Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 2:48 am

Yes, you guessed it, Boeing, which previously abandoned it's B747 stretch developements several years ago, citing lack of demand has now revised it's forecasts for the market segment.

Boeing now says there is demand for 1010 new large aircraft (B747-400 and above) by 2020. This doesn't seem much of an icrease over the 1999 figure of 930, however looking closer there has been a significant change in the forecasts...

In 1999 Boeing said the demand was for 560 B747-400 sized aircraft and 370 A3XX sized aircraft.
Now Boeing forecasts demand for 500 B747-400 sized aircraft and 510 A3XX sized aircraft, so Boeing it's self is now of the opinion there will be more need for aircraft larger than the current B747-400 over the next 20 years.

I wonder what could have prompted Boeing to change it's mind .... What's that? You say Boeing has realised that now the A3XX is launched, it will have to launch a competing product, so predictions of no sizeable market will no longer be in Boeing's interests as they previously were .... I don't believe it!  

Good luck to them, at least they're being honest now
Airbus will release market forecasts next month, expected to be slightly higher than Boeing's at 1250.


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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 8:05 am

It was about time for Boeing to accept reality.
These guys were just making bluff around the idea of no need for larger jets such as the A3XX so that this Airbus project wasn't accepted by airlines, they loose again and now Airbus is in a better position for the +600 pax market.

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 8:27 am

Well anyone can produce market forecasts that make their product seem favorable or to save face. There is clearly some demand there, otherwise Airbus would not be willing to invest billions of dollars into the A3XX program. However what confuses me is Boeing's continuing vacilation over the superjumbo issue. They have seemed to shelf the idea of a highly redesigned 747, in favor of developing the 777 family. But now they come back with what I think is now a weak response with the 747X and 747X-Stretch. They seem to be committed to making the proposed 747-400X the standard 747 model in a few years. However the 747X project seems slipshod to me. Using a modifed 747-400F wing, updated 777 stlye avionics and cabin, more powerful engines a la 777/A330. What this seems to me is an evolutionary temporary step in the 747 development, much what the 747-300 was like. If Boeing does not commit one way or another to the superjumbo concept the 747X program as it stands now may have limited success. I applaud Airbus for taking the risk with the A3XX program and really pushing Boeing to commit one way or another. As the old saying goes Boeing needs to shit or get off of the pot. Either they should stop trying to match Airbus and continue with the 777X and improved 747-400 or devote themselves to a radically newer 747 (new wing, FBW, etc...), not try to sit in between.

My 2 cents worth.
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 8:56 am

I don't see the point of yet another tweak to the 747. Airlines are not going to spend big money on technology that is not a tenth as 'future proof' as the A3XX. The A3XX will form the basis of airliners that will be purchased for the next 40+ years, as the 747-100 was in 1970. They got away with it with the 737NG cos the demands of short haul aren't the same as long haul and cos the actual purchase price was lower. If their answer to the A3XX is another 747 then they're handing the market to Airbus on a plate as surely as if they hadn't tried to compete at all. If the market for big transports is 1,000 a/c over 15 years (say), they'll get about 15% at best.

It's nice to see the expression 'shit or get off the pot' getting aired, I use it often but rarely hear it from anyone else. Go DesertJets!
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 9:21 am

Boeing just bought a new crystal ball. They do that every other month and have done so for fifty years. They will buy a hundred new crystal balls before 2020.
Nothing is more difficult to foretell than the future. If in doubt, then just look at what was foretold about the past.
Boeing is in the middle of a terrible crossroad. They already have a fairly sucessful product in the high capacity class, the 747-400. It has been stretched over and over again during 30 years, and now any further stretch requires an entirely new wing (and therefore an almost new airplane) if the stretch shall be more than peanuts.
What is more profitable?
1. to keep selling less 747-400s and earn a little money on them?
2. to invest heavily in a larger plane and risk to loose money because the market is too small to be shared with Airbus?
I am glad that I am not the Boeing executive who has to decide. His seat is burning hot.
Preben Norholm
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 9:58 am

Not wanting to start another A v' B war, but I wonder what the pro "B" people are saying now?

