Airbus delivers strong 1H2021 and launches A350 Freighter

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 29, 2020, © Leeham News: Airbus presented its results for the first half of 2021 today. The company reported a profit of €2.7bn on a turnover of €24.6bn, a very strong result from the -€0.9bn of last year.  Yesterday, the Airbus board gave the go-ahead for the A350 freighter with planned entry into service 2025.

The strong result came from deliveries of 297 commercial aircraft, 100 more than the 196 of 1H2020. Net orders were 38 aircraft (1H2020 196). Guidance for 2021 was increased to 600 airliner deliveries with operating profit at €4bn and Free Cash Flow of €2bn.

Artist impression of the A350 Freighter. Credit:

Group-level results

Revenue for 1H2021 was €24.6bn (€18.9bn 1H2020), operating profit was €2.7bn (called EBIT adjusted, -€0.9bn 1H2020), and net profit was €2.7bn (-€1.6bn).

Free cash flow for 1H2021 was €2.0bn (-€12.4bn), and the net cash position end 1H2020 was €6.5bn (end 2020 €4.3bn).

Guidance for 2021 is now:

  • Airbus targets 600 commercial aircraft deliveries for 2021 (was same as 2020 at 566).
  • Airbus expects an EBIT Adjusted of €4bn (was €2bn)
  • Free Cash Flow of €2bn (was break-even).
Commercial aircraft

Of the 297 delivered aircraft, 237 was A320/A321, 21 A220, 30 A350, 7 A330 and 2 A380. Orders were at a modest Gross of 165 (365) with a Net of 38 (298) after cancellations. The drop compared to 2020 reflects a pre-COVID market (1H2020) to today’s uncertain situation.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the outlook for air travel is mixed, with increased domestic market demand in the US and China and a modest recovery in the internal EU market. But new virus variants delay recovery time after time and China’s domestic growth has tapered off as pockets of Delta variant infections have re-introduced restrictions.

The big news was the launch of the A350 freighter, with entry into service (EIS) 2025. As we predicted here and here, the freighter will be based on predominately A350-1000 components to cater for a maximum payload “in excess of 90 tonnes”.

Related Article

To understand the rationale for how the freighter is a mix of -1000 and -900 components and why this can minimize the development effort, read the articles. These also predict the operating cost advantage of the A350F over its incumbent competitor, the Boeing 777F.

The development of the freighter will use the more agile development processes from the Beluga XL project, including an integrated digital 3D toolchain from the Airbus DDMS project.

Faury said the market for freighters would boom after 2025 as a replacement wave sets in combined with problems for incumbent freighters as stricter ICAO CO2 rules make these non-compliant for emissions.

Faury emphasized Airbus is continuing its investment in lower carbon footprint technologies such as hydrogen and will lead the airliner industries conversion to such aircraft.

The challenge for Airbus Commercial Aircraft is now to ramp the A220 and A320 programs from today’s rates up to pre COVID rates and then higher. A lot of supplier support is rolled in, including direct financial support to help the supply chain expand after a challenging period since 2Q2020.

Faury said, “The Airbus supply chain is in comparatively good shape as the production was reduced but then remained stable at a rate 40 for the A320 and four for the A220”.

The re-shaping and re-integration of core aerostructures are progressing. The commodity parts company creation is more challenging, with tough negotiations with the involved unions. Airbus would ideally merge this into an external activity, said Faury, to gain the benefits of scale for these more commoditized products.


The helicopter market is recovering and the division increased revenue 11% to €2.6bn and profits 20% to €0.2bn.

Defense and Space

Revenues were stable at €4.5bn, with a €0.2bn profit.

Two A440M were delivered in 1H2020.

273 Comments on “Airbus delivers strong 1H2021 and launches A350 Freighter

    • The A350 has much better fuel burn, it might need less than 80t payload to be comparabel with the 777F.
      Now Bjorn mentioned an excess of 90t payload for the A350F.

    • Hi Woody,

      no, we do a more intelligent assessment. You don’t take an A350-900 or -1000 and convert to a freighter as is, you mix and match to get an optimized freighter. This is what we did and got another result than Cargofacts. Airbus confirmed our analysis today.

  1. Next question: how is Boeing going to react to the A350F?
    – Introduce a 787F? or
    – Announce a 777XF — and run the risk of disappointing even more customers if/when the 777X program gets axed?

    Where recovery (particularly longhaul) is concerned, I think Faury sums things up perfectly when he says that “new virus variants delay recovery time after time”. Note that the only recovery markets he mentioned were domestic/regional. Longhaul is too badly affected by the intrinsic “out-of-sync” nature of the pandemic on a global scale — when one region is doing OK, another region is in dire straits; when one hemisphere is in summer, the other is in winter; when vaccination is completed in one country, its effects are starting to wear off in another country. Even semi-normal transatlantic traffic is off the cards for the near future.

    • “If and when the 777X gets axed..”
      I mean your comments are so predictable. Try some new content

      Anyway BA suggested yesterday that development of XF is accounted for within the development budget for MAX 10 and 777-9.

      Calhoun has indicated that is the next aircraft they will launch in the near term.

      NSA, NMA or whatever is not happening.

      Boeing will survive. You probably think not but what will one expect

      • Well, the 747-8 got axed, didn’t it?
        The 777-8 is as good as dead. The order book for the 777-9 was already precarious and continues to shrink.
        Is one supposed to just ignore all that and fantasize that the 777X has a stellar future?

        • Nnaeto:

          Agreed, you make a statement and then create a self fulfilling prophecy on something that is invalid.

          I think its good to see F competition but also reminded the A330CEOF failed.

          Add in efficiency while nice is not as big a factor as capacity.

          The 747F operators did not want range, they wanted capacity (sadly the beautiful form of a 747-8F is to be made no more) . And no more nose load builds.

          FedEx has a few routes that go with range and a faster delivery promised (out of Asia). Most of the 777F stop in Anchorage the same was the MD-11F did and still does (and that gets into efficiency aspect as a MD-11F is not efficient but UPS and FedEx still plan on flying it for some time)

          • “Add in efficiency while nice is not as big a factor as capacity.”

            How well did 747-8F sell? Why BA ends production??

            Selective memory or cognitive disorder?? 🙂

          • Whataboutism again?? That’s when you lost the argument.

          • Boeing went ahead with the 747-8, despite evidence (from the A380) that appetite for VLAs had greatly diminished.
            Now they’re wandering down the same path with the 777X — again despite evidence (from the A350-1000) that appetite for twin-engine VLAs has also greatly diminished.

          • Pedro:



            Agreed on the 747, no idea how they pulled that off but we did get the worlds most Beautiful LCA out of it and the F buyers are really happy and LH dumped the A380 but plans to keep flying the 747-8I

          • @ Pedro
            In the Emirates fleet, about 47% of the planes are A380s and about 56% of the seats are on A380s…and yet the A380s generate 85% of profits for the airline.
            Some airlines just didn’t have the wherewithal to make a success of the A380. As Tim Clark has repeatedly said, one mistake that other airlines made was that their A380 fleets were too small to allow optimum efficiency — with the possible exception of SIA and BA.

        • Something will happen with the 777-9 whitetails Boeing already produced.
          Could they become 777-9P2F ? Then it could be without folding wings.

          • Who’d want a low-production-volume airframe with unpredictable secondhand value / spares availability?

          • Well if its an A380 that is true, not even as an F.

            But then other than speculation we don’t know where the 777X is going do we?

            If you do of course I suggest a trip to Vegas and make your fortune, don’t waste posting here.

          • We may not *know* where the 777X is going, but we certainly have strong *indications* of where it’s going.

        • yes it is true that the A350-1000 has a bright future too. He is a disaster against the 777-X

          • I think its going to be some time before we know how both of them y fare.

        • Sigh.

          747i was not a wise idea, fuselage compromised by narrow upper deck that origined with raised flight deck for nose-loading – the design was Boeing’s bid for the USAF contract won by Lockheed with the C-5. While many nose-loading 747s were sold, in hindsight the side cargo door and pax-only versions were more popular.
          It’s also a more costly fuselage to make, I presume.
          A380 was full upper deck.
          Then the panicdemic reduced demand for large pax aircraft.
          Do note one cargo carrier is very unhappy with Boeing for ceasing production of the 747 freighter.

          In contrast, the 777 is a very different machine, simple fuselage, and a twin which is much more popular than quads.

          • My “Sigh.
            747i was not a wise idea,…”

            was a response to the Biased Boeing Bashing Bontificators who like to translate one data point into a doom forecast.

            Yes, there have been shifts in markets, including:
            – introduction of B747 on busy and long routes
            – introduction of B767 twin with ability to fly further from land airports
            – concurrent development of engines that were much more fuel efficient
            – long range narrow-body aircraft at cheap fares (at seating that suits the east Asian demographic of small body size)

            Use of more flights with smaller aircraft is constrained by curfews, airport slots, and terminal gates.

            Use of smaller aircraft to serve more destinations non-stop adds to costs.

            (I almost said ‘direct’, which I recall has a peculiar meaning in the airline business – means no change of airplanes, which is helpful but not as good as no stop.)

            Popping into my memory is that UAL once had two departures within an hour of each other, SEA-JFK, B747 aircraft. High demand on that route at that time, and at least one of those flights may have been continuing an itinerary across the Pacific.

      • All Calhoun can do is talk, talk and more talk. Any engineers not involved in active programs like 777X etc were gone in the last year or two.

        Calhoun’s memo from WS is to reduce debt, restore dividend and shares buyback.

      • -> “Boeing slashed its overall research and development spending 23% last year [2020] from a year earlier. For a company so heavily dependent on innovation, that was the equivalent of a farmer dining on the seed corn needed to plant next year’s crop”

        • It will be for 2021 too. Instead of doing research how to fix the 787 fuselage gaps, Boeing applied to change the inspection certification to sweep their mess under the rug.

          • Factually Boeing came up with a new procedure on the checks for quality control purposes.

            The FAA did not agree with them and sent them back to the drawing board. Ideally Boeing would come up with a fix the FAA agrees with (MAX wiring). In this case no and the FAA did its job and turned them down.

            Boeing was the one who found the out of compliance not the FAA (likely enabled by the changes in Boeing ops)

          • Again? Who found the MCAS problem??

            It’s laughable BA would try to take credit for its own wrongdoing.

          • Pedro:

            No one is saying Boeing took credit. Factually they did report the shim issue, found more and they asked Spirit to check theirs.

            Both the FAA and Boeing have changed since MCAS.

            We don’t know if Boeing has changed, or changed enough, but as anyone knows who has tried to improve, you don’t change over night.

            Boeing management can only fault themselves but the reality is they have to change long term.

            The fact that Boeing is reporting problems is encouraging. It may not last and it may not be enough.

            I can only assume you would like to see them go down the drain.

            The people I taught, when they did things right they got credit for it and made sure it was public and to managers.

            I hope to see Boeing go down that path in the future if they are not on it now.

          • ” … assume you would like to see them go down the drain.”

            I state what I see with my eyes. No wishful thinking because of investment interest or emotional attachment.

          • “Both the FAA and Boeing have changed since MCAS.

            We don’t know if Boeing has changed, or changed enough, but as anyone knows who has tried to improve, you don’t change over night.”

