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enginerd
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Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:55 am

The A321 has to be Airbus's darling aircraft at the moment and is outselling everything in its category. But I don't remember it always been like that, in the late 90's up until maybe 2010. The A321 didn't seem to be as popular, even in the A320 series most orders seemed to be for the A319/A320.
What in recent years has made this aircraft so much more desirable for airlines? Is it just the 757 Replacement cycle, upgauging by airlines?
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:38 pm

Strong economies are driving airlines to grow in short to medium range markets. This is resulting Airlines upgauging to bigger planes. A330 and A321 sales increased as Chinese airlines sought to grow. US carriers have also been favoring large domestic airplanes.

Replacement cycles are not necessarily 1 for 1. An A321 May be added to a US carrier with a cascading effect of routes being upgauged to the point where an A321 replaced an A320neo. That A320 replaced an A319. That A319 replaced an Embraer 175. Finally an Embraer 175 replaced a retired CRJ200. Airlines monitor average seat per departure. In strong economies, airlines buy bigger planes to increase that number and in weaker economies buy smaller planes
 
StTim
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:45 pm

PiP's tend to drive up the benefits of the larger frame. The neo even more so.
 
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ChrisNH38
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:53 pm

In the early days, US airlines got their Airbus aircraft at big discounts. I think primarily USAirways and United, but others as well. The whole flying scheme (sidestick) was different, and crews needed to acclimate to it. The more they did, the more the planes were accepted by crews. So now, instead of accepting A321s just because of the discounts they represented, air crews are now actually embracing them.
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FlyHossD
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:56 pm

The newer A321s are also better performers than the earliest versions. So I suspect that plays into the sales scene, too.
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Noshow
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:57 pm

-New engines make it more efficient and give it seriously more range
-No current competitor while existing 757 fleets age
-Family benefits with the well established A320
-China's government prefers many small airlines over only a few big ones
-Western airlines aim for high frequencies and smaller sized aircraft to get more high paying business class travellers. The A321 has space enough for even sleeper seats
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:21 pm

enginerd wrote:
The A321 has to be Airbus's darling aircraft at the moment and is outselling everything in its category. But I don't remember it always been like that, in the late 90's up until maybe 2010. The A321 didn't seem to be as popular, even in the A320 series most orders seemed to be for the A319/A320.
What in recent years has made this aircraft so much more desirable for airlines? Is it just the 757 Replacement cycle, upgauging by airlines?


The A321 never sold badly, by and including 2010, 626 frames had been delivered. One has to look at those numbers in regard to the overall lower sales numbers in those times. Up to now over 1750 frames have been delivered. Not bad for a slow selling frame.

The boom came with the A321neo. It offers low fuel burn and added range. I is now possible to fly a A321neo for a lower trip cost in regards to fuel, than a A320ceo.
A good field performance, similar to the 757-200, does not hurt.
Added sales are through the longer range variants, the LR and XLR. The XLR already counting over 450 firm orders.

I would say the A321 never sold badly, but now it is booming.
 
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flee
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:28 pm

There has been a change in airlines' operating models. At the top end, they are downsizing from B747s and A380s to twinjets. At the bottom end, they are upsizing from A319s to A320s and A321s. With sharklets and new engines, field performance has also been improved and range extended. The A321 Neos can perform more mission profiles now and airlines are loving it.
 
astuteman
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:34 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
enginerd wrote:
The A321 has to be Airbus's darling aircraft at the moment and is outselling everything in its category. But I don't remember it always been like that, in the late 90's up until maybe 2010. The A321 didn't seem to be as popular, even in the A320 series most orders seemed to be for the A319/A320.
What in recent years has made this aircraft so much more desirable for airlines? Is it just the 757 Replacement cycle, upgauging by airlines?


The A321 never sold badly, by and including 2010, 626 frames had been delivered. One has to look at those numbers in regard to the overall lower sales numbers in those times. Up to now over 1750 frames have been delivered. Not bad for a slow selling frame.

