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WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:31 pm

 
lehpron
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:38 pm

Now I'm confused, will A350 overlap some A340 territory? If so, which airlines are pressuring Airbus, the article does not mention any. All I can figure is that those carriers that choose 777 over A340 made the claim regarding better economics.

Can someone inform me to the best of their knowledge which planes over;ap which ever regarding A33x, A34x and A35x.
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cricket
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:44 pm

Maybe they're advocating an updated version with new engines and avionics as an interim before the A350 hits the skies.
A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:55 pm

Hi Lehpron

We need a link to the WSJ article, which is subscriber only, for the full report. I read it on Dow Jones newswire earlier today. Your comment on those carriers which chose it due to better economics is valid. It quotes Mr Milton, Mr Clark and even AF are mentioned as increasing their 777 fleet too.

It also quotes M Forgeard and Mr Leahy as stating that they need to address the issue of the 777 Series sales success in 2005. To M Forgeard, 2005 777 sales "is an issue of concern" to Airbus. Mr Leahy is quoted as saying they intend to invest in an upgrade of the A345 & A346.

That is a very brief summation. That said, the article also states that Airbus will announce a record year for both sales and deliveries.

As the reports I have read are subscriber only, I'll wait for someone to post a link directly as I'm not at work and do not wish to quote the article out of context nor breach copyright.

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:03 pm

No arguments regarding the need to upgrade the A340 but interesting that the article thinks it pertinent to mention that Airbus also only sold 15 A330-300s last year too. The A330-300 competes somewhere between the 777-200 (of which Boeing sold none last year) and the 777-200ER (of which Boeing sold 13). The article is missing the point that Boeing's great sales success of the 777 last year was driven almost entirely by the 777-300ER and 777-200LR (and F). THAT is where Airbus need to lift their game. Sales of the A330-300 in this context are irrelevant.

Indeed, I have no desire to start another petty squabble and the numbers are statistically insignificant but, for what it's worth, in the 777-200 / 777-200ER / A330-300 / A340-300 segment Airbus actually "won"!

(But would you rather be Boeing sitting on 100+ 777LR sales last year or Airbus with a tiny advantage in the B market race that barely reaches 30 units? Exactly.)
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:21 pm

Just what was the final breakdown of 777-300ER vs A340-600 sales in 2005?
A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:26 pm

Quoting Cricket (Reply 5):
Just what was the final breakdown of 777-300ER vs A340-600 sales in 2005?

88 777-300ERs. We'll get the A346 numbers (if there are any) tomorrow but they will be tiny.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:31 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
Indeed, I have no desire to start another petty squabble and the numbers are statistically insignificant but, for what it's worth, in the 777-200 / 777-200ER / A330-300 / A340-300 segment Airbus actually "won"!

If you do not want to start a squabble, stop twisting the numbwers to suit your own agenda. This is quite a warped way of looking at the orders.

The 777 family got more orders than the A330/A340. Just like the A320 got more than the 737.

Deal with it.

[Edited 2006-01-16 12:34:17]
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atmx2000
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:52 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
(But would you rather be Boeing sitting on 100+ 777LR sales last year or Airbus with a tiny advantage in the B market race that barely reaches 30 units? Exactly.)

The A330-300 is a sub B market plane, so Boeing won the ~300 pax B market, even if you include the A359's current booked orders as of November. And if you include the A359, you might have to include the 3 firm Lcal 789 orders (it is C market, but with 9 abreast seating, the payload increase brings the range closer to B market range with seating close to 300pax 3 class).

[Edited 2006-01-16 13:06:07]
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:53 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 7):
stop twisting the numbwers to suit your own agenda.

I assure you, I have no agenda. I'm just trying to understand last year's sales in detail. The 777-300ER is eating the A346 alive. In the so-called B Market neither manufacturer is selling much but Airbus seem to be holding their own. It's only a small part of the picture but it seems worthy of note. And if you re-read my post you'll see that I'm simply trying to put into context the WSJ's inclusion of the A330-300 in the debate.

Quoting GARPD (Reply 7):
The 777 family got more orders than the A330/A340.

