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incitatus
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Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:07 pm

There is great demand for an aircraft such as the -XLR. The most evident one is Transatlantic, where the 757 is still used and a replacement is overdue. But there is also Europe to the Middle East and Africa, intra-Asia, and North-South America. There are other thin and small markets out there and what they lack in size they make up for with rich fares. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that service on thinner routes that are 8-to-10 hour flights becomes a competitive requirement.

In my mind, Boeing is making its biggest strategic mistake in decades. Within 3-4 years, what appears at first to be a niche product may garner 1000 orders. The proposed NMA from Boeing is not a similar competitor. Wide-bodies by nature have heavier frames and more drag. A stubby wide-body to compete with the -XLR would have to make up for the increased operation cost with cargo, and in many thinner routes that is not going to be a factor. The 8-to-10-hour flights that can support a wide-body are well covered by 787s, as the economics are good and they create a good blend with longer routes to keep fleet and pilots used to the right limits. I see the NMA as a dead end - a cheaper, de-rated 787-8 would hit about the same market point. If Boeing tried that and got no bites, it is damning for the NMA business case.

I know there are other threads on the -XLR, but I am interested in the market potential and Boeing's response.
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:16 pm

mistake was made by choosing MAX instead of clean sheet.

but after that what they can do?
 
sibibom
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:18 pm

I still hope there is a B797, cos we really need a new clean sheet for shorter (well relative) flights with all the bells and whistle which B787 and A350 brought for longhaul travel. I guess MAX saga really screwed the timeline. Now XLR makes the business case even more difficult.

B797and XLR in the end are doing what B787 did to A380 and B747.....i suspect B777X and A350-1000 are looking like the victims here, but these are early days, next 5 years will tell where the trend is heading. Especially if there is no B797, then new narrowbody is couple of years from launch, and then Airbus will have to responds. Fun times ahead.
 
planecane
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:24 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
mistake was made by choosing MAX instead of clean sheet.

but after that what they can do?

Not really without the hindsight of the MCAS screw up. Spending an extra $8 billion or more to potentially get 1000 more orders makes no sense. The 737/A320 is too "cheap" of a sale price.

It's worth it on a widebody to invest in the 787 or A350. Notice even I the widebody arena, where they had strong aircraft (777 for Boeing, A330 for Airbus) they each did relatively cheap derivatives.
 
tomcat
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:30 pm

One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.
 
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sassiciai
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:04 pm

tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!

Look at how successful the Sonic Cruiser concept was!
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:09 pm

tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

Carriers won't pay for speed unless there is clear ROI (maybe like keeping two person crews on flights just under the eight hour mark). Commercial passengers won't pay for a little speed. It's hard enough to get a non-stop premium.
 
Interested
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:11 pm

My feedback on the above is I've never yet seen the time a plane takes to arrive at the destination as a choice factor for me as a customer to make choices about?

It's going to be very hard for Boeing to even think about reacting to this whilst they have their Max problems to solve

For sure it made sense why Airbus could not capitalise with orders for their existing plane to take advantage of the max problems as they dont have capacity

But here they can get a huge head start on boeing for orders for this plane at a time when boeing already have huge problems with max to deal with etc
 
tomcat
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:21 pm

sassiciai wrote:
tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!

Look at how successful the Sonic Cruiser concept was!


What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR. This could be a way to justify a higher price tag for the NMA.
 
ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:34 pm

The NMA would be wonderful for passengers, but the reality is that the market just isn't there. The long-range narrowbody is here- and it is here to stay. Lower capacity point-to-point routes will be handled with narrowbodies. Higher capacity point-to-point and long haul routes (>10 hours) will be handled by widebodies.

The cost to carry around an extra aisle will negate any CASM benefit the NMA would have had over a narrowbody due to the extra 30-40 seats of capacity. It will still be more fuel efficient and have a lower CASM, but that fuel efficiency come via expensive composites and clean sheet design.

There is a huge market for the NMA. Unfortunately that huge market will be satisfied with "good enough" - the A321neoXLR at the bottom-end and small widebodies at the other.
 
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Springbok743
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:40 pm

tomcat wrote:
sassiciai wrote:
tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!

Look at how successful the Sonic Cruiser concept was!


What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR. This could be a way to justify a higher price tag for the NMA.


