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Why The Jump In Confidence In Airbus A350?  
User currently offlineB777A340Fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 774 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10002 times:

Okay fellow A.nutters.... let's not start an A vs. B debate, cool?

With the recent threads started about additional mega orders of the A350, I was wondering if anyone could venture a guess as to why the industry appears to be having an increase confidence in Airbus? It has been stated in the past that Airbus's main challenge in the future will be to meet production deadlines... are people not scared that the A350 will encounter the same problems/delays as the A380 program did? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm ABSOLUTELY thrilled about Airbus finally getting the recognition it deserves... but I was just wondering if the recent EK mega order was what Airbus needed to catapult it to customer confidence...

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12476 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9898 times:

I think that they have responded to what the market wants; they have - after no little amount of prodding - come up with an aircraft which can fulfil a wide number of long term solutions:
- mid to long range high capacity aircraft in three sizes, from 270 to 400+ pax
- Potential 777 replacement (early 772s will be up for retirement by the time the 350 enters service)
- Potential freighter acft - MD11 replacement (although no cargo acft ordered yet)
- Fuselage cross section competitive with 777/787, while including much commonality with current Airbus models.
- The fact that major "name" airlines, like EK, SQ, etc have committed to it;

I'm delighted for Airbus as well; 2006 was not a good year for it; its confidence must have been badly dented, what with management infighting, delays to the A380 and doubts about the A350; now, the A380 is safely in service and getting back on track and the A350 has found its groove; that has to be a big relief to Airbus.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9109 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9865 times:

I would say after the design freeze a few months back, they are able to deliver some copper bottom numbers on performance, weight, and size.

Below is part of a letter to Airbus customers.

"A350 XWB DEVELOPMENT ON TRACK WITH FURTHER DESIGN REFINEMENTS

The A350 XWB programme continues to gain momentum. The new strong
management team in place since January is now supported by 2,500
engineers, the best in their fields, from across all Airbus sites and including
over 750 engineers working together on the multi-functional A350 XWB
Plateau in Toulouse. In July, the A350 XWB programme passed the
design freeze milestone, where the overall aircraft design, such as the
sizing of the fuselage and wings as well as the performance, weights and
range of the aircraft were set. The next major milestone is the detailed
definition freeze at the end of 2008, where the aircraft configuration will be
completed

In September, Airbus gathered some 100 representatives from 40 airlines,
including existing customers and also potential buyers of the A350 XWB,
for a two-day programme review. To ensure and develop open and
constructive collaboration during the development phase of the aircraft,
new interactive on-line tools were presented which allow effective
communication between Airbus and its customers.

The latest refinements to the A350 XWB design were presented, including
evolutions on the fuselage cross-section to ensure the best cabin comfort,
an improved nose shape and large 15 inch displays in the cockpit to allow
for future operational requirements while preserving close commonality
with other Airbus aircraft, notably the A380.

In the review of the airframe structure, a detailed update was provided on
progress in the optimisation of the fuselage design. The nose section will
be largely constructed using metallic materials while the majority of the
fuselage frames will now be manufactured from composite materials.
These changes were inspired by a global review of weight, systems
integration, maintainability and ease of manufacture, and of the many
constructive comments received from airlines.

The brand new A350 XWB cabin mock-up was showcased, with attendees
being able to savour the light, bright, spacious interior of the Xtra Wide
Body fuselage."



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1851 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9849 times:

I like this topic really. It seems to scare me a bit that Airbus MUST get it right this time, or waste somemore reputation damages. 400 orders plus commitments so far and SEVEN or SIX years befind EIS date is A LOT... which makes the A350 the best selling widebody or one of the best.

Airbus has to cleaverly manage its assessets make sure nothing goes wrong in this case.



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineN1786b From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 560 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9851 times:

Along with the significant new business, one has to remember the deadline Airbus imposed on its original A350 customers. Either sign up for the XWB by the end of 2007 or your orders will be canceled.

There are still a few holdouts and it will be interesting to see if they sign. IMO Most, if not all of them will.

- n1786b


User currently offlineIcarus75 From France, joined Oct 2003, 800 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9737 times:



Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 3):
Airbus has to cleaverly manage its assessets make sure nothing goes wrong in this case.

And may be one of the big problem that should come : strikes in several Airbus sites because of the Power 8 plan.



Flying is amazing!
User currently offlineNudelhirsch From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 1438 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9617 times:

With every new model out there you run the risk of encountering production delays. Not to start A vs. B here now, but it happened to B lately as well, which sure does not prove that B's people can't do their job, rather that the design and production ramp up for something as complex as an aircraft can cause serious problems.

I don't think that B's recent delays will be very harmful, as all of them, 787, 748i ad 748F do not directly compete with a A-model (like for example 737 vs. 320) with delays causing a competitive disadvantage. Same with the 380. Also not saying here that any delay does not cause any problem at all, after all introducing a new model in a system and timetable and operation is a major project yet I think the delay of the 380 was a bit blown up mostly to stir up the market and to squeeze out compensations. But I am sure neither of the mentioned delays did cause serious problems.