Absolutely. Hence I wrote

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
Boeing's great sales success of the 777 last year

and

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
would you rather be Boeing sitting on 100+ 777LR sales last year or Airbus with a tiny advantage in the B market race that barely reaches 30 units? Exactly.

Then, five minutes before your intemperate post, I wrote that Boeing had sold "88 777-300ERs" but that corresponding A346 sales would be "tiny ... if there are any".

Quoting GARPD (Reply 7):
Deal with it.

I think I've "dealt with it" rather clearly. Perhaps you're the one seeing slights where none are intended.

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:57 pm

Why continue with a four-engined design? There are only a handful of routes in the world where four engines are an advantage, and for all the others, two engines are more economical, so why push a design based on the theories behind old engine technology?
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:58 pm

Isn't it absolutely incredible how fast things can change. It was not that long ago that A346 and A345 were piling up orders and entering service a couple of years nearly before 777ER/LR was to enter service.

Most doubted, myself included that the 777 could match let alone catch the A345/6. Many had issues regarding ETOPS but in a way 2005 sums it up with the market showing you cannot beat the economics of the big twin.

This couldn't be summed up better than by CX who are an extremely loyal Rolls Royce customer who prefers 4 engines for long haul and are (were??) an operator of A346 turn around and say "we don't care if it only has two engines and they are General Electric and not Rolls Royce we just can't look past the reliability and economics of the Big Boeing twin.

This is not intended to flame but you have to take your hat off to Boeing for the 773ER and 772LR and GE for the fabulous GE90-115B.

The big problem for Airbus is something in the large, long range twin engine Airliner. A350 will be great but so will 787. I don't know how A will develop a twin with the sheer capacity and range provided by 777 and its engines in the 110K+ range.

I think a billion dollars invested in A345/6 would be a waste and that would be better spent on A350. As for A340 V 777 with SQ and QF likely to order 777s in 2006 will be interesting also.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:04 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 7):
If you do not want to start a squabble, stop twisting the numbwers to suit your own agenda. This is quite a warped way of looking at the orders.

Actually it is angry knee-jerk reactions such as yours that start the squabbles in the first place. The poster was clearly stating that in the 777-200/-200ER/A330-300/A340-300 segment that Airbus received the greatest share of orders, which, by the way, is true. However, stating this fact does not mean that one is automatically denying the fact that the 777 had a stellar year. In fact, nowhere does he state that Airbus sold more A340's than Boeing sold 777's. Clearly, Boeing was the overall winner in this market segment and nowhere do I see any denial of this.

Responses such as this from the same group of Boeing zealots and Airbus zealots serve as constant reminders of why I stopped doing any meaningful posting on this site long ago. Nowadays it seems that even a post regarding the allocation of departure gates at airport XYZ can turn into an all-out A vs. B pissing match akin to those undertaken by pre-schoolers. This site is supposed to be a site celebrating a mutual hobby not a boxing ring. Seriously guys, grow up!
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TheSonntag
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:05 pm

I think it would not make sense to develop a A340 successor right now, because you would only get another 777, and most carriers have already ordered planes in this segment right now.

But maybe A can come with a completely new airplane in this size in, lets say, 10 years, with completely new engines.

Problem is, what will A do the next 10 years until it is time to come with a A340 successor? The current situation isn't good for A, the 777 certainly is the better plane. So could A modify the A340 so that it is more economical? If so, they need an upgrade, and they need it FAST.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:05 pm

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 11):
Isn't it absolutely incredible how fast things can change.

Absolutely. And nowhere faster than in engines. The Trent 500 is still a 'young' engine and, apart from some teething troubles entering service, I've never heard anyone suggest that it is a 'bad' engine or a failure. Yet already there are plans to phase it out in favour of a 'Trent 1500' or a GEnx. The Trent 900 and GP7200 aren't even in service yet but there are suggestions that they'll have to be replaced if the A380 is to remain competetive. Engine technology seems to be racing ahead.

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 11):
you have to take your hat off to Boeing for the 773ER and 772LR and GE for the fabulous GE90-115B.

