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leelaw
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Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:41 pm

Airbus North America president and chief executive Barry Eccleston today reiterated the manufacturer’s commitment to its current A350 programme.

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...+North+American+CEO+Eccleston.html
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
kappel
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:53 pm

Quote:
�At this stage, we will not rush that decision,� said Eccleston. �I don�t know when [a decision] will be made, but we will listen to our customers.� Airbus North American�s chief declined to elaborate on the possible outcome of such a decision.

So what will it be, listen to customers or not rush a decision. Key customers are saying they need a new aircraft. They already made the mistake of underestimating the 787 after the huge increase in oil prices. Had those increases not come, the a350 may have been more competitive, but underestimating the 787 cost them key sales, like AC, AI, NW and QF. And now if they don't watch out also SQ. Granted, most of these carriers have never been huge Airbus customers (except AC and NW), the a350 doesn't seem to be winning sales battles from key Boeing customers (like a victory in the QF tender would have been.

IMHO they should bite the bullet and commit to the redesign, even if it costs more and delays the program 2 years. I'm guessing that a lot of work has already been done with the current version of the a350 (Al-Li fuselage, composite wings, various drag-reducing features like the windows and reshaped winglets, etc) The biggest work would be new wings, and electrical systems. A wider fuselage would not be that much work would it?
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RichardPrice
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:11 pm

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):

So what will it be, listen to customers or not rush a decision

Both? The two actions dont conflict with each other, so Airbus can listen while not rushing to make a decision.

The A350 will certainly not be as competative as the 787, so it all depends on what Airbus wants to do with the aircraft as to whether or not it gets a redesign - do they want a lions share of the market, or are they content with marketing an also ran and taking home enough money to turn a profit but little else to talk of?

Only time will tell.
 
Ken777
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:15 pm

Sometimes you need to go with what you have - not what you would like to have.

The 350 will sell (even if it for delivery times that Boeing can make because of its huge order book) and the 350 will make a profit. While competitive drive can focus on market share it all gets down to providing the shareholders with profitability and the 350 is probably the best option for the shareholders at this time.

Right now Airbus has to get the 350 out the door in order to compete at some level with the 787, finalize the 380 and, most important, be prepared to move quickly on a 32E. They can be caught in the same position they were when the 787 started selling. Longer term they may well need something between the 350 and the 380 as Boeing moves on Y3.

Starting over with the 350 is a far greater risk in terms of profitability than staying with what is available now - especially when longer term needs and risks are included. The 350 is going to make Airbus money simply because Boeing can't physically produce all of the planes needed for this market over the next 5 - 10 years.
 
redflyer
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:17 pm

Something is going on at Airbus regarding the final iteration of the 350. Wasn't the design supposed to be locked down by now?
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kappel
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:19 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 2):
Both? The two actions dont conflict with each other, so Airbus can listen while not rushing to make a decision.

What I meant was that a couple of the most important customers have spoken and they are apparantly still not reacting. So what will it take? A LH or IB order for the 787? And I think they really need to win the SQ tender, but IMHO they stand little chance. Those remarks by SQ are not only intended to lower the price I'm afraid.
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RichardPrice
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:36 pm

Quoting Kappel (Reply 5):

What I meant was that a couple of the most important customers have spoken and they are apparantly still not reacting.

Just because they havent decided to clue A.net in on internal developments, policy and design meetings doesnt mean they arent reacting. The sort of modifications SQ and others have recommended are certainly not something that can be decided overnight and its only been a couple of weeks since SQ made the request (April 9th) and ILFC made their suggestion (29th March - give or take a couple of days on both these dates).

You might think that they would want to take a little more than a couple of weeks everyone on this forum has given them to decide whether or not to go ahead with a monumental change to the structure of the aircraft. Airbus might also have to discuss the situation with the airlines already signed up.

Give them more than 2 or 3 weeks, please!
 
leelaw
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:44 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 6):
Give them more than 2 or 3 weeks

Airbus only became aware of these "complaints" 2-3 weeks ago?

