I think you mixed the A330 and A350 up - A350's are a lot more expensive.
My main point is Airlines won't be able to afford new Large?expensive Widebodies - they won't take the risk for some time and I'll be surprised by any significant orders for some time for A350/777X.
Airlines if they do need new Capacity will be ordering the smallest/least expensive planes that can do the Job - 787/A330. There are tons of low hour 777W and A350 around for the bleeding edge use cases.
I agree with Lightsaber though about 739ER - that's a real no- brainer and applying the same mods to the 738 could be very interesting as well. Smallest aircraft to do the job. - Can't fill an A321 XLR - 739ER MAX then there is the 738ER which might be quite competitive with A321 XLR at least in range.
While I agree with your ligic on an -8ER and ut should happen just for the *incredible* short field performance it opens up, I think Airbus will counter with an A220 MTOW increase and centerline tanks to take the low end of the market.
So just as the A320CEO and 737NG rewrote the TCON flight map, I think long range narrowbodies will rewrite the up to 4500nm market. Not all if the market, but enough.
Metropolitan areas with insufficient capacity to expand will lose out. Those with demand and expansion capacity will benefit. There will be a transition period and naturally airlines stuck with too many widebodies will do whatever they can to maintain profitable market share.
If there is a -9 ER, I expect FR, UA, and possibly KLM to buy in. B6 will stay Airbus and I would think LH too. IAG and DL are in play (hence why Boeing must develop the -9 ER).
There needs to be a new large narrowbody/small widebody for many markets.
This will hurt the widebody market. It won't go away, but increasing the viable range circle of narrowbodies will create markets for them.
The debate is the recovery curve for widebodies. With so many cities wanting to grow their connections, I see high demand.
What would be the possibility of these NBs having optional tanks added later? Or would these need to be factory mods? I could see a case where airlines take NB now as normal range and adding fuel capacity later, or conversely being willing to order a LR/ER version if the tanks could be converted to cargo storage later once WB routes commended more capacity. -8/-9ER or 321XLR could be versatile that way, but not sure how “permanent” such a designation becomes
The added tanks need to have the avionics and plumbing to connect installed in the factory. It is very difficult to allow cargo hold tanks later on.
I agree with take a normal range with the requisite plumbing and avionics installed. The tanks are removable, so they can be purchased later. That is the advantage. Run them now TATL or other 4000nm length missions while demand is low. When demand recovers, reactivate widebodies (or buy new) and reposition them on shorter missions (or start new long-thin).
Now the A321xLR has a permanent large center tank. However, the weight penalty is minor. It is the premium Airbus is charging for a new build that is expensive. However, as time goes on, that premium will shrink and eventually, I speculate, that will become the default A321 model, just activate or don't activate the center tank for a fee to Airbus. They'll be fine on any A321 route.
That is the beauty of long haul narrowbodies, a simple cabin reconfiguration and they are the same as any other domestic narrowbody of the same size. So I think pretty much every airline will dable.
The argument against is always hub congestion. However, I think eventually either LTN or STN will gain a runway to add capacity for London (I would wish for LHR or LGW, but that is forever delayed). I see enough expansion that while some airports will be congested, I don't think enough to slow the market. There are relatively few truly congested airports in the world. P2P mid-haul narrowbodies offer opportunities for those that are expanding or those that are not congested yet: DTW, PHL, CLT, IAD, IAH (to South America only), DFW (assuming it builds another terminal), DEN, SLC (although the A321xLR's high wing loading is not going to work well at this airport), DUB (with the new runway and expansion), the new IST (not TATL, but to Africa and Asia). But at LHR, they fly A319s! Sheesh, replace those with A321s, free up slots and put more A321s TATL. Or replace them with -9 MAX ERs with some in a short haul configuration and some long haul. Either way, precious slots can be converted by up-gauging without involving a widebody. There are really only 5 cities with congested airports that couldn't accommodate expansion (SFO, LAX but that might be fixed with a new terminal, New York, and Chicago). Everything else is ripe for growth on this side. In Europe, LHR, AMS, and FRA are the impacted airports. Fine, bypass them to the secondary cities. Hub in DUB, PHL, CLT, or another airport with plenty of room to grow. (CLT can pretty much grow forever, so no danger of that one filling up). Most US airport congestion is RJs, so there is an easy swap out for a more profitable flight.
Hey, why should I list airports, Wikipedia has a list of airports under construction, all that is needed is the hub airports in the more congested areas to expand to accomodate. (e.g., early I proposed MUC to expand):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... nstruction
I missed CDG is expanding. I know they have land for more runways. If they need to be the hub for Europe, they'll be the hub for Europe. I also missed Prague is expanding, they are withing -9ER or A321xLR range of India!
Now there is an opportunity to grow quickly hubbing. Who will step up?
I watched TCON in the USA go from widebody to narrowbody over my flying lifetime. While I don't think the ranges we are talking about will go narrowbody as fast or as completely, I do think the majority of the passengers within the city pairs of the A321xLR will go to the longer range narrowbodies. For example, I fly LAX to TPA and other Florida destinations quite a bit. I haven't hubbed in years. The flights might be an A319/A320/A321 (I've flown them all) or a 738 and certainly a MAX.
But between now and this exciting opportunity, we need business travel to return. I'm looking for a way to meet demand and keep the projected narrowbody production rates from destabilizing the whole industry.
I predict when people realize how bad the Covid19 recession is going to be (e.g., Asia is in a recession, the first in a long time), I see infrastructure being the one sure cure to create jobs and boost the economy. Hopefully airports get their share.
But how to deal with the monster surplus of aircraft? I might be excited where the -8 and -9 MAX can fly and the opportunities opened up by what I see is about a thousand entering or re-entering the fleet by 2Q2022. But oh my is that going to do a number on the 738 and 73G pricing. The flood of A32xNEOs Airbus is delivering is going to absolutely tank the A32xCEO market. e.g., Indigo is pretty much going to return an A320CEO for every NEO they receive. SInce those are young aircraft, they will find a home. EasyJet is accepting NEOs too, but that will mean their heavily leased fleet, in particular the 104 A319s, needs a new home (probably will just tank the parts market for the CFM powered CEO, in my opinion, not even Allegiant wants A319s with used A320s so cheap). Wizz air is interesting, but I'm going to bet they will return as many CEOs as possible when Airbus keeps the contract for NEOs.
That tsunami of available CEOs and 737NGs will have some airlines delay buying new as per my previous like (I'll put it below), the resale pricing of used plunged (while new MAX dropped 20%):https://leehamnews.com/2020/11/09/ponti ... ts-plunge/
A 15 year old A320(CEO naturally) went from $13 million to $10.45 million.
The same age 738 dropped from $15.5 mil to $11.6 pre-MAX RTS.
The A321 dropped from $18.9 to $14.5
But none of the above is the same aircraft. It is for a 15 year old aircraft. In 9 months the aircraft (if it sat) also lost value just because it aged (probably another $25,000 or so per month).
Of the aircraft that trade hands, the vaunted 777-300ER lost 47% of value due to covid19. In other words, the same aircraft that was worth $46 million a year ago wouldn't even fetch half that today (again, that is the drop in value for a 15 year old aircraft plus the same aircraft is now 16 years old, further losing value). Note: I don't believe the A380 values as there is no resale value. That $37 million is a placeholder for an airline re-financing, not for a trade as exactly zero airlines buy used A380s now that HiFly returned their one example.
Even when vaccinated, I bet people will be spooked (just being isolated has made people weird...) about mass crowds.
3 months without TV. The best decision of my life.