Boeing wins first day with big order at Dubai Air Show

Nov. 12, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In a stinging defeat for Airbus, Boeing won an order for 40 787-10s from Emirates Airline.

Airbus competed for the deal with the A350-900. Emirates previously canceled an order for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, an embarrassment at the time. Losing this order was largely expected, but based on comments from airline officials earlier this year, it seemed that the order would be put off until next year.

Bloomberg News has this devastating report.

Unreported from this order is that it seems to indicate a changing strategy for Emirates.

New strategy?

The order for 40 aircraft is barely more than half of the cancelled orders. Although Boeing officials touted a strong future for the Middle East airlines, the reduced size of the order suggests Emirates is taking a more conservative approach toward growth.

The order may also suggest that Emirates is recasting its growth ambitions to destinations nearer to its Dubai base.

The 787-10’s fuel-limit range is 6,400nm, according to LNC’s analysis using normalized three class seating (but not EK’s configuration) and common winds and alternatives. The A350-900’s fuel-limit range is 7,800nm.

LNC’s analysis over a 5,000nm route gives the 787-10 a 3.5% per-seat cost advantage because it carries more passengers. The larger A350-900 wing, designed for an advertised range of 8,100nm, means the A350-900 carries more weight around than the 787-10.

The range differences mean the 787-10 can reach only a small portion of the US, South America and most of Australia (but not Sydney). The A350-900 could reach all of the US, all but a small portion of Central America, most of South America, all of Australia and most of New Zealand.

The Boeing 777-8/9 Emirates has on order reaches all destinations, making the A350-900 (or slightly shorter-ranged A350-1000) duplicative.

The A350’s fate may have been sealed with the 777X order. The slightly more-efficient 787-10 over 5,000nm may have tipped the scales (setting aside the commercial terms of the transaction).


182 Comments on “Boeing wins first day with big order at Dubai Air Show

  1. It is getting even clearer that the 787 family of aircrafts really pushed technology ahead and that it paved way for the future Boeing technological development. The enormous headaches seem to have turned into a big advantage for them.

        • Uwe:

          I believe its more complex than that, they canceled the A350 well before out MAGA nut was on the election horizon.

          See comments at the end.

      • Whatever you want to tell yourself to sleep at night.

        They cancelled the A350 when Airbus didn’t “consult them” on changes.

        I think they say the performance of the 787 with other carriers in the region and saw that the heat wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be on the aircraft’s performance, and the A350-900 was a little too much airplane for their needs.

        Seems simple enough.

        • Leeham did a good write up on the heat and the 787 did have performance issues. Maybe more thrust will come from one or both of the engine choices.

          Its not like it got cooler there.

          Or they can carry less pax and or fuel and do what they need.

          Something changed.

          • You never know with those guys, they’ve got the bucks to make a plan?

            On the other hand, making the assumption that a large percentage of the 787J’s could be used on routes to Europe. In may instances those flights leave around midnight and early morning. I never flew east from Dubai.

  2. Even more interesting that TC complained about the -10 not having enough thrust. Maybe he talked to Ethihad, and of course Boeing now has the real world performance data for the -10.

    With the A351 and the 77W roughly overlapping in capacity, and oil being cheap, my theory is, that Emirates might simply start to manage risk like some other carriers do – by holding on longer to frames and using them as a tool for growth, trading higher operating cost for less or no capital cost and using this flexibility to manage capacity.

  3. I think the devastating part of the Bloomberg article is that they stooped as low as quoting Saj Ahmad of all people. How the mighty have fallen.

    • The entire article is a disgrace. No useful information at all. It’s highly unlikely that Airbus officials were surprised by this order. Basically a big pile of BS.

      • If true, its a blow to Airbus

        Having a presentation and then having your rival come in and usurp your supposed presentation while it may be very poor (or downright nasty) on Emirates part, but its certainly a down the drain morale wise distress to Airbus.

        • Extraordinary, if true.Anybody who was actually there is welcome to comment!

  4. Emirates’s surprise put-down of Airbus is an excellent negotiating tactic. They want something major in return for a 380 order. I read maybe repurchase of used airframes, but that can’t be worth big bucks.

    I suspect Emirates wants a commitment for a 380NEO. They will stop buying sometime, and shut the line down. Why not now? Today’s 380 orders will still be flying in the 2040s. Well before then, the big twins will all be much more cost effective, even against a NEO.

    • They may well be pushing for a NEO. But when is this sensible? I suspect RR is half a generation away. I am not at all sure that a twin is cheaper to run than a quad in this size range. Huge engines required.

        • Per Bjorn , if the engines are the right ones the quad is as efficient and cost effective as twin.

          Seems contra intuitive but that is his field and I will gladly take his knowledge on that subject as gospel.

          • Per subsequent, Emirates wants production guarantees for 10 years.

            Something smells as it looks like there are enough Emirates orders for it.

            It seems Emirates does not want to commit to 8 a year and or keep the option for deferrals.

  5. This was not all surprising and not devastating st all. Firstly, Emirates basically designed the 777x and they wanted to A359 to remain the less caoabple planes for thrir shorter missions. Airbus disobeyed and increased the range and performance of the A350 to compete with the 777-300ER and surpass the 777x. Emirates needs planes with size and range of the 797-10/a330-900, so the 787-10 is the best choice,

    Im glad airbus never caved in by keeping the A350 underperformed just to compliment and satisfy the emirates plan fir the 777x it helped design.

    If emirates feels that they do not need A350’range of performance and capacity so be it. Time will tell.

    Airbus, should NOT bow down to Emirates and should leave the A380 as is. Buy it as with or without A350’s or leave and go lobby Boeing for a stretched 777-10. Let them invest in that.

    Meanwhile Airbus develops and incorporates C-series , enhances A329/321/322, and of course the A330 Neo. The Boeing nma won’t stand a chance.

    • LOL!

      Meanwhile, back in the real world…

      …there is still no real business case that makes the CSeries anything but a loss-maker for its owners. This is because selling a product at a loss is still a loss, even when you sell it at volume and even if you divide the losses between an ownership group of 3 entities. The CSeries is breathing its last, on its way to an early grave. Not because it is a bad airplane, but because it is a bad business.

      …airlines (other than Emirates) are evaluating Boeing and Airbus aircraft and are choosing Boeing. Either Emirates is really good at designing an airplane everyone wants, or your ideas about who is shaping the market are totally delusional.

      Please get a grip.

      • At Robert, With all due respect, this is all about business. Airbus would be a fool to spend more money on the A380 without levaraging other sales giving Emirates history 0f cancelling orders.

        Nobody is arguing that the 787-10 was an excellent choice for thick/mid capacity mid range routes.. I.e Africa, Europe, etc. As leeham reports, it’s strategy for reduced capacity and using lighter smaller planes when the range of the 777 is not needed.

        The A350 is stil too much plane for those missions and is more akin to the 777-200ER in terms of missions flown. Emirates picked the bigger sized 777x instead for those missions. That makes sense because they want bigger planes that carry more load as their workhorse.

        Here is another spin of the real world. The 777X was purchased basically by the same folks who purchased the A380 with few new clients. People didn’t run and follow by ordering the A380 and there is no evidence to believe that the 777x will do that much better of have a different effect. So the argument that Emirates picks right is seriously flawed.

        As for the C series, buckle up, only dirty politics can keep it down.

        • looking at Emirates current fleet, they fly around 10 777-200LR, but 140 777-300ERs. The flights the -200 are used on dont seem to the very long range you would expect, ie Bangkok. The 787-10 would be ideal for those routes in combination with the -300s, for increased frequency

          • @dukeofurl:
            “The flights the -200 are used on dont seem to the very long range you would expect, ie Bangkok.”
            But without an ULH route opener like the 77L always in the fleet, it would hv been extremely risky/difficult, if not impossible, for EK to experiment econ viability for new ULH routes like DXB-PTY(Failed b4 start) and DXB-AKL(Far exceeded expectation and now upgauged to 380 instead).

            Besides, that bird can haul a pretty heavy cargo load in the belly when needed even on EK routes @ the range limit of 77W/380 such as DXB->LAX/GRU. When not opening new routes, EK probably use 77L mainly as a below deck cargo plane with any above deck pax load supplementing its route economics….

            “The 787-10 would be ideal for those routes in combination with the -300s, for increased frequency”
            Or simply deploy 78J exclusively on those EK routes to Tier2/3 cities in EU/MidEast/Asia/Africa where 77W is an overkill relative to the pax+cargo traffic level ever since their 332 was gone. I expect 78J will show up 1st on EK routes used to be flown by 332. Current single daily by 77W on EK routes like DXB-VCE/NCL/OSL/LED/PRG/WAW/BUD can easily go 10x wkly by 78J while improving connectivity banks @ DXB.

        • “As for the C series, buckle up, only dirty politics can keep it down” (??)
          A quotation from flight global “Sukhoi’s Superjet 100 had been a strong contender for the Air Baltic fleet renewal, before being politically excluded from the competition.” … “But a shareholder agreement included a requirement from the Latvian government that the carrier would not acquire aircraft from Russian military-industrial complexes subject to European Union sanctions.”

          • given the way Russia annexed the Crimea, I don’t blame the Latvian government at all. Russia does not like the fact that their biggest Baltic military base is (effectively) an island on foreign soil.