            Are you trying to speak from both sides of your mouth or unaware of your self-contradictory??

            “The fact that Boeing is reporting problems …”

            Are you losing your mind?
            A good citizen award for a serial killer for coming clean??

            Shouldn’t it be airframers’ *obligation*?? What are you talking about?

      • Nneto:
        Thankyou for nailing Boeing Basher Bryce.

        If there is a market for a more efficient sizeable widebody freighter that should improve the case for continuing with the 777X.

        It has been produced, has flown quite a few hours (over 100 for sure). Some improvements required, including reinforcing teaching Boeing bosses about ‘gethomeitis’.

        And a more efficient airplane gets greenie points, no matter what the competition does.

    • A 787F wouldn’t compete with an A350F as the size and MTOW of the 787 are both well below that of an A350. The 787F would compete more directly with the 767F I suspect…

        • With B787’s uncertain load limit?? I wonder who want to be BA’s guinea pig. 🙂

          • I would be fascinated to see your load limit data?

            As the tea snorts out my nose.

          • The comment readers from China must be interested in the load limit too.
            Throwing a hammer on a 787 model which was available from Boeing for $5 few years ago Made in China.

          • @TW

            I thought you know it from looking at your crystal ball. 🙂 Otherwise how did you determine there’s no safety concern? Cough cough.

            BA is working hard … to accomplish its mission: impossible.(TM)

          • Pedro:

            The FAA has said they are looking at it and both they and Boeing said its being assessed. It may turn out Boeing has to fix it at some point from right now (grounded) to a future time.

            That is all we really know. Right now the 787 is flying and a fix is not required.

            We have one piece of additional data in that Boeing has some aircraft with the rear join that had both a fuselage out of tolerance and a shim out of tolerance. Those had to be corrected. Its called stacking tolerance to where its an issue.

            Spirit said long term (no time line) the nose gear had to be shimmed as it was a long term issue.

            Until the FAA makes a determination we don’t know.

          • @TW

            The 787 is flying because there’s “no immediate” danger. Just like the condo in FL a few years ago, no immediate danger and we all know how it ended!

            BTW FAA had given the 787 special consideration even though its design does “not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for wing and fuel tank structure with respect to postcrash fire safety”. Wink wink. “Designed by clowns … supervised by monkeys”(TM)

          • Is it true that the 787 never made a static 150% load test?

            I could only find that a crash test involving a vertical drop of a partial composite fuselage section from about 15 ft (4.6 m) onto a 1 in (25 mm)-thick steel plate occurred, the results matched predictions, allowing modeling of various crash scenarios using computational analysis instead of further physical tests.

          • Leon:

            The aircraft that did not make the static load test was the A380. That was conditioned by the fact they predicted exactly where it would break and EASA made the right decision (my opinion) of waivering another test with a beef up in that area.

            The 787 exceeded the 150% test by some margin and the test was terminated. Stated reason was they did not want shrapnel to ensue if they did break it as well as test equipment loss.

          • Pedro:

            I seem to recall the A350 is also CRFP. Whats the word from EASA?

          • Appears all A350 are better built/engineered. No grounding(s) so far! 🤣

          • Pedro
            July 29, 2021
            With B787’s uncertain load limit?? I wonder who want to be BA’s guinea pig.”

            Your facts are?

            Pedro said:
            ” … assume you would like to see them go down the drain.”

            I state what I see with my eyes. No wishful thinking because of investment interest or emotional attachment.”

            I’m ROFL, because you are a 4B who does not check facts and has difficulty communicating clearly.

    • Airbus has a poor track record with freighters. I don’t understand the optimism here.

      The industry remembers how Airbus was going to build an A380 freighter until all of a sudden they were not.

      Also, there was a lot of marketing hype about the A330-200F with poor uptake. Feel sorry for the investors who fell for the hype.

      • Raphael:

        The A380 was a mistake that was supplemented by the claim it could also sell as an F model like the 747. The whole program was based on having the biggest and ego (the 747-8 also had poor judgement particularly in regards to the pax model)

        The A330 just does not seem to be the right size for F ops, what led Airbus to think it was? No idea.

        Clearly there is a need for something in the 777F/747F class and the new mandate on new build pushes Boeing out of the 777F build.

        Ergo, its an open field. No idea which one succeeds or if they split a market.

        Airbus does have experience with the A330F and A330MRT so its not like they don’t have background (and they did better than Boeing has done on the A330 Boom Vision system)

        Its really a stay tuned and see what the specs are and how the F operators feel about them.

        • There are still lots of A300 and A310 P2F converted aircraft flying at DHL and FedEx, so Airbus knows how to keep them flying. The A330F was designed to replace the DC-10 and MD-11 freighters but failed to convice FedEx to do the swap. The A350F would initially just replace the 777F on its longest routes at MTOW. Its success is dependent on the asking price and the mood of goverments in those countries that are major freight customers.

          • claes:

            The A330F did not match the MD-11 for capacity.

            The bulk out ability is why FedEx and UPS continue to fly it.

    • Hey Bryce – I left you a 777X comment in response to cancellation potential in the previous Boeing thread. Have a look and let me know what you think.


      • Hi Frank…yes, I already saw it.
        Excellent summary!
        We’re on the same page.
        Regardless of if/when/how the plug is pulled, the program is not in good shape 👀

  2. Looking at the A350-950F artist impression, I wonder if the cargo door won’t be in front of the wing.

    A few months ago it was suggested Airbus needed 50 A350F orders for launch. Either they have the commitments or they have the entrepreneurial confidence & resources to bring it to market first.

    What this means for the 777-8F I don’t know. Is Boeing able to do the investment?

    • The door placement has more to do with the wing placement.

      It was forward on the MD-11 due to the relaxed wing thing. That always was a tad dicey to get a loader in there in front of wing and engines.

      777 is behind the wing and I expect an A350 will be as well.

      • The door for the A350F will be in a new fuselage section. This section will be placed where this single additional section is better for CG.

        • Hey, logic thankyou – rare in this forum. 😉

          There are other factors of course, but you’ve highlighted a key cost factor.

          And I note that somewhere the added bending stress from longer moment arms, especially tail, has to be ensured (may or may not force beefup anyway depending on structure).

  3. Great new for Airbus, stock’s up 4% and the A350f will have an edge over the B777f , with an B778 delayed and even unsure if they bring it.

    It was time Airbus doing smth for it’s product portfolio, they didn’t do much recently, skipped the A35k stretch, skipped the A225, skipped the A322.
    Good they are going for smth now.

    • Airbus should re-wing the A321 and improve the A320 wings.
      They might have started to reduce empty weight on the A350.

    • AB is tightening the screws on BA one a time. How BA reacts??

      Oh BA will survive …. in a greatly diminished position??

      • Pedro:

        I think Boeing turned the screws on itself, Airbus is taking advantage of it (rightfully so)

        • Boeing will do what they did to Bombardier: Try to sell 777s and 777Xs at a loss; poor-mouth the Airbus freighter and then make a complaint with the ITC, the WTO and demand a tariff on them. Because in the words of Boeing’s fine leadership: This plane could put us out of business…

  4. Airbus’ announcement of the A350F is a major headache for BA because BA now finds itself in the unenviable position of having to do 3 new programs — NMA, NSA, new freighter — at a time when it has a very weak balance sheet, is suffering from a significant brain drain, has lost a large portion of the narrowbody market, and is in a highly uncertain longhaul market.

    Actually 4 new programs, because it’ll also have to put in some sort of offering for the new USAF tanker.

    • Bryce:

      Thank you, its a rainy gloomy day and I needed a laugh to go with my Tea.

      • What’s there to laugh about?
        I’ve said nothing that hasn’t been said by various analysts and/or by BA itself.
        Crying might be a more appropriate emotion.

        • Just the absurdity of building a self fulfilling prophecy out of nothing.

          I was a technician/engineer, we dealt in facts. I reserved my speculation to the Green Bay packers and Milwaukee Bucks. I did hit gold on the Bucks (I am not headed to Vegas though)

          • That comment about “facts” sounds ominously like something that a certain other commenter used to say…particularly when confronted by opinions that didn’t suit his narrative 😏

          • @TWA

            Blasted Cheesehead. Enjoy Rodgers last year…

          • @Bryce

            Please ignore the white noise

            There’s no arguing with the True Believer – it’s like the ClimCha crowd, they seen the light and nothing, but nothing will….

            What were you saying about the A350F – oh right yes cash for new planes where’s it coming from for BA

            @Frank has this sorted as per following comment based on his observations, if I have understood them right

            To get Cash :
            BA becomes the instrument of
            a) monopoly scale lessors
            b) the US majors for dumpster price Maxes
            c) International airlines such as EK ++ for the 787 777 etc
            d) Any new aircart project will be financed by PE and managed as, in effect, a separate unit implanted into BA
            e) China regulator will impose t&c for RCEP market, if there is some lull to the wargames
            e) DoD will have to give up hope that BA can build a combat aircart- that gets rid of that neg cashburn cart

          • Frank:

            I like Gianges a lot better! (though GB could have managed Rogers better).

            Only a Cheesehead by grandparents and where I was born, I am supposed to be a Seahawks fan per the wisdom of proximity.

      • @ TW
        Remarkable that you laughed into your tea when I posted this comment.
        And yet, LNA has an article on a similar subject this morning (“Boeing’s apparent shifting product strategy”). Are you still laughing into your tea?

        • “””Boeing’s apparent shifting product strategy”””

          There is no strategy, only failures.
          Sometimes Boeing finds something new not to build the old top aircart.
          The ban on their self-certs cost them most.

        • @Bryce

          You can’t argue with those living in a fairytale world looking at everything about BA thru’ rose colored glasses.

          They will throw their version of “facts/truth” at you!

  5. The precise length of the new freighter will probably be optimized for the expected optimal cargo density, capacity, payload with standard pallets / containers the next 25 years.

    No doubt they are discussing preferences with operators like Fedex, UPS, QR, Korean, DHL, EK and the Chinese. No A330-900F anytime soon I guess.. This will be the first carbon composite fuselage freighter.

    • Keesje:

      What you run into is Can structure (containers, AMJ etcf) structure.

      The 777 and the 747 can use the same can width (the 777F has a higher can it can use). FedEx mixed them though they started out with just 747 height cans)

      So for the Package companies that is a significant

  6. Leeham/Bjørn wrote 22th of July that: “An Airbus A350 freighter has to come close to the 104t payload of the 777F.”

    Airbus now launches a 90t freighter. Is that considered close?

    • Not sure, if we assume a 316 MTOW and an OEW of 150t, there’s 156t left for fuel, cargo.

      If it burns 5.4t per hour and needs to be able to fly 5000NM/ 12 hrs, it would need 70t of fuel, reserves. 85-90t for cargo seems reasonable.

      Very rough, unsubstantiated estimations, but I think few know real numbers today 😉 Interesting would be what would be required for 4000NM flights (transatlantic) can it carry 100t there? Using KJA or ANC.

      • “””Interesting would be what would be required for 4000NM flights (transatlantic)”””

        You said it yourself, if it burns 5.4t per hour, it would need 11t less fuel for 4000nm.
        But that won’t work, because the deciding factor is MZFW and that should be the same for 4000 and 5000nm.
        The good thing is that increasing MTOW to 319t also increased MZFW for 3t more.
        The question is how much the empty weight could be reduced and how much weight the container tracks have.

