In new blow, Boeing defeats Airbus at American, sources say; AA says ‘no decision yet’

Boeing 787. Photo via Google images.

March 23, 2018, © Leeham News: In a new, albeit not unexpected, blow to Airbus, Boeing won a hotly contest competition at American Airlines between the A330neo and the 787, two sources say.

Bloomberg News reported Airbus lost the deal, earlier today.

LNC confirmed the decision with two sources. But Derek Kerr, EVP and CFO of American, told LNC no decision has been made, but an announcement could be coming by the first quarter earnings call if not before.

The competition originated with American’s long-publicized ambivalence over the legacy Airbus A350-900 order placed by US Airways long before the latter acquired American, a 787 customer of long-standing. With this deal, American will cancel the A350 order for 22 airplanes.

Fleet simplification

The new American has been clear that a sub-fleet of 22 airplanes didn’t fit with American’s strategy of simplifying its fleet.

American has nine Airbus A330-300s and 15 A330-200s, also inherited from US Airways. AA previously announced it will phase out the -300s, which date to 1999-2001. The -200s date from 2009-2014, according to the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker.

American has 35 787s in service and seven more on order.

The number of 787s and sub-types involved hasn’t been learned, nor the delivery schedule.

The A350s has been deferred until beginning in 2020 and were intended to replace the A330s. Deliveries were slated for 2, 5, 5 and 10, an American SEC filing indicates. The last of the current 787 orders is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

With Boeing increasing the production rate of the 787 to 14/mo from 12/mo, it’s likely the delivery schedule will be similar to the A350.

Boeing was viewed to have the advantage going into the competition, given its large 787 presence already and American’s desire to simplify its fleet.

Aggressive deal

Boeing’s offer was “aggressive,” LNC is told, similar to the recent Hawaiian Airlines deal in which Boeing displaced Airbus’s existing A330-800 order with the 787.

It’s also been suggested Boeing offered to reconfigure the 787-8s that have an interior designed for the legacy American, but which doesn’t fit into the new cabin strategy adopted by the new American Airlines.

GE Aviation, which provides American’s 787 engines and engines for the Boeing 737-8 MAX and Airbus A321neos ordered by American through its 50-50 partnership with CFM International, repriced an unspecified number of engines, LNC is told.

All-out war

This hotly fought battle, like the Hawaiian deal, is part of the all-out war that erupted between Airbus and Boeing in which Boeing is trying to kill the A330neo.

Airbus believes Boeing will make any deal to keep Airbus wide-bodies out of the US, but it vows to protect its markets elsewhere in the world.


207 Comments on “In new blow, Boeing defeats Airbus at American, sources say; AA says ‘no decision yet’

  1. Is this like a “real war”, or more like when Bugs Bunny says in the cartoons: “.You know, this means war!” LOL (Congratulations for the quick email, Scott. You guys have been great to stay on top of this stuff for your readers l—with double source confirmations. And, yes, hat tip to Bloomberg, apparently first with the news.)

    • With Boeing’s usurping actions with AA and HA, Airbus surely feels degraded/defeated/debased. Congratulations, Boeing, you have created animosity with Airbus of Mt. Everest proportions! We can possibly see a few things happen. Airbus will go after carriers that operate both the A330ceos and 777 classics to ensure that the replacement path is: A330ceo -> A330neo and 777 classics -> A350-900/1000.

      Airbus will be aggressive with pricing for 757 replacements in the form of A321LRs/A322LRs (for the missions they can serve).

      In all likelihood, they have 2 or 4 “paper airplanes” well vetted and waiting in the wings, that will go head to head with whatever form the 797 takes shape into. Boeing is seen to have waffled and wavered on the 797, and it is taking an eternity to launch the plane. Airbus has a few cards up its sleeve. And the moment Boeing announces the 797, Airbus will also announce its new NMA. Airbus will have stolen Boeing’s thunder almost immediately after its launch.

      • Well that’s an interesting take.

        Why don’t they just drop the price?

        That was supposed to be the A330NEO big selling point, lower selling price.

        Not sure since when this was a gentlemen’s agreement to use M of Q rules.

        If Airbus has a all new response to the 797 they are keeping it very quiet.

        It also begins to explain the move to rate 14. They plan to win these contests.

        Getting deeply emotional over it is not going to change things.

        • Is the 787 selling below cost for these deals. Of course being home market cannot be accused of dumping

          • No, just lower than Airbus is willing to go.

            And no bribes.

      • Oh the horror of it! In a free market capitalist country the sales teams of competing companies are trying to offer deals to take business away from their competitors!

        More similar horror stories.

        At every hospital or cancer center that I have ever worked at, I constantly get phone calls from the competitors of the vendor whose equipment the hospital or center currently uses, updating me on their competing products, and asking me if I would like a conversion quote or a visit from a salesperson! Sometimes I get calls from the reception desk informing me that a salesperson has shown up in the waiting room without being invited!

        Although I drive a Volvo, other car manufacturers are constantly sending me test drive and trade in offers!

        Although I usually fly Delta, mostly because they have the most service to several small cities that I frequently need to travel to, other airlines, including Alaska, American, Southwest and United are constantly sending me advertisements about discounted ticket offers and their frequent flyer programs!

        How dare competitors try to compete for the business of the competition! I bet that if the people responsible for such behavior were on sports teams, they would be trying to score points against the other team so that they could win! Outrageous!

        • Thanks AP, says it perfectly.

          Funny how many commentators come out when the dastardly Boeing takes a contest with a lower price, and how ignored the library scandal is and has had on contract Airbus took.

      • Yeah, I’m not buying this “animosity of Everest proportions”- take. I mean, they’ve both been at it trying to get sales wherever they can, and Airbus can’t really complain that Boeing is trying to keep them out of the US widebody market when 2 of the big 3 have future plans to operate Airbus widebodies. (UA and DL)

    • AA goes BA — hardly man bites dog stuff is it.
      Local planes for local people — straight out of the Royston Vasey.

      BA are running the B787 for cash now.
      Flog it to death for today and tomorrow is the day the present management retire.

      If it has to use price to beat a re-engined plane with a much older pedigree then BA are not selling the tech they are selling space on a production line, sorry production lines.

      All that tech, all that hype and the B787 is now commodity.
      Effectively now a disposable programme.
      The B707 was the first and now this.

      The stock price is king.
      Everything thing else is just emotion.

      • While I agree that management benefits are key, I don’t get the comparison.

        I detest Boeing take on employee relationships.

        The 787 like an Iphone and a car etc always were a commodity.

        Its how companies stay in business.

        I don’t see how any of this makes a 787 let alone the reference to 707 disposable.

        You can sell more or fewer, you can sell at lower costs to sell more and amorratorize the production costs across more aircraft.

        What I do see is a series of wins from Emirates, Hawaii, AA.

        And why would Boeing stop on US shores. I suspect its the same overseas that they will do the same where they think they can and it works for them.

  2. It used to be that AA did not have less than 50ea of any aircraft model. Now they are getting close to the old role. Presently the A330, 757 and 767 fleets are below this number. The MD80’s are on their way out so does not really count.
    AA have a RR contract to solve as well. Maybe getting T1000-TEN’s on some 787’s? The US goverment might hold some big multiyear ticket block buys for good prices if AA buy American?

    • Once the A330-300s are sent to the desert, AA will once again have an “it’s too small of a fleet” problem, specifically with the A330-200s (only 15 frames). It’s is conceivable that Boeing will offer to buy these A330-200s or assume their leases.

      If this happens, the interesting question becomes: Will Boeing offer the 797 or 787-9 at cutrates prices (assuming an upgauge is in the cards), or would it offer the 777-8 which could be deployed to other missions, while other airfcraft from the existing fleet, most notably the 787-8, could be a direct replacement for the 15 remaining A330ceos.