          • When you’re in the “front row seats” to be invaded, it’s probably a good idea not to buy from your adversary/enemy. (Guess Sukhoi wouldn’t have much success peddling in Ukraine also. LOL)

          • “given the way Russia annexed the Crimea,”
            “When you’re in the “front row seats” to be invaded”
            The Russians don’t have to invade. The can just shut out the Gas pipeline. Don’t buy propaganda so easily. There are wide commercial ties between Russia and its neighbors . And again , We are drifting to politics…

          • @Joe:

            Lets see what Boeing comes out with and how its received before we declare the 797 a failure.

        • @Joe:
          “…the argument that Emirates picks right is seriously flawed.”
          But any argument that EK picks wrong can also be seriously flawed. What was the closest functional alternative to 779 for EK? Most likely 35K(Mk2). However, 35K has not exactly been setting the sales chart on fire in recent yrs either… fact, 35K sales went the opposite direction recently thx to UA and CX.

          My version of the truth for widebody mkt is that in recent yrs and regardless of which type chosen by EK(right or wrong), anything new built with 350seats or more has become difficult to sell worldwide. I just continue to observe a massive migration/shift in widebody fleet mix by various operators to nex-gen types with below 350seats where the largest for Airbus/Boeing is the 359/78J…..

          • Kind of what I am feeling as well, and the NMA could well fit in there.

            Could be more a 767 light, but if there is a market, then there is a market and let er rip.

            787 morphed out of the Sonic Cruiser and the 777 was a triple at one point.

            All aircraft go through a design iteration that is not exactly what was envisioned to start and sometimes totally different.

            Small to mid size twins are more flexible.

            777-9 will be most interesting to watch. I think there is a place for it, but I don’t think its going to sell like the 77-300 series.






      • Problem might be Airbus has only one gold star customer for the A380. To spend tons of money to upgrade a plane that has not been selling to other airlines and then depend on just one carrier is risky. The very large twins offer much more flexibility as to serving many more routes than the A380, and if Boeing goes for the 777-10X, that could be plane that could replace the A380 with many more airlines going for it instead of one airline.

        • The 777-10X wont be replacing the A380, its more of a 747-8 replacement. When its only 4 seat rows longer and 450 seat capacity its not going to get anywhere near 500 plus .

          • @dukeofurl:
            “The 777-10X wont be replacing the A380…”
            But it will if the ongoing down-gauging trend started by 744->77W(Just check how many 744s were replaced by 77W instead of 380/748i) continues. In fact, even the 779 may replace 380 for many operators(I strongly suspect 779 is SQ’s backup plan to replace 380 in the future) if the 77J concept is a no go for Boeing(I suspect as long as Airbus remain quiet about 350-2000/8000 concept).

            “..its more of a 747-8 replacement.”
            It’s more of a direct 748i replacement in terms of size. However, as we’ve seen in so many replacement plans to be or already implemented, more operators opted for more frames to downsize instead of remaining @ the same gauge. BA planned 35K to replace 744 is a great example(UA used to be in the same shoe b4 they’ve gone even further down to 359). LH is already downsizing fm 346 to 359 @ mostly MUC hub.

            “…its not going to get anywhere near 500 plus..”
            But the point is that any 380 replacement type, regardless of by Airbus or Boeing, getting anywhere near 500seats is increasingly dangerous for its creator…let alone potential airline buyers(don’t worry about lessors, they won’t even touch such a thing after watching Amedeo+380 since 2013).

          • Look how many airlines fly the A380, now compare that to the number of carriers flying the 777. The A380 has a much shorter list of routes and airports it can serve. Having all those extra seats on the A380 is a liability during slow and off season times. If you can’t fill the A380, it becomes a money loser, whereas an 777-10X can turn a profit on less passengers and can be reassigned to many more routes than the A380 can.
            If EK does not buy more A380’s, Airbus will end production in the near future.

      • I think the shouting part makes that post that more enjoyable, Robert!

        Thanks for the chuckle….

    • @Joe:
      A lot of revisionist/alternate history in yr comment.

      “…they wanted to A359 to remain the less caoabple planes for thrir shorter missions.”
      Not true. Design for 359XWB has never been revised since launch in 2007 upto now and EK hv always been cool with it all along when they placed original 350 order. It was the 35K Mk2, redesigned fm the 35K Mk1 in 2011, which really bugged Tim Clark. In 2011, the key decision re 35K facing Airbus basically was:
      A) EK wanted 35K to be a 773 replacement(a medium-haul workhorse) and keep 100% engine commonality with 359. Essentially, engine commonality trumps additional payload/range for EK re their 35K Mk1 mission type.
      B) Most potential customers(Notably including UA which placed the largest order ever for 35K) wanted 35K to be a 77W replacement maximizing payload/range. Essentially, additional payload/range trumps 100% engine commonality with 359 for these customers re their 35K Mk2 mission type.

      At the end, Airbus chose B) in 2011 and the rest is history. Despite UA abandoning 35K a few mths ago, I still believe B) is a bit more logical for Airbus but a trade-off is a trade-off.

      “Airbus disobeyed and increased the range and performance of the A350”
      35K yes as explained. 359 no.

      “ compete with the 777-300ER”
      Yes, and also more effectively replace their own 346 in terms of payload/range.

      “..and surpass the 777x.”
      This is @ least an open argument, especially 779 vs 35K, not a fact.

      “…airbus never caved in by keeping the A350 underperformed just to compliment and satisfy the emirates plan fir the 777x it helped design.”
      Chronologically doesn’t make sense because 77X did not existed for EK to plan anything in 2011 when Airbus decided on 35K Mk2 and 77X was @ best only a secret paper concept with no launch guarantee back then. 77X was launched over 2yrs after 35K Mk2 and its 1st customer wasn’t even EK.

      “If emirates feels that they do not need A350’range of performance and capacity so be it.”
      Agree. Just like when DL felt that they do not need 789 payload/range for Trans-Atl missions, 339 is a better choice for them.

      Diff horse for diff course, so be it.

      “Time will tell.”

      “Airbus develops and incorporates C-series , enhances A329/321….330 Neo. The Boeing nma won’t stand a chance.”
      Wait a minute. “Time will tell” if EK made the correct decision to ditch 359 (for 78J) yet no need to wait for “Time will tell” when it comes to “Boeing nma”?

      Double standards in prediction?

      • Thanks FLX, as you know my knowledge on the history of product developments sometimes very limited. Was not aware of the 35K-Mk1/2 story.

        Don’t know of my info is correct but is looks if the XWB’s are ~480Kg,s lighter than the Trent 7000.

        If a theoretical A330-1000 with updated under carriage can handle the additional 6″ of an XWB won’t a “XWB76” (for example) be an option for airlines operating 359/10’s?

        • @Anton:
          “…if the XWB’s are ~480Kg,s lighter than the Trent 7000.”
          Even more surprising for me is the weight data on wiki for T7000 is over 26% heavier than T1000. Given that the only key diff for T7000 vs T1000 is in the bleed air system(basically just some new ports/doors to divert some airflow fm inside the compressors), these data just don’t seem right for such magnitude of diff.

          “…a theoretical A330-1000”
          What is a 330-1000? A stretch fm 339? Pretty sure that would require a new test+cert effort even if U touch nothing except the fuselage length a la 789->78J.

          “…with updated under carriage can handle the additional 6″ of an XWB…”
          How? What do u mean by “updated”? How to store such ‘updated’ carriage within the same landing gear well location+dimension? Are U revising those too and therefore revising structures within 330 center wingbox? Re-cert all these(I assure U it won’t be just paper work)? Ever heard of the term in design/engineering projects known as scope-creep? To get a sense of the degree of complexity, read more on why and how much effort Airbus spent on that nose landing gear(btw, far easier than main landing gears) ‘blister’ to turn a 332 into 332F.

          “won’t a “XWB76” (for example) be an option”
          To create yr hypothetical “XWB76”, do U believe RR would:
          A) Spent a small fortune to redesign XWB so it can hv a customized fan/core combo optimized for 76k thrust and then test+cert it similar to how RR created XWB97 fm XWB84 and lost tons of engine commonality between 359 and 35K(And pissed off EK @ the same time)? Basically, I’d call such XWB76 a complicated+expensive propulsion solution looking for a problem already solved 99% by T7000.


          B) Spend little cert $ on de-tuning/de-rating XWB84 to get to 76k thrust and then sell it to U with a XWB76 label because U like that number in the engine model name(probably because that’s exactly what the T1000 on 78J produces….talk about Boeing-centric but in a weird way)?

          The answer should be obvious to U…if U are being realistic how many 330-1000 can possibly be sold even in the best case scenario.

          • As I said can’t understand that the T7000 mus be “so” heavy, see link.

            Actually see it is an XWB75 rated at 74KLb. Was just curious if the 330NEO can accommodate a 118″ fan?

            An 330-1000 could be a 4-6 row stretch of the 339. This will still be significantly shorter than a 340-600, I haven’t heard of tail strike problems with it although it looks like a good customer. Don’t know if it had undercarriage (length) changes other than the 2 wheel bogey at the back.

          • Just to “show off” and leave some aircraft development history as well; Airbus had the concept of a “short range” A340-400 with a stretched 70,00 m fuselage twice in their portfolio – once with the original -200/-300 wing and than with the -500/-600 wing. As well as a similar stretched “regional” A330-400.
            Meaning, this would be the A330-1000neo than, isn’t it?
            Well, as all three -400 versions never made it off the drawing board, I assume, there were good reasons and a -1000 will neither do…

          • That’s logic, but so must AB just sit and watch how Boeing dominates the wide-body market.

            But time doesn’t stand still, requirements change.