[Edited 2006-04-20 16:45:44]
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:44 pm

The current rise in the cost of fuel also creates an additional problem for airbus which can be included in the A350 discussion.
To compete with the 777, they have been offering "fuel discounts" on the purchase of A340's - I read that on this site, if that's not official then the rest
of this post is moot -, can they continue to do that, will the offer that also
on the A350?
Fuel efficiency is becoming more important as the price of oil continues to rise, and airlines will no longer be so willing to accept higher fuel burn for other passenger amenities, as there is only so much incremental pricing power they have before they kill the market, in terms of volume.
Some may say decrease capacity is a good thing for the industry, but with all the ailines around, decrease in capacity will come with the decrease of carriers, not just a/c, both will go together.
How much of a "fuel penalty" does the bigger and heavier A350 have versus the B787, and does it matter more now with the rise in oil prices?
 
NAV20
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:52 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 6):
The sort of modifications SQ and others have recommended are certainly not something that can be decided overnight and its only been a couple of weeks since SQ made the request (April 9th) and ILFC made their suggestion (29th March - give or take a couple of days on both these dates).

Sorry, RP, but that just doesn't make sense in business terms. If Leahy is doing his job (and I believe that, on this occasion, he has been) they'll have been getting feedback for months from customers who DIDN'T buy the A350. The prospective customers' criticisms shouldn't come as any surprise to them at this stage. Indeed, that is confirmed by an Airbus 'spokesperson' in this story:-

"Mary Anne Greczyn, a U.S. spokeswoman for Airbus, notes that Airbus' critics didn't say anything publicly that they haven't said privately to Airbus officials before.

"Still, their pointed public comments "certainly put an exclamation point on their concerns, and we are listening."


http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...cturing/2006-04-16-a350-usat_x.htm

I think it's much more likely that any decision is in the 'too hard basket'. Because there isn't really a solution - just a choice of evils.

EITHER press on with developing and producing an uncompetitve aeroplane which isn't selling in any numbers;

OR take so long developing and producing a competitive one that Boeing will have locked up the market for a decade ahead before they get it into production.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:57 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 7):

Airbus only became aware of these "complaints" 2-3 weeks ago?

ILFCs Udvar-Hazys comments were made on the 29th March 2006 and again on the 4th April 2006, according to all news sources I can find.

Reuters
Composite News
Flight Global
Flight Global 2

SIAs Chew Choon Seng's comments were made on 9th April 2006, according to all news sources I can find.

Yahoo!
Airwise News
Flight Global

There may have been private discussions beforehand, but we have no way of knowing that.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:03 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 9):
Sorry, RP, but that just doesn't make sense in business terms. If Leahy is doing his job (and I believe that, on this occasion, he has been) they'll have been getting feedback for months from customers who DIDN'T buy the A350. The prospective customers' criticisms shouldn't come as any surprise to them at this stage. Indeed, that is confirmed by an Airbus 'spokesperson' in this story:-

Fair enough, but we still dont know how far in the past those comments were made and the industry certainly hadnt been asking about a redesign before the comments were made publically.

[Edited 2006-04-20 17:05:39]
 
boeingbus
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:07 am

I am not happy about it but I agree with the current Airbus statements that A350 is, what it is... Airlines and Lessors are not going to have a choice if they want to stick with this. Airbus will sweeten the deal to make it a wise choice.

This is all about the current resources at Airbus. The A350 in its current plan will take enough resources as it is. This has to be alongside the other projects. No company has unlimited amounts of engineers, money and management.

You also can't be the entire farm on one segment with the span of 10 years. They also have to think of the single aisle programs. They are watching the 737RS program very closely and must be prepared to face it.

The A350 will sell... and may not be as successful but it will sell...

Again, they will look at a total new design when they finally realize the A340 is a dead end.
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leelaw
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:10 am

More doom and gloom from the "Great Satan" Aboulafia in the USA Today article NAV20 posted: Smile

If Airbus loses most or all of the upcoming big sales battles, the A-350 would become "a second-tier airplane bought only by third-tier airlines," says aircraft manufacturing analyst Richard Aboulafia, vice president of the Teal Group, consultants in Fairfax, Va.

"You could see a big body blow to the A-350 program, and to the whole of Airbus, if they don't get the design fixed by" July, when aerospace and airline leaders from around the globe gather for the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

as well as,

And it's not just the A-350 program that is endangered, adds analyst Paul Nisbet, a principal at JSA Research. Because airlines seek uniformity in their fleets, Airbus' other models could become less attractive in the market if buyers opt for the 787.

The current wide-body fuselage that Airbus offers was at one time widely viewed as superior to the Boeing offering, Nisbet said. That's why Boeing gambled big on the larger, weight-saving, all-composite fuselage that is key to the 787 design.