      • I do not think Boeing want to sell another 787-8, just 787-9 and -10’s. Airbus should offer AA to try the A330neo’s for free for 2 years by trading in their A330-300’s as quickly as possible then have AA make a decision.
        Airbus could quickly develop the light weight A330neoRe ready to replace the 767’s before Boeing can show proven performance and cost numbers on the whole 797’s. The A330neoRe would be good for China as well and all of them could be assembled there on a new FAL.
        AA will take A321neo’s so Airbus do not have to worry about the 757 fleet replacement.

        • I like your plan. I don’t want to see Airbus become dejected and retreat!

        • Given that AA is acting in a demeaning manner towards Airbus, I hope there is a clause that allows Airbus to terminate AA’s “Most-Favored-Customer” (MFC) clause.

          This would open the floodgates to potential A320neo orders from UA, B6, NK, G4, and even AS, and further orders from DL, at reasonable prices, because Airbus would no longer have to send refund checks for undercutting AA’s prices for the A320s.

          • Not that many A320neo slots availabe. Airbus have problems to deliver the ones already sold mainly with PW1100G power. AA is maybe “too American” especially with new paint scheme to buy big Airbuses?
            Just imagine “a division of” 12ea A380’s with AA tails lined up at ORD, there are some people in the present US administration that would like that view.

          • “Demeaning manner towards Airbus”? Are you serious? The same AA that basically extorted Boeing to dump the 737RS and go MAX in order to secure orders, and then went ahead and ordered a huge lot of A320s? The same AA that was being helped along by Boeing during their bankruptcy that turned around and brought in pro-Airbus US Airways management?

        • Why should you offer a plane for free?

          That was a unique situation back in the days with a new manufacturer in a new market with huge comepetition.

          If Boeing has to give away the 87 for 115 Mio. $ not earning any money, why should you fight that?

          • Douglas did it with American for the MD-80’s.
            It is not really for free, you buy their old A330’s for market value as you trade for new A330neo’s and just let them have the the brand new A330neo’s for 2 years for free, then you need to sit down and talk.

          • Yes, Airbus offering such a deal now would probably raise a few eyebrows, and not in a good way. It would also piss off some of their other customers like Delta if Airbus gave their competitor the plane for free while they have to pay for theirs.

            This isn’t the 70s anymore, Airbus isn’t trying to get their footing, they are an established player in a duopoly. What is accepatable sales behavior for them has changed.

          • Goodness knows we don’t want a dejected Airbus.

        • Lightweight A330neoRE — just how light?

          More of a A300neoRE if they are going to offer anything worthwhile.

          Going in position — HD TA — is 125T OEW.
          Target for 2023 — MD TA — would be 90T OEW for 63m.

          • I wish we would quite proposing paper airplanes that will not fly.

            There is no such thing as a lightweight A330. Closest was an A300 and that went out of production some times ago and it was not that light weight.

          • Comparing roughly apples with apples (2 class seat layout);

            1) A310-300, range 5100NM, OEW 79T, 220 pax,
            2) B767-200, range 3900Nm, OEW 80T, 214.

            3) A300-600R, 4000Nm, OEW 89T. Cant get concise seating but its ~7m longer than the A310and Thai Airlines operated it with ~250 seats in a comfortable 2 class seat layout.

            With modern materials, etc. AB could theoretically build an 330-200 size aircraft with 5000Nm range and with an OEW of 80-90T, today’s engines are however significantly heavier.

          • Anton, yes they could and it would be an all new aircraft built complete different structural wise with different materials.

            Sure I could modify my Model T into a curretn care with all the emission met and safety criteria adhered to

            The closest it would be to a Model T would be it had 4 tires and a cab of sorts on top.

          • If we just talk about a prospevtive A330neoRe and what can be done.
            Making a composite wingbox and wings for less fuel but same span can save 15T. Moving to Al-Li skin and go down a bit in skin gauge due to lower MTOW can save 1T, new MLG and NLG with fuselage reinforcements and next generartion carbin brakes for lower MTOW can give 0.2T. Getting RR to put the ALPS fan and carbon containment case give 0.5T/engine including new carbon pylons and modified nacelle sized for the lighter engines giving lower Max Thrust/rpm.
            3D printing brackets in TiAl and revise other reinforcements with scallop all flanges and replace bigger tubing with carbon gan give 1-2T. All this makes the aircraft approx 18T ligher empty weight (but cost alot to design and certify).
            The range penaly will be less than linear due less fuel uploaded, due to maybe 2% lower engine SFC due to ALPS fan and the effect of a more slender wing and much lower MTOW for a max range of 4500nm.

          • Currently the B797 is a paper aeroplane.

            AB has a huge parts bin to work from regarding what they would offer in reply before they start designing a new platform from scratch.

            Commercial aircraft design is not very imaginative.
            The OEW gap — 50T to 125T for AB / 45T to 122T’ish for BA — points to an industry that thinks every problem looks like a nail because all they have in their toolbox is a hammer.

            Fair play to BA if they attack this gap with a wimpy Light duty TA — at least it will shake up commercial aircraft design and unite an AB response.

            They have at least 3 avenues of attack.
            Consequently should get interesting pretty quickly.
            My money is on a Super Duper Sixty.

        • “Airbus should offer AA to try the A330neo’s for free for 2 years,” which reminds us, Claes, of the original Airbus initiative involving Eastern and the A300. That certainly opened the U.S. door for them.

  3. So is the AA A350 order in danger or not? The Bloomberg article says that AA was considering the re-engined A330 as possible replacements for the 22 A350s ordered more than a decade ago.

    • If things go down as reported, AA cancels the order for 22 A350’s and instead orders more 787’s.

      (The other possibility that sounds like it is now out of the running was that they would cancel the A350’s and take A330neos instead).

      • So if they cancel the A350s and A330s, what will they buy from Airbus instead, or can they just walk away with no penalty?

        • The American A350 order dates allllll the way back to 2005, when US Airways ordered the original A350 (nonXWB). Cancellation penalties are probably pretty favorable to AA, as this was back before Boeing and Airbus were really tightening up their contracts due to the 787 and A380 debacles. It’s possible that any existing A350 money may be applied to their A321neo order (if not already).

          • Im sure AA hits up Boeing for any money lost for that

          • I find it hard to believe that Airbus would not allow AA to apply the deposits to the A321’s that were part of a large order. Such a move would sour AA for future Airbus offers. I also wonder since the original order was with US if their contract has an option to cancel and apply the funds to other models.

          • @Scott, If you had to speculate (given these were ordered during austere times), what percent of purchase price do they stand to lose in the deposits?

          • AA?
            Boeing is paying in fact.

            The deposit goes straight away from 87 price.

          • We don’t know what the deposits were monetary wise and usually they can be shifted to another aircraft as a higher payment.

            A lot like Delta and Boeing. Delta now making NMA noises and Boeing will be happy to sell to them.

            Its business on both side parts and you shoot yourself in the foot if you take it personally.

            AA has some 500 A320 types in the fleet. That’s a very good customer.

          • Or have AA use the deposites for some nicly prised CS300’s?

    • If Airbus falters under the new leadership, maybe J.L. can come out of retirement? I cannot remember if French or European law or company policy requires mandatory retirement at a certain age. For reference, J.L. was born in 1950. He would be 67 years of age.

      • @hbi72

        Why retire a very good seller to sell an old plane? The best answer would not be what Airbus is planning to launch like any new jet program? Think about the airlines?

    • If John Leahy would have sold the 787 Dreamliner there will be currently 2,000 sales !! 😂😂

      • I think we are above that if we throw in the various options.

      • If John Leahy would have sold the 787 Dreamliner there will be currently 2,000 sales !!

        And deferred costs for the program would be even higher!

        • wouldn’t have worked.
          John Leahy leveraged a good product in his sales.

          • That must be why he wasn’t able to sell the A380 : o

          • Now that is just plane (pun intended) mean.

  4. The quote below is from another A330neo related article from Bloomberg, dated today. See the link after the quote for the full story.