Can't argue with that. It's my belief that the 777-300ER is on its way to becoming a "classic".
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:08 pm

I do not think there should be an updated version. The low sales volumes are due to the high oil prices.

A high oil price will be the death of the 345/6 as there advantage in lower purchasing price will be eroded.

As above mentioned the four engines philosophy is slowly chaniging in to a more cost orientated approach.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:10 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 13):
So could A modify the A340 so that it is more economical? If so, they need an upgrade, and they need it FAST.

I don't think there is a fast upgrade option that will compensate for the weight penalty of four engines and the higher fuel consumption of the T500s.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 12):
The poster was clearly stating that in the 777-200/-200ER/A330-300/A340-300 segment that Airbus received the greatest share of orders, which, by the way, is true.

Why group the A and B market together and not include the C market?
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:14 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 7):
If you do not want to start a squabble, stop twisting the numbwers to suit your own agenda. This is quite a warped way of looking at the orders.

In the context of PM's whole post, there was no twisting of facts. Quoting him out of context was less than fair. PM's last paragraph made very clear that Boeing's victory was much more significant than the narrow Airbus victory that he pointed out.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:16 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
Indeed, I have no desire to start another petty squabble and the numbers are statistically insignificant but, for what it's worth, in the 777-200 / 777-200ER / A330-300 / A340-300 segment Airbus actually "won"!

Yes, but you have to look at the fact that in many cases, Boeing didn't really lose 777-200ER sales to Airbus, but to other products within their own line. The two best examples I can think of are QF (which went with the 787-8 instead of the 777-200ER or 777-200LR) and AC (which went with a ton of 777-200LRs, and will probably use many of them on non-ULR routes.)
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:19 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 16):
Why group the A and B market together and not include the C market?

Well, we can all play with the numbers any way we want. Why not just count all twin-aisle sales? But it is sometimes revealing to break down sales by segment and by model. We could just lump all 737s together, for example, but that would be to mask the great success of the 737-800 and the comparative failure of the 737-600. Each small nugget of information adds to our understanding.

If I was trying to make any point in reply #4 above (and sometimes you wonder if it's worth it  Yeah sure ), it was simply that Boeing is thrashing Airbus in the 777-200LR / 777-300ER / A345 / A346 segment but that Airbus still seem more or less competetive in the segment I indicated. I'm not taking sides (though some may convince themselves that I am) but merely trying to see the trees rather than the wood.

Lumping the A, B and C markets will show you the 'wood' - and very interesting it is too. But I think it's also interesting, for example, that the 777-200 has stopped selling whereas the A330-300 hasn't. You need to see the 'trees' to get that kind of detail.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:24 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 18):
Yes, but you have to look at the fact that in many cases, Boeing didn't really lose 777-200ER sales to Airbus, but to other products within their own line.

Yes, that's probably also true.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:29 pm

Quoting Aerosol (Reply 15):
I do not think there should be an updated version.

If I were Airbus, I would be much more interested in stretching the A350 than in updating the A340. Of course, the problem with stretching the A350 in the short term is the availability of suitable engines. So, for the short term, it might be wise for Airbus to do a low-cost update to the A340 as Boeing did with the JumboJet. A $1B investment would probably require Airbus to sell about 100 additional A340s -- assuming the marginal unit profit is at least $10M.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:35 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 19):
Lumping the A, B and C markets will show you the 'wood' - and very interesting it is too. But I think it's also interesting, for example, that the 777-200 has stopped selling whereas the A330-300 hasn't. You need to see the 'trees' to get that kind of detail.

But lumping 300 pax A & B markets and calling them B market sales is not correct. The A333 is winning the A market sales. The 772ER is winning the B market orders for the near future (ignore A359 and 789 sales which are about 5 years out). And the 772LR is winning the C market orders for the near future.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:35 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 21):
So, for the short term, it might be wise for Airbus to do a low-cost update to the A340 as Boeing did with the JumboJet. A $1B investment would probably require Airbus to sell about 100 additional A340s -- assuming the marginal unit profit is at least $10M.