That has and always been the justification for All faster aircraft ( Concorde, Sonic Cruiser , 990A etc), however, in practice the time savings are usually not justified, granted those M >=0.9 aircraft have significant extra fuel burn, whereas this new NMA would not, but it strikes me as a path that has been pursued before, and failed.

The whole 990 versus 707 thing strikes me as similar, and I can't see this being a particularly strong incentive to choose it over any other aircraft in the size category.
 
danman132x
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:47 pm

ethernal wrote:
The NMA would be wonderful for passengers, but the reality is that the market just isn't there. The long-range narrowbody is here- and it is here to stay. Lower capacity point-to-point routes will be handled with narrowbodies. Higher capacity point-to-point and long haul routes (>10 hours) will be handled by widebodies.

The cost to carry around an extra aisle will negate any CASM benefit the NMA would have had over a narrowbody due to the extra 30-40 seats of capacity. It will still be more fuel efficient and have a lower CASM, but that fuel efficiency come via expensive composites and clean sheet design.

There is a huge market for the NMA. Unfortunately that huge market will be satisfied with "good enough" - the A321neoXLR at the bottom-end and small widebodies at the other.


Really hope this won't be the case for a lot of TATL routes. Not looking forward to traveling from ATL to FRA or AMS narrow body, which would fit these new planes perfectly
 
tommy1808
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:47 pm

planecane wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
mistake was made by choosing MAX instead of clean sheet.

but after that what they can do?

Not really without the hindsight of the MCAS screw up. Spending an extra $8 billion or more to potentially get 1000 more orders makes no sense.


Minus all the business they had lost competing with the NG vs. the Neo while they where making that clean sheet design. The 767 as sole real A330 competitor while the 787 was developed and debugged should have a lesson about that.

tomcat wrote:
What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR.


My gut feeling tells me that the niche of long haul flights that are short enough to squeeze an extra short haul into the day, but not too long to allow one may be rather small.

And with noise regulations it may not matter anyways, being 45 minutes faster may very well just mean paying for 45 more minutes of parking when departure time is determined by curfew at the destination.

Wasnt that one of the problems killing the sonic cruiser, being nice fast but many city pairs not allowing to make use of it?

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miegapele
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:53 pm

tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

Yes, not ideal, but nobody wants to pay for speed. And also in various tech ops threads you can read that even today 787 not always fly at .85 because of fuel saving or some slower plane ahead.
 
tomcat
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:58 pm

Springbok743 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
sassiciai wrote:
In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!

Look at how successful the Sonic Cruiser concept was!


What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR. This could be a way to justify a higher price tag for the NMA.


That has and always been the justification for All faster aircraft ( Concorde, Sonic Cruiser , 990A etc), however, in practice the time savings are usually not justified, granted those M >=0.9 aircraft have significant extra fuel burn, whereas this new NMA would not, but it strikes me as a path that has been pursued before, and failed.

The whole 990 versus 707 thing strikes me as similar, and I can't see this being a particularly strong incentive to choose it over any other aircraft in the size category.


We'd be here in a reverse situation: the NMA wouldn't be especially fast, it's rather the XLR that's fairly slow for the proposed range. The higher cruise speed of the NMA wouldn't be its USP either. It would rather be an additional differentiating feature, along its greater payload/range, lower unit maintenance costs and whatever Boeing can come up with to make it attractive enough. It's still time for Boeing to differentiate enough the NMA from the XLR in order to carve its own niche. Hopefully this niche won't be too small.
 
planecane
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:01 pm

In all honesty, the NMA as a small widebody seems like a solution looking for a problem. I'm obviously not privy to Boeing studies but I think I have to agree with keesje on the wide-aisle single aisle.

I just don't see how the niche is big enough to support the development costs unless a ton of the design can be shared with the NSA/737 replacement. A 3-3 with a wide aisle can be used down to 737-800 size. I can't imagine that you could use a 2-3-2 oval shape in that capacity class.

I would say that a 3-3 wide aisle design with a lengths similar to the 757-200/300 and a large wing for the range they are targeting would make more sense and then follow it with the NSA in shorter lengths with a smaller wing and lower MTOW and 5 or 6 year newer engines in a lower thrust class. They would be able to reuse the fuselage, flight deck and all systems. That way the NMA might cost $15 Billion to develop but the NSA would be a $3-$4 Billion rewing/reengine.

Even if they did NMA and NSA sort of like the 767 and 757, the NMA will cost just as much and the NSA will cost way more than a rewing/reengine.
 
