NMA market sector is small, Airbus’ Leahy says

This is a continuing series of articles derived from LNC’s “retirement” interview with John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus. Leahy retires this month.

Jan. 3, 2018, © Leeham Co.: This is the year many expect Boeing to decide whether to launch the New Midmarket Aircraft, also known as NMA or unofficially, the

John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus. Photo via Google images.

797, to serve the Middle of the Market.

The MOM sector is broadly defined as above the Boeing 737/Airbus A321 and below the Boeing 787/Airbus A330-200/800.

Others, including LNC define the market more broadly.

NMA market demand in dispute

Regardless, the size of the market is in dispute. Boeing publicly says the market is between 2,000 and 4,000 aircraft over 20 years. At its investors day last September at its 787 Charleston assembly plant, officials told aerospace analysts the market was closer to 4,000.

Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Leeham Co. estimate the market at between 2,000 to 2,500. Airbus remained coy about its market forecast, until John Leahy, COO-Customers, spoke with LNC for his “retirement interview” last month.

Airbus sees the demand at about 2,000 airplanes, Leahy said—not enough to justify a new airplane.

‘We have it covered’

Leahy argues, as he has for several years, that Airbus already has the MOM sector covered with the A330-800 and the A321neo.

LNC posted a report on the Airbus strategy for the A330-800 before our interview with Leahy.

The A330-800 “takes the world by storm,” he says, speaking of its potential but not its orders–of which there are virtually none. “It is a MOM. That’s the size of airplane you want. If you want a big single-aisle, it’s the A321LR, or it could even be an A321-Plus at some point in the not too distant future, in 2022, 23, 24, right about the time they’re talking about bringing out a MOM.

“If you bring out an an-new, clean-sheet airplane, you’re taking a market there that is probably 2,000 airplanes. It’s not 4,000, and you’re spending $15bn to develop the airplane. You’ve got to amortize that and every airline is telling you $55m to $75m is all we’re going to pay for this light twin. You’ve got the engine guys telling you the engines are going to be very expensive. The numbers just don’t work.”

Leahy predicts Boeing will reengine the 767. Boeing has studied this option, but LNC doesn’t believe there is enough demand to reengine an airplane with limited market potential for a design that is already 40 years old.

Leading technology for the NSA?

Market intelligence has long suggested the NMA will be the lead technology for the 737 replacement, the NSA or New Small Airplane. Boeing openly boasts it takes technology from one airplane program and “harvests” it to subsequent ones. The wing from the 787 is now in its fourth generation with the 777X, for example.

The NSA would follow by two years the NMA, according to market intelligence. But Leahy is skeptical.

“If I were on their board, I wouldn’t fall for that trick, which is ‘we’re not doing the new single aisle now but we’ll do it later, so let’s lose money now on this middle of the market airplane, but we’ll have the technology for later.’

“I don’t think any reasonable board would go for that,” Leahy said. “I could see how some people in Seattle would dream that. If you were launching a new single aisle at the same time, maybe you could talk about the synergies and say, ‘we’ll really pretend the market is 5,000 or 6,000 and we’ll amortize very little on each unit to keep the price low, because if we’re going to end up using this technology later, that means writing off this money now.’ I don’t think the board will do that.”

(The interview was conducted before word leaked, on Dec. 21, that Boeing and Embraer are in talks about a combination, the nature of which was not revealed. A combination could change the dynamics of the single-aisle replacement strategy.)

Bernstein Research thinks Boeing will abandon the NMA, keeping the basic twin-aisle, ovoid concept but down-sizing the range from 4,500nm-5,000nm to no more than 4,000nm to become the 737 replacement.

Replacement for single aisle

Leahy sees the replacements for the 737 and A320 families around 2030 or a couple of years later.

“It’s really the engine technology,” he said. “You’ve got a neo and MAX that are 15%-20% better than the 321ceo. You’re going to have to be 15% to 20% better than [the neo]. That requires real breakthroughs of engine technology. That may be unducted fans, etc. You can’t spend $15bn for an all-new, single-aisle airplane and take today’s technology engines and hang it underneath it. You’ll be 5% better than you are today.”

Leahy said that’s what Airbus looked at with the neo. A clean sheet of paper and an unlimited budget only gave Airbus 5% better on the airframe; the rest came from the engine.

“Boeing is looking at the same number.”

The next new engine is likely to be an unducted fan or a shrouded fan that gives 15% better economics than today’s engines, which when coupled with 5% improvements in the airframe, give the 20% needed to be a “game-changing” airplane, he said.

156 Comments on “NMA market sector is small, Airbus’ Leahy says

    • An empty 767-300 weighs as much as two empty 737-800, yet carries just half as many pax again. An A330-200 carries twice what a 737-800 can, but weighs three times more. It figures that for most routes within a 737-800’s range, it would be cheaper to fly two 737-800’s instead of an A330-200. A route flown by a 767-200 would be cheaper flown by one and a half 737-800. I’m betting the purchase cost of the widebodies is also disproportionately high compared to their increase in passenger capacity, and insurance, landing and navigation cost may be too. Reduced crew costs, freight revenue, slot limitations might skew the argument the other way, but not enough. The fact is that where airlines can fly narrow-bodies, they almost always do. They fly wide-bodies for their range or for freight.

      A NMA would have to compete with narrow-bodies on at least some, perhaps most, of its routes and to do that there is no way but to invoke some heroic weight loss on the wide-bodies (30 Tonnes or so from the A330-200). If that weight saving technology was available on wide-bodies, why not apply it to narrow-bodies?

      Airbus and Boeing would be better improving the performance of their narrow-bodies and extending out their range, using existing technologies to do it. Lighter carbon fuselages and longer, stiffer carbon wings are the obvious way to do that, together with yet another iteration of high bypass engines. Such aircraft would eat into the economics of a NMA whoever made it and put its owner/operator out of business.

      • Weight is not the only factor when it comes to efficiency. To give you an example: Longer, more slender wings will improve aerodynamic efficiency but will of course be more heavy. That is why long range planes usually have larger, heavier wings. The longer (heavier) wing is one reason the A330 is more efficient than the 767.

        Another example are the engines. The new Trent 7000 is more efficient but also more heavy.

        Still, you are basically right: Most sorter and medium routes can be served with a single-aisle more efficiently. I also agree with your conclusion that there is still a lot of “music” in the single-aisles.

      • You’ve just made my case why BA should be going with a B757-200X, with eventual room for a 300X. What’s past is prologue. Let the debate be reopened, and begin again!

        • Really?

          The 757 is dead, it isn’t coming back. Move on and let it go.

          • Same take here.

            A costly aircraft tot build and they would not do it that way again even if they were doing all aluminum aircraft.

        • Yes, a carbon 757 with a geared turbo-fan or similar would be able to defend its market against improved existing narrow-bodies. I don’t think that a wide-body aircraft could.

