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Stitch
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Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:54 am

Note: I didn't want to move the FedEx Confiirm Order For 27 767-300F + 2 777F (by PanAm_DC10 Dec 15 2011 in Civil Aviation) off-topic, so I am starting a new thread.

----------------------

This week FedEx signed an agreement with Boeing for 27 767-300F freighters as the start of their MD-10F replacement program. FX will need another 50 or so frames to replace the entire MD-10 fleet, as well as an eventual need to replace the A300 and A310 fleets, so Boeing can expect more 767 orders, IMO. Chances are also good FX will purchase 767-300ER passenger planes and convert them to freighters, as well.

Many (myself included) thought FX would purchase the A330-200F as it is a very close match to the MD-10 in many areas, while offering much better economics. However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision? And could it influence other cargo operators?

With the 767, a cargo operator can buy both new and converted, but with the A330, the only option (at the moment) is new. The A330 is a hot property at the moment, so Airbus doesn't have the incentive to deal that Boeing does with the 767, but even if it was not, a new A332F is going to be a significantly more expensive acquisition than a converted 763F.

Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work. He's told Airbus he won't buy new A330-200Fs and is now looking at the 767 freighter and has added to his 777 freighter fleet.

He's also pushing someone else to pick up the flag and Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero), a long-time Boeing aircraft conversion specialist, is said to be considering launching their own conversion program.

[Edited 2011-12-15 16:55:33]
 
nomadd22
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:12 am

Part of the equation is your confidence in your predictions. The larger plane would have been more efficient, but less flexible than more, smaller craft for rearranging cargo flow in the future. A DHL exec tried to explain their routing to me long ago, and that 30% smaller planes almost doubled the possible combinations worldwide. I almost hurt myself trying to follow him. The math that Fedex and UPS use would probably kill me.
I probably missed it in another thread, but how does 767 production rate look? I remember them talking about going to 2 a month, but that's starting to seem a little low after recent sales and the tanker win.
Anon
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:18 am

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
Part of the equation is your confidence in your predictions.

FedEx employees on this forum have said that FX management is/was very impressed with the A330-200F.



Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
I probably missed it in another thread, but how does 767 production rate look? I remember them talking about going to 2 a month, but that's starting to seem a little low after recent sales and the tanker win.

It's moving to two per month, but Boeing have said they can push it to three if necessary.
 
BoeingVista
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:25 am

I don't follow your logic, why would the suspension of a P2F program mean more 767 sales, Airbus still sells the A330F, PAX planes last for 20 years at some point Airbus or a third party will launch a P2F program.

Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.
BV
 
col
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:30 am

Is Airbus decision also based on frame availability? The 330 frames becoming available soon must be the older ones (QR excluded of course). They are nowhere near the capability of the 332F, they would be dogs and some must be getting close to cycle and hour life. If you don't have the frames available, is it worth starting the project? I am sure it will happen, but maybe in 2, 3 or 4 years. I am also certain the conversion specialists would have been all over this if the market/units were available.

In the meantime, Boeing could ramp up production of the 763F..   
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:50 am

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.

They bought new-builds to start, but they do have the option of adding conversions if they wish. FX is converting 757s and they are said to be interested in 777 conversions (if Boeing will lower the price). Many of us who felt the A330-200F was a solid new-build option for FX also assumed that Airbus was moving forward with their A330P2F program and would give FX the flexibility of both.



Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Airbus still sells the A330F, PAX planes last for 20 years at some point Airbus or a third party will launch a P2F program.

Yes, and ST Aero at least is considering doing their own thing, and Bedek has been kicking around an A330/A340 conversion for some time.

But there are operators of older DC-series aircraft that are significantly more expensive to operate and only getting more expensive as fuel prices and spares costs rise. Boeing can offer them a new-build 767 if they want the most capable airframe or a converted 767 if the value proposition of a new-build is not there.
 