Bring it on............(the super jumbo era that is)

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 12:28 pm

To all: It would appear that in the post-FIA forum it has become something of an issue to Boeing bash over the way they have approached the prospect of competing with A3XX. We have seen a number of posts which have taken Boeing to task for claiming "no market for A3XX"(at a minimum, a serious misunderstanding of Boeing's statements on this part of the market) as well as some of the rather petulant "ha, ha, told you so..."
sort of thing.
For myself, I tend to view Boeing's approach a little differently, that is, one which was prudent and cautious, and above all, very measured to the situation as it evolved vis a vis A3XX.
Since the cancellation of the original 747-500/600 some years ago, Boeing had always stated that there was insufficient demand for large planes. In the absence of market pressure, it would have been foolish to move forward with these planes. Until A/B began discussing the possibility of a new jumbo, there was no competitive pressure either. However, until this threat could be realistically assessed, it would have been pointless to make anything but the blandest of statements, so I suspect this is how the "we only see a small market" stuff began. Wait and see.
As the protracted development of A3XX began to look more and more like a tangible threat, Boeing responded with the first statements about enhanced 747 variants to compete with A3XX. Nothing firm and always couched in terms like "if we see the need", but an incremental increase in the response since the possibility still existed that the EU wouldn't fund the project. More wait and see.
As A3XX began to look real and A/B began to outshop the a/c very hard, Boeing began to push the 747 variants hard, too. VP's and designers and letters to CEO's to major airlines outlining the Boeing plan. If anything, this gave airlines the option of waiting rather than signing on for A3XX. If I recall, the rhetoric about imminent orders for A3XX from SQ, CX, MAS, and other Asian majors tended to fade after this. Not only did Boeing make airlines pause, but also put tremendous pricing pressure on A/B to discount as they shook the bushes trying to find launch customers. It seems like a timely response to an increasingly real competitive threat.
And then came the figures...the enhanced 747 variants would be better than the A3XX. What a surprise coming from the manufacturer's propaganda machine. But again, it probably makes the airlines (SQ,CX) pause to reassess their options. Coincidence or good timing?
While I tend to find A3XX/747 arguments tiresome, I thought that Boeing actually made a very good response over time to A3XX. They ventured nothing and hedged their bets until it became absolutely clear that the competitive reality required a response and they only stated publically what they had to. They also seemed to make a case for the 747's since, although they are an older design, they will offer pretty much what A3XX does seeing that a/c is evolutionary itself, the main difference being it is bigger.
While this post is certainly an oversimplification of the issue, I tend to think Boeing did well. Farnborough brought A/B its launch of A3XX without a single blue ribbon Asian carrier to show off as a customer and nowhere near the 50 orders Mr. F talked about having.

Perhaps Boeing isn't incapable, vacillating or foolish after all...time will tell.




RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 1:23 pm

There isnt a market!!!!! The only people that fill the 747's are the Japanese. Boeing didnt just come up and say there wasnt a market for the 747 they listened to the biggest airlines in the world, United, American Airlines, Continental, Northwest, Delta, UsAirways. Ony two of these airlines operate the 747 and they arent getting anymore of them. Airbus just wants to feal special by having the "biggest plane in the world".

Like I said before, let them have their token.

So bow down, punks.

RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 2:05 pm

let me see who ordered the 3XX.

Air France, ofcourse they would have to, becuase the gov put a gun to their head.

The oilers, hell why not they could probably buy France.

only 22 orders, dudes there isnt demand for this thing.
Any normal person can see that this thing isnt viable. Its just rediculous.

Dont forget to bow down

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 3:28 pm

Perhaps I should clarify my point of Boeing vacilating on the issue.

It seems that Airbus has the upper hand with the Super Jumbo issue. With Airbus offering the A3XX now commericially it has forced Boeing to do something over it, to save face. Boeing has consistently, until Farnborough, claimed there wasn't a large enough market for them to develop a super jumbo. That was the primary reason behind the cancelling of the 747-500/600 project. But now Boeing has put out the 747X and 747X-stretch, which may well have been nothing more than just design studies, as something as commericially viable and possibly available for sale in the near future.