    “Glitches with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc engines that have dogged Boeing Co.’s 787 wide-body jet are also an issue for the rival A330neo model from Airbus SE, people with knowledge of the situation said.

    Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000 turbine, the only one available on the Airbus plane, shares the durability problems afflicting the Trent 1000 from which it was developed, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the latest concern hasn’t been made public.”

    • I would think RR would have this problem isolated and fixed by the time these A330neos would have been delivered (2020/2021). The article states they need 6 months from this summer to fix the problem.

      However, I do think fleet/engine commonality did play a big role here making a RR purchase unlikely.


      • You would think it would not have gotten this far in the first place.

        Its been going on for 2 years now. It should have been solved in the 7000.

        We don’t know how the XWB is going to do long term.

        In the US we used to live with Cat saying how superior their engine were, a lot of buyers disagree. A lot like RR and the vaunted 3 spool and how superior it is.

        GP has proven that false on the A380 and GE while it has problems with their GenX on the ice up, has not grounded groups nor had to come out with a 787NEO to deal with it.

        I doubt the RR is even a real option on the 797.

  5. Two high profile, back-to-back “losses” to Boeing for prestigeous wide-body orders by important American (the country, NOT the airline) brands that could influence the decisions made other airlines around the world, or undermine confidence by lessors in the A330neo…

    Hmmm…I wonder if Airbus may be beginning (if it hasn’t already) to think it’s time to unretire John Leahy and his sales magic to get its mojo against a very aggressive Boeing back? 😉

      • And there is that, how much of this has to do with past practices that are currently not being employed?

        • Not sure how likely such practices are or even were in such markets but the legacy of the investigation into Airbus’s Paris office appear to be long and damaging. We have seen a quite amazing turnaround regarding sales, particularly the significant orders. It remains to be seen how long this continues…

    • Make that 3 high profile losses… Emirates anyone?

      And all 3 had selected Airbus first and then cancelled for Boeing!

      Double slap…

      • …and Turkish 789’s, makes you wonder whats happening on the golf course?!

        • According to my knowledge Turkish Airlines ordered 25 Boeing 787-9 and 25 A350-900.

          • That order seems to be a replacement for current 330’s? So in roads for the 787, could see the 35K fitting well into Turkish fleet with the 25+5 A359 orders.

            There is some politic’s behind this order.

            Was wondering what BA will say if AB start doing the Boeing thing and offer airlines stupid prices for those that has 787 orders.

            If airlines can cancel AB orders so others can cancel BA orders?

      • The Emirates order for the 787-10 took place last November, and was prior to Leahy’s late January retirement date.

        To be sure, Boeing stole Airbus’s thunder at the Dubai Airshow when, at the 11th hour, Airbus’s hopes of announcing a deal for follow-on (and model production life saving) orders for the A380 fell apart, and Boeing’s deal for the 787s grabbed headlines instead.

        And yes, inclusion of the Emirates decision in favor of Boeing’s 787s over Airbus’s A350 would make for three consecutive high profile losses for Airbus in that segment of the market between the two OEMs.

        But, looking at things strictly in the context of the “post Leahy” era, and that the Hawaiian & American Airlines’ decisions reflected airlines that still, and will for the foreseabble future, operate Airbus’s “big twins” be they the A330s, or at least until last week’s news from Airbus disclosing the abandonment of legacy US orders for the A350, were still active orders on Airbus’s books by either Hawaiian or American for the A350/ A330neo models that Boeing succeeded in having (or in AA’s case “likely” since neither it nor Boeing have confirmed last week’s news reports) switched to the 787, these two recent high profile “wins” by Boeing remain a little different from Emirates’ order last year if only because Leahy was still officially at Airbus, and Emirates decision cancel its order for 70 A350s happened in June, 2014 with the last of its A330s and A340s withdrawn from service on October, 29th 2016.

        So, not quite the same – although in a broader sense, I agree, still very much a 3rd consecutive (and prestigeous) “win” for Boeing and its 787 family and a “loss” for Airbus and its A350/A330neo “family” that Airbus is currently offering in its effort to compete against Boeing in the widebody “big twin” space…

    • It’s developed from the Trent 1000 TEN, which was developed by taking lessons and improvements learned from the Trent XWB and elsewhere and applying them to the Trent 1000 where possible.

      That is why it is called the Trent 7000. Old RR engine on the A330 was the Trent 700, based off Trent 1000, so voila Trent 7000.

    • Hello Chris,

      Perhaps the following data might help clarify the relationships between Rolls-Royce engines for A330, A350, and 787 aircraft. Note that the thrust for the A350 engines is somewhat higher than those of the A330 and 787 engines.

      Thrust per engine according to Wikipedia. I assume that where a single value is given instead of a range, it is a ‘typical’ value.

      787-8: 64,000 pounds
      A330 neo: 67,000 to 72,000 pounds
      787-9: 71,000 pounds
      787-10: 76,000 pounds
      A350-900: 84,200 pounds
      A350-1000: 97,000 pounds

        • Trent 1000 TEN will replace all thrust versions of the Trent 1000 ( i.e. from 788 to 7810 ).
          Afaik initial planning was to have the TEN for 789 and 7810 only.

  6. Leopards don’t change their spots. The cynic in me never quite believed they’d accept delivery of another widebody from Airbus. Ever . It was always going to be a sub fleet. The math never stacked up. But what American have done very well is extract a decent price for the Boeing planes they’ll order.
    United next

  7. Now that Boeing has established a pattern of extremely deep 787 discounts, shouldn’t it write off some of the $28B deferred cost, now on its balance sheet?

    • Probably a wise decision to take a $10B or so hit now. It’s a “paper hit” with ZERO impact on cash flows. And the stock closed @ $321 a share today. Just check on any loan or bond covenants based on historic, “book” net worth—might need lender waivers. I think most folks will understand, and blame it on the prior regime under long gone “Dollar Bill” Jim McNerney! LOL

      • If agreements with 787 suppliers follow McNearney’s thinking from GE all 787 suppliers will share the discounts as well making Boeing taking a minor loss on these US widebody sales.
        It might be that the US goverment do not like that to many Airbuses with RR engines get into their wartime planning.
        RR should buy the Packard name and open a new US Trent assembly line shipping Packard-Rolls Trents maybe from Alliance Airport TX or rebuild the old Packard-Merlin factory.

        • Claes: I don’t get the wartime planning. BASE took over Allison’s and the US is heavily involved with BAE product across the war fighting equipment.

          And an aside on engine history:

          As for the Merlin thing, the US never needed the Merlin. We had the Allison V-1710 which was a superior engine. Simpler, more hp capable, it came with gasket sets not artificers hammering them out of raw gasketing material.

          One of life’s mysteries why the USAAC would not add the super chargers needed to make it perform. That was the only piece of kit that the Merlin had over the 1710.

          1710 was simpler, more modular and was easily adapted to more platforms at less cost.

          Somewhere there is a hidden chapter on the V-1710 (t was allowed those features on the highly successful P-38)

          Packard could have cranked those out in far more numbers than the more complicated Merlin.

          • Claes/Transworld – To follow your Merlin thread: the V-1710, originally designed for airships (and of which almost 50,000 were built), had turbochargers on the P-38 i believe and otherwise was used extensively on the P-39, P-40 and some P-51s that I read spent a lot of time at lower levels than the higher altitudes at which the supercharged Merlins were often required to operate. V-1710 did replace the Packard Merlin on the F-82 and also powered the XFM-1. Ironically, the V-1710 was intended to have turbo-superchargers, but airships did not require them. Allison was acquired by GM, which developed the V-3420 – two V-1710s coupled in a -W-24 arrangement if you will, both crankshafts driving a single prop – for the cancelled XP-75.

          • We can add in that it was not just superchargers.

            It was two speed super chargers.

            The P-38 did use a Turbo Super setup but it had a form that allowed that.

            Once it was realized the need for the two stage there was no reason in the world the 1710 could not have had that.

