Airbus’ strategy for the A330-800

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The A330-800 entered the final assembly line last week at the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, France, amid doubts in the industry that the airplane will be produced beyond the prototype.

The first A330-800 is on the Final Assembly Line at Airbus. Source: Airbus.

There is only one order for the sub-type, six from Hawaiian Airlines—and Hawaiian is expected to cancel the order. The airline is running a competition between the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 787-8/9, according to market intelligence.

Smaller is better

Hawaiian’s outgoing CEO, Mark Dunkerley, is known to prefer a smaller-capacity airplane in the size of the A330-800 or Boeing 787-8. Hawaiian had been one of the few customers for the A350-800, but was persuaded by Airbus to switch to the similarly-sized, but slightly shorter range, A330-800 when Airbus sought to de-risk the A350 program, reduce development costs and concentrate on the more profitable A350-900/1000 models.

At the peak, the A350-800 had 161 orders.

The A330-800 had about a dozen at its peak.

Orphan airplane

The A330-800 is an orphan airplane today, a status that is making it hard to sell. One major airline to which Airbus is making a pitch says it isn’t interested because it doesn’t want an orphan. Airbus counters that if this carrier ordered the airplane, it will make a market for it, market intelligence indicates. So far, the pitch is no sale.

Market will come

Airbus officials say they aren’t worried. The market will come as soon as 2020 as in-service A330-200s age. The long-haul, low-cost carriers and China present opportunities, Airbus says.

Crawford Hamilton, head of A330 product marketing, acknowledges the demand is slow for the -800 today, in part because of low fuel prices but principally because the in-service A330-200 fleet’s average age is less than 10 years old. (There is no relation between Hamilton and this writer.)

“We have 95 operators [of the A330],” Hamilton says, “so that’s lot of opportunities. We would concur they don’t want an orphan aircraft,” he says of the major airline that expressed concerns. “We have a lot of [potential sales] activity on -800. If things go well, we won’t have an orphan aircraft.

Hamilton sees good LCC market potential—”we know where our customer base is—” and he believes the A330-800 is the right size for it.

Crawford Hamilton, Head of A330 Product Marketing, Airbus.

“If you want range, a very good solution is the 330 at 251t,” Hamilton says. “Long haul is very risky. The A330-800 has low break-even cost and interesting high density layouts. It can take 386 seats 6,000-6,500 nautical miles. It’s a good niche that we have.”

LNC’s analysis concludes that the A330-800 has 500nm more range than a similarly loaded 787-8.

“The great thing is the adaptability and flexibility. European charter guys like this and have been doing this for years. It has a very good seat count advantage against the [Boeing] 787-8, up to 30 more seats. This is a massive amount of revenue you can get on the upside.”

The -800 would be configured at nine abreast to achieve this capacity.

A330-800 vs the Boeing NMA

Airbus argues that the -800 covers the top of the Middle of the Market and with the A321neo, covers this sector. Boeing continues to study a new airplane but is not close to launching the program. LNC’s analysis of the Boeing NMA gives it a significant economic advantage over the -800, but the latter is available now. The entry-into-service date of the Boeing NMA, if launched next year or in early 2019, is a moving target.

Boeing officials continue to publicly say EIS is targeted for 2024-2025 but LNC revealed Monday that Boeing is now telling suppliers and the customer base 2027 seems more likely.

This works to Airbus’ advantage, says Hamilton.

“[The NMA] is possible competition in the future,” he says. “There is a value of time. How long are people going to wait for it?

“There are about 1,600 airplanes flying [in the MOM sector],” Hamilton says. “We have 95 operators for 330-200. The problem is the fleet is really, really, young.  The average age is only nine years. There aren’t that many aircraft to replace today. These start to kick in beyond 2020. It would have been silly for us to develop the A330-900 and wait three or four years to develop the 800.

“The cherry on the cake is the 767-300/400, which are 15 years older,” Hamilton says. In the short term is the 767 market. Longer term are the 330-200s.

If not the NMA, then the 767

If airlines must wait 6-7 years, or worse, nine, for the Boeing NMA, what does Boeing do in the meantime?

It’s now been confirmed Boeing is studying whether to relaunch the 767-300ER passenger model as an interim airplane, principally for American and United airlines but possibly others.

Hamilton sees plenty of challenges for Boeing to restart the line.

“It’s going to be difficult; it’s a 30-year old aircraft and an interim solution,” he says. “You have to get seating standards up to 2025. What happens if the fuel price goes up? “You haven’t had a cabin in production for three years now and it will be another 2-3 before delivery.” The passenger service unit (PSU) and in-flight entertainment equipment are of old design. Even overhead bins are, by today’s standards, antiquated.

A330-800 vs 787-8

Hamilton isn’t worried about the 787-8, either, noting that in recent years Airbus sold, 85 A330-200s vs 26 787-8s.

Boeing’s plan is to produce about one 787-8 per month from 2020, the supply chain tells LNC, preferring to concentrate on the more profitable 787-9/10, which also have 95% commonality between the types vs about 50% between the -8 and its larger brethren.

As a consequence, LNC believes Boeing won’t be aggressive in 767 or A330 replacement campaigns with the 787-8. The A330-800 has more capacity and range than the 787-8. For LCCs which load the aircraft with 350+ passengers, this capacity and range advantage will be real.

At normal load-factors and cabins, one could discuss how many airlines need the 7,500nm or 15 hours capacity of the A330-800 or 787-8. But with LCC cabins, the payload reduces the capability to typically 10-12 hours of the long-range leisure destination and there the A330-800 (in its 251t version) is a stronger aircraft than the 787-8.

Conclusion

The A330-800 has a market. Long range LCC is perhaps the best chance outside domestic China (where  the A330-200R and -300R dominate for now). The dense cabins increase the payload to the level where the range of the A330-800 is in the bracket of a normally loaded A330-300 or -900. The A330-900 is then a less-than-10-hour aircraft.

When configured for long-range LCC, the A330-800 outperforms the 787-8 both in seating and range. The difference in fuel consumption is small enough (around 3% more) for the LCC to not take a risk with a A330-800 instead of the more costly (to buy or lease) 787-8.

With an amortized production line, the A330-800 can be sold at the prices needed to make long-range LCC work.

Additional reporting by Bjorn Fehrm.

143 Comments on “Airbus’ strategy for the A330-800

  1. The cost to Airbus to get the 800 flying and on their product list is worth it, as not having it, and airlines eventually wanting it would be a big mistake for them. The 330 is a great passenger plane, and I’ve even gone to Florida from Dublin on a 9-abreast Thomas cook charter… And found it fine… And seemingly the 787/777 seating is akin to a 9-abreast a330.

    Freighters, military etc. make it worth the investment. Airlines will come one they see it flying, see the price, and the cabin AirSpace’d.

    • “A330 in 9-abreast is fine”

      If that is true, then no one should be bitching about 17.5-17.8″ seats in any Boeing aircraft….ever….especially since an A330 in 9 abreast is something like 16.5″.

      Never want to hear another word about how “horrible” the 787 is at 9 abreast. Nope. Or how the 737 or 777 seats suck.

      • @Neutron73:
        “If that is true, then no one should be bitching about 17.5-17.8″ seats in any Boeing aircraft.”
        In order to justify “330 is a great passenger plane”, subjective bias by 330 lovers has no bounds and exists beyond simple physics & mathematics….

      • During the last 2 weeks have been flying in the 788, 332, and 359 on shortish 5-9 hour flights in the back.

        The 332 was the winner with the family (ok it had 34″ pitch), its not only seat width but also the 2-4-2 layout. All seats are within one seat from the aisle and there are only two middle seats.

        With a 3-3-3 layout the window seats are 2 seats away from the aisles and there are three middle seats.

        • @Anton:
          “During the last 2 weeks have been flying in the 788, 332, and 359”
          But missed the 767….

          “The 332 was the winner with the family (ok it had 34″ pitch)”
          May be yr family is consist of 2 persons….

          “…its not only seat width”
          What seat width? By how much?

          “…but also the 2-4-2 layout. All seats are within one seat from the aisle and there are only two middle seats.”
          By that logic, the 350 is also a loser and the good old 767 criticized by so many 330 supporters is also a winner….may be even slightly better than 330 because its middle seat is only 1 seat fm the aisle in BOTH left or right directions.

          • @Anton:
            “We are actually 5.”
            And because “332 was the winner with the family”, all family traveling should consists of 5 members in order for 332 to win?