The boom came with the A321neo. It offers low fuel burn and added range. I is now possible to fly a A321neo for a lower trip cost in regards to fuel, than a A320ceo.
A good field performance, similar to the 757-200, does not hurt.
Added sales are through the longer range variants, the LR and XLR. The XLR already counting over 450 firm orders.

I would say the A321 never sold badly, but now it is booming.


I tend to agree. The A321 has been pretty successful throughout its life - 1,800 CEO's were sold, which is no mean number.
The advent of the NEO has clearly boosted its popularity, especially by bringing economics to longer sectors, and the introduction of the XLR has seen sales skyrocket this year.
Indeed, the A321 NEO backlog will have risen by 1,000 frames this year alone, 500 of which will be -XLR's
(Out of interest, does anyone else find that statistic staggering? We're supposed to be in a market lull, aren't we?)

The success of the XLR in particular suggests that a fair portion of the rise in popularity this year has been the airframe growing into a slightly different sector (the bottom of the MOM space), giving the plane a larger market to address.

I'm also guessing that given the totally unprecedented backlog for the A32X NEO family, that Airbus are encouraging sales of the most expensive variants to maximise revenue and profit.

By the way, I've just noticed that November brought the total number of A321's sold to exactly 5,000 - 1,799 CEO's and 3,201 NEO's.
That number of course has risen by at least 60 in December with both UA and Cebu ordering XLR's

Rgds
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:38 pm

ChrisNH38 wrote:
In the early days, US airlines got their Airbus aircraft at big discounts. I think primarily USAirways and United, but others as well. The whole flying scheme (sidestick) was different, and crews needed to acclimate to it. The more they did, the more the planes were accepted by crews. So now, instead of accepting A321s just because of the discounts they represented, air crews are now actually embracing them.

It's not the pilots who decide which aircraft to buy. It's the top management who decide.
 
TC957
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:47 pm

Because the 321 is being developed successfully into the must-have aircraft for airlines needing a versatile mid-haul 200 seater. Boeing's alternative is, shall we say, a somewhat less of a success.....
 
Bhoy
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:05 pm

Certainly in Europe, the 321 sold in smaller batches with 320 operators upgauging flights as required, with the same crew rostered (with Euro business, flights frequently weren't allocated a particular fleet/layout until a day or two before departure). The CEO was very under engined compared with the 757; but the neo puts that to bed and means that the 321 can be put on pretty much every mission, so Airlines are buying that slightly bigger frame as a base version.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:47 pm

Noshow wrote:
-New engines make it more efficient and give it seriously more range
-No current competitor while existing 757 fleets age
-Family benefits with the well established A320
-China's government prefers many small airlines over only a few big ones
-Western airlines aim for high frequencies and smaller sized aircraft to get more high paying business class travellers. The A321 has space enough for even sleeper seats

Add Cabin Flex and exit optimization to your excellent list: It lets the airlines get an even higher seating density than before without too much sacrifice in comfort. The exit optimization can't be retrofitted so new frames have a built in advantage over older frames.

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As astuteman and others have pointed out, an economy of scale has kicked in along with a snowball effect: The more popular an aircraft gets, the more popular it gets! Manufacturing is cheaper in bulk, spares are more available, training is easier, financiers are more comfortable that they can resell the aircraft if you default on your payments, etc. Airbus is exactly where a manufacturer wants to be, it has a product that everyone wants.
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CarlosSi
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:20 pm

Because the 757s are getting old and the closest thing to it is an a321 ;) .
 
Vladex
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:23 pm

Because of the new engines and the passenger growth.
 