            Weird stuff. Cost to boost 1710 produc9n in the USA vs bringing a Merlin over here, getting it up to speed via drawings and conversions of Whitworth standard etc ?

            Far more time consuming and less production for the ramp up.

          • I think the bombers (B-17&B-24’s) needed all the turbochargers GE could produce, having just a smaller lot allocated to Allson engines mainly for the P-38’s. As the Merlins get the Stanley Hooker designed 2 stage supercharger it really became sucessful engine.
            When PW got the 2000hp class R2800 in service it changed alot as the enemy used 1000hp engines, many developments of license produced P&W Twin Wasps.

          • RR have Trent production in UK Derby; EU Dahlewitz, Asia Singapore and non in the US. It might help sales in the US with a local Trent production line, maybe Allison Indianapolis is local start to truck Trents to Seattle, Charleston and a new A350/A330 FAL in Moble AL. The truck drivers can honk their horns when meeting another trucker driving a GEnX Engine or a GE90 to/from Boeing.

    • @Bill

      Given that half of the 787 accounting block of 1300 frames have already been delivered — and with deferred 787 production costs presently at about $25 billion — Boeing must secure an average profit of around $38 million per airframe for the remaining 650 787s in the accounting block. Boeing will have to pay off that amount from future profits on 787s. The problem is that if Boeing continue their seemingly extremely deep discounting practices on 787 sales, they won’t be able to pay off much of those deferred costs.

      • With the production line going to 14/month and with the first 787-10 only being delivered tomorrow, I expect the accounting block to expand beyond 1300 units barring any extreme macroeconomic event.

        Higher production rates will lead to lower costs while the competition in this class has the opposite problem.

        Still a forward loss position does seem to be likely at some point in this program’s life. No rush.


        • Well, additional benefits from the learning curve are small at this stage of production. Also, according to David Mowery (BerkeleyHAAS), the doubling of output in the LCA industry reduces unit costs by as much as 20 percent. Therefore, the increase in 787 production output by 17 percent, at this stage in the game, would only lead to a reduction in unit costs by a maximum 3.5 percent. I’m not sure if that small reduction in costs would counteract Boeing’s current aggressive 787 discounting practices.

          • Aggressive pricing on the 787 isn’t exactly a new phenomenon and they are still turning a profit on unit deliveries. There are plenty of early customers (launch pricing) still receiving units.

            By eliminating the rather unique 788s and swapping in 787-10s with its very high comparative commonality economies of scale are higher than just 2 units/month. Plus, Boeing South Carolina have there own learning curve on finished units yet to bear fruit.

            New pricing with vendors is now coming into the fold as well. And, again, the $25B in deferred costs is a paper transaction not a cash one – this program is going to have very high positive cash flow for at least the next decade.


          • Well, the learning cure is also flattening out in Charleston. Most of the “learning” has already been achieved with the 787-9. Due to the high commonality between the 787-9 and 787-10, it’s rather doubtful that much further cost savings can be achieved with the 787-10. Also, you can’t exclude the extra marginal production costs for the 787-10.

            The current order backlog for the 787-10 is equal to one year of 787 production at 14 units per month. That backlog would have to rise significantly in order to reach a higher level of profitability.

            Now, the $25 billion in deferred costs are costs that are not yet accounted for. A “paper transaction” would only occur when Boeing decides to write off what remains of the deferred costs. Profit measures the ongoing sustainability of a company, while the cash flow measures the ability of a company to pay its bills. Hence, fire sales of 787s is not going to be sustainable over the long term.

          • Boeing might have done smart redesigns for the -10 that also applies to the -9 with new suppliers like they did going from -8 to -9, hence it could be a step change in cost for some major parts.
            There are some US military founded programs that also make big composite parts that can retool the military funded equipment to mass produce 787 parts, like Orbital-ATK in Utah.

          • All of the design refinements were done with the 787-9 and 95 per cent of the design and build of the 787-10 is identical with the 787-9. For example, it’s the extended 787-10 centre fuselage section that takes the additional bending loads. The forward and aft fuselage sections (i.e. Section-41/-47/-48) are identical on the -9 and -10. Also, “smart redesigns” are easier said than done. Recertification costs are not trivial.


          • According to All Thing 787, the Charleston operation still has a bit to go on the learning curve.

            If I have the data right, Everett is doing 7 a month and Charleston is doing 5. Charleston goes to 7 next year.

            That’s a big jump

          • There is more to the 787 unit cost reduction than merely increasing the production rate.

            They have slashed production time by more than two-thirds. They are implementing new processes like 3-D printing. They have demanded and received price cuts from suppliers.

          • In other words, like all programs, its under continuous refinement.

            Most interesting is that Boeing can match the A330 price that was the mainstays argument for the A330 in the first place.

          • @ Rick Shaw

            Yes the production time has fallen but from a very high base. The question is now that almost all the ‘learning’ has dropped out of the equation where does the B787 stand in terms of production cost when compared to the A330neo (and for that matter the A350). This is a slugging match with near commodity pricing.

            So the question arises whether the newer processes are cheaper over the long run. That would be a very interesting piece of knowledge to have. I am surprised by the lack of aggressiveness shown by AB in the game.

    • Are we really believing that price was the full reason for this order? If Boeing said they lost a 737max 9 order due to price to an a321neo would we believe them? The a330 has been warmed over too many times I’d believe and it may well be that with exclusive rolls Royce engines operators are looking at their contemporaries’ grounded fleets and saying no thanks. Likely Boeing was competitive on the price but the features and future proofing is more of a factor. If it really was price that’s a stark admission from Airbus for the program since that was supposed to be their selling point of the aircraft. I would be looking at Boeing to be calling Ed Bastian soon as well as Willie Walsh to continue the momentum

  8. Trent 700 was not based on Trent 1000. The 700 was introduced on A330/years before 1000 entered service on 787.
    Trent 700 has dominated A330 market in recent years.

    • Actually the Trent 700 was a slight development from the Trent600 for the MD-11 that was never certified. The Trent 600/700 design benefitted alot from the RR experience making parts for the CF6-80C2.

  9. Trent 700 was not based on Trent 1000. The 700 was introduced on A330/years before 1000 entered service on 787

  10. I thought I’d read that the US management at new AA favored Airbus products.

  11. How long can Boeing sell their plane at a loss. I know they have other revenue streams ( maintenance, part and services) but holy smokes business 101 would say you could not do this. Image GM losing money on every car the build.

    • Who says these would be at a loss? Some Airbus sales guy that lost? Be careful what you believe – the narrative that A or B can only win by giving away product ignores the fact that both have shareholders.

    • And yet somehow their operating margin on commercial aircraft is 25 percent greater than airbus and they generate ten billion a year in free cash flow from operations.

    • The 787 program has been profitable on a unit bases for quite a while now. They have no motivation to sell aircraft at a loss and could actually get in trouble if they did.

      BTW, GM looses quite a bit on every electric car they build.


  12. Expected, but the reason about fleet simplification is BS. This is about money and politics. The 787 is not a replacement for the 777-200ER.

    • Yes, AA is probably keen for the MAGA crowd to go after EK (i.e. “buy American”). The problem, though, for Boeing is that if the Administration decides to put restrictions on the current air traffic rights for UAE carriers, Tim Clark has indicated that EK would cancel their order for 150 777X wide-bodies.

      • Delta is the loudest complainer about the ME3 and supporting USA jobs and protectionism…and they have been buying Airbus over Boeing at an increasing clip for quite some time.

        That being said ~40% of an Airbus comes from USA parts anyway, and on a total cost bases its even higher on A320s that are built in AL.


        • The MAGS crowd don’t seem to care that up to 40 percent of an Airbus is sourced from the US. They will probably not be satisfied unless Airbus would decide to move all its manufacturing facilities to the US — lock, stock and barrel.

          As for Delta being the loudest “complainer”, AA is still a member of Partnership for Open and Fair Skies.

    • who said anything about the 777-200ER? It’s the A330-200/300.

