jeffrey0032j wrote:So as we recall Airbus was being opportunistic by taking advantage of the 787 production issues and early in-service issues back in the early 2010s to sell more A330ceos. Turns out that they may have overdone that campaign. Firstly, it delayed the development of the A330neo, which with hindsight should had been done much earlier to garner a bigger customer base (ie critical mass) for the neo. Secondly, they reduced the amount of potential customers for the A330neo as a lot of them have gotten brand new A330ceos and are unlikely to buy any neo in the short or medium term.
Well, the issue isn't just that a lot of customers have fairly new A330ceos which don't need to be replaced soon, but also that a fair number of A330s which were supposedly sold as "interim lift" during the delays in the 787 and A350 programs are still out there, in excellent condition, and available for quite reasonable prices to purchase or lease. If the majority of an airline's missions for an A330ceo/neo fleet are shorter-range, then the efficiency gains from the newer aircraft aren't as attractive, and the current generation will offer far more attractive lease or capital costs. I also expect that the relatively thin order book for the A330neo compared to its peers is driving up the cost of financing or leasing the aircraft; we see an allusion to this in the analyst comments that Air Asia may rethink its order "if it feels too exposed as the dominant buyer."
frigatebird wrote:The A330-900 is a low cost / low risk project, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is already way past recouping its development cost. My personal opinion however, is that the A330neo can only win sales campaigns if the airline hasn't yet ordered 787s. But that's okay, it won't sell as many as 787s, but Airbus will have a lot more profit with the A330neo than without it.
I don't think the concern is that the A330neo won't make money, but rather that the days of the A330 as a profit engine are coming to a close and the A350 isn't yet there. There's also the question of opportunity cost with respect to aerospace engineers, assembly workers, factories, etc. -- could they make more money by beating Boeing to market in the segment which the NMA/797 is expected to occupy?