          • You play the cards you got dealt, get your own deck and you can pick and choose.

            Boeing dealt themselves a bad hand with the 737, Airbus with the A380.

            It just means top to bottom you can’t cover it all perfectly in an imperfect world of decision making.

            As we saw, Airbus challenged Boeing and got the VLA market, now they are stuck with a 25 billion or so investment that will never pay off (that includes all the issues of the wiring delay and wing)

            So instead of one making money, two loose money. I guess if you don’t want the other guy to make money at it either its a way to go.

            Me, I would put money where the other guy isn’t or is weak.

          • I do need to amend that, Boeing flipped and did the same thing with the 747.

            I thought there might be a place of it in the pax realm, there obviously is not.

            It may live on as a freighter though. That is where luck plays in, I don’t think Boeing thought the F was the market at the time either.

            We won’t ever know what input they had that might have lead them to think the pax was there.

            It could be operators for the A380 wanted to have a foil to negotiate with. Delta lead them on with the A330/350 order when they obviously had no intent of buying the 787s.

            Obviously Boeing and Airbus are supposed to be big boys and should have tools to assess the interplay.

          • FLX:

            Your reasoning on the A350 Vs the 777X is flawed in that Boeing was saying they were waiting for Airbus to commit to a solid aircraft, then they would respond.

            Airbus engineers are like Boeing engineers, they can figure out what the realistic options are for any program.

            Airbus knew what the possibilities were.

            Now management often does not listen because they don’t want to hear hard facts, but that’s a different story.

            Airbus knew Boeing would almost certainly respond to the A350 with the 777x version of some sort.

            Now Airbus management may not have given Boeing credit for going with a new wing, but that’s not an engineering issue, it would have been one of the options they knew Boeing could do.

            History is made out of miscalculations.

          • @Anton:
            “Actually see it is an XWB75 rated at 74KLb.”
            Yes, I see that Trent XWB variant too. U also probably already know it’s physically exactly the same as a XWB84 but with a lower max thrust rating and likely a lower price tag.

            JL planned some of their 359 x18 will be deployed on domestic trunks to replace their 772(oldest frame is 21yrs old). I’m willing to bet these frames will come with the lowest certified MTOW along with XWB75 or similar.

            “..AB just sit and watch how Boeing dominates the wide-body market.”
            But isn’t that the same as Boeing just sit and watch how Airbus is emerging to dominate the narrowbody mkt such as bagging the CSeries program and still no answer to the 321LR medium-haul(i.e. sectors upto 7~9hrs) question?

            Objectively, Airbus’ nex gen widebody strategy below VLA(I’m ignoring this segment because I believe it has no long term future thx to where the mkt has been/is heading) is equally as well defined as Boeing’s in terms of mkt coverage overall:
            779 vs 35K
            778 vs 359ULR
            78J vs 339
            789 vs 359
            788 vs 338

            Semi-new 77X family vs All-new 350 family
            All-new 787 family vs Semi-new 330Neo family

            Pls let me know if I hv missed anything. Now, if U’re talking about something in yr dream which neither A nor B has, that’s a diff story…..

          • Yes there is lots of turmoil out there, one of AB’s “problems” is that the market often talks of modernization of their fleets and they see the 330Neo’s not as new/modern, but just a “warmed-up” 330. Some still see it as 300 which it is in some way.

            As usual I have my unrealistic thoughts/hope. In the long run the 350 is the modern base for potentially a number of derivates that could serve a wide range of airline requirements.

            Key to this could be a second smaller (~380 Sqm) wing, wing box, (centre section?), etc. Application of this could include.

            350-“700”, 5-6m shrink of 359, 285 pax, 7500 Nm, 75-79 Klb thrust.
            350-900R, 325 pax, 7000 Nm, 75 – 79K-Lb,
            350-950, 3m stretch, 345 pax, 6500Nm, 79-84KLb.

            This will effectively result in two 350 families with two different wings. EIS for such aircraft to coincide with availability of Ultra-fans.

            The current 359 the ULR aircraft with range 8000+Nm.

    • Joe:

      I guess in your world the customer is never right? This is a major blow to Airbus. They have nothing that can compete with the 787-10. The A330-900 is there but this order will make a bit player. The A350, as I have said all along, is a 777-200ER replacement. It has done that well but the market for that type of frame has been provien to be limited. Bad day for Airbus and they should have thought about their wide body strategy years ago.

      • Sometimes AB seems like naught kids, only grab a book and start learning for a test in the vehicle on the way to school.

        In my part of the world we call it “panic-mechanics”.

  6. At the end of this post is an excerpt from Bjorn Fehrm’s post “Emirate’s Mid Range Choice” almost exactly two years ago on 11-10-2015. Based on this excerpt, did not Emirates in the end order what it had originally been looking for when it ordered a previous version of the A350 in 2o07, i.e. a good “10-12 hour airplane” which would be more economical than an A380, 777-200LR, or 777-300ER on shorter routes, rather than an airplane that could serve any destination in the US or Australia?

    If one accepts the above proposition, then it may well be as Mr. Hamilton’s suggests that “Emirates is recasting its growth ambitions to destinations nearer to its Dubai base”; however, would this not then be a change in strategy that dates back to the original now cancelled A350 order in November 2007?

    An alternative explanation would be that Emirate’s fleet has now reached a size (or had in 2007 when they were originally looking for a good 10 to 12 hour airplane), where it makes great economic sense to operate routes of 5000 miles or less with an airplane optimized for routes of that length, rather than one with the extra airframe weight and larger engines required for 7000 to 8000 mile routes.

    “Emirates mid-range, Phase 1

    Emirates placed an order for 70 Airbus A350-900s and -1000s when they were in their original definition “and the A350-1000 “was a good 10-12 hour airplane,” according to Emirates CEO Tim Clark. Not only was it less capable than today’s A350-1000, it was also more efficient. The increase of the range of the -1000 that followed (without asking Emirates for consent) increased the fuel consumption on shorter distances, as it now was a heavier aircraft. At the same time, Boeing launched the 787-10, designed to be the perfect mid-range aircraft with a size which would be between the A350-900 and -1000 and with better economics than both.

    Emirates mid-range phase 2.

    Consequently Emirates use their right to cancel the A350 order as changes had been done and it was not consulted. The mid-range project now went from information gathering to a request for proposal, with decision during 2015. The experts saw it as a slam dunk for 787-10, the shoe-in for a mid-range requirement in the 300-350 seat range. The A350-900 was invited a second time to keep Boeing honest.”

    • That is exactly right. Airbus did not want to leave the A350 just as a good 10-12 hour plane. Airbus also needs long and ultra-range wide bodies and wasn’t going to sell themselves short for emirates. What’s wrong with that?

      The big question is what will happen with the other 30 units. Make no mistake, there are plenty of missions flown by Emirates where the A350 would be ideal when capacity of the 777 is not needed and more range than the 787-10 is needed. Only time will tell. As it stands now, most carriers who ordered the 777x also hordered many A359’s. So emirates is the outlier, not the A350.

      Singapore is a perfect example, having large numbers of both A359, 7779, and 787-10’s.

      So I would be cautious before calling this an A350 loss. Not so fast.

      • @Joe:
        “The big question is what will happen with the other 30 units.”
        Which I suspect most likely already exist as 787 options/rights in the same LoI/MoU but not yet revealed. This is typical for such a deal.

        “Make no mistake, there are plenty of missions flown by Emirates where the A350 would be ideal when capacity of the 777 is not needed and more range than the 787-10 is needed.”
        The mistake is already made if fail to realize that the exact statement per the above will remain valid even if replacing the term “A350″(assuming 359) with 789. And EK did mentioned conversion right to 789 in this LoI/MoU……a significant departure fm yrs ago when Tim Clark repeatedly slammed 789 for being too small for their needs – times hv changed(unlike “time will tell”).

        “…most carriers who ordered the 777x also hordered many A359’s'”
        Again, above statement remains valid if replace “A359” with 789.

        “…So emirates is the outlier, not the A350.”
        There’re 7 known customers for 77X:
        LH=Committed only to 359
        CX=Committed only to 359
        QR=Committed to both 359+788/9
        EY=Committed to both 359+789/J
        SQ=Committed to both 359+78J(Also 789 if we count conversion rights+Scoot)
        NH=Committed only to 788/789/J
        EK=Committed only to 78J(Also 789 if we count conversion rights)

        So CX and LH are outliers because they hv 77X but no 789/J?

        “So I would be cautious before calling this an A350 loss. Not so fast.”
        The highly publicized battle between 359 campaign vs 78J campaign has been raging for @ least 2.5yrs @ EK. If there’s a slight chance this would be a split order, we would knew it yesterday fm EK. I would declare it’s safe to assume this is an A350 loss for now and move on.

      • Joe – you answered your question in your prior post. Airbus has nothing that EK wants other than the A380. The 777-8 and -9 have the upper end. The 787-10 has the short range, so where will the long range A350 family go?

        Other thing is, the market for the A350-900 and -1000 are limited. The sales numbers are proving that out. Has anybody noticed that the 787-10 has now reached the same sales levels as the A350-1000?

        • If AB wake up they can do something very simple and quick.

          An 2.5-3m simple stretch of the 359 will give 20-30 seats more with current interior layout. Use the lowest OEW option, MTOW around 165T, range 7000Nm, XWB79 engines. XWB84 option for Hot&High, 7500Nm, or more freight option/s.

          No wing or undercarriage modifications required. Certification potentially easier than that between a 320 and 321?