    • On the subject of replacing 777-200ER’s with 787’s or A350’s in general, as opposed to whatever the particular situation may be at American Airlines, United Airlines Senior VP Gerry Laderman stated at a 2-27-18 J.P. Morgan Global High Yield (aka Junk Bond) and Leveraged Finance Conference that United Airlines will be using a combination of 787-10’s and A350-900’s to replace 777-200ER’s. See the excerpt below from slides number 15 and 16 (pages 16 and 17) at the link after the excerpt. Mr. Laderman’s presentation stated that United considered the 777-300ER, 777-8X, and A350-1000 to big for their 777-200ER replacement needs, and the 787-9 too small.

      “The A350-900 & 787-10 provide a solid tag-team 777-200ER replacement solution:
      > In terms of seat capacity, the A350-900 and 787-10 emerged as contenders
      > 787-10 will sufficiently cover markets below 7,200sm while A350-900 will cover longer-range markets
      > Existing order for 35x A350-1000’s was used to fulfill this replacement need

      Modifications to the Airbus A350 order:
      >Converted from the A350-1000 to the A350-900 to fulfill 777-200ER replacement needs
      >Increased the number of aircraft from 35 to 45 and retained flexibility to respond to changing market forces
      >Deferred entry into service from 2018 to 2022 –4 year deferral aligns with ~25 year fleet age target
      >Improved overall economics of the aircraft & engines to be competitive on both short and long haul routes

  13. This website which tracks 788 ‘incidents’ ( as well as for other models) shows 25 ‘engine shutdowns in flight’
    They seem to be spread over both types of engine.
    Is it me or is an engine shutdown in flight not as rare as I thought it was. Wasnt this the rationale for the long range twins- engine,’shutdown is extremely uncommon’.
    Over 6 years or so and for one subtype 25 seems massive, add the 789 and we could be looking at 30-40 shutdowns

    • An engine shutdown in flight is, I suspect, not be the same as an in-flight shutdown, which has an agreed definition and understood meaning. Some (many?) of those events cited might have been occasions when an engine was reduced to ‘flight idle,’ which ain’t an IFSD. Likewise, don’t we often say that aircraft have been ‘grounded’ when we mean taken out of service? ‘Grounded’ means suspension or withdrawal of the C of A – a la 787 a few years back.

  14. ?

    No A330 order when AA already operates dozens of 787s. Who can be honestly surprized?

    A350s to replace 777’s. E.g. on the Pacific, the 773ER’s later on. That’s where the real competition seems to be.

    • 787s have been replacing 777s on AA routes for quite sometime. The 787-9/10 could cover those early 777-200 routes quite well. 77Ws are brand new. Come back in 20 years and there will probably be a new program to replace those.


      • AA has 67 777s. The 45 777-200ER will be up for replacement. That’s where Airbus is after. 787s will replace aging 767s and A330s.

        With the exception of two 2006 build units, all 777-200ER’s were delivered between 1999 and 2003.

        • AA is configuring their 789s with more seats than their 77Es including premium economy. Their international capacity growth plan is anemic. A350 would be a step up from there and I don’t see it for the reasons already mentioned.

          They have 58 787 options as is.


          • Qantas aims to use them to replace 747s.

            Granted they need a few more

    • You repeat this mantra every chance you get.

      As someone over at pointed out to you, “The 787-9 and 777-200ER have identical cabin lengths and AA only recently went 3+4+3 in Economy on their 777s to reduce the CASM of the type. The 787 already offers significantly better CASM at 3+3+3 than the 777-200ER does at 3+4+3, much less at 3+3+3. AA is also 1+2+1 in Business Class so the A350 offers no advantage in seating per row over the 787.”

      It was the bigger is better conceit that got Airbus into trouble with the A380.

      • You buy a new plane for the next 20 years, not the last 10 years. Replacing like cabin length doesnt make sense.
        As AP Robert provided sourced details
        -“United Airlines will be using a combination of 787-10’s and A350-900’s to replace 777-200ER’”

        Its seems most likely American is using the 789s for A330 (24)and 767 (23) replacement.
        In practice a large airline like AA will mix older and newer planes on routes for seasonal and even day of the week reasons

        • Replacing cabin length does make sense. You don’t add more capacity and hope to grow into it.

          Your “build it and they will come” argument ignores other factors like adding frequency or opening new routes. It also ignores the fact that AA operates very few routes where a 787-10 will not work.

  15. Are Boeing making their 787s at a lower cost than Airbus makes the A330? If so that’s a problem and Airbus needs to get its costs down. If not, it should be able to sell the A330 against the 787 even with a lower efficiency because of the 787’s need to recoup deferred costs.

    • Boeing has to sell the 787 at the highest price they can, period. They need to understand how the market and the specific customer values the product and try to get as high as they can, above costs, and win the deal.

      If that also makes a significant dent in the deferred costs, great. But they aren’t going to not sell a 787 because the market conditions only nets them ~5% profit margin. These costs are sunk.

      Production rates are going up to 14/month and with that and further learning and fewer unique 788s coming down the line and the line should only become more profitable and competitive on price as time goes on.


      • There is a yes and no to this argument which goes to the fundamental difficulties suffered by all OEMs. Each additional sale allows the B787 to travel down the learning curve and to generate cash and also to recoup some of its deferred cost.

        At the same time the aggressive pricing is pushing the accounting block out to 2,000+. You could argue that past, sunk, cost is of no consequence but the manner in which USGAAP allows the deferral of cost will depress profit for many years into the future.

        Anything that upsets the 14 units per month could have serious ramifications to Boeing accounts if a significant forward loss is forced upon them.

  16. Apologies for repeating something I just posted on, but I suspect people here would have better information to give.

    I’m sure someone else can develop more accurate numbers, but here is how I see the outstanding orders, the production rate, and the years of backlog for these aircraft (based on Wikipedia)

    By the end of this year assuming no significant new orders

    787 has a backlog of 518 planes, a production rate of 14 over 12 months, resulting in 3.1 years of backlog

    A330neo has a backlog of 214 planes, a production rate of 6 over 11 months, resulting in 3.2 years of backlog

    A350 has a backlog of 620 planes, a production rate of 12 over 11 months, resulting in 4.7 years of backlog

    If I am anywhere near correct, it would indicate that Boeing is going to be more aggressive at this moment.

    Maybe a little more aggressive considering the political situation, and Boeing more at risk with both China and Iran.

  17. Good luck to AA, they will have to compete with DAL and UAL that operates the better aircraft.

    • Well I havn’t seen on side drive another side out regardless of the aircraft they use.

      Luft is still clunking along with A340s.

      Singapore is loosing gobs of money (A380s/A350 part of the fleet)

  18. With trade friction building between China and the US there might just be a window of opportunity opening for Airbus?

  19. One thing to remember is that AA still has a fleet of 125 A319’s that need replacement. Could CS300’s come into play?

    • Maybe on the used A319s that AA snatched up … Most A319s don’t have enough cycles to warrant replacement for at least several years.

  20. Now that the shot across the bow has been fired, what kind of defensive, offensive and anti-competitive plays will we see going forward? I see the potential of Boeing or Airbus subsidizing engines manufacturers’ development for NMA engines, such that the airframe maker has an exclusive relationship on that NMA-sized engine type for “x number of years”.

  21. Apparently some believe the 787-9 is a good 777-200ER replacement. That’s ok.

    AA not ordering A330NEO’s, an unexpected blow? .. In that case congratulations to Boeing.

  22. That order was always squishy, but the way Boeing is playing…

    They are luck Airbus is without lead, after Leahy and Bregier gone, Enders on his way out. Makes the counterstrike less hard.

    Boeing is giving the 87 away without earning money.
    It’s somewhat a matter of zeitgeist. Buy American, AA from Texas the most conservativ and patriotic staate, Trumps America first campaing.
    Sueing Bombadier, tariffs and co- it all fits together.
    Protectionism never has worked well, is this the beginning of the fall?