CFBFrame
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:34 am

On the older A330s there was an issue with the floors? Could that have impacted conversion costs? Also, is the inventory of older 767-300s larger than A330s?
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:32 am

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):

The reason is cost and flexibility. If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f, and the 763f is cheaper, more flexible, and available, then what do you think they will buy? A 777f may be too big, 757f too small, and the A300 is old and busted.

Best plane for the job is easily the 767 because it is the right size, and is available. Qatar was already yapping at Airbus for not getting on with the passenger to freighter conversion A330, and has already said he will change his mind to the 767.
 
col
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:22 am

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
and the A300 is old and busted.

Maybe you should call DHL and let them know, they just ordered another 5 conversions for a total of 18. Also EADS are still converting many old and busted 300's.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:33 am

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision?
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work.

Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere? If not quoting, where are you getting that Airbus has suspended a programme that is still under discussion?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...verting-a330s-to-cargo-planes.html
 
ebbuk
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:07 am

Quoting jonathan-l (Reply 9):
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision?
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work.

Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere? If not quoting, where are you getting that Airbus has suspended a programme that is still under discussion?

Yes I too was surprised with the confidence of Stitch's assertion. I didn't know the decision was made. I am sure in time, Stitch will provide his link and save nine posts asking him the same thing?
 
r2rho
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:57 am

Quoting ebbuk (Reply 10):
Yes I too was surprised with the confidence of Stitch's assertion. I didn't know the decision was made. I am sure in time, Stitch will provide his link and save nine posts asking him the same thing?

AFAIK the A320P2F has been officially stopped, but I know of no official communication about the A330P2F, although it is widely assumed to be de-facto dead as well.

Whether officially cancelled or not, the reality is that there is total uncertainty over Airbus P2F programs, so the positive effect on 767 sales should be there either way.
 
4tet
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:09 pm

Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

R.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:18 pm

I haven't come across a press release either, but Leahy did say they had better things to do.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...=mro&id=news/avd/2011/11/17/05.xml
(see last paragraph)

Quoting col (Reply 8):
Maybe you should call DHL and let them know, they just ordered another 5 conversions for a total of 18.

Could that be part of the reason for the delay in the A330P2F program? EADS EFW seems to have been getting quite a few A300 conversion orders lately, maybe they don't have any position available within the foreseeable future for A330 conversion.

Either way, it is a question of if, not when. According to EADS EFW, the A310P2F program is dwindling down due to a very tight availability of frames with enough economical life left to justify conversion, and the supply of A300s in similar condition should be tapped out around 2014 or 2015. With the A320P2F program officially on ice, they'll need something else to keep busy.
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:20 pm

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.

It does if you're expecting to end up with a mix of new-build and conversions. It wouldn't make much sense to operate new-build A330s and converted 767s.

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f

There's no evidence that purchase cost was a factor in FedEx's decision. I also regularly see claims that Airbus gives its planes away.

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
and the A300 is old and busted.

Tell those operating it and still taking more.   
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:58 pm

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
The reason is cost and flexibility. If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f, and the 763f is cheaper, more flexible, and available, then what do you think they will buy? A 777f may be too big, 757f too small, and the A300 is old and busted.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
They bought new-builds to start, but they do have the option of adding conversions if they wish. FX is converting 757s and they are said to be interested in 777 conversions
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Many (myself included) thought FX would purchase the A330-200F as it is a very close match to the MD-10 in many areas, while offering much better economics. However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision? And could it influence other cargo operators?

Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.
BV
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:29 pm

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 15):
Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.

But FedEx also ordered 2 additional B-777Fs, to be tacked on to the back of the deferred 11 B-777Fs. The B-767Fs that FedEx ordered will be mostly used for domestic cargo operations, and still give them the ability to be used on international operations if needed. UPS B-763Fs (along with their B-757PFs, B-747F/CFs, and MD-11CFs) hauled a lot of US Military cargo in the last several years, while the A-306Fs were mainly domestic ops because of the smaller range capability of them.

