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Airbus Moderates A320/330/340 Ramp Up Plans  
User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3902 times:

Anyone notice this in Flight?

The European manufacturer will still reach a monthly production rate of 36 A320 family aircraft at the end of this year, but is putting a freeze on plans to increase this further to 38 next year and 40 in 2010.

Similarly plans to raise the production rate of its A330/A340 family by the end of 2010 have also been scaled back. It currently builds eight a month and will grow this to 10 a month by the end of 2010 rather than 11 a month.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...330a340-production-rate-rises.html

Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10127 posts, RR: 97
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3875 times:
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Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Similarly plans to raise the production rate of its A330/A340 family by the end of 2010 have also been scaled back. It currently builds eight a month and will grow this to 10 a month by the end of 2010 rather than 11 a month.



Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

Truthfully?
On current evidence, Airbus's ability to ramp-up to 10 a month by end 2010 looks ambitious, irrespective of any demand considerations..

Freezing A32X production at a "mere" 36 per month seems reasonable. With exactly 2 700 A32X aircraft in backlog, even 36 per month is about a 7 - 7 1/2 year backlog.
It looks sensible for some of this backlog to disappear........  Smile

Still looks like they'll hit 500 deliveries next year, across the range......

Rgds


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3638 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3835 times:

Seems prudent in the present world economy. Even if airlines need more capacity; they still have to persuade the financial institutions to come up with the money, and that isn't particularly easy at present. In all likelihood, not only will we see cancellations, but deferments as well.

User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3793 times:



Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

Well, if airlines are hit by the financial crisis going on, then there's bound to be order deferrals. That's my impression as to why Airbus would be doing this.



DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3693 times:



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 1):
Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

Truthfully?
On current evidence, Airbus's ability to ramp-up to 10 a month by end 2010 looks ambitious, irrespective of any demand considerations..

I, too, am under the impression that it is a struggle increasing A330/A340 production rates. Nevertheless, why doesn't Airbus aim to increase production rates still further during the 2011/2012/2013/2014 period? The extraordinary problems surrounding the 787 won't be there forever so IMO Airbus would do well to keep its backlog short to give WB customers an alternative to the 787 if they cannot wait until 2020 or so for delivery.

Using interim A330's for 6/7/8 years while waiting for 787's would be more viable than soldiering on with elderly aircraft, wouldn't it?


User currently offlineLegoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3313 posts, RR: 40
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

I thought the increase from 36 A320's per month to 40 was due to the new A320 assembly line in China. Does this indicate that the Chinese FAL will have a slower ramp up than first thought?


Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10127 posts, RR: 97
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3653 times:
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Quoting Art (Reply 4):
Nevertheless, why doesn't Airbus aim to increase production rates still further during the 2011/2012/2013/2014 period? The extraordinary problems surrounding the 787 won't be there forever so IMO Airbus would do well to keep its backlog short to give WB customers an alternative to the 787 if they cannot wait until 2020 or so for delivery.

On the assumption that you would like my opinion.....  Wink

There was a time when some of those less inclined to favour Airbus (including some notable antipodean members) saw a yawning gap in widebody deliveries from Airbus, as the A330 was demolished by the 787, and the A350XWB went "backwards".

Subsequent history has shown that the A330 order book bloomed beyond all expectations, to the extent that Airbus NOW run the risk of having to deliver 10-12 A330's a month AND ramp up the A350XWB at the same time.  faint 

My own view is that, despite the advent of the 787 and the A350XWB, there is still room in Airbus's portfolio for an ever-improving A330, (to cover the 250 seat segment, and the Freighter at least), even if it will need newer engines at some point.
However, I see the number of A330's being delivered alongside the A350XWB as somewhere in the 3-5 a month range in the longer term.
For me, ramping up and ramping up again, only to ramp down soon after, is a good way to spend lots of money.

Rgds


User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4608 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3594 times:
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Quoting Astuteman (Reply 6):
My own view is that, despite the advent of the 787 and the A350XWB, there is still room in Airbus's portfolio for an ever-improving A330, (to cover the 250 seat segment, and the Freighter at least), even if it will need newer engines at some point.

Is this what you're referring to ?
"...Meantime, from what we are hearing in the market, Airbus continues to make efforts to benefit at the 787's expense by selling the A330 to disappointed 787 customers. Sales of the A330 have been more than healthy and with the announcement that the company is designing an A330 Heavy with longer range, Airbus is making a concerted push to further expand the A330 market....
and "...Airbus' A330 Heavy, it says, will have more range than early models of the 787 (something Boeing disputes) because its analysis concludes that the 787 will be heavy and fuel burn promises of the GEnx and Trent 1000 engines won't live up to promises. Meantime, Boeing works on a Product Improvement Package for the 777 which Emirates says provides a 10% operating cost improvement."
(excerpts from Leeham "News and Comments", the full text of which is HERE



Contrail designer
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31132 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3439 times:
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Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

At a recent industry gathering, ILFC and other lessors all told Boeing and Airbus that they should not ramp production as ambitiously as they had planned due to what they feel will be a slackening in demand for new aircraft.

So I personally believe Airbus is being prudent in not increasing production rates as aggressively as they had planned.