          So Boeing’s new product, if they build it, should be aimed at being able to beat a future improved A321LR (more range, more economy, higher capacity, less weight – but be honest, probably not cost).

          • Not sure if carbon is always the way to go, the 777X “recipe” maybe the answer for classic shape fuselages (Al-Li) and carbon wings?

    • Availability of new generation engines in the 50-60KLb class most likely a key factor for a 767MAX and a hypothetical re-winged (CAT-D) A330-200X.

      The “797” competitive edge to large extent depends on the availability of Ultra-fan engines.

      An 330-200 “Enhanced” with the NEO’s upgrades, CEO’s, lower MTOW and lucrative price tag could see interest from several airlines?

      CAT-D gates could be served by the A322 which is likely to have very similar seating and range as the B757-200

  1. The A330-800 is a bit too heavy and its T7000 Engines are not optimized for 15000-20000 cycles on wing but are long range high thrust 2500-3000 cycles Life on wing type of engines. Boeing can make an A330 size composite frame 2+4+2 seating and LD3 compatible with brand new 37-50k Engines and limit MTOW range for the launch customers and have a very steep price to increase range by Engine software keys and new dataplates for higher MTOW. Boeing can start with 3hrs range for $100M/ea for a domestic shuttle version and as customers want more range they quickly pass $130M/ea price for a trans Continental version and $150M for a trans Atlantic one. Note it will have a much higher cyclic Life for Engines, landing gears etc compared to the 787-8 thus it can cost as much to purchase for a 797MAX’ed out version as it will be cheaper for a 30 000 cycles Life span even with cheap jet fuel. Ideally it replaces 2ea 737-8’s.

    • Those engines don’t currently exist.

      3 hour’s range is way too short. Many airlines are looking for 4,000nm range, some want 5,000+!

      $150million is double what the airlines are telling Boeing they’re willing to pay for such a plane.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Boeing can’t justify a new-build for such a vague market. If it was as clear-cut as some think, Boeing would have launched it by now.

      • To make the biz case close you need the revenue, to make a 240-300pax composite 797 with +4500nm range, super efficeint new Engines and only get $70M each does not make it. Many routes below 3hrs have 737-800’s and A320’s departing on after another. Hence the old A300 idea of having a bigger Aircraft replacing 2 narrowbodies is still valid but the widebody must have the same reliabiliy, the A300 and its mid/long range CF6-50 Engines did not have the required Life on-wing. So Boeing/PWA/RR/GE must increase the average selling price, still many Airlines can use a good size fleet of 3hrs Aircrafts before they pay up for Engine and Aircraft software keys to get more range.

      • If you took an A330-200, put much improved Trent 500 engines on it ( 53,0000 lb thrust, carbon fan blades, carbon fan cowl, Trent XWB technology), took out the centre fuel tank, and as much metal as possible, shortened the fin and remove some wing, ditch the thrust reversers and lighten the gear you’d have an aircraft with the right size and range, cross crew compatibility, existing inventory and production facilities and no need to design a whole new aircraft.

        • I agree that the A330-200 size is right with massive weight reductions and new carbon wings for a MOM , but the Trent 500 is maybe a too complex of an Engine designed for long range flying with expensive shop visits, just ask LHT N3 services. I would start with the Advance core sized for a 70k Engine then put a smaller ALPS LP system on it to make a 45k engine and be really careful with parts count, mass and cost. Using the Trent XWB-97 developed Technology with hard bearings and no HPT tip shrouds helps reducing shop visit cost and expensive parts repair yield. GE can use the GEnX core right off and have Safran pay for a new LP system based on the LEAP Engine. PWA might think it is just a gear ratio fix and bigger fan blades but Airbus will not swallow it again (they will start to remember the JT9D-59A, PW4158, PW4168, PW1100G…) and will require a massive flight test program first before installing a PW1150G Engine onto the A380 flying testbed.

    • 3 hours range for 100M? Why buy it? Just pick up a couple or three 737s or A320s and get basically transcon range and more passengers to boot, I think.

      • Yes it can be cheaper flying 2-3 old narrowbodies on short range flights, but you have to get the slots and hire the crew, as slots and crew gets more expensive and hard to get you want bigger Aircrafts but they have to be able to take the cycling. Few widebodies with their Engines have been sucessfully desiged to survive in this role of 5-12 cycles/day in an economically fashion. The DC-10-10, the A300B4, the 767-200 and -300 (non -ER), even the first L-1011-1 did these 250-300 pax domestic routes but were quickly superseded with models with better range as they were not economical for such cycling. The 757 got RR or PWA Engines, where the PW2000 initially did not have the reliability for this use, the RB211-535 was designed with a big core Engine from the L1011/747 RR Engine and was running cooler hence it had better life on wing until PWA worked hard to get almost even.

    • Whate are we talking about? A new regional plane?

      3hrs range?!?

      For all missions <5 hrs airlines are doing well with A320 and B737 family.
      As the stretched versions 321neo and max 9/10 selling well, there's no need and market to go under 4-5hrs.
      NMA is about where B767-200/300 and A310 have been.
      Somewhat 220-280 (2 class) pax on 6-10h missions. So we are talking about 4000-5000 nmi range.

      Nobody did order the B787-8 recently, the -9 is able to do 7500nmi, and that's why Boeing's gap has been so huge, as max10 was not existent and max was selling -8 at all with A321neo beating it clearly.

      Still, the lack of engine is making NMA very difficult. You need somewhat 250kn, B787-3 planed with 280kn.
      Nobody has a engine that size.

      With a unclear market, who should go for it?
      Rolls seems to be short in cash,
      GE maybe not intrested enough,
      leaving Pratt, who lost the long haul engine business after beeing left behind on B787, B777x and A350.

      I have serious doubt NMA will happen – market is existent, but size is unclear and nobody knows how specific airlines want to be (do they really want to have a niche market airplane?).
      Then It must be cheap, somewhere between 75-100 mio. $- how should a business case look like?
      And cps should be about the same with SA.

      I have now clue how that should work out, this sounds like a lot of risk for a the chance of just a small win.
      Imo Boeing is more driven by the fact that it doesn't have a cash cow anylonger- B777 sales are gone, B777x doesn't look so well in terms of orders,
      B787 sold well but due to deffered cost did lack to earn money and might never be the real deal financial wise, and B737max is inferior to A320neo.

      So maybe Boeing plans to beat Airbus on a terrain where it can't strike back due to A321neo lr and A332/338neo leaving a smaller gap than Boeing has?

      • Of cause the 797 will be designed for 300pax single class 4500nm but you cannot sell it for $70M. The 3hrs 797 is a way to get the program going with 500 Aircraft orders. You will be short of pilots and slots and many Airports at attractive hours and you can only solve it by using bigger Aircrafts. There are many US/Asia and domestic and EU routes with heavy traffic under 3hrs. Boeing knows they will come back asking for more range and pay dearly for it.