      • Of course there’s 165t left for fuel & cargo, upping the payload by ~10t towards 100t with my previous assumptions.

    • @Meg: The Airbus statement is that the A350F is in “excess” of 90t. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

        • Presumably the Airbus claim that the A350F will be able to carry 90+ tons is for the case of a full fuel load. The A350 has a great deal of space for additional fuel volume as we saw with the Airbus proposal for QANTAS’s Sydney-London direct flights “project sunrise”. Airbus simply made software and plumbing tweaks to liberate the additional volume.

          • William:

            Neither the heavy freight guys or the package carriers care about range (FedEx runs one 777 through flight to the US on a premium route from Asia).

            The rest stop in Anchorage (and various other spots around the world but Anchorage is the Asia to US stop and its a big one, like number 4 in the world)

            Unlike passenger flights it works better for the F operator to carry more freight and make a fuel stop.

            The A350 range with a full load or a full bulk out will be what sells it or not.

          • @Transworld. While I concur that cargo airline operators are less concerned with range than passenger airline operators we are dealing here with Airbus’s CEO Guillaume Faury who is not going to give out any useful information, like the goal posts, that Boeing can use. ( Ex engineer Faury is turning out to be aggressive unlike the careful, diplomatic and affable Tom Enders, engineers that make it to management tend to be I find)

            Airbus tend to engineer in a large fuel capacity to their aircraft and then only concerns themselves with certifying its use latter. Things like engine thrust, undercarriage, brakes, Fly By Wire Software etc.

            So when the A335F comes into service I expect it may have the full A350-1000 fuel capacity. The question for me is this. Would it be possible to remove the centre tank and use the space to carry additional Unit Load Devices. I believe that that A300/A310 could do that.

            Also the launch customer is likely to be qatar not a US cargo line and they may have different imperatives.

          • “””it may have the full A350-1000 fuel capacity”””

            Payload is between OEW and MZFW.
            Pax aircraft would use the payload either for more pax and less range, or less pax and more range.
            Freighters would use all payload for freight and use fuel only between MZFW and MTOW. The A350-1000 has 96t for this available, much enough for a freighter.

            Airbus will try to increase the MZFW to get more payload, same as Boeing did with the 777F. One way to achieve this might be to use fuel only in the wings and keep the center fuel tank empty. The A333 and A330F did that too.

          • Leon:

            Agreed. I know of only one premium flight that FedEx flies that trades the load for range.

            Its a higher cost quicker delivery option as it makes no stop in Anchorage.

            There may be more than one, its the only one I was aware of.

            For the rest FedEx 777F ops, they stopped in Anchorage and sorted and custom cleared the freight or did a gas and go.

    • Meg:

      Our basis of comparison will be the 777X F variant not the 777F.

      That in turn is more a 777-300 hull length (777-8F)

      • The 777-8F would be bigger than the 777F and will have a higher OEW while the MTOW stays the same.
        More space is not needed since the 777F has enough space that they put additional seats inside.
        The A350 F will be bigger than the 777F too but smaller than the 777-8F.
        Good for the 777F is that it has a much higher MZFW than the 777-300ER. We will see how much Airbus can increase MZFW.
        Bad for the 777-300ER are the small wings, but it wasn’t so bad for the 777F since range is not important for freighters. This won’t be better for the 777-8F.

        Bjorns summary, that an A350F has to come close to the 104t payload of the 777F, is the same as if someone argues that the 777-9 has to come close to the A380 seat count …

        • I would put that in the its got to be competitive to sell and the closer to or exceed 104 tons the higher the possibility.

          Also some with the investment in 777F and GE engines would not want to add a sub fleet that just matches existing (yes the 777X engines will be different).

          Which may push to 777 CEO conversions for some or most.

        • Well pontificators, there are variables. Traditionally express packages tend to be voluminous not dense, thus cabin volume is key.

          Other freight probably denser on average.

          And TW has pointed to other considerations, such as speed of delivery which refuelling stops do not support.

          Note refuelling stops cost money directly (landing fees included).

          BTW, for the many herein who seem not to know much about aviation, Alaska is on the Great Circle route from some places ion East Asia to some places in the US, like eastern US where much of the population is. SE Asia to the western US I’d want to check.

          (With the loss of renowned aviation guy John Deakin, I note his record time flight with a classic 747 from NYC to Tokyo. ATC were primed to help him, soon after takeoff he was cleared to Thunder Bay ON direct, then Canadian ATC cleared him to Normal Wells YT direct, from where he could head across Alaska. That’s somewhat north of ANC, but winds do shift the optimum routing.

          Indeed, I was on 757 flight one day, SEA-Luton, tailwinds very light so we went near Churchill MB.)

    • In the age of online shopping, isn’t it time for a paradigm shift of what’s needed in the decades ahead (instead of relying on historical backward-looking evaluation model)??

      • Pedro:

        You have to base it on something and the reality is that the 777X/A350F class freighters are not package freighters in the sense of distribution.

        The would move large loads to hubs and then packages are national or regionally shipped.

        FedEx/UPS/DHL specialize in the big package movements and they know what that takes and its a matter of scaling.

        Amazon is building its own distribution network nationally. That is not an A350F market.

        The other market is the big operations for heavier freight. That is an A350F area and its going to be a comparison of A350F cost and specs vs the 777X cost and specs.

        Who has any advantage there if any is not clear. Neither one has been delineated yet.

        • Can’t say too much. But it would be a terrible mistake if you think AB’s top tier potential customers are FedEx/UPS.

          My bet is they are not. We’ll see who are the launch customers.

          • Looking into Boeing deliveries of the last 20 years, China airlines (Taiwan) seems to be the largest 747-8F customer, and FedEx and Quatar the largest customers for the 777-F.
            That could give an idea who might be interested.

          • Pedro:

            Agreed. FedEx might well go for F conversion on the 777.

            UPS is a different story. a 747-8I conversion has limited feed stock (who drops them when as well)

            So if UPS needs new capacity then 777-8F or A350 is the only choice.

            UPS is heavily weighted towards Boeing planes.

            DHL play in as while not a plane owner, they have operators who run the freight for them so they would be in the same category as UPS and FedEx.

            Then there is Atlas, LH, Qatar etc that run heavy freight operations.

            It will be interesting

          • nofly:

            China Airlines does not operate the 747-8F.

            UPS is by far the biggest followed by around half by Atlas and Cargolux and Cathay Pacific.

          • There’s a new game, efficiency. The A350F would burn 20% less fuel than existing twin-jet freighters, 30% less than a three jet aircraft and 40% less than a four engine model.

          • Pedr0:

            What models are you comparing it to?

            And we don’t have key data for range at full load (or any load) , floor loading let alone the total lift.

            That also has to be compared to carry weight of a 747-40F or a -8F.

          • @Trans

            Which freighters would it compete with??

            A300? Nope. 🙂

  7. How come the A330F never really took the world by storm? Always wondered, and why not offer a Neo version of said?

    • If they did not want the A330CEO F, why would they want an NEO?

      If an MD-11F still works (at least for FedEx and UPS that says something about certain capacity and range vs more efficient engines.

      MD-11s were ageing out and only so many you could convert. Ego, 777F was virtually a direct plug in.

    • If the A330 CEO was not the right capacity how could a A330NEO fare any better? The airlines preferred the bigger 777 or the smaller 767. Incidentially the A350 is targetet as a 777 replacement.

      • Keep in mind there is the 747 area as well. Up to 132 tons in the 8F.

        UPS loves them (they bought both the 400F and the -8F)

        • Since the last 747-8 will be delivered in 2022 the A350F might have an even brighter long term future if it can compete with the 777X-F.
          The few delivered passenger 747-8’s might be in high demand for freighter conversions though. Maybe the residial value of Lufthansas 747-8 wont be as low as some estimated when they’ll finally retire those. Seems those will fare much better than the A380 that at the moment can basically only be sold for scrapping.

          • nofly:

            That has crossed my mind but so far it seems the 8I buyers are keeping them in service.

            Agreed the 8I has serious value as unlike the -400 there is a very small base to draw on if you want something close to an 8F (no front loading and a bit lower cargo)

            Ironic the 747-8I has outlasted Air France, LH and Malaysia A380s.

          • Transworld: I was wondering about that too. Originally the A380 was said to be more economic than the 747-8 and it killed the program. But low load factors and low cargo capacity probably made the A380 unsustainable. The 747-8 is a bit smaller and therefore easier to fill and its cargo volume certainly helps a bit, too.
            The 747-8s might be converted at a later date. I believe its not a question of if but only when that Airbus will decide to reengine the A350 to kill the 777X once and for all. The 747-8s will quickly become uncompetitive than.

          • nofly:

            There is a fair amount of talk about A350NEO, but it not going to happen for a long time. So the first question is no Airbus even wanting an NEO, its what engine?

            RR is in financial distress having a lot to do with it engines.

            On the 787 the reality is they build a new engine for it to try to deal with the shortcomings of the Trent 1000. It got the engine to its original promised on SFC. GE has better SFC, simpler, reliable, let costly overhaul and RR . Those Trent 1000/B/C and Ten will not be recovered.

            The Trent 7000 was a problem, delayed as built off the Trent 10 and likely need upgrades to deal with the Trent Ten issues that were still inherent.

            Then on the A350, in order to get the performance, they had to build two different engines for the 900/1000.

            All those engines were planned for 30 year life and all the parts and after market support RR would make money on. The Trent 1000 group is never going to return money.

            So far the 7000 is limited numbers (yes that could change).

            So even with an exclusive on the A350, a new engine is huge cost, no return for a long time and shoots the existing XWB engine in the foot for returning invested costs.

            Little reported was the RR promise to do a major revamp on the Trent 900 and exceed GP7000 in fuel efficiency (all for Emirates )

            There were problems there and no reports it even matched the GP engine. Another loss as the A380 got cancelled and that upgrade is very limited numbers.

            A whole new program such as the Boeing NMA would be different but sans that, they don’t have the Ultra prototype running yet and to make it an A350 class engine would be a huge cost shooting themselves in the foot on the XWB.

            The 747-8I really depends on the seating setup and what LH etc want to offer on it. Its not the max seating its their seat profile and and 747 offers more options there.

            That in turn depends on the market and how flexible the 747-8i is for those markets (the A380 was so limited to routes that paid as you had to fill it 80% that as you noted, no one can sell them.

            Its not a natural F conversion though if there had been an F some bulk out ops might take it.

          • The total 747-8I that would be available for conversions is 36 (excludes the fancy business jets)

            LH having by far the most at 19. Too many unknowns to make any predictions on if they keep flying them or shift to the 777X when its available.

            Korean Air and Air China might be letting go sooner at 10 and 7 restively. I have not seen any comments about their future plans or how well they fit into those two operations.

      • That is the jist of it as far as I can tell.

        The A330CEO was an excellent passenger aircraft for its time.

        The NEO is limping along.

        • “””The NEO is limping along.”””

          The Neo time will come, once the 787 gets its MZFW reduced.

          This is how Boeing does business. They choose a design with stupid tolerances and never check the certified specs from the start. Then, once engineers complain, they want to change the certified inspections to keep being in the cheating business, instead of fixing the tolerances, they don’t know how to fix.