Now it is my observation, based on the forementioned circumstances, that Boeing feels it may be loseing something (prestige, face, etc...) to Airbus for not having some sort of a super jumbo. Out of this pressure, and for fear of losing ground to Airbus they put out the 747X, and release new market studies that indicate that there might be a larger market for these planes than previously forecasted. Which may or may not be legitimate, but that isn't my point.

So what I find interesting here is something that 10, 15, 20 years ago Boeing would have shrugged off. Airbus is seriously scaring Boeing. They have this plane where they don't yet have firm real orders in for yet that is making Boeing go nuts trying to figure out what to do. With the strong response to the A3XX at FIA Boeing snapped (in a matter of speaking) and altered its story.

Personally I now don't think that was the right track. They should have kept to th story until firm orders and a more final design of the A3XX came out to better forecast the market, and continued with the 747X design studies and made them commericially available at a later time, when the market could support 2 super jumbos.

And my last point as an aside...I do agree that there is a market for a super jumbo. BUT, I highly doubt that the market could support a plane from Boeing and a plane from Airbus.
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 6:24 pm

That´s what I said several times. Boeing tried desperately to play down the market forecasts to irritate Airbus and the airlines so that not too many decide in favour of the A3XX before the 747X is launched.
Which fool seriously believes that in a time where air traffic will rise by 100% or even 200% (by 2020) especially the Jumbomarket should shrink, the major part of the market were such an impressive growth is possible? The skies can take 3 times more passengers, but not 3 times more airplanes. And that is especially the case in countries, where traffic is already at its limit and set to rise steeply still (Europe, East Asia).

Moderately rising fuel prices in the future and I still see the optimistic airbus predictions closer to reality than the updated Boeing figures.

The so-often praised higher frequency, smaller airplanes-trend is wishful thinking in my eyes.
Maybe thats what most people want, but its denying the future. Higher frequency means nothing but more congestion, more delays, more noise, more accidents. ATC will never keep up the pace of traffic growth.
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 7:46 pm

"United, American Airlines, Continental, Northwest, Delta, UsAirways" - if these are the airlines Boeing consulted, no wonder they got the wrong idea about the superjumbo market. These are domestic carriers, with limited international destinations, mostly on secondary routes. AA: Dallas to wherever (some premier league stuff but mostly 767s, NW: Minneapolis to London etc, DL from Atlanta (OK some from JFK but to places like Budapest, Moscow and Nice) and US from Charlotte and Baltimore. Plus, being US carriers they benefit from serving a market with loads of runway space etc (although still 'enjoying' taxiway queues of up to 40 mins).

"The Japanese are the only ones to fill their jumbos". Haha, where the hell did this come from?? BA have 50 -400s alone (along with a load of -200s) and they're the only fleet (along with 777s) that make money for the airline. Qantas are crying out for a bigger aircraft (fleet is currently about 30), and virtually every other airline I can think of make tonnes of $$$s with their 747s: Singapore Airlines, Malaysia, Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia, Alitalia, United, NW, yes the Japs of course, South African Airways, Air NZ, Koreanair, Virgin, the list is endless...
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 10:11 pm

However, I think Boeing may have an upper hand in selling the 747X Stretch.

The reason is simple: United, Northwest, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Qantas, and most other airlines along the Pacific Rim that fly the 747-400 will be able to easily upgrade their maintainence to support the 747X Stretch.

In fact, I won't be surprised if Boeing pulls a fast one and announces big orders for the 747X Stretch at the end of this year from UA, NW, JL, KE, QF, etc.
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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Wed Aug 02, 2000 11:06 pm

This is an interesting subject as long as chatters stay away from black-and-white comments and posturing.

I'm all for both aircraft companies coming up with winners. That means more aircraft for me to enjoy!

Here are a few thoughts...

- Boeing's adjustment in aircraft projections doesn't seem like such an extreme change. Besides, orders prophesy isn't an exact science. Furthermore, most companies will adjust their numbers to justify their business plans. It doesn't seem that insidious that Boeing is doing it.