Amiga500
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:05 pm

I suppose the two questions are....

(1) If either Boeing or Airbus were to design the perfect widebody to compete with the narrowbodies in terms of range*, how much better would the seat-mile costs be?
*so <~5000nm at whatever capacity is optimal for their solution - which would have to include gate costs/landing fees etc - so going bigger isn't necessarily a free lunch (never mind market desire for frequency).

(2) Would airlines buy it anyway?


The answer to (1) is very difficult. I doubt any of us here can produce a number that would be within acceptable margin for error (not that this is likely to stop me and others trying to argue based on our "numbers" anyway!!) :D

In terms of (2), we've already seen through history that the 767-300ER was the biggest seller of the range, outselling the most comparable -300 by nearly 6:1. The A332 sold in big numbers till the A333 got the MTOW increases that improved payload-range beyond some kind of threshold range - then it took over the sales. Point is - in the two best examples within this aircraft size - airlines have put their Benjamins down for range.


Have we passed beyond the move to "right-payload" (my redefining of right-sizing) aircraft for the mission and into "right-payload-ranging" aircraft for the mission? I'm very unconvinced that most airline have enough route diversity (in terms of absolute numbers) to justify sub-fleets for those missions.
 
EK77WNH
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:11 pm

I have a feeling BOS is going to see a significant number of these, and not just from B6. Thankfully the Terminal E expansion is breaking ground now and will be ready once these XLRs descend like locusts there.
(Formerly ChrisNH)
 
ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:12 pm

danman132x wrote:
ethernal wrote:
The NMA would be wonderful for passengers, but the reality is that the market just isn't there. The long-range narrowbody is here- and it is here to stay. Lower capacity point-to-point routes will be handled with narrowbodies. Higher capacity point-to-point and long haul routes (>10 hours) will be handled by widebodies.

The cost to carry around an extra aisle will negate any CASM benefit the NMA would have had over a narrowbody due to the extra 30-40 seats of capacity. It will still be more fuel efficient and have a lower CASM, but that fuel efficiency come via expensive composites and clean sheet design.

There is a huge market for the NMA. Unfortunately that huge market will be satisfied with "good enough" - the A321neoXLR at the bottom-end and small widebodies at the other.


Really hope this won't be the case for a lot of TATL routes. Not looking forward to traveling from ATL to FRA or AMS narrow body, which would fit these new planes perfectly


Routes that justify a widebody today will likely continue to be widebodies. For example, ATL-AMS will of course still be done via widebodies - it is hub-to-hub for the Delta-AirFrance-KLM anti-competitive joint venture. ATL-FRA is more questionable given that Lufthansa can't seem to figure out what kind of aircraft to use - although ATL-FRA would be at the real-world operational limits of what the A321XLR could reliably do anyways.
 
ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:22 pm

Amiga500 wrote:
I suppose the two questions are....

(1) If either Boeing or Airbus were to design the perfect widebody to compete with the narrowbodies in terms of range*, how much better would the seat-mile costs be?
*so <~5000nm at whatever capacity is optimal for their solution - which would have to include gate costs/landing fees etc - so going bigger isn't necessarily a free lunch (never mind market desire for frequency).


The short answer is "not better enough".

The A321XLR will already get pretty good "gas mileage" so to speak. Sure, a NMA made with the latest composites and cleansheet aero would get better fuel economy (especially given the higher capacity). But not that much given the significantly wider cross-section required to go double-aisle. A total swag but I'd guess no more than 10-15% more fuel efficient at best. And again, that comes at the cost of a more expensive airframe.

You'll get slight other benefits from more seat capacity, but most are relatively small. You'd still need extra FAs for the NMA (assume all XLR configs will be <200 seats). You'd need the same number of pilots. What you get from more seats you'll trade off in higher landing fees and gate fees.

It's just not that compelling, especially if it means losing fleet commonality. If I already operate the A320 family, ah XLR is a no-brainer. And since the NMA would be clean-sheet under a new certification, it's a whole new type. And if it is a widebody, it is somewhat unlikely that it would share a certification with whatever Boeing creates as their new narrowbody (unless they pull a 757/767 which is unlikely).
 
incitatus
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:35 pm

tomcat wrote:

What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR. This could be a way to justify a higher price tag for the NMA.


