherwise it looks indeed like Airbus will rule both the NB and the WB market by 2019.

          • 767 operates in an area below the A330.

            Its prime competitor was the A300/310.

            AS there is no NEO engine for the 767 that clearly puts it in a different category.

            Where it goes? Maybe P&W willing to do something.

          • @Gundolf:
            “…looks indeed like Airbus will rule both the NB and the WB market by 2019.”
            Don’t get me wrong. I’m neutral re Airbus production/delivery being possible to surpass Boeing in 2019. But the larger questions for me are:
            1. What happen BEYOND that single yr in 2019?
            My gut feeling is that neither Airbus nor Boeing can retain consistent production leadership fm 2020.
            2. Production leadership in a single yr = XX will rule the…market?
            Again, for how long even if it’s true? Call me conservative but I tend to doubt absolute statement like that regardless of pro-Airbus or pro-Boeing. My gut feeling is that neither can “rule” the mkt or both “rule” the mkt(i.e. duopoly maintained) for the long term.

          • AB’s only real edge in the market is the 321 (and 359). If Boeing aims the 797 straight at the 321 (and possible 322) with a new wider single aisle AB is snookered?

          • @FLX
            well, we have seen a “ruler” in the airliner business before, and that was Boeing. And that was for a very, very long time.
            So just for the sake of the argument: To me it looks like Airbus is right now taking over from the old ruler, and maybe 2019 is only the year the tide is turning.
            For all airlines and passengers I certainly hope that Boeing will refocus on customer satisfaction (vs shareholder satisfaction) and bring some great new planes to the market, and go head to head with Airbus on innovation and quality, but I must admit that I don’t see Boeings management at that point yet.
            If Boeings keeps winning battles like the one against the dwarfs (C-Series) they will surely loose the war.

    • @Freqent Traveller:
      “The 773/778/779 all play in another category so they don’t tally in here..”
      Another example of how to twist the product definition logic or cherry pick products in order to fit a biased/pre-conceived conclusion such as “the winner is Airbus”.

      1. Why the hell Team Airbus+RR gone into the trouble of developing the 35K to be so technically diff(including that famous major design revision which costed Airbus the EK order) than the 359 instead of a simple straighforwad stretch a la 789->78J? Just for fun/prove they can do it or something fm Boeing 777 portfolio has been seriously annoying them in the mktplace since its EIS in 2004? Just take a wild guess….

      2. The 35K has practically the same usable cabin floor area as the 778 and practically the same max range as the 779 @ similar op econ. Yet U declare 77X program “play in another category” fm the 35K…..amazing.

      If I use the same basis as yours to exclude 777 fm the total widebody production rates, I can easily use the same basis to exclude 339(even the upcoming 251t version) due to double digit % diff in range fm 789.

      • Airbus always try to design natural Boeing aircraft replacements. As the A330-300 replacing the 767-300ER, the A321neoLR replacing the 757-200, the initial A320 the 737-300, the A380 the 747-400, the A350-900 the 777-200 and the A350-1000 the 777-300ER. Airbus discovered the initial A350-1000 could not replace the 777-300ER on their longer routes and hence redid it to be as flexible an aircraft. Boeing did the same killing the A340-300 and A340-600 with the 777-300ER, try to kill the A330 with the 777-200, and tried again with the 787-8 and finally kind of did it on the longest routes with the 787-9 and hope the 787-10 will put another nail it is coffin. However the A330 is hard to beat especially if they can reduce the empty mass with several tons and make it even cheaper to operated on domesting USA and China routes until the 797 comes and tries to kill it again. However its super efficient engines will cost $1000/cycle each just in mainteanace cost vs. the A330 T700’s or CF6-8E’s.

        • Well as we say, from the US Mad Magazine, spy vs spy vs spy.

          Airbus has some good arrows, Boeing has some good ones.

          Both have some less than good ones.

          Sit on the sidelines and see how it plays out.

          What I find interesting is the 787 is selling, not huge, but not bad for down market, almost none for the A330 (new orders, not committed ones)

          Great move on Airbus part to grab the C Series.

          • Sometimes wondered if AB haven’t decided they want to focus on the single aisle market, the twin aisles are second priority.

            Boeing just the other way round. I still see the probability that the “797” could actually be a wider fuselage single aisle in size near that of the 757-200.

            That will “knock” the 321 or sub-models, the MAX8 at this stage has better performance than the 320NEO. The 330NEO’s cant compete with the 787’s on performance and a revived could just be a nail in the coffin for the 330’s?

        • @Claes Eriksson:
          “Airbus always try to design natural Boeing aircraft replacements.”
          Airbus designs NOT always “natural” to replace older Boeing designs.

          Natural examples=
          321LR replace 752(Though took 14yrs after 757 production ended)
          359 replace 772ER
          35K replace 77W

          Unnatural examples where size and/or range diff significantly across products=
          332(let alone 333) replace 763ER
          320 replace 733
          380 replace 744

          “Boeing did the same killing the A340-300 and A340-600 with the 777-300ER”
          Not exactly.
          It competed directly against 772ER in a similar size+range category and debuted within 3yrs of each other in the 1990s so the 343 design was chronologically not old enough for the 772ER design to replace. Boeing’s replacement for 343 came about 21yrs later(typical lifespan for retirement) in the form of the practically exact size 789. In any case, 77W was never designed as a 343 replacement except for
          significant upgauge cases(e.g. AC, LX, etc.).

          It competed directly with 77W as they debuted within 2yrs of each other and again, 346 design was not old enough for the 77W design to replace. A few operators did eventually retired 346 and replaced it with 77W but they all had tiny 346 fleet size unlike LH and IB.

          It competed directly with 772 as they debuted within 1.5yr of each other i.e. no 333 design was old enough for the 772 design to replace. True Boeing replacement for 333 won’t arrive until nex yr upon 78J debut.

          “..and tried again with the 787-8”
          Aside fm providing a slightly upgauged+longer range platform to replace 763ER(Most existing 763ER oepartors told Boeing they like the 7E7 replacement design to be 764ER size but with 772ER range), the primary design objective of 788 was indeed to replace 332 in which both are very close in size.

          “…finally kind of did it on the longest routes with the 787-9 and hope the 787-10 will put another nail it is coffin.”
          Boeing’s 787 design strategy to replace 333 is pretty simple:
          789=For 333 operators who like to stay same size but need 359 level range.
          78J=For 333 operators who don’t need much range beyond the 333 level and want to upgauge a little(i.e. 10% more seats) but want fuel burn per seat better than even the 789 and 359.

          “However the A330 is hard to beat..”
          The relative lack of sales over the past 3yrs+ for 332/338 vs 788, for 339 vs 789/78J suggest the opposite. The 333 is resilient though especially for clearly short-range minded widebody customers.

          “…especially if they can reduce the empty mass with several tons”
          Airbus hv already done that several times with the most significant 1 occurred when 340 wing production ended and therefore its internal structural designs for outboard engines completely eliminated purely for 330 production to save weight.

          The truth is that Airbus has been reducing structural weight on 330 airframe for 23yrs with all the ‘low hanging fruits’ taken and long gone. If there’re opportunities, they’ve been adopted for production already especially to help compensate for the much heavier T7000 on 330Neo. Conversely, Airbus appear going the opposite(i.e. reintroducing structural weight) in recent yrs in their quest of higher MTOW for 330Neo(Some many folks here raved about the upcoming 251t variant) which logically dictate more hefty landing gears and wingbox-to-wing structural interface to support more fuel/cargo in the belly.

          “…make it even cheaper to operated on domesting USA and China routes until the 797 comes.”
          U can mark my words: Even for the busiest U.S. domestic trunks, no operator would deploy newly built but domestic configured widebody on such routes….regardless of how much lower op cost fm a 330Ceo with an even lighter structural design than now could be.

          For China domestic trunks, no need to wait for 797 or a new, somehow even lighter 333 variant for lower op cost on 3~5hrs routes because the 78J is nearly here. This bird is specifically designed(scaled is a more accurate description) to return lower fuel burn per seat than 333 even on short routes. But op cost is nowhere near the most important driving factor for more widebody sales in China – degree of supply chain participation by Chinese aerospace industry is such as the 330Ceo completion center in Airbus Tianjin….few folks living outside China realize how much Beijing is willing to buy a widebody product if the program can give Chinese industry an opportunity to gain some insights+experience into widebody assembly mgmt process for the 1st time ever within China in prep for their CR929 widebody program.

