Airbus 1H2019 results: The A320neo gives Airbus a solid first half

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 31, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus announced its 1H2019 results today, presenting a solid first half with progress in A320neo and A350 deliveries. The A220, brought over from Bombardier, is also making progress.

Yesterday, Airbus could announce an MOU with Air France for 60 A220-300. When converted to order it brings the orders for the type above 600. The A220 is gradually becoming a good deal for Airbus, and the type an important part of its lineup.

Progress on several fronts

Airbus’ revenue for 1H2019 was €30.9bn (€25.0bn 1H2018) with EBIT at €2.5bn (€1.2bn). The increase in revenue reflects the integration of the A220 in Airbus. The increase in EBIT is because of good A320neo deliveries and the A350 not consuming money any longer. The A220 is still in its money consuming ramp-up during 2019.

Guidance for 2019 remains at 880 to 890 aircraft deliveries with profits around €5bn, but it could be impacted by “growing trade tension” and a no-deal Brexit. A problem with deliveries of parts to Airbus wing factory in Wales could delay deliveries of Airbus aircraft as wing deliveries get delayed from the UK.

Civil aircraft

Commercial Aircraft, which makes 78% of revenue, had 88 (206 1H2018) net orders and 389 (303 1H2018) deliveries. The backlog is 7276 aircraft. Revenue for 1H2019 was €24.0bn (€18.5bn 1H2018) with EBIT at €2.2bn (€0.8bn).

The highlight is increased A320neo deliveries to 294 units (76 units 1H2018) with its good margins. The ACF version is still a challenge to produce but Airbus is investigating how to increase the production of this type as its variants, A321LR and XLR, are increasing in popularity.

The A350 is also running well with 53 1H deliveries (40 1H2018) and will be cash positive during the year.

The third program with solid progress is the A220 which could deliver 21 aircraft during the half-year, up from 10 last year. For the A220 the market interest is also positive with the recent MOU from Air France and expanded orders from Delta and jetBlue.

The A330neo is getting momentum with an order for 40 aircraft from Emirates in February. The A380 ramp down in going to plan according to Airbus.

Helicopters

Helicopters are still facing a flat market. The unit is maintaining revenue at €2.4bn (€2.4bn 1H2018) with EBIT at €0.1bn (€0.1bn).

Defense and Space

Defense and Space increase revenue to €5.0bn (€4.7bn 1H2018) with EBIT at €0.2bn (€0.3bn). The highlight was an agreement with the Customers around the re-baselining of the A440M program after protracted negotiations.

93 Comments on “Airbus 1H2019 results: The A320neo gives Airbus a solid first half

  1. It is good to see the A350 programme turning cash positive, in terms of development cost and delivery it has been an exemplar performer for a new aircraft in recent times. Simply Airbus went for a realistic timeframe and budget and reaped the rewards of a patient and iterative approach.

    The real performer going forward will in my view be the A220. If they can get that programme to full production maturity then the A220-500 is the next logical step with a potential to ramp to 200-300 within 5 years. That will give Airbus 3 core winners (A350,A321 and A220).

    • It is hard not to think that Airbus at some point would probably lengthen the A220 to the so called -(dash) 500 size. I think originally when Delta Airlines was talking to Bombardier years past that they wanted this plane in three different sizes. Cost wise, I’d presume a 155 passenger aircraft in two seating classes would have a 5% better RASM than the 737MAX or 320NEO.

      • It depends on how max’ed out the A220-300 is, LH that helped specify it and caused the A220-300 redesign delay and max seating bumped to 160, Airbus has since announced a small MTOW increase. Hence it might need major surgery to increase pax/payload/range.
        Then comes the cost of production, I do not know if Airbus can produce them at a profit yet or if that will come with a block update and new key suppliers on new contracts as Mobile production start. Now the A220 montly production is the same as a good daily delivery of A320neo’s.

    • Airbus went for a realistic time frame of seven years for the A350 and it took eight. It was one year late.

      Still, it looks good relative to the 787, C-series, and A380.

      • Weird to think the NMA (totally new.. and kinda super-new in terms of production methodology needed to get the costs low) is still pegged for 2025. I cannot see it being in real production until 2028… Even if all the pieces come together well.