QR may have found a way to increase their cargo ops for almost no money if they get some used B-767-300ERs and convert them to F/CFs. This could allow QR to sell the 15 A-330s they wanted to convert by 2016, or so. With few if any used A-330s available, these QR airplanes could demand higher resale prices for QR. It could be the best of both worlds for QR, they still add converted freighters to their cargo ops and sell airplanes they no longer need from their pax ops.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting jonathan-l (Reply 9):
Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere?
This article from May 2011 implied that QR and Airbus had signed an agreement to start converting their A330 at Airbus EDW to expand their cargo fleet and support their buy-in of Cargolux.

And this article in August 2011 stated Airbus was making the final preparations to start the program.

Airbus then announced at the Dubai Air Show they were not going to launch the program and AAB threw a fit (reports say it was part of the reason he delayed the A320neo + A380 announcement). He continues to chide Airbus over the decision.


Quoting 4tet (Reply 12):
Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

Boeing offers an OEM-option. It was originally with Alenia Aeronavali, but they're defunct, so not sure who does the work now.

[Edited 2011-12-16 06:57:23]
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:56 pm

So how much work is really involved in converting a passenger plane to a freighter? Take out the seats, toilets and galleys, cover the windows, cut a big door in the side, add a fire detection systerm and you're good to go, no?

Must freighters be ETOPS certified?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:08 pm

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
So how much work is really involved in converting a passenger plane to a freighter? Take out the seats, toilets and galleys, cover the windows, cut a big door in the side, add a fire detection systerm and you're good to go, no?

Must freighters be ETOPS certified?

In most cases the main deck floor must be strenghtened or replaced. There are some other things like deactivating most of the side doors, but that pretty much covers it. Yes, frighters must be ETOPS certified too, they often carry couriors and sometimes extra crews. It use to apply only to twin engine freighters, but now it applies to all freighters, just as it applies to all pax jets. About the only aircraft that now a days do not need ETOPS are military aircraft (but many are ETOPS certified, or meet more stringent military maintenance standards).
 
luckyone
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:11 pm

Quoting 4tet (Reply 12):
Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

A lot of business is done with Israel via third party by several Gulf States. Saudi Arabia being a prime example. Money frequently talks louder than rhetoric. As for the flyover, I believe Israel has reciprocates overflight rights with countries that deny Israeli aircraft the right to use its airspace.
 
machnumber
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:54 pm

I have heard from many people that the A330F is just not a good rival for the B767F because of the cost/volume ratio. The A330 might be more efficient but much more expensive than the 767 and it doesn't have the space to compensate the high price.
I would be really happy to hear the opposite for the sake of the A330. Any idea?
 
Hamlet69
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:58 pm

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 15):
Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.

  Ummm, where in the world did you get that from?!? Yes, FX delayed delivery. But with proper notice (which FX gave) companies rarely, if ever, pay money for merely delaying delivery of frames. It happens all the time. I can think of a dozen, just for Boeing, just within the last few years.

"FX's Boeing deposits" were never at risk, and thus there was no need to "engineer a competition" - which I assure you, was real, intense, and lasted for well over 18 months.


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cmf
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:26 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
It use to apply only to twin engine freighters, but now it applies to all freighters, just as it applies to all pax jets.

Not so.

"Three- and four-engine freighters are exempted from the new ETOPS rule."
Source: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer...rticles/qtr_2_07/article_02_7.html
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iceberg210
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:27 pm

The other thing is with the delays is somehow I don't think Boeing had all that many issues with Fed Ex delaying out the 777F's. 777's are flying off the shelves and having a few more slots open earlier for 777-300ER's etc I'm sure is a very welcome thing for Boeing. Regardless of how you think the A350 will stack up to the 777 I think we can all agree there's plenty of opportunity to produce freighters later in the production cycle, and if I were Boeing knowing that Fed Ex is going to take all those planes, it's just a matter of when, I'd be thrilled to have some earlier slots to tempt potential 777-300ER buyers with. Seems like a win win for everyone, Fed Ex gets to better tailor deliveries to their demand, Boeing gets empty slots to juggle folks into, and the 767 get's it's biggest order since UPS ordered 27 a few years ago.

