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Why Will BA Not Consider The A350?  
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3005 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8265 times:

I was reading in Aircraft Illustrated magazine today (UK Edition), that British Airways has begun a strategic review of its long haul fleet and over the coming months or years will decide what aircrafts they want to update their fleet with.

The article was very brief but basically stated that BA would be considering the 777, 787 and 747(ER/Adv)

There was a brief line that stated BA would be discounting the A350 and they did not feel this was a viable long haul aircraft.

I am just interested in how BA can reach this decision, when the aircraft has not been officially launched and will boast similar range, costs and seating as the 787 and 777.

The A340 was not even mentioned!

The article also gave quite a frosty response to any potential A380 orders, by BA "shrugging its shoulders" as saying the aircraft is not even in service yet and will have to see how well it performs.

Is it me in thinking this... But does BA not trust aircrafts launched by Airbus and will not commit themselves until the aircrafts are flying? When they are happy to be launch customers for Boeing, as they were for 777 and 747-400 and potentially place an order for the 787 before it goes into service.

Im not after an A v B showdown in this thread but just interested in BA's thinking and strategy to new long haul aircraft.

[Edited 2005-08-20 19:12:57]

52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirplanePeanut From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8248 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
The article was very brief but basically stated that BA would be considering the 777, 787 and 747-400ER.

That's sounds like their looking for Boeings, To complement their already Boeing-Long Haul Fleet.

 airplane Peanut



..
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8229 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
The article also gave quite a frosty response to any potential A380 orders, by BA "shrugging its shoulders" as saying the aircraft is not even in service yet and will have to see how well it performs.

With all due respect that applies to the 787 as well- while the A380 is flying,the body of the first 787 still has to be assembled...
So considering a paper -aircraft rather than acknowledging the presensce of a plane like the A380 is somewhat "very BA.."



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8219 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
BA would be considering the 777, 787 and 747-400ER.

I'd be surprised if they are not considering the B747Adv, which will make more sense in the long run (yes, if it gets launched).

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8206 times:

>> The A340 was not even mentioned!

This should come as no real suprise. BA has a huge fleet of 777-200ER, which largely outperform the A343. A large fraction of BA's fleet is GE90-powered, so they could integrate the more capable 777-300ER/200LR without difficulty. Contrast this to the A345/A346 which would be a totally new fleet type, in addition to being less capable aircraft than their Boeing counterparts. It really doesn't make sense to include the A340 in any fleet evaluation at BA...

>> There was a brief line that stated BA would be discounting the A350 and they did not feel this was a viable long haul aircraft.

My guess would be they found A350 too big to replace BA's 763ER and too light to replace BA's (still young) 772ER.

>> The article also gave quite a frosty response to any potential A380 orders, by BA "shrugging its shoulders" as saying the aircraft is not even in service yet and will have to see how well it performs.

BA has had two incidents in recent memory where being a launch customer for a new type turned into a Bad Idea:

(1) The entry into service for the Ge90 777 was very rocky, and while opperating fine today, why be first when you can let other customers smooth out reliability?

(2) BA was one of many burned by the PW-powered A318, and later converted all of their order into other A320 types.

Perhaps it is a good thing that they have not ordered the A380 because it would have likely made strike three: Airbus has already announced a program delay that will affect (now disgruntled) customers like SQ and QF.

As to the question, why does BA not yet require the A380, their amount of LHR slots doesn't force them into larger units of capacity like some airlines. BA has many options in what increments of capacity they order.

>> Is it me in thinking this... But does BA not trust aircrafts launched by Airbus and will not commit themselves until the aircrafts are flying?

They havn't yet placed any orders for Boeing aircraft either, and their initial response to the 787 was much the same reaction they had to the A380. I don't see any double standard on BA's part.

>> When they are happy to be launch customers for Boeing, as they were for 777 and 747-400 and potentially place an order for the 787 before it goes into service.

Like I said above, a lot has changed in the last decade... some of it caused by being the launch customers of these types.  Wink


User currently offlineArniePie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8187 times:

BA seems to be on track to have an exclusively AIRBUS smallbody and BOEING widebody fleet.

To me it seems that they have a working strategy because the A320-family is cheaper (purchase price) and about equally capable than the 737-family.

They have a good widebody fleetmix: 747(=proven) ,777 (hate to say it but better than the airbus counterparts) and the 767 still has a lot of years in it and the most viable replacement for it is the 787.



