Good points but, don't you think that, by 2025-2026 (when the A220 becomes profitable as per Airbus) would not be time to revamp the whole line? The A220 is going on the same path of the B737 in regards of potentially becoming an obsolete model. I always felt that, once they did took over the C-Series Project, that a MOM coveing both the A220 and A320 capabilities would be the natural course of action - by then, you would have something like an A220-500 but perfectly aligned (with no overlaps) with the rest of offering.
Mind you, after all the investment (and success) on the A321 line in recent years, one might wonder if it is the time to consider replacing it by something new.
That's why I really do not get the A220-500 debacle - it is the "right now" proposition. The "probably later" (when we would have something in the shape of an A220-500 but part of a bigger portfolio) is my bet.
Have a great day!
Just a couple of observations:-
Not sure how the A220 becomes potentially obsolete on the same path as the 737 - the A220 is probably the most advanced narrowbody out there - CFRP wings an all - the 737, er, isn't... to put it mildly
I also don't think that most people would consider a model covering A220 and A320 as a "MOM" - by definition MOM surely sits above the narrowbodys and below the widebodys.
What you describe is a all new single-aisle (NSA)
I don't see Airbus stopping building the A321NEO for a very long time. I just don't see the driver.
What do you think would prompt Airbus to consider replacing it, and when?
To clarify, the A220 is not obsolete now neither in the new future. It is not the most but one of the mot advanced planes around (you might not like the figures but the E-Jets, including the E2, are quite impressive and "do what they say on the tin" and, additionally, are profitable - not better but quite good too).
However, the A320 is becoming obsolete now. You are probably right that, rather than mention a MOM, I should mention NSA but the meaning is the same - soon Airbus will have to come up with an 320 replacement. Maybe it is already looking into it when it declares that the A220-500 is not a matter of "if" but "when". But this "when" might probably mean time to replace (and certainly unify) their whole NB range.
The only issue (a good one...) here is the A321 - for years people (loads of them here on a.net) joked about the "B757 Widows" saying that there was no market for a NB for that range. Boeing missed the bus in not coming up either with a B757 NG or a B757MAX and Airbus took the mantle with the A321LR and the A321XLR and both filled the gap quite impressively. So these might become in near future like the A350 and offer no commonality but this is life.
Remember: since the beginning, one of Airbus' USPs was always fleet commonality and that's why the whole A320 family is very close to the A330 which in the past was the main product until the A380 and the A350 came along.
Thanks for the reply.
I take the commonality point on board - it has always been one of Airbus' greatest stregths in the market.
We could probably have a great semantic debate about what "obsolete" means for the A320NEO.
I think a useful conversation germane to the thread is to discuss what events might make the A320 obsolete.
we discuss narrow body replacement quite a lot, but what's the commercial driver?
There's a view that because of their strong position currently, airbus won't jump first.
And Boeing have just committed to the 737-10 and it is selling
So will we see another decade on MOM posturing, or will something real happen?
Assuming that at some point something does, and that the MOM driver includes frames from both OEM's larger than the current narrowbodys, it is questionable whether the whole narrowbody range from A319/A223/737-7 to A322+/753/762 size could be accommodated by one family.
There has been a lot of discussion about the "MOM sized" aircraft starting at A321/737-10 size and spanning up to c. 767-200 size.
Whilst speculation, such a solution by definition would leave the A320NEO (and presumably the 737-8) as orphans.
It's at that point, should it happen this way, that one of the options for Airbus is to have a narrow-body line-up that looks like:-
A321 sized new aircraft
A322 sized new aircraft
A323 sized new aircraft (possibly)
As the A321 replacement would be new, that may be an opportunity to address the commonality issue between the two.
An interim offering might look like:-
not quite common, but indeed acknowledging that the A320 would have been obsoleted by a combination of the A220 and A321NEO.
That would free up the NEO line to maximise profit on the bigger NEO's and build volume in the A220 to deliver profitability.
Not saying this is my prediction, but I certainly think it's plausible