          • @FLX

            Interesting point re completion centre in China. The question has to be how much can the Chinese really gain from this. I am thinking that the secrets of a successful FAL or development or engines will be gathered from this type of operation. This sort of work share has been very common across military programmes for years and a lot is to do with power, prestige and pennies

    • The 767 is a dog compared the A330, even in its ceo firm. No contest.

      • I got to fly in a 767. I really liked it.

        Back in the day before dense pack though.

        Solid airframe.

        DC-10 was awful. Shaking and flexing.

        A300 was pretty comparable to the 767 I thought. Solid.

        But never did an A330 that’s longer.

  3. I’d be interested to know how much was gained and lost, as well as the final result. I suppose that to some degree airbus is not sure just yet.
    Nice informative and accessible article,Bjorn

  4. Thank you Bjorn!
    It ist mentioned that the second prototype will have “Rakes”.
    Could you please expain that?

    • Sounds like pressure measurements (in the shape of pitot tubes). Assembled in a stacked manner to measure the boundaey layer they kind of look like garden rakes, hence the name.

  5. @bjorn
    I’ve now seen a few articles saying that for Boeing to build a sensible MOM aircraft it has to sell for around $70 Million, I can’t see how that is even remotely possible given the Boeing – C Series shenanigans, and the alleged prices charged for a C Series with the purported effect on 737Max pricing.

    I seem to remember the original 767 being around $70 Million, so I can’t understand how you would build a similar aircraft using carbon, and advanced tech at that price today. One other article suggested $100 – $120 Million, I suspect $180 – 200 Million would be nearer the mark.

    I’m sure there would be a lot of interest in an article that addresses cost, and real world sale prices of C Series – A319, A320 – 737Max, A330neo – 767 restarted – 787, A350 – 777X

    What is your own view on the potential sale price of a 797 ? Is there really a market for the MOM given the cost of development of an aircraft that would have to be a great deal better than an Airbus response of an A231 stretch with new wings ?

    Lastly if a 767Max/X is a possibility (which I seriously doubt), is there a chance that a new engine for a 767X could also work for a MOM, i.e. 10:1 bypass ratio, and similar level of thrust ?

    • The engine for a 767MAX would be in the same thrust range as the MOM. The problem here is that none of the engine makers has a suitable engine available. A newly developed engine would need to sell in good numbers (2000+?) to recoup development costs, and that is probably why the MOM is stuck and why a 767MAX is not feasible.
      Maybe RR would be the only candidate with the Advance engine, but I doubt that Boeing would choose them as sole engine supplier, given the current lie of the land (Boeing&GE vs. Airbus&RR).

      • P&W is eager to supply that engine.

        Give them an excuse and they will.

        • I wonder if they’d manage to make it a GTF? Seems like the way to go…

          • GENx is a 787 up to 787-10 sized engine

            The 767 is below that.

          • GEnx is also used on the 747-8 in its lower thrust/smaller fan version, there was also a smaller thrust version proposed for the short haul 787-3 which would be likely to suit a re-engined 767- not that I think that will happen unless there is a bigger demand from airlines

          • The GEnx is 4000lb heavier than the CF6, per piece. That’s 8000lb for the plane. It’s also quite a bit larger, and to me the engines seem to be mounted quite high on the 767 already, so I’m not sure if they could be fitted without reworking the landing gears.The heavier engines would also require reinforcements to the wings, which ads more weight.

          • Yep, you can derate all you want.

            You still are hauling around a large (diameter and drag) and heavy engine.

            So its a not go.

      • Would it be a possibility that the MOM is a 3-jet like the MD11 and uses the existing engine from the 737/A320s?

    • Boeing can design the 797 for 4500nm range but start selling it for 1500nm cheaply then sharply increase the price for each 500nm increased range. The engine manuafacturers might want $10M each plus a $1000/EFH power by the hour agreement for the highest thrust version starting cheaper with 36k for the 1500nm version. Hence the aircraft without engines sells for $70M for 1500nm and you have to sign up for a total care package with both Boeing, GE/RR/PWA and the main LRU suppliers like UTAS/Honeywell/Liebherr so when you do the numbers vs flying a A330-300 Hong Kong-Bejing it is a wash.

  6. Swaped old engine for dreamliners ………great move…
    Installing it on 30 yr.old airframe.. design. ….
    That remains to be seen..
    If they lose Air Asia….
    Backlog looks suddenly woeful..

    • @TC

      Yes, that 30 year old airframe design is using the engines from a roughly 15 year old airframe design. It’s a pity, though, that the 15 year old aircraft design is only competitive with the 30 year old aircraft design, that re-used a 50 year old fuselage design, with narrower seats at a 9 abreast configuration in economy class.

    • I thought Air Asia were thinking of switching to A350? I may have got that wrong. If that’s what does happen, I don’t suppose Airbus would be overwhelmingly upset if they kept them as a customer.

      Though I imagine that Airbus would like a return on their investment in the A330neo.

      • I’ve read the same and it’s comkng from Air Asia. It suggests that the A350 is now cheaper and it equally suggests that the rate of the A350 will go to 13/month

        • No, it just suggest Air Asia is playing its standard game of taking a lot of options then kicking the orders down the runway

          They did that with the A330, the A330NEO and now the A350.

          It will be the 900, then the 1000 and then they will move up to A380.

    • I’m confused as to why the 787 isn’t more competitive against the neo. LNC and others generally consider the B789 and A333/A339 to be roughly equivalent in capacity. But the B789 weighs in at 129t empty and 254t MTOW, while the A339 weighs in at ~127t empty and 251t MTOW. Why aren’t the composite fuselage and wings making a noticeable difference here?

      • It is, the costs are higher as it has not paid for itself (probvably never will, break even at best)

        The NEO best claim is you can undercut 787 on price.

        However, if 5 years you have used more fuel than you saved, ergo, that’s why its not selling.

        Good enough aircraft, nice even, but they buy them for the 20 year+ long term.

        • I think the A338/9’s best claim is that on shorter sectors it holds its own against the B788/9 even when the Boeing is in narrow aisle 9 abreast. The decision of both the B787 and the A350 to go for extended (8,000 mile) range is an interesting one. You could argue that the A350 needed it to compete with the B77w but the B787 aim to capture long/thin has left it quite vulnerable to the A338/9. There seems to be a surfeit of ‘over capable’ aircraft out there

      • A339 will have much more than a 127t.

        A333 233t trent700 according to airbus airport manual:
        Max payload = 45.5t
        MZFW = 175t
        OEW = MZFW – Max payload = 129.5t

        A330neo will add weight due to larger engines, much higher MTOW & added sharklets.

      • @Mike:
        “I’m confused as to why the 787 isn’t more competitive against the neo.”
        I’m even more confused by why U think the 787 isn’t more competitive against the 330Neo.

        “But the B789 weighs in at 129t empty….while the A339 weighs in at ~127t empty….”
        1st of all, assuming yr figures are correct, I still would not put much emphasis on a direct comparison of those data for 1 simple reason: No one use the same definition as the other to define “empty” weight.

        2ndly, the 772ER weights in @ 138t empty while the 359 weights @ least 135t empty(upto 145t actually). Unless we are using double-standard here, I would not even dare to try claiming 359 isn’t more competitive against the 772ER….

        “Why aren’t the composite fuselage and wings making a noticeable difference here?
        Probably because U can only notice the diff in weight data but not the diff manifested in performance.

        789 has already been operating SFO->SIN(17h20m) daily for over a yr, will begin LAX->SIN(Nearly 17h55m) daily later this wk and will launch PER->LHR(even longer than LAX->SIN) daily fm Mar2018. Just imagine if any operator, even the extremely gutsy ones, would even dream of deploying a 339Neo, even with a 251t MTOW variant, on a sector with duration being anywhere near those for SFO/LAX->SIN or PER->LHR…..similar story re 359 vs 339.

        In a nutshell, it’s about overall design optimization e.g. how/where U use the structural weights. Use weight where it generates the most efficiency(e.g. fuel burn, lift, drag reduction, etc.) and/or performance is more important than focusing only on absolute weight reduction. And clean sheet designs(789, 359) always hv an advantage over a mild derivative design(339) when it comes to overall design optimization.

        • Don’t know what AB is trying to achieve with a 251T A339, compete with the 359 because it can’t compete with the 789?

          I can see a niche market for a long range 338 with 251T MTOW that is actually in size between the 788 and 789.

  7. I was always going on about a lighter shorter range 332 with NEO mods and CEO’s.

    An 180 degree turn will be for a lighter 330-900 with de-rated (68KLb) engines and “old 238T” MTOW with range around 5500-6000Nm. Then focus the 330-800 as the 251T long ranger.