This is the point of the A345/6E although the price tag is quoted as more than $1B and most of the risk is on RR.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:41 pm

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 23):
This is the point of the A345/6E although the price tag is quoted as more than $1B and most of the risk is on RR.

Well, most of the risk is built into the A350 program, as they were going to apply fuselage weight reductions taken from that program. But of course that means that the aircraft won't be delivered for quite some time.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:49 pm

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 11):
Most doubted, myself included that the 777 could match let alone catch the A345/6. Many had issues regarding ETOPS but in a way 2005 sums it up with the market showing you cannot beat the economics of the big twin.

Good summary. The main reason is of course the astronomically high fuel prices from the last period.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 22):
And the 772LR is winning the C market orders for the near future.

Let's just wait and see. And even if this turns out to be true, this is only a niche market. I think Airbus will be more interested to develop something as an alternative to the 772ER and 773. The A380 is more than enough development in the low volume markets I presume...
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:53 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 22):
But lumping 300 pax A & B markets and calling them B market sales is not correct.

True enough and if I did that I apologise. It wasn't deliberate 'spin' but the A330-300 is more capable than the 777-200 (and less so than the 777-200ER) so I always see it falling somewhere between the two. For example, quite a few airlines (LH, EI, MH, NW, US, SAS and so on and so on) fly the A330-300 on quite long routes that must be creeping twards the 'B' market. I remember seeing a Malaysian A330-300 at IST. (It was in 1999 before they had A330-200s.) Isn't Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul a 'B' route? Hence I'm always cautious to consider the A330-300 an exact and direct competitor of any single Boeing type. And hence my perhaps clumsy lumping together of the 772 / 772ER / A333 / A343.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 22):
The A333 is winning the A market sales. The 772ER is winning the B market orders for the near future. And the 772LR is winning the C market orders for the near future.

It is to try to appreciate just these nuances that I was attempting to differentiate between models above. "The 777 is outselling the A330/A340" is interesting as far as it goes but there's a lot of interesting detail beneath the surface.

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:04 pm

I think w'll see a few years of the new A350-900 disqualifying the so far best selling B777-200ER.

The 777-200LR will likely remain a niche aircraft, just like the A340-500.

It's all about the info you select to make a story line. Most of all it is about the info you leave out not to weaken the story line.

This journalist choose to leave out the A350-900 and 777-200ER sales not to "complicate" things & keep his public happy.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 23):
This is the point of the A345/6E although the price tag is quoted as more than $1B and most of the risk is on RR.

don't worry, Tony Blair will be more than happy to give RR more launch aid for more Trent derivatives, seeing that every UK government since the 70s has seen launch aid for aerospace projects as a way of printing money for the taxpayer (and keeping people in jobs in Ulster!).
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:41 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
The A330-300 competes somewhere between the 777-200 (of which Boeing sold none last year) and the 777-200ER (of which Boeing sold 13).

I think some of the 772LR sales would have been 772ER sales instead if the LR were not on offer. For example, Air India will most likely be using the LR for India-USA routes, which are currently operated by 772ERs (AA and CO). The LR gives them additional payload capacity.

Not all ordered 772LRs will be used in the ULR configuration; they should thus be included in your counts comparing it to the A330 and A340.

The comparison should be:
1. A333 + A343 + A345 vs B772 + B772ER + B772LR and
2. A346 vs B773.

I may be wrong, though

[Edited 2006-01-16 14:48:26]
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:50 pm

Quoting Tifoso (Reply 29):
The comparison should be:
1. A333 + A343 + A345 vs B772 + B772ER + B772LR and
2. A346 vs B773.

Or, strictly speaking, A346 vs B773ER.

I can't argue. That's the trouble with these one-for-one comparisons. I'm guilty of them myself but where do you stop?

Some A321s compete with some 757s compete(d) with some A310s compete with some 767s compete with some A330s compete with some 777s...

Ultimately, you have to do what was suggested above and lump all A, B and C market sales. But then you're back where we started, painting with a very broad brush and losing any fine detail.

