Feb. 18, 2019 © Leeham News: Airbus’ decision to end the A380 program clears the path, if chosen, for a plane that was studied three or four years ago: the stretch of the A350-1000 to the size of the 777-9.
A 400+ passenger “A350-2000” would have encroached too closely on the A380’s 500+ passengers. Officials feared the A350-2000 would hurt the sales prospects of the A380.
With the A380’s last delivery now planned for 20xx, this becomes a moot point.
The prospect of a new, Rolls-Royce Ultra Fan engine for the A350 around 2025 will give the -2000 significantly superior economics to the 777-9 and a longer range, a preliminary analysis by LNA shows.
Feb. 18, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week’s column about the revolutionary Boeing 747 prompted some Twitter interaction asking what other commercial airplanes might be considered “revolutionary.”
I have my views. Let’s ask readers.
There are also three polls below the jump in addition to the usual comment section. Polling is open for one week.
Feb. 14, 2019, © Leeham News: Termination of the A380 program leaves unanswered Airbus’ obligation of outstanding launch aid from France and Germany.
As the dispute wound its way through the WTO since the US filed its complaint nearly 15 years ago, the only surviving issues were subsidies for the A380 and A350.
Based on precedent involving termination of the A340 program, in which the WTO ruled there was no further harm to Boeing once the last A340 was delivered, the remaining launch aid was rendered moot in the context of the WTO. The governments wound up eating the balance of the launch aid.
By Bjorn Fehrm
February 14, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus announced its 2018 results today at a press conference in Toulouse. It was the last Yearly press conference for Airbus CEO Tom Enders and CFO Harald Wilhelm. Both leave the company in the coming months.
The press conference was colored by the CEO hand over to Guillaume Faury but also the winding up of the A380 program, a problem Enders didn’t want his successor to inherit. The gone year delivered overall results as guided a year ago despite closures charges for A380 and further provisions for A400M.
By Dan Catchpole
Feb. 14, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Flight delays cost the airline industry
billions of dollars each year. They cause travelers untold aggravation and inconvenience every day. And the main culprit—air traffic congestion—is only going to get worse as Boeing and Airbus deliver tens of thousands of jetliners over the next couple decades.
Regulators, lawmakers and the aviation industry in the United States have settled on spending billions of taxpayer dollars on NextGen—after having already spent billions—to implement complex technical solutions to keep the skies safe and cut down on flight delays.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated in 2017 that implementing NextGen will cost roughly $35.7 billion by 2030–$20.6 billion from the FAA and another $15.1 billion from the aviation industry.
NextGen has moved with the swiftness of a sprawling, technocratic federal program—that is to say like an elephant at the ballet. It has endured delays and cost escalation, though these have not been crippling. However, it is years away from unclogging America’s congested air spaces.
Moreover, there are very real questions as to whether NextGen will be able to deliver all the FAA promises it can.
The last airplane will roll off the assembly line in 2021, for Emirates Airlines.
Emirates cancelled an order for 39 A380s. In its place, the carrier ordered 30 A350s and 40 A330neos.
The Emirates and Airbus press release is here.
Feb. 13, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus is expected to announce tomorrow the termination of the A380 program, a move that had been rumored for weeks.
Tomorrow is Airbus’ annual press conference for 2018 results. Its Board of Directors meets today.
Word emerged last month that Emirates Airline was considering cancelling its 2017 order for the giant airplane, swapping the 20 (plus 17 options) for the A350 or the A330neo.
Last week, Qantas Airways, as long expected, canceled its remaining order for eight A380s. This week, Qatar Airways said it will begin retiring its A380s when the first reaches age 10.
Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Terminating the A380 program may be a blessing in disguise for Airbus, writes a US aerospace analyst.
At the same time, it could cause headaches for the supply chain.
Carter Copeland of Melius Research LLC makes a split decision on the future of the A380. There is speculation that retiring Airbus CEO Tom Enders might decide to end the program before he leaves office in April, clearing the decks for his successor, Guillaume Faury.
Boeing and Embraer Commercial Aviation received Brazilian government approval last month and now await a nearly-year long regulatory approval process from around the globe.
Based on the announced orders at Jan. 1, Airbus has a 78% share of the 100-150 seat sector following the combinations.
Embraer sold more airplanes in this sector than Boeing: 95 E195-E2s to 70 737-7s.
The former CSeries has 526 orders to 55 for the A319neo.
Feb. 11, 2019, © Leeham News: Few airplanes truly can be called revolutionary. Most are evolutionary.
The Boeing 747 was one of those that falls into the former category.
Just as the Boeing 707 revolutionized air travel, so did the 747.
The spaciousness and, after a period of engine difficulties, the economics put the 747 into a class by itself.