    So the AB line-up could be 322 (~20 more seats than the 321 and better range), 330-800 (long range), 330-900 (medium range), 350-900 (long range).

  8. Induced drag or more accurately lift induced drag is usually associated with lift not weight, although the purpose of the lift is to lift the weight. Specifically, an airplane lift (force) is at a backward angle to the vertical. This means the vertical component of the force lifts the weight of the airplane the horizontal component of the force causes the drag. Vortices and turbulence (eddies) are part of the reason why lift is at a backward angle.

    For the geeks, an infinite aspect ratio wing has no induced drag. That’s why airplane manufacturers are chasing aspect ratio

    • I assume the lift force is normal to the wing. At the wing root of a modern widebody, what is the angle attack of the root section of the wing in flight from center of leading edge to trailing edge, 15 degrees or so?

      I suppose the trick is to accelerate molecules of air downward, with minimal acceleration forward.

  9. Looking forward to flying on this bird one day. Let’s hope that airlines stick to 8 abreast as many 330 ceo s do today. That makes it my favourite twin to fly in.

    The A350 and b787 are spoiled by the 9 abreast layouts that greedy airlines forced onto them.

    • Both 787 and A350 have 9 abreast. The A350 is significantly wider though. Nobody does 8 abreast on the A350.

      • 350 is 5 in. wider, a little over 1/2 in per seat. That’s a small difference. The seat pitch the airline chooses tells a lot more about comfort. A330 with 2-4-2 remains the best but it has small windows which matters to them that care.

        • I think its nearer to 8″ difference, also just feel more spacious? Flew in both at the back with the family, the 350 without doubt more comfortable, about on par with 330.

          • @Anton:
            “I think its nearer to 8″ difference”
            Of course U are right. Can U pls help me with a simple primary/grade 1 math question @ school as below?

            Tube A is 221 inches in max diameter(Per a spec published by Airbus for regulatory cert purpose)
            Tube B is 216 inches in max diameter(per a spec published by Boeing for regulatory certification purpose).

            What’s the diff in diameter between Tube A and B?
            For unknown reason, my calculation does not match the 8″ U believe is correct…..

            “Flew in both at the back with the family, the 350 without doubt more comfortable, about on par with 330.”
            Flew in 787, 350 and 330 @ least 4x each in Y every yr, the 350 is without doubt equal in comfort as the 787 but both came without the concave/attic-style cabin sidewall on 330 so 350/787 window seats clearly hv more headroom than 330….lean yr head on the window and U will know what I mean.

          • Sadly I must admin you closer than me, its actually 4.8″ and not 5″.

    • B787 with 9 abreast has same seat width as a 747 with 10 abreast, which has been usual since the 1970s.
      This cramped seats is only a meme not a thing

      • It’s not only the seats but also the small aisles and people bumping into you.

        Just because an outdated product offers the same specs in one dimension doesn’t mean it is today acceptable. What was the seat pitch on a seventies 747?

        • 787 cabin crews seem to be quite unhappy with the aircraft, I’d be interested to hear if anybody has heard something different.

          • Flown on LAN, Air NZ and Europa 787s, spilt wine and spilt juice and a lot of complaining about the shift from A330 and A340s by the LAN and Air Europa crews. That’s why I’m asking if any pósters have heard anything different.

          • Thank you, that is good sleuthing.

            Some years back a WWII vet friend said the B-17 was better than the B-24 (which flew higher, carried more bombs)

            HE explained that when a B-17 went down, it tended to do a slow spiral.

            The B-24 whipped all over the place.

            Much better odds of getting out of a B-17. I have watched the films and he was spot on.

            Brass maybe liked the B-24, but the crews liked a chance to live.

            Oral stuff you have to watch but when comes from a good source with details, priceless.

        • MHalblaub:
          “It’s not only the seats but also the small aisles and people bumping into you.”
          Which hv practically equal chance to occur in a X cabin that is less than 2.3% wider than a Y cabin….

          • The personal experience of not being able to pull a standard trolley inside a 787. Instead carrying the wheeled thing in front. Maybe just 1.5 % missing to pull it.

      • Someone did a nice roundup of seat spacing by aircraft and common configuration on FT last month:

        The bottom line is that per seat, once the 19” standard aisles are taken out:

        -A380 (at 10x, lower deck) has 21.8”/seat (at 8x, upper deck) has 23.8″/seat
        -777 (at 9x) has 21.3″/seat
        -763 (at 7x) has 21.2”/seat
        -A320 (at 6x) has 21.2”/seat

        -A330/330neo (at 8x) has 20.8″/seat
        – A350 (at 9x) has 20.3”/seat
        -747 (at 10x) has 20.2”/seat
        -737/757 (at 6x) has 20”/seat

        -787 (at 9x) has 19.8″/seat
        -777x (at 10x) has 19.7/seat
        -777 (at 10x, using 18” aisles as UA is, which is why they are so narrow) has 19.4”/seat

        -A350 (at 10x) has 18.3″/seat

        • That’s fairly illuminating. No wonder people like flying on the A380. Compared to a 10-across 777 you get nearly 4″ / 6″ more width!

          It also shows how nice the 777 was at the original 9 across, compared to the now common 10 across.

          Those numbers suggest that the 777X has managed to liberate 5.3″ extra width from what I’m assuming is the same overall fuselage width. Does it have very thin insulation? Or have the fattened it up?

          • I read they thinned the sidewall two inches on each side of the interior.

            In addition to the aisles, I think that 1.5″ should be subtracted on each side for the center of armrest to cabin sidewall. So with 19″ aisles, minus 41
            777 (231-41)/10 = 19″
            77x (235-41)/10 = 19.4″
            787 (216-41)/9 = 19.4″
            350 (221-41/9 = 20″

          • If you hate yourself or the family fly 777 at 10 abreast. That why I stopped flying EK, With Qatar you can still try to get on an A350 or on few of the 330’s remaining, their 777’s same rubbish.

          • That’s why I’m always rooting for sales the 767 and the fruition of the A339 for maintaining a value option for better seat width. New 767-300ERs could be complimentary with new A330-900s at Delta, who continue to promote the value of seat width.

          • I am sure Delta will be very keen to put their hands on an NEW 767-300ER.

          • No, because for it to work it will need 8 wide seating, and if the travelling public accept it A330 operators will go to 9 wide and kill both 767 and 787 in one blow.

    • @Layman:
      “Let’s hope that airlines stick to 8 abreast as many 330 ceo s do today.”
      Based on the total firm order on 330Neo backlog today, U can expect roughly 1 in every 3 frames on avg globally will hv 9abreast installed for Y cabin thx to a large proportion of the 330Neo order belong to AirAsiaX.

      For the past 10yrs since birth, AirAsiaX has never operated a single 330 with less than 9abreast in Y and their longest sector today is already 10h45m…….solid longhaul territory.

      “A350 and b787 are spoiled by the 9 abreast layouts that greedy airlines forced onto them.”
      Always hilarious to read this kind of comments(especially re “greedy airlines” or similar) as if worldwide Y consumers’ purchase priority indirectly hv nothing to do with such seat product decision or they hv no choice to buy J or even PY on the exact same 350/787 flights with 9 abreast in Y…..

      I guess socialist system rules on social media/website comment sections….

      • Its not ruled out that the 330NEO order book could be halved in the not too distant future?

        Hopefully their is a ray of sunlight coming for it from somewhere.

  10. I’m hoping that the 250t A330-800 with a range of 8250nm won’t be underestimated by anyone. This little guy will become one of the longest range aircrafts for long thinner routes. It will be advanced with modern engines, will have a quiet 4th generation interior, yet based on a known reliable platform with established maintenance programs and costs. There will be nothing like it. Hawaiian would be fool not to load up with A330-800’s and A330-900’s.

    I suspect that performance will be better than advertised by Airbus … like they always it is and then Airbus will surprise everyone with much better numbers. Surprise!!

    • But why should they not go for a mix of 787-8/9’s? For high density shorter routes they can add a few 787-10’s.

      I am AB, but will this not make sense for them?

  11. End of the day I believe that a shorter/smaller and lighter A350 is AB’s answer to the 787-9. There is actually not a big difference in the listed price between the 339 and 359.

    Such an aircraft should however not just be a shrink of the 359 but a “new design” based on the 350 fuselage in terms of a new wing, wing box, center section etc. The difference is that if priced within reason it will sell and airlines won’t run to the 787-9.