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VS4ever
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:27 pm

All of the above and I will add that in certain places as airports get tapped out for space, if you can’t add more frequency or the frequency is only available at poor times, the only way to accommodate demand is bigger aircraft, there’s a huge difference between NB and WB so the obvious choice if you are running an AB fleet is the 321, hence why B6 for example isn’t taking more 320’s, all 321’s and adding seats to the 320’s, yes it’s to keep WS happy by increasing PRASM and reducing CASM, but simple math says the increases capacity will be needed at some point in the future.
If you are running a Boeing fleet then when/if the maxes fly perhaps you will see a move to the 9 or 10 in a similar scenario.
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:33 pm

ChrisNH38 wrote:
In the early days, US airlines got their Airbus aircraft at big discounts. I think primarily USAirways and United, but others as well. The whole flying scheme (sidestick) was different, and crews needed to acclimate to it. The more they did, the more the planes were accepted by crews. So now, instead of accepting A321s just because of the discounts they represented, air crews are now actually embracing them.

Pilots don’t make fleet decisions, and the side stick is exactly the same as a yoke, takes about ten minutes to get used to. Don’t mean to be argumentative but the factors you mention don’t move the needle.
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:45 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
enginerd wrote:
The A321 has to be Airbus's darling aircraft at the moment and is outselling everything in its category. But I don't remember it always been like that, in the late 90's up until maybe 2010. The A321 didn't seem to be as popular, even in the A320 series most orders seemed to be for the A319/A320.
What in recent years has made this aircraft so much more desirable for airlines? Is it just the 757 Replacement cycle, upgauging by airlines?


The A321 never sold badly, by and including 2010, 626 frames had been delivered. One has to look at those numbers in regard to the overall lower sales numbers in those times. Up to now over 1750 frames have been delivered. Not bad for a slow selling frame.

The boom came with the A321neo. It offers low fuel burn and added range. I is now possible to fly a A321neo for a lower trip cost in regards to fuel, than a A320ceo.
A good field performance, similar to the 757-200, does not hurt.
Added sales are through the longer range variants, the LR and XLR. The XLR already counting over 450 firm orders.

I would say the A321 never sold badly, but now it is booming.


In the US, the boom came with the -200 coming onto the market. The older -100s didn't have trasncon legs especially in winter and weren't seen as really capable aircraft, not in the ways the latest CEO offerings are.
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:03 pm

CarlosSi wrote:
Because the 757s are getting old and the closest thing to it is an a321 ;) .


It's certainly far more than a 757 replacement.

Total Sales :
757 : 1050
A321ceo : 1799
A321neo : 3201

*source Wiki
 
crazy
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:14 pm

I agree with those saying that the real success came with the A321neo and then the A321LR and XLR.
In my opinion even the lack of a good B757 replacement is the reason: look at Arkia, the second Israel airline operating charter/leisure flights with B757-300WL and B757-200, it became one of the first operators of the A321neo, also planning long haul flight with the LR/XLR (with less seats, of course).
Aer Lingus already received the A321LR and many other airlines are doing the same.
Boeing should develp a B757neo/NG to compete with Airbus and its wonderful A321neo/LR/XLR.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:39 pm

I see the 321 as a success partly due to its longevity.

The A300 took a while to get going too.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:54 pm

Original A321 models weren't exactly the best performance-wise, which is why, while good, had a pretty slow start, especially in the US when only US airways and Spirit operated them. It was after airbus introduced sharklets and other cost saving measures which started the pre NEO boom, starting with JetBlue in the US, then American, Spirit, Delta, Frontier, and so on.
 
N766UA
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:38 pm

Because, for decades, the 757 absolutely destroyed the A321 on almost every metric. Now, though, the 757 is aging and the 321 has made significant improvements in range and fuel economy. Boeing, having done nothing to replace or improve the 757, has basically ceded the market to Airbus.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:53 pm

ACCS300 wrote:
CarlosSi wrote:
Because the 757s are getting old and the closest thing to it is an a321 ;) .

It's certainly far more than a 757 replacement.

Total Sales :
757 : 1050
A321ceo : 1799
A321neo : 3201

*source Wiki

As much as some hate to admit it, 757 was already undermined by airlines ordering 737-900-not-ER way back in 1997 when they could have still bought factory new 757s. In hindsight that's when Boeing should have realized that a better 757 replacement had a market.
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:55 pm

StTim wrote:
PiP's tend to drive up the benefits of the larger frame. The neo even more so.

This.