The 763F seems to be hitting it's stride at the perfect time, where Airbus has (to be honest a great problem to have) a problem that the A330 is in high demand anyway, so there's not a whole lot of conversion ready frames, nor is there much reason to discount ones coming fresh off the production line, when others are buying up A330's pretty regularly. Maybe as the 787 comes in that'll change, but then again who would have thought the 767 would be garnering new orders at this point either.... Point is seems to me for Airbus not to hand the freighter market even more to Boeing they'll need to find some solution to the availability problem. Airbus is a tad a victim of their the A330's success here, Boeing has a very low cost line, that can be ramped up at least another 50% (2-3 a month) and even then I can't imagine 767 slots are all that hard to come by. It's in Boeing's best interest to run as much as they can through that line, so they can probably pull off some very nice deals on the 767, as well as having the 763BCF option hanging out there as well. You add that to commonality with the 757 that's being converted in droves, Boeing has some very serious advantages in the market that will make things an uphill climb for Airbus for at least a few more years... Once you see A 330's getting retired in favor of the 787 350 things will change some, but with the variety of 767's and 777's that could well be retired in the next few decades, Boeing should continue in my opinion to have a decent edge in the freighter battle...
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:31 pm

Quoting machnumber (Reply 21):
I would be really happy to hear the opposite for the sake of the A330.

The A330-200F is an excellent replacement for the DC-10-30/MD-10-30 freighter. It offers the same volume (475m3 vs. 470m3), it will lift the same payload weight (70t) and offers the same design range (5930km vs. 5500km).

If the A330-200F is hobbled by anything, I would say that it's the fact it's the only new-build freighter model offered by Airbus and is the top-end of their freighter offerings (converted and new-build) and that offering is only widebody freighters (since Airbus has also suspended their A320P2F program for the moment).

Boeing, on the other hand, offers a complete line of freighters (a mix of converted and new-build) that spans from the 737-300SF to the 747-8F. This allows Boeing to offer payload weights from 20 tons to 134 tons, capacity from 130m3 to 830m2 and design ranges from 3000km to 9000km. As a cargo operator, Boeing can meet just about any need you...well, need.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Quoting Hamlet69 (Reply 22):
But with proper notice (which FX gave) companies rarely, if ever, pay money for merely delaying delivery of frames. It happens all the time. I can think of a dozen, just for Boeing, just within the last few years.

The the rare times when a delay would cost money would be when the plane has already started assembly and swapping line position is not possible or very difficult. In that case any delay would mean "storing" the aircraft for a while until the customer is ready for the airplane. In that situation, the cost of storing the aircraft would probably be charged to the customer.

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BoxBoy
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:55 pm

Both manufactures were told to bid on new build as well as converts. FDX has been very frustrated with the 757 third party conversions. As a result, they wanted the 767 or A330 converts to be done ONLY by the original manufacturer. This is what held up the decision.

In addition, FDX wanted Airbus to consider the A330-300F. Airbus told FDX that that is not what they wanted (customer is always wrong I suppose). FDX needs this jet to do things such as ATL-MEM a 45 minute leg. They need lift not range. It is going to be a "domestic" jet. Airbus doesn't agree.

Airbus was the preferred jet by FedEx. Fred does not want to go to an all Boeing fleet. It makes sense from a mx and training point of view for one fleet. However, he knows that this permanently affects his negotiating ability. For example, if in the future he asks for an A350 bid, Airbus won't give him a great price thinking that there is no way that FedEx will move away from a single manufacturer fleet. They are just getting a bid to play against Boeing. Likewise, Boeing won't be as competitive thinking that they have FedEx in bed with them.