    Below a comparison between the 359 and a theoretical 350″short”;
    Length, pax, MTOW, wing area, wing span, thrust,
    67m, 325, 280T, 440, 67m, 84KLb,
    61m, 280, 250T, 380, 58m, 75KLb (range ~7500+Nm).

    There will still be a gap between an A350 “Short” and “A322”, the 330-800 may find its niche here. This is also the area where Boeing is looking into for a revamped 763ER.

    It will require a big investment (~$5+Billion?) but the there will be an aircraft with a long life that airlines want and grow commonality in a their fleets. Could take 4-5 years to come into production by when an Ultra fan could be ready?

      • Agree, but it will sell and AB will get more than their money back. It will rattle the 787-9 and take at least 50% of its sales. The new smaller/lighter wing could have also application on a shorter range A359 that competes with the 787-10.

        An A350 family could then be;
        A350-8 (Smaller wing), 280 pax, 7500+Nm,
        A350-900 (Current), 325 pax, 8000-9000Nm,
        A350-9 (Smaller wing), 325 pax, ~6000Nm,
        A350-1000 (Current), 365 pax, ~7500+Nm?

        • Well there is the gravel in the hamburger.

          Will it sell?

          Its not selling now and the price is lower.

          The more you change, the more it costs and the higher you need to put the price to get an ROI.

          Sometimes referred to as a vicious circle.

          That’s why management ha to set limit and reign in the engineers.

          By the time they get done you have an all new aircraft.

          Has to be a balance and that was Airbus decision.

          Wing alone is a lot of work done and if it does not sell, that’s all gone.

  12. I am mightily surprised that the B763 is suddenly resurrected. So united have come calling, why are they not interested in the A332 either new or used? As I understood it the A330neo had put the B767 in the shade 10 years ago. So it seems that United are betting on cheap oil for the foreseeable future but even given that it does seem a strange choice.

    I am guessing Boeing are willing to sell at cost to win at all costs, perhaps to deflect from the BBD debacle and to ensure keeping United on board for a future MOM. So this plays out as selling B767 over the next 3 years followed by the conversion of these to freighters as the MOM comes on stream in 2027.

    Doesn’t the A330neo look rather cool, takes the existing A330neo and just gives it a greater presence (T7000) and more elegance (wing) IMHO

    • Think AB is (was) not keen to push the 338, thought the 339 can take on the 789, actually convinced airlines to go from 338 to 339.

      They will have better sales success marketing a 338 – 359 combo as marketing the 339 as 789 competition?

      • Sowerbob:

        You mistake the market and who did what to whom.

        767 was an A300/310 competitor, and sold 1000+. Airbus got out of that area and moved up with the A330.

        People that needed the 767 for their routes had new ones, fine.

        Now they have aged but there is not a solid fit like the 767

        So then you have to decide on compromise or a 767 in the fleet.

        Upgrade engine and winglets and its still a pretty good aircraft for its category. It can’t compete in the A330 area, but then the A330 is a serious compromise to fit in the 767.

        As noted by the KC46, Boeing can sell the 767 at lower costs than Airbus can an A330, its older, paid for more time over etc.

        • Agree, two totally different aircraft. The OEW of an 767-300ER is ~30T less than that of an A330-200 which equates to at least 250 pax with luggage. So an 763 with 250 pax and luggage (no fuel) weigh the same as an 322.

          The KC46 is smaller than the 763 and slighter (~2m) longer than an 762, this could actually be an ideal size seating ~230-240 vs the 220 and 260 of the 767-200/300’s.

          New engines are the big question, requirement ~50-55KLb? Maybe Boeing has been working with one of the manufacturers? A derivate of the 105″ GEnx-2 used on the 747-8/F’s a possibility?

          • When I say upgraded engines, I am talking about the sort of PIP improvements that go on all the time.

            As the 767 engines are mature, they are better than the original versions. Maybe 3 to 5%.

            A NEO may not pay for itself, but miner tweaks, latest engines and winglets might.

            It really gets back to what the ROI on an optimized aircraft are vs a more versatile overall (A330) but heavier, more to run the engines etc.

            Some Airlines may work for and some not. Routes for all are different so each requires a detailed analysis.

            More likely by a lot if you run 767 already.

          • KC-46 is a regular 767-200 fuselage. The aircraft is longer due to the tanker boom at the rear.

            767-300F was sold cheap to keep the line busy until the tanker would take over. That doesn’t tell anything about either the 767 or the A330 could be produced cheaper.

          • No, the 2C is a fuselage length all its own.

            Why they chose that I have not a clue.

            Shorter than a 300 and longer than a 200 I believe.

        • Hi TW

          I accept that the A330 is more of an aircraft than the B767 but it is also 20 years younger given the constant evolution of the frame even before the NEO. The suggestion seems to be to simply dust off the existing B763 and roll 50+ examples down the line. Much as the B767 is one of my favourites it is old tech, no FBW, old engines etc etc. Seriously difficult to upgrade.

          On the cost level I would be surprised if they could produce at the A330 price point. They are resurrecting a line that has been allowed to almost die. The A330 ‘line’ is churning out 5/6 month. There is something in this deal that suggests wider motivations from both parties, I am sure they will become evident

    • Sowerbob:
      “..united have come calling, why are they not interested in the A332 either new or used?”
      Primarily because UA has zero op history and op+maintenance support infrastructure re 330 family. In contrast, UA was the one which launched 767 program nearly 4 decades ago and has never stopped operating that family.

      If U op only 1~2 hubs/bases, U can probably justify the required investment in front of the board to switch fm 767 to 330 family despite U know the 330 family will be totally new for yr airline(but not others) but has already been in the mkt for 23yrs. If U op 7hubs/bases like UA, the required investment level would be very high for a family that will likely be gone in 2 decades or less.

      “As I understood it the A330neo had put the B767 in the shade 10 years ago.”
      Your understanding is incorrect even @ the most basic level:
      Product X cannot chronologically put product Y in the shade @ a time when Product X did not existed.

      330Neo program did not existed 4yrs ago….let alone 10yrs ago. In fact, the last 767 pax variant was delivered a mth before 330Neo program was launched and became available for sale.

      However, i find such lumping of 330Ceo with 330Neo together quite common around here whenever justifying no airline will/should buy new built 767 again.

      “…seems that United are betting on cheap oil for the foreseeable future”
      Or UA is simply betting on cheap oil until 797 is certified which can be as early as 2024 as projected by most industry analysts…..depending on your definition of “foreseeable future”.

      “takes the existing A330neo”
      There’s no such thing as an “existing A330neo” except that single prototype now in test flight.

      • If the 767 revamp is going to happen was is the likely hood that the 797 could actually be a new class of single aisle (MC21 cabin width) and seat capacity slightly more than that of the 757-200 and 4500-5000Nm range?

        Then it will be A321+/(322) vs 797 and the 330NEO vs 787 story all over again, and we know who is the most likely winner? The first A321 was delivered in 1994, more than 23 years ago.

        The MAX10 fill the gap between the MAX8 and 797 while the 767-3X the gap between the 797 and 787-9.

        Then Boeing will have 3 new aircraft on the market (787/777X/797), if the A380 is discounted AB will only have the 350 as “new”.

      • @FLX
        Take your point re user base, at the same time a large order would allow precisely what you suggest in terms of equipping 2 or 3+ hubs if not more with a different model.
        My tablet defaults all A330 to A330neo!! I meant A330 of course, I think you know what I was getting at anyway. I would also contend that lumping the A330ceo/neo is logical in much the same way as the B777 are lumped together over differing iterations.
        As I pointed out the B767 is being used as a place holder for the B797 and this was the main thrust of the point. Something you seem to agree with.

  13. 767’s fit the gates, have existing pilot/ support infrastructures. They are significantly lighter / smaller than the (more capable) A330s.

    The A330 proved unbeatable on medium routes, offering operators flexibility. The markets have grown. Short-medium markets too, justying dedicated, optimized aircraft.

    The 737 Max risks becoming a playing ball coming 7 years. Boeing is probably forced into a new, moonshot narrowbody. The 787-8 has become an orphan.

    Given that, revamping the 767 might become a sensible plan B. The tanker line is there anyway.

    • If our friend Wikipedia is correct the KC46 length is 50.5m, the -200’s 48.5m and the -300’s 54.9m.

      So what length will an 767MAX be?

      • KC-46 has same fuselage as 767-200. The boom at the rear makes the tanker longer.

        • Thanks, something between the 200 and 300 possibly ideal with the 787-9 being there.