        If BA go ahead… I hope they’re more realistic and don’t seal their fate at launch.

      • @Rick Shaw

        I take your point but it came in nigh on budget and was mature on EIS hitting most metrics and outperforming overall original specs. The Airbus approach appears to be to get it right first time regardless of whether there is a bit of slippage, am guessing the A380 programme taught them more than a few lessons.

        • Getting it right first time is vital if that’s what the competition is achieving. That’s what systems engineering is for.

          Boeing put out a press thingy a few weeks back trumpeting their planned adoption of a “model based systems engineering approach”. About 50 years late… Really what this amounts to is an admission that up to now they’ve kinda been guessing what will sell. Not great, looked at this way. Guessing goes a long way to explaining their current predicament.

          • I think Boeing means a new level of computer modelling of the full Aircraft systems in multiphysics detail including electrical, dynamics, fluid dynamics, stress, thermals, defomations all integrated in flight loads. Not the old “Simulink only” mathematical controls system modelling. Well they start with that and then move on to the full physics modelling letting they Cray computers work hard overnite.

        • Sowerbob:

          Its not like they did not have a good bad example in the 787 to look at though is it?

        • Getting it right first time?
          You guys know Airbus had to redesign the A350 and start from scratch as they started the first version as a updated A330?
          Yes it was not a technical or ingeneering issue, but still designing a plane the market rejects in the first try is a fail.

          It’s funny the rejected first version of the A350 is flying today as the A330neo and somewhat found it’s market.

          Overall, the A350 XWB design and the process leaves space for critic.
          Why did Airbus need so long to understand the B787 was a great step with its all composite wing & body? And reaction is necessary?
          Would SIA and Qatar fly B787 today if Airbus would have not messed up it’s first try?
          Was the positioning of the A350 a good idea?
          Was it better to build the fueselage wider as the B787 but still 28cm smaller as the B777, so in fact the A350 is a 9 abreast plane only?
          Why did Airbus keep the A350-800 version so long and didn’t push for the big deal, A359 with 66, A35K with 74 and A352K with 80m?

          As a PAX I always choose the A350 over B787 and B777 in Y as it’s just much more comfy, but i seem to be the only one.

          Overall, I don’t like the hype around Airbus now due to the Max beeing a shitty airplane.
          Boeing has done a great job delivering airplanes the airlines like, and Airbus has failed in this section.

      • Not just were they doing okay regarding the relatively small delay, they not least of all didn’t mess up the industrial ramp-up in serial production. That was a big problem with tge A380 especially.

    • I agree. Let’s get all the programs running well, and start to look at the a220-500, and what can be done to make it a stellar a320 replacement for short/medium. Then refocus on the 320/321/322 for medium/long…

      For example, the smaller/lighter and ‘built-in’ RCT of the XLR may make an a320 go transatlantic/LH for the likes of Norwegian, with a single class, or premium economy section as opposed to a full-biz. Would it be wise to standardize a fleet around an XLR variant of the a320 series, with a little extra weight?

      I do think single aisles are going to find newer markets with airlines just to simplify and make fleets more flexible and less this ‘for’ that, and more ‘this for all’. An airframe goes tech… Swap in another… They’re all 8hr capable. Not for all airlines, but good for many mid-sized airlines.

      • It depends on how many short haul flights you do with the A321XLR vs pretty long range flying over night with the same Aircraft. Hence your short haul flying will be with a heavier Aircraft than needed but your utilization goes up from 12-14 hrs/day to 18-20 hrs and its Engines are designed for a 15000-20000 cycles Life compared to a 3500cycles Life of a normal widebody Engine. It will be like flying the 757 long range with its RB211-535E4 Engines staying on wing “forever” like at Icelandair.

    • couple of years ago some Airbus honcho noted that they expected to go for 50% A321 deliveries in the future. ( rather expectable. average seats per NB plane is moving up all the time. Around 2000 A320 and A319 were matched in deliveries. )

  2. A220 is to become a point to point aircraft and less of a feeder for hubs …

    new city pairs of less importance today will appear … same as B787 did

    • A220 is a new plane making new routes economically possible, with apparently good market appeal. London City to New York without a refuelling stop? That’s pretty impressive.