Until Sharklets and the latest CEO engine PiPs, the A321 didn't have great enough economics for most routes to fly empty seats on low days/low season.

In particular the V2500 select one, enhanced by the Select2 PiP:
http://www.i-a-e.com/selecttwo.html

The combination extended time on wing (CFM-56-5 improved also, but the V2500 pulled ahead on the A321 late in the CEO production)

The NEO just took that much further. More thrust (up to 35k), much reduced fuel burn, and a range boost that makes the A321 much more interesting.

The prior A321s, until latest PiPs struggled hot/high. By no means is the A321NEO a hot high champion, but we had discussions when late in A321NEO development the thust was increased from 33k to 35k:
viewtopic.php?t=572581

Before A321 engines needed an overhaul every 11,000 to 14,000 cycles vs. near 20,000 (later more) for the A320 and NG. Now the A321 has guarantees over 20k cycles.

Fuel burn reduction helped, but more for the increased payload at range. Sharklets and PiPs were just enough to interest DL (for range). The NEO brings surplus range to open routes, or just carry fewer ACT and more payload (e.g., mail).

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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:22 pm

A319ceos outsold A321ceos for many years, that really has reversed.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:00 pm

You just have to take a look at the global aviation market to find the most important answer. The passenger numbers in this decade that will end in just over a week just went through the roof. Growth rates have accelerated so much over the last 10 year. This growth is mainly fueled by domestic and regional trips, especially in Asia. With this growth there has been an increasing demand for larger planes in the single aisle market segment. With the A320 family being the market leader and the A321 being the largest member of this family, it's only logical that the A321 had the fastest growth in market share.

It's also the reason why Boeing introduced the 737-10, which might still become the most successful member of the 737 MAX family, depending on how the market will now respond to the MAX overall after the crashes and the certification issues. In hindsight it would have been interesting to see how they could have upgraded the 757 to keep it success if they hadn't cancelled the program after the post 9/11 dip in the growth of worldwide passenger numbers. I don't think that anybody back then could have predicted that the growth would become as fast as it did over this last decade.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:07 pm

N766UA wrote:
Because, for decades, the 757 absolutely destroyed the A321 on almost every metric. Now, though, the 757 is aging and the 321 has made significant improvements in range and fuel economy. Boeing, having done nothing to replace or improve the 757, has basically ceded the market to Airbus.


Hopefully this doesn't come across as defensive, but as a point of order:-

757 EIS 1983

A321-100 - EIS 1994
A321-200 - EIS 1997

757 orders 1983 - 1994 - 778
757 orders to 1994 - 1997 - 116
757 orders 1997 - 2003 - 155 (last order)

So 75% of 757 orders were received prior to the A321 EIS, and only 25% after.
The last 757 was delivered in 2005, only 11 years after the EIS of the A321-100, and 8 years after the EIS of the A321-200

The numbers suggest that irrespective of those metrics that you say the 757 "destroyed" the A321 on, the A321 (along with the 737-900) didn't take long at all to destroy the 757 on the one metric that matters - existence.
Just 11 years from the EIS of the A321 -100, and 8 years from the advent of the A321 - 200, and the 757 was gone. as a new-build

Rgds
 
timh4000
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:54 pm

I just did a quick comparison to the 757 and the 737 max. While the 757 is still liked, they are aging out. So, that market, the mid range 200ish pax which is what Boeing would have had a good market share with the max. While I do expect a return at some point, regardless of how safe it will be, damage has been done and I don't see Boeing hitting the numbers they likely would have hit had there not been multiple full fatality crashes resulting in a grounding that could be a year in length of time.

Besides that, the newest and longest range versions of the 321 have overall better
performance and economic numbers than pretty much any other plane in the 200 pax category. The 757 has a greater MTOW but that doesn't do it much good when the youngest/ last built 757's are now 15 years old. So at best there will be just a handful around in10 more years with less and less in the sky each year. The newer versions are simply the best aircraft for the midsized market. It also has a great safety record. Most incidents at least that resulted in fatalities were the result of terrorist acts or gross pilot error.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:47 pm

The discussion goes straight away USA centric. The success of the A321 is not measured how well it sold in the USA, or when USA airlines started to buy it.