Using the first all-composite fuselage in a commercial aircraft, Boeing took a big risk, Nisbet says. But the customers have passed judgment, and the market "is now very comfortable with the Boeing concept," he says.
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Halibut
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
Airbus North America president and chief executive Barry Eccleston today reiterated the manufacturer’s commitment to its current A350 programme.

The saga of Airbus's A350 Pickle continues ! How far behind is Airbus in the widebody market ???

  

Airbus In Pickle Over A350-2 Redesign Or Not 2-II (by Halibut Apr 20 2006 in Civil Aviation)


Halibut

[Edited 2006-04-20 17:17:00]
6 million Jews were slaughtered-Do you see Jews flying planes into buildings in Germany to kill 1000s of innocent, NO !
 
NAV20
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:14 am

Don't follow, RP? Your central point was:-

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 6):
Give them more than 2 or 3 weeks, please!

Given the time since 787 appeared 'on the horizon', I'd say they've already had '2 or 3 years'. How much longer d'you reckon they need?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
kappel
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:25 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 3):

You make some good points there Ken. I guess I am agreeing with you that it may be too late to start from scratch, so as not to jeapordize the a320RS project and perhaps even the a389 and whatever they have up their sleeve.
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Oykie
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
So what will it be, listen to customers or not rush a decision. Key customers are saying they need a new aircraft.

The problem for Airbus is that the fuselage cross section has not changed to make the plane compatible with the A330/A340 manufacturing line. Changing this will drive up the nonrecurring costs for the new aircraft.

I think the latest remarks from SQ and ILFC is that the industry would like to see some real competition and fears a monopoly from one company.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 4):
Something is going on at Airbus regarding the final iteration of the 350. Wasn't the design supposed to be locked down by now?

Design freeze was initially planned for this spring, but according to AW&ST not all features will be locked in the initial design freeze.

It will be interesting to see what Airbus ends up doing with the A350. And I hope that they will come up with something that enables them to do something with the A340-500/600 at the same time.
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NAV20
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:34 am

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 12):
You also can't bet the entire farm on one segment with the span of 10 years.

Isn't that exactly what they've been doing with the A380 since EADS was set up in 2000?
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RichardPrice
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:34 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):
Given the time since 787 appeared 'on the horizon', I'd say they've already had '2 or 3 years'. How much longer d'you reckon they need?

As long as they want, its that simple.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:39 am

Of course they will not be rushed. Would you if the future of a big part of your company were at stake?? Of course not.

You can almost feel the agony oozing out of Airbus HQ over this. Airbus has an obvious internal fight going on and a very serious decision with very serious ramifications to make, so they had better take thier time or it could cost everyone dearly.
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:42 am

That Airbus has been consistently evolving the A350 design since they first announced it shows that they are receiving feedback from customers and have been responding to it where possible and practical.

Boeing has benefited from the sharp rise in fuel prices, as it makes the 787 more attractive. They have also benefited from their own engineers, since their decision to make the cabin wider has allowed them to add one extra Economy seat per row, which has closed most of the "gap" in capacity the A350 enjoys over the 787 in a 2+4+2 config. Considering the A350 cannot easily be converted to 3+3+3 without significantly more sacrifices in customer comfort and airline convenience (needing new service carts, for example) then taking a 787 to 3+3+3 requires, that means the A350 pretty much needs to stick to 2+4+2.

Airbus can widen the A350's fuselage, but they don't want to because it would require all new fuselage tooling (and probably wing-join tooling, as well). So in addition to all the time and money needed to re-do the design with a wider fuselage, there is all the time and money needed to build the new tooling and then build a new production line to house it. And then you have a production line and tooling optimized for only one aircraft family, which is something Airbus and many of their supporters chide Boeing for doing (with seperate lines and tooling for the 747, 767, 777 and 787). And if it takes Airbus until 2015 to get all this into place, Boeing will have secured a decade's worth of orders uncontested.

And what happens if their is another huge air traffic downturn ala 2002-2003? Airbus just spent massive amounts of money offering a new airliner when nobody can afford to buy it. Sure, Boeing will watch 787 sales dry-up, as well, but they at least had a few years to sell and build them, so they're recovering some (if not all) of their investment.