          Maybe China will be the first again to reduce 787 MZFW to keep the 150% safety margin.
          Either Boeing can fix the gaps of all 787 to the certified specs, or the MZFW will get reduced, reduced so much that nobody will fly it.
          I want to see that, Boeing fixing all 787 gaps. Till then all 787 are parked.

        • Let’s see:

          – The A330neo has 331 orders (excluding Condor’s recent announcement), it’s actually certified and it’s actually flying.
          – The 777X has 320 orders, its certification has been delayed (again) until 2023/2024, and there’s a steadily increasing group of blindly produced units just sitting on the ground.

          So, if the A330 is “limping”, then what verb best suits the 777X? Hobbling? Crawling? Scraping? 😉

          • From BA (after ASC 606 adj) total order backlog for 777/777F/777X is less than 290.

            IIRC backlog of 777X is ~240.

          • @ Pedro
            Thank you for refining my figures…I had omitted the ASC606 cancellations to maintain a more balanced comparison.
            After ASC606, the situation is even more dire.

    • What was the price tag on an A330F
      and what was the price tag on a 767F?

      compare: 2:1 or thereabouts?

    • I think the A330-200F had a few teething issues and missed the market. The aircraft had a slight nose down attitude when parked which made it hard to roll the big pallets. The solution was to move the nose gear attachment down to lift the nose. You can see a bulge under the nose of the A330-200F to accommodate this. To do a good cost effective freighter conversions is difficult. A lot of the structure had to be changed to reduce weight while also increasing strength. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the A330-200F, it just missed the tide as it were.

      • Its less missed the tide than the market is either above or below it.

        They knew about the landing gear from the start and designed around that.

        Depending on the ramp slope for drainage level gear causes a slope on the deck.

    • not a proper match.
      But also cheap 767 freighters from Boeing.
      Winning the KC46 deal ( Boeing ) making available a cheap, paid for by another project production line
      and the A330-200F ( Airbus ) occupy the same window in time (2010/11).

  8. 777-8F:

    So far I see a complete failure to address about WHAT a 777-8F brings vs the current 777F.

    Can it carry more?

    Its an easier conversion as its a known quantity.

    Timeline wise if Boeing can get on track, they both come out about the same time.

        • Then why did you ask “WHAT a 777-8F brings vs the current 777F.”?
          The LNA article months ago made it clear that the current 777F and 767F planes would be doomed once the new ICAO emissions standards kicked in.

          • Phew, you just don’t get details do you. Like the 777X is emissions complaint and they can build an F version?

            the 777-8F is a -300 hull length (roughly ).

            Its got a different wing.

            Its not going to have the same payload and range the 777F does.

            As we are talking emissions complaint F aircrat (new build) then the 777-8F is the Boeing large freighter going forward. Can it carry more than a 777F (or an A350F and how much).

            What engine does the A350F go with and how does it compare with the 777X engines?

            So, in simple terms we would be looking at the A350F vs the 777-8F as a comparison as well as 777 PCF.

        • We can bash Boeing about a lot of things, but for a fact they’ll not cede 777F business to the A350F with out a real fight. We are discussing this now, but be assured Boeing staff have been working on the 777X freighter possiblities for a few years.

          • Is the market big enough for both? Is this the best use of development resources when BA is on the back foot on multiple fronts??

          • “””be assured Boeing staff have been working on the 777X freighter possiblities for a few years”””

            Most years must have been under Muilenburg. We see the results now. Must have been stupid self-certs with undue pressure.
            FAA is not accepting it and EASA would not too.
            That Calhoun even tried it with the old self-certs is remarkable. Nothing has changed, same old Boeing BS

          • ”be assured Boeing staff have been working on the 777X freighter possiblities for a few years”

            If that’s the case, then why not just go ahead an announce it?

          • The problem I see for the 777X freighter ATM is the 777X program itself is in a state of flux. Not the best time to branch-off derivatives.

            Would BA take the risk to pull another rush job like the MAX??

          • @ Pedro
            That’s exactly my line of thought.
            An A350F is a branch off an existing, certified, flying, expanding, successful program.
            The 777XF, on the other hand, is a branch off a program that is not in good shape, and has a dark cloud of doubt hanging over it.

            Hypothetical — but relevant — situation:
            Suppose BA announces the 777XF program and gets (let’s say) an initial 75 orders for it. Before EIS, however, Emirates, Qatar, Cathay, SIA and Lufthansa abandon their orders for the passenger version — for whatever reason. Does BA then proceed with the 777XF as planned, or does it also then pull the plug on the 777XF?

            That was the background for my initial question above regarding a 787F vs. a 777XF.

          • Furthermore, BA doesn’t have a B777-8 to start with. They have to work on three variants the same time, further draining their limited resources for the much needed competitor of A321XLR.

        • Actually the only thing that the B777-8F brings is volume and range.
          What puzzles me is that the B777-8F was already part of the B777X business case as reported by LNA. And yet from the very beginning boeing has never considered increasing the MTOW beyond the current 351t which B777F and B77W has. This implies that the B777-8F will definitely have lower weight limitations per pallets compared to the existing B777F. So does this means that the superior payload capability of the B777F is not well appreciated and under utilised by the operators. If that is the case, then there is no need for the A350F to match that capability.
          Based on the statement released thus far, we will likely see the A350F to be similar in length to the B777-8 and mostly likely the B777-8F as well. Both will probably offer identical range, payload per pallet and cost per trip. The only diffentiating factor between these two aircraft would be the number of pallets that it can accommodate in a row. The B777F can accommodate 3 while the B767F and A330ceoF can only accommodate 2. So this will likely be the one single determining factor that will make or break the A350F and also determine the dominance of the B777-8F in the Freighter market.
          This was also the reason why the A330ceoF did not succeed. The B767-300F was basically able to load in the same amount of pallets and yet still offered lower trip cost compared to the A330ceoF.

          • “””Based on the statement released thus far, we will likely see the A350F to be similar in length to the B777-8 and mostly likely the B777-8F as well.”””

            The A350F will have the A359 length plus a new door section. LNA said that the 777-8F would have a new door section too. So the 777-8F will be longer and because of the bigger cross section bigger than the A350F too.

            If the 777-8F is so much bigger than the 777F, 3 pallets in a row are not needed.
            The A350F would not need that too, 2.5 pallets per row will be fine.

            The 777X is partly the same style Boeing used for the 787-10, just longer with the same MTOW. Not good for a freighter.
            The 777-8F doesn’t need folding wings too. Boeing will not design an 8F wing because it would need additional money.

            The 777-8F lost things the 777F has and with the additional hazzle Boeing put itself in with the 777-X programme customers are not happy.
            Boeing is working on the 787 fuselage gaps for nearly 18 months and can’t fix it. Hard to assume Boeing can fix the 777X issues.
            Those who would order 777-8F will lose ground when Boeing can’t deliver. Losing ground to the competition is bad.

            Airlines know this all too, the only interesting point is the price. If Boeing is the new cheap low quality brand it will not recover and Airbus will increase the gap more and more.

          • “””Both will probably offer identical cost per trip”””

            How could that be possiblle?
            How can a heavy frame with much higher MTOW have the same trip costs. Not possible.

            That’s also the advantage the A350F has vs the 777F. It doesn’t need to have 104t payload, which Bjorn mentioned, to beat the 777F.
            80t might be enough and Faury said it will have 90t plus.

          • Vance:

            That all gets into my questions on it. There is a reason Boeing did not do a 777-300F. Somewhere in there was a balance of floor load and overall load.

            Its should be interesting. Maybe a shorter 777X can call it the 7F?

          • “80t might be enough and Faury said it will have 90t plus.”

            By that logic the A330NEO” is the right choice as it carries even less and cost less as well as uses less fuel.

            You don’t buy a big freighter to carry less.

            And Boeing can up the MTOW of the 8F. Equally they can carry less fuel as you carry max freight and make fuel stops.

          • “””And Boeing can up the MTOW of the 8F. Equally they can carry less fuel as you carry max freight and make fuel stops.”””

            Part of the fuel can’t be replaced with payload.
            For freighters the MZFW is the important factor, not MTOW.

            What can Boeing really do?
            For sure they can’t cure the skin flatness.
            I wonder which fool was responsible for that design.
            Must be the reason why they didn’t want to inspect it for 10 years and the world and all customers are watching this now live 🙂
            It’s a saftey issue but Boeing would blame pilots …

          • “””By that logic the A330NEO” is the right choice as it carries even less and cost less as well as uses less fuel.”””

            We were talking about TRIP costs.
            Do you know what that means?
            If 13 A350F with 80t payload each have the same costs as 10 B777F with 104t payload each (do you understand that it’s both the same 1040t payload), then the 90t payload A350F is a big improvement and Faury talked about 90t plus.

          • Its also quantity per agreements.

            If you need 1.25 A350F to haul what one 777-8F, then the 8F has the advantage.

            We don’t know until specifications come out and then there is nuances of range involved and what works with each operator fitting that into their systems.

            At which point one may clearly be superior to the other or they split the market and each has advantages in certain segments.

        • Hence thats why the A350F is going to be shorter than the A350-1000 and the B777-300ER. And the supposed B777-8F will retain the same length as the passenger variant which is also going to be shorter than the B777-300ER.
          That is also why I predict that both the A350F and B777-8F are going to be very close in terms of the aircraft length.
          Since airbus has a chance now, they are likely going for that sweet spot.

          • Vance:

            That is spot on and the real intrigue involved.

            The A350-900 would be (theoretically ) the plug in replacement for the 777F.

            So the A350F will have its own fuselage length which is not trivial as far as a change (doable but not the same as the 777F going with the -200 fuselage.

            So, is that Boeing just going with the lowest cost vs the best length though it would seem A350F being longer thinks its the right length.

            Then you get into the package freight (UPS/FedEx/DHL) where they bulk out before they weigh out. That is why both FedEx and UPS liked the A380, lots of bulk (no one else did).

            Can the A350F take the floor loading the heavy Freight outfits need? Its not just stronger beams, its the interface into the fuselage as well.

            Definitely need to see the data each is offering and then what the pre-orders shape up to be.

          • The specifications could be close, as one or two posts indicate. That being said, I would at least anticipate a split market. Boeing will lose some market share in freighters, but not be shut out either. Time will tell, and the big guys (Fed-X and UPS along with a few others) could give an indication with their initial orders.

          • Sam1:

            That is what I would be looking at above and beyond bare specification as those can be sliced a number of ways depending on your operation.

            A good examples is FedEx and the 777F vs UPS and the 747F they went with. Both package carriers and two totally different aircraft.

            On the flip side they share MD-11 and 767, but FedEx uses 767 regionally and national without winglets and UPS flies them internationally as well and has winglets.

          • @TW. That’s pretty logical and long term I see the major freight companies mixing both planes combined with conversions of 777s and possibly A330ceo’s.

  9. The recent announcement by the EU to require use of sustainable aviation fuels in the future and previously made commitments by IATA to reduce the CO2 pollution of the fleet suggests to me that the historical use and development of freighter aircraft is set to change.