[edit post]
User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8165 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 3):
I'd be surprised if they are not considering the B747Adv, which will make more sense in the long run (yes, if it gets launched).

When did Boeing say they would launch it by if they were going to launch it? Isn't it coming up?


User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2629 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8149 times:

DfwRevolution I have long respected your levelheadedness on these forums even though up untill recently I did nothing but lurk.

Well done on another levelheaded answer  Smile

You're on my RU list  Smile



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8147 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
Is it me in thinking this... But does BA not trust aircrafts launched by Airbus and will not commit themselves until the aircrafts are flying? When they are happy to be launch customers for Boeing, as they were for 777 and 747-400 and potentially place an order for the 787 before it goes into service.

It's like auto companies - when you have a good experience with one you tend to look at that same company again when you are next in the market for a new auto. Can't blame BA for that one.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8143 times:

>> When did Boeing say they would launch it by if they were going to launch it? Isn't it coming up?

If it will be launched, before the end of 2005 or very early 2006. Next few months then...


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8135 times:

Aircraft Illustrated is an enthusiasts' magazine which contains a great deal of excellent information.

It has, in the past, printed some excellent articles covering what various airlines will and won't do regarding fleet equipment but not all of them have been correct.

I haven't seen the issue yet. How much credence can be given to the statement will depend on the journalist involved and who his sources at BA are.


User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
My guess would be they found A350 too big to replace BA's 763ER and too light to replace BA's (still young) 772ER.

Could you please elaborate on the A350 being "too light"? I thought an aircraft could never be too light...


User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8048 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
If it will be launched, before the end of 2005 or very early 2006. Next few months then...

Awesome! I really hope it's launched. A sky without the Queen would be sad.

[Edited 2005-08-20 19:26:53]

User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2629 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8031 times:

Quoting Beauing (Reply 12):

Could you please elaborate on the A350 being "too light"? I thought an aircraft could never be too light...

I guess what meant by being too light is the A350 will not be able to pick up the same weight in payload of the 777-200ER?



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8031 times:

For the reasons given by DfwRevolution and ArniePie:

  • Boeing for longhaul, Airbus for shorthaul
  • BA don't look likely to buy any aircraft till it's been tried and tested in airline service.


These are reasons why BA doesn't appear to be considering it at the moment.

Sorry to repeat you guys but I suspect this might have to be done every 5th post or so!

[Edited 2005-08-20 19:31:45]

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8023 times:

>> Could you please elaborate on the A350 being "too light"? I thought an aircraft could never be too light...

Too light as in not being able to lift enough payload. Not "too light" as in low empty weight.

As WideBodyPhoto explained, the A350-900 will match the 772ER's passenger capacity, but as planned, cannot lift a corresponding amount of cargo over a givin distance. Reduced fuel burn does not necessarily compensate for reduced revenue, so the allure of the A359 depends on how the customer utilizes the 772ER.

A customer like US who only uses their widebodies across the Atlantic would benefit from an aircraft like the A359 because they do not need the full capability of the 772ER. A customer like CO who regularly opperates the 772ER at max payload between EWR-HKG would see no advantage with the A359.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3964 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7828 times:

I have my doubts that BA would be so stupid and inform Boeing through Aircraft Illustrated that they have no serious competition.....

User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2815 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7817 times:

Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 24):
I have my doubts that BA would be so stupid and inform Boeing through Aircraft Illustrated that they have no serious competition.....

My thoughts exactly. I think the Boeings are definite favourites in this race, but BA isn't going to want to let on that easily. They want Airbus to make so good offers to force Boeing to make good offers.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7782 times:

Vfw614, you're right, of course. But the signs are that BA aren't about to buy any brand new Boeing aircraft, e.g. 787, till it's been tried and tested, either.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 78
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7775 times:

Being as BA won't be buying anything for probably 2-3 more years, a lot can change.

However, I get the impression that 787 is certain.
A380, different people at BA say different things about that.
My impression is that it won't be in the first wave of any new fleet renewal, but everyone I've spoken to thinks an eventual BA A380 order is inevitable.
2012 might yet have tipped the balance slightly towards A380, if only in the form of a possible lease, a sort of 'suck it and see' approach.
(On a far bigger numbers scale, that's how AA got into the MD-80).