          But then they must stop popping champagne corks in Monaco and get on with it.

          • An A359+ (5 panel/3.2m stretch) could be launched with the updated winglets, wing twist and XWB-EP (79/84) engines.

            With 245-250 pax and range optimized for 6500-7000Nm (OEM/MTOW) it could offer airlines looking for an 787-10 range/size aircraft something something very competitive and be potentially the base aircraft for an 350-F.

            I think this aircraft could find favor with a lot of airlines and make most of those with 787-10 orders (EK, etc) have a hard look. This could be an perfect supplement for airlines that ordered 359’s and 35K’s for medium haul applications such as Qatar and Cathy.

            No aircraft modification/certification is quick, easy and cheap but this could be as easy and rewarding as it gets.

  7. Eventually, in any airlines’ history, whether it’s pan am or Emirates, luxury and marketing give way to business realities. Emirates is entering the “we need a rational fleet” phase I think. Buying the worlds largest wide body fleet in the interest of only 6000 and more mile routes is, in a word, irrational.

    It will be fascinating to see how airbus and Emirates handle the next phase of the A380 life cycle. The ten year old used Bugatti market is a bit limited in even Dubai, as I understand it.

      • The 787’s are good aircraft depends where you sit, but worse is the 77W’s at 3-4-3.

        For flights to Europe from the ME I don’t fly 787 or 777, there is an airline that still fly a couple of routes with 330’s and an increasing number with 359’s. They are actually flying a number of thinner destinations “deep” into Europe with 320/1’s.

        Except for 380 routes EK is not on my shopping list any more.

        • You keep forgetting its not about our comfort its the Airlines making money.

          We want comfort then we need to get laws passed.

          Otherwise eventually its stand up for 14 hours and they supply the Depends.

          • @TransWorld:
            “You keep forgetting its not about our comfort…”
            No, Anton just keep forgetting this site is about development/status of airline & aerospace industry….not about personal /traveler review on cabin products or airlines and what should or should not be on whoever’s “shopping list anymore”….

            “…its the Airlines making money.”
            If it’s not, it’ll either go broke eventually or behave like a very very expensive urban public transit networks delivering a public service such as metro bus or subways owned, controlled or highly regulated by gov’t.

            Airline investors worldwide these days are not ignorant. They know the list price for a single brand new 787/350 is equivalent to the total mkt value of say, @ least 260~300 houses in a typical suburb near any major U.S. or EU city….and no 787/350 will outlast the useful economic life of a piece of real estate.

            “We want comfort then we need to get laws passed.”
            In other words, a socialist approach or @ least a return to the regulated industry era pre-1978 U.S. airline dereg when consumers and airlines had little choices in what they can buy/sell and @ how much….I like that purely because it would be fun to watch the resulting ‘fireworks’ in the mkt everywhere in this day & age…

            A far more simple but capitalistic solution for more inflight “comfort” is to pay for more comfort.
            If Y is not enough, buy Y+.
            If Y+ is not enough, buy PY.
            If PY is not enough, buy J.
            If J is not enough, buy F suite.
            If F suite is still not enough comfort, well, charter or own a private jet.

            The real elegance of the current liberalized system is that the reverse is also available all the way down to Y- fm LCC if a consumer wants to minimize spending.

            Many folks seem to hv forgotten that in the ‘good old days’ before 1978(and long b4 Openskies or liberalization), not even J existed when consumers could only choose Y or F and all airlines ‘allowed’ to exist on any given route seemed to sell exactly the same fares all the time…..because they were based on the same damn IATA tariff table primarily decided by or negotiated between gov’ts.

            “Otherwise eventually its stand up for 14 hours”
            When that happen, I bet U super luxurious J suite will continue to co-exist(may be even on the same aircraft) for the same consumers to choose if they desired.

          • Some truths in there, but without pax the airlines won’t make money, without money the airlines can’t buy aircraft.

            So fortunately there are still choices out there. Maybe airlines should realize that pax will not just accept anything forced upon them.

          • With densification on the 77W pax loses 10% on seat width, often up to 10% on legroom, this combination resulting in 15% more pax, but overhead storage space gets effectively less. Butt he price of the ticket stays the same.

            Ever tried to eat a meal on an 3-4-3 B77W? I often seen pax making turns to eat their meals, it basically impossible.

            What densification often result in that there is more space available in the front for the money making tickets, forget the about 75% of other people on board. I thought airlines are is a services industry?

            A year ago you got a 250 gram tender steak, now you must pay the same for a tough 200 gram steak, BS. Then I change my restaurant.

          • @Anton:
            “..but without pax the airlines won’t make money, without money the airlines can’t buy aircraft.”
            But airlines will never be with or without pax due to 1 inch more or less seat width….let alone far less than 1 inch diff in Y seat width exist in reality(rather than gut feeling/bias) such as 350 vs 787.

            “So fortunately there are still choices out there.”
            That’s why industry regulation is such a bad idea and rapidly abandoned everywhere worldwide since 1978 U.S. airline dereg.

            “Maybe airlines should realize that pax will not just accept anything forced upon them.”
            They already did a long time ago. This is partly why e.g. 777 operators can no longer force Y pax to accept 9abreast and pay the associated higher structural op cost thru higher avg fares.

            “Butt he price of the ticket stays the same.”
            Disagree. Adjusting for global inflation, avg Y fare on longhaul hv actually gone down a bit over the past 10yrs worldwide. In any case, if 777 operators stay 9abreast in Y, fares would hv possibly gone up instead of staying the same.

            “Ever tried to eat a meal on an 3-4-3 B77W?”
            More often than U imagined and for myself, actually since 1997 for the 1st time ever on a TG 772.

            “…there is more space available in the front for the money making tickets, forget the about 75% of other people on board.”
            I can assure U most airlines never forget. In fact, they are increasing aware of each those “75% of other people on board” usually pay only about 10~20% of the fare of each J pax on the same flight but still occupying about 33% of the same cabin floor real estate and consumer pretty much the same fuel per pax per km….

            “I thought airlines are is a services industry?”
            It is but U forgot the ‘profit-seeking’ part in front “services industry”.

            “A year ago you got a 250 gram tender steak, now you must pay the same for a tough 200 gram steak, BS.”
            Or they need to raise the price of the 250g steak by 20% to partly offset that 33% rise in rent last mth which steak buyer never care about anyway….BS or no BS.

            “Then I change my restaurant.”
            Which is fine….until U run out of restaurants to change to because rent @ everywhere hv gone up and nobody is immune and U end up with either paying more per gm or buying fewer gm regardless of which restaurant.

        • @Anton:
          “The 787’s are good aircraft depends where you sit..”
          Pls kindly advise in which location of the cabin I’ll be sitting @ nex mth will suddenly turn a 787 fm a good aircraft into a bad one.

          “..worse is the 77W’s at 3-4-3.”
          Even worse is the 333 @ 3-3-3(Don’t take my word for it and just check its cabin diameter and divide it across 3seats+1aisle+3seats+1aisle+3seats). Deployed across AirAsiaX brands, they already fly 30 of these on sectors as long as 10h45m with 66 more frames joining in the form of 339….

  8. I’m curious what Bjorn’s take is on the relative range of the A350-900 vs the 787-9. Both have been deployed on the Singapore-SFO route near the limit of their range. United has added Singapore-LAX with the 787-9, but SIA is apparently going to wait for the ULR version of the A350-900, which according to the original announcement, was going to be configured with only 170 seats to offset the additional fuel. The range of the A350-900 was supposed to be 8,100 nm, which should allow SIN-LAX. Is that range over-stated, or is there another reason SIA is waiting? It would seem difficult for SIA to compete effectively using a larger 170 seat aircraft versus a 252 seat 787-9.

    • Hello NickSJ, regarding range capabilities of 787-9 vs. A350-900, here are some free bullet points from a paywall post by Bjorn on 3-7-2016.


      The Boeing 787-9 has a standard range which is equal to the A350-900, around 7,600 nm measured under equal conditions.

      Yet the A350-900 comes out on top when Airbus and Boeing are asked to offer extended range versions of these aircraft.

      We use our proprietary aircraft model to go behind the scenes and investigate what makes the A350 more adapted to stretches into the space of ultra-long-range aircraft than Boeing’s 787-9.

    • Hi NickSJ.

      It all has to do with what rules the OEM uses to establish their “brochure” range claims. Until a couple years ago, both Airbus and Boeing used unrealistically light cabin configurations which artificially boosted the range of the aircraft to numbers an airline would never be able to achieve. For example, the 787-8 was an 8,000 nmi airplane, per Boeing, but under 7,500 nmi for a typical airline. A couple years ago, however, Boeing changed their internal rules to be very realistic to what an airline can do in the real world. Airbus has not done this. As a result, when Boeing says the 787-9 can fly 7,700 nmi, it pretty much will do that in the real world. When Airbus says the A350-900 can fly 8,100 nmi, that’s actually less range than the 787-9 in the real world.

      Bjorn’s model (mostly) has this all figured out.

      • Alternate history you produce.
        For many years B numbers had to be significantly scaled down to fit in with A numbers. Then Boeing adjusted brochure ranges down. But still modeling data here seems to come out lower than B pulished values.

        • NickSJ:

          The route for the 170 seat will be Siongapore NY.

          They may use it on the SFO route as well, but the desire is to get that NY route going again.

      • @IHSV:
        That’s an excellent summary of what I knew all along. Unfortunately, many folks here still unaware of or disregard and continue to try to justify whatever their views/comments thru direct comparison of Airbus brochure range/seat count vs Boeing brochure range/seat count…..these might as well be an Apple vs Banana comparison.