This was there for Airbus to take. They just had to listen to the customer's needs. Personally, I am shocked that Airbus turned away the business.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:05 pm

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
I don't follow your logic, why would the suspension of a P2F program mean more 767 sales, Airbus still sells the A330F, PAX planes last for 20 years at some point Airbus or a third party will launch a P2F program.

Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.

P2F was the LARGEST part of the equation. The fleet replacement will ultimately be greater than 100 jets with the bulk being P2F.

There was still a chance that FedEx would buy both the 767 and A330. The larger order being to the 767. A smaller fleet (25-50) A330's would work for FedEx. However, Airbus doesn't seem to want FedEx as a customer any longer = a future 767 order.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:24 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 25):
The A330-200F is an excellent replacement for the DC-10-30/MD-10-30 freighter. It offers the same volume (475m3 vs. 470m3), it will lift the same payload weight (70t) and offers the same design range (5930km vs. 5500km).

If the A330-200F is hobbled by anything, I would say that it's the fact it's the only new-build freighter model offered by Airbus and is the top-end of their freighter offerings (converted and new-build) and that offering is only widebody freighters (since Airbus has also suspended their A320P2F program for the moment).

While I do not disagree with anything you've said, the fact remains that, so far, sales of the A330-200F have been lackluster at best. FedEx, UPS and Lufthansa Cargo (all with top notch reputations in cargo) have all ordered new build freighters from Boeing. I think that alone speaks volumes.
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:46 pm

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
Airbus was the preferred jet by FedEx. Fred does not want to go to an all Boeing fleet. It makes sense from a mx and training point of view for one fleet. However, he knows that this permanently affects his negotiating ability. For example, if in the future he asks for an A350 bid, Airbus won't give him a great price thinking that there is no way that FedEx will move away from a single manufacturer fleet. They are just getting a bid to play against Boeing. Likewise, Boeing won't be as competitive thinking that they have FedEx in bed with them.

Another side of this story could also be that FedEx signed up to Airbus A380F and got dusted, had to turn to Boeing and the 777F, but FedEx still went back to Airbus on this venture to look at another product A330 and got dusted again.
Obviously FedEx was looking to purchase the best product that meets their need, past history did not seem to make a difference, so if FedEx can be a bigger person why can Airbus not be the same?
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:07 pm

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
In addition, FDX wanted Airbus to consider the A330-300F. Airbus told FDX that that is not what they wanted (customer is always wrong I suppose).

How is this different from Boeing apparently being unwilling to engineer the 767-400F?
 
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:00 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 31):
How is this different from Boeing apparently being unwilling to engineer the 767-400F?

It's not, the real question is whether FedEx was asking for a 767-400F, assumption being what it is, FedEx probably went after the A330 because it was the better product over a proposed 767-400F which I'm not even sure Boeing is offering.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:44 pm

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
So how much work is really involved in converting a passenger plane to a freighter? Take out the seats, toilets and galleys, cover the windows, cut a big door in the side, add a fire detection systerm and you're good to go, no?

Lets see:

- Jack and shore the aircraft so the airframe is in the neutral state and will remain that way throughout the conversion process.

- Remove all the interior including seats, carpets, floorboards, sidewalls, galleys, lavatories, ECS ducting, potable and waste water tanks and piping, windows, entertainment systems, ceilings panels and lighting.

- Remove all the un-required passenger door operating mechanisms.

- Remove the section of fuselage that will be replaced with a newly manufactured section of the fuselage including the cargo door opening.

- Reinforce the floor beams as required and install new floorboards or ball mats as needed.

- Install the replacement fuselage section (with the door opening) install all the doublers/tripplers and structural reinforcements.

- Install a 9G divider between the cargo compartment and the passenger/crew rest/flight station.

- Install window blanks and new sidewalls.

- Install fire detection and suppersion systems as required.

- Install the cargo door and the operating equipment, electrical motors/hydraulic pumps etc.

- Perform a C or D Check and functional check of all system including the newly installed systems as required.

- Perform flight tests and obtain a STC.