But all this is very preliminary, a lot of serious evaluation (which we are not at yet) lies ahead.

Right, that out of the way, here is what I'd like to see.
R/R B787, replaces 767, 757, complements 777, more than one version of it then.
More A319/320, get rid of remaining 737-300/400/500, also the original legacy and very early production A320's built for BCAL, so an airframe type exited, as well as an engine (CFM-56).
A380, not one for one replacing 747-400, not even close in fact, but LHR, for all BA's dominance, is still fundamentally slot restrained, pax numbers are climbing.
I could see 15-20 A380's, so scratch the older 747-400's.
We happily operated 747-100's for over 25 years, so remaining 747-400's built in the mid/late 1990's have plenty of time left, all one careful owner too, don't knock it!

I should now reveal a personal beef, I think GE's management of the former BA engine overhaul facility in Wales, with decreasing quality, that crippling shut-down last year, means that BA should avoid, as much as possible, doing new business with GE, this is not about the engines themselves however.
BA keep letting themselves get let down by contractors, it aint just the caterers either!
Time to make a stand.

In any case, my simple minded view is that if you are going to buy a new 4 engine long hauler, go for the all new (though well proven by the time BA buy), not the warmed up old model, good for it's target market the 747ADV will no doubt be.
(Plus that GE exclusivity rankles, I know why, limited market and all that, but still, with 4 engines on each airframe, an increasingly rare occurrence, R/R should also have been allowed on board, unless the market is just so limited, which in my view is a question mark over the whole project).


User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7363 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7758 times:
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Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
(2) BA was one of many burned by the PW-powered A318, and later converted all of their order into other A320 types.

Burned by the A318? Let's try the "Future Size and Shape" programme which saw them redeploy their fleet. The A318s were to be used at MAN + BHX, however, with the FSS plan, the 737s at MAN were flung to LGW, the A319s at BHX were sent to LHR, the RJ100s at LGW were sent to MAN + BHX and some LHR 737s sent to LGW. The focus was on single-fleet types for the short-haul at LHR (the A320 family) and LGW (the 737 family); as there was no need for a small Airbus at LHR, they converted their A318 order to a lesser amount of A321s.

David


User currently offlinePlanesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4119 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7703 times:

Why would they be considering anything yet anyway? Their oldest B777 is just 9 years old, and their newest is less than 4 years old. And their oldest B747 in service at the moment is just 16 years old, with the youngest being 6 year old.

Also they're just upgrading most of their B767's into long-haul dusk formation, so they obviously have no intention of replacing them in the next few years. Plus, the oldest of their B767's has only been in service 15 years, and the newest, just 7.

I'm sure they'd like to see their oldest B747's through at least 25 years before replacing them.


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7641 times:

BA don't need to make any decision at the moment, but a lot will depend on Willie Walsh when he takes over. He will probably be the guy in the important office when the time comes to start looking at an order.

As for aircraft types, the A350 strikes me as being too much plane for 767 routes and also too much of an overlap with the existing 772 fleet. BA may want to keep its fleet profile at a similar size, so a direct replacement for the 763 by the 788 would be ideal for them without having to upscale with an A350.

The 763 suits many routes BA operates which are a bit too thin or short for a 772, so an A350 would not be ideal. The similar size, better cargo and increased range of the 788 could fit BA like a glove.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 78
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7615 times:

Don't expect ANY new BA deliveries before 2010.
Now think of the bandwidth this interesting, but common and still very speculative subject, will use up in the the interim, and weep!

By the time BA order any 787's (which is the only type that we can say with certainty is a front runner), it will have flown, probably even be entering service.
Not only the innovations, economies this type promises, but the range of versions across the 787 range.
BA will be very attracted by that, I suspect that more than anything is the reason for BA being cool on the A350, plus the Airbus has only fairly recently been properly defined, 787 will fit BA's range of requirements/types to be replaced, better.

I could stir the pot and say that if I (and not only me, not that I'm in any position of authority) think better to go for all new with A380 rather than modernized older 747, that cuts across to 787/A350.

But I'm sure A350 will work out for Airbus, if only to prevent Boeing total dominance is this huge sector, not the A330 is fininished yet, but post 787/A350, I bet any A330's sold are cargo versions as well as military, (RAF. RAAF, probably French AF in time as well as others, though probably not the USAF).