            In that case, I’ll need to revise my family size to copy yours so that 332 can win against whatever other types….

    • @Fergal:
      “…seemingly the 787/777 seating is akin to a 9-abreast a330.”
      The above statement demonstrates the typical subjective basis which has not a bit of physical or mathematical truth in there if anyone care to take just a casual look of the max cabin diameter specs.

      330=204 inches
      787=216 inches
      350=221 inches

      If comfort level of 330 is “akin” to 787 in 9 abreast Y, then comfort level of 787 and 350 must be identical by the same logic……yet we still keep hearing comments like 787 is hell in 9abreast but in 350 is heaven….go figure.

      • The idea that 9 abreast in an A330 is akin to either 9 abreast in a B787, or even 10 abreast in a B777, is not even close to being the case.

        The max cabin width dimensions as stated are one thing. The actual useable cabin width (interior dimension less stay zone) at armrest height (25″ off the floor) are another and the typical starting place for what a cabin can produce seat width wise. But for the A330 in particular, it’s even more constraining.

        Consider that the typical economy class seat has a seat back height of about 45″. Depending upon the curve of the fuselage this can be critical since there is less width at 45″ than at 25″ and the seats have to stay off the wall roughly 1″ and are most likely to intersect the wall at the seat back height for walls that aren’t straight/vertical, which is the norm (A380 notable exception).

        So, when looking at width for the aircraft being discussed in ascending order of width:
        @25″ @45″ Difference
        A330 205.58″ 194.44″ 11.14″
        B787 215.01″ 208.48″ 6.53″
        A350 220.12″ 213.85″ 6.27″
        B777 229.97″ 224.94″ 5.03″

        The curvature of the sidewall on the A330 is much more extreme than the others forcing the seat assemblies at seat back height further inboard than would typically be necessary just due to cabin width at the armrest height (which is where we are measuring pax width/living space).

        The A330 is over 5% narrower at 45″ than 25″ compared to 2.2% less for the B777, 2.8% less for A350 and 3.0% less for the B787.

        This translates into a much narrower pax width for A330 9 abreast, than even the B777 10 abreast. The typical 9 abreast B777 seat is 18.1″, the A350 can almost get there depending upon what you do with the aisle widths and even armrest widths. The 10 abreast B777 drops to about 17.1″ which is a smidge narrower than the B737 at 17.2″ typical. The typical B787 9 abreast seat is also about 17.2″ wide, the same as the B737.

        The resulting seat on the 9 abreast A330 is roughly 16″ wide. There is nothing “akin” to the B787 or B777. In fact it is not akin to anything including most, if not all, regional jet/turboprop aircraft.

        Incidentally, the 10 abreast A350 is about the same as the A330 9 abreast – 16.2″ wide, but that particular seat has a 1.5″ armrest width rather than the typical 2″ armrest width.

        • @ABS:
          “The curvature of the sidewall on the A330 is much more extreme than the others..”
          My home hub carrier operates 1 of the largest 330 fleet in the world and used to also fly many 343s so inevitably, I fly 330/340 @ least 3~4x per yr over the past 2 decades so I’m very familiar with this unique cabin wall curvature issue as I usually sat @ the window seat.

          It’s an inconvenient fact often ignored or disregarded by those who claim ‘The 332 was the winner’ or similar over the 787….subjective preference for X product/manufacturer over Y often rules for some folks with a biased agenda. To be fair though, as long as U or your companion/family don’t pick a Y seat by the window on a 330, it’s a non issue away fm the cabin wall.

          “A380 notable exception”
          The feeling @ the window seat on the main deck of this type is actually weird and totally unlike other types. U actually get more space/distance fm the cabin wall/window as U move up fm yr feet to the eye level thx to the curving out of the cabin wall….the exact opposite of what happens @ a window seat on a 330.

          “9 abreast A330 is roughly 16″ wide. There is nothing “akin” to the B787 or B777. In fact it is not akin to anything…”
          Not exactly. Never been in 1 but I can easily imagine 8abreast 767 is akin to 9abreast 330.

          I recall HA fleet used to include quite a few 8abreast 763s…..

          • That is true, I sort of discounted the B767. There have been operators of 8 abreast 767s, though not many. There is still Thomas Cook, Thomson and Nordwind, at least, operating 8 abreast B767s, if I am not mistaken.

            It is indeed pretty much identical to the A330 9 abreast – 16.0″ pax width with 15.5″ aisles.

            But the fact that it was/is really limited to charter/tour operators furthers suggests that the A330 9 abreast is not likely to be widely accepted like the B777 10 abreast. The B777 10 abreast basically went mainstream (Emirates, Etihad, Air France, ANA, ANZ, AAL, UAL, CSN, KLM, among others and there is at least one other premier international carrier inquiring about it now) providing all the unit cost benefits that come from economies of density.

            I think Airbus had visions of the same for at least the A330, but I don’t think it will happen for either A330, or A350 for that matter (Air Caraibes has 10 abreast on A350s but is the only one I can think of so far) .

            I was in cabin design for one of those B777 operators when the decision was made to go from 9 to 10 abreast. The concern was how would we be impacted market share wise, product perception wise, etc and how would our main competitors react. The answer, when the plane came out, was….nothing. Heard not a peep, the aircraft as a whole went on to draw huge revenue premiums, be preferred and the competitors started looking into it themselves with at least one adopting it as well.

      • I believe there are still very few A330 with a 9 abreast cabin flying today, and most in LCC or holiday charters, or in Asia, with average person size being smaller.

        People booking these might be less aviation interested than the average reader here, thus not voicing out here. 787 are flying amass by now, with almost all in 9 abreast in scheduled service, where passengers still somehow expect a better product than when entering an LCC.

        I’ve personally been on a Philippine Airlines A330 with 9 abreast config from MNL to HKG. For the short hop I didn’t mind too much, but eating dinner was definitely a challenge cos you just have too little space to move the fork to your mouth without invading your neighbor’s space (who’s trying the same). On the contrary, I haven’t experienced a 787 in economy yet. And I’m not keen, as I already try to avoid 10 abreast 777 for long haul legs. Luckily, I so far still have 9 abreast 777 alternatives or now upcoming A350s. I will definitely choose that over the other.

        So, I totally agree, you can’t compare this from a passenger experience side. But airlines are rational and profit oriented. And it seems, that the majority of clients accept the product, so obviously they offer it.

        • @Matth:
          “I believe there are still very few A330 with a 9 abreast cabin flying today”
          If true, are U implying 338 in LCC cabin density hv a very limited mkt opportunity in the future since “very few A330 with a 9 abreast cabin flying today”? It’s the exact opposite conclusion to this leehamnews.com story.

          “…most in LCC…or in Asia, with average person size being smaller.”
          AirAsiaX operates 333 on 4 routes to Australia and 1 route to Hawaii upto 7x daily in total. Are U claiming the “average person size” in these 2 mkts are the same as in Asia or AirAsiaX refrain fm selling tickets to citizens of these mkts?

          “People booking these might be less aviation interested than the average reader here…”
          Doesn’t make them less valuable to a fleet/cabin density strategy or Rev$ potential to sustain or even grow a carrier, does it?

          “787 are flying amass by now, with almost all in 9 abreast in scheduled service, where passengers still somehow expect a better product than when entering an LCC.”
          If “a better product” is purely defined by how many seats abreast or seat width, IB/EI and LH/LX hv a lot of questions to answer to passengers re their 330/340 fleets relative to Level and Eurowings.

          “…personally been on a Philippine Airlines A330 with 9 abreast config….eating dinner was definitely a challenge..”
          An even bigger challenge is given that a 330 in 9abreast is clearly operating under a LCC model, how the hell did PR managed to serve inflight dinner to U without asking U to pay extra in the 1st place…

          Good news is that PR leadership has changed about 2yrs ago(again!) and it’s reverting back to the classic FSC model where its 333 fleet is returning to 8abreast in Y.

          “I haven’t experienced a 787 in economy yet. And I’m not keen…Luckily, I so far still have 9 abreast…upcoming A350s”
          Even more lucky is that U can actually feel that 2.3%/0.5inch wider seat width space on a 350 over the 787 in the same 9abreast config.

          “I will definitely choose that over the other.”
          Yes, 0.5inch(the width of a USB adaptor) diff in seat width space is apparently the diff between paradise(350) and hell(787) for some folks….especially for those who subscribe to the Airbus PR voodoo magic/alternate universe truth of 350 offers 1 inch more seat width than 787 in Y….