      You make an interesting point. It would be ironic if the A220 succeeds in breaking down the hub-spoke model into even smaller pieces than 787 was intended to do. Why fly a single 787, still a fairly large aircraft, between what are still fairly large regional airports, when a few A220s could carry the same number of people through even smaller local airstrips for less money and greater convenience? That’d push the 787 back into the long haul, hub-spoke sector.

      The ultimate break down of the air travel market is single occupancy air taxis going from one’s front door to whereever one want to go. That’s a pipe dream of course, but A220 gets closer to it than the 787 does.

      • We know from Christian Scherers legendary predecessor John Leahy’s statements that Airbus itself thought that investing in a totally new A320 replacement instead of the neo (new engine option) Airbus thought they would have produced an aircraft with 4%-6% less fuel consumption. Now add in about 5% to 15% for newer engines such as the MTU P&W CRISP technology and the added fuel capacity of a composite fuselage we could be look at an A321XLR replacement with a range of 6000NM. Even assuming 5% better cruise speed we might be looking at problems in providing crew rest areas but I think they can be solved. This is possibly also why Boeing is looking at the NMA aircraft. Although supposedly optimised for 5000NM who believes that will be the limit. That little bit of extra size and space might allow the aircraft to push well beyond 5000NM into 6000-7000NM territory in the future (2030-2035)

        • It would be interesting to see what an ‘all’ tech a321xlr would achieve.. in terms of GTF+CMCs on the engines, a new optimized CRFP wing for fuel and faster cruise, and (if there’s a benefit at this size) a CRFP fuselage with some further aero-tweaks/nose.

          What would a CFM/P+W engine look like I wonder… That is, if the best parts of LEAP and the best parts of the GTF were designed into a new ‘best of’ engine?

          • GE/PWA will not start design it until 2025 at least, Place your bet on a RR 40k Ultrafan for the A322 instead.

      • Taking it further. The Global 7500 can fly 19 people and 4 crew 7,700nm using 23,000kg of fuel. It is 5 feet longer than the CRJ700 which seats 66 in a dual class configuration. That is 47 more and at 105kg per passenger + baggage that is about 5000kg more weight. Call it 6000kg with the extra seats but few luxury features. That means the “passenger” version of the Global 7500 would take off with 25% less fuel and 25% more payload. I bet it would be a 4000nm+ regional airliner.

        • No it isnt.
          Its a mistake to think that purpose built long range business jets have anything like the life or durability of a passenger jet of the same size.
          The engines arent built for continuous short cycles every day of the week, the systems and airframe are designed for 20,000 hrs not 55,000. The cabin loads for seating and baggage are light and the structure/skins are sized accordingly.

          Do you also see the anomaly in your claim for a ‘4000nm regional airliner’- which ‘region’ needs that ?

          • Dukeofurl

            My larger point was a follow up on Mathew’s post. The A220 may not be as small as transatlantic airliners get. With increased engine efficiencies and modern structures we will soon be looking at transatlantic capable “regional” sized airliners. If there will be any markets for them is in anyone’s guess but I would not bet against it. For example I bet you could fill 60 seats twice daily London City to New York and possible a few other east coast destinations.

            As for the difficulty of converting a business jet into an airliner I”ll point out the CRJ100/200 were fairly direct derivatives of the Challenger business jet with 128″ and 112″ plugs before and aft the wing respectively. So there is at least one example of a business jet becoming the basis of an airliner.

          • CRJ was a mostly different plane to its business jet cousin, they only shared the cabin diameter ( built on different production lines)
            You would have to redesign wing foil shape just for starters . Even the ultra long range Global series has significant differences to its Challenger 650 little brother

            Even The Cseries/A220 flying the Atlantic is a specialised case for operation out of London City Airport. Regular use wouldnt be economic against larger planes.

  3. It was also mentioned that in 2021 the production of the A380 will end. Using this capacity will allow Airbus to significantly increase production of the A320, as that is what they are planing to put there. This time frame will also allow them to get all suppliers lined up in time. By then the fate of the MAX will be clear and customers will have re-evaluated their fleet strategies.

    My best guess is that even if the MAX comes back to life and service in early 2020, the market share will drop to something like 1:2 or 1:3 to the NEO and keep going down.