    For freighter aircraft, historically the industry has responded to the market by favoring low capital acquisition costs through conversion of existing passenger aircraft or large discounts available at the end of a production run. Both of these approaches lock-in obsolete technology for the remaining economic life of the aircraft, which could be 20 or more years. For example, Boeing is still building and delivering the 767 freighter, which utilizes the GE CF6-80C2 engine. This engine has a bypass ratio of 5.15:1 and an overall pressure ratio of 30.4:1. Compare that to the current state-of-the-art GE9X on the 777-9 which is at a bypass ratio of 10:1 and an overall pressure ratio of 60:1.

    Furthermore, the 767 wing is equally obsolete as the aspect ratio, thickness/chord ratio, and planform shape being late-1970s technology, and does not represent two generations of wing technology design that has occurred since–namely 757/777/737NG and 787/777X.

    This business model does not make sense in a low-carbon world. Freighter aircraft contribute just the same in pollution on a per mile basis as passenger aircraft.

    In my view, the A350F announcement is Airbus being more anticipatory of where the industry and the regulatory environment is heading. The fact that Boeing continues to rely upon passenger-to-freighter conversions, 767 and 777 freighters is another indication of the deep hole that it has dug itself by being overly focused on near-term profits at the expense of long term investment and strategic thinking in terms of where markets might develop.

    • Jeff:

      That is stacking a lot on top of itself.

      The MD-11 wing is obsolete as well (maybe was from the start) but the MD-11F fits in with UPS and FedEx and they will operate it for some time yet (10 years or more but that is from memory)

      While you always see the spin about how green buying new aircraft is, its all about the economics (and those are not straight forward)

      The issue is the impending requirement that aged out freighters will no longer be built (777/767 and I think the A330CEOF that is not selling anyway)

      But that means a calculus in cargo between buying an expensive new aircraft (some can do it) and converting.

      FedEx might well elect to convert 777 passenger to freight. That decision was always based on feedstock which there was never enough (they were going to do Singapore 777-200 pax but Singapore elected to use those on their Scoot offering and there were not enough other -200s to make it work, ergo FedEx went with 777F.

      There will be lots of A330/777 and 767s being retired. Other than the real big guys that can afford a new bird (FedEx, UPS, Qatar) others will look at it and go for conversions which are still allowed.

      FedEx may go with conversion to match its 777F fleet as that feedstock should be good.

      Weighted in on this is the economic life left in the air frames. They have to give enough service (15 years?) to justify the conversion.

      The 787 is a logical one to look at as well. A bit puzzled as why nothing has come up but you can bet Boeing has internal studies if not some design work on that.

      • “The 787 is a logical one to look at as well. A bit puzzled as why nothing has come up but you can bet Boeing has internal studies if not some design work on that.”

        A 787F has been mused about a few times, but I’ve never really seen anything remotely as concrete in terms of rumours as we’ve been seeing about the A350F/777XF for the last year or so.
        I remember reading that at least a 787 P2F conversion is extremely unlikely to ever happen if Boeing don’t offer it themselves, as their carbon barrel approach means that it is non-trivial to cut a hole into the fuselage to accommodate the cargo door, as you have to re-engineer the whole load-bearing design of all affected barrels.
        Now, I am not sure if this is a valid argument – or if it is, whether it really is a significant issue – but at least it seems to make some sense.
        Is anybody able to shed some light on this?

        • Yeah. Read something similar too… Seems like the composite barrel design is the biggest constraints for a B787F or B787-P2F. The A350 doesn’t have such issues as it was designed using the more traditional structure of load bearing frames and composite skins.

        • anfrommme:

          My guess is the incentive was to keep the 767 line going for the KC-46 contract bridge and it being lucrative due to the fixed costs paid off and the learning curve now flat.

          Not sure a 787 would begin to compete with that. Also its travails and never settled down production wise (and then the fit issues)

          But with the looming emissions date?

          And there is a clear difference in the A350 frame and the 787 as you noted. Not a clue how hard it is to design around the 787 and the A350F would seem to be easier.

          Also involved though are the wiring on both and was it routed from the git go such that you don’t have a major relocation project there as well.

        • In my career at Boeing, I had the opportunity to conduct the initial allowables testing on the CFRP materials used for the 777, which in a modified form was used subsequently for the 787, and also was the technical focal for structures within Commercial Airplanes for the 747 Airborne Laser, arguably the most highly modified commercial airplane that Boeing has done.

          Modification firms have the capability to re-engineer for load paths when a cargo-door is cut-in as it is possible to develop a detailed finite-element model of the original design and the modified design. The question then becomes of how one verifies whether the model is accurate and what are the external loads one applies to the model. The more capable modification firms should be able to do this.

          The issue with modifications on composite airplanes is that anyone other than the OEM does not have access to the allowables, methods, and criteria used in the initial certification process. When one is doing any type of modification, the usual approach is to make the modification equally strong as the structure it replaces. With metallic structure, the aluminum materials and their failure modes are well known and standardized which makes it possible to reverse engineer. With composite structure, the allowables and design values are both process dependent based upon the cure cycle and also configuration dependent. These properties are proprietary and the OEMs will not be making this data available to outside competitors.

          Installing a reinforcing doubler, or bear strap, around a cargo door cut-out is also going to be more difficult on a composite fuselage as the thickness of a composite doubler would be greater than a similar metallic one. One needs to consider overall part stack-up which will dictate larger fasteners and high fastener spacing.

          Both 777 and 787 use composite floor beams which would also need strengthening for use as a freighter. The 787 floor beams have a unique configuration which makes installing local reinforcements difficult, if not practically impossible.

          • Will development of the cargo only A350F also develop a process for conversion of ex passenger A355-900 & A350-1000 into freighters?

          • @Leon. The A350 has panels not a single piece fueselage so in theory only a single panel need be replaced to get in a cargo door.

          • William,

            I know it has panels, but Airbus decided to make a new section for the cargo door, because this might be the easier way.
            I doubt any other than Airbus would touch the CFRP.
            Installing a new cargo door section for conversions might be too expensive.

          • @Leon, As I see it Boeing has a number of options to produce a B787F Freighter.
            -Option 1 A new build.
            -Option 2 A modification of an ex airliner by taking a B787-8/9 in and removing one of the barrel sections and replacing it with one that has an integral cargo door.

            Option 1 and Option 2 obviously work together as a barrel section developed for a new build could be used in a conversion.

            Option 3 is to use diamond saws to cut out a section for the cargo door. Holes are then drilled around the perimeter and countersunk using diamond drills and tooling and a heavy door frame (of composite to match coefficient of thermal expansion) is then both screwed and or bonded to the cut-out. I’m no expert in this but I do knot SAAB use diamond drills on Gripen.

            It might not be necessary to bolt as there are a great many repair and bonding methods available.

            Airbuses options would be similar except they have to deal with a long quarter section panel (possibly 10m long) rather than a barrel section which might be a little easier.

            Given the fact that the B777-9 might be delayed as much as 2014 it would be hard to expect a B777-8F to be ready before 2016/2017 barely in time for CORSIA.

            So a B787F might make a lot of sense and it could be ready in time to match the A350F (about 2015).

            In fact at KC787 would make a lot of sense. We are seeing here that using tired old airframe and old designs at the end of their production is not going to be a good option in a CORSIA compliant environment for freighters and therefore neither for tankers.

            The A400M already is an all composite tanker.

          • Jeff:

            Thank you, excellent in depth tech background.

            Any idea if Boeing though through a 787F and designed a path for dealing with the floor beams?

            I have been around aircraft all my life but never worked on them (my Dads job was airfield/navaid support and they were and are a vital part of Alaska links as we have few roads)

      • “FedEx may go with conversion to match its 777F fleet as that feedstock should be good.”

        Only for an outsider looking in from afar. Doubtful

    • @Jeff Berner. Indeed I assume a 15% to 20% drop in CO2 emissions can be achieved by switching from say B767F/MD11 to future A350F or B777-XF. The capital costs will be higher until one considers the cost of the 3 alternatives to reducing emissions:
      1 purchasing offsets
      2 SAF fuel based on waste oil or perhaps biogas
      3 SAF fuel based on PtL technology.
      Then there are the IATA and ICAO targets and the potential ire of the public to consider. The industry has to be able to point to the concrete actions they are taking to avoid taxes and regulations and protests.

      The best way of reducing emissions quickly is to upgrade the aircraft.

      • William:

        You have the investment of the Freight operators that weights in heavily on this.

        FedEx and UPS are not going to just dump the MD-11. FedEx has heavily invested into the 767 and they plan on 20-30 years.

        So you see the spin about, we are buying 777F to be green but it all had to do with economics and green is just a nice buzz (or adder).

        You can say the same thing about 767 replacing the MD-10 (FedEx). Big upgrade efficiency and emissions wise but not current new build specs coming.

        Of course there could be draconian measure to force it but no so far.

        And right now there is nothing to replace the 767F.

        • Cough cough. FedEx is retiring its MD-10 & *MD-11*. Cough cough.

          Geographical proximity has nothing to do with how knowledgeable you’re. Q.E.D.

          • Pedro:

            FedEx is retiring is MD-10. The MD-11 continues in service alongside the 777.

            I forget what FedEx stated longevity goal was for the MD-11, at least 10 years. I do know they retired some early ones and bought newer air frames (some airline in SE Asia that flopped). They replaced the old one (3 as I recall) with 3 newer ones.

          • @TW

            From FedEx, their plan is to replace long-haul MD-11 with 777F.

            There may be a slight delay caused by lower long-haul passenger service.

            The freight market is very volatile, IIRC there’s an oversupply not that long ago.

          • Pedro:

            I worked closely with FedEx previously and I can tell you that the MD-11 is intended for at least another 10 years.

            Something around 10 million was spent upgrade the MD-11 simulator and building in Anchorage.

            FedEx moves MD-11 into storage and out all the time, but that is based on volumes moved (some come out for Xmas season)

            When you see new bigger orders for 777F, then you know they are going to retire the MD-11 though they may shift to national and regional use (UPS used one of its early 747s on domestic routes )

          • @TW

            I believe Fedex’s CEO knows a thing or two e.g. the fleet renewal plan. 🙂

    • Certainly is a political push, by confused people voters fell for, to damage aviation.

      OTOH, people have embraced mail order even more during the panicdemic, outfits like Amacrick are

      And are eager to fly, ‘free again’ said one person on her first drive in over a year. (She is in the vulnerable health demographic, finally was able to get two doses of vaccine.) Albeit perhaps less business travel. But it is early, the panic won’t be over until at least late next spring (after the usual INFLUENZA season in the NH).

      Pontificators should check into what Amacrick is doing – now owns 767s but AFAIK has someone else flying them (probably operators already I the freight business – Fedex, UPS, and DHL ‘over there’ are not the only carriers of freight.

      (As for customers for airplanes, note that DHL is owned by the government of Germany, which is very confused on energy and so incompetent it cannot read history of weather there, kept dams full despite forecasts of rain, and failed to warn people of forecast of rain – some died. The government of Germany is part of Airbus ownership.

  10. Interesting article on the new freighter program:

    “According to market experts, just how unsettled the U.S. company has become as a result of the many mishaps, is also shown by its hesitant behavior in the matter of the B777X. Instead of announcing the program launch of the aircraft, which the market has been expecting for months, there are still no smoke signals from the headquarters in Chicago for a re-engined and re-winged B777X compared to the passenger version.”