  2. When does Airbus estimate these orders to start coming?
    Should they start coming before the launch of the NMA, or if the 767 does sell, it could once again change Boeing’s plans.
    If the 767 does sell to other airlines aside from American and United, how much could this change Airbus’ plans?

    • Well they have made the first model, so not much at this point.

      If it does not sell they won’t build it, not sure if that changes a plan or just ruins their day.

      • Fergel:

        Airlines don’t need to see an A330-800 to know its capabilities.

        Build it and they will come is often not true.

        777X has 310 orders or so and no one has seen it yet.

        • The difference between the two example is the price tag. Airbus has not to discount the A330-800 as much to sell it. I guess the early 777X orders are quite a good deal for the airlines.

          Slots for the A330neo are still available so no need to hurry. Boeing sold 20 777X in the last two years.

          • “Airbus has not to discount the A330-800 as much to sell it. I guess the early 777X orders are quite a good deal for the airlines. ”

            Source? Considering how closely guarded actual prices paid for airliners are I would be interested…

          • MHalblaub:
            “Airbus has not to discount the A330-800 as much to sell it.”
            I assume U are on the Airbus 330 sales team as a colleague to Crawford Hamilton in order to know details of such pricing strategy.

            “Boeing sold 20 777X in the last two years.”
            And Airbus registered a net lost of 35 firm orders for the 350 program fm 2013-2015….the period immediately before 359 EIS.

            So what is yr point?

          • The point is: neither Boeing nor Airbus would have built such massive design change without adecent commitments by several airlines. That’s why the 777X has so much orders already.

            I guess the development effort for A330-800 is quite marginal compared to what was already developed for A330-900. And even these coats are marginal compared to the 777X effort.

  3. For low-cost and/or charter operators the range is probably not the issue. Most flights will be within 5000nm, Central Europe to Cancun is 4700-5000nm.
    A matter would be field performance. Anytime, any weather, from probably short fields (8000ft), and there a -800 might be preferable.

  4. Hello Scott
    Hello Bjorn

    9 Abreast A330 is where all began with Air Inter and where it might end
    Don’t know the details for the new Airspace cabin, and if there’s improvements in cabin width… for sure it can be a good idea for 9 ab.

    3% more fuel burn vs 787 is on a per plane basis or per seat ?

    Best regards

  5. “It would have been silly for us to develop the A330-900 and wait three or four years to develop the 800” – Building an airplane with no orders is silly. There is nothing wrong in waiting 3-4 years and checking that there is a real demand for such product.

    • I think he means they have the project team together for the -900 and their experience is transferable to its smaller brethren.
      To disperse the development and test flying people and then cobble them back again ‘would be silly’.
      As its a close relation to all the A330 versions building a single prototype isnt such a big issue

      • I would say that is spot on

        More at issue is down the road and no sales.

    • @x123:
      “Building an airplane with no orders is silly.”
      Well, more like designing+developing+building a prototype @ this stage re the 338.

      “There is nothing wrong in waiting 3-4 years and checking that there is a real demand for such product.”
      Not sure if it’s right or wrong but Airbus did exactly that for the 330Ceo program – there was a 4yrs gap between cert for 333 in 1994 and 332 in 1998 despite huge tech+production commonality between these 2 variants.

      • Maybe the cost of re-assembling the teams from the A333 to do the 332 was such that AB prefer now to do both at once?

        • @MartinA:
          Good point. Basically, lessons learnt 2 decades ago re 333->332 in the 90s now being practiced re 339->338.

  6. So, is the plan then to also certify an A330-800F as successor to the -200F? And then likewise certify an A330-800MRTT?

    • I don’t know that anyone has that plan other than Airbus.

      At issue is it changes things significantly in both the Tanker and the Freighter arena.

      In both cases you loose the commonality as the engines are totally different, those engine system changed and some significant wing changes.

      The 200 did not sell as a freighter.

      The A330MRT has sold nicely, but they are all tiny fleets.

      I suspect like Boeing with the 767, they will just keep cranking out the A330CEO for the Tankers and as long as that is going not worth it for a F change./

      • I think they will probably offer the 330-8 as an MRTT, lots of orders to be had, KC-Y, KC-Z, and Boeing are going through a lot of pain from having underbid the KC-46A. I doubt if a 767 based aircraft could compete with the -8 MRTT. If nothing else the -8 limits BA’s ability to price tankers, 788s and 763s at will.

        • Back in the day, before the A330-MRTT “win”, I simply looked at what was being offered by the two bidders, and I also looked at what the relevent air forces were and would be needing, and I realized the B767-MRTT New Build offering did not make any sense.

          A B767-MRTT Conversion did make sense to me as a strict KC-135 replacement, and a company in Israel does that now. But the overall need, as I saw it, goes beyond the -135 capabilities, and the only new build in that space was, and still is, the A330-MRTT. So, to me, an A330-800MRTT is a no brainer, with No competition.

          • Saw an analysis which said that the 767 tanker couldn’t replace the KC-10, A330 tanker could. Suspect USAF breaking the rules in the first tanker comp was an attempt to replace both at once and avoid the extra 5 bn cost of developing two types, and political uncertainty of when. I also read that KC-10 was a big worry as they are doing most of the flying and will run out of hours one day. I could see A330 or 777 based tanker grabbing KC-Y or Z. I guess Bjorn knows the truth about all this, just guesswork on my part.

          • @MartinA
            The problem for USAF is not only the KC-10 running out if airframe time but also the C-17 fleet. The C-17 are missused as troop movers and parcel services. The KC-X was thougt for that and a 767-200 without lower cargo holds is quite inferior compared to an A330-200F.

            The KC-10 is most of the time used for cargo operations while the KC-135 can hardly handle much cargo.

          • Saw an article years ago about medivac flights for wounded from Afganistan on KC-135s, terrible condiciones, Real back to The 50’s stuff. The medical staff always pushed to get KC-10s, I suspect that is another reason they are running so many hours.

      • Developpimg either a -800F or MRTT would simply not worth the expense: too small market and, IMHO, neither realky needs the increase of performance.
        Besides, with the introduction of A330-200/300 P2F conversion, market for brand new A330 freighter may be down to nul…

  7. ““There are about 1,600 airplanes flying [in the MOM sector],” Hamilton says. “We have 95 operators for 330-200. The problem is the fleet is really, really, young. The average age is only nine years. There aren’t that many aircraft to replace today. These start to kick in beyond 2020. It would have been silly for us to develop the A330-900 and wait three or four years to develop the 800.”
    – So this explain why airlines can comfortably wait now until they know more about the NMA. Seems like the NMA will come at a perfect timing to compete for this market

      • Boeing should be in a hurry as the A321neo/ULR and A330Re are eating the market from both ends and Airbus improves espcially the A330 constantly as a moving target. Boeing has to wait for new Engines and design a widebody that sells for $100M and makes good profit is not easy, nobody has done it before in todays prices (the DC-10-10 targeted the top of this market and the CF6-6 had limited Life on wing for several short jumps per day and some cross country flying). Besides being a 787 generation Aircraft it need to be assembled mainly by robots and the structural parts in CFRP or Al-Li also be made by rotbots to get speed&precision, low manhr cost and Quick deliveries.

        • Claes:

          Sometimes a hurry up shoots you in the foot.

          Sometimes you need to.

          In this case they really have to get it very very right as they are shooting for a extremely difficult (or impossible!) to achieve build cost.

          Delaying the 777x has worked out.

          They are going to get their head beat on the A321 for some time anyways (C as well maybe)

          Tough call but they are deeper into knowing where the project stands tech and cost to build wise than we are.

    • I think one possible strategy for Boeing for the NMA is becoming clearer. They could make a twin-aisle that is just a few inches wider than the 767 but the same length, which will mean it is smaller than the A330 in both dimensions. They can market it as a straight 767 replacement at 7 abreast or as A330-200 replacement at 8 abreast. Range will be worse than the A330-800 in both configurations (of course much worse in the denser configuration) but it will be more economical than the A330-800 for short dense routes. It would be ideal for regional and some transatlantic routes. They would time EIS for the 767 and A330 replacement market. Basically it would be a plane that splits the difference in size between 767 and A330-200, so you can replace 767 with more comfort and better economics or A330 with less comfort and much better economics. Of course most carriers will choose to configure for less comfort and much better economics.

  8. @Scott Why there is only 50% commonality among the -8 and its largest siblings? Can Boeing increase that percentage to 95%?