    I wonder if the big shots at Boeing really still believe in the future of the 737. If so that is probably a picture book example of “Gier frisst Hirn” (“greed eats brain”) as we say in Germany.

    • Great idiomatic expression (Gierr frisst Hirn) – I will remember than one.

      The A380 will not open up capacity short term for the A320 series (or any other aircraft)

      You need the tooling, not just space or bodies.

      And you have a supply chain that is struggling.

      I mean really, the A320 has 4 assembly lines?

      I agree the 737 is not likely to recover from this, limp along until they replace it.

      Still a lot of airlines are stuck with it and you can’t just dial up 1-800-AIR-BUSS and order an A320 delivered tomorrow (what lucky to get one in 3-4 years?) .

      • Ordeering just another set of toolings is never a problem. Developing tools is. Any tool maker will be happy to make more. Delivery times for tools and machines of existing designs should be around 3 months currently, 2 in case of urgency. 2021 is no problem at all.

        Where there have problems in the past was both with the engines and with interiors, but under the assumption that production of the 737 has either stopped or slowed down significantly CfM/GE, P&W and all the other will be happy to redirect their deliveries.

        So yes, they have 4 lines, so the 5th is a simple exercise. Actually, you can bet your hat that it will happen, whatever the fate of the 737.

        • Well having order equipment, I can tell you that every day plain jane stuff is 3 months out.

          Common Tooling? A lot longer than you seem to think. 6 months to a years .

          And the jigs for assembling ? Couple years at best

          And the issue is what is the best use of the space, more A350 or A330NEO or single aisles? As the space is wide body?????

          And you ignore the supply chain. No parts no airplane.

          Sure Airbus is going to ramp up as they can but they are as limited as Boeing is (was).

          Suppliers are going to be cautious as they are the ones who get ripped if the bottom drops out.

          • Thats what happened in Hamburg , the former A380 fitout hall( cabin fittings and paint) became the newly established A320 series 4th line that opened last year. No need for a ‘mezzanine’ as could become wide body assembly as well.

            Just goes to show , with separate location for fitout until recently, how much of the A380 production chain was far too complicated, some of which helped make it an expensive plane for airlines. Those where the days when national interests trumped commercial and production best practice.

        • Also, isn’t much of the problem to do with increasing the number of A321 produced? At the moment there are only two lines doing that plane – Mobile for US customers, and one line in Hamburg for the rest of the world. I think one of the solutions put forward by Faury was to create a A321 specific line in Toulouse too?

          • In addition or replacing an existing A320 line?

      • “The A380 will not open up capacity short term for the A320 series (or any other aircraft)”

        it already did.
        the newest FXW A320 FAL line uses enclosed real estate initially destined for A380 finishing.
        The resulting re attribution of cost allowed for lower financial impact in reducing A380 production numbers at the time.

        Setting up new FAL lines is an established capability at Airbus ( 4:: FXW, TJN, BFM, FXW in the last decade or there abouts 🙂

        • Multiple ‘ A320 type lines ‘ each at Toulouse and Hamburg.
          Boeing has 3 FAL at Renton in one building, plus a ‘low volume line’ for the P-8.

    • Given the dimensions of the A380 assembly building, they might be able to put in a mezzanine floor, and double the A320 fab capacity. It’s jolly big. Of course, getting the completed aircraft out of the building could be tricky. Catapult?

      • Airbus FALs?
        https://www.airbus.com/aircraft/how-is-an-aircraft-built/final-assembly-and-tests.html

        Toulouse, France (five FALs): two for the A320 Family; one each for the wide-body A330, A350 XWB and A380

        Hamburg, Germany (one FAL): all four production lines for the A320 Family ?[thats incorrect as a second A320 is in low rate intial production]

        Tianjin, China (one FAL): A320 Family

        Mobile, United States (one FAL): A320 Family

        Im assuming the 2nd line in Hamburg and the Tianjin and Mobile lines arent at the highest rates yet.

        Its not clear from their summary but Hamburg seems to take on some A330 and A350 fitout after assembly in Toulouse.

