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

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:48 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?

couple of reasons:

the upgraded engines gave much better performance on the CEOs right around 2010
the new NEO is extremely efficient
the increasing economy and demand for air travel as mentioned above
the introduction of the XLR as a better alternative to 757-200
 
NotFinals
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:49 pm

and also... no NMA any time soon ...
 
Elementalism
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:55 pm

Seems to me the market grew into the A321. Boeings attempt to sell the 737-900 are the 757 replacement has fallen on its face. Even the MAX isnt going to get it done. To me it is amazing how Boeing got the 787 vs A380 battle right. But seems to be flopping on the 737 vs A321. They should had been working on a replacement for the 737 and 757 for a decade. Instead the A321 is cleaning up in the 757 space and the 737 is grounded because its training wheels required the engines be moved forward and higher thus requiring MCAS to keep type rating with the NG.
 
Jalap
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:48 pm

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

Yet the overwhelming bulk of those sales were in the 2nd half of the A321ceo’s lifespan.
Looking at deliveries, there were only about 30-35 per year from 1994 to 2006. In 2005 there were only 17 deliveries (according to wikipedia).
Then there were 50-100 deliveries yearly from 2007 to 2012. And then a tsunami of deliveries from 2013 till the NEO started taking over.
A success overall, no doubt! But it really took its time to become this huge success.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:41 pm

NotFinals wrote:
the introduction of the XLR as a better alternative to 757-200


Which, on a big picture, represent only a small amount of A321neos that was ordered. A321neo already has like 2500 orders before A321LR is even a thing (2018), much less A321XLR.

NotFinals wrote:
the upgraded engines gave much better performance on the CEOs right around 2010


It's mainly Sharklets that really push A321's performance. Noticed that A321's sales took off around 2010 or so (with deliveries heavily increased since 2012, which is when the first Sharklet was rolled out)? Various PiPs of the engines does help, though.
 
Asiaflyer
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:56 pm

NotFinals 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?

couple of reasons:

the upgraded engines gave much better performance on the CEOs right around 2010
the new NEO is extremely efficient
the increasing economy and demand for air travel as mentioned above
the introduction of the XLR as a better alternative to 757-200

To the points above we can also add the more competitive and scattered airline market with LLC eating the cake for the traditional flag carriers. For new entrants in the market, a capable NB is less risky to start new routes with. This not only means more NB flying by such airlines as Air Asia, Wizz Air etc, but it’s also more difficult for the traditional carriers to keep their WBs flying on many routes where a plane like A321 can be a better fit.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:17 pm

Because demand for air travel is up to record levels, the A321 has delivered on extended range promises, where the 737-NG and 737-MAX has not.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:27 pm

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

Yet the overwhelming bulk of those sales were in the 2nd half of the A321ceo’s lifespan.
Looking at deliveries, there were only about 30-35 per year from 1994 to 2006. In 2005 there were only 17 deliveries (according to wikipedia).
Then there were 50-100 deliveries yearly from 2007 to 2012. And then a tsunami of deliveries from 2013 till the NEO started taking over.
A success overall, no doubt! But it really took its time to become this huge success.

Looking at orders and deliveries:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A3 ... deliveries

2013 was the start of double digit deliveries.
Dates to remember:
V2500 Select One in 2008 (Helped push deliveries to 66 per year)
CFM-56-5B PiP in 2011 (Helped push deliveries up to 83 in 2012)
December 2012, Sharklets started delivery, on the A320, Retrofits available in 2015. Pushed up sales to double digits, peaking at 222)
V2500 Select Two PiP in 2015 (I think this just helped IAE win orders).

Sharklets link: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... craft.html
Select One link: http://www.i-a-e.com/productsv2500.html
Select Two link: http://i-a-e.com/selecttwo.html
GE CFM-56-5 PIP: https://www.cfmaeroengines.com/press-ar ... e-service/

Leeham on the engine selection on A321, noting that even before Select One/Two, the V2500 was the preferred engine on the A321:
https://leehamnews.com/2013/05/02/sizin ... 20-family/


Note, there was a CFM-56-7BE is one PiP ahead of the CFM-56-5B, but some found its way into the Airbus engine.

It looks like Sharklets pushed the A321 economics from 16 to 66 per year (up through 2011), up to 222 in the peak year (2016).

So it was late PiPs that pushed the A321 to more usable.
There were high altitude certifications and other PiPs too.

It also looks like A321NEO deliveries took the wind out of A321CEO deliveries as you already noted. .

I'm certain if the cabin flex manufacturing hadn't been an issue, the A321NEO would have delivered in much larger numbers in 2019, continuing the trend of 200+/year A321 deliveries started in 2016.