        “A couple years ago, however, Boeing changed their internal rules to be very realistic to what an airline can do in the real world.”
        Some may say a bit too “realistic” or conservative. Here are a few examples re 789:
        Brochure=7,635nm (8,300nm+ before change in config assumptions)
        LAX->SIN by UA=7,621nm excluding allowance for headwind
        PER->LHR by QF=7,829nm excluding allowance for headwind

        Seat count:
        Brochure=290/2 class (280/3 class, 9abreast in Y before change in config assumptions)
        AC=298/3 class
        NZ=302/3 class
        VN=311/2 class
        “…Airbus has not done this.”
        Actually, it has too and @ around the same time as Boeing(coincidence?). However, assumption re load per pax+bag is not as heavy as Boeing’s and cabin config hv not gone as far/realistic as Boeing has e.g. unlike Boeing, no direct aisle access for every J seat and on 330Neo, exclude load fm crew rest compartment(despite often mandatory for 8hrs+ missions).

        “When Airbus says the A350-900 can fly 8,100 nmi, that’s actually less range than the 787-9 in the real world.”
        Yes, 359’s “real world” range is less than 8,100nm. No for 359 to hv less “real world range” than 789. At worst, 359 has equal “real world range” as 789 per Bjorn’s earlier analysis.

    • Wasnt the A350-900ULR going to be for Singapore -Newark?. United is flying the smaller 787-8 on its route

    • They are waiting for the 280 tonne version but not converted to the URL configuration to do Singapore to Los Angeles

      The URL configuration as a range of 9700nm without reserves. This allows a range of ~8800nm with reserves, allowing 19-20 hour flights. The example used is Singapore to New York, 8300 nm.

      The URL configuration isn’t required for Singapore to Los Angeles, for its only 7600nm. But Singapores Airlines standard configuration is marginal with the current version of the A350. That will change with the 280 tonne, 2019 version of the A350.

      As you say, Singapore Airlines is flying Singapore to San Francisco using its stsndard configuration. So its not far off.

      The United Airlines 787s have their own URL configuration.

  9. Not a 787 hater, just wanted to point out that a comparison of the 787-10 versus the A350 for those missions is a false one in the first place. Suspense created by emirates was all theatre.
    Other than the A330-900 neo, Airbus does not have a alternative to the 787-10. Everybody knows that.

    The A350-900 competes with 787-9
    Abs 777-200ER.

    • Joe,

      Airlines which are trying to operate efficiently do not think this way. The old days of building a fleet around one extreme mission are over.

      The fact is, the 787-10 will fly just about every wide-body route in the world. Way over 90% of them. If an airline looks at their one ultra long-range route and lets that dictate their entire fleet plan, they deserve to fail.

      Imagine an airline has 70 wide-body routes and The 787-10 has the range to fly 72 of them with full passengers. On those 72 routes, the 787-10 flies the route at lower cost and with more passengers than the A350-900 is capable of. Of the 5 routes where the 787-10 becomes payload/range limited, the 787-10 still can fly the route, but with fewer passengers than the A350-900 can carry, so on those routes the A350 is more profitable. Assuming an airline is going to create a fleet of just one aircraft type, then choosing the 787-10 becomes a no-brainer. The small amount of revenue lost on the 6% of routes where the 787-10 is limited is reimbursed 14 times over on the 72 routes where the 787-10 earns more revenue and costs less to operate. This scenario certainly is the case for Emirates, as it will be for most carriers.

      The calculus of which OEM wins an airline sale becomes very simple – for the value deficit the A350-900 faces versus the 787-10 (calculated on a network basis), is Airbus willing to discount the A350 far enough to win the sale. In this case, clearly the answer was ‘no’.

      • You must be an A350 hater then!
        It’s interesting that Airbus doesn’t actually build anything optimised for shorter range. I suspect that there might be an element of balance with the timing of this announcement.

          • If the A350-900 competes with the 787-9 then the A350-1000 competes with the 787-10?

          • Joe:

            Happens all the time. Delta did it to Boeing on the A330 and A350 orders.

            Fake competition to get better pricing form Airbus for what they wanted (or routes driven if you will)

        • @Grubbie:
          “It’s interesting that Airbus doesn’t actually build anything optimised for shorter range.”
          It does, is known as 339 and its optimization towards shorter range, just perfect for Trans-Atl, is partly why DL ditched 789 for it.

      • IHSV, agree to a certain degree and would be interested in seeing why/how SIA chose both the -10 and A359 in such large numbers. How do you think they will use those aircrafts differently?

        • “horses for courses” will always be somewhat the case in this industry. Lots of airlines will find synergy between the A330-900 and A350-900 and will use this combined fleet to maximize network profit. Others will do the same thing with the 777X and 787. These two combined packages will be the obvious paths forward for many operators.

          But SIA is a special case – Take a look at SIA’s fleet history – they have always operated just about every aircraft type ever made. Nine currently flying (or on order) and 18 more which have spent time in operation and are now retired. Frankly, they show very little discipline in fleet planning, and as a result always have a mess of a fleet. It won’t surprise me one bit if they eventually operate 787, A330neo, A350 and 777X all simultaneously.

          • I am wearing a big Airbus cap but for airlines such as EK that will be operating 777X’es the 787-(10) supplements the fleet, especially replacing 77W’s on shorter routes and where you need less capacity.

            If EK needs aircraft for thinner longer haul the the 787-9 will be next.

            In many aspects Boeings propaganda of AB’s “wide body strategy is a mess” applies.

          • Hello Anton,

            Regarding: “If EK needs aircraft for thinner longer haul then the 787-9 will be next”.

            The Emirates press release at the link below indicates that Emirates has conversion rights to switch to 787-9’s. The following is a quote from the press release at the link after the quote.

            “Emirates’ agreement includes conversion rights to switch the aircraft to 787-9s, offering the airline additional flexibility for its future fleet and global network. Emirates’ Dreamliners will be delivered in a mix of two and three-cabin class configurations, potentially seating between 240 and 330 passengers. These aircraft will be delivered in phases from 2022 onwards.”


          • Thanks, “unfortunately” (with my Airbus cap on) there will be a growing 787 fleet at EK.

            I also picked up here there that Boeing is looking at higher MTOW variants the 787-9&10(ER’s). This will include undercarriage upgrades, and up to 81KLb engines for the 787-10. The wing seems the biggest limitation, don’t know what they can squeeze out of it.

            Target range increase is apparently 500-800Nm, this will also include better hot&(high) field performance for the 787-10.

          • No, horses for course is a Lufthansa specialty.

            What you shoot for is as good an average as you can get and keep your fleet types down.

            Keep in mind that Luft also has a tech maint sector and there are some advantages gained there.

          • The 350 is between 87 and 77 in mass, wing area and fuselage diameter/cabin width. When AB launched the 350 the 330 was seen as near the end of its (excellent) life and the 77 was still mostly being used as a (very roomy) 9 across aircraft.

            Seems AB chose the narrowest tube they thought could make a good 9 across (10 in. narrower than 77) and it would have totally eclipsed a 3-3-3 777 economically, hence the 3-4-3 now in most 777s and all future 777x. The 87 could have been a truly roomy 2-4-2 but to really compete economically with either the330 (revived) or the 350 had to squeeze in 3-3-3 (though really just 1/2 in. less per seat.) The 350 remains a significantly heavier gauge aircraft than the 87 .

            In a post 330 world (the expected one) AB competes with both the 87 and 77 with one excellent in between aircraft family (A 350). Not a bad idea rather than just matching one of them. Neither company (or the airlines and flying public) would benefit if they too closely matched the other’s product lines.

          • On the other hand if you come out with an equal or better product you get half of a good market!

            Long term have to see.

            Right now it looks like Boeing is doing better.

            Emirates takes long term hits then both A and B get his in different areas.

            Boeing has more exposure now.

          • @Anton:
            “…unfortunately” (with my Airbus cap on) there will be a growing 787 fleet at EK.”
            Even more unfortunate is your bias towards Airbus is hindering U from sharing objective/unbiased comments or observations with others….

          • Yes I am biased in my aspirations for AB to do well but I am not anti-Boeing out of principle. Most of our old generation grew up with Boeing, there was nothing better to fly in than an 747 or more comfortable than a 767. But times have changed.

          • @IHSV:
            “But SIA is a special case – Take a look at SIA’s fleet history”
            Not that special in terms of fleet type variety relative to peers and in terms of history, I hv been watching SQ fleet closely since I flew with them for the 1st time in 1979 on a 742 to/fm LHR.

            “…they have always operated just about every aircraft type ever made.”
            I doubt it. Let’s see what they really had and never had in pax fleet(let’s ignore freighters):
            1. Narrowbody
            Had a few 727s and 752s but was decades ago, that’s it….unless U are talking about those 707s +731s they got fm their MSA divorce circa 1970s.
            2. Widebodies
            747 family= Yes, but never operated 741, 74SP and 748i
            D10 family= Only a few.
            L1011 family= Never operated any.
            300/310 family= Tons of 310 + a few 300.
            767 family= Never operated any.
            757 family= Just 4 frames and very briefly but never operated 753.
            340 family= Yes, but never operated 342 nor 346.
            330 family= Yes and still there but 333 only.
            777 family= Yes, but never operated 772(de-rated 772ER don’t count) and 77L and has not ordered 778.
            380 family= Of course
            787 family= Will be fm nex yr but only 78J.
            350 family= Yes for 359 but has never even ordered 35K.