    • On wingspan separation of CAT-D and -E is 60m, the 767 well <60m. The 330 Ceo 60.3m, the NEO 64m so straight into-E?

      Gates could be very important, so the 767 got lots of room to manoeuvre if an longer high aspects ratio wing is under consideration.

      • @Anton:
        “On wingspan separation of CAT-D and -E is 60m”
        If possible, pls kindly refrain fm spreading false data here just to support whatever U are claiming especially when those data are so easily searchable.

        ICAO wingspan limit by Cat:
        Cat C= Below 36m
        Cat D= Below 52m
        Cat E= Below 65m
        Cat F= Below 80m

        “The 330 Ceo 60.3m, the NEO 64m so straight into-E?”
        Fm as early as 1987 when the program was launched, no known 330 designs hv been planned for smaller than Cat E and the NEO is no exception.

    • Keejse: I fully agree on the first part.

      We may be seeing some wobbling on the 767 area though.

      787-8 is odd, they have sold a few more, it will be interesting to see if they finally bite the bullet and comonalize it with the 9 and 10.

      I don’t get why a 737RS would be a moon shot.

      BBD has shown what you can do with a good engine and a fully optimized airframe and wing.

      How they get there will be interesting. Truss braced or conventional.

      A320 series is no longer state of the Art either though I agree a new wing would be very close to all new.

      I hate that moonshot term, it was a PR thing to justify not doing anything.

      As Boing has seen, if you do your homework, you can come out with good products. Of course you have to execute as well.

  14. See Hong Kong airlines are looking at 787’s. They have 20 A359’s on order and operate 332’s and 333’s (and more on order). AB get your ducks in a row and get a 350 “short” (280 seats) going, stop the rot before its too late.

    Airlines seems not to want the 339, perception of old design and Boeing salesmen?!

    • @Anton:
      “See Hong Kong airlines are looking at 787’s. They have 20 A359’s on order and operate 332’s and 333’s (and more on order).”
      HX fleet decision will be indifferent 350 vs 789 for their widebody longhaul ops for 1 simple reason: HX is part of the HNA Aviation global empire.

      HNA has significant or controlling stakes in so many airlines(e.g. HX, HU, Azul, Virgin Au, etc.) plus 1 large global lessor which collectively are already holding large firm orders for their fleets or lease portfolios for both 789 and 359.

      In fact, almost the entire current+on order HX fleet is either financed thru or leased/sub-leased fm other HNA subsidiaries e.g. 1st batch of 359 for HX was originally leased by Azul. The primary driver for HX widebody fleet order @ this stage is availability – get longhaul frames in as early as possible to support rapid longhaul growth(even @ a loss) b4 it’s too late when their HKG hub is projected to run out of slots within 2~3 yrs.

      “AB get your ducks in a row and get a 350 “short” (280 seats) going, stop the rot before its too late.”
      Such a 350 variant will already be too late for HX to consider before design even start.

      • Between 2023 and 2030 ~600 A330’s will need replacement with more significant numbers after that. First 787 replacements most likely will start around 2030.

        Is it not worth for AB to start working on something better than the 330NEO that could be available in 5 years from now?

        • They already have it, A350…..and if you want to really think about it….what significant improvement can a clean sheet A330 replacement really bring? Maybe they will put a new CF wing on it from BBD as they are probably production constrained on A350 wings right now. Then it will be an A350 NEO + with LiAl fuse components as well.

  15. Lets call the discounted price of the 787-9 $150M and that for the 339 $135M.
    But what will you get for those in 10 years from now? Think that’s where the CFO’s of airlines kills off the 339 and give the nod for the 789. Not seat mile cost or purchase price only.

    Will you buy something that’s worth Zip in 10-12 years or something that retained say 50% of its value?

    • Anton, are you sure you don’t mix up A340s with A330s? Up to now used A330s have been selling quite well it seems. You know of any broken up ones or parked 10 year olds? Then why do you expect that to happen? Don’t you like the A330 because you have had a bad flight experience or because you just love the 787 too much? Or maybe you never fly economy?

      • I DON’T like the 787 but the market does!!! Can see what Boeing salesmen are doing and why the 330NEO not selling.

        From a “Boeing salesman”. CFR air frame longer life, less maintenance, retain value, better fuel consumption, but can offer you at good price X.

        So whats that CFO gonna tell the Board, buy the 787 not the 330NEO, and sales are showing that.

        That price margin in the initial purchase price is a small part of the formula.

        • Suspect Airbus can’t sell more widebodies in the near term as they are using the labor and the fitting out facilities to get the 350 up to speed.

          • As those are two totally separate programs we would need some attribution that this is the fact.

            Anton is right, the reality is the 787 is selling and in a down market. Not huge but selling.

            A330s will be readily available as a lot were sold into the 787 gap (self inflicted)

            I will probably never fly a 787, those days of getting around the world a bit look to be done for me.

            I might or might not like it to fly in. I might as well. I don’t need width as much as appreciate length and I am not that tall.

            But the ones that count are the airlines. If they can pack it full and people put up with it, that’s how it will go.

            And it is selling and the A330NEO is dropping

    • Why do you assume a A330 NEO will be worth zip in 10-12 years. The efficiency of the plane is very close to 789 so it will be just as economic relative to 789 in 10-12 years. Plus the A330 has much more generic subsystems not like the 787s which have very proprietary electric systems. Its possible the 787s will be more reliable as electric should be simpler and more reliable then hydrulic/air bleed. But that remains to be seen.

      • Firstly as you maybe now I like and prefer the 330’s, just try to think what Boeing salesmen are telling airlines that makes not wanting the NEO’s.

        If they don’t want it now what will it make them want a second hand aircraft in 12 years is that not in production anymore?

        Everybody says list price means nothing but both OEM’s give significant discounts.The list price of an A330-900 is $290M, that of an 787-9 $265M. So I believe prices offered to airlines for the 339 most likely more (but not less) than that offered by Boeing for a 789?

        • Even A340s are worth something as are Boeing 727s. in 12-15 years MAYBE A330 will be out of production but 787 will be pretty old as well. But Airbus parts support will still be readily available and used parts will be everywhere, so getting a full 30 year out of an A330 NEO will not be hard to do at all. And since its efficiency will be pretty close to the 787, it comes down to how much money you can make with the plane and what else is avail out there.

  16. Equal density comparison, how much bigger is the A339 than the A321? 350 seats to 200 seats? That gives Airbus plenty of room to build a mid market aircraft with 275 seats at 2-3-2, a 50m wing, and still continue to sell the A339 as the next size up.

    • Yep, but they have their plate full.

      Like the 787 market they do not believe it is there.

      Save the worst program execution that ever existed and still succeeded in history, the 787 would have cleared their clock.

      They got a break and took advantage of it, but in an in between market.

      Airbus claims that they have it covered, Boeing thinks not.

      If Boeing does the NMA 797, we will see.

      If they do you can bet your last dollar its a good market.

      • I believe Airbus next wing will be in the NMA area. In my mind, they have two choices, a new model using the A320 fuselage at 150′ to 170′ long with about a 44m wing and new engines, or a 2-3-2 at 150′ to 170′, with a 50m wing and new engines.

        The NMA is the market of the future.

      • If Airbus has proceeded with the original A330 upgrade concept, it surely would have cleaned Boeings clock. Even the CEO sold like hotcakes during the 787 delivery snafus. If they had the updated A330, they would have sold a boat load.

        • That’s one of the funny ironies of this all.,

          Hazy was on their case to come out with all new.

          Then they did, he wanted the A330NEO (new company)

          So he says they will sell a 1000

          Have to look but I don’t think the A330 set has sold a 1000 combined.

          Agreed it would have been very interesting is Airbus had stuck to their guns.

  17. Curious why they do not update the cockpit glass layout on NEOs and refreshes. It is a complex certification issue, or are the gains not worth it? A330 is a pretty plane, but with modern curved glass it would look like a brand new design.

    • Each time you make a change it costs big money.

      You loose the dogs of engineering and they would have you an all new aircraft very shortly.

      The A330 /NOE sells not because its better, it sells because its cheaper and somewhat close otherwise.

      Modifying to the extend people keep suggesting is like painting your old rusty wagon. Its just does not pay a return.

  18. It amazes me that people question if this plane will sell. It will sell BIG. It is the prime candidate to replace every single A330 out there now. Seamless transition from old to new with similar efficiency to 787, lower acquisition cost and inconsequential crew training costs? Any A330 operator today with half a brain that does not need the extra range of 787 will stick with this.

    • That’s kind of arguing with reality isn’t it?