    If I were Airbus, path would be clear: Stretch the A321neo, give it a larger wing, try to built this wing so it also fits a A338neo for a regional/ 8h mission plane, and kill the MOM right now.
    Stretch the A35k close to 80m and let it compete against a much heavier B779x.
    Buy the CS and stretch it to A320/B738 size, shifiting A320 family up to A321/322 and directly attack the B738max.
    Airbus has no new product in pipeline, with the CS team from Bomdadier and the A350 team free, and the team working now on A330neo it could do all of this at the same time.
    Let Boeing sell it’s 87 for low prices, just attack the B737max as hard as you can, sell the A350 and ask Boeing where they will earn money with just one well selling program.

    • That is based more on heavy optimism than reality.

      1) The C series is struggling to increase production, and still struggling for orders. There is no guarantee that relaunching a CS500 right now will result in a lot of orders as airlines will be cautious until they know BBD/Airbus can actually deliver. Also the CS500 will be a different type than the A321/A322 (Slapping Airbus’s name in front of it doesn’t txhange that), so it will stilll have that disadvantage against the A320. Airbus would still be making the current A321 with full commonality, they are not going to replace it with the rewing version as most operator use A321s on shorter flights still (something that has been lost on aviation fans in the whole A321LR noise/excitement). Finally Airbus would only own half of the CS500, so they won’t be getting all the income from the sales. They can purchase the whole program later, but it will be based on market value. If the CS program is a huge success then than Airbus will have to pay more for the entire program. It is in their best interest for the program to only be a moderate success until they get full control (too successful and they have to pay a lot, too unsuccessful and program would be cheap but more difficult to turn around).

      2) both the A35K and 779 are hardly selling like gangbusters as is, and you want Airbus to launch a new stretch? That is not going to happen-that is why Airbus has decided not to stretch the airframe more are this time.

      3) your scenario basically bumps off the A330neo that airbus just spent money developing.

      You talk about how your scenario would just leave Boeing with 1 well selling aircraft but you are hopelessly optimist about the prospects of a A350 stretch and the CS500 at this time, and being incredibly naive if you think a CS500 is going to kill off the 737-8 and MAX program that quickly (Boeing is moving to what, 50 a month with a wide customer base containing thousands of units with the 737 while BBD is still struggling to get 2 C series delivered a month and has delivered a total o ~25 in almost 2 yearsf). Airbus also doesn’t want to spend too much money on too many programs at the same time. Boeing is in a far better finacial position than you seem to think they are in, and Airbus, while also doing well, is not flushed with unlimited cash and no problems themselves (they still have to deal with the A380 and A400M programs, and get their money back on the A350 and A330neo programs).

      • Why should that be a dump to A330neo?

        If you equippe A332/338 fuselage with a mid range wing?
        Actual has 0 sales.
        A339 is way larger and will sell anyway.

        Who cares about communality if you can replace X 000 of A319/320 and B737-6/7/8? That’s not relevant.
        You simply shift the family up, Cs – 100 – 300 -500
        A321neo A321lr A322.

        Boeing has 20 bn dept on 87.
        Boeing has struggle with KC 67, if you mention A400m.
        A380 doesn’t play any role now, it’s on a slight loss till mid 2020ies and then a decision will be made.

        Airbus has the capacity to be developed.
        Leaves the only argument that’s valid and relevant the production.
        That’s true, CS ramp up would be costly.

        The A35k stretch might be not in big demand now, but with a lot of B77Ws around it might be a viable option say 3,4 years from now.

        @ Checklist:
        How can you congratulate Boeing on that one? They give a plane away for free, just to win that order. Usually the reason should be to earn money.

        • Boeing made money, just not as much.

          And now we have an all new wing on an aircraft that is not only not selling, but has a very iffy Air Asia as its larger by far in orders?

          I hate to tell people but at some point a program has to make money and adding’s wings and making it light and all that are not options.

          If it was an option Boeing would have done it to the 767 and had their NMA.

          You can’t make a Model T into a Corvette.

          • Yes they certainly are options.
            Was a great success for the 737 NG with its new wing.
            Was done for the A300 to make the A330 and its sibling aircraft the A340 had a later ‘1/2 wing change’ to make the much bigger A340-500/600.

            Because it hasnt been done yet for the 767, doesnt mean we might not yet see it done ( possible) or other changes to get the 797.
            Bombardier has done all sorts of wing changes for its regional jet/global business jet. Embraer is doing it for its E2 series

            The important parts of the plane for efficiency are
            first the engines ( we we see a lot of new engines there) and the wings ( even slight changes like a retwist or winglets)
            The cabin itself is less important than the seats !

          • Don’t forgett the A330 fuselage was already used for MOM purpose.
            Actually, it was the begining of Airbus.

          • The big success of a hypothetical A322 could be to push down the price of the 797-6X.

          • What works or worked for single aisles does not mean it works for wide bodies.

            A NEO on the A320 created quite a stir.

            NEO on the A330 not so much.

            NEO on 787 does not seem to have been a real changer for RR either.

      • >Finally Airbus would only own half of the CS500, so they won’t be getting all the income from the sales.

        This is not a given, any CS500 will require investment hence there will be a negotiation about who makes that investment and who reaps the rewards. If AB provides the lions share of that investment they will get the lions share of the income.

        • Could only see the development of an CS500 (and 320+) once BA launches an NSA?

    • @Sash

      Hope makes living…

      For the moment congratulations to Boeing ! 😉

    • Sash, I think you are possibly quite right here. But AB has to wait until Big BA commits to the 797 New Mid Market job. Case in point – you get a recession, just look at the step back in the market this past week, but you get a turndown in the economy and all that backlog for these orders will go up like smoke at a vaping convention. It happened in the past more than once. Then, you’ll see that CS500/700, and that technology applied to the bigger A320 line planes…

      • Well we had that in 2008 big time and the orders held up incredibly well.

          • It looks like there was a paradigm shift between those two periods.

            2008 was worse by orders of magnitude.

          • @TW

            The crash in 2008 was ameliorated by a world plan to offer free money to banks and big business. Hence we have seen a Goldilocks world economy that have made corporations, banks and HNW individuals very wealthy.

            The market has been distorted in such a way that any further economic shock could be quite devastating as there are no more bullets in the magazine for central bankers.

            We are seeing interest rates increasing as the bankers look to bring matters back to some sort of equilibrium but the level of indebtedness in govt and personally is quite scary. Funny money economics is of concern for everyone.

    • “Boeing is giving the 87 away without earning money.”

      Absolute nonsense.

  23. Both the Hawaiian and AA orders were acquired/morphed and much changed for some time. Boeing do seem to be pushing harder than AB of late… And I guess getting a 787 cheaper than an a330 is quite the deal (odd really).

    It’s a shame of course, but true and large a330ceo customers are the ones to keep and resell to. The US majors aren’t huge a330 users when compared to Boeing so smaller fleets and crews may not be ideal in terms of flexibility and quick change outs. Working and partnering with Delta as their US ambassadors may be wise.

    Positive Airline-ops buzz once the neo gets into commercial service should help. Let’s hope the T7000 issues don’t screw that up.

  24. I guess what i don’t understand is the premise that the A350 were suppposed to replace the A330’s. The A350 is better as a 777 replacement. I don’t see any kind of blow to AB if American decides to replace the 767 and A330 with the smaller 787. AA dropped Airbus widebodies a decade or more ago. What’s intriguing is how they willl replace the old 777’s they have. Cancelling the A350 now may mean they are not interested in that plane at all. What a pitty. Then again, it’s AA, like other US airlines still flying 20+ year old planes and providing cheap crappy service. Goofy choices..

    • And making lots of money?

      Singapore is flying a lot of new cool aircraft and currently going broker.

      Its not about emotion its about money.

      The days of POSH are long gone (if they ever were for the masses of which I a one!)