Airbus is better off sending forward the A350 as it now exists, securing hundreds of orders (honestly, who cares who orders it, as long as they make the payments?) and then working fresh on an A320RS and a new large widebody to replace the A345/A346 and compete against Y3.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:24 am

There is an interesting article on the 787 and A350 in Airline Fleet and Network Management
http://www.aviationindustrygroup.com...shockofthenewthe787a-1221-1227.pdf
But there was one quote I don't understand:

Quote:
If Aboulafia is critical about
Boeing’s product line, he is positively
scathing about Airbus’, describing it
as an “untold catastrophe”: “Take
the A350 numbers they’ve provided
and divide weight by passenger —
max takeoff or empty. Now take the
same numbers for the A380: you get
better numbers for the A380, which
means there’s a penalty for critical
mass. The A350 is such a great plane
that it has the unfortunate effect of
making the previous generation,
especially the A380, look a bit
irrelevant.”
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
787engineer
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:48 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
So what will it be, listen to customers or not rush a decision.

Airbus will take their time with this decision, but in the end they'll most likely stick with their current basic desgin.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 1):
A wider fuselage would not be that much work would it?

Oh, yes it would. Like Stitch mentioned tooling is a big, big issue. Airbus has basically perfected the tooling and structural optimization for the A350s fuselage through the A300, A310, A330, and A340 in all their various stretches/derivatives. To start anew is somewhat uncharted territory for Airbus. Although the A380 is also an all new design, it was all new period. There's not too much competition against the A380 and its sheer size gives it very favorable CASM. Boeing is a little more accustomed to optimizing new fuselage sizes quickly and efficiently, afterall we do it for almost every airplane we build. Boeing also has the 777 and 767 fuselages to draw from to help reduce some of the work whereas Airbus really only has the A330/340. I'll reiterate what I've said before: the chances of Airbus creating a new wider fuselage this far into the A350 program is essential zero. No chance. They will make as many minor improvements as they can, but the fuselage stays.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 3):

Starting over with the 350 is a far greater risk in terms of profitability than staying with what is available now - especially when longer term needs and risks are included. The 350 is going to make Airbus money simply because Boeing can't physically produce all of the planes needed for this market over the next 5 - 10 years.

 checkmark 

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 7):
Airbus only became aware of these "complaints" 2-3 weeks ago?



Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 11):
Fair enough, but we still dont know how far in the past those comments were made and the industry certainly hadnt been asking about a redesign before the comments were made publically.

I'm sure the airlines have been voicing some concern as soon as they realized the 787 could actually fit 9 abreast at acceptable comfort levels. I assume that Airbus didn't have an answer to their concerns (afterall the A350 was originally a warmed up A330), and thus somewhat ignored the 9-abreast issue until a few airlines to which this was a big issue got fed up enough that they voiced their concerns in public. There's usually a LOT of conversation back and forth between the OEM and airlines as to their needs and wants. It would reveal an even bigger problem (in communciation) if Airbus hadn't heard of these (now public) issues months ago.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 5):
What I meant was that a couple of the most important customers have spoken and they are apparantly still not reacting. So what will it take?

There's only so much Airbus can do without scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch. Airbus's hands are tied; there are already orders for A350s. If Airbus scrapped the current A350 for a wider fuselage version, all airlines would be extremely cautious the next time around. Afterall if they completely redesigned the A350 after it got ~100 firm orders what's to say they won't do it on their next program. What if some new issue arises from OTHER airlines (maybe your competitor!) that causes Airbus to delay EIS and cost you money. Would you want to be the launch customer for a new Airbus plane ever again? Their reputation would tarnished for years to come.

As an aviation enthusiast  yes  I would love to see what neat stuff Airbus could do with a new design, but this far into the program, it would be pointless. It would only hurt the company.
 
kappel
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting 787engineer (Reply 23):

Your points are well taken. I've indeed read that using the same fuselage is one of the main reasons they can offer lower prices on aircraft. They are indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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leelaw
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
They have also benefited from their own engineers, since their decision to make the cabin wider has allowed them to add one extra Economy seat per row, which has closed most of the "gap" in capacity the A350 enjoys over the 787 in a 2+4+2 config. Considering the A350 cannot easily be converted to 3+3+3 without significantly more sacrifices in customer comfort and airline convenience (needing new service carts, for example) then taking a 787 to 3+3+3 requires, that means the A350 pretty much needs to stick to 2+4+2.