Cruise speed is a factor, for sure I agree with that. First there is the crew pay. More importantly, for larger fleets, 30 minutes on 9-hour flights could translate into savings of units, say, only 19 aircraft are needed to cover the same network that would require 20 -XLRs. But a higher cruise speed is enough to offset the wide-body increased costs. Can a similar sized wide-body even be priced competitively?
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
Aceskywalker
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:42 pm

To be quite honest, I don't see a business case for Boeing to spend billions on developing the NMA - not when they have multiple fires to put out with the MAX crisis, 777X delay, and eroding trust in the 787 family.

Boeing must clean house and admit defeat to Airbus for the next decade or a little less, and go clean sheet design for a new narrowbody.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:43 pm

In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!


Another way to look at it is that a plane which is marginally faster will be able to arrive at its destination faster, then be turned around and dispatched quicker than a plane flying at the traditional .78-.80 Mach. That would equate to more somewhat more flights over a given period of time, more tickets sold, and hypothetically more revenue. The question is whether or not that would be attractive enough to airlines economically to lobby for such a requirement.
Last edited by Aptivaboy on Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:52 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!


Another way to look at it is that a plane which is marginally faster will be able to arrive at its destination faster, then be turned around and dispatched quicker than a place flying at the traditional .78-.80 Mach. That would equate to more somewhat more flights over a given period of time, more tickets sold, and hypothetically more revenue. The question is whether or not that would be attractive enough to airlines economically to lobby for such a requirement.

This is true on planes that make numerous flights a day; you might be able to squeeze an extra one daily.
However, on planes that make 8-10 hour flights, there is so many you can do per day. The arrival-departure times happen at a given airport during certain hours of the day; so, there are chances that an aircraft flying 8-10 hour legs will only do one round trip a day. Even if you shave 40-50 minutes per flight, you'll still fly only one round trip a day per plane.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:08 pm

I think its funny when people bring up 757 operations outside Europe and North America.

How many 757s were operated outside these regions? Going even further, how many of the TOTAL operators actually used the 757 to it's extent?

Comparatively, how many operators period use the A321 on longer routes than a US transcon? The 321XLR isnt going to magically open routes like Hanoi-Bangalore, or Antofagasta-Mexico City. TATL-length missions arent going to appear in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia etc...
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ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:19 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
I think its funny when people bring up 757 operations outside Europe and North America.

How many 757s were operated outside these regions? Going even further, how many of the TOTAL operators actually used the 757 to it's extent?

Comparatively, how many operators period use the A321 on longer routes than a US transcon? The 321XLR isnt going to magically open routes like Hanoi-Bangalore, or Antofagasta-Mexico City. TATL-length missions arent going to appear in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia etc...


Your point is fair, but the APAC region is littered with awkward 6-9 hour routes that are overserved by widebodies today. And APAC is where the growth is.

Regarding the 757 - significantly more than half of new plane purchases are sold to airlines that didn't exist when the 757 was first sold. Today is very different than yesterday.
 
LH707330
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:22 pm

Amiga500 wrote:
I suppose the two questions are....

(1) If either Boeing or Airbus were to design the perfect widebody to compete with the narrowbodies in terms of range*, how much better would the seat-mile costs be?
*so <~5000nm at whatever capacity is optimal for their solution - which would have to include gate costs/landing fees etc - so going bigger isn't necessarily a free lunch (never mind market desire for frequency).

(2) Would airlines buy it anyway?


The answer to (1) is very difficult. I doubt any of us here can produce a number that would be within acceptable margin for error (not that this is likely to stop me and others trying to argue based on our "numbers" anyway!!) :D

In terms of (2), we've already seen through history that the 767-300ER was the biggest seller of the range, outselling the most comparable -300 by nearly 6:1. The A332 sold in big numbers till the A333 got the MTOW increases that improved payload-range beyond some kind of threshold range - then it took over the sales. Point is - in the two best examples within this aircraft size - airlines have put their Benjamins down for range.


Have we passed beyond the move to "right-payload" (my redefining of right-sizing) aircraft for the mission and into "right-payload-ranging" aircraft for the mission? I'm very unconvinced that most airline have enough route diversity (in terms of absolute numbers) to justify sub-fleets for those missions.

I think you're on the right track here. To use as a decent mid/long-haul, you need about 10-11 hours (>5k nm brochure range) of range with a good-sized payload to maintain network flexibility. this is why the 230+t A333, 763ER, and others were the best sellers in their family.