        • FXW has 4 FAL lines running for A320 family frames.
          each line is sized for ~~8 frames per month.
          ( 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 = 8. * 8 / month -> 64 frames/month overall )

          • Not what Airbus says. 2 x A320 type FAL in Toulouse. Remember the operative word is ‘line’. Boeing has multiple ‘lines’ operating alongside each other in the same building in Renton.

            Mobile site is only 4 planes a month

      • Comparing to Boeing with 2 FAL for the 787, Airbus could need another for the A350. Still they might more Money pumping out A321neo’s and my bet is that it will happen, that new FAL might aso be built for the A322 as Boeing will Place the 797 above the A321XLR payload/range capability maybe even 300 seats in single class (Members of the 28 club, which offer the stingiest legroom in the sky, include the following: Thomas Cook, TAP, TUI, Spirit, Spring Airlines, Thai, Frontier, Iberia, LATAM)

    • Only outdone by JFK acknowledging he was a jelly donut in German! LOL

  4. 787 was 7 years to the market even with the lengthy 3 years delay. So people still believe a350 was developed quicker but the fact is the opposite.

    • Boeing had a head start on large scale carbon fibre manufacturing processes as they were NASAs taxpayer funded agent.

      ” The Advanced Technology Composite Aircraft Structure (ATCAS) program was performed by Boeing as the prime contractor under the umbrella of NASA’s ACT program and focused on fuselage structures. A large team of industry and university partners also supported the program. The primary objective of the ATCAS program was to develop and demonstrate an integrated technology that enables the cost and weight effective use of
      composite materials in fuselage structures for future aircraft.”

      And surely by coincidence :
      “The area selected for study was identified as Section 46 on Boeing wide body aircraft (Figure 10).[Rear fuselage section just behind the wing] This section contains many of the structural details and manufacturing challenges found throughout the fuselage. ”
      https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/the-evolution-of-the-composite-fuselage-a-manufacturing-perspective
      The principles of tape laying and building stiffeners for skins were established in earlier Nasa research by Northrop. The details were very exacting to get the product right.

      The wind turbine blade production process made many mistakes in their goal of building it ‘ quick and cheap’

      One thing I didnt realise is that the C-17 program integrated a composite tail from LN 51 onwards from 1999. Similar in size to a 737 wing ( eliminates 80% of the fastners and 70% of the tools, 20% lighter)

    • A single frame delivered. fixed up with a plethora of band aids.
      6 month later grounded for massive design deficiencies.
      Bit of a premature EIS.

      The real “final product” 787 EIS was the first delivery of the 789 in my judgement.

  5. The A400 continues its drag on Airbus, US at least has nice aspect of one customer and orders a large number.

    • USAF has had big problems with its airlifters and their manufacture over the years. The Lockheed Hercules was initially a big loss for Lockheed as the rear fuselage on the first 12 or so planes built had to be replaced early. The C5 Galaxy had to be re -winged part the way through its life . The C-17 was a problem plane early on and was nearly cancelled.
      The C-141 Starlifter seemed to be the only largely problem free plane. It was a first for the time to be designed for civilian certification standards as well as military and a stretched version had some orders from cargo airlines.

      The A400, with a carbon fibre wing, mostly had issues with the new TP engines, which Airbus foolishly had overall responsibility for as well as the airframe side of development.

  6. Gundolf makes a valid point in that tooling is expensive to develop and significantly cheaper to duplicate. Certainly there are long-lead items such as presses or forges that can go up to 12 to 18 months but in aircraft terms, that is extremely fast. As I read the article and the comments of this thread, the thing that emerges is the GTF. It almost looks as if Boeing’s failure to recognize and plan for it could ultimately lead to their own demise or a significant loss of market share.

    • Thats why Boeings new single aisle will likely be an offshoot of the NMA/797 and share many of the sytems, cockpit, wing structure, empenage, undercarriage and so on.
      But the issue is that the NMA has been delayed and Airbus is eating its lunch on the shorter range version.