Lightsaber
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RobertPhoenix
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:55 pm

I was once on a long flight, in business or first class and talked to a person who said he was CFO of a European based airline. This must have been 10 years ago. He told me they had just placed an order for more A320. He said they really wanted the A321, but Airbus knew they had a winner and insisted on a relatively premium price. That could explain why A321 sales were somewhat slower. Airbus were maximizing their profit, and it wasn't as if they were short of orders at that time or since for the A320 series.
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:09 pm

The 757 in many ways was made for the US market.

Since then however, the sales of such an aircraft have skyrocketed across the world, who have in turn leap-frogged to the A321.

Airbus was in the right place at the right time, and most importantly - they had the perfect product.
Vahroone
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:18 pm

Elementalism wrote:
To me it is amazing how Boeing got the 787 vs A380 battle right. .


It is more funny. Boeing made an utterly wrong prediction and Airbus hit it smack right, but Boeing build the right aircraft for the Market Airbus predicted, and Airbus the wrong one. P2P flying is still very much the exception and hubs explode.

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

Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:31 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Elementalism wrote:
To me it is amazing how Boeing got the 787 vs A380 battle right. .


It is more funny. Boeing made an utterly wrong prediction and Airbus hit it smack right, but Boeing build the right aircraft for the Market Airbus predicted, and Airbus the wrong one. P2P flying is still very much the exception and hubs explode.

Best regards
Thomas

The A321 is benefitting from the same market forces that helped the 787: frequency and fragmentation. Of course one end would be a hub. Airbus predicted, correctly, large growth in trunk routes. What they didn't predict well is that more 777s (or A330s) produced more profit at less risk. Cest la vie.

Lightsaber
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SteelChair
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:42 pm

lightsaber wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Elementalism wrote:
To me it is amazing how Boeing got the 787 vs A380 battle right. .


It is more funny. Boeing made an utterly wrong prediction and Airbus hit it smack right, but Boeing build the right aircraft for the Market Airbus predicted, and Airbus the wrong one. P2P flying is still very much the exception and hubs explode.

Best regards
Thomas

The A321 is benefitting from the same market forces that helped the 787: frequency and fragmentation. Of course one end would be a hub. Airbus predicted, correctly, large growth in trunk routes. What they didn't predict well is that more 777s (or A330s) produced more profit at less risk. Cest la vie.

Lightsaber


I'm not sure I buy that.

The 787 is the smallest, most efficient, long range, international, widebody. It's a down gauge from 777, A380, or even in some configurations an A330/340. The 787 is all about capacity discipline and yields. This in a time when many international carriers are struggling mightily.

The 321 is in many cases an upgauge. Look at Delta for example, replacing 88s/90s in/out of ATL with 321s. A very slight capacity increase in targeted, profitable, domestic, markets.

Different animals completely imho.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:51 am

Momo1435 wrote:
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.


This.

As an a.nut site, we obviously focus on the airplanes. But I think what we are witnessing is more about the demand and ability of the airlines to employ A321 sized planes, than simply the improvements in the airframe.

We now have enough flying public that A321s are the right size for many routes. We have airlines that are either P2P LCCs or well-organized legacy airlines feeding their hub with A321-sized routes.
 
kaitak
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:10 am

I recall when the A321 first entered service with EI, back in the late 1990s; they acquired six, though 3 remain in the fleet; they got rid of three more due to EI going through a difficult patch rather than any particular fault with the aircraft. I wonder if they regret that now.

Now, of course, EI has ordered a good number of A321Neo LRs (8) and has already signed up for the XLR (6). It's putting a lot of faith in the 321Neo and its ability to access new markets. In my view, they are two different aircraft; for EI, the original 321s were for its high density short haul routes - LHR (then) and some sun routes. Now, it's mostly for flights to "sun" (and in winter, ski - one is doing GVA today!), rather than high revenue routes, which are mostly focused on smaller types (in EI's case, the 320). So, in EI's case it comes down to the standard 321 being a large short haul aircraft, but the Neo being a small long hauler - and thus, it is (like several other carriers) using the 321Neo's capacity to open new routes that aren't yet viable for 330s and then, building up frequencies until they can be transitioned to 330s.

The standard A321 was a fine aircraft - not the hot rod that the 757 was, but it did its job well and its commonality with the other 32X models and other Airbus types made it a popular choice for airlines. It's been a very reliable machine and the Neo/XLR just build on that success - even if in different missions.
 
Stickpusher
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:04 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
Momo1435 wrote:
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.


As an a.nut site, we obviously focus on the airplanes. But I think what we are witnessing is more about the demand and ability of the airlines to employ A321 sized planes, than simply the improvements in the airframe.

We now have enough flying public that A321s are the right size for many routes. We have airlines that are either P2P LCCs or well-organized legacy airlines feeding their hub with A321-sized routes.