      • @ Transworld. I respectfully disagree. It is not about POSH. It’s about world standard and US airlines are below the world standard when it comes to fleet age and service. Ofcourse US airlines make money because you don’t get what you pay for. On the long run, they will have to change because people will be able to fly POSH for the same price on other airlines or they will be able fly for less on new LLC carriers. Remember the Sears story. Undercut by discount stores below and by more premium ones on the top.

        This is already happening,
        – Delta A350 suites, United Polaris, etc. they have to do something.

        • Well the US operators are making money hand over fist.

          Maybe they understand the market better than the rest of the world?

          • You can only compare US Airlines on Intercontinental flights where there is competition. I don’t have the numbers but I Think the US Airlines are losing some markets especially where they use the 757/767 to compete agianst the modern A350/A380/787’s of the competition. Like cross Atlantic. For the Pacific they might hold up better with 777/787’s and DAL A350 meeting 777/787/A350/A380 of the competition. Airbus might offer DAL/UAL the AA A350 delivery slots for a good price to make them feel the competition of the A350 vs 787.

        • ” world standard” – There is nothing like that. Every sector has it’s own competitors and you should strive to offer just enough above what your competitor offers. As for old airplanes , many years ago some very experienced mechanics at EL AL explained me that if maintained correctly , every airplane can safely live forever. As a customer if your cabin is comfortable and new then you should not bother about the airplane age. ( The only reservation to that may be the noise issue which modern airplanes have lowered )

          • IMU he was talking about “inner values” like derelict cabin furnishings. Also it is difficult if not impossible to keep FAs of any gender in “like new” shape.
            going into their 60ties and beyond they just start to creak.
            Outer values: loud, noisy, fuel guzzling does not succumb to good servicing either.

  25. Actually, the AA options for the A350 should have been to a very competetive price, as this is a super early order.

    • In future the 779’s could be to big for AA and the 778 to heavy.

      To get a fleet of sustainable numbers in the long term for AA could have been 25×359’s and 25x35K’s?

      But they have RR engines and are not made in the US?!

      • I don’t know why you think AA has a thing against RR engines. Have you taken a look at what powers their A332 and 77E fleets? Ever since bankruptcy AA’s engines have basically been decided by who offers them the best deals

        GE currently powers their 787 fleet, so it makes sense that AA would go back to them in a follow up order. GE is also likely being aggressive with pricing to try and steal RR customers (HA, AA, probably competing hard against RR for EK), especially now when RR is having issues with the T1000s.

        • That and the GE engine has proven to be less failure prone as well as better fuel efficiency.

          They also do not have to deal with an all new engine type.

          Norwegian is shifting the -9s to the Trent 10, the 1000 go back on the -8. Who is paying for all that is?

          Likely the Trent 1000 with the -8 throttle back can do better on that aircraft. Better fuel burn.

          But even with the Ten, its no a major jump over the GenX in fuel burn, matches it, maybe 1% better. Not a real plus for an all new engine.

          • Thought it was approx 2% better for the -TEN, maybe GE did Another PIP on the GEnX to even out the difference?

          • AA’s current CEO is the one who ordered the A332 with RRs. AA’s CEO is the one who ordered the A350. AA’s CEO has never ordered the 787 before period. In fact most of AA’s executives are from US Airways. The fact that Doug Parker is leading AA was seen by many as a huge in for Airbus in American”s wodebody fleet.

  26. Breaking news the first none stop flight from Australia landed at London Heathrow taking about 17 hours well done Mr Boeing.

          • Well I did a cattle class from Anchorage to Taiwan in a 747SP many years ago and it was no fun either.

            Not nearly as long a flight either.

            If you buy that ticket you should know what you are getting. Apparently a lot of people do.

          • It was not Economy:
            „ The flight was sold out, and even though I’m Gold on United, I was relegated to coach. Specifically “Economy Plus,” which is the least worst seats on the bus.“

        • Hello Anton,

          Regarding: “Did they show photos of the passengers that flew in economy?”

          The article at the link below does not show pictures of economy passengers; however it does have pictures of the economy seating (looks better than average to me but sitting in it for 17 hours would be the test), and interviews with 4 economy (not premium economy) passengers, all of whom comment favorably on the comfort of the economy section. The excerpt below includes comments of one of the economy passengers.

          “But what is the experience like for passengers on board the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for more than 17 hours? While VIPs from Qantas, politicians and members of the media (including this reporter) enjoyed the luxuries of business class or premium economy, other passengers endured 17 hours in the cheap seats.

          Economy flying is not pleasant at the best of times, so how was it on this ultra-long-haul?

          “Everything has been superb,” said Jason Haddad from Perth.

          The 39-year-old clinical psychologist normally flies business or premium economy, but declared this the best economy flight he’d ever done.

          “I booked this 10 days ago. I was hesitant, because here was no business or premium economy left,” he said.

          “I think Qantas’ designers have really thought about the little extras like storage space, charging ports, the footrest is really good. This is the first long-haul economy I’ve done where I haven’t got a sore back, the angle of the seat is really good.”

          Mr Haddad endorsed the flight as a great way to fly to the UK.

          “Partly that’s because the flight is so long,” he said. “Even if you don’t have a lie-flat bed, you can actually doze for like 10 hours. So I feel more rested than I’ve ever felt on any other long-haul economy flight.”

          • Here are the comments of another economy passenger from the article that I provided a link to above.

            “Sarah Fry, 39, a Melburnian ex-pat now living in London but travelling to Brisbane regularly for work, found herself in the last row at the back of the plane.

            But even at the tail-end, there was nothing but praise for the flight.

            “I found it much better than my usual route to London, which is Brisbane-Sydney-Dubai-London,” she said.

            “I found the seat much better than other economy seats. Even in the back row the seat reclined. I was a bit worried about being on a plane for 17 hours, but you didn’t really notice it. Not having to get off the plane and go through security was much easier.”

            “I’ll be recommending this to my colleagues. If you can handle being on a plane for that long, it’s a much easier flight,” she said.

            Read more:

          • I was thinking the week-en about the Aussie routes. The easy/logic option is to make Perth the Europe hub where passengers fly “domestic” to Perth and then on wards.

            With my AB cap on, the 35K should do Perth to London direct with 300 or so seats?

      • Im surprised the routing went through the usual way through the Middle East-Gulf, Iran, Turkey etc.
        I was led to believe the ‘best way’ was more over Egypt and Greece-Italy ?
        Maybe its a seasonal thing.

      • Economically feasible with the 787 ? Its a great plane but Qantas other choice was the 747, not exactly a valid comparison.
        The passenger count was a bit vague ‘more than 200’, arent we able to say exact number like 225 or 230 ( seats 236 in Qantas layout), having close to 200 passengers doesnt make it very economic.
        Its only non stop from Perth, the flight originated in Melbourne, so its still a one stop flight for them. There being around half a dozen ‘one stop’ flights to London from Melbourne including with the A380

        • You miss, the point, it was all from Australia!. There is a cachet involved here.

          Non of that stopping in the ME (or Singapore or HK)

          Might be a fuel advantage in less hot air to take off in again.

      • Would have, could have should have?

        But wasn’t

        Scott made the South Pole right after RA did. All his PR came from dying.

  27. Can see AB selling 330NEO’s at “silly” Boeing-like prices to an European airline such as LEVEL which could pave the way to avoid dumping claims by Boeing if AB sells NEO’s at similar prices in other parts of the World?

  28. I think AA just used the 330NEO’s to get the lowest price from Boeing, they were never really interested in them.

    Its fairly clear that AA wants an all Boeing wide body fleet wit GE engines.

    Let their economy class passengers enjoy the comfort of the 10 abreast 777’s and 787 seating.

    • Wow! And Delta did the same to Boeing……..

      Is there no integrity anymore?

      Companies playing off suppliers against
      each other for the best deal.

      What will they think of next?

      As for the engines, its seems 63% or so of the orders think GE is the better choice.