      • The NMA could be a massive game-changer, with or without the ultra-fan engine – that’s if Boeing pours everything into it. Like the 787, the A321XLR and the A220 it could cause havoc to the hub-and-spoke system – that is until there are a couple thousands of these new types out there and then the MBAs running the airlines decide they can make more money going back to the huge hubs. That would be in a time frame of 2035 – 2040. Fuel could be a problem… And maybe then electric might be knocking on the door…

        • Electric wont be knocking on the door in that time frame. Batteries that are certified for flight usage have even less energy density than ‘ordinary’ batteries , say 100 x less than jet fuel. Maybe they will improve to only 50.
          And planes arent like cars, drag due to weight takes away any energy efficiency electric motors have over a gas turbine.

  7. So an AirFrance MRO for an order of 60 A220s, 30 options and 30 acquisition rights.

    What is the difference between an option and an acquisition right?

    • That is truly a mystery.

      There are very weird but important aspects to it all. What it means in in the contract language and that can change from one to another.

      What it really winds up being is variations of the following.

      1. Firm: Date and time and money down
      2. Options:
      a. What you get price wise and where in line you are
      b. When you have to pony up money.

      The bigger your commitment the better terms in so far as previous pricing agreed on and where you are in line.

      • To paraphrase:

        Firm order:
        * deposit paid
        * final price fixed
        * slot fixed

        Option:
        * Date when a deposit needs to be made to firm up the option fixed
        * final price fixed
        * slot fixed

        Acquisition Right:
        * final price fixed
        * slot open
        OR
        *final price open
        * slot fixed

  8. How old were the pilots in the ill fated Ethiopian flight?

    • Sufficiently old to pilot a commercial airliner. For your information: No pilot of a 737 MAX in ANY country, including the US knew what MCAS is and how it affected the maneuvering of the plane. The plane ist the problem, not the age of the pilots!

          • So you know it and you do not want to say it?
            Why don’t you want to say it?

          • @Not a pilot

            How about because it is irrelevant. They were fully trained licensed pilots. Would you like to judge a book by the cover?

          • I judge the book by its age.

            So, how old were they?

          • Average does not help. In a kindergarten the average age is low but there is always at least one adult.

            How old were the pilots in the ill fated Ethiopian flight?

          • @Not a pilot

            Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968)* was 27 years old when he became the first human to journey into space and orbit the Earth on April 12th, 1961.

            27 years of age, BTW, was the average age of the the pilots of ET flight 302 — the captain was 29 yrs old and the first officer was 25 yrs old.

            Only certain obnoxious individuals — you know, the ones that would be better off hanging around in kindergartens for adults — would be making a fuzz over the age of the pilots.

            * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin

          • Correction:

            That should read; “making a fuss” and not “making a fuzz”.

          • “According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. currently has 159,000 active airline transport pilots. But to meet growing demand, we’d need to train a staggering 87 new airline pilots every day for the next 20 ”

            Coming the the US in the next 10 years , the 29 yr old main carrier pilot with under 1500 hrs

            55,000 US commercial pilots are between the ages of 55 and 69 or 35%
            https://www.economicmodeling.com/2018/05/24/three-reasons-why-us-running-out-of-pilots/

        • How old are the best fighter pilots?

          ….and by the way, not sure how this fits into Airbus 1H2019 results.

        • If I can squeeze this comment in here… They might not need as many pilots in the future if they migrate to a one person cockpit.

    • grabbing at straws, you are :-)))

      Airbus noted via post EIS user data that this could be an issue and
      informed EASA …. You do see the difference? ( independent of this being an unspectacular thing to begin with.)

    • It’s probably a matter of tweaking of FCC like in A321 case for some rare conditions, as I understand the aircraft is not so “airbus-like” like an Airbus expect to be, and in some conditions a pilot will have to make a manual correction with a sidestick.

    • Another way to look at it is the aft CG limit needs to be adjusted. A future upgrade will expand the CG range back to the original specification.

      I wonder if this will mean compensation because airlines end up limited in some way that affects revenue.

      • No I don’t see the difference.

        We have people scream and holler how unstable the 737 is, but in fact it can be landed manually and the A320 needs its hydraulics one way or the other.

        Its all based on assumptions. The A380 was that not that may pieces would hit the wing when an engine blew (they did)

        None of it excuse what Boeing did on the MAX. People crying “The Sky is Falling” is equally as lame.

        None are so blind as those who cannot see.