            Clearly, fleet variety has been no diff than SQ’s peers @ any given era.

            “Nine currently flying (or on order)..”
            And I’m certain(feel free to challenge me on this) @ least 3 types among those 9 will be completely gone fm SQ fleet long before SQ is scheduled to take 1st delivery of their final type(i.e. 779) still on order.

            Always easy to exaggerate total fleet type quantity when fleet replacement is in progress/transition and old vs new briefly co-exists.

            “…and 18 more which have spent time in operation and are now retired.”
            Exaggeration as those 18 types U are counting, @ least:
            2 types were freighters.
            3 types were fm MSA divorce(i.e. SQ didn’t existed to plan them).
            6 types were double-counting such as

            A true/fair total number of historic pax fleet types actually planned by SQ is really just 10. We’re talking about a 45yrs old airline since its creation in 1972 after divorce fm MSA. Also 1 with a very comprehensive network fm regional short hops to long intercon routes since the 70s long before almost all of its S.E.Asian peers(including CX) started to go intercon. I wouldn’t expect such a carrier to hv operated less than 10 types across 4.5 decades….SQ network would need @ least 3~4 types to cover @ any given generation.

            “Frankly, they show very little discipline in fleet planning..”
            Frankly, I don’t think U fully understand SQ fleet+network history aside fm reading about it fm wiki. Given their network size+variety, their fleet plan has been the most disciplined among S.E.Asia carriers.

            “always have a mess of a fleet.”
            U must be joking. Try TG fleet history to see a real example for a mess.

            ” It won’t surprise me one bit if they eventually operate 787, A330neo, A350 and 777X all simultaneously.”
            Will look pretty good as all 4 possible corners of the payload/range chart will be covered….though I strongly believe SQ will never take 330Neo.

            Anyway, what exactly is wrong with such fleet mix especially when they hv zero narrowbody unlike EU Big3, US Big3 and pretty much every single peer located in their region except CX?

      • @IHSV:
        “This scenario certainly is the case for Emirates…”
        It certainly is for EK but such scenario is also unique to EK and the reason is…

        “…as it will be for most carriers.”
        Unlike EK, most carriers do not hv 778 on order which is only 20seats larger than 78J(both per Boeing brochure cabin assumptions) and has way more payload/range than anything else except perhaps 359ULR. If 78J performance is insufficient for a route, EK can just deploy a 778 there….an option still not available to any other 78J operators except EY.

        “The calculus of which OEM wins an airline sale becomes very simple – for the value deficit the A350-900 faces versus the 787-10”
        But does not explain why SQ hv huge volumes of both 359 AND 78J on order.

        Apparently, the calculus is not as simple as we imagined…..

    • @Joe:
      “….a comparison of the 787-10 versus the A350 for those missions is a false one in the first place….Suspense created by emirates was all theatre.”
      Not really IMHO. Tim Clark is no Al Baker.

      For the EK campaign, I actually believe Tim Clark has always been serious about his concern for the lack of take-off performance in 78J fm DXB hub @ 40+C @ full payload which is typical local summer condition there. Even the lowest MTOW 359 variant wouldn’t face such issue as often thx to its larger wing(whether EK like the additional wing structural weight or not).

      My opinion is that instead of estimates provided @ the beginning of the EK campaign 2yrs ago, Boeing could finally produce actual 78J flight test data for EK to assess only very recently and those data apparently hv proven that the 78J can sufficiently overcome the harsh environment @ DXB. As a result, the campaign tipped in favor of 78J and the rest is now history.

      It’s unusually long(about 2.5yrs) for EK to make a decision between 2 types. Even now, EK is speaking only in terms of MoU/LoI, not an official contract(But no, I don’t believe EK will back out…not EK style). For me, this implies the decision on 78J was made very very recently and perhaps EK/Boeing is still working on financing+funding details/performance guarantees for the official contract(i.e. the boring parts of an order done by accountants+bankers/lawyers). I refuse to believe timing of this EK fleet type decision has nothing to do with the timing of 78J flight test campaign.

      “Other than the A330-900 neo, Airbus does not have a alternative to the 787-10. Everybody knows that.”
      But perhaps a lesser known(or @ least often overlooked) fact is that 339 backlog remained larger than 78J for a few yrs and still does. Firm order in backlogs today:

      Even after this EK LoI/MoU is converted into firm order later, 339 and 78J will still be neck-to-neck in terms of total sales with only 5 units separating this pair…..not bad at all for a semi-new design with platform roots dated fm the early 70s. For this reason, I strongly believe the idea of Airbus must do something quick to respond to this failed bid @ EK, as some folks here suggested(e.g. the 330-1000 by Anton), is pure over-reaction….that’s the real “all theatre” as U said.

  10. Mentioned several months ago that the 787-10 could eventually hurt AB badly, Singapore and EK just the start. Wont be surprized if AirAsiaX is looking at it for example?

    Who needs a heavy aircraft with 8000Nm range to fly 3000-5000Nm routes, the furthest point in Europe from Dubai is about Lisbon which is ~3500Nm, one of the furthest points in Asia is Bali (3600Nm), etc.

    The 330’s future could actually be in this market with a 330-1000 (~4m stretch), 5500-6000Nm (251T), 330 seats, 75Klb engines. Potential tail strike issues may need some work?

    • At one point I advocated a shorter range 350-1000 a number of times in-lue of the 787-10’s “danger”.

      Potentially using the 359’s wing and XWB84’s but still 6 with wheel bogeys. Don’t know what weight savings can be done and what MTOW this combination can handle.

      But Boeing will have nothing to compete with a shorter range 35K-“Lite”. To late for EK but there are others out there that could be interested in such an aircraft. Seat mile cost could be “impressive”?

      • A 35K-“Lite” would (IMU) be derived from a “simple stretch” of the A359 ( 280/285t MTOW) swapping range for range.

        • That’s basically what I had in mind, like 789 to 78J. (not sure if you would have needed the 6 wheel bogeys however?)

          But apparently that’s what EK wanted (350K-Mk1) but AB decided to go with the current 350K option.

          • Anton: I doubt Boeing wants anything to do with Air Asia.

            Their MO is to order an aircraft, defer it for the next model.

            Big cut to Airbus on the A330NEO with the “lets buy the A350 now”

  11. To my eyes, the comments on this post have been more intelligent and informative than those for any post here in recent memory. I am used to reading comments here, for many years, along the lines of my favorite manufacturer’s product is going to kill the your manufacturers competing product, even though for many years no such thing has happened. I find it very refreshing to instead see comments which discuss, fairly calmly, the relative advantages of the competing Airbus and Boeing products, and how one or another might be a better fit for one or another customer, without incredibly predicting the imminent demise of a well established manufacturer or product.

    • @AP_Robert

      To my eyes, the comments from the readers of this blog tend to be good, reasonable and informative, except in those few instances where the commenter has chosen not to lay off the caps-lock key.

        • No, its been the steady (though slow) wins for the 787 that keep trickling in vs a stop for the rest.

          In a down market that says a lot.

          • That and Boeing is planning on rate 14.

            Either they are nuts or they know more than we do?

        • @Transworld

          If it repeats through 2018,19 and 20, I will agree. But it only started when Airbus started to run out of slots.

          Best of luck to Boeing, but Airbus will increase their production. Daft not to. Bombardier is strategic not tactical.

          • The issue is you can only ramp up so fast.

            Airbus had something like 850 orders on the two A350 types.

            If you over ramp then the cut back hurts.

            Its a balancing act.

            So agreed we need a few more years to see how it plays out.

          • “@Transworld

            If it repeats through 2018,19 and 20, I will agree. But it only started when Airbus started to run out of slots.”

            I guess that’s a glass half-full of looking at it. Looking at the order history one that is very hard to defend.

    • I agree, on other aviation sites posts such as the brand X plane will look good in their livery, why can’t they just put new engines on this model without realizing airliners are not like cars where many options are available without seriously changing the design and production of such.
      Many,many well thought out posts and I have learned much from them.

      • Yep, it ain’t as easy as calling an Uber car is it?

        I work with machinery, never was able to talk it into working.

        And to get it working right is a labor intensive effort.

        And once you come out with your aircraft, you are stuck with the limits (and enjoy the advantages hopefully) for 20 + years.

        Constant re-design would have you in the poor house.

        • Well more accurately bankrupt (governments will never let them go out of business)

  12. Lol. Is this that hard to explain? This is a Gulf Arab country in the present environment. They are buying a lot more than Commercial jets. Don’t be surprised at a Boeing sweep of that geographic category.

  13. This is not okay, EK wants AB to guarantee that the 380 will stay in production for 10 years before they order more, but in the same voice they say they will stick with 787’s in the future.

    Know AB is going through some tough times on a number of fronts but this almost “sounds like black mail”, what is the carrot for AB? EK is not going to buy 359’s or 330″. Maybe something on the 320 front with Flydubai?

    This will be another 10 years guarantee of making losses on the 380 program? Its not appropriate language but I think they are getting sh…..ed here by EK.

    • Its not blackmail, EK is just trying to ensure support for the A380 will be around as they operate the largest A380 fleet and if Airbus pulls the plug on the A380, the used market will drop in value and instead of selling used frames, older ones will be scrapped.

      • Understand where EK comes from, but they don’t give a hood about that AB will continue making a loss doing it in the mean time they order no other aircraft from AB.