From the 1799 A321ceo orders, 439 were ordered by North American airlines
From the 3200 A321neo orders, 388 were ordered by North American airlines
The number above do not include December orders.

The main success of the A321 is outside of North America and that straight away as the A321-100. Range was not very iportant for many customers.

Yes some airlines in North America and also Iceland used the 757-200 for range. But with latest the XLR, the A321 solidly passes the 757-200 in capabilities with a far lower fuel burn. Over 450 XLR are on order now, 3 years from EIS.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:38 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
The discussion goes straight away USA centric. The success of the A321 is not measured how well it sold in the USA, or when USA airlines started to buy it.

From the 1799 A321ceo orders, 439 were ordered by North American airlines
From the 3200 A321neo orders, 388 were ordered by North American airlines
The number above do not include December orders.

The main success of the A321 is outside of North America and that straight away as the A321-100. Range was not very iportant for many customers.

Yes some airlines in North America and also Iceland used the 757-200 for range. But with latest the XLR, the A321 solidly passes the 757-200 in capabilities with a far lower fuel burn. Over 450 XLR are on order now, 3 years from EIS.


Agreed!

The A321 is own its aircraft, it's not just a pseudo replacement for the 757.
There are now approximately double the A321s than the 757 built, with a lot more ordered - if every currently ordered A321 is delivered, for every one 757 built, there will be five A321s.
 
pressclub
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:46 pm

On top of the many reasons mentioned in previous posts, there is one more interesting selling point. Legacy airlines, confronted with low cost competition, have to lower their seat miles cost. On routes with a 737-800 lowcost competitor you ideally do so with an a321...
 
1989worstyear
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:09 am

Revelation wrote:
ACCS300 wrote:
CarlosSi wrote:
Because the 757s are getting old and the closest thing to it is an a321 ;) .

It's certainly far more than a 757 replacement.

Total Sales :
757 : 1050
A321ceo : 1799
A321neo : 3201

*source Wiki

As much as some hate to admit it, 757 was already undermined by airlines ordering 737-900-not-ER way back in 1997 when they could have still bought factory new 757s. In hindsight that's when Boeing should have realized that a better 757 replacement had a market.


Wasn't the -900 too short ranged though?
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:23 am

1989worstyear wrote:
Wasn't the -900 too short ranged though?

Apparently not, it still is being built (even if not currently flying) in the form of the MAX-9 and the longer ranged 757 is not.
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mjoelnir
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:49 am

1989worstyear wrote:
Revelation wrote:
ACCS300 wrote:
It's certainly far more than a 757 replacement.

Total Sales :
757 : 1050
A321ceo : 1799
A321neo : 3201

*source Wiki

As much as some hate to admit it, 757 was already undermined by airlines ordering 737-900-not-ER way back in 1997 when they could have still bought factory new 757s. In hindsight that's when Boeing should have realized that a better 757 replacement had a market.


Wasn't the -900 too short ranged though?


One also has to look at the market a frame is aimed at and the whole packet. For the USA market the 737-900 lacked the transcon range. For the European market it lacked field performance.
The -900ER brought the range for the North American market. Overall the sales did not come near to the A321.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:02 am

Bhoy wrote:
Certainly in Europe, the 321 sold in smaller batches with 320 operators upgauging flights as required, with the same crew rostered (with Euro business, flights frequently weren't allocated a particular fleet/layout until a day or two before departure). The CEO was very under engined compared with the 757; but the neo puts that to bed and means that the 321 can be put on pretty much every mission, so Airlines are buying that slightly bigger frame as a base version.

The A321-100 definitely underperformed. The last iteration of the V2533-A5 is no slouch.
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mjoelnir
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:45 am

Sancho99504 wrote:
Bhoy wrote:
Certainly in Europe, the 321 sold in smaller batches with 320 operators upgauging flights as required, with the same crew rostered (with Euro business, flights frequently weren't allocated a particular fleet/layout until a day or two before departure). The CEO was very under engined compared with the 757; but the neo puts that to bed and means that the 321 can be put on pretty much every mission, so Airlines are buying that slightly bigger frame as a base version.