    • Same question I have.

      Partly at least has to do with refining the structure as they gained experience with the -8, but why that was not back fitted is ??????

      It blew my mind the lack of commonality.

      Is it just structure or is it systems as well?

      Structure being less of an issue though cost adder when not common to the others.

      Bring it up to par or stop making it.

      • You should wait an interesting docu on 787 development and it’s problems. It was a nightmare and the result is that the 787-8 needed to be fast on the market and 787-9 and consequently -10 had a completely different development cycle and thus the low commonality

      • the structural delta between a 9’d 8 and a baseline 8 would require a significant chunk of recertification work and probably a certain amount of additional tooling.

        boeing did the math (cost to implement /(cost savings on existing backlog + additional profit on future sales)) and decided it didn’t pay.

        unclear if they factored in how the increased range of a 9’d 8 would have affected sales though. I would think they did.

        • The real answers are tightly held within Boeing, after all they dont want operators of both 788 and 789 to fully realise how different they are .
          “According to our Market Intelligence, there are enough differences between the production of the -8 and that of the -9/10 that Boeing essentially is building two different airplanes. The -9/10 are about 90% common, but—depending on who’s doing the talking—the -8 may only be about 40% common to the -9.”
          https://leehamnews.com/2016/03/21/pontifications-787-8-no-longer-favored-boeing/

          Clearly the design strategy has worked as the -9 and -10 have had recent strong sucess.
          This compares back to the early days of the 707 when there was significant differences in early model numbers, nowdays we would call it a ‘max’

          • As Boeing certified the 787-10 off the 9, which used a lot of the 787-8 certified ops, I don’t see the issue with doing the same on the 787-8 and even less so.

            They make changes inside a model all the time.

            I don’t believe its any secret to the Airlines, those folks are not stupid.

            I think we are still missing something.

            Maybe its they don’t expect the -8 to sell much but it does seem to keep picking up some orders and as noted, what it would be capable of doing and becoming if made common seems appealing.

  9. “interesting high density layouts. It can take 386 seats 6,000-6,500 nautical miles.”

    That sounds truly awful. So much for the Airbus 18″ advantage. And yes, I understand that this would probably be an Asian ULCC leisure (and Hajj) sub-type. But, still.

    • 787 lets you travel in LCC mode independent of what ever you pay for your economy ticket. 🙂

      • @Uwe:
        “787 lets you travel in LCC mode independent of what ever you pay for your economy ticket.”
        And by the same bencmark, a 350 also lets you travel in LCC mode+2.3% more seat width “independent of what ever you pay for your economy ticket.”

        If 787 is LCC mode, it’s @ least a step up fm a 330 in 9abreast which is clearly ULCC mode no matter how anyone sugarcoat it.

        • Lots of squeeze lamenting around on the 787.
          Afaik nothing on the A350.
          So, customers do not seem to share your position.
          ( And only the 787 was first announced as comfy 8 across but lost that premium due to competitiveness issues.)

          • If you want a decent Y seat – fly the A380 the rest are all second best

          • @Uwe:
            “Lots of squeeze lamenting around on the 787.
            Afaik nothing on the A350.”
            And therefore, public opinions in the social media age = truth? Truth by public vote thru how many negative comments re 787 vs 350? In that case, Airbus PR has done an excellent job in swaying such opinions/votes….

            But what about those(e.g. myself) who can’t detect any real diff in comfort 787 vs 350 and chose not to vote 1 way nor the other at all? Just ignore them because neutral is boring?

            “So, customers do not seem to share your position.”
            I’m glad U finally brought up “customers”. Total firm orders(not even counting LoIs /MoUs struck in recent mths) as of Oct17:
            350=858
            787=1,283

            Customers do not seem to share your position. But frankly, I still don’t believe 1 is technically superior to the other despite sales #s. As usual, it’s simply the case of X is more suitable for more customers than Y.

            “only the 787 was first announced as comfy 8 across..”
            And some folks just keep enjoying to forget(and perhaps hoping others to also forget) the fact that 9abreast config was also included in the same 787 cabin mockups on Boeing official PR photos & brochures fm as early as 2004….

            I even remembered those rows in 9abreast were placed aft of that cabin mockup….I still hv a copy of those photos on a 787 history book in my bookshelf.

            “…lost that premium due to competitiveness issues.”
            On the other hand, 8abreast PY as practiced by majority 350 operators does not seem to lose competitiveness against 7abreast PY practiced by majority 787 operators.

          • @FLX
            787 was earlier on offer from 2004 on.
            Per year Boeing sold about 92 aircraft while Airbus just sold marginal 86.
            According to list price $24 billion per year for 787 ($265 m/ aircraft) and $27 billion for A350 ($310 m / aircraft). I expect Boeing and Airbus to discount quite in same way so the relation will stay.

  10. I wonder what the program cost difference is between a updated 787-8 with weight removed and a revised 767. Will they just drop the 787-8 when the NMA comes out? Are they keeping the 787-8 alive for accounting reasons?

    • The revised 787-8 is a bit too big cross section for a MoM Aircraft, shrinking it to A330 cross section to LD3 capability is close to optimal as lots of mass and cost can be reduced. Using a CFRP “son of 787-9 wing” with reduced chord and span optimized for robot production. Most likley will Boeing go to a SpaceX Falcon 9 type of friction stirr welded Al-Li fuselage to aviod 90% of rivets and maybe ask SpaceX to bid against Witchita? Making the 787 CFRP fuselage barrells is not as cheap and for a shorter range Aircraft the few % in mass saving cannot be charged to the customers.

    • It has 423 orders and 348 have been delivered. Once a program has reached such a stage, what is the advantage in no longer offering it?

      Hint: None.

      • 80%+ of parts are bespoke for the 788.
        production will go down to a dribble.
        keeping that much bespoke parts in supply for a low demand frame is expensive.

        Just like 737-700 is a bespoke frame and low sales numbers for the 737-7MAX moved Boeing to dump the bespokeness and reanimate the 7MAX as a simple shrink of the 8MAX

  11. What is missing to me is the reality that not ALL (or how many) LCC/Charter/Holiday medium range flight have a market of 400 pax per flight (I am sure we can cram a few more into the bathrooms, hot seat to and from the toilets, maybe stand them up in the galley (do they have a galley?)

    We have different size aircraft for a reason, per seat mile an A380 rules, but you don’t have a need for 850 pax.

    Its like the only solution is a large nail and we all know (or those who have worked carpentry) that there is a wide range of nail sizes to suit the need from spikes to small finish nails.

    And of course the Hamilton (not Scott) spin is oh, no, you need a new cabine.

    Like they did not do it very successfully on the 737 and 777? Really?

    Being a bit Catty, its only Airbus that can’t seem to get their cabin right!

    So, there is indeed a place for a 767-300/ER. They are still making the basic aircraft .

    If there is a market size and range need you aren’t going to stuff an A330-800 on that route.

    767 with winglets is current pretty efficient upgrade by itself. Put a Scimeter type on it and ……

    In the meantime Hawaian is going to dump it as a common bird in the hand is worth 2 uncommon birds in the bush.

    It should be noted Hawaian was (is ) a 767 user with 8 in the fleet.

    • TransWorld, you are absolutely right about the size of the 767, but you may just as well ask why the A310 is not making a comeback.

      The 767 is completely outdated, in pretty much every single aspect (not only the cabin, but the engines, the wings, the systems, the cockpit, the production,…) and thus not competitive as a new passenger plane. It would need that big an overhaul that it would be essentially a new plane.

      So no, it’s not coming back. Forget it.

      The simple truth is that it’ll be either the A330-800 or the 797 for future small twin-aisle orders.

      • the 767 cockpit has been modernised to 787 style for the KC-46, so that may help.
        I suppose the tooling is still there to support higher production rates and the japanese government may help with major sections made in Japan.

        • Gundolf:

          First there is the 787 cockpit option.

          Shoot, you can even get a combat hardened version if you need it! How many civilian aircraft can say that?

          The engines have been pipped up over the years and are not that bad. FedEx has ordered a bunch of them and that is a LONG term upgrade strategy (replacing A310s and MD-10s by the way)

          Winglets add a significant improvement and that the swoop wing not the new Scimeter type.

          The A310 was both heavy and too wide and not fuel efficient.

          I know history has gotten mixed, but the 767 ran the A300/310 out of business.

          In turn the A330 became the desired aircraft.

          But as this is a cyclic business, the case may be that the 767 filled the current need and is on the cusp of its own re-order cycle.