The 350 on the other hand faces a different situation. The direct competition is out there, EIS is years later than the competition. The big saving point is the huge backlog for the 787 and also the slightly different types offered which reduces direct competition.
The race for the shorthaul replacement (737 and 320) will be much tougher, decent models are still on the market, successfully selling, and the numbers are tall. Being faster there will give a strong competitive advantage to either manufacturer.

Other than that I never saw trust in Airbus being in the toilet, the 330 and 320 are still selling like crazy, the 340 still has a backlog and still 380s were sold. During the peak times of the crisis at Airbus they were strongly pitching the 350 towards airlines and now harvested the orders. All those contracts, worth billions, were not just created after the first 380 was delivered and everybody now believed that it can fly. Sales negotiations take much longer, which will bring te time point of initial and important negotiations right back into the peak time of Airbus' crisis. If trust was gone, the initial negotiations about the 350 would never have taken place. Trust was there, deals have been finalized now, so everything is up and running...



Putana da Seatbeltz!
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12476 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9465 times:

Just as we're talking about the A350, my home team has today confirmed its acquisition of A330s and A350s; here's an extract from an Irish news outlet:

http://www.businessworld.ie/bworld/r...l;s2=rankednews2.htm;r=4;a=1907860

The list price for the A330 is given as $174m and the 350, $214m; EI has said it's getting a discount, but since the exchange rate has gone askew (very much in its favour) since it announced the deal, then it has also done very well, regardless of whatever discount it got from Airbus.

This must be another advantage; if Airbus is pricing its aircraft in USD and the dollar is sliding, it may be painful for Airbus (it has said as much), but very good for airlines.


User currently offlineB777A340Fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9378 times:

All interesting remarks/comments, but did Airbus use some sort of marketing strategy or something to deter airlines from acquiring the 787 instead of Airbus's response to the latter? Is it perhaps good timing? Airlines aren't forecasting to replace their aircraft until the A350 goes into service at which point, they would benefit from a brand new, up-to-date technology? I'm just guessing here, don't beat me up.

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12476 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9278 times:



Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 8):
Airlines aren't forecasting to replace their aircraft until the A350 goes into service at which point, they would benefit from a brand new, up-to-date technology? I'm just guessing here, don't beat me up.

No, don't worry, we won't! That's a very fair point. Timing certainly does help; as I mentioned in my first post above, the fact that the A350 will enter service around the time the earliest 777 are coming up to 19/20 years old can only help; by then, the eldest MD11s will be over 20 and some cargo operators will be looking for alternatives (although LH and Fedex have gone for 777s).

This probably explains why Boeing is taking its time with the 787-10, because it is a crucially important aircraft. That said, the 787-10 may well be the end of the line (and I know that's a very unwise prediction to make about Boeing, given how the 737 has grown!!!), whereas Airbus still has the A350-1000, which will provide growth potential to airlines looking for it.


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12569 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9107 times:
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Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 8):
did Airbus use some sort of marketing strategy or something to deter airlines from acquiring the 787

From where I'm standing, it's difficult to believe Airbus has deterred 787 sales. wink 

Seriously, Airbus was late to the game after a bad false start, but they now have a very good plane to offer the airlines. Some fanboyz will always claim the A350 isn't as good as the 787, but the reality of the situation is that even if it isn't (and I'm not agreeing), it's still such a massive improvement over planes in operation today that it was bound to sell well.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlinePetera380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8820 times:
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Why should the A350 be more of a risk then the B787? As we have seen even Boing has run into trouble with the B787 and we don't know yet where the delays will end?

Peter


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 8686 times:



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 7):
The list price for the A330 is given as $174m and the 350, $214m; EI has said it's getting a discount, but since the exchange rate has gone askew (very much in its favour) since it announced the deal, then it has also done very well, regardless of whatever discount it got from Airbus.

rate fluctuations are surely factored into these contracts.


User currently offlineCaljn From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 7545 times:

Why is the A350 selling so well?
As I said in another thread, aircraft manufacturing is basically an oligopoly.
With the 787 sold out for years, airlines are merely getting in cue for delivery slots.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7166 times:



Quoting B777A340Fan (Thread starter):
I was wondering if anyone could venture a guess as to why the industry appears to be having an increase confidence in Airbus?

I'm not sure it's increasing confidence so much as firming design...it's hard to buy something when you're not exactly sure what it is. Airbus has firmed up the A350's configuration and performance enough that there's some stability and that makes buyers happy.

Quoting B777A340Fan (Thread starter):
are people not scared that the A350 will encounter the same problems/delays as the A380 program did?

I'd be stunned if the A350 encounters the same delays/problems as the A380. I'm sure it will experience *other* problems but the A380 mess is the one thing you can pretty much bet that Airbus won't repeat. It's the problems you don't know about that bite you, not the ones you've already dealt with.

Quoting Petera380 (Reply 11):
Why should the A350 be more of a risk then the B787?

I imagine part of it is the compressed development cycle that Airbus is going through for composite technology. The composites underlying the 787 go back to the original Sonic Cruiser development. Right up until this year, Airbus was going in an AlLi/GLARE direction. Airbus really knows what they're doing with composites but the composite skins and wing are somewhat new territory (although they get composite spar expertise from the A400M).