        I will be tempted to tell EK to go and get a pot of rubbing compound and you know what.

      • Emirates is doing their utmost for themselves and Airbus has to do its for itself.

        Just the way business works.

        If Airbus bankrupts itself trying to keep Emirate happy?

      • Ste4ve,

        If Airbus pulls the plug then supposedly the A380 you have is gold.

        On the other hand MA cant sell their newer A380, so there is no used market.

        Dr. Peters will part out the 5 they get back form SA.

        SA gets new current A380 at great prices.

      • @steve:
        “EK is just trying to ensure support for the A380 will be around as they operate the largest A380 fleet.”
        Which is a pretty basic & reasonable demand fm a customer before committing billions more on a product almost no one else in the mkt want to buy more(but still plenty of pax luv to fly inside according to numerous pax review websites).

        However, the above is still a concept very difficult for someone, who repeated twice here earlier that he is wearing an Airbus hat, to understand.

  14. So let me get this right, any Airbus aircraft with less range than a Boeing counterpart is “less capable” (vide A350K vs 778) but when the inverse happens the Boeing aircraft becomes “more efficient to operate 90% of the routes” (vide the 78J vs A359)!
    Go figure!

    • Actually that is the reason for existence of the A330NEO

      Less range than an A350 but service 80% of the world routes.

      Of course like the Mustang they are now trying to upsize it.

      That’s what you do when it stops selling!

      • Wise words, don’t know why they trying to do that. Just throwing it in a ring to fight where its a loose-loose situation.

        Two stand out mistakes that AB made that is becoming more an more apparent is not going with the 350-800 and 350-1000 Mk1.

        They wanted to keep the 330 line going, all they did was filling the 787 production line.

        • The A350-800 was a serious conundrum.

          Like the -1000, changes were the issue.

          Lighten it up and a different wing to optimize and you have more big bucks.

          There is not endless money and you have to draw lines.

          The A330NEO up gauge seems to be desperation to get it to sell.

          As that picks into A350-900 area, the point is?

          I don’t think it helps Boeing, its just that the target was not the 787/777 straight up.

          That would have require two aircraft though.

          I though target the 777 and see what you could do with a more upgraded A330.

          • the 359 and 3510 totally beat (economically) the (772 and 77w when the latter are still configured 3-3-3 although the 350 has 1 in. less (oh horrors) width per seat.

            Hence we have the (too?) tight seating of the 3-4-3 777 and the slightly less tight 777x. If you want to have a bunch more room you just have to pay (a lot) more money.

            One would love to have seen a 77x that is 10 in wider than the 77 (rather than the 4 in they have carved out of the sidewalls) but that would have been $10 b more and taken 2-3 years longer and not have sold (real market price) for that much more money.

      • Proves my point again. An A330 NEO is not “capable” enough against the 788/9 because it doesn’t have the range! . Soon we’ll be seeing orders for the Max10 because it is “more efficient” although not “capable”. It’s getting confusing!

  15. As it turned out, EK did not order the A380 at the show and wants a 20 year life line guarantee prior to placing that order. That’s risky business for Airbus and they should probably let the A380 die off. Furthermore, I think it is probably safe to say now that any shortcomings of the 787-10 with regard to range , will likely be addressed by adding the 787-9 instead of A350.’s. What that probably means is that Emirates and Airbus are practically done and that Boeing won the EK battle. If geopolitics played a role, then it would be interesting to watch for what Etihad does as it restructures. I fly both airlines the same routes several times per year and can comfortably say that Etihad consistently flies with significant lower passenger loads compared to Emirates. For Etihad, the smaller A350 family, especially the -1000 may prove to be a safer bet then all the 777x’s.

    Airbus should take Emirates out of the equation and concentrate on the bigger market of 777-200 and 300ER ‘s that will have to be replaced at some point.

    • EK is not the only airline in the world.

      There is a big gap between the 777-9 and 787-10 in many aspects. The 777-8 is a long range niche aircraft.

      In a couple of years they are going to kick there own back-sides for not buying 350-1000’s?!

    • Competing with the 772 and 77w is exactly what the 359 and 3510 do so well. Many will be sold; not everyone will go that route but many will.

  16. 1. People fail to see that the EK economy passenger product will be the same with the 777 – 787 instead of the 777 – 350, especially in seat width at 17 in. EK is the ultimate LCC for long haul.

    2. If there was an A330-1000neo on offer, would EK ordered that? Maybe yes, maybe not. Does Airbus need the A330-1000 as a response to the 787-10 (even if the share is 60:40)? Yes.

    • I can see a fairly significant requirement for an A330-1000 on inter-Asian as well as routes between China/India to Europe. An airline such as Delta may look at it for Transatlatic routes from Detroit/Atlanta for example.

      Transpacific routes from the US/Canada’s West coast to Japan?Korea, most major South American destinations as well as Hawaii will be in reach from the majority of US hubs, etc, etc….

      This will most likely be the best utlization of the 330 wing capabilities and potential increased MTOW, seat mile cost should be good, selling at a very competitive price could just be the deal maker here.

      Think an 33K will have more potential than trying to make the 339 a long range aircraft, its competing with the 789 and its own 359 in that sector. An 330-1000 will not be competing with the 359/35K but supplement it and be competition for the 787J. (Was wondering about the 340’s under carriage?).

      If the EK order opens AB’s eyes they actually would have done them a favor to realize that AB should not put all their efforts into 7000+Nm products.

  17. A good day for Boeing. However, it increases its exposure towards the ME3 regarding its widebody orders. The B777X is more or less entirely depending on ME3.

  18. Wonder how much Boeing had to do with EK asking for a guarantee for at least 10 years future availability of the 380? If AB excepts Boeing knows it could actually weakens AB as it will keep them busy with that instead of doing other more developments that could be more profitable.

    or, If they don’t EK will become the launch customer for the 777-10?

    So a win-win situation for Boeing.

  19. Go Boeing!!

    I had always thought the ‘hot and high’ requirement of Dubai would stop the B787-10 from winning this one. However you wrap this one up it is a significant win. Looking at the orders for this year (and longer) Boeing have wiped the floor with Airbus. All the hubris of recent years seems to have stunted their ability to compete. I hope for Airbus’s sake they get their A380 order.

    • Obviously not a happy moment for AB (and myself, think the Turkish 789 order actually much worse for AB).

      Hot airport, three things. Don’t think the routes EK intend the 78J’s operate on will actually have ranges (much) more than 4000Nm, apparently the Trent10 is available for up to 81KLb thrust. And lastly (doubtful) there were noises the EK will operate 787’s at 2-4-2 in Economy, but why on medium haul routes?

      If they do this it could be serious competition to Qatar and Etihad on routes to Europe for example with a 787J, could be a passenger favorite.

  20. Whoa, looks like those “Boeing cheerleader “analysts”” were right after all!

    • Be patient.I doubt that the ME3 would ever go for only one manufacturer for political reasons anyway. Has anyone actually ruled out an imminent A380 order?

      • The word is they are still trying to hammer out a deal for 36 380s before show’s end.

        • Its actually easy, its not only about the potential 30+ new orders, but also 40 outstanding orders.

          If AB doesn’t bend down far enough EK could cancel those, they cancelled the 70 A350’s without saying much.

          Bottom line, how far is AB prepared to go for Boeing not to order more 77X’es? They know they will keep on making a loss with the 380.

  21. It is interesting that Boeing is selling to the Middle East whilst Airbus is selling to America.

    The order was to be expected, Airbus would not have matched the delivery or the price.

    Airbus need to increase production for they are losing sales because of a lack of production slots.

    For Boeing, it will be a good year. So, make hay while you cwn. Get the money in, but they must do something good with a NMA or NSA

    • As was noted by Steve, you can’t suddenly change things on aircraft.

      That includes production ramp up.

      Too fast and you make it worse for existing customers and still don’t serve those pie in the sky ones.

      Aircraft are like Super Tankers, the turn very slowly and take a long time to get up to speed.

  22. I fly Emirates for the levels of passenger comfort, the airline is renowned for it, the A380 is fantastic for passenger comfort no matter where you sit in the plane. I’ve flown the 787 and what a difference. I’ve never worried about comfort before with the fleet Emirates have, but will now be checking very carefully my onward flight from Dubai. The 787 is noisy, vibration levels poor and the 9 across in economy is apalling. What a mistake.

  23. And on the quiet 5 additional B787-(8’s?) for Azerbaijan and 20 MAX8’s for a Kuwaiti airline.

  24. Flydybai is looking at an 100 aircraft single aisle order, but they are also looking at wide-bodies.

    Are there another big 787-10 order in the works?

  25. What no one has talked about is the 787-10 ENINGES for Emirates (sorry for shouting Scott! – grin)

    As we have two choices, there is leveraging there for Emirates with RR. Now how realistic that is open to debate, but TC seems to be happy to try anything.

    So, RR or GE?

    If he orders A350 he is stuck with what he gets in RR.

    787 he gets to negotiate. That’s one reason airlines like engine choices.

    So the 787-10 may just do what Emirates needs and their is the gravy on top as well.

    • And add in to the interest, RR is all new for the 787 now as they totally redid their offering, GE now has a longer track record of how its working.

      • The Trent XWB has now achieved 1 million hours without a single inflight shutdown. That’s not been achieved in aviation history until now.

        The Trent 1000 TEN is the bady brother of the Trent XWB. Expect the same.