The A321-100 definitely underperformed. The last iteration of the V2533-A5 is no slouch.


The A321-100 hardly under performed. It performed as designed. The engines were fully capable in regards to the 83 t MTOW.

The A321-200 brought more range up to 2 ACT and a MTOW increase to 93 t and higher thrust engines. But you could still buy it without ACT, if you did not need that range. You could also still buy the lower thrust engines.

AFAIK no USA airline ordered the A321-100.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:46 am

Between a new type and a stretch of an existing type in the fleet that could do most missions, the -900ER was much more preferable. Yeah they could’ve re-engined and maybe stretched the 757 like they did the 737 to run missions the a321 and -900 could do (and they do now), but the 757-300 seems to be the largest practical size for a narrowbody already.
 
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ghost77
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:23 am

Because Boeing decided to kill the 757 production for it's 737.

They should have done a 757 with composite materials and better engines and it would be seeling like hot cakes.

g77
 
astuteman
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:09 am

mjoelnir wrote:
The discussion goes straight away USA centric. The success of the A321 is not measured how well it sold in the USA, or when USA airlines started to buy it.

From the 1799 A321ceo orders, 439 were ordered by North American airlines
From the 3200 A321neo orders, 388 were ordered by North American airlines
The number above do not include December orders.

The main success of the A321 is outside of North America and that straight away as the A321-100. Range was not very iportant for many customers.

Yes some airlines in North America and also Iceland used the 757-200 for range. But with latest the XLR, the A321 solidly passes the 757-200 in capabilities with a far lower fuel burn. Over 450 XLR are on order now, 3 years from EIS.


My take from this goes back to the A321 being a sub-set of a bigger family.

The 757 clearly filled a market need in the USA back then for (presumably) missions like TCON and TATL, that justified a dedicated aircraft.

It appears that in the rest of the world the market wasn't "mature" enough to support a dedicated airframe like the 757.
But it WAS mature enough to accommodate a growth version of the A320's that were already flying.

For me this is significant not just for the success of the A321, which builds upon the success of thousands of A320's already flying, plus the benefit of low cost of manufacture/procurement due to economies of scale.

It also highlights the challenge that any design dedicated to MOM space is going to face.

Rgds
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:53 am

The MOM market was flooded with types 757/767/A310/A300. The market could not sustain 4 aircraft types and them needing to get a major update with new engines every 15 years.

The A321 survived because it was aimed at the bread and butter of the market. Thanks to new engines it grew into this now vacant MOM market and it now has huge economies of scale. The A321 has more than doubled in range since its introduction. From the 83t A321-100 with its 2,200nm range up to the 93t A321-200 that topped out at 3,200nm with winglets. We then had the 93t A321NEO with 3500nm range, the 97t A321LR with 4000nm range and the final 101t A321XLR with 4700nm range.

It now has total narrowbody market over 3500nm to itself. Airlines can operate fewer types with the A321 covering the vast majority of routes. Previously an airline would need 3-4 types could cover all routes efficiently. Today the A321NEO combined with a widebody can cover all routes efficiently. Less types means less pilot ratings, more economies of scale in all parts of the airline.

Today as the market has grown so much bigger there is probably room for 1 or 2 dedicated models and for them to receive major updates every decade. I expect Boeing to launch a small widebody to slow down the successful A321NEO.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:55 am

ghost77 wrote:
Because Boeing decided to kill the 757 production for it's 737.

They should have done a 757 with composite materials and better engines and it would be seeling like hot cakes.

g77


It would still have too large a wing and too strong a pair of engines for almost all missions and the end result would be the same. Boeing was smart not to try.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
timh4000
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:58 am

tommy1808 wrote:
ghost77 wrote:
Because Boeing decided to kill the 757 production for it's 737.

