No, we will not. We have been calling LOI/MOU/Commitments or any other vague terms as orders for as long I’ve been around at A.net. It are orders but in different stages of negotiations. It clearly shows that there is a demand. And knowing Airbus a bit and also a bit more about these two specific deals, I fully expect these 11 orders for the A350F to be finalised before the end of this year. And having all these stages also ensures companies can do PR at every step. It’s a win-win marketing wise. You stay in the news and that what counts as well.
We called the LOI of IAG for the MAX an order, we called the LOI for Amedeo and the A380 an order. So what. You might not like it, but the rest of us clearly do and discuss the actual content (number of aircraft etc.) of the deals not the wording of it.
Sorry, no, there was just as much pushback about the IAG "order" for 100 MAXes and the Amedeo "order" for 20 A380s on a.net as we see for the A350F LOIs/MOUs, and it turned out there was merit in such pushback since neither actually became orders. Note that our IAG thread used LOI not "order" in the title ( ref: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1425047
). Seems we are not being consistent here.
To me it's quite plausible that ALC could be an Amedeo-like marketing agreement, just giving the A350F some "sizzle" in exchange for access to the A321s that are the true target of the "order". Or it could end up being a firm, actual order. Time will tell, but for now IMO we're counting chickens before they are hatched.
A contract between an airline and Boeing/Airbus listed as a "firm order" may have penalty free cancellation clauses, so in theory it may be less of a commitment than a LOI. We don't know unless we read the contract and have the know-how to interpret it correctly.
Let's just use the terms in the OEMs press releases, or just "commitments" to cover all three categories. There are currently no "firm orders" for the A350F, but it is highly likely there will be before the end of the year. There are commitments for 9 aircraft.
So you'd feel comfortable calling the Amedeo / Airbus 20 A380 "arrangement" a "commitment", when in reality it was just a marketing agreement, all sizzle and no bacon? To me it seems farcical that 20 A380s were carried in the A380 order total for many years, when those orders just disappeared when the program was halted. If so, what is the point of an order total, if it can be inflated by commitments that have no actual commitment behind them?
It seems the terms LOI/MOU carry a lot more clarity, even though it can be true as Fred states that there can be financial commitment in a LOI.
I don't see the problem of just maintaining separate totals instead of lumping things into the order total that aren't actually orders.
I'm pretty sure that in most aircraft launches there are extensive discussions over the optimisation of specifications before the concept for the aircraft becomes a firm enough configuration to "offer"......
We had such when Boeing was talking to both EK and LH about 747-8i. EK wanted more range, LH wanted more pax count, LH produced cash first, they got what they wanted, EK backed away. Somewhere in that process an actual ATO happened, but everything was really fluid till money was on the table, then it came together in a hurry.
I do suspect Boeing is tweaking the specs based on what the customer says they want, and since we have no actual signed contracts for A350F, their situation is fluid as well. Airbus takes something of a risk by being the first mover, but if they waited till 77XF was launched a lot of the potential business would be unavailable to them. They are showing confidence in their product, which IMO is commendable.
Clearly both A and B would want to change as little as possible from their base models, but it may be such last minute tweaking that gets both parties to improve their product, typically by using more expensive materials. Unfortunately this could make each product more costly and in the end we may get two vendors putting large sums into a split market with neither making any money for their efforts. This is pretty much what was being stated in the early pages of this thread, and it seems to be the way things are going, yet the game is far from over.