          You should note, there is a lot of “Older 767s being retired” in the status columns.

          They are keeping the newer ones.

          Boeing cranked out a fair number of 767 as makeup aircraft for the 787 debacle.

  12. What I can’t understand is why, when it is generally accepted that the A330 wiped out the 767 in the passenger market, it is assumed that the none-updated 767 will fare any better than against either of the A330 CEO or NEO!

      • I have asked that question a number of times and nobody has really been able to answer it.

        TransWorld made probably about the best effort above but used a “creative fact” (thanks for the inspiration Kellyanne!) by stating, “In turn the A330 became the desired aircraft” instead of honestly saying that the A330 in turn all but ran the 767 out of business.
        In a further turn, the 787 was developed to run the A330 out of business, and the 767 was, in effect, abandoned. Sooner or later, the 787 will actually manage the feat of running the A330 our of business.

        But the fact remains, there is no logical reason to explain how an 767 without significant improvements can compete with an A330 after being more or less being allowed to wither on the vine for a over a decade.

        The only hope it has for any sort of significant sales is as a pure replacement for the current 767 fleet, which TransWorld alluded to in the comment above. The economics of such an order are still very much a mystery to many, especially if we don’t have certain numbers.

        • I resent the Kelly Ann comment, I loath that woman.

          I am trying to look on this as balanced and if Airbus thinks the 800 is just waiting for a market cycle, the 767 cold also be the same.

          There has been a ragging argument about the 757 demise. It could be selling in some numbers now. They saturated the market and it had what it needed and not so much now.

          While the C17 is not a civilian aircraft, you see the same thing.

          Nothing like it and unlikely to see it again, but give us another 5 years and you cold probably sell 5 or 6 a year.

          You just can’t keep the line open that long with no sales.

          Also missing is FedEx commitment to that aircraft, deliberately so.

          they are dumping A3oo/310 with it now as well as the MD10s.

          That tells you a lot, they are not going with A330F as that is too big.

          So its got an extremely viable base down the road.

    • Exactly… The 800 can be built on the same line as the 900. If and when someone wants it… It’s available, and almost as efficient as a 787, familiar, metal, MRO-able anywhere. A 767 re-birth would cost Boeing a lot more money, effort, and stress than the orders it might generate.

      If they don’t want it (800)… No great whoop… Airframers prefer to sell larger models of a series as they make more money.

      • The Boeing 767 rebirth cost is vastly over stated (particularly by Airbus Hamilton, which is ok – PR is his job, but lets not let spin become the reality)

        You have the 787 template that the 777 and the 737 used (mood lighting and all that)

        • Roger:

          Have you checked to see how many pax 767s are still flying?

          Adding winglets has been a significant improvement in fuel use as has engine upgrades.

          A lot of newer 767s still out there.

          However, for those not afflicted by the 787 debacle, they need new aircraft in that class and there is only one aircraft in that class.

          So maybe it was a timing thing as noted by Airbus Hamilton?

          • OV-99: Fetish, I am no Roy Moore! I only date older airplanes!

            Some people get excited about A380s, some think the A330 is the cats meow.

            I think all aircraft (except maybe the A380 and even that marginally ) have their place.

            Each iteration of aircraft is touted as being 15% better than the privous one.

            However, that is kind of a misnomer.

            So, we have an aircraft, say it uses 100,000 gallons for a flight.

            Then we come out with one that is 50% better.

            Ok, that cuts it in half, 50,000 gallons.

            Then we come out with one that is 50% better again.

            That is now 25,000 gallons saved.

            While it is 25,000 gallons, its not 50,000 gallons saved. Ergo, there is a diminish return when comparison to the previous generation.

            Or another way of saying that a 767 that is improved with available aspect like the lattest pip engine, Schimeter Winglets (do not exist but works better that pure swoop on the 737) and its getting pretty darned good for an old outdated aircraft. Maybe a few clean up tweaks with what they have learned over the years.

            I am not claiming it competes with the A330CEO or NEO in their size or range.

            It does seem to me to be prettify viable in its size and range.

            Like the A330 its lower cost and can be sold for a lower cost.

            I had a Kaypro computer for many years.

            It did what I wanted which was to type reports and letters.

            If the ribbons had not gone away and I had to re-ink the old one so often they looked like a negligee, I would still be using it.

            Older (just look at Scott) is not always worse!

            I don’t believe in turning up my nose at older stuff that still works and does the mission better than anything else.

          • I don’t know what you define as alot and newer but Boeing has delivered a grand total of 156 767s from 2007 to 2017.

            156 does not seem like alot and more than 10 years old does not seem like newer.

        • Considering I was recently accused of being anti-Airbus and pro-Boeing, @TransWorld’s remark is pretty silly.

          Also, I never put a “cost” on restarting the 767 line–just noted the challenges.

          • @TransWorld, apparently, is referring to Crawford Hamilton of Airbus as “Airbus Hamilton”. 😉

          • Scott:

            By using Airbus I meant a clear difference between you and them.

            In no way have I ever found your writing to be less than blunt in regards to both Boeing and Airbus.

            ala, I am not Philip!

      • @Joe:
        “…its all for United and American. Nobody else wants those anymore.”
        Disagree. NH and JL may want some more 763ER as well….heck, both were among the last customers to take new deliveries just 5~6yrs ago.

        I find it funny when this story stated “The passenger service unit (PSU) and in-flight entertainment equipment are of old design. Even overhead bins are, by today’s standards, antiquated.” to describe 767 cabin. Well, none of that is true for 763ER built within the last 10yrs. I flew on the examples @ NH or JL fleets @ least twice a yr over the past 5yrs. In JL 767 fleet, the highest spec J design(Branded as SkySuite II) is a flatbed with direct aisle access for every seat. In NH 767 fleet, the AVOD system behind every Y seat is @ the same std as those found on their 788 including USB connector. In both cases, the overhead bins look more similar to 777’s than anything fm the early 80s. But don’t take my words for it….take a quick look of NH or JL’s corp websites(may be in Japanese though) re 767 to see if their seat/cabin is really outdated as some assumed.

        • Those last deliveries of 767s to JAL and ANA a few years back ?

          They were compensation for the serious delays in deliveries of 787s, but I suppose with the drop in fuel prices they turned out better than expected

          • @dukeofurl:
            “They were compensation for the serious delays in deliveries of 787s”
            They were but those deals were a bit more complicated than simply that. Most importantly, NH+JL could hv chosen pretty much any other Boeing type in mass production circa 2008~09 as compensation. Why chose 763ER? Here are my theories based on my knowledge/facts about NH/JL fleets @ that time:
            1. 788 delivery delays primarily affected early 762/3 retirements @ NH+JL. These were very old+very hi-cycles 767s and most urgent for replacement.
            2. These old 767s operated in some domestic airports where ICAO Cat E gates were limited or not available. All 767s are Cat D so an ideal replacement would also be Cat D.
            3. Boeing cancelled 783 which was the only Cat D 787. In fact after that cancellation circa 2009, 767 remains the only widebody in production that can fit Cat D gates.

            “with the drop in fuel prices they turned out better than expected”
            Not only that. Many folks(I suspect usually living/flying within Europe) who question why any airline would still be interested to buy 763ER today instead of 332 failed to realize 1 fundamental op issue: Many domestic terminals even @ major U.S. or Japan airports still hv many Cat D gates but very very few Cat E gates.

            Take a quick look of UA’s T3 @ SFO or AA’s T4 @ LAX, gate spaces are so packed that to covert a Cat D into Cat E, they must also abandon an adjacent Cat C gate. Similar story @ many Japanese major domestic terminals such as T1 @ HND, FUK, KOJ, OKA, etc.

          • Maybe the time has come for the A322XLR, 4/5 row stretch, new Cat-D wing, two exit doors in front of the wing, higher thrust PW1100G’s, 5000Nm range, etc. It could serve some of the 763’s routes/functions although at lower seat capacity.

            (And FLX, there are drawings in the A320 series manual for 4 wheel bogeys).

            Wonder what it will take to give the 330-wing folding wing-tips if there is a big enough requirement to fit CAT-D gates?

            An A330-200 “Enhanced” with the NEO’s interior and aerodynamic upgrades with CEO engines could be very competitive in many aspects, especially price.

            I am sure AB is not building the 330-800 without reason, when certified they could supply in a relatively short time frame.

            Guess a 763ER-Revive will have to go through certification again?