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:16 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 4):
No arguments regarding the need to upgrade the A340 but interesting that the article thinks it pertinent to mention that Airbus also only sold 15 A330-300s last year too. The A330-300 competes somewhere between the 777-200 (of which Boeing sold none last year) and the 777-200ER (of which Boeing sold 13). The article is missing the point that

If anything, the writer was being a bit generous by including the A330-300. If he /she had chosen the corresponding A340-300/200, the picture would have been far more dismal. I recall reading about a solitary order for the A340-300 which will actually be a stopgap for Finnair while it awaits the A350.

It will be interesting to see what Airbus will do. The A340 will have to radically improved on a variety of fronts to be on par with the B777. Whether they can accomplish that for around $1 billion is a tough question. In addition, this is capital spending that Airbus probably did not anticipate.

Rather than incremental change, they may have to sit out a few rounds with the B777 until they can develop something completely new and competitive.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting N79969 (Reply 31):
If he /she had chosen the corresponding A340-300/200, the picture would have been far more dismal.

My reading of the article is that he/she is including these versions:

"The three versions of the Airbus A340 won only 15 orders in the 11 months to November." I assume the "three" are A343/A345/A346.

(I don't believe the A340-200 is still for sale.)
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:32 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 32):
My reading of the article is that he/she is including these versions:

"The three versions of the Airbus A340 won only 15 orders in the 11 months to November." I assume the "three" are A343/A345/A346.

(I don't believe the A340-200 is still for sale.)

Fair enough. But considering that they are built on the same line, I think it means that they have abandoned any hope that anyone will ever order another a342. Cannot say that for the B777-200 baseline model. They are/were still being delivered as of last summer.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:50 pm

First, the WSJ article (if you subscribe):
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1137...147400.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

An interesting quote:

Quote:

Airlines tend to buy multiple models at once, so a weak offering in one niche could kill package sales that include other types of jetliners. Noël Forgeard, the former chief executive of Airbus and now co-CEO of its parent company, European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., said last Monday that the 777's success against the A340 is "a point of real concern for us."

Big two-aisle planes like the A340 and the 777 are generally more profitable than single-aisle models. In 2005, 45% of Boeing's orders were for two-aisle planes. EADS Chief Financial Officer Hans Peter Ring said in November that he expected big planes to account for about 23% of orders at Airbus in 2005 and 2006. Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston recently estimated that Boeing will end up with a 54% total jetliner-market share as measured by the number of units ordered in 2005 but a more than 70% market share based on the catalog price of planes ordered, thanks to its richer product mix.

Basically, Airbus knows they need the A350.

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 11):
Isn't it absolutely incredible how fast things can change. It was not that long ago that A346 and A345 were piling up orders and entering service a couple of years nearly before 777ER/LR was to enter service.

So true. It can change fast again. Anyone who thinks there isn't a need for a 737/320 replacement should consider this a case study.

Quoting PM (Reply 14):
Absolutely. And nowhere faster than in engines.

Incredibly true. Your example with the A380 is spot on. For the A380 neither party (Alliance/RR) wanted to spend a fortune on the engine, so both designs are very conservative. Compared to the 744 engines, they're great. Compared to the GEnX or Trent 1700...

Also, with Boeing having a year of 45% widebodysales...  wideeyed  wow! PM, I'm under the impression that only widebody sales interest you. No wonder you're following this.

Another quote of interest from the WSJ:

Quote:
Airbus's top salesman said the fight wasn't about products. "Strategically, the major thing that happened" in 2005 was that Boeing "dramatically lowered pricing," said Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy. "One year doesn't make a trend," he said.

Boeing officials have said that leaner production has allowed them to cut prices of all planes. Boeing delivered the first 777 in 1995 and in 2004 started delivering the first of two updated versions of the 777 to customers. Airbus officials acknowledge they have a fight on their hands. "No doubt, the 777 has improved," said Olivier Andries, head of strategy at Airbus. Airbus in 2002 and 2003 introduced two updated models of the A340, which first entered service in 1993. It is now testing slightly improved versions.