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7399 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7572 times:

Will the 2012 London Olympics influence the timing of a BA order for new wide bodies and their required delivery dates? Seems to me that around August 2012 a few new wide bodies in the BA fleet could be very useful and not just on long haul flights with the slot constraints at LHR. Then BA could start retiring the replaced aircraft once the Olympic passenger 'bulge' has past.

25 Post contains links DfwRevolution : >> Burned by the A318? Let's try the "Future Size and Shape" programme which saw them redeploy their fleet An event set in motion by PW's failure and
26 Egmcman : I agree, do you see a joint order with other Oneworld alliance carriers such as EI to get a large discount? Cheers egmcman
27 Post contains images Leezyjet : I'm still waiting for them to announce the Concorde replacement !!
28 ER757 : Good question - I've seen quite a few comments in other threads about Chinese airlines ordering planes to be delivered in time for the 2008 Olympics.
29 David_itl : 13th Feb 2002, BA reveal FSS: "A major part of the fleet simplification plan involves the transfer of 16 RJ100s based at Gatwick to the airline’s r
30 GDB : Some options, but nowhere near 100. Whitehatter is correct, FSS drove the Airbus order change, though avoiding adding a new airframe sub-type and whol
31 UA772IAD : No surprise to me. While the A380 is certainly an exception (the first one), BA has always favored Boeing for their long-haul operations. Perhaps thei
32 Filton216 : I read an article in the finacial times a couple of weeks ago and it says that BA is considering and leaning across towards the A380. filton216
33 GDB : Filton216, that article you read proves that you cannot rule A380 in or out at BA, it's just far too soon. Others will quote BA sources saying A380 is
34 Fiedman : I am just wondering and no one has brought this up yet but how much of this could be politically motivated. I mean BA is the flag ship carrier of the
35 GDB : Forget all these imagined political pressures on BA to buy this, or buy that. I don't think you can look at BA procurement over the past 20 years and
36 Windshear : I understand why... But it seems I cannot reflect on this here on airliners.net... I love all aircraft, but from certain business points of view, I ca
37 GQfluffy : Someone once said 'BA' was short for 'Boeing Always'. Guess that isn't so true when you look at their narrowbody fleet... Only time will tell.
38 HighFlyer9790 : 1. they will get a reletively good deal because they already have a lot of boeings. 2. political relations
39 KC135TopBoom : I agree, but I'm thinking it will be more like 2012 before any new WBs are ordered, and 2 years later before they are delivered. I would guess the ne
40 Richardw : Why Will BA Not Consider The A350? Perhaps it could be because it may not be able to accommodate flat bed business class seating that well, and they a
41 David L : I stand corrected again - lucky I'm not counting. That's what guaranteed I was was going to be wrong. What I was really getting at was that, just bec
42 GDB : We won't want to add a new type when not needed, so replacements for old 737's will be more Airbus. Anything else would be perverse and totally fly in
43 KC135TopBoom : Then couldn't the same argument be said for the B-737NGs? I agree, but wouldn't BA's "wait and see how it performs with other airlines" policy push b
44 ChrisM001 : I think you'll find the Airbus's are at LHR only, with the occasional one moved to LGW to cover short term requirements such as 737 maintenance. Seni
45 GDB : I don't see this 'separate base' at LGW carrying on much longer, Walsh says he will focus on shorthaul, if fleet renewal is part of it then remaining
46 KC135TopBoom : Since Airbus "officially" still has every model they ever built in production, I think you will still be able to order the A-330-200 25 years from no
47 PM : You assume that BA (or any airline) always want to replace models on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis. Clearly, that isn't true. BA only have 13 75
48 Avek00 : None - BA is a NON-STATE OWNED air carrier that does not have to accede to any government whims on fleet purchases.
49 Keesje : I think Airbus put down an "arrogant" proposal on BA's last A380 RFI & they hate it.. something along the lines of "Please contact us if we can help
50 GARPD : Source please. This sound nothing more than a bitter attack against an Airline with the common sense to sit and wait.
51 Keesje : A source for what I think? I'll work on that.. On the A350 for BA, even the A350-800 seems a bit large to complement the large 777-200 fleet. The B78
52 Worldliner : i think they wont because they only have short-haul airbuses and there entire long haul fleet is boeing. long-haul fleet:747-400, 777-200, 767-300. if
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