    • They need GE to save their butts agian. If GE made a serious development of the light and not so expensive CF6-80C2 to the CF6-9X or similar it would help the 767-300ER alot reducing Zero fuel mass as the wing and structures could be revised as it would not need the same fuel capacity and all 787’s sytems that suits it could be carried over, still a 2 year certification program and $10bn investment instead of Boeing dividents pay-outs unless the USAF picks up the tab for a KC-46B Pegasus MAX version…

    • @keesje:
      “You can build a much lighter aircraft fo seats only, but you are missing out on cargo income too.”
      Which probably explains partly why 788 is still being sold while 338 sales has been…well….quiet all along:
      1. 788 has 2 more LD3 positions than 338/332.
      2. For long range missions(i.e. 8~9hrs or more), LD3 x2 positions is typically used for dedicated crew rest(adds to the published OEW though) on a 338/332 while all dedicated crew rest area(already accounted for in OEW) on a 788 is above the main deck.

      Of course, some ULCCs might be able to convince friendly cabin crew unions to abandon crew rest provision on 338/332 even for 10hrs missions…..

  13. Sadly, 9-abreast A330 for LCCs seems all but inevitable.

    Many (most?) high-profile international carriers are taking their 77Ws to 10-abreast without blinking an eye, and they have actual reputations to protect (in some cases). If an EK, AF, or NH feels totally comfortable trimming off almost 2″ in Y seat width, what is going to stop a ULCC from trimming off another 0.8″ (relative to a 10-abreast 77W)? A 17″ minimum seat width is no more of a magical barrier than 18″ was.

    As we’ve seen some recent 78J orders, it can be hard to beat a less capable aircraft with tighter packaging. A 9-abreast A330 might sell a lot of frames…

    • I wonder if stacked bunk beds would work better?

      Sure you loose the horizontal space but you can pack more people vertically in it.

      • I have always wondered why no airline even offered “sleeper” class on international flights (particularly eastbound trans-atlantic)

        on a single aisle airframe, you could easily get 4 across by 3 high, 22″ wide bunks with two aisles (1-2-1) into every 2 meters with carryon stowage under the bottom bunk, so 12 pax in roughly the same space as 12 pax in economy plus. a little fancy engineering and the bottom and middle bunks become 3 seat couches with seatbelts for takeoff and landing.

    • 9-abreast on the A330 and 10-abreast on the A350 are for LCCs only.

      Now, the A330neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 787 at 9-abreast and the A350 at 9-abreast is competitive with the 777X at 10-abreast. In contrast, the 787 is not competitive at 8-abreast (with the A330neo/A359) and the 777X is not competitive at 9-abreast (with the A350-1000)

      In short, Boeing has designed their aircraft in such a way that if the seat pitch is the same, passengers flying on Boeing widebodies operated by mainline carriers is not getting a more comfortable ride than those who’re flying on LCCs that are also operating Boeing widebodies.

      • True, if seat pitch is the same.

        What is the seat pitch for that 400 pax version?

          • Same as BA’s 787s, anybody wonder why legacy airlines are failing? You need more than a cup of coffee to justify your prices.

          • Come on, look at the seat map in the link. There are two galleys (one in the front, one in the aft) and eight lavatories on Cebu Pacific’s A333s.

          • Hello MartinA,

            Regarding the Cebu Pacific A330 seating configuration being “Same as BA’s 787s, anybody wonder why legacy airlines are failing?”

            The seat guru link provided by OV-099 shows only one seating width/pitch combination available for purchase on Cebu Pacific A330’s as follows.

            Width 16.5 inches/Pitch 30 inches.

            The seat guru map for British Airways (I assume that is what you meant by BA) 787-9’s shows the following seat width/pitch combinations available for purchase.

            First: Width 22 inches/Pitch 73 inches (8 suites).
            Club World: Width 20 inches/72 inches (42 seats).
            World Traveler Plus: Width 18.5 inches/Pitch 38 inches (39 seats).
            World Traveler: Width 17.5 inches/Pitch 31 inches (127 seats).

            There are 8 restrooms for 216 total passengers vs. 8 restrooms for 436 total passengers for the Cebu Pacific A330.

            https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/British_Airways/British_Airways_Boeing_787-9.php

            The corresponding 787-9 seat map shows 35 Club World seats, 25 World Traveler Plus Seats, and 154 World Traveler Seats, with the same widths and pitches as for the 787-9, and no “First” suites.

            Personally, based on seat width differences of 1.o to 5.5 inches, and seat pitch differences of 1.0 inch to 43 inches, I would not consider the BA 787-9 configuration to be the same as the Cebu Pacific A330 configuration. Do you disagree? Did you have some other carrier than British Airways in mind?

            As far as I am I concerned, the Cebu Pacific A330 seat map shows one available class of seating, which I consider to be unacceptably uncomfortable, and would not fly in even if given a ticket for free; while the British Airways 787-9 map shows one unacceptably comfortable seat width/pitch offering, and three that I would be willing to consider to purchase depending on route length and pricing.

            Regarding the relative financial performance of Cebu Pacific and British Airways, following below are some recent new items.

            Cebu Pacific earnings weigh on JG Summit
            By ANGELICA BALLESTEROS, TMT on November 13, 2017

            GOKONGWEI-LED conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc. posted net income of P22.69 billion in the first nine months of the year, flat from last year’s P22.63 billion, as profits were tempered by the weaker earnings of its airline unit Cebu Pacific.

            http://www.manilatimes.net/cebu-pacific-earnings-weigh-jg-summit/362378/

            BA-owner IAG forecasts double-digit rise in full-year operating profit

            •Profits: 975 million euros ($1.14 billion) for the six months to June, up 37.3 percent year-on-year.
            •Passenger unit revenue up 1.5 percent in the second quarter.
            Published 3:05 AM ET Fri, 28 July 2017 | Updated 3:28 AM ET Fri, 28 July 2017

            British Airways owner IAG said on Friday that it expects operating profit for 2017 to show a double-digit percentage improvement following a strong second quarter, despite a massive power outage which grounded some flights.

            IAG said that operating profit for the six months to June 30 was 975 million euros, up 37.3 per cent compared to the previous year.

            https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/28/iag-ba-earnings-q2-2017.html

          • The British Airway 787-9 seat map shows approximately the forward two thirds of the cabin devoted to seating choices with widths of 18.5 inches or greater, and pitches of 38 inches or greater. I believe this shows I am not alone among potential BA passengers in greatly appreciating being offered the option of paying more for a more comfortable seat.

            For those unwilling or unable to pay more for a larger seat, the most cramped seating on the British Airway 787-8’s or 787-9’s still offers one more inch of width and pitch than does Cebu Pacific’s one take it or leave it offering on their A330 (for me, the clear choice, without hesitation, is leave it).

          • BA started 788 services with 30 inch in the last 6? rows. Customer response as reported by cabin crew was so bad they changed it when the 9 came into service. Don’t have a link but it was widely reported at the time. I hope I never fly Airbus’s 16.4 inch seats, but thirty years ago no airline offered 16.8 inch 777 seating and economy seat pitch was 33-36 inch, while now 32 is max, so seat space has shrunk 20% and in ten years A330 LCC seating might be normal. Scarey..

      • OV-099:
        ” the A330neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 787 at 9-abreast”
        Only true re 338 vs 788 and clearly, sales result suggesting a diff conclusion.

        Just guess if the same will be true for 339 vs 789 in terms of payload/range performance or for 338 vs 789 in terms of op cost per seat…..

        “Boeing has designed their aircraft in such a way that if the seat pitch is the same, passengers flying on Boeing widebodies operated by mainline carriers is not getting a more comfortable ride than those who’re flying on LCCs”
        Same as the above can be said about Airbus with 2 excellent counter examples:
        1. 330 @ Level vs IB/EI
        2. 330/340 @ Eurowings vs LH/LX

        Of course, don’t let these inconvenient facts bother the biased crusade against a particular manufacturer….

        • the A330neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 787 at 9-abreast”
          Only true re 338 vs 788 and clearly, sales result suggesting a diff conclusion.

          I’d suggest you look at sales since April, 2004.

          IMO, too many people are getting too blasé about orders. Thanks to the 787 and A320neo, people are now expecting that for any programme to be successful — all new, or a derivative — it must have secured hundreds of orders, if a widebody, before EIS and thousands of orders, if a single aisle aircraft, before EIS. I’d guess that it’s easy to forget that the 777-300ER had secured less than 100 orders before EIS.