"We are listening" to what customers say, Mr. Andries added. Airbus could slash A340 prices, while possible modifications include new engines, more lightweight materials and improved aerodynamics, other Airbus officials said. Airbus has said it is looking into how it will respond.

Airlines say the 777 is beating the A340 because it is newer, less expensive to fuel and maintain, and more reliable. Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said that its new 777-300ERs have had fewer problems than its new A340-500s. The 777 has "exceeded all its planned performance criteria" for fuel consumption and range, Mr. Clark said. "That's why there's a resurgence of interest" in the 777.

The Boeing 777 is more fuel-efficient and less costly to maintain because it has two engines rather than four. Airbus officials said the A340 operates economically and that four engines offer airlines greater security and reliability than two.

Air Canada Chairman Robert Milton said in April that the carrier chose to replace its A340s with 777s because they "have considerable economic efficiencies" compared with the Airbus models. He said that "had a very dramatic impact on the decision."

Air France, another major Airbus customer but also a big 777 buyer, is one of few carriers that has flown both A340s and 777s on the same routes. Chief Financial Officer Philippe Calavia said a first-generation A340-300 from the 1990s burns about 15% to 20% more fuel per seat than a 777 of the same vintage. "It's more costly to maintain four engines than two," he said, adding that Air France expects "to further increase the proportion of 777s in our fleet."

Britain's Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., which placed 10 of the A340 orders last year, touts that all its planes have "4 engines 4 long-haul," a slogan in support of the A340. A spokesman said the carrier's research shows that about 20% of passengers prefer four-engine planes because they feel safer.

First, we finally have a statistic at the end there on who really cares about four engines. 20%! And that's a number from Virgin.

I also find it interesting that Boeing is passing along cost savings and getting aggressive. Mostly, I find this interesting as this has been Airbus' strong suit for a few years. How quickly things change...

What I find weird about the article is there is no mention of the A350. Odd as the WSJ usually has pretty good reporting; keep in mind they don't give a hoot about the details of the airline business beyond how money and stocks will be impacted. So I forgive minor reporting errors easily. But to me missing the A350 is a big miss.

But right now the 777 has "legs." Airbus must respond. But they also need to defend the A320 territory too. (Not for a few years true; but lets use this is a case study on how fast things turn.) Remember at one time McD used to be the largest producer of aircraft in the world... (And then they didn't listen to PanAm on the DC-8...)

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OldAeroGuy
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:52 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 24):
Well, most of the risk is built into the A350 program, as they were going to apply fuselage weight reductions taken from that program.

It's doubtful that fuselage weight reductions, even with Al-Li, will close the 13 tonne OEW gap between the A346 and the 773ER. RR is being asked to reduce TSFC of the Trent 500 by 6% to 7% for the Trent 1700. This constitutes most of the risk for the A346E if it is to become more competitive with the 773ER.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting PM (Reply 14):
Absolutely. And nowhere faster than in engines. The Trent 500 is still a 'young' engine and, apart from some teething troubles entering service, I've never heard anyone suggest that it is a 'bad' engine or a failure. Yet already there are plans to phase it out in favour of a 'Trent 1500' or a GEnx. The Trent 900 and GP7200 aren't even in service yet but there are suggestions that they'll have to be replaced if the A380 is to remain competetive. Engine technology seems to be racing ahead.

One problem with the Trent 500 is that they are thirsty.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:36 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 27):
The 777-200LR will likely remain a niche aircraft, just like the A340-500.

It's all about the info you select to make a story line.

Indeed. Just like the statement you just made masks the relative superiority of the 777-200LR.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:39 am

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 36):

One problem with the Trent 500 is that they are thirsty.

no, the problem is that there are four of them and four engines tend to be heavier than two.

There are certain weight penalties which engines carry, which cannot be designed out. Namely needing four pylons, nacelles and all the ancillary equipment to feed two additional motors. Having just two motors will always give a design advantage for weight savings and therefore fuel use.

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 34):
But right now the 777 has "legs." Airbus must respond. But they also need to defend the A320 territory too.

Talk of 'defending territory' is far too simplistic. Both manufacturers work to market forecasts, and there does not have to be like-for-like in products. For example, Boeing never developed an exact counter for the A300 or A300F. Its 767 range was substantially different in size and performance.