- Trend toward Open Skies. It appears that the global economy has been leaning in the direction of open skies agreements. If that trend continues, expect the global airline economy to resemble the dynamics of U.S. domestic airlines.

If that happens, expect hub-and-spoke saturation (smaller aircraft, greater frequencies such as UA and AA in ORD) which in turn leads to increased point-to-point thin route traffic. If this trend were to take place, it doesn't bode well for high capacity aircraft.

- Does anybody else see the parallel between the Boeing/Airbus competition and the US/USSR arms race? We seem to be in the midst of an aircraft escalation. Is it possible that Boeing is applying enough competitive pressure on Airbus to keep them committed to the A3XX program? As much as I would like to see Airbus succeed, this project has the potential to be a financial boondoggle. Is Boeing baiting Airbus into a financially risky venture?

- Limited technological advances. With each new aircraft design, the industry has been able to improve on efficiencies. But there seems to be a diminishing return. We are not making the great leaps forward with fuel efficiency, for example, as we have done in the past when we went from pure jets to fans to high bypass engines. Regardless the manufacturer, the next aircraft launch will net fewer real efficiencies than the ones that have taken place over the past thirty years. In other words, there is less economic incentive to totally redesign an aircraft.

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:46 am

A thread that involves Boeing and Airbus has managed to stay good-natured past the tenth post!  

I was careful in the original thread not to make out that Boeing ever said there was no market for Ultra-Large Aircraft, they didn't. They simply said that
-They didn't think there was a large enough market to make any such programme worthwhile (Profitable) for Boeing and by definition there was insufficient demand for the 2 competing products of Airbus and Boeing.

I originally took Boeing's stance;
"Look at the Atlantic, the sky's full of 767s flying between secondary cities, the same will happen in the Pacific with A340/777s"
Now it seems that for some airports like LHR, there is basically no room for many more flights, T5 will increase capacity but not movements -> LARGER AIRCRAFT.
Asian Trunk-Routes (Where are all the 777-300 customers?) may well need larger aircraft.
Also, on some very long routes, replacing a B747-400 with 2 B777s would provide too much extra capacity, and the airlines would prefer to use a single A3XX for more modest growth (Flight Int. last week had a compuer image of the A3XX in Qantas livery) There is are also some questions over ETOPS over the Pacific - closure of USAF diversionary fields, and sutiability of some of the remote airports (ie Where do 300 pax from a diverted 777 stay, eat, how do they keep warm/cool?) that don't apply on Atlantic routes.

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Thu Aug 03, 2000 5:20 am

James: It seems as though Boeing's statements on the need for ULA's have been interpreted by various interested parties in numerous ways, depending on what one wants to say. If memory serves me correctly(and admittedly, now that I'm well into middle age, I find that it doesn't always do that), I believe that Boeing's statement was that they felt that the market was not sufficiently large to justify the development of an all new design.

Can anyone verify?

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RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Thu Aug 03, 2000 5:55 am

Jet Setter,
There will be more room for movements at LHR when increasing fragmentation takes place with long range aircraft. Flights that used to connect through LHR will not anymore. For example, instead of flying from JFK to LHR then on to copenhagen, the filght will bypass LHR. Smaller plane longer range, and LHR will have room for another flight to where ever.. Just think if all the major airports lost their connecting flights. I live in SLC. If I want to fly to JAX, I have to connect in ATL, the bussiest in the world. But with more fragmentation, soon I will be offered a flight direct. Now, I realize that this is a domestic example, but I think the basic idea applies, and I have beat the dead horse enough. I could be wrong, but it really makes sense to me. The real growth of the future will be at your local airport, not at the majors.

RE: Shock! Boeing Increases Market Forecasts For....

Thu Aug 03, 2000 6:13 am

Interesting point made Jet Setter about T5 at LHR. one of the marketing points made in it's favour was the fact that it will handle bigger quieter aircraft which means more passengers without a corresponding increase in movements and noise.

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