I'm told Udvar-Hazy & Co. began to look askance at Airbus' decision to stick with the A300/340/330 cross section on the A350 when it became clear an extra seat could be accommodated in the 787 cabin, due to reduced insulation requirements than was originally anticipated by Boeing's engineers. ILFC has made a business judgement that the A350's narrower cabin could significantly impact residual values in the long-term, and will certainly dampen the sales propects of the program in general. Why should customers make huge mid/long-term financial commitments to a program which is considered/perceived to be an "also ran" from the get-go?

[Edited 2006-04-21 14:16:45]
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:45 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 25):
...ILFC has made a business judgement that the A350's narrower cabin could significantly impact residual values in the long-term, and will certainly dampen the sales propects of the program in general.

By being able to go 9-across, that helped lower the CASM and raise the PRASM (Possible/Projected RASM) of the 787. When you add in the significantly higher cost of oil and the perception that this price will be the rule, rather then the exception, going forward, "the numbers" the airlines are running (even if they're just projections) seem to be tracking further and further into the 787's favor, with a consequent shift in orders.

Quote:
Why should customers make huge mid/long-term financial commitments to a program which is considered/perceived to be an "also ran" from the get-go?

I guess it depends on how much of an "also-ran" the A350 is. For airlines that either show a "Boeing bias" in their fleet purchases or have a small enough fleet or a large enough bank account that they can replace what they have, they are choosing the 787.

But the A350 has a solid initial order book (counting firm orders and paid commitments) itself. And just as some big Boeing operators (SQ, CX, BA) have yet to make public their plans, so have some large Airbus operators (LH, VS). Plus their are scores of smaller Airbus operators who have yet to commit, but can reasonably expected to be considering the A350 for fleet-commonality issues.

Yes, the 787 will probably sell more. Maybe multiples more. But in a 1000-frame market, 300-400 is nothing to sneeze at, especially since it leverages your existing infrastructure more then the competitors (Boeing is spending more to develop and produce the facilities needed to make their plane).
 
leelaw
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:14 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
But in a 1000-frame market, 300-400 is nothing to sneeze at, especially since it leverages your existing infrastructure more then the competitors (Boeing is spending more to develop and produce the facilities needed to make their plane).

It will be interesting to see if the A350 program ever reaches the 300-400 unit sales threshold; apparently, Udvar-Hazy/ILFC, GECAS, and other potential customers which have chimed in (SQ, EK, even UA), have serious doubts it will. Major A330 operators like AC, NW, KE have already defected, EK hangs in the balance, QR remains ensconced on the fence, and many of the smaller operators lease their fleets from the major lessors, and are likely to follow their lead. Sometimes, an "also ran" can't aspire to much, even mediocre results are unobtainable...the Trident and Caravelle didn't find much success in a very large market ultimately dominated by the 727.

[Edited 2006-04-21 15:15:46]
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
NAV20
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:43 pm

Quoting 787engineer (Reply 23):
I'm sure the airlines have been voicing some concern as soon as they realized the 787 could actually fit 9 abreast at acceptable comfort levels.

I really do wonder whether Boeing, early on, ran a very shrewd and successful 'disinformation' campaign on the 787 - and other new aeroplanes. For a long time it was very difficult to find any hard information on the 787's likely fuel consumption - and the early publicity about it certainly showed 8-across. Maybe they deliberately made over-cautious claims at first (in public, anyway) and let Airbus think that they could compete just by warming over the A330 - until it was too late.

It's certainly one of the differences between the two companies, at the present time anyway, that the claimed performance of Boeing designs seems to improve as design and testing proceeds - whereas Airbus claims tend to move in the other direction.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
widebodyphotog
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:48 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 26):
Yes, the 787 will probably sell more. Maybe multiples more. But in a 1000-frame market, 300-400 is nothing to sneeze at, especially since it leverages your existing infrastructure more then the competitors (Boeing is spending more to develop and produce the facilities needed to make their plane).

Honestly Stitch, I don't believe that it will even be that close in the end. If you are looking at a 20 year time frame one has to say the advantage is overwhelming for the 787 because it has the future built in to the basic design. The 787's ancillary systems are modular in nature and designed to be upgraded easily as technology advances. The engines share a common pylon, which allows swaps of engine OEM without modification, even allowing two different manufactures powerplants on the same frame at the same time. What this means is the performance and handling of individual 787's can be consistently improve following the inevitable advancement of technology, while the A350, at it's core being a derivative aircraft, is basically stuck with what it comes with and can not follow a path of continual upgrades throughout its lifespan...My own conclusion is that the 787 will offer more consistent value to its operators over time while the A350 will descend more quickly into obsolescence...