        • But that’s not the reality we see in market today. Remember the B747SP for inner Japan flights?
          Nowadays airlines just run a 737-800/900 A320/21 every our or so.

          Airlines are really afraid of capacity – that’s why nobody buyin A380, B748 and A35k and B777x are not selling well.

          A300 sucessor didn’t see much demand, and SA seem to be superior to widebodies due to quicker tourn around.
          There’s a market for 300pax 3hrs, but there’s huge competiton from A321neo an B737-10.

  2. How much more efficient would a 797 with gen 2 gif,compared to a 767?Balancing out some of the massive investment,the newer aircraft should be cheaper to produce.Well in excess of 2000 757/767 will be produced.The market was much smaller or the product obsolete most of the time.
    There is no alternative other than to keep developing products with something as complex as an airliner.Leahy is either lying or Airbus has caught Boeing’s disease.

    • The 767 is a generation and more behind the A330. It need “major surgery” to be a MoM, like fly by wire, carbon brakes, central maintenance computer, new databus, updated components and APU on the databus, more Composites in fuselage to take the cycling or Al-Li, revised wing, pylons, nacelle with T/R’s, new Engines for heavy cycling (the present GEnX-2B will not survive it even derated), new MLG and NLG for more cycles between ovh and it cannot still take LD3’s. One would think the USAF would have paid for the update for the 767-2C but mainly payed for the 787 style cockpit.

      • Claes, the 767-300ER has carbon brakes, and carbon brakes only.

        • YES, you are correct, the 767 got carbon brakes in the 1990’s, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran) is one of them.

          • And while I don’t think it was right, the 737 also is very old tech and the reliability is slightly better than the A320.

            My guess is its hard to beat old tech for troubleshooting.

            Pneumatic is a lot easier check, test than electronics that have intermittent.

            So all that bailing wire is not necessarily a bad thing.

            You don’t need fly by wire or a side stick (which Airbus was not originally either)

      • And I have flown LD3s on 767s plenty times. Although only one per row…. not ideal but.

        • There are Fed Ex type of modified (chopped) LD3’s that fit into the 767.

          • Kind hard to argue with UPS and FedEx that it meets at least the needs of express freight (ordered new)

            A lot of Pax to F conversions, vastly more than A330.

            There were a fair number of A300 and A310 Pax to F and new built early on in FedEx history.

          • There is a special type of containers for 767 labeled LD2/APE.

            LD3 is about 25 % bigger at same depth and hight than LD2. It is no problem to pack LD2 inside an A380, 747, 777, A350, A340, A330, 787, MD11 … but space is wasted. For wide body aircraft LD3 is the standard.

  3. Of course Leahy says there’s no market for a 797, he just doesn’t want to see it built … would we expect him to say otherwise ??

    • I agree Jeff. John doesn’t want the 797 built. Remember, he was the same man that said Airbus had the 787 covered with the 330. Airbus ended up with four designs of the A350 to compete against the 787 and 777/new 777.

      • It could easily be argued he was correct.

        The A350-900 is the perfect 77E replacement. Meanwhile the bulk of A330 orders were recorded after the 787 launched.

        • However either the A330-200/300 or the A330-800/900 seem to be competive against the 787 once it’s initial production problems where solved.

          So at the end he was wrong, but Boenings execution of the 787 programm gave the A330 at least 5 years or 500+ mor “life”.

          • When do you consider Boeing’s 787 production problems were solved?

            Jan 2012 through Dec 2016 (the last five full years for which net sales are available), the A330 outsold the 787 by over 13% (504 vs 444).

          • Airbus is trying with increased MTOW for the A330-900 to give it more range to cover more 787-9 routes for a lower price.

          • @Stealth66:
            “When do you consider Boeing’s 787 production problems were solved?”
            Until when will you consider those 787 production problems solved?

            On the other hand, when do you consider Airbus’ 350 production ramp up problems will be solved?

            “Jan 2012 through Dec 2016 (the last five full years for which net sales are available), the A330 outsold the 787 by over 13% (504 vs 444).”
            In that 5yrs period, the 787 program had practically little to no vacant production/delivery slot available for sale until 2020~21….a typical wait of 5~6yrs fm order to delivery. In contrast during the same period, 330 program had tons of near-term vacant delivery slots(i.e. as short as 1.5yrs fm order to delivery) available to sell and @ 1 point, had to slash production rate a few yrs ago.

            Similar relative advantage in production maturity/volume is now benefiting 787 over 350 in terms of sales ability.

            In both cases, such diff in sales for certain yrs reveals more about the relative position in the production life-cycle than any real or imagined product superiority.

          • Now you’re just trying to deflect?

            My argument is that Leahy was correct and the A330 has proven adequate competition for the 787. Sales figures support this. Maybe if Boeing hadn’t made such a mess of 787 production it wouldn’t have been, but they did.

            Re the A350, it looks like the worst of Airbus’s supplier woes are behind them and the ramp-up is back on plan. We’ll know for sure in a week or so, but it looks as though they may have been just one short of their target of 80 deliveries for 2017.

            BTW, I never made any claims about any product being ‘superior’ to another. 🙂

          • “My argument is that Leahy was correct and the A330 has proven adequate competition for the 787. Sales figures support this.”

            No. It only did as long as the 787 was not available (fast enough). The core question was if the A330(neo) aka A350MKI- would have been enough to cover the 787 in the long run.

            And that just isn’t the case. Since both the 787 (2017ff) and the A330neo have near term delivery slots the A330neo fares badly.

          • Stealth 66:

            Clearly as the 787 debacle rolled on, a lot of A330s were sold.

            Not all, but a lot more.

            How well is the A330CEO and A330NEO sold since Boeing got up to speed and significant number of 787s were in the air (and you could get slots?)

            Even with low fuel prices 787 is selling well.

            Low fuel prices should advantage A330NEO at least greatly.

            Instead we see Air Asia doing their usual wobble on their order.

          • I don’t see the A330neo’s current malaise as being any different to that of the 787 during its delays – a significant drop in orders during the delay period.

            We’ll see what the true situation is once the A330neo is certified and being delivered. I have no doubt sales will pick up.

          • You can’t compare the two delay periods.

            Boeing was (5 years?) Airbus at worst is a year.

            Capability is in place for a major ramp up if the market was there.\

            Boeing had to work its way up due to the production issues and the learning curve and vendors up sot speed.

            Airbus has that system in place and its simply (if this stuff is ever simple but relative to an all new it is) a matter of execution.