As for Boeing, the strike is doing that for them, but I expect that if they do perform any increases, they will be designed to be flexible and not long-term commitments.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12762 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3229 times:



Quoting Art (Thread starter):
Good move / bad move? What do you think? Personally I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

Given that the plants are already running at high capacity, I imagine there is a point of diminishing returns with regard to adding more capacity. This means that Airbus may not be making as much profit on those last frames, because they're spending more in overtime payments, bonuses to suppliers, etc. so it might not really worth it if market conditions do not demand the capacity.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13302 posts, RR: 100
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2999 times:
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Since so many aircraft are being bought by lessors, I'm thinking Airbus is listening to them:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...oeing-to-rein-back-production.html

Quote:
Jeffrey Knittel, president of CIT, echoed Plueger's production concerns: "This is the time to pull back and lower [production] rates," he said, because the market "can see clouds on the horizon".
He added that the strike at Boeing is "helpful" as it is reducing the flow of aircraft into the market.

But that strike will not go on forever. I'm excited about the ramp up in production... but only so much. Pihero's link points out that $20 to $25 Billion in aircraft were ordered for 2009 delivery (out of $70 billion) will go begging for capital. Ouch...

Quoting Art (Thread starter):
I would have thought that Airbus should be planning to increase A330 output even more.

With the pain in the Indian long haul market?!? AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT is pulling out of long haul. AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT is having to freeze growth. Of course, this begs the question, what does this imply for AI, EK, EY, and QR?  confused  I think the greatest drop off in accepted deliveries will be from India...  Sad

And yes... I was VERY bullish on air travel to/from India. Oops.  cry 

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 2):
Seems prudent in the present world economy

 checkmark 

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 6):
Subsequent history has shown that the A330 order book bloomed beyond all expectations, to the extent that Airbus NOW run the risk of having to deliver 10-12 A330's a month AND ramp up the A350XWB at the same time

I'm impressed with the A330 order book. (Dang it Pratt... your engineers told you about the PW4172 compressor long before the test stand confirmed the vent overheat...) As a RR fan, you must be happy.  Wink Is there a link on the order summary by engine selection (or lack of selection)?

In a way, Pratt was granted a respite with the tanker order delay. If GE had *that large* of an order... they were going to put quite a bit of funding into the CF6 to take it from the dog of the A330 to possibly the best engine...  scratchchin  But without that order... GE doesn't have the economic justification to engineer an Integrated Blade Rotor (IBR) compressor for the CF6 nor to put in a new fan. (Rumor is both HPC and LPC... but who really knows).

Also, the lack of the tanker order puts the breaks on the A330 MTOW increase. (Ok, only 6 metric tons... but every bit helps.)

Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
Boeing works on a Product Improvement Package for the 777 which Emirates says provides a 10% operating cost improvement."

A 10% cut on 77W operating costs?!?  wideeyed 
Someone needs to tell me what is being done! I cannot figure out what Boeing would do to cut overall 77W costs by 10%! I could see a further 4% cut in fuel burn which is ~1.5% cut in operating costs... Maybe they'll put in more titanium and Li-AL? GLARE? Longer interval between C checks? I've been impressed by the cuts in the operating costs of the 77W, but I'm at a loss to figure out how to cut CASM 10% more on such a mature product. Anyone?

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineJambrain From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 251 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2597 times:



Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
GEnx and Trent 1000 engines won't live up to promises.

Not forgetting that RR & GE now have more time to optimize T1000 / GEnx for EIS, and both are running flight test programs on their 747s, this should allow time to recover any SFC performance to promise.

Conversely RR are also back porting tech from T1000 into T700 which will help the A330 Heavy



Jambrain
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2473 times:

I think Airbus is taking advantage of the financial crisis as an excuse to make the announcement and give themselves some room to breathe. With all the things they have in their hands right now, the ramp-up would have been quite ambitious. Nevertheless, I think there is demand to support it.

For one, Airbus should be trying to sell as many A330s as possible before the 787 enters service. They are bringing in some good money, and every month of 787 delay means a handful more A330s for Airbus. If Airbus ramps up, those A330s will be snatched away from their hands.

As for the A320, the backlog is huge, even if there are some order cancellations or deferrals. Some of the airlines at the end of the very long waiting list could want to take advantage of that to get some early delivery spots. Demand for A320s is huge.

So yes, I think this is just Airbus giving themselves a break, more than a weakening of demand. Remember that they are not as dependent on the US & EU anymore, so even with the crisis, orders should still be coming in.


User currently offlineIcna05e From France, joined Feb 2006, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2285 times:



Quoting Art (Thread starter):
340 Ramp Up Plans

Wow, was there such a plan???


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2193 times:

Would they need more assembly space in France and Germany if they ramped up production? The Chinese A320 line would it need more space if they would increase the production.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31132 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2081 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 7):
fuel burn promises of the GEnx and Trent 1000 engines won't live up to promises.

Airbus' attempts to spread FUD not withstanding, I seem to recall only RR being worried about missing their SFC targets and even then they felt they'd be back on target by the time the plane entered service. I don't recall GE issuing any worries about SFC performance - just the opposite, if anything.


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