      Pull back Air Asia and their 66 ordered, and you have 160 sold.

      4 years now?

      They bulked up on A330CEO and now you want them to dump those and buy a somewhat better but not stellar better Aircraft?

      Or do you get an A350?

      Just the reality of it.

      And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the A330, it sounds like a customer friendly aircraft (by default but there never the less)

      I am not the one that makes those decisions, nor do the passengers.

      When they say our customer demand, what they means it you live with what we stick you with because we want to make money.

      Unless some day people revolt, that’s the way its going to be.

      • The NEO sales have hurt by huge 787 sales form the past and the fact that Airbus has been concentrating on A350 and closing the production gap. 777x is similarly challanged with over 145 orders from Emirates…yet no one is calling it a failure. 330 NEO is inferior in net performance to 787, but when the production gap is either closed or becomes irrelevant, Airbus will drop the pricing hammer on Boeing which Boeing will simply not be able to match.

        • @Mark from Toronto:
          “The NEO sales have hurt by huge 787 sales form the past..”
          I assume U mean 330Neo did not hv a chance for customers to cross-shop against 787 in the past when 330Neo did not existed.

          Then 787 sales were hurt by huge 330Ceo sales from the past…..we can play this game all day long….

          • No the CEO only sold big after Boeing already had a huge backlog and then hit the 3 year delay. Then CEO really took off as delivery slots were 9 years into the future for 787. Now the market is somewhat saturated with widebodys. I think there will be a slow period then it depends on how aggressive Airbus decides to be on 33Neo as Boeing has much less price flexibility then them.

          • Mark: I don’t call the 777X a success

            Only time will tell and what happens to and with Emirates as it is indeed a big chunk of the pie ala the A380.

            That’s not good.

            The 777-8 alone will not be a major seller, the A350 beats it.

            So it may be a 747 type program where it goes on for many years but not huge numbers in any given year.

          • @mark from toronto:
            “Then CEO really took off as delivery slots were 9 years into the future for 787.”
            The above statement is exactly the reason how I justified my earlier comment ‘787 sales were hurt by huge 330Ceo sales from the past’.

            Fundamentally, once the mkt ordered a bunch of 330Ceo due to 787 troubles(cert delay, ramp-up, backlog, whatever), the mkt was stuck with a bunch of 330Ceo orders fm the past and thus the need fm the aggregate mkt to order 787 afterwards reduced dramatically.

      • Here are two special things about the A330: 1) It’s always been underestimated and 2) it never had a large backlog.

        1) When the A330 came to market, all the attention was on its sister, the ultra long-haul A340. But the little sister turned out to be such a nice and profitable plane that it became one of the best selling planes ever.

        2) Like today, the A330 has never had a large backlog, for many years only 30-40 planes, with a peak of 200+ in 2012. I’m quite sure that it will continue to sell like it did in the past, with its great versatility and superbe economics.

        • The A340 got the publciciy but the A330 was always the heart of the program.

          Its worked its way up to 1500 plus sales and finished (CEO and NEO) and it looks to hit maybe 2000. That puts it ahead of the 747 over its entire (and much longer) life

          Some was luck that Boeing hosed up the 787 management.

          The other part was they had a hull that morphed into a good product and as noted, no major knock outs but steady sales.

          How well it continues to sell in the NEO version is an open question.

          Market is saturated by both A330, new 767 gap fillers (older ones up for sale and maybe more new ones) and the 787.

          Evidence right now says not.

          • Boeing are taking more in advance payments now, if they want to meet their share buyback and dividend targets selling now at any price is the easy way to go. Any market intel on what they are selling 789s for? Any airline willing to increase their advance payments expects to pay less. Wasn’t UAs 737-700 order cheap in part because there was more up fronter cash? (Pricing wasn’t all BBDs fault) How much profit will BA get out of producing this backlog? Cash crunch ahead?

    • @mark from toronto:
      “It amazes me that people question if this plane will sell.”
      Because it is actually 2 distinct variants(i.e. 2 sizes, efficiency levels, performance levels), not 1 and some folks(including myself) are questioning @ least 1 of them which is not such an amazing brain activity if U take a quick glance @ its sales record.

      “It will sell BIG.”
      339 probably. 338 unlikely.

      “Any A330 operator today with half a brain that does not need the extra range of 787 will stick with this.”
      Any 333 operator today with half a brain(plus perhaps a little dose of shareholder responsibility) that does not need the extra range of a 789/359 will not blindly “stick with” the 339 by default and will consider both 339 and 78J…

      This was exactly what BR had done a few yrs ago and concluded to go with 78J instead of 339 to replace their not so small 330Ceo fleet…..well, unless U are concluding this airline with a 77W fleet size nearly double that of AC has no brain….

      • Eva air needs the range, they do a LOT of long haul and being able to swap 787 for 777 to max cap util is a huge value. That is the exact same reason AC bought 787. Also they bought the 787 10 which is larger then A330NEO

        • This again one of my crazy statements but I believe a shorter range and lighter 350-1000 has got good potential. Reduced OEW, MTOW (300T?), using XWB’s with a thrust of around 90KLb. Range ~7000Nm.

          It will be able to do the majority of the routes the 777-300ER’s do, beats the 777-8/9’s hands down on sectors costs.

          The 90KLb engines could be used for a “monster” range 359 in combination with the 35K’s wing and landing gear for airlines such as Qantas looking for an aircraft that can fly around 20 hours non-stop?

          • How do you make money on that. Fact is, it will not cost you any less to manufacture then the full boat A350 1K. In fact the additional parts count and paperwork will cost more…

          • @Anton:
            “again one of my crazy statements”
            Not sure if they are crazy but certainly divorced fm any shred of tech, RoI/cost or timing reality.

            “I believe a shorter range and lighter 350-1000 has got good potential.”
            1st of all, where is such a hypothetical 35K variant now given that even the real 35K that is NOT short range nor lighter isn’t certified yet and has been enduring a significant reduction in order backlog lately? Ever heard of a stockholder desire known as getting Return on Investment before investing even more?

            2ndly, such a HYPOTHETICAL 35K will certainly hv far less mkt potential than the actual 78J and 339 scheduled to begin delivery within 9mths and therefore begin to REALIZE such mkt potential out there.

            “Reduced OEW”
            How and by how much? Or @ least how much will such endeavor cost? Can U cite any example throughout widebody history in which a manufacturer has ever taken out anywhere near 10% of OEW fm an existing airframe design(e.g. an airplane initially @ 130t OEW will hv a whopping 13t suddenly vanished…the initial design must be seriously above weight specs)? May be my knowledge is far more limited than yrs as I hv never heard of any….

            “…Range ~7000Nm..It will be able to do the majority of the routes the 777-300ER’s do”
            1st of all due to headwind on westbound, many 77W routes already require 7,000nm+ performance such as the 6x daily YYZ/BOS/JFK/DFW->HKG routes by CX/AA. 2ndly, even if I don’t hv a route exceeding 7,000nm, why shouldn’t I just invest in a regular 35K and use its additional payload/range to earn more Rev$ fm belly cargo?

            “beats the 777-8/9’s hands down on sectors costs.”
            But what about sector costs against 78J which is also 7,000nm range if using Airbus payload/range definition(Differ fm Boeing’s definition which is stricter/more demanding than Airbus’)?

            “…a “monster” range 359 in combination with the 35K’s wing and landing gear for airlines such as Qantas looking for an aircraft that can fly around 20 hours non-stop.”
            That’s not a new idea suddenly dreamt up by U now in 2017 at all. Airbus has already revealed this concept in public known as 359R upon 350 program launch almost 11yrs ago and everyone in the industry knew QF wanted JFK->SYD->LHR nonstop since the late 90s. Yet Airbus still betted on 359ULR instead of 359R(I was surprised the bet wasn’t on 359R) so logic would suggest there’s something not right with the 359R concept(i.e. yr idea)….may be it’s just development $ requirement vs potential mkt size as usual which U typically luv to underestimate….

          • That’s a mouth full.

            Question, the ME airlines operate large fleets of 77W’s between their hubs and Europe and to Eastern destinations, what do you replace them with? The 777’s is going to be heavy with large engines.

            If you can bring the sector costs down on these routes with a lighter shorter range version of the 350K it could do the job and offer a viable option to the ME airlines. It will sell and be relatively cheap and quick to develop.

            Most destinations between Europe and the Americas as well as Europe and the East doesn’t need anything with more than 6000Nm range.

            These are high density routes, if you can save 5-10% on sector cost why not? As far as I am aware the 350R was the proposed Regional shorter range 359 and not 10 000Nm aircraft.