Airbus has already put out 'teasers' concerning the A320 replacement. Despite what is posted here, an A320 replacement is well along in design and wind tunnel testing. Just like Boeing is doing with its ideas for a twin-aisle 737 replacement, Airbus is looking to break some new ground in the design of its shorthaul product.

One image which was floated was of a conventional shaped aircraft but with a completely new rear structure, almost like a hybrid of an A320 and an F-117. Two surfaces instead of three has a reduced drag benefit.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:53 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 38):
Despite what is posted here, an A320 replacement is well along in design and wind tunnel testing.

Do you have any sources of information to make such a confident claim?
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:10 am

Quoting Cricket (Reply 2):
Maybe they're advocating an updated version with new engines

Correct you are. Instead of engines that resemble and perform like hair
dryers, they will develop some that resemble and perform like leafblowers.
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trex8
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:16 am

the airlines putting pressure on Airbus may be doing it
so its not a sellers market and they are only mouthing off to get better bargaining position with Boeing. Otherwise its airline X walking into Boeings office for eg 773ER/747-8 and the Boeing reps knowing there is no real competition so why cut prices even a fraction. On the other hand if there is even a chance the new enhanced A340s are in the competition,Boeing cannot take it for granted
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting N79969 (Reply 33):
I think it means that they have abandoned any hope that anyone will ever order another a342.

I think they did a couple of years ago. It isn't offered any more, is it?

Quoting N79969 (Reply 33):
Cannot say that for the B777-200 baseline model. They are/were still being delivered as of last summer.

Being delivered, yes. Being ordered...? ANA ordered 3 in December 2001. That was the last order and it was four years ago. Before that, in May 2000, Cathay took the original flight test plane but it had to be re-engined with RR. You have to go back to April 1998 (not so far off eight years ago) for the order before that. (Six for UA.) Three new builds since the turn of the millennium? I'd say this programme has ground to a halt.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting N79969 (Reply 31):
I recall reading about a solitary order for the A340-300 which will actually be a stopgap for Finnair while it awaits the A350.

actually A343 sales for 05 were 3 for Air Mauiritius and 3 for Finnair. there will be a constant trickle of small orders from airlines, mostly just topping up their fleets, as long as the production line is open, just as there are still for 767s.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:35 am

Quoting PM (Reply 14):
Absolutely. And nowhere faster than in engines. The Trent 500 is still a 'young' engine and, apart from some teething troubles entering service, I've never heard anyone suggest that it is a 'bad' engine or a failure. Yet already there are plans to phase it out in favour of a 'Trent 1500' or a GEnx. The Trent 900 and GP7200 aren't even in service yet but there are suggestions that they'll have to be replaced if the A380 is to remain competetive. Engine technology seems to be racing ahead.

Personal view this, PM, but I think the few years between the T500,T900, and the introduction of the T1000 have made a massive difference in emphasis.
The T500 + T900 seem to provide incremental SFC improvements, but significant noise + emissions improvements over earlier engines. When they were conceived, there was not the same pressure from huge fuel prices.

A few years later, and fuel prices are now the big driver, and T1000 and GEnx offer step change sfc improvements as a consequence.
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:58 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 44):
Personal view this, PM, but I think the few years between the T500,T900, and the introduction of the T1000 have made a massive difference in emphasis.

Good point. They were desinged in - and for - another era. Time was, an engine would be in production largely unchanged for a decade or more. No longer, it seems.
 
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:09 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 38):
Talk of 'defending territory' is far too simplistic. Both manufacturers work to market forecasts, and there does not have to be like-for-like in products. For example, Boeing never developed an exact counter for the A300 or A300F. Its 767 range was substantially different in size and performance.

I agree that "defending territory" is too simplistic (pardon my typing laziness). Let me put it another way, I perceive that either manufacturer could make a large technology jump in the single isle market where the economics would be substantially improved. I also agree that maybe a direct A320 replacement wouldn't be ideal. Taking your A300/767 example, I think one of the reasons the 767 did so well was due to its range capabilities. There is an argument that the single isle *needs* trans-Atlantic range. That would be a game changer. Just as the 737NG isn't a direct DC-9 replacement... it is in a game changing way...

