Looking ahead for 2020 and 2030 decades: Airbus

First in a series of reports. Subscription Required By Scott Hamilton and Vincent Valery June 17, 2020, © Leeham News: Airbus was riding high in February. The A321XLR was a clear winner. An important order was won from United Airlines, up to then an exclusive Boeing narrowbody customer. American Airlines selected the XLR. An order was expected from Delta Air Lines. Each order was another that made it impossible for Boeing to launch the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). In one of his first actions, Boeing CEO David Calhoun, taking office Jan. 13, put the NMA on indefinite hold, pending a complete review of Boeing’s product strategy. The Boeing 737 MAX remained grounded by regulators, with no return to service in sight.

The Airbus A321XLR. This 9-hour capable airplane helps fragment routes--and soften demand for widebody aircraft. Source: Airbus.

Things couldn’t be going better for Airbus. And then in mid-March, the COVID crisis became a global pandemic. Air transportation fell up to 95%. Airlines required government bailouts. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the very existence of Airbus was threatened.
Summary
  • COVID’s impact.
  • A320 family ‘s commanding lead over Boeing.
  • A220 commands low-end of single-aisle sector.
  • A330neo is the weak link.
  • Looking ahead in product strategy.

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