          Just guess if the same will be true for 339 vs 789 in terms of payload/range performance or for 338 vs 789 in terms of op cost per seat…..

          With the 251-tonne version, the A339 is inching ever closer to the 789 with respect to payload/range performance.

          Once capital costs are considered, you’re looking at direct operating costs. Now, the 787-9 is a larger aircraft than an A330-800 and, therefore, it should have a lower CASM. By how much depends on pricing and seat configurations. The A338 is IMJ a serious contender for orders from LCCs.

          Same as the above can be said about Airbus with 2 excellent counter examples:
          1. 330 @ Level vs IB/EI
          2. 330/340 @ Eurowings vs LH/LX

          It can also be said that flight on @Level an @Eurowings Airbus aircraft could well be more comfortable than on a flight on a Boeing aircraft operated by a mainline carrier.

          As for your “biased crusade” nonsense, the fact of the matter is that Boeing have boxed themselves into a corner (with respect to seat widths).

          • @OV-099:
            “suggest you look at sales since April, 2004.”
            338 wasn’t available for sale in April 2004. In fact, it was launched only 10yrs later in the form of the 330Neo program.

            “it’s easy to forget that the 777-300ER had secured less than 100 orders before EIS.”
            Nope, hard to forget especially since I had followed 77W development since launch in 2000 under the giant shadow of the 3XX launch and the associated media attention worldwide for the super jumbo in that same yr.

            “With the 251-tonne version, the A339 is inching ever closer to the 789 with respect to payload/range performance.”
            Closer but still a great divide between the 2. Just imagine trying to deploy a 339, even @ especially low cabin density and @ 251t MTOW, instead of a 789 on QF’s 17h20m block time PER->LHR(236seats) or UA’s 17h50m block time LAX-SIN(252seats)….pretty obvious 339 wouldn’t work.

            “the 787-9 is a larger aircraft than an A330-800 and, therefore, it should have a lower CASM.”
            And that’s why blanket statement like “A330neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 787 at 9-abreast” doesn’t work.

            “By how much depends on pricing and seat configurations.”
            Which can be set @ equal/similar fare pricing and cabin density config for comparison purposes.

            “A338 is IMJ a serious contender for orders from LCCs.”
            Nobody said it’s not and I mostly buy the assessments+conclusions in this leehamnews story re 338.

            Though it’s interesting that as IAG expand Level’s fleet, their current plan for the nex 5yrs is focused on 332 and never mentioned even the possibility of acquiring 338…..

            “It can also be said that flight on @Level an @Eurowings Airbus aircraft could well be more comfortable…”

            1. U are changing/deflecting the premise/argument of your point fm:
            A) “..widebodies operated by mainline carriers is not getting a more comfortable ride than those who’re flying on LCCs..”
            to
            B) “…Airbus aircraft could well be more comfortable than on a flight on a Boeing…”

            2. “more comfortable” by how much?
            Let’s see fm a simple mathematical aspect in terms of Y seat width often used in such argument:
            Max cabin width @ armrest height:
            330=204 inches
            787=216 inches

            Max width available per unit of space regardless of what particular armrest width is chosen:
            330 @ 8seats+2aisles= 20.40 inches per unit of space
            787 @ 9seats+2aisles=19.64 inches per unit of space

            So in Y, 330 is 0.76 inch or 3.9% “more comfortable” in width per pax than 787.

            “As for your “biased crusade” nonsense, the fact of the matter is that Boeing have boxed themselves into a corner (with respect to seat widths).”
            As for your “more comfortable” nonsense & exaggeration(though very popular among champions for Airbus), the fact of the matter is that Boeing 787 is actually less comfortable”(with respect to seat widths)” than 330 by a diff equivalent to 1.5x width of a generic USB or less than the diameter of a US 25cent /Euro 5cent coin…. items so tiny that many people loose them fm their pockets all the time….let alone feeling more comfortable just because having such degree of extra width in a Y seat.

          • @FLX

            You have been extraordinarily active and worked yourself up into a real frenzy in this thread, typically by going after the messengers, instead of the message; a message — i.e. generic Boeing seat width standard in economy class — which seems to particularily irk the brigade of doctrinaire Boeing supporters that are patrolling the internet.

            Meanwhile, you seem to have missed the point that even an extra 0.5 inch per seat makes a difference: it is 1.5 inch for the middle seat as the two aisle passengers can move 0.5 inch away from the one in the centre seat.

            Of course, it must further irk doctrinaire Boeing supporters that many of the reviews posted on the net is not favourable to the seat comforts on 9 abreast 787s and 10 abreast 777s.

            https://goo.gl/4jdXeX

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEAy1KHMVtw

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ozmI4aoCLI&list=PL9Nd56hVJnyyZRnehBiwO28eyKZgex8ZS&index=124

            suggest you look at sales since April, 2004.
            338 wasn’t available for sale in April 2004. In fact, it was launched only 10yrs later in the form of the 330Neo program.

            The A338 is essentially a re-engined A332. The A332/A338 compete with the similar sized 787-8. Only a doctrinaire Boeing supporter would refuse to count the number of A332 orders secured in the 13 year period since the 787 was offered to the market, when comparing total 787 to total A330 orders.

            “With the 251-tonne version, the A339 is inching ever closer to the 789 with respect to payload/range performance.
            Closer but still a great divide between the 2. Just imagine trying to deploy a 339, even @ especially low cabin density and @ 251t MTOW, instead of a 789 on QF’s 17h20m block time PER->LHR(236seats) or UA’s 17h50m block time LAX-SIN(252seats)….pretty obvious 339 wouldn’t work.

            Inching closer with respect in payload/range on most route sectors flown doesn’t mean that it would make sense to fly the A330-900 on URL routes. The 787, BTW, is severely payload restricted on those 17 hr-plus routes ( pax + bags only). Of course, the A330-900 has larger fuel capacity of around 9,000 litres in its wings than that of the 787-9 (i.e. 147,850 litres vs. 138,900 litres), thus there’s plenty of “room” for additional MTOW growth in the future.

            the 787-9 is a larger aircraft than an A330-800 and, therefore, it should have a lower CASM.
            And that’s why blanket statement like “A330neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 787 at 9-abreast” doesn’t work.

            Was it so hard to grasp what I meant: A338neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 788 at 9-abreast; A339neo at 8-abreast is competitive with the 789 at 9-abreast.

          • Thanks OV-099, I could have said it better.

            During my recent “fly-arounds” I did a trip with an ME-airline from their hub to Nice in an A319-LR (they do exist).

            Talking about orphans, wonder if there is not room for an A319NEO-LR?

  14. What will be the range of a standard 8 abreast 251 t A330-800?

    Wouldn’t it have the same range of an A350-800 but for much less acquisition cost?

    • Enough to fly from Singapore to Manchester in high density configuration, as AirAsia X’s A339 251t is capable to reach London from Kuala Lumpur.

      • @Chan:
        “AirAsia X’s A339 251t is capable to reach London from Kuala Lumpur.”
        I did not know AirAsiaX has already taken delivery of 251t variant of 339…let alone deploying it on KUL-LGW route.

        What I hv read is that such 339 variant won’t be available until 2020 earliest and AirAsiaX is considering to abandon 339 for KUL-Europe plan due to payload/range concern even with the 251t variant and relying on 359 instead for such missions.

        • Yep, Air Asia is wobbling again.

          MO is to make some kind of commitment to an Airbus, then pick the next version, and then a whole new aircraft.

          Eventually they will work up to an order of A380s.

      • @Chan:
        “Enough to fly from Singapore to Manchester in high density configuration.”
        Which is an interesting but really odd claim because this story specifically mentioned ‘….with LCC cabins, the payload reduces the capability to typically 10-12 hours of the long-range leisure destination…’ re 338 yet SIN->MAN is @ least 14hrs block time…..

        No wonder AirAsiaX is having 2nd thoughts about 339 in hi-den config for KUL->LGW @ over 13.5hrs block time…..

        • Not true. AirAsia X is not happy with 242t variant instead of 251t, and as a result pushing Airbus by saying if they take A359 they will not take A339 any more. This was before first flight. Then only after the first flight Airbus said they will look at 251t variant. AirAsia X’s concern is they have to take a payloads cut to serve KUL-LGW, so I suppose 251t is enough to do it without payload cut.

