By Bjorn Fehrm
May 17, 2018, © Leeham News: The recent agreement between the US and the Gulf carriers limits the expansion of the carriers on the US market. As the premier long-range destination area from the Gulf is the US market, this will influence the lift needed by the three.
All three carriers, Emirates, Qatar Airways (Qatar) and Etihad, have decided on the 777-9 as the mainstay for their long-haul needs. With the change, the question arises, will Qatar increase the buy of the A350-1000 instead of taking the 777-9 and will any of the others reconsider?
To understand what’s involved we compare the capacity and the costs of the 777-9 and A350-1000. How large is the difference? Is the A350 the better choice if the extreme long-haul capacity needs decline?
May 14, 2018, © Leeham News: Wide-body production rates by Airbus and Boeing are expected to go up modestly during the next three year, with a jump in 2022—if Boeing 777X production rates head for 7/mo in late 2022, as the company projects.
The supply chain was asked last year by Boeing for a Rate Readiness Assessment that suggests a rate of 5/mo in late 2021 and rate 7/mo a year later.
Airbus is expected to boost production of the A350 to 13/mo as early as late next year. Meanwhile, the A330 production rate is coming down due to soft demand.
These rates omit impacts of the US withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, in which some 100 Airbus orders, mostly wide-body, and some three-score wide-body Boeing orders disappear with the action.
Feb. 20, 2018 © Leeham Co., Toulouse: Qatar Airways may up-gauge some of its Airbus A350-900 orders to the larger -1000 and it may buy more A350s for its leasing company, CEO Akbar Al Baker said at the delivery of the airline’s first -1000.
Qatar is the launch customer of the A350 program, including the -900 and -1000.
The first -1000 was legally delivered to Qatar at the end of last year, but handover for scheduled service was delayed until today because of issues with its new QSuite premier business class supplied by Rockwell Collins, he said.
In a wide-ranging press conference, Al Baker also said:
Feb. 20, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Toulouse: Airbus will deliver its first A350-1000 to launch customer Qatar Airways within hours, making the end to a nearly two-month wait for the ceremonial handover.
The aircraft was legally delivered to Qatar in the closing days of 2017, but issues with the QSuite interior held up the hand-over until today. The airplane will enter revenue service between Doha and London Heathrow Airport.
Earlier today, Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing, extolled the virtue of the A350-1000 and, in a response to a question, dismissed the coming Boeing 777-9 as a threat to the -1000. She also waved off the prospect, for now, of stretching the -1000 into a “2000” that would directly challenge the -9.
It would be overstating to say 2018 will be a pivotal year for wide-body airplanes, but there should be some important developments.
The Top 10 are a statistical listing of the most-viewed posts, not some judgment call on the part of LNC.
Here is the rundown.
Oct. 2, 2017, © Leeham Co., Grapevine (TX): American Airlines officials dodged commenting about the specifics of the Boeing-Bombardier trade dispute when asked about it at the investors/media day last week in this Dallas suburb.
Instead, the general counsel, Steve Johnson, offered up only a general statement supporting the Trump Administration’s hard line on trade.
The reason for this generality is obvious: American, along with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, is engaged in its own trade war and needs support from the Administration.
AA, DL and UA are battling Big Three airlines from the Middle East over being subsidized and abusing Open Skies treaties. The US carriers want Trump to knock down the ME3, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Oddly, no question was asked of the American officials about the current state of the battle during the day.
LNC asked American CEO Doug Parker about the issue following the event, however.
Sept. 26, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing declared the Very Large Aircraft sector dead in its most recent Current Market Outlook, removing the category entirely when the 2017 CMO was revealed at the Paris Air Show.
But the Large Wide Body (LWB) category appears to be on life support.
The LWB is 350-seats and above. This includes the Boeing 777-300ER, which is already on its way out, the 777-8, the 777-9 and the Airbus A350-1000.
The Medium Wide Body (MWB) category centers around 300 seats. This includes the A330-900, A350-900, 777-200LR and 787-10.
The Small Wide Body (SWB) includes the 787-8, 787-9, A330-200 and A330-800 in the 220-275 seat sector, twin-aisle aircraft. This does not include the 220-240 seat high density Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737-10 single-aisle aircraft.
Boeing’s CMO defines the twin-aisle markets differently: Small wide-body: <300 seats, Large wide-body: >300 seats.
Aug. 28, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Market sources are increasingly pointing to weakness in the Middle East airline sphere as a threat to existing Airbus and Boeing
Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways are the Top 3 of Boeing’s Top 10 wide-body customers.
These three also represent 73% of Boeing’s 777X order backlog.
Qatar and Etihad are the Nos. 2 and 3 wide-body customers at Airbus (after AirAsiaX); Emirates has slipped to No. 8.
The financial trouble at Etihad, exacerbated by its poor investments in the now-bankrupt Alitalia Airlines and AirBerlin, have been well documented.
Emirates’ profits have fallen dramatically and is facing over-capacity. Qatar Airways is now isolated by intra-geopolitical events.
July 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s mid-way through 2017 and LNC is taking its second look at production and delivery stream flows for the Big Four airframe manufacturers.
We examined Boeing Monday in advance of its earnings call Wednesday. Today we look at Airbus in advance of its earnings call today. We look at Bombardier and Embraer next Monday.
We use the Airfinance Journal Fleet Tracker as the basis for our exam.