They should have done a 757 with composite materials and better engines and it would be seeling like hot cakes.

g77


It would still have too large a wing and too strong a pair of engines for almost all missions and the end result would be the same. Boeing was smart not to try.

best regards
Thomas

I disagree. The 757 has a very large number of geriatric birds hitting or approaching the 30 year mark, while never having any serious updates or rebuilds other than a stretch model. To me that is significant as there are now other planes that can match its performance. An updated 757 would still likely being built. I often wonder if Boeing is now secretly drawing up plans for an update with the problems it is having getting the max back in the air. At what point does a grounded plane receiving damage by way of trust by both the pax and the airline companies that regardless of how safe it actually may be, it turns into a giant liability, if it hasn't already.
 
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flee
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:13 am

ghost77 wrote:
Because Boeing decided to kill the 757 production for it's 737.

They should have done a 757 with composite materials and better engines and it would be seeling like hot cakes.

g77

Easier said than done - composite technology in the early 2000s is not as advanced as it is now. Just look at how difficult it was for Boeing to bring the 787 to market.
 
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MrHMSH
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:34 am

timh4000 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
ghost77 wrote:
Because Boeing decided to kill the 757 production for it's 737.

They should have done a 757 with composite materials and better engines and it would be seeling like hot cakes.

g77


It would still have too large a wing and too strong a pair of engines for almost all missions and the end result would be the same. Boeing was smart not to try.

best regards
Thomas

I disagree. The 757 has a very large number of geriatric birds hitting or approaching the 30 year mark, while never having any serious updates or rebuilds other than a stretch model. To me that is significant as there are now other planes that can match its performance. An updated 757 would still likely being built. I often wonder if Boeing is now secretly drawing up plans for an update with the problems it is having getting the max back in the air. At what point does a grounded plane receiving damage by way of trust by both the pax and the airline companies that regardless of how safe it actually may be, it turns into a giant liability, if it hasn't already.


Besides the fact that the tooling has long been gone, that an update would have been expensive and taken a while to get to market, the 757 would still suffer on shorter routes vs the A321, and that is where the meat and drink of narrowbody flying is. It would have extended capability over the A321, but a dedicated MOM suffers from a challenging business case. As a 737 replacement? Out of the question, too large and as above not as efficient on shorter routes, an area where the 737 excels and has built a lot of its success. If an updated 757 was really in demand then airlines would have put their money where their mouth is and asked for it, then bought it. They didn't.
 
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bgm
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:13 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
The discussion goes straight away USA centric. The success of the A321 is not measured how well it sold in the USA, or when USA airlines started to buy it.


Exactly, thank you. The world does not revolve around the US of A. :sarcastic:
I suspect the thread starter is from the US, since his/her view of the success of the A321 seems to be based on its introduction in the US, as opposed to globally.

The A321 has been successful since its introduction, performing the missions it was designed for (even the -100). Having the same type rating as the A320 also increased its attractiveness. As others have said, with each improvement the A321 became more attractive to airlines. The biggest downside right now is simply the rate of production. The backlog is immense, and with Boeing royally screwing up with the MAX, it's leaving airlines either waiting years for the A321, or using older aircraft.
If you hate wearing a mask, you’re really going to hate using a ventilator.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:36 pm

bgm wrote:
The A321 has been successful since its introduction, performing the missions it was designed for (even the -100). Having the same type rating as the A320 also increased its attractiveness. As others have said, with each improvement the A321 became more attractive to airlines. The biggest downside right now is simply the rate of production. The backlog is immense, and with Boeing royally screwing up with the MAX, it's leaving airlines either waiting years for the A321, or using older aircraft.


I guess it depends on how one define "success".

If you compare it to A319 and A320, A321 sales didn't really take off until ~2011 or so. For many years it was outsold not only by A320 (by a huge margin), but also A319 by a fair margin. There was 4770 A320ceo delivered v. ~1800 A321ceo.

This trend is definitely reversed - there's now ~4000 A320neo on order vs. ~3200 A321neo.