          • @Chan:
            “AirAsia X’s concern is they have to take a payloads cut to serve KUL-LGW, so I suppose 251t is enough to do it without payload cut.”
            Do U also “suppose” @ 377seats per the typical 333 cabin config @ AirAsiaX, a 339 @ 251t MTOW can still manage minimum 13h40m block time for KUL->LGW?….despite this leehamnews.com story specifically talked about no more than 12hrs for LCC cabins re the 338(i.e. not even a 339). To be fair, 333 cabin @ AirAsiaX is not pure LCC as it does hv 2-class so let’s be generous and assume such hybrid LCC cabin get 1 more hr cruise than the best estimate by leehamnews.com for LCC cabin. But that’s still 40mins short of mission requirement.

            Most importantly, are U suggesting a 251t 339 can fly 40mins further than a 251t 338 in equal LCC cabin density? If that’s somehow true(though technically illogical), no wonder all 330Neo customers except HA ordered only 339….

        • You are right on SIN-MAN, I have no basic on it. But again, it’s 242t they were having second thought, not 251t.
          According to CAPA, AirAsia X was offered A359 slot in 2018 and it was rejected by AirAsia X. Enough to say AirAsia X will take the 251t A339.

          • Well we will stay tuned.

            Air Aisa is not what I call a reliable customer.

          • @Chan:
            “AirAsia X was offered A359 slot in 2018 and it was rejected by AirAsia X.”
            Which is pretty amazing as this carrier initially placed order for 359 back in 16Jun 2009. Despite pretty much all other 350 customers these days couldn’t wait to get 350 deliveries early enough, AirAsiaX decided 8yrs wait wasn’t enough and prefer to wait even longer with tentative 1st delivery now scheduled for 2021.

            May be AirAsiaX is so loyal to Airbus that they are forfeiting early 359 deliveries in order to help Airbus to speed-up the already delayed deliveries to other 350 customers…..

            “Enough to say AirAsia X will take the 251t A339.”
            I think so too but early deliveries to AirAsiaX over the nex 2yrs will still be the 242t variant.

          • yes this what Air asia said back in 2009 when ordering only 10.
            “By buying the A350 XWB the strategy of AirAsia and AirAsia X is now fixed all the way to 2020.'”
            Thats still the 10 A350s on order just they added 66 A330 neos, maybe some slots opened up and they wanto increase the A350 fleet size earlier

  15. 777X is a whopping 15 inches wider than A350xwb and uses 2 inch armrest compare to standard 1.5 inch on XWB. The truth hurt.

    • And it needs 10 across to meet advertised numbers.
      What again did you want to tell us?

  16. Why are Boeing even having this discussion about 767Max? They have little customer interest beyond United and American, and even United and American (and several other top-tier carriers from all continents) are more interested in the 797. Financial ROI will be modest at best. If it were a shared production line to the 797, I could see it, otherwise, it’s just a waste of time and resources that can be put forward to the 797.

    • It’s not a “767 MAX.” It’s a restart of the 767-300ER-P, same airplane as before.

      • Well it also has to do with the fact that FedEx has 108 firm orders and the line will be going for some time (well that and KC46)

        Leveraging a pretty good aircraft in a slot no one lives in is not a bad idea in my mind.

        • Oh, and for those who get excited about it, you have THREE engine choices!

          • @TransWorld:
            “…you have THREE engine choices!”
            The same reason why 338 is not doing well in sales but the 332 still does. Unless there’s no competing airplane type equally suitable for your mission+op cost requirements(e.g. 77W 10yrs ago), most customers prefer a type where bidding for their contract by more than 1 propulsion system supplier is possible.

            I believe it’ll also be a key reason why Max will never get anywhere near mkt share parity with 320Neo family.

        • Fedex was 50 orders and 50 options. So not all ‘firm orders’ , nothing unusual with that, virtually every large order gets more flexible the further away from delivery.
          They have historically bought planes near the end of production life, to maximise the discounts but at the small end that seems to be changing.

      • @Scott:
        “It’s not a “767 MAX.”
        It’s funny how rumors/ideas/wild assumptions generated by casual commentators on the web ultimately taken by other commentators as facts and then they criticize/question such facts. It’s just 1 hilarious thing about this social network generation.

        Right fm the 1st time I read about Boeing studying to restart 767 pax production, I firmly believe Boeing is talking about a 99.99% same product as the last 763ER rolled off the assembly line a few yrs ago…..ok, they may ask the IFE system vendor(e.g. Panasonic) to update the movie selection to include this yr’s blockbusters.

  17. Interesting things going on with the RR trent 1000.With 3 airlines cancelling flights,this must be getting very expensive,what sort of numbers are we talking about?
    With 2 major problems in 2 days at air NZ,how long before flight restrictions are imposed?As the press and general public don’t like discussing risk,this would probably escalate to grounding.
    As the aircraft are quite young,is it worth swapping them for the 10 model in the long term?Airlines never seem to swap engines like that,why not?It would also have the advantage of making more spares available for the old model.

    • Air NZ was the launch customer for the 787-9, what possible purpose is gained by changing to a different model the engine is the problem.
      RR partners were involved with the Trent 1000, as is normal with this type of engine
      Kawasaki – IP compressor
      Mitsubishi- combustor and LP turbine
      ITP – low pressure turbine

  18. Well, if we read the prior section on the 767-300ER, unless Boeing prices it ridiculously low, it wont be competitive with the A330 or 787.

    Perhaps this is where AA will come in connection with the its A350 order. AA will need replacement for its 767’s and 777-2ooER’s.

    Perhaps A330-800’s alone instead of the A350 or a mixed bag?

    • Well, is Airbus not doing the same thing with the A330NEO?

      Should be interesting.

      • Perhaps the 767 passenger line reopen is just a shadow move, to establish a Boeing ‘product’ in this segment. Meanwhile if Airbus aggressively discounts its A330 neo to US airlines , Boeing will scream DUMPING and act accordingly.

        We have seen them do this before on even flimsier pretexts.

        • Airbus doesn’t discount the A330NEO aggressivly, well at least that’s how I read the situation. Any why should they?

          There are many 767 that need a replacement and the -800 is currently the only modern replacement and the -200 (used) the cheapest. And while the -200 is also in demand for freighter conversions I think all they have to do is wait a little and the orders for the -800 will come in.

          What some airlines are waiting for is some more specific information from Boeing regarding the 797: Delivery dates, capabilities and last not least price. I recon the 797 will cost abut the same as the -800, so it’ll be a trade-off between lower trip cost (797) against larger capacities (338).

          • @Gundolf:
            “There are many 767 that need a replacement and the -800 is currently the only modern replacement.”
            And completely disregard the 788 which has been delivered to customers since 2011 while the 1st 338 prototype is still in final assembly, let alone certified for delivery.

            I don’t know how anyone can logically ignore the 788 when 338 is deemed as a suitable 767 replacement…

            “..and the -200 (used) the cheapest.”
            A new built or used 763ER may be even cheaper(especially for 767 operators currently without 330 fleet nor its crew+maintenance infrastructure) and far easier to integrate into current network lacking ICAO Cat E gates…..

            “..all they have to do is wait a little and the orders for the -800 will come in..”
            Possibly true but then again, we heard the same story fm Airbus re 380 over the past 17yrs in which the duration may also be considered as “wait a little” by some folks….

            “What some airlines are waiting for is some more specific information from Boeing regarding the 797”
            But what are the similar group of airlines waiting for re the 338 for the past 3.5yrs b4 Boeing even started promoting 797 concept and continued waiting?

            “I recon the 797 will cost abut the same as the -800”
            Why? In any case, your competency in such mkt intelligence certainly exceeds leehamnews.com…

            “it’ll be a trade-off between lower trip cost (797)…”
            Actually and per various leehamnews.com stories, the trade-off is more likely against far less payload/range performance than 338/788. The larger but shorter range 797 variant(there’s a smaller but longer range variant) may contain nearly as much usable cabin floor area as a 764/338/788.

            “and against larger capacities (338).”
            If airline has a choice for the same mission range requirement(not aircraft performance), most always pick smaller capacity fm a widebody.

          • An A330-200 “Regional” using the weight reductions of the 330-300 Regional, 330NEO wing and cabin with some mods to accommodate CEO engines will surely be easier to get into production than an 763ER-Revive?

  19. @Claude B.:
    “The winner would be the less sardine’s tight seating.”
    U mean “the winner” fm pax perspective? In that case, let me add “less sardine’s tight seating but still charging only sardine tight fare level”.

    Neither is much relevant nor realistic in the board room where this kinda investment decisions are ultimately made….

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