    • From that link:
      ICAO (UN Body) is putting equal pressure on aircraft and turbine manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions. If they fail, it will cost them much money, warns ICAO. According to the market-based Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), airlines must achieve neutral growth from the baseline emissions of 2019 and 2020 onwards. Should they exceed this stipulation, they must offset emissions calculated on the basis of revenue ton kilometers (RTK), a measure of revenue generated moving a metric ton by one kilometer. This puts the pressure on airlines to fly modern and fuel-efficient aircraft.

      This is the reason the A350F, B777-XF, B737 MAX, B787 and A320neo likely will expect demand. The airlines must reduce emissions to grow and must get back to 2019 baseline emissions and upgrading to modern aircraft will allow this without having to pay for carbon offsets or SAF too much.

      • Do cargo aircraft get a similiar utilization as passenger aircraft? If not there may be no business case to buy new frighters to reduce carbon emissions.

        • @nofly

          The deal with cargo is that you can fly the stuff wherever at whatever time day or night

          Pesky pax need an airport lounge full support and grouch about 3am departures requiring umpteen policemen to check their vx certs or headaches and sell them duty free booze etc etc

          Plus if you change plans or planes the cargo does not complain bitterly about not getting to the beach on time

          So cargo is less vocal and more climcha friendly

        • In cargo the terms I think the talk is of load factors and volume factors. It seems to be very complicated but both around 55%

          CORSIA applies to all forms of air transport both fright and passenger. It aims to keep emissions flat at the 2020 levels by a number of methods: operational (ie better traffic, handling & scheduling), better aircraft and engines and SAF fuels offsets. Aircraft traffic is expected to treble by 2040.

          The scheme is voluntary till 2027 and binding thereafter. The scheme starts in 2021 (presumably active now but under covid its academic). The original goal was to wind back to 2005 levels but that remains an elusive target.

          It sounds to me that this is why Al Baker is talking of using the A350F for ‘fleet renewal’ for his freighters which at the moment are only an average of 6 years old.

          • nofly:

            Its complicated by the type of freighter you operate (wide body long range or short range)

            Also, even the wide body long range (mostly) go for the refuel stop vs the range. So they land more often and spend more time on the ground.

            I have not seen utilization break down for the wide body freight use.
            I do know FedEx runs their 777 daily from Asia to US (various destinations such as LA, Indianapolis and Memphis) . If say United ran close to the same routes once a day it may be close between them but that is the distance aspect.

            Short range the freighters sit there a lot more than the high domestic use.

            Its an interesting balance where a very outdated MD-11F (original or converted) is still viable for UPS and FedEx.

            Keeping in mind there was not 777 feed stock for a 777 passenger conversion.

            So, FedEx runs a mix of 777/MD-11. UPS runs a mix of 747F/MD-11 and 767 internationally (FedEx does not normally run the 767 and its 767s do not have the Winglets but UPS does have them)

            DHL runs a mix of about everything F on the planet and mostly not owned.

  11. A significant advantage of the introduction of the A350F is that it turns the A350 program into a “full complement” alternative to the 777X. This means that an airline with a 777X order can now “jump ship” to the A350 without having to rely on a different OEM for freight aircraft. Interestingly, many of the airlines that ordered the 777X are already (large) A350 operators, or have the A350 on order.
    Clever move by Airbus.

    • And 5 of your largest A350 passengers variant operators are existing B777F operators as well.

      • I wonder what are the earliest A350 passenger slots that Airbus could give Tim Clark?
        Could the production rate be upped from X to Y so as to give Y-X per month to Tim?
        Some (many?) airlines have deliberately deferred delivery slots, so it shouldn’t upset them if extra capacity is used to fill an “express” order from an intervening customer.
        Tim then gets a lighter aircraft with a greater range, at a lower price and an earlier delivery date — and without the current ongoing uncertainty regarding certification and performance.

        • > I wonder what are the earliest A350 passenger slots that Airbus could give Tim Clark? <

          Interesting thought.. bet he's had it.

  12. @Bryce

    Well most of the mainline freighters operate Boeing and GE engines so that’s a “significant advantage” for Boeing. Seeing as they were asking airbus to put GE Engines on the 350F which they obviously will not. But it’s still not a guaranteed advantage for Boeing. We have to see both aircraft which I’m sure are both very capable and see how that will end up. This is a segment Airbus doesn’t have any real footing. They’re playing catch up here might I add, no doubt they’ll play well I think. But of course once Airbus launches something it’s the best thing in the world. Airbus can launch a piece of metal and you people will still be excited

    [Edited] and let the market play out,[Edited].

    It’s like you’re working overtime for the cause of Airbus. Trust me, they don’t need your help

    • So, if the weatherman predicts that there’s going to be a storm tomorrow, then that must mean that he loves storms and hates calm weather…is that it?

      It’s not my fault that BA is in such a precarious position and that AB is currently in a far better state: the whole industry is commenting on that situation — don’t you ever look at other publications? What are we supposed to do…put on black armbands, sit in sack cloth and ashes, and mourn in solemn respect for the self-inflicted woes of BA?

      I have a search engine that provides me on a constant basis with a whole list of international publications relating to BA, AB and Embraer. The news on AB and Embraer is almost consistently good-to-neutral, whereas the news on BA is almost consistently bad-to-terrible. Does that mean that everyone in the airline press is “working overtime for the cause of Airbus?”

      You might consider venting your frustrations elsewhere: using inappropriate language here just creates extra editing work for LNA staff.

        • @Bryce

          Spoiler alert – Off topic, but very short
          Remember the mink ? Now the deer, check out APHIS

          • @ Gerrard
            Yes, I saw that…fascinating, and also concerning.
            Also an interesting document published by the CDC yesterday…which will surely have repercussions for air travel: delta is now up there with measles and chickenpox.

          • @Bryce

            International travel does look forlorn especially downunder under military law

            The AB article is v interesting – sheds further light on AB taking carbon etc plans into their own hands, and imposing t&c on the engine makers rather than having to wait on them

            AB as the dominant marketer should indeed be able to take the lead, perhaps they’ll have to arrange for a way to exert more direct control over Safran/CFM, rather than allowing engine makers to play BA against AB

            I like the AB talk about ’convergence’ is going to happen in the last paragraph, that’s very straightforward

            As for the spoiler-Fascinating, concerning, but – most of all predictable, as was said by some wiser at the very outset Brits now reporting all pets suspect

            As is the very funny response- nuke ’em clotshot

          • @ Gerrard
            Yes, the article on the engines is intriguing.
            There’s a troubling conflict of interests in the GM/Safran joint venture: GM is probably beholden to the desires of Uncle Sam, and that can conflict with what Safran (and the EU) wants. If the US unilaterally forbids export of GM/Safran engines to China, it will infuriate the EU (already ticked off over export bans to Iran), and probably precipitate/expedite the disintegration of the CFM alliance. Which, of course, would fit in with the increasing de-coupling going on elsewhere.

            Regarding the deer: indeed not unexpected…already reported back in March, though on a much smaller scale back then. With 60 species, and present on all inhabited continents, they form a substantial reservoir.

          • @Bryce

            You are right

            Decoupling CFM would be in AB’s best interests, if not obligatory – all EU experience of US sanctions methods would indicate this, as per recent Nordstream2 gala – plus essential guarantee of autonomy required to get on in China/RECP: pushing this issue via climate change is clever strategy

            As for pets probs, this is MSM in Brit, coming coming to a country near you, expands the market by several magnitudes at current levels of thinking, who doesn’t love their pooch, etc seagulls whathaveyou -chimes with climate change we control nature monologue

          • Next seven, eight months are interesting.

            Dark winter ahead!

          • @Gerard If I remember correctly Airbus one time was very keen to get suppliers from the dollar area on board. So getting rid of any us influence on the engine alone will not be enough to avoid US sanctions. And even if they would get rid of any US supplier, they could still be sanctioned directly.

          • Bryce:

            GM is an auto maker and has nothign to do with Safran.

            A company called GE does make jet engines (along with other things) and has an alliance with Safran called CFM.

            The spirals off into never never land.

          • @nofly

            War on everyone is not possible – everyone is ‘decoupling’ from wardog USA, this can not be stopped

            One thing for the Pres/Press wartalk the commie, another the NATO member alliance countries

            It did not work with Nordstream2, will not work with AB

            US can sanction AB directly? You mean force AB to chose between selling to US market or to ChinaRCEP?

            That choice has already been made – US market is insignificant compared to, plus unreliable, plus supply chain fragile

            You are not suggesting some program along the lines of save Taiwan applied to the EU, are you?

            The US has already lost the ‘sanctions’ war with China, will lose again with EU

          • @TW
            Never heard of a typo? As if you never make them…”aircart” being a classic.
            On the subject of Never Never Land, how’s your proposal to re-engine the 767F/777F (see below) coming along?

          • @Bryce

            You beat me to it

            Typos are good! the aircart typo named a whole new dimension of dumbness in aviation, but it’s inventor seems ashamed to use it

            GM is also apt – it’s not GE but also GM and indeed General Merican industry which is being decoupled

            Wear this badge with pride

          • @ nofly
            The problem with sanctions is:
            (1) They don’t work.
            (2) They only force the sanctioned entity to become more independent/creative.
            Iran is a good example. The US sanctions have not caused the regime to topple (in fact, it has only become more hardline), and Iran has now been forced into China’s arms, with whom it can now trade oil (from its new port in the Gulf of Oman) in a dollar-free barter set-up.

            Let’s now look at CFM and turn the tables: let’s pretend that the US has an amicable trading relationship with China, and that the EU is more hostile. If the Safran part of CFM were to forbid engine exports to China, how do you think the US would react?

            I’d be very surprised if the EU isn’t secretly encouraging Safran to become more independent, and/or to enter into some sort of cooperation with a European giant such as Siemens, Daimler Benz, or Saab, for example. The US policy of using trade wars / sanctions against enemy and friend alike is only going to lead to more and more de-coupling.

          • Gerrard I dont understand that obsession with the chinese market. Give it 10-15 years and there’ll be no demand for non-chinese airplanes on domestic routes. Don’t expect them to play fair.

          • Bryce:

            My form of fun. I did want to be sure on the facts end though.

            Pretty bad when I see it!

          • @nofly

            Who’s obsessed with the China market ? BA/AB and Wall Street? I guess they are seriously concerned with it as the major market, but obsessed seems the not right word, keen to make money while they still can perhaps

            ‘don’t expect them to play fair’ – well business is not cricket, playing fair is not possible, for what are the rules of the game ? it’s only a struggle over who gets to write the rules, and that’s usually the bigger & dominant economy

            China made products already dominate world markets, including especially US, so – yes – it is likely China made planes will also dominate both home and international markets

            You suggest BA/AB should… give up, no hope, sell out while there’s still a chance : many would say that’s what BA has done/is doing

          • nofly:

            I don’t get it either, if China is successful (huge doubts) then it impacts both Europe and the US in a huge negative fashion.

            Major industries have been lost and many good jobs have been handed to China clearly the last 20 years.

            I vastly prefer the relationship the US has with Europe, its rocky at times but the same basic principles are shared.

          • I would like to hear how Europeans feel when U.S. imposed tariff on their steels and aluminium on the grounds of “national security”.

            Seems U.S. is suffering from paranoia and becomes delusional.