I agree with you otherwise - it has everything to do with PiP. The newest A321ceo is a lot more capable than early A321-100 or even A321-200, and A321neo (and LR/XLR variants) only further pushed A321's number up even further. All the talk about 757 is totally irrelevant - seriously, 757 existed for 13 years (Which, in terms of aircraft, is a whole generation) before the first A321 (-100) even exist. B757 was designed in an age where smaller narrowbodies (i.e. MD-80s or B737 Classic) doesn't have the range to fly transcon consistently.
 
TObound
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:50 pm

The Americentrism and Eurocentrism to a lesser extent, are entertaining. I don't think many posters here think about Asia at all.

See this 2500nm circle from the middle of China:

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?R=2500nm%40goq&MS=wls&DU=mi

Half the world's population and a third of the global economy is inside that circle. In 20 years that will be more than half the world's population and more than half the world's economy will be inside that circle. It's also an area with major geographic barriers and underdeveloped surface transport infrastructure. Any airplane best suited to carriers in this region will sell well.

For comparison this is what the same range ring looks like in North America:

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?R=2500nm%40den&MS=wls&DU=mi

And Europe:

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?R=2500nm%40v ... MP=r&DU=mi

Anne while these regions have the wealth to drive travel. They don't have anywhere near the population to fill airplanes. There's a reason RJs sell exceptionally well in North America.


The 321 particularly in its NEO iteration seems custom designed for South, East and Southeast Asian markets. Maybe too much range actually.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:47 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
bgm wrote:
The A321 has been successful since its introduction, performing the missions it was designed for (even the -100). Having the same type rating as the A320 also increased its attractiveness. As others have said, with each improvement the A321 became more attractive to airlines. The biggest downside right now is simply the rate of production. The backlog is immense, and with Boeing royally screwing up with the MAX, it's leaving airlines either waiting years for the A321, or using older aircraft.


I guess it depends on how one define "success".

If you compare it to A319 and A320, A321 sales didn't really take off until ~2011 or so. For many years it was outsold not only by A320 (by a huge margin), but also A319 by a fair margin. There was 4770 A320ceo delivered v. ~1800 A321ceo.

This trend is definitely reversed - there's now ~4000 A320neo on order vs. ~3200 A321neo.

I agree with you otherwise - it has everything to do with PiP. The newest A321ceo is a lot more capable than early A321-100 or even A321-200, and A321neo (and LR/XLR variants) only further pushed A321's number up even further. All the talk about 757 is totally irrelevant - seriously, 757 existed for 13 years (Which, in terms of aircraft, is a whole generation) before the first A321 (-100) even exist. B757 was designed in an age where smaller narrowbodies (i.e. MD-80s or B737 Classic) doesn't have the range to fly transcon consistently.


1799 A321ceo sold I call success. 3200 A321neo sold since 2010, 320 on average each year, I call a runaway success.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:28 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
1799 A321ceo sold I call success. 3200 A321neo sold since 2010, 320 on average each year, I call a runaway success.


But it's also true that A321ceo were only getting ~50 deliveries/year up until 2010 or so, when the number of deliveries skyrocketed to 200-250/year.

Ultimately, yes, A321 was never a "failure", but it had long live under the shadow of its smaller brothers A320 and also A319. Nowaday, not only it's no longer in shadow of its little brother A320, but at times, outshine it, and in long term, I can see more A321neos than A320neos.

The way I interpret things is the following: it used to be A319 for the range (and hot/high performance), A320 for everyday use, and A321 for capacity at a slight tradeoff of performance. Nowaday, A320 and A321 are siblings that can do it all with similar performance, with the only consideration being whether an airline can always fill an A321 consistently on every single routes.

TObound wrote:
Anne while these regions have the wealth to drive travel. They don't have anywhere near the population to fill airplanes. There's a reason RJs sell exceptionally well in North America.


It's more like in that part of Asia, any "true" regional routes are flown by ATRs (and to lesser extent, Q400s) instead of 50/70 RJs. Flying 70-seats RJs on 2-3 hours routes is totally a US thing.

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