Jetport wrote:MIflyer12 wrote:Taxi645 wrote:Look, Airbus are going to the A220 ramp up eventually anyway. What I'm saying is that doing more of that ramp up now in stead of ramping up the A320 is LESS costly now than it will be if you do it later. Ramping up the A320 is not free money if the market is not ready to take them yet. The market will more easily absorb the A220 and set's you up much better for another significant ramp up when you start preparing for the A220-500.
Early last year they were talking about A220 breakeven in the highly non-specific 'mid-decade' on a production rate of 10+ per month.
https://www.flightglobal.com/programmes ... 53.article
'We're losing money on every frame. Let's make more!' is not always a sensible path. If it's just a problem of spreading fixed overheads over more production (and the demand is there with customers who have money, as you assert), why haven't they boosted production already? Their losses may be a problem of labor productivity that doesn't go away with higher production rates; it may be a pricing problem of purchased components (and they need time to arm-twist or re-source); it may be a problem of constrained supplier output as suggested by Revelation.
You need to accept the fact they rolled back the output increases. Just how they see that as profit-maximizing may remain a bit of a mystery to you and me.
MIflyer12 is on to something here. Airbus makes lots of money on every A319 and A320, they lose money on every A220.
The A220 has some major hurdles to overcome to ever be a successful aircraft program. Development costs are irrelevant now, but there are several other hurdles which may spell doom for this program. The A220 costs way too much to make. With full carbon fiber construction they may never be able get costs low enough to make money on this aircraft. Most of the A220's sold so far were at prices far too low to make money, maybe even at 10/ month.
With competition from below from the E190/195 E2 and from above from the 737/A32X Airbus just doesn't have the pricing power to charge what they need to to make the A220 a profitable program. Even though it is very efficient, based on what I have read about the A220 the only way it makes sense at profitable prices for Airbus is if you can't fill the 737/A32X or if you have very long flights vs. the E190/195 E2. I assume Airbus is sticking with this program even though it is burning cash because they are hopeful they can make a future cost breakthrough or they can drive the E190/195 E2 from the market.
Looking at projects with a high percentage of composite materials and considered technically successful such as the B787, A220 and A400, I cannot help thinking that the ambition of structural innovation has surpassed common sense.