By Scott Hamilton
June 14, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus will provide a commercial program update tomorrow in Toulouse.
But will officials announce Authority to Offer (ATO) an A350 freighter for sale?
Will they formally acknowledge development of an “A322”?
There is a plethora of articles, including LNA, in recent weeks discussed the prospect of Airbus launching an A350F this year. Potential customers have seen presentations from Airbus. Boeing’s overwhelming dominance in freighters is under threat.
If Airbus announces ATO tomorrow, Boeing may be forced to take its 777-8F concept out of mothballs. Boeing suspended development of the 777-8 and -8F during the 737 MAX and pandemic crises.
Then there is the prospect of the long-talked about “A322.”
This airplane, if launched, will have a new composite wing, more powerful engines and up to 24 more passengers. The wing is called the Wing of Tomorrow and has been under development for years.
If Airbus launches the A322, which also has a working name of A321 Plus Plus, Boeing will find it very tough to build a business case for its Next Boeing Airplane (NBA). The most recent iteration seems to be basically a reinvention of the 757-200/300: a metallic fuselage with a composite wing and new engines.