Airbus certainly have built aircraft that anticipated markets to some extent, with all the risks that can bring. The A380 was predicated on a long haul boom, partly to stimulate that boom and partly to wait there for the market to catch up - which it didn't.

The A321 has been there a long time waiting for the market to reach it. Carriers like Air France and Lufthansa could justify early fleets and rightsize the equipment throughout the day to satisfy demand (they were already running A300s on short-haul routes), but the A318 and A321 were the extremes, used in the rush hour or in slack times, as it were, or on heavy routes. Then along came the low cost carriers, boosting the demand for seats and creating an expectation that we could fly as a viable option, and the market went nuts. The market we have now is what the A321 was waiting for, and it's now beginning to look as though the A321 could usefully have a few more seats still.

It seems though that the low cost carriers are the ones taking most of these, Air Transat is using them across the pond into Gatwick and Paris, for example.

The natural competitor, the 737-900 was hobbled by its low ground posture making it a runway hog on departure, something the Max was going to resolve, and it might be factors like this that made the A321's day come a little sooner than it might have. Right now it's pretty much the only game in town and for some carriers, fleet decisions can't wait any longer than they already have.

The A321 also has the advantage of having been engineered from the outset to be as adaptable as possible, taking new engines with minimal design change and making the NEO option relatively inexpensive to engineer and quick to get to market. I get the definite impression that Boeing was caught somewhat flatfooted by the NEO and pressed by the need to create a more modern platform in almost no time at all and at minimal cost, we ended up with the MAX because a response was necessary, and soon. In the runup to the NEO Airbus talked a lot about a replacement (NSR) rather than an adaptation, and I think most of us were lulled into the sense that a new aircraft design was coming along, rather than a quick'n'dirty adaptation that turned out not so dirty after all. I certainly thought Airbus was looking at a clean-sheet design, from all that they were saying - not that my impression means anything.

I'm reasonably certain that had the NEO not come along, the MAX would never have seen the light of day and instead Boeing would have had their replacement in the air by now, a clean sheet design dispensing with all the legacy problems inherent in the old 737 design. As it was, the extensibility of the A32x platform inherent in the design gave Airbus the opportunity to take a lead at minimal cost, knowing that the competition would have more of a re-engineering job to do at a time when the 787 program was creating a lot of financial pressure. The MAX really was the only viable response given the conditions at the time but what it seems to have done in exacerbate the problem for Boeing - but then again they couldn't afford not to respond to the NEO either.

If the MAX had been free of its problems the A321NEO would have a stiffer fight on its hands, but I think for the moment the playing field is definitely slanted in its favour.

Short answer: It was always there waiting to benefit from an expansion in short haul travel, but the advent of the NEO and the frantic need to respond to that development created the conditions that have put it even further into the running.

These are just my impressions. They shouldn't be mistaken for firm opinions or facts!
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:07 pm

Spacepope wrote:
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.


The A321-200 variant entered service with Monarch Airlines in April 1997. It was more powerful than any B737 and began to severely impact B752 orders within two years. When the B757 production line was terminated the A321 easily outsold the less powerful B739 every single year.

757-200 orders
1978 38
1980 64
1981 3
1982 2
1983 26
1984 2
1985 25
1986 12
1987 45
1988 145
1989 155
1990 70
1991 50
1992 35
1993 23
1994 12
1995 8
1996 42
1997 43
1998 47
1999 18
2000 31
2001 10
2003 7

===================================
Table of MTOW in metric tonnes
B752 - 115.7 tonne MTOW
B753 - 123.8 tonne MTOW

B731 - 50.0 tonne MTOW
B732 - 58.1 tonne MTOW
..
B733 - 62.8 tonne MTOW - first delivery 3 yrs, 4 months before A320 initial delivery
B734 - 68.0 tonne MTOW - first delivery 24 weeks after A320 initial delivery
B735 - 60.6 tonne MTOW
..
B736 - 65.5 tonne MTOW
B737 - 70.1 tonne MTOW
B738 - 79.0 tonne MTOW
B739 - 85.1 tonne MTOW
..
B37M - 80.3 tonne MTOW
B38M - 82.2 tonne MTOW
B39M - 88.3 tonne MTOW
B3XM - 89.8 tonne MTOW

A318 - 68.0 tonne MTOW
A319 - 75.5 tonne MTOW
A320 - 78.0 tonne MTOW first model to be delivered in 28 March 1988
A321-100 - 83.0 tonne MTOW
A321-200 - 93.5 tonne MTOW
A321neo - 97.0 tonne MTOW
A321XLR - 101.0 tonne MTOW

I also think that Boeing was making such handsome profits with the the 777-300ER (deliveries below), that they didn't pay as much attention to the widening gap in narrowbody jets. I think they were caught a little unaware when the market for widebodies slowed down so dramatically.
2004 10
2005 20
2006 39
2007 53
2008 47
2009 52
2010 40
2011 52
2012 60
2013 79
2014 83
2015 79
2016 88
2017 65
2018 32
2019 13
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:26 pm

The success of the A321neo and A320neo can also be seen as having been built on the success of the ceo program

This timeline shows the deliveries of A320 family (1st delivered to Air France on 28 March 1988) compared to the B737 family starting with the classics, and finally surpassing them in 2001.