A new tail on the A320 is interesting... But more needs to be done. Let's put it this way, I'm happy to see money being spent by Pratt/RR/IAE on a GTF!  bigthumbsup  So somewhere there is belief that a new A320 will come down the line. My rumor mill confirms that they're going to build a flight test engine.  Smile Ok, it takes about $150 to 250 million to go from a "flight test engine" to a launch engine... Mostly redesign for manufacture as well as "right sizing" the engine for the new airframe (small changes in fan diameter).

But I think they need to go further. Let's put it this way, I worked on an A346 improvement in 2000. A re-engine with wing tip improvements. (Think of an A346 with much better range.) Didn't happen. I've also worked on A332, A320/A321, 747, 777 and sonic cruiser innovations that never happened. Its the nature of aerospace engineering. Something like only one in six major projects that are initiated go forward in this industry.

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:12 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 38):
One problem with the Trent 500 is that they are thirsty.

no, the problem is that there are four of them and four engines tend to be heavier than two.

There are certain weight penalties which engines carry, which cannot be designed out. Namely needing four pylons, nacelles and all the ancillary equipment to feed two additional motors. Having just two motors will always give a design advantage for weight savings and therefore fuel use.

Weight is partly the issue but the main problem here for Airbus is that the GE90-115B is a lot more efficient than the Trent. The GE never had teething troubles and will have to go down as one of the smoothest engine introduction ever and thats non mean feat given the 115Bs size and charting new teritory.

I also believe two engines are better for sustained cruise and this is also reflected in fuel burn. (4 x Trent 500 = 224K and 2 x GE90 = 230K

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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:22 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 27):
I think w'll see a few years of the new A350-900 disqualifying the so far best selling B777-200ER.

spoken like a true Leahy henchman (almost quoting him to a tee).....but you fail to mention that the 359 will probably have to go up against the 787-10, which EK's Clark said "will be much better than the A359" (close to that quote)

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 34):

The Boeing 777 is more fuel-efficient and less costly to maintain because it has two engines rather than four. Airbus officials said the A340 operates economically and that four engines offer airlines greater security and reliability than two.

I see they are STILL stuck on that 4-engines for safety concept....and that "greater reliability" is a bunch of rubbish......in fact, the article has already mentioned that the 777's are more reliable than the competing A340.....

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 34):

I also find it interesting that Boeing is passing along cost savings and getting aggressive. Mostly, I find this interesting as this has been Airbus' strong suit for a few years. How quickly things change...

with new efficiencies being introduced and a much better sales team, Boeing FINALLY took the right steps to be competitive on a price/support level...there was never a doubt as to the quality of the planes..

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 34):
First, we finally have a statistic at the end there on who really cares about four engines. 20%! And that's a number from Virgin.

interesting how VS got those numbers....SQ fliers don't seem to mind....

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 35):
It's doubtful that fuselage weight reductions, even with Al-Li, will close the 13 tonne OEW gap between the A346 and the 773ER. RR is being asked to reduce TSFC of the Trent 500 by 6% to 7% for the Trent 1700. This constitutes most of the risk for the A346E if it is to become more competitive with the 773ER.

exactly....the design of the A340 is a weight restricted aircraft, and there is only so much Airbus can do with those planes....not to mention, Boeing is probably already implementing ideas on the 777 from which they have learned on designing the 787!
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trex8
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RE: WSJ: Airbus Under Pressure To Update 340

Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 48):
in fact, the article has already mentioned that the 777's are more reliable than the competing A340

but is that engine related? the FI article last year quoting A346 customers seem to show the problems are mostly not engine related, or at least the engine itself as opposed to fuel system management and many, many galley issues. Not having iced water in the downstairs lavs on LH A346s is unfortunate, perhaps even a dire emergency to some, or other galley problems but not the same as fan blade rubbing issues or engines just not working for whatever reason etc!

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