        • @Stealth66:
          “It could easily be argued he was correct.”
          And as equally easy to argue he was incorrect…

          If J.Leahy was correct about 7E7(renamed to 787 in 2004) vs 330 circa 2002~2004, Airbus as a whole certainly didn’t believe him as they launched 350Mk1 and then redefine/re-position it for relaunch as 350XWB by 2006….

          “…A350-900 is the perfect 77E replacement.”
          Certainly the closest replacement/equivalent to a 77E especially in terms of usable cabin floor area+16hrs sector capability.

          Whether 359 is the “perfect” replacement for 77E is a diff story because if we look @ the list of 77E operators in recent yrs, not all of them hv ordered only 359 to replace 77E. In fact, some 77E operators(e.g. NH, UA, AA, BA, etc.) hv swapped 77E for 789 or planned to swap 77E for 78J on some routes.

          “Meanwhile the bulk of A330 orders were recorded after the 787 launched.”
          Which is really interesting as 787 net sales also continued to accumulate rapidly for about 4yrs after its 2004 launch despite that “bulk of A330 orders”.

          Meanwhile, a clear surge of new orders/LoIs for 787 were recorded in the past 18mths after the 330Neo was launched…..

          • One year of good or poor sales doesn’t make much difference one way or the other.

            If you accept the obbject of the exercise is to sell planes, then the A330 has more than adequately sold against the 787 since the 787 was launched.

            In that respect Leahy was undoubtedly correct. 🙂

          • You can shuffle data any way you want.

            If you look at the trend from two years ago, its a different story.

            Does anyone see a magical renascence in A330NEO orders?

            All I see is Air Asia wobbling and they are a major percentage of the backlog.

            Fuel prices are trending up again. That provides less case of base cost vs long term fuel usage costs.

            Base cost only pays out once. Good fuel efficiency pays out forever.

          • Every delayed plane has seen a drop in orders prior to certification., the 787 being a classic example.

            Yes, I fully expect to see A330neo orders pick up once certified.

          • @TW

            Personally I can see an uptick in A339neo sales, a perfect solution for transatlantic and other markets.

          • A350-900 big and too heavy for just cross Atlantic.

            That is why Delta picked up the A330s (and continues to fly and plans on keeping 767s)

    • Techwise the 767 lags behind even the A310.
      A same size A330-100 was expected be more efficient than an A300-600.
      At same engine generation times the 767-3/4ER was ~6% less fuel efficient than the A330-200 further out rangewise.

      Airlines are flogging to Airbus to buy or convert to A321NEO ( and LR ). What kind of commentary with a MOM on the horizon?

      • As the 767 ran the A300/310 out of that market segment I have to disagree

        • Airbus was a rather small airframer at the time of the A300/A310. rather unsurprising they were not able to displace the market leader of the time. Boeing improved the 767. Airbus invested in the A320 then A340/A330 combo. the 767 had a couple of lesser competition.

          • Uwe:

            Me thiks there is a cirualte arguemtn.

            As the 767 ran the A300/310 out of twon and was newer, then tech wise that combo was not better.

            The tech thing started with The A330 (A340 not so much – dead end like the A330NEO)

            To then back fit that tech to an A300/10 and say they were better?

            As they made no come back against the 767, it doesn’t fly.

          • backfit?
            to what effect. 767 sales dried up with the A330 available ( which again depended on its A340 commonality for its generous capabilities expansion.) Think why B made plastic copy of the A330 🙂

          • Uwe:

            That is a stretch if I ever read one.

            I am going to be cruel here, no sugar coating.

            Boeing came out with a composite aircraft Airbus could not match.

            They vacated the arena like they did with the A300

            Then tried a come back with a rehashed original version of the A350.

            All based on JLs predictions that were not even close.

            If Boeing had not helped Airbus out the A330 would be gone.

            So you can thank Boeing mismanagement.

            Most stuff is determined by who makes the fewest mistakes, but its a really bad strategy to count on your opposition to make mistakes.

        • The longer range 767-300ER was a good match of range and suitable engines mainly the CF6-80C2 were selected. Even the A300-600R did not have the competetive range.

    • Isn’t JL going into retirement? Is there any reason for him to be less than objective any more? I appreciate that in the past he had to have ‘salesman truth’ as it comes with the territory but now he does not have to be so selective. JL bashing is an easy sport.

      • @Sowerbob:
        “Isn’t JL going into retirement? Is there any reason for him to be less than objective any more?”
        Holdings of stock options or similar financial instruments re Airbus not yet vested until yrs later? Also, kinda hard to sell books/autobiography when U are gonna to write about your own failures/mistakes in your past corp life…..

        Besides, he may be leaving the firm but decades long relationship, ties, personal friendships with ex-colleagues will probably remain for a long time….just like most executive retirees fm corp life.

        • @FLX
          So JL expects his comments to affect stock options all which must be vested on retirement, you are joking!
          Friendships are solely based on what he says about future Airbus products, you are joking!
          Kinda hard to sell a book if a future product is deemed to be less than optimal, you are joking!

          • All Big Ego types (the world is full of them, we have one in charge now) want their so called legacy to be golden.

            That is why Politicians want things named after them.

            Once its there we are (mostly) stuck with it.

    • Completely agree. He’s basically doing his job to talk down Boeing’s product, because he knows Airbus would take a while to respond.

      In other words, in a new newsflash: water found to be wet, stars exist in the universe, and man cannot survive without air.

      • “Air”
        Some prominent politician(s) seems to be able to go closed cycle. Though no vision.

        Then: a longstanding successful salesperson must have been rather realistic in explaining his product offers.

        • I gather you have never met a New York pushy type?

          After a while you will buy anything to make them go away.

          Note that NY was happy to stick us with current POTUS, anything to get him out of the city.

  4. But Boeing has a another problem. The B787-8 is a disaster. Just about 50-60% communality with the B787-9. That’s a different aircraft. It’s probably attractive for Boeing to design a NMA where the largest variant of the NMA is also a replacement for the terrible B787-8. So Boeing could end the B787-8-disaster in 2025 and only build the much more lucrative B787-9/10 in the future. Maybe this is also a reason, why Boeing sees a much larger market for the NMA? They include the numbers for aircrafts of the size B787-8/A330-800?

    The A330-800 has too much weight. Even compared to the old 767-400ER. But an A322 or A321LR+ would be highly attractive. Especially if it’s available some years before the Boeing NMA.

    • But more efficient afaik.
      Look at range extension per payload ton lost.( out at the first MTOW limited payload/range diagram corner.)

      • Gudio:

        The closes to the NMA Boeing had in the 787 is the -3 version that was not built.

        While the commonality between the -8 and the other two is indeed a shock (lack there of) Boeing could close that up if they wanted to.

        It seems like 767, there is a finite need for that type and its filled.