        • @mark from toronto:
          “Eva air needs the range, they do a LOT of long haul…”
          But U hv forgotten that BR also hv a LOT of hi-frequency trunk routes within E.Asia(e.g. China, S.E.Asia) which do not really need extra longhaul range beyond 339 capability….the reason why BR has a 330Ceo fleet in the 1st place. BR can “do a LOT of longhaul” especially Trans-Pcf routes largely because they are fed by BR’s large/heavy-traffic regional network within E.Asia.

          “..being able to swap 787 for 777 to max cap util is a huge value.”
          Westbound against headwind to BR’s TPE hub, payload/range of the 78J(Also its 330Ceo predecessor) is pretty useless on all BR Trans-Pcf routes now dominated by their 77W…even the shortest SEA/YVR->TPE sectors are @ least 12h45m.

          For BR Trans-Pcf routes, the only realistic 787 variant that can swap with 77W is the 789 for which BR is leasing 4 frames.

          “That is the exact same reason AC bought 787.”
          It is. But that reason has nothing to do with the mission type BR intended for their 78J order. In fact, when BR started to assess 78J vs 339 to replace 330Ceo a few yrs ago, mgmt repeatedly stated in public media(including many in Chinese) that the order was planned for regional missions currently flown by their 330Ceo.

          “Also they bought the 787 10 which is larger then A330NEO”
          1. 78J is no more than 14% larger than 339 in terms of usable cabin floor area….because 78J is less than 14% larger than 789 and we already know 789 and 339 are practically the same size.
          2. TPE hub pax traffic has been growing @ an avg annual rate of 8% over the past 10yrs, running out of slots quickly and the 3rd rwy won’t be ready until 2025(a la HKG)…..7yrs AFTER the 1st 78J join BR fleet. Clearly, a 14% upgauge fm 333 will be peanuts for BR’s need.

  19. The 330’s are great aircraft in my eyes but seems not in those of airlines.

    Could a revived 767 in combination with the 787’s spells the end of this aircraft?

    • How much time and money has AB wasted on keeping the 380 alive, studying a 350-1000 stretch, and now on Qantas ultra range requirement.

      They lost on the SIA deal, Qantas most likely will go for an ultra range 777-8 and replace 747’s and 380’s with a combination of 777-8LR’s and 777-9’s.

      The 200-300 seat market is much more lucrative and the 330NEO’s are not the answer?

        • AB tried to promote an A350-2000 (“stretch”) to SIA as competition to the 777-9, SIA ordered the Boeing’s.

          • I don’t a revised 767 does anything to the A330.

            It meets a need with a few airlines that have existing and large enough route setup that a more specialized aircraft works much better and pays a big return.

        • @Jose:
          “What do yo mean the list on the SIA deal? Am I missing something?”
          Don’t worry too much about Anton’s comment filled with false justifications/reasonings and U likely hv not missed anything.

          What’s “missing” likely are:
          A) SQ chose 359ULR instead of 778 for their longest routes(NYC,LAX):
          Feel free to decide who lost this SIA deal…
          B) 359/359ULR fleet size(67) is by far the largest in SQ either in service or in backlog:
          78J fleet size(49) will be the 2nd largest @ SQ. Take a wild guess which type will be the backbone in SQ fleet….

  20. On seating layouts mentioned that United is going 3-4-3 with 34″ pitch on the 777’s for premium. In comparison Cathy’s E+ is 2-4-2 with 38″ pitch.

    • Anton,
      Seating layouts are dependent on many variables – Length of the flights , Average height of your customers (American , European , Asian , African ) , what the competition have ( You better have one inch more then the competition …not much more ).
      Take Japan domestic flights. You can never offer these densities to American because American in average are higher.

      • Considering our opioid crisis we sure are (griin)

        Taller? Wider? Bigger all around (grin)

        Funny thing is I am very wide shouldered (even before I got wider elsewhere)

        Leg room was still more important to me and I am only 5′ 8.5″.

      • I am a bit skewed when it comes to seating layouts. Most of the times flights >8 hours, and my 6’4″ 240Lb frame does not enjoy small seats and leg room.

        • Since leg room is important to many people ( including myself 1.86 meter), I wonder when reservation systems will offer it as a criteria to choose flight together with the destination and the price.

          • Just bought 2 tickets to Norway, criteria was no 777 in 10 wide seats and 787 unless the price difference was over a couple of hundred dollars per ticket. Going LH, sorry KL and Air Europa.

          • Marin don’t want to sound nosy but also looking at the Norway routes lately, where you flying from.

            p.s. I am not a travel agent or got ties with any airline.

          • @David:
            ” I wonder when reservation systems will offer it as a criteria to choose flight together with the destination and the price.”
            google flight search already display seat pitch along with Y fare and routing details for each listed flight option for yrs.

            Where hv U been all these yrs?

          • Eish, if you want to go one stop Lufthansa looks like the best option avoiding the two aircraft you refer to.

          • PS, though Air NZ’s 787s were a bit better but the don’t flying BOG-Europe.

  21. How does the A330NEO compare to the original design for the A350? Didn’t the market massively reject that proposal since it was based off the A330, leading to the A350XWB design? Are we full circle?

      • Looks like it, AB went on with the 330NEO knowing that the market does want something like that and now sales shows it.

        • No, full circle would have been full optimizing of the A330.

          All new wing, maybe a new nose. Latest greatest engines.

          The idea was that the NEO would work as a up gauger for existing airlines that ran A330.

          Delta is solid, but Air Asia? So remove them from the equation and its not looking so good.

          Cost for the putting out the 800 vs the ordrs for it has me shaking my head.

          Well Hazy could order another 800 but I think that’s a stretch (grin)

          • Whats confusing for me is why does AB want to make 339 fly as far as the 789 and 359? A 250-260 seat 330-800 with 8200Nm range make sense because it kind of fits in between the 787-8/9, maybe this is the ugly duckling that could become the swon?

            On sectors of >4500Nm the 359 is reported to have better economics than the 789 and 359. For me the 339’s focus should have been to optimize it for sectors of 2000-5000Nm where the 789 is strong to compliment the 359 not to compete with it.

            The strength of the 789 is it shorter range economic on long range abilities, apparently the economics of the 333CEO is fairly similar than that of the NEO on shorter sectors?

    • Yes but the market was mesmerized by 787 at the time, and the original A350 was actually more ambitious then NEO. If I recall correctly it had composite wings and LiAl fuse. I guess in the end Airbus decided this had to be cheap as they spent big on 350 SWB

  22. Does anyone know what the deal is with the new taller winglets being tested on the A350?

  23. I I remember correctly everybody was howling how the A330 was done with the fantastic 787 eating it alive.

    Looking back, Airbus delivered 1000 CEO’s since then and Boeing gained marketshare by pricing the first 400 787 very “sharp” and program break even seems somewhere around 1400 787 deliveries.

    Sobering. Now Airbus offers a A330 that uses 12-15% less fuel and significantly more payload-range.

    While Udvar scored big in the US press dismissing the A350 mk1 (A330NEO), he was quick to order A330s shortly after. Something less remembered. PR is PR & business is business 🙂

  24. If AirAsiaX pull out (66), the Iran deals blow up (28) and Hawai jumps ship (8) it leaves the 330NEO with 106 orders.

    Egypt Air to announce new orders soon, they have been flying 300’s, 330’s and 340’s. Lets see what happens.

    • Air Asia is beyond shaky.

      I think Iran is ok but there is the Trump Moron to deal with.

      Hawaii has been adamant about the 800 so they will take it.

      The question is if its really worth the separate version for a whole 8?

      I don’t doubt that you will see other A330NEO orders trickle in, its does not look to be a hot seller and how much or a return?

      • I wonder what the runway performance out of Maui is between the A339 and A338? Maybe it makes a difference with better rotation angle on the A338.

  25. I have said this too many times but will do it for the last now.

    An A330-200 with the NEO’s wing and aerodynamic updates as well as interior upgrades, using tweaked CEO’s, could have had a reasonable future. Add some weight savings, give it a range of around 6000Nm and sell it cheap.

    The PW4170 Advantage70Tm comes to mind as an engine option?

    • Weight saving are probably the most costly thing to do on a plane. If you are doing the wing, why not the engines? Its not like the old engines are super cheap or anything. The wing was done partly for efficiency, but also had to be worked due to heavier engines anyway.