          • @ Pedro
            The Europeans were “not amused” by the metals tariffs, which served as a big wake-up call and precipitated moves to achieve greater EU independence from the US, e.g. relating to defense, cloud services, semiconductors, etc. The EU is a trade powerhouse — it’s not impressed by unpredictability, U-turns and bravure in its trading relationships. It trades seamlessly with other countries/groups without periodic tantrums. Hence my comments that there’ll be increasing de-coupling from the US when it comes to aviation…better for both sides that way.

          • @TW

            Where else does US buy what they can not make themselves if not from China, restofthe world ditto

            US could go cold turkey and stop ? No way – too addicted

            Reshore niet, US forgot how to build/make stuff

            The long ago EUUS relationship has broken down : ‘shared values’ is the platitude Jolting Joe likes to trot out but only when he’s pitching EU to attack Russia and/or someone else or pitching his more expensive gas

            PR about basic principles is always a spoiler alert for putting in the squeeze or the rip off

    • John:

      The lack of an A350 engine choice is interesting. We do know the GE engines stand up to the F use in that wide body F category.

      How much that would play into the RR limitation is a good question. Some like ANA and NZ were ardent RR users but not now.

      And which engine they use for the A350F (900 or 1000). The XWB has heritage in the Trent 900 and 1000 and the track history on both has had issues though those may be resolved.

      I am interested in the comparisons and how they do down the road vs the Airbus Vs Boeing thing.

      Equally I continue to be puzzled that more on a 787F has not been mentioned.

      And equally, F operators could elect to do conversions , its new build that gets caught up in the emissions debate.

      Some lie Qatar have finite time lines to replace but you have to wonder at what price they can afford to do that and make money and operators like Atlas etc have always been price sensitive.

      • The evolution of exclusive engine contracts means that on a B777, B737 you can only get GE. On A330neo and A350 you can only get Rolls Royce.
        Airbus in open on the A321. Unfortunately RR had problems (now solved) on the B787.

        No Airbus customers with Trent engines suffered any of the issues that Boeing 787 customers that had chosen the Trent 1000 as their engine suffered. The Trent is still an RB211. There are now zero AOG (aircraft on the ground). Unfortunately for Rolls Royce they may never get another engine on a Boeing.

        The Trent 1000 that earned notoriety on the B787 was replaced by the Trent 1000 package C and Trent 1000 TEN. The Trent 7000 (A330 neo) and Trent XWB (A350) never suffered any issues. The turbine blades are manufactured in a different way in a different factory. RR also has x-ray equipment that is said to have such precision at finding nanoscopic flaws it would be equal to a human reading a book at 1 mile.

        • William:

          It took over 5 years for the RR issues to start to manifest on the 787s. (starting with the blade corrosion then progressing into blade cracking)

          RR did not understand the harmonics and was very late in figuring that out.

          It may well be that the Trent 7000 has to have components changed as its a Trent 1000 -10 derivative. A330NEO does not have the longevity that the 787 did.

          It got held up as a result of the Trent 1000 work as it was a derivative of that and they had to get 1000 through the Ten resolved (and then had issues).

          The Trent 1000C and the Ten all suffered the same issues.

          Those may well be solved by now but two airlines gave up on the engines. Be interesting to see down the road engine choices by others who were RR originally.

          As I understand it the RR 1000 series never did match the GenX for SFC and as a 3 spool is more expensive and cost more to overhaul than a two, that makes a dent in buying it if you can’t get a return out of it in superior SFC and wear combination costs.

  13. 2019 first half AB result announcement: ~€2 billion operating profit (2021: +35%) while delivery in 2021 was lower than 2019.

    No wonder AB can afford to embark on new product development, unlike its main rival. Cough cough.

  14. I’m expecting the answer to be “no”, or, “very little”, but I was wondering whether there would be changes to the RR Trent XWB, for the A350F?

    If they were identical, or easily configurable for either role, perhaps the ability to share engines between an airline’s fleet of passenger and freight jets could be an attractive selling point. One might not be able to have air frames that can be converted easily between freight and passenger roles, but the engines are a significant component that could serve both fleets.

    Wouldn’t that make it easier to manage engine lifetimes / service intervals in a market which could be prone to big swings in passenger demand?

    • Mathew:

      We don’t know which of the two XWB engines Airbus will use on the A350F.

      One of the downsides on the A350 was two different engines needed as the 900 XWB did not have sufficient growth for the 1000 and they had to build a modified XWB engine for it.

      If you run a 900/1000 fleet you still have different engines and the A350F will only be common with one or the other.

  15. This is a fascinating article — with lots of complicated intrigue:
    “Airbus production plans expose strategy rift with engine makers”

    “That has rattled engine makers and others who fear the world’s largest planemaker will upset their own recovery by flooding markets with new jets too quickly, forcing existing ones straight into retirement rather than their repair shops.”

    “As sole supplier on the 737 MAX, which was hit by a recent safety crisis, CFM will also be wary of the signal it sends to the U.S. company if it helps Airbus assume too flamboyant a lead in the market with its A320neo family, one industry source said.”

    • The engine makers have only themselves to blame, selling engines for less than cost was bound to bite them in the bum eventually.
      If governments are serious about reducing the co2 emissions, scrapage is the only available solution at the moment and growth is impossible.
      Those older aircraft that survive will have a mountain of secondhand engines and spare parts to sustain them.

      • @Grubbie

        This is the photocopier business plan which has spread to many other industries, generally only works with consumer products, not in this case with the companies which incorporate your bits’npieces and actually sell them to end users

        Or am I missing the point?

        • Its old news and the issue is really that engines last longer and the old model does not work.

          But you are also stuck with the competition selling engine on that model so its a dilemma for them, they will work it out in the end.

          • @TW

            The problem is the pricing – the OEM passes on the cheaper engine price, or can, to the airline, the airline pays for all the expensive servicing

            The engine maker has no incentive to build better longer lasting less requiring constant servicing engines

            Old problem? not really, it’s merely an old scam, what is sold as cheap turns out to be expensive with strings attached : they were doing this in the Old Babylon

            It’s one step away from Deere remote turning off the tractor if they think you are using it out of hours, and let’s not talk about Microsoft please

          • @Gerrard

            Reminds me about Apple’s software updates secretly dial back iPhone’s performance.

    • Seems Faury is serious. If AB can produce A320/321 at a rate double that of BA, how much cost per unit can it save??

    • Hmm … Faury is serious. When AB produces A320/321 at a rate double that of BA, it will enjoy significant lower cost advantage!!

  16. A new battleground for new BA/AB narrowbody orders in India.
    But it’s an LCC, so pricing will probably need to be very sharp…which puts BA at a disadvantage. And, of course, the MAX will first have to be un-grounded in India.

    “Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s plan to launch an ultra-low-cost airline, could give planemaker Boeing a chance to regain lost ground in India after the fall of one of its biggest customers, Jet Airways, two years ago, industry executives say.

    Boeing’s share of India’s 570 narrowbody planes fell to 18 per cent after Jet’s demise from 35 per cent in 2018, data from consultancy CAPA India shows. Jet was recently rescued from bankruptcy and is expected to fly again. Indian carriers have over 900 planes on order of which 185 are Boeing 737 aircraft and 710 are Airbus, which counts IndiGo as one of its biggest customers globally.”

    • Hasn’t Boeing been criticized for selling MAX at extremely low prices?

      Reality is Neither Jet nor the Billionaire are going to shift the India market, Airbus has the vast majority and will keep it.

  17. “FedEx may go with conversion to match its 777F fleet as that feedstock should be good.”

    Only for an outsider looking in from afar. Doubtful

    • Pedro:

      What do you base that on?

      777s are reaching the stage of being replaced and FedEx and Boeing had a conversion package laid out for those (it was the route they were going to go until Singapore elected to use their retiring 777s for Scoot and not sell)

  18. Do not take this seriously, its wild and beyond speculative

    As its the emissions involved and not the air frame, a NEO for the 777F and the 767F would resolved that!

    787 engines on the 767, hmmm.

    Engines for the 777 seems a bigger problem.

    And military is exempt so the KC-46 can go on or its competitor in the A330CEO MRT.

    • @Bill7

      small g green is a feel good sop will solve nothing

      can not extend beyond USEU heartland PMC to involve collaboration with India Asia China and Africa

      the extremist competitive politics and wargaming waged by US will prohibit any possible collaboration on climate change

      if indeed climate change can be countered under current economic political systems to any purpose other than wealth transfer from poor to rich

    • Yeah I have been wondering about that, but I didn’t know it had a name.
      Air traffic control improvement will simply enable more traffic growth unless we restrict demand.Airlines bleat like crazy about relatively small departure taxes, therefore this must be the place to start. Obviously fuel must be taxed as well, going to the hart of the problem. It has become clear that most air travel is nothing like as important as we thought it was, although many people have spent the money saved on huge co2 producing vehicles whether powered by petrol or battery.

      • @Grubbie

        “unless we restrict demand”

        Who’s this ‘we’?

        You talk of aviation as if in a vacuum – taxing fuel to start with “the heart of the problem”

        Taxing fuel for cars etc has’nt greatly worked much so far if reducing car travel ’emissions’ is the goal, + seems to impact the poorer rather than the richer, as gilets verts and so on have made clear

        Further and general austerity measures will increase social unrest, etc etc

        The heart of the problem is more like – who decides quite what for whom and why – if it’s not a worldwide whowhatwhy involving all the Asian/African who’s it’s not going to work – and who do you think will get all these people aligned and agreeable

        • I knew that taxing aviation fuel would be unpopular with those with a vested interest.Taxing car fuel has an immediate effect, it reduces traffic drastically, quite often resulting in rioting
          The “we”is democratically elected governments. This is why I don’t believe that they really mean it when they set ridiculous and unrealistic co2 reduction targets.

          • Car fuel in The Netherlands is taxed to the hilt, yet is hasn’t done anything to reduce the number of cars on the roads.

          • @Bryce,I’m finding it very hard to get like for like numbers but co2 emissions per km in high tax Netherlands are less than half of those in the USA.
            Fuel price rises have an immediate effect here in the UK, the young and old stop making discretionary journeys, the working population has little choice.
            Even if fuel tax increases didn’t work, at least governments would have the revenue to mitigate some of the damage.
            The aviation industry knows all of this because they pay for every gallon they lift into the air.
            Another uncomfortable fact is that business class seats produce 4 times as much co2 per mile.

          • @Grubbie

            Taxing aviation fuel is a sideshow, as is taxing car fuel, in the overall context – it increases prices for the poor, resulting in civic unrest, while doing very little or nothing to actually reduce consumption : it conveys lack of ideas/plans as to restructuring society/production in order to long term reduce co2 etc

            If your ‘we’ is demgvmts the we organising and planning these kind of stupid climcha strategies they’d be advised to make sure such do not so obviously target the largest number of voters those most alienated by their other foolish politics and start thinking : else it’s just ruling class austerity is good for your nonsense

            Plus the undemgvmts must observe such stupidity and see how (so called) democracy merely represents the enemy of the people

          • @Grubbie

            Like the failure of the ‘we’ ruling class demcountries to begin to understand the current corona and how to deal with it, so may they be undone by the frailty of their understanding of climate change and howwhat to do

            In the hand of the ‘we’, both resolve themselves simply into the creation of more markets to make money from

            ‘We’ take a superficial glance then run to the bank – the more they look the less they see


          • @ Grubbie
            If you’re going to do comparisons, then don’t compare apples with oranges.
            (1) The Netherlands has top-notch public transport, which is heavily utilized — the US does not. However, people using public transport in NL are not doing so because car fuel is taxed — they’re doing it because it enables them to skip rush hour traffic jams, and they can work or sleep during transit. Many/most of them have a car at home.
            (2) People in NL cycle en masse. Again, not because of car fuel taxes, but because it’s healthy, it gets around road congestion, and it also gets around parking fees. As soon as kids can properly steer a bike, they go to school, sports, etc., almost exclusively by bike. Similarly, lots of people here just walk to their destination — even when it’s 45 minutes one way.
            (3) Cars in NL tend to be smaller and more fuel-efficient than in the US. Big pick-ups, Hummers and stretched limo’s are virtually non-existent in the EU.