        The 767 upgraded could probably continue to sell some. I don’t have the ability to assess if its worth it or not, Boeing would be the only one who has that (Leeham and Airbus probably close second)

        The 767 is the closest anyone ahs of a NMA market type, and its heavy for the stated profile and has unneeded (per Boeing) cargo capacity.

    • For SW to compete in the future, they will need higher capacity. A 225 seat 3,000 nm airliner that can fly out of Midway airport. Will Southwest be the launch customer for the 797?

    • On the other side VietJet upgraded its order for 42 A320neo to A321neo. VietJet has also 100 Max200 on order.

  5. Didn’t i read an article here about A338neo beeing cannibalized by A339neo for beeing less efficient?

    For me, Airbus grew the A330 out of MOM range wise – this can go now Europe West Coast, with A338 beeing about 7500nmi and A339 6500nmi.
    Somewhat, that must not be an ideal plane to go just transatlantic, NY- LHR. That’s a 3500nmi mission, and there are plenty of these 6-8h flights in western world and asia.
    Also, all the Gulf Airlines do these 6-8h missions from the Gulf to Europe.

    Nobody has the right plane for, a B789 is way to “much airplane” maybe the Ten is the best fit, but it’s a almost a 70m plane while A339 is just 63.6m.

    MOM is ecatly where A300, A310 and B767-200/300ER have been.
    50-55m long, 220 – 280 Pax in 2class over 4000 – 6000nmi.
    Closest plane to this is a A332 , 59m with 290PAx over 8000nmi.
    A332 and A338neo have just to much range, but it’s hard to say how much effieceny that costs and a way shorter route.

    Basically, with a A321neo carrying about 200-220 Pax over 4500nmi, there’s not much to gain if Airbus could stretch the A321neo to 250Pax (30C 220y) on about a 5500nmi mission.

  6. Launching A321LR+/A322 around 2023 doesn’t make a lot of sense when you plan to replace the A320neo family by 2030. Such an airplane will enter service after the replacement program was launched.

  7. The 767 is a 40 year old aircraft not worthy of being re engined. Next sentence: Airbus just re engined it’s 30 plus year old A338.

    These types of competitive marketing commentaries from the airbus sales force might benefit from added context from this summer as to airline feedback from confidential Boeing presentations as to its actual design for the NMA. Is the idea that Boeing is selling/pitching vaporware without a plausible engine?

    • The 737 is basically a 50 years old plane (launch 53 years ago, first flight 51 years ago) and was worth new engines. The B767 is 37 years old and still in production. The B747-400 has the same capacity compared to the A330-800 and still a little less weight. The B747-300 has the right size and range for a MOM aircraft. New engines, new cabin and maybe some optimizations would cost 2-5 billion compared to 10-15 billion for a completely new aircraft.

      • B767 tech is from late 60ies early 70ties. Makes it almost 50 years old by date.
        It’s not effiecent fuselage wise as it’s 2-3-2 carrying jsut one more seat compared to a SA but a 2nd aisle.

        Also, you guys talk about as if there’s a modern engine ready just to be screwed under the wing and go.
        In fact, a optimized engine is not available.
        The A321neo is about 150kN thurst, the A330/330neo and B787 are about 300kN, same as B748.
        A B767max with some work on wing would maybe need about 200-250kn,
        and there’s no engine available.

        If you take the same of the B787, why bother at all? Will cost the same, will be far from optimal, etc.

        Without engine, no program.
        ultimate rule of aircraft design.

        I don’t see MOM happen. Neither a redesigned B767.

        • And the 737 is more so and its still competitive.

          Either its good stuff or we have not come very far

  8. Airbus sees the demand at about 2,000 airplanes, Leahy said—not enough to justify a new airplane.

    This is the guy who saw a demand for 1,200 A380s.

    • This is the guy who sold more than 16000 airplanes including many “NMA-like” A321 and A330. You may think that he’s not objective but on the other side the Boeing’s opinion about the NMA market is not objective either.
      Let’s acknowledge the fact that the A321Neo success is backing Boeing into a corner, and that finding a business case for a brand new NMA airplane is like squaring the circle. At the end, engine manufacturers could have the last word.

      • Frankly I don’t buy either.

        I think the NMA is an interesing idea and I don’t discount Boeing market research.

        They did figure out the 787 market. While management hosed up the money end, its an extremely successful aircraft.

        I don’t know that Boeing can bring an aircraft in at the price point, that does not mean the market is not there.

        There is no question the A321 stands alone in its segment.

        If you bring out a different aircraft that has its segment stand alone, then it has outstanding prospects.

        While not a direct A321 competitor, for those who need to span both areas, it would be the best choice.

        Can they build it? That is way beyond anything I know.

        Like the Sonic Cruiser it may not be made to work.

        That does not mean its not a valid market served by the next best aircraft compromises, or not at all.

    • Actually, airbus’s numbers were 2200 VLAs(worldwide), of which at least 1600 would be satisfied solely by Airbus…

      • I don’t believe Airbus ever expressed the desire to capture more than 50% of the VLA market.

        Feel free to provide evidence to the contrary.

      • Airbus defines VLA as +400 seats, hence the 777-9 is included in this Group.

        • @Claes:
          “hence the 777-9 is included in this Group.”
          And more recently per Airbus mkting re-definition, so as a hi-den config 333 e.g. operated by LCC such as Cebu Pacific.

          • Claes: They do now, then changed it again.

            As they say down South, don’t mean diddly.

            Its what they sold the A380 on that counts.

            That was a killer VLA that would kill the 747.

            It also was sold on Freighter version that never happened.

            To much spin

    • @Rick Shaw
      Not just an Airbus/JL issue, Boeing initial projections for the VLA 4/B747 8i pax were also hopelessly optimistic but they only ended up selling ~46, compared to over 300 A380s. The B747-8i is now dead while the A380 in its plus and neo forms may still have a future.

      Whatever most of this site’s commentators say, nobody can deny JL has rightly earned his place among the industry’s greats.

      • BernieNZ

        Yes John has done well for the industry overall. I’m not getting your point about the A380? I think you might say that both the A380 and the 747-8I are dead. You have to also remember that the A380 might have sold 300+, but the 747 family sold 1,500 frames, and the A380 did not become a 747 replacement. Meaning the A380’s market penetration never achieved its primary goal. If you really think about it, it appears the 777-9 killed the A380? Currently the 777-9 sales are a 1 to 1 replacement of the A380?

  9. While the next gen PW GTF is not going to be a 15% improvement, it is going to jump 5% or a bit better.

    As your market is not the single aisle but a 757/767 replacement, that would be plenty to make it work.

    And if there is a jump, you can do a NEO.

    What Leahey ignores is a C Series type that cuts the single aisle market in half. A320/737-8 and lower.

    That leaves an A321 or A322 single model with all the limitation we saw on the 757-300 (single aisle taken too far)

    • Add in that it would be in a segment that Airbus has no answer for.

