All of you can keep your optimism on the program. That's fine for me, but I think there is nothing that guarantee a bright future for the program.
That's fine, nothing guarantees a bright future for any
program. A330 is moving along at 4.5/month now and there is a good enough backlog to see the program forward several more years even with no new orders. Decisions will have to be made by many players in the near future. Sure, cheap A330ceo is good for some carriers but others only buy new. As mentioned CN and EU Big 3 groups are on the sidelines, any one of them coming in is a potential big win, EK deal is looming. DL is happily buying when the price is right, IMO others will join over time.
Your statement is based on current situation and perhaps past orders since A330neo launch in 2014. It is true that things look to be okay so far and the delivery rate is at 4.5 per month or whatever it is.
I repeat again that A330-300 (and A330-200) were selling like crazy during the delays of the 787. Keep this fact in mind.
A lot of those aircraft were sold to leasing companies or are now owned by leasing companies. Many of those aircraft are coming to the end of the first term of lease and will enter into the second lease or even second hand sales market.
The flow of A330-300 that are getting into placement is just impressive. There are a lot of A330 offered in the market. I already mentioned that in some cases you can lease a relatively young A330-300 at as low as 250,000 US dollars per month when it should have been at about 500,000 US dollars per month. It is crazy.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact fuel price remains low.
The reality is that the A330neo's range capability is nice, but most of those A330ceo do not fly long distances and they are largely enough. When you compare the efficiency on PER SEAT basis of an A330-300 and an A330-800, the numbers are relatively close. Obviously the A330-300 cannot fly as far as A330-800 can do, but many airlines do not care.
In other words, in my opinion A330-800 will not have great success. It is curious why Airbus is still putting so much effort on this version because its future is uncertain.
On the A330-900, the situation is slightly different. It is somehow quite close to the A350-900 and the 787-9. There are possibilities the choice has to be made by Airbus to favor the A350-900 against the A330-900. It is not so obvious to understand, but the pricing of the A330-900 has to be quite compelling to attract airlines. How low can Airbus go? I do not know.
It really is not about the aircraft, but about the market in general. There are simply too many offers in that segment.
Obviously, you will say the threat of A330-300 applies to 787 too. Well, yes in some sort, but an A330 operator may be more interested to grow using other A330, albeit a young second hand one instead of taking a new aircraft be it A330neo or 787.
Think about this again calmly. We will hear a lot about the A330 in the next two years.