      Long time RR aficionado (or bribed) airlines look to be the only ones taking it (and sorry that they did I would expect)

      • That’s the real world, can see AA future plans. Just think they are missing out big time not getting 359’s. They were one of my favorite airlines and flew many times from Miami to South America on their 757’s (still pay Sat phones, if i can recall correctly $12/minute via the Netherlands?).

        • Anton:

          You have to quit taking this personally.

          Its just business. Individuals are just a tiny tick in the the data set.

          • Hi Transworld, no probs. Just want a decent seat to sit in whoever makes it.

    • “I think AA just used the 330NEO’s to get the lowest price from Boeing”
      Which would be amazing as AA dropped the option for the A350 to get more 787s

      The A330neo wasnt in this competition.

  29. Looks like Boeing is beating Airbus in its own game. The A330NEO is supposed to be cheaper than the 787, now what would be the selling point of the NEO? BA is determined to kill the A330 in the same way the A330 has effectively killed the 767.

    • Boeing 787-9s are higher capacity and longer range than the A330 neos
      This competition was about the all new A350-9 vs the new B787-9

      • It is about the NEO vs 787 not the A350. Airbus stated they cannot match the price Boeing offered to AA. The 22 A350 they have on order was from US Airways before the merger.

      • There is a strong push from Boeinginista to move the A339 and 7810 together in capacity and same for the 789 A359.

        Does not take away from that being wrong. different slots about 10% apart in capacity where the A339 and 789 are a good match just like the 7810 and A359 ( beyond some differences in range.)

    • bhorge: And the way the 777 killed the A340 (tho0ugh some of that was self inflicted with a really poor engine choice)

      Its a Plane Eat Plane world out there, we need to get the famous tiger mouth on them again.

  30. …if they go to $1 what will BA say, another string of trade complaints.

    Think the US 787 market is reaching saturation after UAL, we all now its going to be 787’s.

  31. Looking back at the decision to build the A330neo, I thought product differentiation from the 787 and A350 was key. Build a shorter range lightweight plane. Most importantly, lighter smaller thrust engines than the CEO. Then, structural trimming of weight, lower MTOW. It should have outperformed the CEO at all ranges by double digits, especially short range.
    But it does have better width comfort, so for product consistency at Delta and the A350, I like that aspect.

    • A lighter shorter range 339 size aircraft would have better option as the 359 is there.

      Everything is easy in hind site, AB took the “easy” route by just doing a copy and paste of the 332/3’s. An aircraft in size and range capabilities between the -800 and -900 could possibly have found more favor with airlines?

      61m long, 251T MTOW, 275 seats, 7500-7800Nm range.

      Maybe AB should test the waters with airlines, if you can get commitments for say 50-100 it could be worth developing and be the longer term solution for the 330’s?

    • The A330 might come one day in a light weight Re version as the 797 Engines become available to Airbus, especailly if the there is competition between 2 suppliers. There is a chance that Boeing selects only the CFMI “LEAP-Y” over a 50k RR Advance making for Another Boeing/Ge vs. Airbus/RR competition.
      It might be more clear by Farnborough time.

  32. If this is a “war” game AB could hurt the 787-10 by developing an aircraft in size between the 359 and 35K with the 359’s wing and landing gear?

    1) Length ~70m,
    2) 350 seats,
    3) XWB84’s,
    4) MTOW 275T,
    5) 7000Nm range?

  33. Thanks AP, maybe I am just over sensitive due to my frame. I prefer the 330’s of the 350’s and so forth.

    Once flew on an AA 787 in premium (2-3-2) but very few seats available.

    Maybe airlines should consider an Ex layout on 787 with 2-4-2 seating and around 34″ pitch, should be popular. This layout takes 20% more floor space vs 3-3-3 at 31″ but will make a world of difference (say 25% higher price for such a ticket).

  34. If American finalizes a contract to purchase 787’s instead of A350’s, then I believe that the only order book thrown into disarray by a merger that will remain to be sorted out at a major US carrier will be at Alaska/Virgin America. Premerger Alaska was all 737, and Virgin America was all A320 family. According to the article at the link below, as of 12-4-17 Alaska/Virgin America had firm purchase commitments for 48 737’s (for delivery 2017 to 2023), firm lease commitments for 6 A321neo’s (for delivery through 2018), and retractable purchase commitments for 30 A321neo’s (for delivery 2020 to 2022). According to the same article Alaska owns 93% of its 737 fleet, and leases almost 90% of its A320 family fleet. If Alaska is going to elect its option to retract the purchase commitments for 30 A320 neo’s for delivery from 2020 to 2022, then a decision is due soon?

    I wonder what input Alaska’s newest board member might have into this decision?

    “SEATTLE, Jan. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air, announced the appointment of Ray Conner, retired president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and former vice chairman of The Boeing Company, to the company’s board of directors.”

  35. Below is part of the explanation given in a Business Insider interview by new Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram for Hawaiian’s decision to order 787-9’s instead of 330-800’s. See the link after the excerpt for the full article.

    “Ingram went on to further explain his rationale. Even though Hawaiian purchases aircraft with plans to fly it for its entire service lift, the airline CEO also goes into it with the understanding that his company needs to remain nimble if the industry changes.

    “From a risk management perspective, it’s always prudent for us to consider what happens in the future if something affects the economics (of the business) and we need to make a change,” he said. “The fact that there are no other customers for that particular variant at this time put us in the position where, if we continued with the order, we would have very few options if we need to make a change.”

  36. Interesting read re HA cancellation of 330-800 order. Basically they didn’t want to get stuck with an orphan.

    Reading this still makes me wonder if an A350-“850″ with 290 seats and smaller wing would have been a better long term option for Airbus?! This wing could also be used on an A350″RE” that will compete with the 787-10.

  37. If any conciliation, a total order for 54 A320/1’s this week from Aegean and Bamboo airways.

      • According to the article that Anton gives a link to above, American’s newly ordered 787-8’s will replace 767-300’s and the 787-9’s will replace A330-300’s and 777-200’s. Below is a comparison of the seating capacities American currently uses in 787’s and the aircraft that the article says that the new purchase 787’s will replace. American configures all these aircraft in international configurations with lie flat seating sections. Seating capacities are from the Wikipedia American Airlines fleet page.

        767-300ER: 209 seats
        787-8 (replacement for 767-300ER): 226 seats

        777-200ER: 260 or 273 seats.
        A330-300: 291 seats.
        787-9 (replacement for A330-300 and 777-200ER): 285 seats.

    • Hello Anton,

      It occurred to me when reading the Charleston Post Courier story at the link below that it was odd that Boeing was investing in streamlining 787-8 production if it was no longer interested in selling them. In my experience large US publically traded companies that are run by MBA’s don’t expend funds to do projects because they would be elegant or more esthetically pleasing, they expend funds to do projects if, and only if, after many stages of spreadsheet analysis, and way too many committee meetings, they believe that doing them will result in higher profits. After reading your links about the composition of the American 787 order, the Charleston Post Courier article about streamlining 787-8 production suddenly makes more sense. Maybe someone at Boeing decided that investing in increasing commonality between the 787-8 and other 787 versions was a better investment than restarting production of 767 passenger versions, especially if American was intent, as one of your articles states, on using 787-8’s to replace 767’s.

      The excerpt below is from the story at the link after the excerpt.

      “Boeing Co. is changing the way it builds the rear section of its 787-8 commercial jet to make it more compatible with newer members of the Dreamliner family.

      Darrel Larson, director of aft body operations at the planemaker’s South Carolina campus, said the modifications that will be introduced later this year will make the rear fuselage of the 787-8 essentially the same as the 787-9 and 787-10 models, except for their lengths.”

      • Thanks AP. As you know I wear a big AB cap and like the 332 and orphaned 338. But, if BA can do a simple shrink of the 789 to create an 787-8X (250-260 seats, 8000Nm range, with high 789 commonality) it could become a very nice aircraft with the 797 serving the shorter range applications.

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