      Call it a low of 2000, that is a 150 billion market. (75 million each)

      Much like Boeing does not really have a true A321 or A322 competitor, Airbus would not and does not have a 797 competitor.

      • A pedant would point out that Boeing doesn’t have a competitor in that segment either! 😉

  10. Regarding the market demand; I do believe that a NMA aircraft will eat quite heavily into both the lower and upper variants that are currently sold in high numbers. The A321s could be upgraded, while some A330s/767/787 might also be replaced with the more efficient NMA. Therefore I believe, the demand for such an aircraft will be surprisingly high and it will be a success like the 777-300ER.

    As the engine is one of the biggest problems for the development of the NMA, I was wondering, if this aircraft could not be a tri-engine plane like the MD-11. This way the current LEAP/PW engines could probably be used that are already available and made for high cycles. It would provide commonality with existing fleets too.

    And although many state that the NMA should be a 767 size 7-abreast, wouldn’t that make it less efficient than an 8-abreast? If the fuselage is oval, the an additional seat wouldn’t not created that much additional drag.

    • No one is going to do a 3 engine in that class.

      The math does not work for it. 3 engines , heavier structure, bad setup for efficient.

    • The 727-200 and 757-200 sold pretty well for its time, then Boeing left the market to the A321 that replaced them on most routes (except at UA) especeilly since it got the sharklets and other improvements like the neo…, so it is natural for Boeing to get back into that market. But with a light widebody with approx 30-50 more seats than the coming 35k engine thrust A322.

    • This design would either require tension struts (or a wall) down the center of the plane or significantly thicker walls (ribs) to provide the necessary stiffness. Otherwise the inside pressure will deform or crack the hull at altitude.

      Now if you make it round again you end up with the dimensions of the A330 with 2-4-2 seating in economy….

    • I seem to remember a research project loosely Airbus linked that had the lower lobe of the fuselage as a crashworthy collapsible structure afair external to the pressure hull ? must be 10 years back?

  11. I think the market is large. Boeing’s choice is to go for a less capable aircraft with about a 40m wing that can fold into a 36m gate, or a more capable aircraft with a 45m to 50m wing. Given A321 sales, I think the choice is pretty easy to go for a 40m folding wing, be it on a 3-3, 2-2-2, or 2-3-2 new fuselage.

    • A folding wing ads significant costs both in R&D and in production – on a plane that can’t be made for the price airlines are willing to pay. Really a pretty easy choice?

      I believe the best move from Boeing would be to swallow their pride and come up with a direct competitor to the A321. All aluminum, fly-by-wire, container freight. The engines exist and just by introducing the latest aerodynamics the A321 could be surpassed. Not a very sexy idea, is it?

      This would follow one of my proved strategic ideas: It’s better to make a good copy of a successful product than to invent a new failure.

      But as this would require Boeing to concede that Airbus had it all right with the A321NEO, and that’s just not going to happen.

      But what will happen?

      • I can see Boeing reasoning. A direct A320NEO competitor would be 5% better at best.

        Airbus can then respond with a new wing and or a bit longer fuselage.

        When a 60 year old 737 desing is still made viable, the advances to be had are not that great.

        A direct A321 copy merely locks them in at the existing market share.

        An NMA if it can be pulled off blows the doors off.

        They may or may not pull it off but strategy wise, its a better op0tions.

      • Working within the design constraints of current 35K+ engines on a new fixed 40m CFRP wing, and single axle main gear, what’s the most they could get out of that? Maybe a 48m or 49m 3-3 or 2-2-2 fuselage with 10% more seats than an A321?

        • Which as you say, may be the best move, copy the A322 if it is the logical evolution of the most efficient machine for moving people 1000nm to 2000nm.

          • The A322 is just waiting for a 35-37k Engine. Maybe the PW1135G that can be pushed to 37k?

          • What you forget is that long single aisles get to be a log jam.

            737-300 comes to mind.

            Its a matter of range, how dense you can pack them in and how many you can carry at range.

            I don’t think anyone has an A321 with 240 passengers.

            Can even A 322 really get 4500 miles with a full load?

      • Boeing doesn’t have to concede anything. At this moment there seem to be 3000 A321’s in the family’s 6000 aircraft backlog. Overwhelming.

        The A320 design is 30 years old. No doubt Boeing can incorporate incremental improvements everywhere; materials, comfort, systems, weight, flexibility, commonality, production automation.

        IMO this could be the only direction that could kick Airbus out of their comfort zone at this stage. They would love Boeing going after a big, expensive NMA..

        Boeing was pushed into the 737 MAX by AA and SW, 7 years ago. This is why it was against their will.

        • poor beasty!
          Afair the MAX came into being because that NMA was technology wise much further out than Boeing pretended. Then they had no idea how to produce that airframe for an acceptable price.
          So it was either bleeding market share to near death or fit the iron lung to the NG : Voila : MAX

          • Think Boeing was working on the NSA or Boeing Yellowstone Y1, to replace the Boeing 737, 757, and 767-200 product lines but with no new Engine in the works.
            Airbus started selling the A320neo family as the LEAP/PW1100 Engine became available and Boeing had to quickly create and offer the 737MAX to AA. (Some say it was designed in a hotel room in Dallas to meet AA requirements…)

        • It’s not true you can push out a lot of A320.

          It has been optimized over and over.
          The fuselage is built around the container, LD3-45, which forms a comfy 3-3 main deck.

          If Airbus says it can get 5% out of a clean sheet approach, why even bother?

          Same is for Boeing – the B737 fuselage is more narrow thus more packed, but still very efficent and cheap.

          How can you justify development effort and cost when you can’t gain much?

          • “which forms a comfy 3-3 main deck.” The reality is the Boeing and Airbus are the same width , ‘where it matters, the passengers elbows’

            “fuselage is built around the container, LD3-45”- which only half the A320 airlines use. And the real lower cargo hold volume ?
            A320 38.8m3/1369ft3

            737-800 44.0m3/1555ft3
            The 737 has a longer fuselage, OWE is less by almost 2 T

          • @dukeofurl: This is not about the A320 vs. 737-800 but about the A321 vs. 737-9 and 737-10. It appears that the upper end of the single-aisles and the lower end of the twin-aisles markets is at stakes.

            We have discussed over and over again that the 737 is too short legged for this segment.

            So what I propose is in fact a somewhat larger airplane for a 797 that would be an ideal aluminum single-aisles plane. The hull might even be a little wider than the A321, more like the MS-21. Of course FBW and all new tech. Maybe, just maybe carbon wings, if they can be produced in quantity and at a good price.

            To put it simple: Just steal the best ideas from the A321, MC-21-400 and C-Series and put it together real quick. As it’s all existing tech it shouldn’t be too difficult.