Quoting Caljn (Reply 13):
Why is the A350 selling so well?

It's a good airplane at a good price that compares very well with it's competitors.

Tom.


User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6443 times:

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Airbus usually holds order announcements until big air shows, like the dubai air show, to make a big impression. So in reality these orders could have been placed a while ago and Airbus just wanted to wait for the announcement. So it may look like there is a sudden interest in the A350 because a bunch of orders are all the sudden coming out, but those could have been placed a while ago.

THis is not to say the A350 has been improved greatly since the original A350. Airbus actually did a smart move by not competing with the 787 and going after the 777 that needed a replacement soon. The A350 doesn't really compete with the 787 right now (The A358 goes with the 789 but the 789 might be better served on that end of the market since the A350 was probably optimized for the -900 variant). But right now boeing is just starting to finish the 787-10, and while that will be great for airlines like Qantas, New Zealand, and even Continental who have a large 787 fleet and 772s that will need to be replaced, the 787-10 (if it can meet expectations) will be a great plane. But for airlines like EK who has a large fleet of both 772s and 77Ws the A350 is a perfect replacement, and like US who is going to stay Airbus for commonality. But right now there is really no boeing replacement for the 777. That is why the A350 is doing so well.

I think Boeing needs to make a decision, let the market above the 787 go to airbus (the A350 taking over the 777 and the A380 taking the 748) or fight back, and use resources to make a larger 787 that is optimized for 777 routes. If boeing does not make a 777NG then they need to make a kick but 737RS to take as many orders away from airbus as possible.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31011 posts, RR: 86
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6199 times:
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Quoting DL767captain (Reply 15):
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Airbus usually holds order announcements until big air shows, like the dubai air show, to make a big impression.

Airbus announces when the customer is ready - just like Boeing. Witness EI announcing today, and not at Paris or Dubai.

That being said, those customers might desire to announce when not just the world aviation press, but the world press, in general, is in attendance, and that is only at the big air shows.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31011 posts, RR: 86
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6172 times:
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Quoting B777A340Fan (Thread starter):
With the recent threads started about additional mega orders of the A350, I was wondering if anyone could venture a guess as to why the industry appears to be having an increase confidence in Airbus?

As Zeke, Nudelhirsch and Tdscanuck noted, the A350 design is firm enough - and the performance guarantees robust enough - for airlines to feel confident in committing to the plane and to do so to ensure they will be at the front of the line for deliveries. QR and EK will likely take "serial deliveries" of dozens, if not scores, of frames (it seems every 77W off the line is either an EK or CX bird) which means that other airlines need to book now or they will be waiting possibly years for the bulk of their order to be delivered. For some, that's fine. For others, they too will likely want them in batches (SQ comes to mind).


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3205 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5416 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 15):
let the market above the 787 go to airbus (the A350 taking over the 777 and the A380 taking the 748) or fight back, and use resources to make a larger 787 that is optimized for 777 routes.

Agreed. I pick Boeing announcing the 787-10 in the not too distant and a 797 series further on.

The 797 would be a CFRP twin engined craft with a comfortable ten-abreast Y layout (wider than the T7) and a base model (797-8?) to replace the 773/77W. The larger would be a replacement for the 744 and the largest providing the niche between this and the A388 - currently offered by the 748i.

All conjecture of course, but fun nevertheless.

Regards
MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineRams777 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5297 times:

Does anyone have a link to a most recent design photo of what the A350 would look like?

User currently offlineBrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4237 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks ago) and read 4497 times:



Quoting EI321 (Reply 12):


Quoting Kaitak (Reply 7):
The list price for the A330 is given as $174m and the 350, $214m; EI has said it's getting a discount, but since the exchange rate has gone askew (very much in its favour) since it announced the deal, then it has also done very well, regardless of whatever discount it got from Airbus.

rate fluctuations are surely factored into these contracts.

The rate fluctuations in the American dollar have very little to do with Airbus purchases unless you are a U.S. based company. The reason of the U.S. dollar is quoted is that it is a valid comparison because it is the currency of World business. When you are negotiating with any company world wide you make the purchase in the currency that is in the vendor company's home currency.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3205 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks ago) and read 4368 times:



Quoting Brilondon (Reply 20):
When you are negotiating with any company world wide you make the purchase in the currency that is in the vendor company's home currency.

Agreed, but in this case the vendor is European so the currency should be the €, but Kaitak is saying the agreement has gone ahead in Greenbacks thus creating an extra variable, in this case a favourable one for EI.

Regards
MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineFrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4177 times:

Maybe the one advantage of the A350 was its 'lateness'...

While the 787 was reaping up the orders, Airbus was caught off balance, but since the A350 was going to be too late to compete, they decided to rethink and improve it so as to take advantage of the latest technology and take into account the few elements the airlines didn't 'like' about the 787.

Maybe Airbus has matured enough to realize that rushing into a directly competing program with too tight a deadline was not going to end up in a good product, although they almost did drop the ball with that 'enhanced A330' project at first.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
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