        @Transworld, I always find your views on RR facinating, for they are not factual. Bottom line, the Trent 700 was the first to achieve 10,000 hours on wing without removal, then 20,000 hours and then 30,000 hours without removal. No other engine matches it, but no engine matches the Trent series for performance, reliability and durability.

        Yes, I admit the original Trent 1000 had problems, but nowhere as severe as the GENX. More importantly the problems with GENX persist, they hsven’t gone away.

        We will see whether Emirates buy RR, for I think it is price and GE have their own finance arm as an indirect way of subsidy; something that America doesn’t do.

  26. Who’s next to order 787’s?

    Don’t rule out AA as first US customer. In the Asian market Korean, Malaysian, Thai, Phillipines, Cathy are definitely potential customers (SA and EVA have orders).

    With the 789’s joining the Qantas fleet they must be looking at the 787-10 for their Asian routes, generally 4000-5000Nm?

    Airlines from China and India remains potentially the most lucrative customers for a 787-10 capacity/range aircraft.

    In short, Airbus catch a wake-up.

  27. Its this type of crap form AB that makes them losing orders. Are they on a different planet, lazy, not listening to the customers, or what?

    Trying to add a few seats to the 359 to compete, it won’t make it 10-15T lighter and the wing 25% smaller, require 8KLb less thrust, etc.

    Read what they offered EK, now I can say well done EK for ordering the787-10’s. Read link.

    Now I start to understand why they think the 338 can compete in the MoM/NMA market, they totally of the page.

    • Anton:

      Great spot. Moving a bulkhead that much is a huge undertaking. They are desperate.

      I had wondered about shooting for the gap between 787 and 777.

      With the -10 in the picture, changes things, no longer shooting the gap.

    • If you believe that crap you believe anything. Moving a pressure bulkhead requires re-certification. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money. I know Emirates think they own the world. Seriously, do we need to read this

      Bloomberg and Reuters are US based. Say no more!

      • @Philip

        Unfair shot at Bloomberg and Reuters. Their aerospace reporters who cover Airbus/EK/etc are based in Toulouse and Paris respectively.

      • Hello Philip,

        From Wikipedia,

        “Reuters /ˈrɔɪtərz/ is an international news agency headquartered in London, England. It is a division of the Toronto-based Canadian media company Thomson Reuters.”

        Where did you get the idea that Reuters was US based, rather than a London based division of a Canadian owned company?

        I’ll hazard a guess. Because Reuters does not always report that superior Airbus aircraft are being victimized by evil US – Boeing – Embraer conspiracies, you concluded that they must be US based, and didn’t bother to take 15 seconds to do a Google search to verify if your assumption was true?

      • I was kinda upset when I read this (assuming its true) and thought that AB has lost the plot or is really desperate.

        They lost the 70 A350 orders due to them not developing the 350K-Mk1 which EK wanted. Sure SA would have gone for it instead of the 787-10?

        Its not about the EK order only but they should have realized that airlines potentially want such an aircraft but they seems to like developing 1:1 competing aircraft, that’s why they went for the 35K-Mk2 to compete with the 777-8.

        And what is happening with the 350K, orders get deferred, cancelled or conversions done. In the mean time they still continuing on the path for increasing the 350K’s range (for what?) while there is a steady stream of 787-10 orders starting to come in.

        The logic sequence of events would have been 359, 350K-Mk1 (2017), 350K-Mk2 (2020/1).

        That’s why I say that it seems AB lives on its own planet, are ignorant and/or there are a serious lack of vision/management?

        • Airbus have said that through cabin innovation they can increase the number of seats. In all probability there is room between the rear toilet/galley false wall and the rear bulkhead that they want to use. So they will move the false wall back

          But to move the rear bulkhead. The regulators will be all over it. The reason is that the airplane will disintegrate if it fails. It is probably easier to stretch the A350-900 by 2 1/2 feet to add 9 passengers or in the alternative shrink the A350-1000 to be 2 1/2 feet longer than the A350-900. The A350-1000 will have the same rear bulkhead as the A350-900

          I know @Scott doesn’t like it, but Reuters appear to be the mouth piece of the London stock exchange and Bloomberg appear to be the mouth piece of the New York stock exchange. In other words they exist to drum up business. And there is no better way than making calamitous claims.

          • A small (2.5-3m) stretch of the 359 crossed my mind as a more useful and less risky consideration and adding 20-25 pax.

            Depending on airline requirements this could incorporate concepts that were considered in the 359-Regional to lower OEW’s.

            Possibly using engines de-rated to 79KLb engines, with MTOW around 260T, range 6500Nm?

            There are talks of a HGW 787-10, this 350 variant will have the flexibility to cover anything Boeing comes up with.

            The current 359 has developed in an 8500+ Nm optimized aircraft, this variant will find favor with airlines which require <7000Nm range and/or some extra capacity. It could also have flexibility to offer 84KLb engines for airlines operating form hot airports.

            Wouldn't mind to call it the 350-10?

          • FlightGlobal have clarified the words. Tim Clarke said that Airbus agreed to move the bulkheads (plural)! I wonder how many bulkheads Tim Clarke thinks exist in an airplane. Reuters need to be more accurate in their reporting.

            I won’t say anymore, for I will get into trouble with LNC.

        • @Anton:
          “They lost the 70 A350 orders due to them not developing the 350K-Mk1 which EK wanted.”
          But by my rough estimate, gained @ least 4 new 35K customers in return after Mk1 becomes Mk2 in 2011:
          CX= 26 units(Now down to 20) in 2012
          UA= 35 units(Now down to zero) in 2013
          BA= 18units in 2013
          JL= 13 units in 2013

          In that switch, 350 program lost 359 x50(And gained 50 vacant slots very easy to sell quickly and now ended up with e.g. DL and MU) and 35K x20. In return, 35K gained 92 new orders fm 4 blue chip customers. Today, CX+BA+JL still hold orders for 35K x51…still far better than the 20 frames cancelled by EK.

          “Sure SA would have gone for it instead of the 787-10?”
          How can U be sure re SQ? 78J is a logical replacement for Regional 772/ER @ SQ due to minor upgauging. 35K(Mk1) would hv been a far larger upgauge fm 772. Hv U thought about 78J and 35K(Mk2) co-exist @ SQ? I would not be surprised if SQ later convert some 359 backlogs into 35K to replace some 77Ws. Relative to the frames below 350seats they need to replace within 5yrs and including pure growth for Scoot, far too many 78J+359 are on SQ’s backlog.

          “that’s why they went for the 35K-Mk2 to compete with the 777-8.”
          How could an airplane launched in 2011 specifically designed to compete with another future airplane launched in 2013? U can do it in reverse(Boeing did with 77X) but not the other way around..

          “it seems AB lives on its own planet, are ignorant and/or there are a serious lack of vision/management?”
          Pretty clear fm yr comments that U are the one living on your own planet….

          • Actually I do, it has big open spaces, where can think outside a box, and not hurt or criticise anyone.

            Rather have 1000 stupid ideas with one cracking it, than have none.

      • Reuters was a UK company, I knew that for in the past I delt with them. So an unfair shot at the US.

        But Bloomberg and Reuters do continuously report negatively on Airbus and are invariably wrong.

        The parable of crying wolf. In other words, perhaps one day they will be right, but I won’t be listening

          • There are standards and the reports of Bloomberg and Reuters don’t meet them!

            Thanks to FlightGlobal we now have proper insight. Aviation Week is another source.

            Tim Clarke’s comment on MTOW are interesting. They will use the MTOW of the 787-10 to its maximum, but not the 777-8 or 777-9.

    • Actually the 7810 is 20+ tonne less than 359 depending on the version of 350. But to achieve the significantly lower mass per passenger that allows, the 7810 must be 3-3-3. I doubt very much they will be 2-4-2 except maybe in a small economy plus section.

  28. Hmmm… could the large 777x order for Emirates be cut back? Has Emirates scaled back their plans on the 777?
    It would make sense to have less capacity on leaner routes.

  29. I am really not totally convinced of this order, for the reasons I sarcastically wrote above and the following musings.

    I am looking for an 8hr (4000NM) range aircraft to carry as much payload as I can from a very hot runway and potential short(ish) runways?I aim at 1 standard deviation of my peak demand and aim at an 85% load factor for pax and as much cargo as I can carry with a projected growth rate across my network of 5%. It would be nice if my choice can sub for other members of fleet and also provide me growth opportunities to other placed, being my future smallest aircraft. My obvious choice is also giving me the best contribution. OK
    More to come….

    • They bought them as a people and cargo truck. FlightGlobal gave the insight. Airbus offered 10 abreast seating.

      So, on an 8 hour sector, Emirates will be able to take out 20 tonnes of fuel and replace it with people and cargo.

      Not really the game of the A350 and not even the game of the A330neo. The reason is 18in seating as standard.

      • Sure signs of desperation and/or stupidity from AB, as is the moving the bulkhead story.

        Think ultimatums had been put out by the AB board, are we going to see the gelatine in action?

    • Quote from Flight Global: “It was quite a shock to me,” he says, claiming that he “didn’t know about it” – even though the -900 was competing for the Emirates fleet deal – and had asked at the time: “Why didn’t you tell me?”

      By this point, says Clark, it was a “bit late” to change Emirates’ analysis. But he says the -900 is a “more marketable aircraft” as a result, adding: “It’s a pity they didn’t get it out sooner.”

      I am lost for words, was he shopping for a TV?! Oh well it was too late to change his mind, what’s a billion here and there.

  30. Etihad has 30 B787-10’s on order for the record, but also a substantial number of 359’s/K’s.

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