  26. Airbus is losing its A330 customers fast, there are many, the latest most significant one probably Turkish.

  27. The A330-200 CEO continues to sell (recently to IAG, for example) so why do people think that the NEO version will not sell once the CEO is phased out?

    • Because its not selling now?

      If its that appealing why would you buy a A330CEO when an NEO offers you so much better?

      • Less than 4000 mi CEO gives the same CASM for cheaper. Personally I agree that the 330NEO should have been optomized for shorts routes.

  28. Off Topic:

    I knew UPS was going to take 747-8F, I did not know they had TAKEN at least one.

    Saw it up in Anchorages.

    Looks like its too long to park in their normal slots, its parked to the North in what’s called (cleaverly6) North Air Park.

    Was UPS negotiating all along ergo Boeing confidence in some market?

    If not, someone dropped out of line for them to move to the front.

    • Hello Transworld,

      Regarding 747-8 deliveries at UPS, Tyke’s Aero Blog at the link below says that 2 of the UPS order of 14 have been delivered, as follows.

      N607UP, line number 1542, first flight 10-6-17, delivered 10-19-17.
      N605UP, line number 1543, first flight 8-30-17, delivered 9-29-17.
      According to this website, line numbers 1544 to 1547, which have not yet flown, will also be headed to UPS.

      According to the Wikipedia 747-8 page, the only unfilled 747-8 orders as of 9-30-17 were 13 for UPS (now 12) and 1 for an unidentified customer. When UPS ordered in 2016, there was not much of a line to stand in if you wanted a 747-8. In fact, there were a few white tails available, but UPS elected to take new aircraft off the line. The 747-8’s recently sold to Qatar included at least two white tails, and were either included in the unidentified category in the Wikipedia listing, or excluded from this listing for some other reason. According to Tyke’sAero Blog, the Qatar 747-8’s are as follows, and there is still one parked 747-8 and 2 in storage (the future Air Force One replacements?).

      Line Number 1437, 747-87UF for Qatar Cargo, first flew 4-15-2013, currently being painted.
      Line number 1495, 747-8Z5 for Qatar Amiri Flight (VIP), first flew 2-19-2014, currently doing pre-delivery test flights.
      Line number 1535, 747-83QF for Qatar Cargo, first flew 1-10-2017, delivered 9-25-17.

      Link to Wikipedia 747-8 page is below.

      • Correction to my post above, the Wikipedia 747-8 page shows four undelivered 747-8 orders from unidentified customers, not one as I stated above.

  29. One of an A330-800HGW niche markets could be to operate reasonably long thin routes (6000-65000Nm) routes out of hot and/or high airports such as Denver and JHB.

    Denver to Tel Aviv or Taipei could be examples.

  30. Lot’s of FUD thrown at the A330neo around here. Well, that’s not really that different to Boeing and their A330 FUD campaign, from 2003 and onwards, launched in order to try to delay potential customers from buying A330s until the 787 hit the market. It wasn’t that successful, though.

    IMO, it’s quite reasonable to assume that quite a few potential customers have pushed Airbus to increase MTOW to 251 metric tonnes. That should reduce the A330-900’s range deficit vs. the 787-9 to 300nm (i.e. down from 1000nm). Perhaps, Airbus is considering launching an A330-1000 stretch, as well. A MTOW of 251 tonnes and an 11-frame stretched version would, in fact, “restore” the optimised intermediate range capabiliy of the platform, but now with a larger A330.

    • the A350-900 has more range and caries more payload than the 7987-9

      • I don’t think anything is being thrown at the A330.

        Like the 737, has its time come?

        And how much do you put into it without a serious interest by someone other than Air Asia?

        While the scale is still larger, its looks a lot like the 767 demise.

        Still a few areas it works and works well in per a buyer, but wide range and long term not nearly so much.

        Just working through the aspects of why this may be despite what looks like viable.

        While that was my feeling all along, it was just a feeling.

        Current order status seems to go alone with that.

        Could that change, yep. Right now, it does not look like it.

        Airbus is not going to put more money into it though.

        • @TransWorld

          Airbus is putting more money into the A330neo. The 251 metric tonnes MTOW version will be ready by 2020. In short, the A330neo will like the A330ceo be gaining the benefits of continuos improvements.

          Also, what some people seem to miss, though, is that the big replacement peak for the A330-300 has yet to kick in.

          Finally, claiming that no other airline than Air Asia is interested in the A330neo is really nothing but throwing FUD.

          • The big replacement peak is still to come, yes. Although the question is, how many will be replaced by a MOM which should then be available.

            Many A330 fly far below their possible range, and a more efficient MOM might be the better option for those missions.

          • 330CEO replacements will be shared by a number of other options to airlines. 787, 359, MoM and possibly 767Revive.

            So the 330NEO share of the pie is going to be much smaller.

          • Ahh, the MOM — the technological mirage that’s supposedly waiting in the wings, but with pricing needing to be in the unrealistic $70m-$75m range (today’s dollar value) in order to be viable, and with possible availability in the market semingly being only out beyond the horizon…..

            Back in the real world, the A330-900 will very likely be extremely competitive in the A330-300/777-200ER replacment market post 2020. Meanwhile, the world’s aircraft fleet is predicted to double in size over the next 20 years — and with growth trends dominataing the OEM’s Aircraft market forecast, the A330-900 is IMJ in a good position to cater to some of that demand, while providing downward pricing pressure on the 787.

            In short, what the nay-sayers seem to believe that this is a zero sum game. — nothing could be further from the truth.

          • Was wondering about this $75M story for a MoM.

            Just dawned on me, at 50% discount price ($150 list price) becoming plausible.

  31. Remember that Delta’s wide boy order from airbus doe not come close tio replacing its widebody fleet. Perhaps more A330Neos and A350’s to come soon.

      • $64 question.

        Are they irritated enough with Boeing to stiff them or pragmatic enough to do what works for routes best?

        Evidence each way and with the slots open for the A330NEO they could take that as well at bargain prices.

        As the 767 KC46 is ramping up its not likely anyone will get as good a deal as FedEx got on the freighters.

        • A 763 with 240 pax burns about ~500kg’s less fuel per hour than a 330-200 with similar pax over a 3000Nm sector.

          If you can get it real cheap why not, the 767’s has also long air frame life. Wont rule out some re-engine/mod option in 10 years or so?

          What people seem to forget is that an 767-300ER with 250 pax and luggage weighs ~5T less than an empty 330-200.

          There are lots of small and Leisure airlines with small fleets of 767’s still flying, I see them loving it to get their hands on new ones.

          • So what was the problem for the 767 in first place that forced Boeing to build the 787?

            May I translate for some terms from Randy‘s blog:
            -„similar“: far less
            -„weights less“: no LD3 cargo capability

            Some rough estimations:
            – fuel price $1 per kg
            – 6 hours flight
            – an A330 carries 30 more y
            According to your 500 kg more fuel burn per hour about $3,000 had to be paid by 30 pax ($100 per pax).

            3,000 nm is about Honolulu to Seattle or Seattle to Miami.

          • Anton,
            Just compare the layout of actual airline seating at seatguru and not some virtual ones e.g. AA and Delta. Both airlines operate 767-300 and A330-200. They don’t supply your claims but rather the opposite.

            A330-200 with 20 Business at 4 abreast and 80 inch pitch (5 rows) carries additional 238 economy seats.
            767-300 with 28 business at 6 abreast and just 60 inch pitch (also 5 rows) carries 188 additional pax.

          • You right there are numerous possibilities. Used Wikipedia as reference.

  32. Problems at Airbus’s sales division could potentially having a bigger impact than previously suspected?

    The A330NEO is not selling, can say the 787’s are newer more efficient aircraft.

    But in the mean time 777-300ER’s are slowly but surely picking up orders while the 350-1000 are losing orders.

    The 35K has much better operational performance than the 77W (~15-20%)? while the difference between the 339 and 789 is much less.

    AB’s fixation with keeping the 380 alive is also not helping them, they bending over backwards for EK, and in the mean time EK will continue to buy more and more Boeing’s.

    • Airbus sold 210 A330neo since 2014.
      In the same period Boeing sold 250 787.
      Airbus also did sell some A330ceo in that period, too.
      In case the A330 is not selling according to your metrics the 787 is not doing much better.

      • An order is not an order till its signed, but see recent “orders” such of Turkish, Malaysian, etc is not yet reflected.

        Think by year end things going to look different of the 787 numbers?

      • Interesting if you look at the two OEM’s widebody backlogs, ~1050 each if you exclude the A380’s with which anything is possible.

        Its just that the tide has turned in favor of the 787’s the last two years.

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