From what I've seen, Boeing is aiming at the 763ER payload/range segment, and needs to figure out if such a right-sized plane will sell enough units at the price point airlines are willing to pay in order to warrant the investment.
 
Amiga500
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:36 pm

LH707330 wrote:
From what I've seen, Boeing is aiming at the 763ER payload/range segment, and needs to figure out if such a right-sized plane will sell enough units at the price point airlines are willing to pay in order to warrant the investment.


I agree that many make that argument. My problem with that is:

767-300ER could carry ~ 260 passengers up to ~6000 nm (OK, prob couldn't do both at same time but you get the idea)
787-9 can carry ~290 passengers ~7600 nm.

Are we really at a point where there is an economic case for replacing the 787 with an aircraft that has its range reduced by around 1500 nm to improve economics on shorter missions?

Lest we forget, the 787-3 was a dismal failure - and it had been rejigged (albeit, not exactly optimised) for a mission range of much less than 6000 nm.



If someone strongly made the case for a 300-350 seat aircraft operating over a range of no more than 2000nm being so significantly cheaper than narrowbodies as to justify (i) the investment from airframer, (ii) airlines accepting the trip cost risk & (iii) the airlines accepting loss of flexibility - then I'd listen. But I cannot see a 787-lite ending up any different from 787-3. Or worse - significantly cannibalising sales of the 787.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:53 pm

ethernal wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I think its funny when people bring up 757 operations outside Europe and North America.

How many 757s were operated outside these regions? Going even further, how many of the TOTAL operators actually used the 757 to it's extent?

Comparatively, how many operators period use the A321 on longer routes than a US transcon? The 321XLR isnt going to magically open routes like Hanoi-Bangalore, or Antofagasta-Mexico City. TATL-length missions arent going to appear in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia etc...


Your point is fair, but the APAC region is littered with awkward 6-9 hour routes that are overserved by widebodies today. And APAC is where the growth is.

Regarding the 757 - significantly more than half of new plane purchases are sold to airlines that didn't exist when the 757 was first sold. Today is very different than yesterday.

Thank you for acknowledging.

To carrry on a professional and well-mannered discussion, those widebodies were ordered for exactly those routes. Those airlines choose to configure them with almost 400 seats, and there's is still competition from the Asian legacy carriers. Also, those ULCCs arent looking for yield, they are looking for volume by doing that. Youre right that a lot of these airlines didnt exist when the 757 debuted, but if anyone is going to operate 7-9 hr routes in Asia it will most likely be the legacies, IMO; those are the airlines that chase and value yield the most. Long haul LCC service is tough, and the Atlantic floor is littered with the dreams of broke longhaul LCCs laying next to the Titanic.
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ITSTours
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:09 pm

Will Boeing lose a lot when they concede the so-called lower-end MoM to Airbus?
I don't think so. Despite the disaster the 737 MAX backlog is strong and 787 also sells very well.
XLR will sell, quite a lot, but will not surpass a 1000.
One way is just to sell a derated regional 787-8/9 for the higher end and give up the lower end market.
And focus on the new clean sheet jets.
All they lose is the ego and some potential sales that might not break even.

But I really want the NMA....
 
acjbbj
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:18 pm

We need a third manufacturer (Lockheed Martin or a new McDonnell-Douglas) to jump in and make an NMA. We'd have a much better aviation industry with three players instead of just two.
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Aptivaboy
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:53 pm

This is true on planes that make numerous flights a day; you might be able to squeeze an extra one daily.
However, on planes that make 8-10 hour flights, there is so many you can do per day. The arrival-departure times happen at a given airport during certain hours of the day; so, there are chances that an aircraft flying 8-10 hour legs will only do one round trip a day. Even if you shave 40-50 minutes per flight, you'll still fly only one round trip a day per plane.


Very respectfully, that may be a little bit simplistic. It all depends upon where the plane is flying, routings, slots, etc. What you say may well be true for many airports and airlines, but not true for many others. It all depends upon an airline by airline, route by route basis. Also, if this new Bus is meant to be a true 757/767 replacement (and, the range certainly suggests a bit of 767 market space intrusion), let's say its the new MOM, then it may possibly be flying somewhat shorter legs which would allow, over the course of a week, a month, or whatever time period one is looking at, a few more dispatches. Again, it all depends upon the airline, the routes, the slots, etc. There is no one firm and unbreakable paradigm.
 
wnflyguy
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:01 pm

Boeing should have at least did 757NG years ago vs the Everything on the 737 path.
Even today it could have added New MAX engine technology to the 757 giving it lower fuel cost and more range.
Hopefully the 797 is the true replacement.