Plus hundreds of small items I have forgot to mention.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:45 pm

I'm not sure Airbus had a initial plan to make the A330 a cargo plane? The first frames were very different from the current frames and the A300 was doing very well as a cargo alternative. Boeing on the other hand, may have been further in the lifecycle of the 767 and had begun to modify new sales to be convertible? If true, the 767 conversion market would be a much better play for cargo carriers? Current A330s may be better suited but why make the conversion so early in their lifecycle? The current config 330 may be a great replacement for a DC10 but getting an owner to make that change might cost far more than cargo customers are willing to pay. If true might also explain why FX chose the 767 route, in addition to getting value pricing from Boeing for helping to keep the line open. FX wants near term frames, and if the acquisition costs of those frames were outside of their annual acquisition plan, the A330 was a nonstarter. By the way, this is the second Airbus a/c that FX killed as a freighter. Remember the A380?

If the FX buy leads to more new sales, well Boeing has a real win because the sales have no impact on the passenger 787 or the 777 lines. In addition, a 767 sale pushes the 787 conversion discussion to the right further. Big win for Boeing. Another point, if you look at the Boeing order book for widebodies there are quite a few options for customers to consider. Getting the 787 production issues addressed becomes very important with every new widebody competition because a customer's available options are quite broad. Not to say that Airbus does not have the same pitch, and the more everything feels like a 777 well all the better.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
FDX has been very frustrated with the 757 third party conversions. As a result, they wanted the 767 or A330 converts to be done ONLY by the original manufacturer. This is what held up the decision.

Interesting, I hadn't heard this before.

That doesn't bode too well for the conversion industry.

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
Likewise, Boeing won't be as competitive thinking that they have FedEx in bed with them.

A single source fleet hasn't kept WN or FR from getting very good deals on Boeing products.

FX is a trend setter in its industry, just like WN and FR are in theirs, and all have strong balance sheets that lets them commit to the huge orders that Boeing likes.

That's not to say I think FX plans to go single source. In due time they will be shopping for MD11 replacements, and I'm sure Airbus will be in the game. FX may chose to buy A332F for some MD11 routes and B777 for others if that is what best matches their needs at that point in time.
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:07 pm

The issue with the A330P2F (and A320P2F) is the high resale value of the airframes. Heck, the A330 is worth more in parts than an freight airline would want to pay for the whitetail frame.

I agree with Stitch's theory that the lack of a conversion program is hindering FedEx's decision to buy the A332F. It is a 'friction' in the decision process. While FedEx might not need the aircraft today... the 'option to bypass Airbus' for further A330P2F freighters would certainly influence the decision to buy new A332s.

I also suspect there is a pricing issue on the new build A332s due to continues success selling the pax A330s.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
FX is converting 757s and they are said to be interested in 777 conversions (if Boeing will lower the price).

The 777BCF has the same issue, 777s have too high a residual value to be converted today. Not the case with the 757...

Quoting Stitch (Reply 25):
The A330-200F is an excellent replacement for the DC-10-30/MD-10-30 freighter. It offers the same volume (475m3 vs. 470m3), it will lift the same payload weight (70t) and offers the same design range (5930km vs. 5500km).

I see a role for the A332F at FedEx. I just question:
1. How would Airbus creat the A332F slots in the quantity FedEx would demand? I see accelerating the 767 line easily, not so the A330 line (as it is already running at an accelerated pace).
2. Will Airbus cut the price enough?

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
FDX has been very frustrated with the 757 third party conversions. As a result, they wanted the 767 or A330 converts to be done ONLY by the original manufacturer.

FedEx received a sweetheart deal on the 757BCF conversions... They still discuss with 3rd party converters as they offer conversions with greater freight volume. As long as Boeing sells the BCF package 'cheap enough,' then FedEx is happy.   

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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:17 pm

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
FDX has been very frustrated with the 757 third party conversions. As a result, they wanted the 767 or A330 converts to be done ONLY by the original manufacturer. This is what held up the decision.