          • @dukeofurl
            The total bulk cargo capacity is rather irrelevant as long as there is no time to fill it up between two flights.

            On many European airports I noticed luggage was stored manually on A320s while additional cargo containers were loaded.

            OWE can vary on a single type of aircraft due to different configurations ordered by airlines. E.g. a difference of 5 kg per seat is 1 t of weight for 200 seats.

          • Ok , I should have done the numbers for the A321/737-900

            Fuselage internal diameter ‘at the passenger elbows’ is the same. Yes extra width is available at ‘knee level’ on airbus models
            A321 737-900
            Wing area 122m2, 124m2
            OWE 5ot, 43t
            Lower hold 45 m3 , 52m3
            LD-3-46 containers, while speeding things up will give a further 24% volume loss. While Boeing doors open inwards losing space and Airbus doors open outwards.

            I wont cover range etc as engines/winglets have changed since these numbers were published in Air International may 2000

      • I think Airbus has a patent for an upward tilting folding wingtip needing no actuators/locks and extends/retracts pure aerodynamically.

        • Hmm, I think that was downward.

          And I sure would not want to fly an aircraft that did that automatically.

          Prohibitively costly as well.

          • I Think we mean the same, as the speed decreases they tilt down making room at the gates and with speed increasing on the runway they rise to their horizontal position.

  12. Interesting is the role reversal. In the AB 380 vs 787/777 wars Boeing championed the smaller long range variants. Now in the case of NMM vs CSeries/A321+ Boeing is the one arguing for larger aircraft.

    If AirBaltic can make a go of the Riga-Abu Dhabi route it could be a sign that AB is on the right side of this one.

    • Thats with a limited number of passengers.

      If you want to haul 250 people in some comfort the same distance?

      Takes two C vs 1 notional 797

      You could hop a C from LA to Anchorage, then to Cold Bay and then Japan and onto rest of Asia.

      Or you can get a 777.

      There is a reason for different size aircraft with different range profiles.

      • Not disputing that for dense routes between large city pairs large aircraft make sense, or even that hubs are going away anytime soon.

        But an oft repeated argument for the 787 was opening new markets especially direct long-thin ones and that doing this would cut into the need for very large aircraft between hub cities. At the lower end CSeries + A321+ is more in line with that way of thinking than the notional 797.

        The Riga to Abu Dhabi route tests the theory. Rather than fly regional jet to a hub and then on to Abu Dhabi on a larger aircraft the CSeries can fly there directly from Riga.

        • I don’t disagree.

          If the route can be served with that capability, it makes sense.

          With all due respect, Riga- Dubai is not a major market.

          Not an NMA seller. Smaller local outfit taking advantage of the tech to help the bottom line.

          I just see the NMA as a compliment to Single Aisle (again if it can be done)

    • It is mind-boggling to me that there’s a route from Riga to Abu Dhabi! But I did some homework on this. It’s four times weekly, and they interlink with Etihad. I guess it works, but wouldn’t they have equal, or better luck going to Addis Ababa, and interlining with Eithiopean? Interesting in any case!

    • “Interesting is the role reversal. In the AB 380 vs 787/777 wars Boeing championed the smaller long range variants”

      Thats just a repeat of the late 60s, when it was Douglas promoting its stretched ‘smaller’ Dc8s against the ‘big new ‘ 747!

    • “Interesting is the role reversal.”

      it is easier to tell customers “that the market is somewhere else ( go for voles!) ” than to one up the competitors rather excellent mouse trap.) so no reversal.
      Look out for an emtpy place and tell everybody “Rome is here”.

      • Initially Boeings counter to the A321 was the still in production 757-200, which was a bit bigger passenger capacity,and the 737-900 which came in 1997. That was poorly received and when the 757 went out of production after 9/11 they could then offer the 900ER with an extra set of exit doors and more range .

  13. If Leahey was so sure that the 797 would be a disaster for Boeing he would shut up.

    As he is dissing it, and then claiming the A321 has it covered with the already far to heavy A330NEO, that tells me he is scared of it.

    Sounds just like the 787 comments.

    • JL is predicting that the Boeing’s board won’t give the green light to the NMA or so-called 797 (because of the poor business case), he has never predicted a disaster for his “friends in Seattle” as he is used to call them. With his career and a few days before retirement, I don’t think he’s scared of anything, especially from Boeing. And his successor can sleep without a worry : the A321 is selling like hot cakes, the upcoming ACF and LR versions will maintain the Airbus dominance and they still have some margin to enhance the airplane (A321 Plus or A322) and a lot of time to do so.
      As for me, I think like many that Boeing will be forced to :
      1) purchase Embraer and leave the low-end short-range market to them
      2) launch a new short range, let’s call it 797, something a bit bigger than the A320 family so that the 797-9 or -10 will have the same capability or better than an A321LR, with a better efficiency.
      They can cover the NMA market like that. Anyways, the problem is still the same : they need an engine but at least the market will be much bigger than 2000 or even 4000 NMA.
      In addition, the NMA is at least the 3rd try from Boeing after the 757-300 and the 787-3. Let’s realize that Boeing’s marketing department is not foolproof. At least no more than Airbus’ one.

      • I think Leahy wants to protect his legacy and a 797 would threaten it and tweak Airbus.

        So talking publicly about this tells me how concerned he is.

        I think Boeing market research as does its wing design has a leg up on Airbus (who is still using winglets)

        What no one knows is what Boeing has pulled together and how viable it is. There are no close models to go by like you have with most of this. Its an all new area.

        Airbus assembly a frame and skin composite A350 was a huge question, it was not proven. They did make it work and its equivalent of a spun fuselage. You prefer to be prepared than lucky. They were simply not prepared to respond to a 787.

        But Airbus was behind the tech ball and it was their only choice.

        What Boeing comes up with for the 797 is going to be interesting.

        Again I am not saying they can, but they will be looking at all the options and trade offs and they will be testing them.

        Airbus dismissed the 787 as a joke. They were totally wrong. It took Airbus 3 or 4 cycles of design to come up with the A350.

        The 787 tech end and engineering are amazing and it works. It was virtually 100% management screw ups that caused the problem (and trying to kill a union and creating a duplicated factory in Charleston)

        The one aspect I find one of those brain twisters.

        Unions threatened Boeing, but Boeing causes itself 20 billion plus with management hash up and that did not threaten Boeing?

        • So talking publicly about this tells me how concerned he is.

          @TW: I asked him the question and he responded.

          • Scott: You also asked Delta about the Seattle hub and what you were told vs what happened with a Boeing vs Airbus selection did not come to be.

            I am unbiased, I have no legacy (grin)

          • @TW: Yes, I asked Delta and was told it was a factor to consider. I never said it was a deciding factor.

          • Fair enough.

            The point is people say all sorts of things and what really counts is what they do, not what they say.