Table of deliveries for the entire family
Table excludes original B737-100/200/200C (1144 deliveries).
Table excludes newer B737 Max and and A320 neo families (different topic)

In March 1981, USAir and Southwest Airlines each ordered 10 aircraft of the 737-300 series, with an option for 20 more.
The A320 program was launched on 2 March 1984, with 96 orders from several airlines.

737 Year 320 family - Table of Deliveries
7 1984 na ------------ 28. Nov. 1984 1st delivery of classic B737-300 with new CFM engine
83 1985 na
120 1986 na
137 1987 na
158 1988 16 ------------ 15. Sep. 1988 1st delivery of B737-400 to compete with larger A320
146 1989 58
174 1990 58 ------------ 28. Feb. 1990 1st delivery of B737-500
215 1991 119
218 1992 111
152 1993 71
121 1994 64
89 1995 56 ------ B737 classics winding down in preparation for Next Generation
76 1996 72
135 1997 127 ------------ 17. Dec. 1997 1st delivery of B737-700 (Next Generation)
274 1998 168 ------------ 1st delivery 18. Sep. 1998 - B737-600 | 22. Apr. 1998 - B737-800
295 1999 222
271 2000 241
281 2001 257------------ 15. May. 2001 1st delivery of B737-900
213 2002 236 ------------ A320 family 23 more deliveries than B737 family
167 2003 233
199 2004 233
208 2005 289
291 2006 339
324 2007 367------------ 27. Apr. 2007 1st delivery of B737-900ER
284 2008 386------------ A320 family 102 more deliveries than B737 family
367 2009 402
366 2010 401
365 2011 421
411 2012 455
434 2013 493
482 2014 490
491 2015 491 ------------ A320 family equals deliveries of B737 family
490 2016 477 ------------ A320neo family begins deliveries (not shown on this table)
455 2017 377
323 2018 240
60 2019 84
8535 total 8054
 
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reidar76
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:10 pm

I don't agree with the premises in the opening post that the A321 is only a recent success. The A321ceo has been quite successful with about 1400 deliveries.

The A321neo is even more successful, and here is my take on why. One keyword: Versatile.

* More cabin space for seats: Removal of door 2 and replacing it with over-wing exits enables more flexibility concerning the size of a business class cabin and the overall cabin configuration.

* Increased exit limits: Up from 220 to 244 makes the A321neo more attractive to short-haul LCC. LCC place between 235 to 244 seat in the A321neo, something that wasn't possible with the A321ceo.

* More range: New engines increases range due to lower fuel burn, and the LR/XLR opens up new markets for the A321, connecting cities that previously weren't possible.

* The A320 family: The A320 family has gained market share continually since 1988, and no other family has more aircraft in service. This definitely wasn't the case in 1994 when the A321-100 first entered service, or when the A321-200 entered service in 1997.

So the conclusion is that the A321neo is a very versatile aircraft that is attractive to both legacy carriers and LCC. It can be utilized both for short-haul, high density flights, and for long-haul flights with a standard three class configuration. This, combined with the popularity of the A320 family, makes it a low risk option for airlines and lessors. The A321neo is so versatile that airlines buy it for many different purposes, and this is why it sells in large numbers. It is the opposite for a niche aircraft.
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: Why is the A321 only a recent success?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:59 am

reidar76 wrote:
I don't agree with the premises in the opening post that the A321 is only a recent success. The A321ceo has been quite successful ..


The first A321-200 delivery was in April 1997, by 1999 more A321 were delivered than the B752. I would say that the A321 was dominant in its class since the year 2001. In 2001 Airbus delivered 49 A321 vs Boeing's 10 B757-200 and 21 B737-900s.

A321 deliveries
1997 22
1998 35
1999 33
2000 28
2001 49

B752 deliveries
1997 43
1998 47
1999 18
2000 31
2001 10
2003 7

737-900ER deliveries never exceeded 73 in one year, the A321ceo reached 83 as early as 2009
The B739 never delivered more jets than the A321 in any year ever!

2007 9
2008 30
2009 28
2010 15
2011 24
2012 44
2013 67
2014 70
2015 73
2016 52
2017 37
2018 34
2019 22

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