I thought ST Aero in Mobile, Al was doing the conversions? They are the same guys that do quite a bit of the conversions for widebodies in Asia and on behalf of Boeing? I also understand the San Antonio facility does major work for UPS and their conversions? So tell us more about this? I do understand the Mobile facility has not been a cheap place to get work completed and their were quality issues, but I would assume ST would have gotten that fixed by now? And, I'm not sure any of that would have caused major pains to FX?
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:48 pm

Quoting BoxBoy (Reply 27):
This was there for Airbus to take. They just had to listen to the customer's needs. Personally, I am shocked that Airbus turned away the business.

Or Airbus was smart enough not to promise things they would not be able to deliver...
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:24 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 38):
Or Airbus was smart enough not to promise things they would not be able to deliver...

Good point. We speculate, but we really never know the facts from behind closed doors. You have reminded me of my business school days. We were presented many cases where turning down the request was better financially for the manufacturer.

Thanks for the flashback.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:38 pm

Quoting col (Reply 8):

Perhaps u can show me where Fedex is buying more A300 freighters, or a huge demand for the A310 that has a backlog like the 767. Ill wait.

Perhaps a link to Qatar buying or threatening to buy A310 freighters if Airbus doesn't convert A330s. Again, I will wait.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 14):

[quote=scbriml,reply=14]
There's no evidence that purchase cost was a factor in FedEx's decision. I also regularly see claims that Airbus gives its planes away.

Give me a list or your quote is empty. And unless you provide concrete info otherwise, I think it is safe to safe the A330 is/was more expensive than a 767
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:51 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 38):
but I would assume ST would have gotten that fixed by now?

I believe it was initial growing pains that are mostly worked out. Unfortunately it was during these growing pains that FedEx got their first taste of new jet with the 777, and it was at that time that the bid for the MD10 replacement kicked off.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:20 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 36):
I agree with Stitch's theory that the lack of a conversion program is hindering FedEx's decision to buy the A332F.

There is also the demand for passenger frames driving up the price for new build freighters. If the 787 and A350 production rates are achieved this should restore the demand for the A332F as it was at introduction very cheap per ton of lift. More slots avalible and a reduction of price will restore that for the customers.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:36 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 42):
There is also the demand for passenger frames driving up the price for new build freighters. If the 787 and A350 production rates are achieved this should restore the demand for the A332F as it was at introduction very cheap per ton of lift. More slots avalible and a reduction of price will restore that for the customers.

  

Intrepid Aviation secured a stupendous deal on their 20-frame A330-200F order in 2007, but with the demand for the passenger model, I cannot believe Airbus would cut those kinds of deals now. Even Intrepid has renegotiated their deal with Airbus to swap the freighters for passenger models, siting the strong demand.

The 767, on the other hand, is not nearly as in demand and with Boeing locked into a fixed-price contract on the KC-46A, they need to move every 767 they can in order to reduce production costs.

So even if price was not a major component of FX's RFP, there is a $36 million price difference per frame at list and I am sure that gap is much bigger in terms of Average Sales Price.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:48 am

The Seattle Times today:

Quote:
FedEx originally planned to use the 777s on international markets where it now uses MD-11s, sliding the older jets into domestic slots filled by MD-10s, said Chief Executive Fred Smith.

When Boeing continued production of its 767 model, FedEx decided to use that aircraft to replace MD-10s domestically and continue using the MD-11 internationally, he said.

So. They're keeping the MD-11s on longer sectors, and replacing the MD-10s with 767s for domestic flying.

Sounds like MD-11 replacement with A330F is still a possibility. However it sure sounds like the MD-11 replacement is the 777F.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:19 am

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 40):
I think it is safe to safe the A330 is/was more expensive than a 767

Of course it's more expensive - the more capable plane always will be.