-widebodyphotog
If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
 
Joni
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:23 pm

Interesting to read Leahy's take on the 787/A350 order status, it mirrors what Qantas' CEO (Dixon) said, namely that earlier availability of production slots has tipped the first few years' sales to the 787. We'll have to see how the sales develop from here on. Interestingly Leahy also claims the A350 has 2% lower OEW per seat than the 787 - I imagine that's with the 8-across 787.

Anyway, where does one find these OEWs anyway? They don't figure on A or B's websites, but people here often seem to know them. At least the party line on A.net has IMO been that the 787 would be lighter.

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 29):
The 787's ancillary systems are modular in nature and designed to be upgraded easily as technology advances.

Isn't this true of all planes? I mean, the very way they're built sort of mandates that everything is modular.

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 29):
the A350, at it's core being a derivative aircraft, is basically stuck with what it comes with and can not follow a path of continual upgrades throughout its lifespan

Why not? The A340's been gradually improved over its lifespan and I don't see why the A350 coudn't be.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:26 pm

At the rate Airbus is going they should kibosh the current A350 configuration and start all over again with a clean-sheet twin-engine airliner that will be lighter, offer more room and maybe even switch to bleedless engine operation.
 
widebodyphotog
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:04 am

Quoting Joni (Reply 30):
Interesting to read Leahy's take on the 787/A350 order status, it mirrors what Qantas' CEO (Dixon) said, namely that earlier availability of production slots has tipped the first few years' sales to the 787. We'll have to see how the sales develop from here on. Interestingly Leahy also claims the A350 has 2% lower OEW per seat than the 787 - I imagine that's with the 8-across 787.

Leahy is blowing smoke yet again...

787-9 OEW per seat is much lower than A350-800. These aircraft are the most closely matched in terms of capacity and range. Relative to the A350-900, OEW per seat is higher, but the reference capacity of the A350-900 is 16% higher as well. A more valid comparison to to the proposed 787-10 against which in that category the A350-900 falls short yet again...

An excerpt from compiled data...

787 A350 Weights and Capacities

OEWs for 787 you can find on the Boeing website in the technical information section. Airbus used to have that data listed for all of its aircraft but has removed the OEW figures as of late. You can still find them in their technical reference section though.



-widebodyphotog
If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:21 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 32):
Leahy is blowing smoke yet again...

Who is he trying to fool? The folk's on a.net? Surely the airlines see through these false claims. Doesn't this damage his credibility with them?

[Edited 2006-04-21 17:22:47]
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
widebodyphotog
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:40 am

Quoting Joni (Reply 30):
Why not? The A340's been gradually improved over its lifespan and I don't see why the A350 coudn't be.

How did the A340-200/300 improve? By developing the A340-500/600? Not improvement that is replacement. What I'm getting at is, for example, the 787 APU does not have to generate bleed air anymore so it is incorporated into a modular design that can be replaced by a fuel cell when the technology matures. A350 will never have capabilities such as this because it's fundamental design is based on old generation principles...



-widebodyphotog
If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
 
11Bravo
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:52 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 32):
An excerpt from compiled data...

The Payload w/ Max Fuel number for the B787-10 is stunning in comparison to the A359. No wonder airlines are drooling over this model.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
787engineer
Posts: 545
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 33):

Who is he trying to fool? The folk's on a.net? Surely the airlines see through these false claims. Doesn't this damage his credibility with them?

It's just numbers for ideal situations for the A350 and less than ideal for the 787. The airlines will look at both OEM's numbers carefully and make their own decisions. They take numbers from both A and B with a grain of salt.

Quoting Joni (Reply 30):
Interesting to read Leahy's take on the 787/A350 order status, it mirrors what Qantas' CEO (Dixon) said, namely that earlier availability of production slots has tipped the first few years' sales to the 787. We'll have to see how the sales develop from here on.

AFAIK, since both the 787 and A350 have been "on sale" the 787 has outsold the A350 handily. Hopefully someone on here can enlighten us with the exact numbers. Doesn't the A350 currently have the slot availability advantage? I know Boeing has been looking to increase the production rate for several months now. The fact that the 787 is still picking up a few orders here and there (note the UFOs on Boeing's website) while A350 sales seems to have stagnated is a bad sign for the A350. They need to committ to a design for the A350 so airlines can make a firm decision. The airlines won't wait around forever to see what Airbus can offer in the A350.