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olle
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:38 pm

The new A320 will create many new point to point destinations. For people like me liviing in Stockholm i suppose that connections that I needed to thru hubs now might become connection directly from ARN.

Transatlantic market will change.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:15 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
Even today it could have added New MAX engine technology to the 757 giving it lower fuel cost and more range.


Well that's probably one of the biggest issues. With what engine would you do that? The 757 is a heavy beast. Not even the A321XLRs engines would be up for the job. The 757 was just overbuilt.
 
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SEAxSANxBOS
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:57 pm

I really hope Boeing can pull this off. Having worked around the 787s, 350s, and C Series, I now have an even greater enthusiasm for the NMA. That said I hope the economics of such a plane could work. The 75 was ahead of it's time and we could have really used a NEO option of it, but those days are long gone.

I also hope that the XLR will have an option to board L2. Boarding and deplaning on the 321 as it is, is hassel enough on L1. All this makes me miss the domestic 76s.
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Aither
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:16 pm

IMO the collateral victim of the A321XLR will be the 777X and the A350-1000.
The 787 brought some network fragmentation but there was not a significant acceleration of new long haul routes openings. Still most of the 787s operate the traditional way from hubs.
With the A321XLR this will be more interesting. The hub is no longer a necessity and more important, this brings the entry ticket to long haul operations much lower. If we go "ultra fragmentation" this will impact a lot some mega hubs. Probably Emirates will be less imapcted than some European or Asian hubs. But I believe the large aircraft market could shrink significantly to the point of being discontinued just like the A380 was.
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airzona11
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:31 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
I think its funny when people bring up 757 operations outside Europe and North America.

How many 757s were operated outside these regions? Going even further, how many of the TOTAL operators actually used the 757 to it's extent?

Comparatively, how many operators period use the A321 on longer routes than a US transcon? The 321XLR isnt going to magically open routes like Hanoi-Bangalore, or Antofagasta-Mexico City. TATL-length missions arent going to appear in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia etc...


Agreed. Until the A321XLR, it was the LR, before that it was the NEO, before that it was "No one ever used the 757 on the fringes of its capabilities." Transatlantic on narrowbodies are a very small percent for example of the total.

Airlines might use this to carry more payload over current routes. AA might convert current A321s to cover current routes. 240 seat configs aren't going to show up in any airline that isnt LCC or operating short Euro routes.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:43 pm

ethernal wrote:
The short answer is "not better enough".

The A321XLR will already get pretty good "gas mileage" so to speak. Sure, a NMA made with the latest composites and cleansheet aero would get better fuel economy (especially given the higher capacity). But not that much given the significantly wider cross-section required to go double-aisle. A total swag but I'd guess no more than 10-15% more fuel efficient at best. And again, that comes at the cost of a more expensive airframe.

You'll get slight other benefits from more seat capacity, but most are relatively small. You'd still need extra FAs for the NMA (assume all XLR configs will be <200 seats). You'd need the same number of pilots. What you get from more seats you'll trade off in higher landing fees and gate fees.

It's just not that compelling, especially if it means losing fleet commonality. If I already operate the A320 family, ah XLR is a no-brainer. And since the NMA would be clean-sheet under a new certification, it's a whole new type. And if it is a widebody, it is somewhat unlikely that it would share a certification with whatever Boeing creates as their new narrowbody (unless they pull a 757/767 which is unlikely).

Thing is, NMA will be designed for the market of 2025-2045 and in that light you can see a future where today's metal narrow body darling of 1988 A321 will look like a 767 does today. XLR is showing there is buzz in that market segment and NMA will be the next step in meeting the market demand.
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thegrew
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:49 pm

VSMUT wrote:
wnflyguy wrote:
Even today it could have added New MAX engine technology to the 757 giving it lower fuel cost and more range.


Well that's probably one of the biggest issues. With what engine would you do that? The 757 is a heavy beast. Not even the A321XLRs engines would be up for the job. The 757 was just overbuilt.
I think there could be potential for a narrowbody jet 757-300 sized, a true CASM monster. Made out of composites with the required changes to get it upto A321XLR range, as you have pointed out though powering it would be difficult with nothing quite in the thrust class.