            FYI: NL has a population of 17.4 million people, but it has 8.7 million cars, and 23 million bicycles. More than 1 million people use the train network every day…about the same number use buses, trams and subways. In addition to very high fuel taxes, Dutch car owners also have to pay road usage tax (in my case, about €115 per month), and also have to pay a 35% government duty/levy on new car purchases. Parking averages about €3.50 per hour in cities, and even rises to €8 per hour in central Amsterdam. And despite all of that financial burden, people still buy and use their cars!

          • In America, a generation or two ago,kids walk, bike to school. Nowadays, everyone in an SUV or a minivan. What happened??

        • If the USA brought its vehicle fuel tax into line with Europe they would reduce co2 emissions by about 10% and everyone with a job in Europe can afford to run a car. Of course taxation works.

          • @Grubbie

            ‘Everyone with a job can afford to run a car’


            Excuse me that’s a ruling class remark – to run a car on minimum wage SMIC say….crikey.. what’s unemployment at in Spain or …oh well

            Car ownership in EU is approximately 70/75% of households, not humans – so still leaves out a lot of people, maybe some of them are green

            In rest of world is much much lower- so you have a very partial and incomplete local answer and not a solution to a worldwide problem

            That’s good thinking

            Result- No worries then for nothing changes at all : So EUUS using the gas guzzlers instead of planning/instituting/changing social travel, or actually thinking about anything at all except banking the taxes

          • @Gerald White, are there no poor people in the US?Tax them less somewhere else.
            Not quite sure whether you are alt right or communist.
            Obviously I wasn’t proposing only taxation, but a 10% improvement is massive just from driving smaller cars. This getting off topic, aircraft enjoy lower taxes at the moment giving them an unfair advantage

          • @Grubbie

            Your only suggestion was an aviation fuel tax – in a discussion of co2 reduction climate change policies in the context of ‘a green future’

            ‘tax them less somewhere else’ is a statement of policy ?

            When discussing a major event it’s best to be coherent, get a grip on an overall strategy not tiny ‘incremental’ fiddledesticks –

            -an aviation fuel tax, in some small areas of governance (‘we’ = say EUUS) which are promptly passed on to the consumer, goes no where to address the structural problem, although it does put some more money into the hands of those élites who have presided over this mess so far

            ‘aviation has an unfair advantage’ (over cars) is not a policy statement….(although aviation fuels were given a tax pass on the grounds that fuel taxes were to be paid by the consumer only)

            Otherwise your ‘policies’ are merely revenue raising exercises, guaranteed no change, financial derivatives just like carbon trading and ecosystem services

            This is the form of ‘thinking’ that put BA in the hole

          • @ Grubbie
            “aircraft enjoy lower taxes at the moment giving them an unfair advantage”

            Aviation doesn’t need linear infrastructure — roads, rails, canals — on the ground, so it doesn’t need a fuel tax to pay for the construction and upkeep of that infrastructure. Maintenance of airport infrastructure is covered by landing fees, and ATC costs are covered by airspace passage fees.

            Incidentally, it is perfectly possible to make comments without accusing other commenters of being commies, alt right, etc. A lot of the policies advocated by the green movement are very poorly thought through — one doesn’t have to be of a particular political background to point that out.

    • How about we leave Covd out of a freighter discussion so the thread does not get shut down again?

      That seems to be your default and its way way off topic.

      • I mentioned P2F conversions and widebody production rates, didn’t I?

      • @TW

        Someone has to mention the real world sometimes, even in a discussion about BA

        Know of any other single factor that has more importance for the freighter market, the aviation industry, and, why not, life in the US ?

        Only BA can live in fantasy land

  19. 777-8F, Launching, developing, certifying a freighter based on an aircraft still in deep trouble because of a questionable certification strategy itself. In a contested market segment with lots of P2F programs and feedstock. We should not at all be surprized Boeing is holding back.

    Making the 777-200LRF 2027 noise compliant with GE might become an increasingly attractive alternative. Same for a GENX 767-8F.

    • Indeed.
      Why is BA being reticent about announcing the 777XF?
      Calhoun says that he “circled the 777XF as being the most likely candidate” for the next freighter, but that’s not very committal syntax.
      If it can figure out how to get a cargo door into the 787’s plastic barrel, at least BA can come with a next-gen replacement for the 767F / A330F. Because the 787 is an existing program as opposed to the pre-natal 777X, such a program would be less of a risk. It would also help extend the 787 production line’s lifetime.

        • May not be revealing itself, I often shake my head at blather from companies.

          Perhaps helps share price, perhaps not.

          I like to refer to Cessna, who revealed the existence of the Mustang VLJ only when they had to roll it out of the hanger to do runway testing. Though I don’t recall if they kept the new twin cargo airplane under wraps, certainly much publicity now that is has flown.

          Airbus is into PR big time, especially eco-… Probably pleases their political owners.

  20. Given BA had to offer like 60% discount on B767F to entice order, I doubt the 787F is price competitive.

    • “had to” = past tense. They had to compete with conversions of passenger aircraft. There’s no 3rdparty conversion option for the 787 (and none from Boeing itself). I think the more interesting question is, is there enough demand for such an aircraft. The similar sized A330 doesnt enjoy much popularity as a freighter so far.

  21. “…the freighter is a mix of -1000 and -900 components…”

    You mean like a “frankenplane”?

    Your articles are paywalled, but I note that:
    – KC46A needed high gross weight but not long fuselage
    – OTOH package express traditionally needs internal volume, though perhaps McKenzie Scott as largest shareholder of Amacrick post-divorce can shape up its packaging operations (sloppy including excessive volume, separate shipments that are not necessary, yet sometimes improper packaging so damage occurs – expect problems with any product that has an electrical plug).

    OTOH, for something really new – well at least advancing and eco-attractive, but slooooow, here’s an explanation of ‘hybrid airship’:
    80% of lift still from helium, 20% from aerodynamics (but must lift off and get forward speed from thrusters before it can generate aerodynamic lift). Thrusters help cope with short term weight variation in some uses.
    I expect fronthaul will be supplies for the mine including fuels, cement, food, and equipment – don’t want to vent costly helium for return with mine output.
    (There was a scheme to use L-M airships to bring concentrate out of a mine on the Labrador-Quebec border, but the mining company was filing for bankruptcy in 2018. Alternative was a road to a port, some flapping about crossing a caribou migration path as if caribou would be much bothered – they weren’t by the elevated Alaskan pipeline, do need a traffic light. :-o)

  22. Dig deeper and not all freighters are created equal. There’s a reason why FedEx orders new freighters direct from airframers.

    • Fedex has a business strategy and seems well-financed.

      UPS was buying old airliners and modifying, them, including re-engining 727-100Cs, in the 1990s.

      ABX was flying DC-9s without large cargo door – low capital cost. (Rolling narrow containers through pax entry doors somehow.)

      Fedex of course is a huge lesson in naysayers, Fred Smith’s idea that people would pay a premium for assured delivery timing was poo-pooed, USPS was not so aware of customer complaints and not reliable thus lost business forever.

      I had a small example of the benefit of tracking one day at Okanagan Helicopters. Needing data from a manufacturer I checked with receiving at a time I was sure the truck would have come – nothing. Ringy-dinged Fedex, who gave me time of delivery and name of who signed for it. Back to receiving I go, saying “Mike, give!”. Lazy/sleepy Mike had not looked in a pile on the floor.

      Before good tracking, I once had to look around PW’s freight facility at YXD for a shipment, found it in a pile the receivers had made to take to the hanger – someone had recognized it was for work in the hanger or recognized my name, but person I called did not realize that.

  23. And Bryce assumes the market for large efficient widebody airplanes will continue as it is at this narrow slice in time.

    A common folly is extrapolating without end.

    Perhaps Harry Binswanger’s book How We Know covers that foolishness,

    Certainly is covered in The Doomsday Myth, which chronicles cases of forecasts of resource shortages that FAILed even in the face of government coercion to limit supply. Root cause is failure to appreciate human creativity and productivity, which comes from fixed-pie thinking that Karl Marx notably taught.
    ‘Sustainability’ anyone?
    (Even Malthus was realizing that error in his old age.)

  24. Well Gerrard, there is research indicating that the earth is absorbing far more CO2 than was thought. (You speak only of topsoil.)

    But it doesn’t matter since:
    – climate was warmer and stable in the Medieval Warm Period when Vikings farmed southwest Greenland
    – The physics of greenhouse gas molecules limits the amount of temperature rise that CO2 can cause to a small amount, most of which has already been realized. That’s because of the ‘saturation’ effect of energy flow from overlap of absorption-emission spectra of carbon dioxide and the most common greenhouse gas, dihydrogen monoxide (water vapour).

    Reality is that the climate is not warming at an alarming rate, and sea level is not rising at a rate significantly faster than it has been since the end of the long cool period around 1750AD. (See for government databases.) Records of surface temperatures are incomplete and contain unexplained ‘adjustments.’ I’ll instead go with traditional weather balloon thermometers and satellite sensors. Climate was stable during the Mycean, Roman, and Medieval warm periods (during which Vikings farmed southwest Greenland).

    Catastrophists will keep bleating, just as they keep evading that their method of thinking does not support life (in my observation, eco-activists typically believe in fixed-pie economics and drive-to-the-bottom ethics of the most murderous ideology of the twentieth century). Their method is faith from emotions.

  25. Bryce
    July 29, 2021

    That comment about “facts” sounds ominously like something that a certain other commenter used to say…particularly when confronted by opinions that didn’t suit his narrative 😏”

    ROFL. the pot calls the kettle black. :-o)

  26. Bring on the A350FF (FrankenFreighter)
    Hopefully this will inspire Boeing to build a 764FF with a length between the 763 and 764, as an optimized freighter is a good idea.

  27. Speaking of anti-Boeing pontificators claiming no future in very large airliners, BA says the A380 has a future with it.

    But not until two years from now, maybe. (Acknowledging uncertainty of how soon traffic returns, which depends on government actions and individual’s responses regarding the virus that shall not be named in this forum. :-o)

    Recall the outspoken Middle East airline saying the airplane is useful if you have enough of them.

    (Fifteen years ago BA was operating LHR-SEA return, that takes one airplane for the round trip. Three pilots in the B747-400, for inflight relief (flight 10 hours I guess from memory) and risk of illness). Terrible seating in steerage, cheapskate BA had not taken footrests off seats before reducing pitch.)

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