I said that the higher purchase price of the A330F wasn't a factor in FedEx's decision. There are enough others in this thread telling us that FedEx LOVES the A330F. The lack of a P2F option killed this order for them, not the purchase price of new freighters.
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:48 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 46):
I said that the higher purchase price of the A330F wasn't a factor in FedEx's decision.

It likely was *THE* reason for the 767 buy. The 767 was far cheaper per cubic meter. Which given FedEx's normal freight density is what limits a plane and not wieght capacity.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 46):
the more capable plane always will be.

Depends on how you define "capable". Depends on what the customer needs.

A 748F is far cheaper per ton of lift than a fleet of 737-700ER in frieghter configuration. Yet the 748 would be useless for a small cargo airline that serves small cities only. Even if you could operate the 748F out of the small airports, its very expensive way to haul 10 tons of cargo. It also can only be in one place at one time, vs several places at one time for several 737.
 
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:50 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 43):
The 767, on the other hand, is not nearly as in demand and with Boeing locked into a fixed-price contract on the KC-46A, they need to move every 767 they can in order to reduce production costs.

   Which ironically will build confidence for freight airlines that the type will maintain economy of scale for a long time...

One issue for Airbus will be securing enough A330F customers to create an aftermarket resale market. I'm sure that will eventually happen... But as more 763ERFs are sold, it makes that market 'more liquid.'

The more I've thought about this thread, the more I think Boeing could steadily win the orders.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 44):
Sounds like MD-11 replacement with A330F is still a possibility. However it sure sounds like the MD-11 replacement is the 777F.

I suspect this order is a 'shout out' to Airbus to reduce their price. But why would Airbus cut the price of A332Fs when A330 Pax are moving? The urgency to gain freight customers won't be felt again until both the 787 and A350 are in mass production. (I do not consider the current 787 production rate 'mass production.' In a year... maybe. When I see 100+ per year, that will be mass production.)

I'm going to be very curious to see how the A300P2F and the future 777BCF turn out. In both cases, high resale values or more precisely high value in passenger service will keep those types from becoming freighters until enough of the new twins hit the market.

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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:50 pm

I can't help but think this whole thread reminds me a bit of the U.S. Air Force Tankers controversy. Airbus pundits claiming their offering was more "capable" , while the Boeing camp suggested the 767 based design was the better tanker platform.

In the end, Boeing prevailed. Cargo operators rely on factors that are very different then pax operations. Military planners rely on still different considerations, much to the dismay of many of those who argue FBW, larger volume, etc. "superiority". "The better plane" is truly in the eye of the beholder isn't it?

Talk of FedEx seriously considering this purchase swirled days after the Air Force chose the 767 over the A330, as articles from Flight Blogger suggested. There was even a rumor that FedEx would take civilian versions of the 767-2C that will be the basis for the KC-46A. In the end FedEx purchased the aircraft that they felt would be the best replacement for their aging DC-10s.

As far as cargo operations, Boeing's entire line up is hard to beat, as sales are clearly showing.

[Edited 2011-12-17 04:53:30]
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RE: Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?

Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:05 pm

I suspect the real factors in Airbus suspending the P2F program is a combination of a lack of enough suitable (i.e. cheap) airframes plus a lack of engineering resources. I do think that a lot of freight operators looking at new-build freighters want the option of conversions as well, and this puts Airbus at a decided disadvantage in the freighter market, as there are a lot more old Boeings out there than old Airbuses. Boeings also seem to have higher life cycle limits than comparable Airbuses, which also enhances their utility as freighters. I also sense that Airbus feels that they can sell all of the passenger planes that they can build, and they probably make more money on them than on freighters, and so they are not all that serious in selling freighters. When you consider that the A330 has completely pushed the 767 pax out of the market, and yet the A330F has lost out on several orders (the FX order being the latest) to the 767 (and has had lackluster sales at best), you have to come to the conclusion that Airbus is not very serious about pursuing the freighter market. But that is certainly their prerogative; there is nothing to say that they cannot focus their efforts where they think it will be the most profitable for them.
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