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TTailedTiger
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:49 pm

Aceskywalker wrote:
To be quite honest, I don't see a business case for Boeing to spend billions on developing the NMA - not when they have multiple fires to put out with the MAX crisis, 777X delay, and eroding trust in the 787 family.

Boeing must clean house and admit defeat to Airbus for the next decade or a little less, and go clean sheet design for a new narrowbody.


This is the most absurd thing I have ever read on this wesbite.
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:54 pm

incitatus wrote:
Within 3-4 years, what appears at first to be a niche product may garner 1000 orders.

I know there are other threads on the -XLR, but I am interested in the market potential and Boeing's response.


I believe there are 2,327 for the A321neo with some unknown percentage of those being for the LR version. While I believe that the A321 is possibly the most important economic creation of Airbus (the table below shows A321 vs B757 deliveries), I am skeptical that they can garner 1000 orders for the XLR version. I think passenger resistance will be very high to flying 4000-4700 nm in a single aisle jet.

B757   ---   A321
 2   1982   ---
25   1983   ---
18   1984   ---
36   1985   ---
35   1986   ---
40   1987   ---
48   1988   ---
51   1989   ---
77   1990   ---
80   1991   ---
99   1992   ---
71   1993   ---
69   1994   16
43   1995   22
42   1996   16
46   1997   22
54   1998   35
67   1999   33
45   2000   28
45   2001   49
29   2002   35
14   2003   33
11   2004   35
 2   2005   17
---   2006   30
 
rigo
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:42 am

What I find interesting is that for years it has been an A.net wisdom that Boeing would never replace the 757 because there was supposedly no market for this class of aircraft any more. And suddenly the A321(X)LR comes around and boom! So what happened here? What did Airbus see that everyone else missed?
 
VS11
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:53 am

PacoMartin wrote:
incitatus wrote:
Within 3-4 years, what appears at first to be a niche product may garner 1000 orders.

I know there are other threads on the -XLR, but I am interested in the market potential and Boeing's response.


I believe there are 2,327 for the A321neo with some unknown percentage of those being for the LR version. While I believe that the A321 is possibly the most important economic creation of Airbus (the table below shows A321 vs B757 deliveries), I am skeptical that they can garner 1000 orders for the XLR version. I think passenger resistance will be very high to flying 4000-4700 nm in a single aisle jet.



AA, BA, UA, DL, jetBlue, Air Canada, LH, AF, Austrian, Swiss, LOT, Wizz, Level, Norwegian, Alitalia, SAS, Finnair, Iberia and so many other airlines can make use of it. Especially airlines catering for business people where frequencies are preferred. A321 weighs about 50% less than A330. The pressure to fill a wide-body is huge. The A321XLR is a game changer.
 
ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:03 am

Revelation wrote:
Thing is, NMA will be designed for the market of 2025-2045 and in that light you can see a future where today's metal narrow body darling of 1988 A321 will look like a 767 does today. XLR is showing there is buzz in that market segment and NMA will be the next step in meeting the market demand.


But to what end? The narrowbodies continue to be more and more capable. Engines keep getting better: more thrust per unit of fuel and space.

In 15 years when either Boeing or Airbus build the next iteration of narrowbodies - composite fuselage and wings combined with the next-generation of engine tech - you'll be able to do a plane with 757-300-esque capacity with A321XLR range. Where is the middle of the market then? There is none. A 789-sized (maybe 788) aircraft will be the "bottom" of the widebody market and the long narrowbody will be the bottom.

If you want to pitch comfort, a next-gen narrowbody with 18.5" seats would be plenty comfortable - and plenty of width for a nice J cabin to boot. There is nothing magical that makes a widebody more comfortable than a narrowbody.

The middle is squeezed to nothingness.
 
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:07 am

ethernal wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Thing is, NMA will be designed for the market of 2025-2045 and in that light you can see a future where today's metal narrow body darling of 1988 A321 will look like a 767 does today. XLR is showing there is buzz in that market segment and NMA will be the next step in meeting the market demand.


But to what end? The narrowbodies continue to be more and more capable. Engines keep getting better: more thrust per unit of fuel and space.