            In Deltas case I continue to believe it was spin. What happened bears that out.

            Leahy can say anything he wants, no way to know for sure his motivation for saying so.

            In this case you can look at the background and the corruption scandal looming as well as his part in Airbus and wanting to dis Boeing per his (and Boeing) MO.

            Same guy that came up with the Frankenplane nonsense.

            Once a salesman (and spin myster) always one.

            Shades of Trump. Always talking, often to the detriment of the goal.

            Let Boeing quietly run into a disaster if that is what it is.

    • I am still waiting A380 bashing^Hcriticism to subside.
      But the B*nista still staunchly progress on the war path.
      ( even looks like the 2017 budget was much higher than some years before )
      Afaics Airbus commentary on B actions mostly is not too far off.

  14. Scott:

    I’ve been reading info about airlines moving up from the A320neo to the A321neo, and Keesje said something on airliner.net about the number of conversions. As I read what John is saying here, I think he may be right about his product offering and maybe not so much about Boeing’s view. What Airbus might be seeing is the result of the improved performance from the neo? Airlines might see that there is value in buying the larger A321neo over buying the A320neo because flying the A321 at 70%-75% capacity today is just as cost effective as flying a A320neo at a 95% load factor? The addtional capacity allows for growth and the current cost points make great sense? If the performance seen from the new engines has enabled airlines to take advantage of this opportunity, Airbus might have constrained their lower end offering? I look at the recent 400+ order and the number of A321neo for an airline like Frontier and get confused. But if the costs of operation are a wash today, then why not buy the larger frame? If that is the case then John is very right Airbus does have the market covered, but not in a way he will like long term. Through the 737’s constraints, Boeing might have protected the -8 from the A320neo’s fate? NMA might capture a new market and not have as much of an impact on the current offering?

    Thoughts

  15. Engines not ready?Rolls Royce and Boeing both subscribed to this veiw before the launch of the NEO/MAX generation.20,000 engines say that they were wrong.Although in the event they were not quite ready.Not an easy thing to get right.

    • GTF first flight tests were on P&W 747 back in april 2008.

      Neo launch was Dec 2010

      Manufacturers have to have an engine fairly advanced before announcing a new model, Safran and Dassaults new business jet is an example what can go wrong.

      • Both RR and Safran has busts on engines (The Trent 1000 for the 787 is no more)

        I have seen the details on Safran, they tried to stretch a tech concept into an area it did not fit.

        RR may have been a case where it was easier to do an all new engine for the time and effort it would take to make the 1000 work.

        Complete engine busts are rare, its interesting and unusual to see two in a short time frame.

        P&W has been doing a lot of in depth work on a twin aisle engine.

        I think they thought they had a shot at the A330NEO.

        They would be the closest to being able to bring out an engine.

        Boeing may be on hold as much for a second engine option as anything on the 797.

  16. A bit off-topic but not that much: President Macron starts a visit to China next Monday. It’s easy to predict some big Airbus sales announcement, even if it is just confirmation of MoU. I guess Airbus has big hopes for the A330 and the A350 in China. And to get back to the NMA topic, we know that China uses lots of A330 for domestic flights. A big part of the middle of market is there.

  17. Since there is engine competition on the A330 and desire to use them domestically/short range it can be that engine suppliers sales people are promising low power by the hour rates even for low average hrs/cycle ratios coupled to high derate just to get the engine order. It will not work on widebody aircrafts where there is no engine competition

    • And it should be pointed out, regional service is abusive on long range engines.

      Cycles on the hull as well. Resale would be low, premature engine wear out.

      Costs would keep going up.

  18. “I am not sure I would call interior China MOM.”
    This is indeed the MOM big issue : to define what the MOM is and aircraft specifications that are suitable for it. As for me, the Middle of Market is in the middle of nowhere. It is difficult to define a specific business, even more to define the middle of market for any business. An aircraft designed and optimized only for a specific range and number of seats would be killed by a slightly smaller single-aisle aircraft and a slightly bigger twin-aisle aircraft, especially if both competitors have been amortized for a long time and are very versatile (short range to long range). Exactly like the 757 has been caught in a vice by the A321 and the A330. And this time, Boeing is suffering a lot of bad luck : Airbus is currently improving both A321 and A330.

    • The A330 is not a MOM. A 767 would be closer.

      Like 747s in Japan (and 787s as well) its a local need, vs a global driven market.

      I am surprised that 767s are not being picked up. Likely due to the Government directives and purchasing new being a politically driven.

      We may well see A380s in the mix before this is over. I see they are being offered an A380 completion center!

      Most markets are open to some degree or wholly and this would not fly.

      Upgraded A321 would nip at more or the area, but it would not take it over.

      There was a reason that the 757-300 did not sell nearly as well as the -200

      • @Transworld: You are still surprised that the 767 is not picked up after so much explaining? Don’t you read other peoples posts or do you prefer to just ignore them?
        Here in short form:
        1) Too expensive to build. Production cost about the same a s A330.
        2) Bad wings: Too short and “old” profile (not supercritical like A330)
        3) 7-abreast no economical design (adding 1 aisles for only 1 additional row of seats)
        4) Bad old engines No new engine in proper thrust range available
        5) No FBW
        6) Much smaller freight capabilities

        Bottom line: The 767 has the same trip cost as A330 but at 50 less seats and less freight.

  19. See Delta is going for a 3 class, 197 seat layout on the 321NEO’s with 33KLb engines.
    http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/918570770?-303:3665:3

    The article does not indicate if its 89T or 93T MTOW, assuming the latter, does this give DAL the flexibility in this layout to add 1xAux tank that could give it potentially enough range to fly between Detroit and airports in the UK/Ireland?

  20. Its not easy to argue JL’s views but an alternative view is that there is a market of 2000-4000 new generation aircraft with seat capacities of 200 and 300 seats with ranges between 3500 and 7000Nm?

    BA’s predicament is that it wants to compete with the 321(LR)/322 in the lower end and does not want to cannibalize the 787 upper end and could so potentially “under cook” range/capacity with the NMA. AB on the other side does not want to invest in a clean sheet project and is in “Band-Aid Mode”

    AB is in bigger need of a new twin aisle with between 220 and 280 seats. If they bite the bullet and build a new (2-4-2/A350 seats) aircraft around an ~50/55 KLb Ultrafan engine they could be back in business on the twin aisle front.

    It may pan out to have a capacity of ~260 seats with a range of ~5500Nm. The base model could be shrink and stretched relatively easy by ~30 seats to give 3 models with clear definitions;

    (A321 Models)
    A-New, 230 seats, 6800Nm (Niche market),
    A-New, 260 seats, 5500Nm (Base model),
    A-New, 290 seats, 4500Nm (Transatlantic, high density Intercontinental),
    (A339-6800Nm).

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