Airbus assembles planes at several plants, but so does Boeing. However Airbus's customers (like Qatar) don't refuse to accept planes made in Hamburg vs. Toulouse, and no ladders have ever been found in Airbus avionics compartments. Airbus makes wings in Broughton and have to bring them over by plane to their assembly plants. Boeing makes their wings in Japan, which is a lot farther from US than UK from France or Germany. Parts of 787 fuselages are made by Italian Alenia.
Where Airbus IS "less effective" is in cutting costs at the expense of safety. Boeing has at least a dozen whistleblowers who are suing the company for unlawful termination and claim they were fired after raising safety concerns. I sure hope Mr.Faury won't be following those footsteps.
As for Michael Schöllhorn, he comes from Bosch, a German company that was once the beacon of German quality. They then moved 90% of their production to China and are now in the league with... pretty much everyone else, having barely escaped the fate of DeLonghi and Hasselblad (damn you, Alessandrini!). I hope that won't be the Airbus way, either.
I'm of a humble opinion that those quotes were ripped out of context and used to create some sort of narrative that Bloomberg decided to support at the moment. "Slashing costs" is a very dangerous affair, and recent events prove how slippery they can be. Trying to be "effective" at any cost has never brought anything good.
Boeing was brutal with suppliers to cut costs. Later this year Boeing switches to 3D printed parts that save a further $2million to $3 million per 787.
I've seen a study on the A350 that showed how to save $1 million per A350 switching parts to 3D printing. It isn't as if Airbus doesn't adopt tech, the competitor was brutal in cost cutting which put the A350 at a disadvantage.
The upcoming PIPs will make the 787 even more competitive. I only know rumors of the weight removal, but every kg removed improves the value of an aircraft $500v(USD). Boeing is working to remove 2,500kg or a $1,250,000 value improvement or $210 million usd per year (for 168 B787s per year, assuming all models benefit). Boeing is working to improve MTOW.
Do not get hung up on IAM claims. Airlines demand extreame quality.
They all compete on economics. That can be fixed or variable costs. With 787s coming off the line in 3 years having cost reduction and value improvement of about $4 million per aircraft. The bar is moving.
Airbus must reduce the cost per A350. It is a great aircraft. But don't get hung up on fanboyism, it is too expensive to manufacture. Efficiency is relative.
Part of that is Boeing is trying to close the window for the C929. By obsoleting an aircraft before EIS, they can reduce Chinese state funding to COMAC.
Airlines like the 787. They like the A350. Unfortunately for Airbus, that means picking one over the other is just by business case.
We argue here over details that feed the above three criteria. At the end of the day, an airline sets up a large spreadsheet what simulates perhaps 200 missions. Each on cost to fly and revenue. The winner is the highest rate of returns.
The winning airlines now do system analysis where they bid off a hypothetical mixed fleet to maximize potential and put in risks such as a recession or a fuel price spike. So if, for example, QF is bidding a mix of A339/A359/A35K vs. 789/787-10/778/779, you do not get hung up on details, but buy the best mix of aircraft. It might be 789+A359+779 or any mix of the above.
These spreadsheets have part costs, engine costs, tire costs, financing, and everything that might change the decision (e.g., Airbus has tipped the scales on pilot training costs).
But to get serious, fixed costs must drop on the A359 and A35K.
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