        • 737 Dual hydraulic system failure

          NTSB Identification: LAX07IA014
          Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of Alaska Airlines, Inc.
          Incident occurred Thursday, October 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA
          Aircraft: Boeing 737-790, registration: N614AS
          Injuries: 5 Uninjured.

          This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

          On October 19, 2006, about 0100 Pacific daylight time, a Boeing 737-790, N614AS, returned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, California, after experiencing a dual hydraulic system failure while en route to Licenciado Benito Juarez International Airport (MMMX [MEX]), Mexico City, Mexico. Alaska Airlines, Inc., operated the scheduled international passenger flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121 as ASA flight 250. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed. The flight departed LAX about 1200.

          According to Alaska Airlines flight safety personnel, after entering Mexican airspace at cruise altitude, the flight crew was alerted to a System B hydraulic failure. The flight crew opted to return to the United States. Upon reaching United States airspace the flight crew declared an emergency and returned to LAX. While on a 5-mile final approach to LAX at 2,500 feet above ground level (agl), the flight crew selected flaps to 15 and extended the landing gear. About 800 feet agl, the flight crew was alerted to a System A hydraulic failure, and subsequently lost hydraulic quantity and pressure of System A. At that point, the airplane became ‘difficult to control’ in the mechanical reversion mode; however, the flight crew was able to land the airplane without further incident at 0330. ”
          So only after stabilizing the plane on its final approach at 800ft and with undercarriage down did they then become ‘all manual’

          The A320 has THREE independent hydraulic circuits
          https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/app/themes/mh_newsdesk/documents/archives/a320-dual-hydraulic-loss.pdf

          Not all 737 hydraulic failures ended so tidily
          https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19981101-1

  9. I have always felt that Airbus have tacitly encouraged the MAX by giving a small window of opportunity to Boeing with the MAX 8, simply the A320 was always that bit smaller affecting economics adversely. Given the MAX’s position why doesn’t AB go for the jugular and do an A320.5 to compete more aggressively in the one part of the SA market where the MAX does compete?

    • They will do a A320.5, it will be called the A220-500.

      I do take your point. At the moment the new single slotted flaps for the A321XLR are only for the A321XLR. That I don’t understand. Indeed, I don’t understand why all the improvements that Airbus will make for the A321XLR are not to be carried over to all members of the A320/A321

      There are a few possible reasons. An A220-500 is one. Production issues are another. Upgauging to the A321 is another. An A322 is another. IPerhaps long term, new wing, new engines and even a new fuselage, a new airplane.

      Like many, I think the A380 FAL will be used to increase production of the A320/A321. I think it will target an A321/A322. I’m sure the conversion is already happening given the low A380 production rate.

      • @Philip: “They will do a A320.5, it will be called the A220-500.”

        By definition the A320.5 would be between the A320 and A321 in terms of capacity while the A220-500 would be more like an A319.5.

        • Philip:

          What you don’t understand is called economics. You do as much as you can with as little investment.

        • Normand.

          You and sowerbob are right. But I think it will be the next generation. As I have said a number of times, the next NSA will centre on the A321 size but have a stretch and a shrink. The shrink is the A320.5

    • Keesje has been talking about right sizing the A320 to an A320,5 for more than a decade.

      My personal opinion: The numbers do make sense. But I think Airbus isn’t that eager to do it because they like having a relatively large gap in capabilities between the A320 and A321 to justify the premium price they charge airlines for an A321.

  10. According to details of IAG deal with Boeing, Walsh has to talk Airbus down twice a month.

    • Yea old Willy is a wastrel. Done nothign but put IAG together and make money while doing so.

      I sure would not pay any attention to someone like that.

      Course when he ordered the A380 he was a hero. But then heroes are only as good as the last buy arn’t they?

  11. Somewhat obscured is the reality that the A220-300 can replace an A320 if needed.

    So in affect Airbus is in fact ramping up SA production , its jut not an A320 ramp up.

    If they do the A220-500 then it clearly replaces the A320 itself.

    As this is established tooling with some mods, that allows a larger shift to the A321.

    I always said I would trade the A320 aspect any day of the week for the 737. Airbus clearly is in a better position in that area.

    The A220 makes it even more so. Sweetly done.

    But as Wily is indicating, Airbus is not executing and you need that as well.

    Still vastly better position than being the MAX side of things.

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