>> A320s are still selling like hot cakes and the technology in them is still 'state of the art', just like the B737NGs is still selling like hot cakes
That is hardly true anymore: by the time the A350 and 787 enter service, the A320 and 737NG will be well
obsolete. They are dated as it is, there simply exist no more modern product, so it's a zero sum game. There isn't anything cutting-edge when a product has been in production for more than 15 years
>> There is totally no need to launch a replacement model.
That depends on when the first manufacture, and first airline, wants to jump. As you said, the A350/787 EOS window would be an approx. time for customers to start looking around... and I don't think anyone expected a new product before
>> Yes but A probably want to be first to Market with a new narrowbody jet. So initial planing will probably need to be done sooner rather than later.
I would disagree with two letters: Y1. Boeing has had a road-map for their future family for some time, and I think other indications would point to Boeing moving first.
#1. Boeing has mentioned
a 737NG replacement more frequently. They havn't specified anything, but I think this shows that it's a more pressing matter in their camp.
#2. A huge bulk of options, purchase rights, etc terminate in 2012 whether they were signed in 2004 or 1998. Deliveries are planned past this date (namely AA
for sure), but if WN
doesn't extend their options past 2012, I think the writing is on the wall.
#3. Southwest Airlines is going to be a star-gate on this project, big suprise. Their 733 fleet will, by 2012-2015-ish be ready for bulk replacement. Some early builds will require replacement near-term, but does anyone expect WN
to replace the bulk
of their 733 with current
#4. Does Airbus have any number of factors that would combine to pressure them to take the greater risk of launching first? I can't see any that would demand
they go first, so it would naturally behoove them to "wait and see" to attempt a one-up on Boeing.
>> That is 360 narrowbodies per year.
I read on Yahoo! Orders that Airbus calcuates deliveries based on an 11-month
year? Anyone else have details, because otherwise Airbus would *actually* produce 330 NBs...