Those of you trying to grasp whether either company is profitable, you can find or create metrics to prove what ever you wish. However when Faury says the company needs improvement, I'd say listen to him, and stop defending status quo.
I agree with this statement.
And then I have asked some questions about Airbus and it's "pre FAL" process and capacity.. and I take it that it is either abysmal so nobody's saying or nobody knows.
AFAIK Airbus is increased A320 pre-FAL capacity by ~50% between 2015 and 2019 from rate 42 to rate 60 (63). AFAIK this included production proces changes comparable to what happened with the 737 in the 90s.
At the same time the A350 production is also ramping up (to rate 10). And the A330 and A380 have / are ramping down.
All these points are bad for profit margin on the short term, the production increases are good on the long term.
I don't know how unused the gigantic A380 FAL (build to produce 60 A380s annually ?!) is. How much is it used for A350 production?
This could be a very expansive production facility that is underutilized. The Hamburg FAL was expanded for the A380, but only facilities were build to compleet 30 A380's annually. And some of these facilities have already been converted to Hamburg A320 FAL#4.
I think the A320 ramp-up past rate 63/month and A220 ramp-up will turn out to be the same projects.
The A320 Mobile FAL production rate increase and the new A220 Mobile FAL will share several facilities. (This is in study phase)
But A220 production strategy is currently more like Boeings processes that Airbus processes. AFAIK A220 lags pre-FAL facilities, not a cabin outfitting flowline. A320 production capacity is maxed out at rate 63 because of pre-FAL facilities.
Than there is the Beluga / Beluga XL fleet and the couple of ships Airbus uses for logistics between pre-FALs and to the FALs. The Belugas are over utilized and AFAIK there is additional capacity on the ships. But I could be wrong on the ship utilization.
I think production logistics is the largest production bottleneck at Airbus, and Brexit will add to the logistics problems.
So in my opinion, for further A320 rate increase Airbus needs to abandon the A320 work-share arrangement, at least for the capacity above rate 60.
For future product development:
- I think the A330 can have some fuselage improvements. (I don't mean a material change)
- The A320, A330 and A380 could use a new CFRP wing. (but where to design and produce them, considering Brexit?)
- There is the electrification movement.
- And lastly there might be some radical aerodynamic changes.
(The RR Advanced and UltraFAN will also get implemented, but I consider these as Engine supplier developments and less so Airbus developments)
I think the A380 is the most problematic program Airbus has, because it has dedicated facilities and it can only be improved for the (small) VLA market. The A330NEO just started deliveries, more than a year late. The A350 ramp-up program has utilized the under utilization of A330/A350 FAL facilities by the A330 production. I'm curious how the A330NEO ramp-up is going to work out while the A350 remains at rate 10, or gets pushed to rate 13. Possibly the A380 completion center in Hamburg and the A330 C&D center in Tianjin can help with this.
If the demand for A330NEO's remains low, Airbus could utilize the FAL and pre-FAL facilities for A350s. Or they could improve the A330NEO/ develop a new small widebody.
But the biggest problem Airbus has is fulfilling the production commitments / completing order commitments. And doing this at a decent profit margin.
(I admit I don't have insight or experience into plane production processes.