In 15 years when either Boeing or Airbus build the next iteration of narrowbodies - composite fuselage and wings combined with the next-generation of engine tech - you'll be able to do a plane with 757-300-esque capacity with A321XLR range. Where is the middle of the market then? There is none. A 789-sized (maybe 788) aircraft will be the "bottom" of the widebody market and the long narrowbody will be the bottom.

If you want to pitch comfort, a next-gen narrowbody with 18.5" seats would be plenty comfortable - and plenty of width for a nice J cabin to boot. There is nothing magical that makes a widebody more comfortable than a narrowbody.

The middle is squeezed to nothingness.


The real world doesn't operate in a vacuum. You have no idea what will happen or what new factors the industry will have to deal with.
 
ethernal
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:12 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
ethernal wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Thing is, NMA will be designed for the market of 2025-2045 and in that light you can see a future where today's metal narrow body darling of 1988 A321 will look like a 767 does today. XLR is showing there is buzz in that market segment and NMA will be the next step in meeting the market demand.


But to what end? The narrowbodies continue to be more and more capable. Engines keep getting better: more thrust per unit of fuel and space.

In 15 years when either Boeing or Airbus build the next iteration of narrowbodies - composite fuselage and wings combined with the next-generation of engine tech - you'll be able to do a plane with 757-300-esque capacity with A321XLR range. Where is the middle of the market then? There is none. A 789-sized (maybe 788) aircraft will be the "bottom" of the widebody market and the long narrowbody will be the bottom.

If you want to pitch comfort, a next-gen narrowbody with 18.5" seats would be plenty comfortable - and plenty of width for a nice J cabin to boot. There is nothing magical that makes a widebody more comfortable than a narrowbody.

The middle is squeezed to nothingness.


The real world doesn't operate in a vacuum. You have no idea what will happen or what new factors the industry will have to deal with.


Sure. But are you willing to bet a $20B on a cleansheet NMA design that I'm wrong? That's the question Boeing has to ask. And I wouldn't make that bet.
 
Lufthansa
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:14 am

tomcat wrote:
sassiciai wrote:
tomcat wrote:
One area where the NMA can make a difference is the cruise speed as the M.78 cruise speed of the XLR is not ideal for flight duration reaching 8 to 10 hours. A NMA cruising at M.85 or M.86 could save up to 50 minutes or so on a 4500nm flight compared to the XLR.

In the grand scheme of things, is a 50 minute reduction on a 12+ hour experience worth much? (12 hours is the 8 - 10 hour flight, plus the pre- and after- flight bits). Would you pay a mythical $500 for a M.85 flight to get to the destination 50 mins earlier than the alternative at M.78 at $400? If you answer "Yes", I think that you are in a small minority, or have someone else paying your ticket!

Look at how successful the Sonic Cruiser concept was!


What I have in mind is more about the productivity of the aircraft. If the NMA can save a significant time spent in cruise compared to the XLR, it could allow some airlines to squeeze one extra flight per day, hence providing more revenue generation potential than the XLR. This could be a way to justify a higher price tag for the NMA.



Not if you're using it on longer range routes. Did the 777-200ER manage to squeeze in an extra flight over A330s? Did that stop the popularity of the A330 even
though the wing wasn't swept enough to cruise at the higher speeds? On a 7 hr type flight one may need 8 hours... say some transatlantic route, but a return trip is
basically what both of them would do all day regardless. Now on shorter regional routes that may mean an extra sector but I doubt its going to make a
different on long haul routes unless you want to keep on throwing in 1 hr tag on flights at the other end.
 
SelseyBill
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:22 am

planecane wrote:
In all honesty, the NMA as a small widebody seems like a solution looking for a problem..


Completely agree.

If I'm Boeing right now, Im looking to launch a 797, but it would be a slightly wider, higher-sitting 3-3 narrow-body all new 737 replacement, sitting between the E2 and the 788. and roughly covering the 180/210/240 seat ranges.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Business Risk for Boeing: The A321XLR

Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:22 am

ethernal wrote:
Sure. But are you willing to bet a $20B on a cleansheet NMA design that I'm wrong? That's the question Boeing has to ask. And I wouldn't make that bet.

From what we read from the rumblings at PAS, yes, Boeing is still on the road to a clean sheet NMA.

The opportunity is for NMA to be to A321XLR what 787 is to A330, bigger, mostly CFRP design, better fuel burn, lower maintenance, etc.

All this careful scrubbing of the business plan should tell us that if they do launch they are confident that they can make money building it.
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