Quoting Joni (Reply 30):
Isn't this true of all planes? I mean, the very way they're built sort of mandates that everything is modular.

Not exactly. Most airplanes have different pylons for different engines, so it would be a big ordeal to re-engine an entire fleet with new engines, especially from different manufacturers. I'm sure there are others more familiar with engine maintenance and replacement here on a.net, but the common pylon allows (as Boeing claims) an engine change in under 24 hrs. I'd say it'll probably end up being 36-48 hrs (just b/c I think 24hrs is quite ambitious). But AFAIK with other aircraft it takes over a week to change out an engine for a completely different type. The common pylon increases the residual value of the aircraft because more airlines are able to purchase old 787s.

As far as avionics goes, I'm sure all recent airliners are fairly modular. The 787 is very modular, as is the A380 and to a certain extent the 777. If they redesigned (not just install LCD screens) the avionics/cockpit in the A345/6 it may be fairly modular also. I think the 787 has a slight advantage in how modular/upgradable its systems are simply by it's enormous use of electronics, which came about with the bleedless engines. The APU case by widephotog is a good example.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:20 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
I really do wonder whether Boeing, early on, ran a very shrewd and successful 'disinformation' campaign on the 787 - and other new aeroplanes...and let Airbus think that they could compete just by warming over the A330 - until it was too late.

They may very well have, but if I had to put money down, I'd put it down on Airbus still using the A330/A340 fuselage diameter. They probably would have used more GLARE/CFRP/Al-Li where they could, might have been a bit more aggressive in re-profiling the wing, and probably would have considered bleedless systems, as well. But the costs in time and money to re-do the fuselage would have probably prevented them from moving to it.

However, if Airbus had as solid an idea of the 787's capabilities as Boeing had, they may very well have launched the A350 as the A330NG and then made the A350 a Y3-type plane. The A357 would have been the A359, the A358 would play in the 773ERs realm, and the A359 could have played in the 744/748 range. Boeing still would have enjoyed solid sales in the small-to-mid widebody market, but they also could have aimed right for Boeing's real profit-centers—the 777 and 747—while replacing the entire A340 range (the A357LR could take over the A345) as well as expanding beyond the capacity limits of the A346...
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:38 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 37):
But the costs in time and money to re-do the fuselage would have probably prevented them from moving to it.



Quote:

“I’m [Leahy] not sure that
there’s much difference in risk in
either programme. We’re spending
about 4.5bn euros, which is about
$5bn, on our programme; they’re
spending about $6-6.5bn on theirs.

http://www.aviationindustrygroup.com...shockofthenewthe787a-1221-1227.pdf

Where does Leahy get these numbers from? I've read the 787 will cost $8-10 billion. If it only cost $6-6.5bn, and Airbus is already spending $5 billion on a warmed over A330, why wouldn't they spend $1.5 billion more and go far a clean sheet design?

I think the real reason is that Airbus is incapable of mass producing a CRFP fuselage at a reasonable cost.
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
widebodyphotog
Posts: 885
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:57 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
I really do wonder whether Boeing, early on, ran a very shrewd and successful 'disinformation' campaign on the 787 - and other new aeroplanes. For a long time it was very difficult to find any hard information on the 787's likely fuel consumption - and the early publicity about it certainly showed 8-across. Maybe they deliberately made over-cautious claims at first (in public, anyway) and let Airbus think that they could compete just by warming over the A330 - until it was too late.

I don't think it was even anything that complicated. If the public statements of Leahy are any indication, they were arrogant, assumed Boeing did not do their homework, and would simply put together a Boeing version of the A330...So they underestimated Boeing's intentions and capability from the start. Usually when you underestimate your opponent you lose...


"Chinese copy of the A330" keeps ringing in my ears...



-widebodyphotog
If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
 
Oykie
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:58 am

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 27):
will be interesting to see if the A350 program ever reaches the 300-400 unit sales.

Since the MD-11 reached 200 even though it was to heavy and inefficient than target performance, I believe that the A350 will reach these numbers. But they are not being able to be market leader with the A350.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
really do wonder whether Boeing, early on, ran a very shrewd and successful disinformation campaign on the 787 - and other new aeroplanes.



I to have wondered about this, they had to know that they where close in getting in 9 abreast. But also I do believe it was Boeing's intention to offer a superior product in coach at 8-abreast offering the widest coach seats ever. With fuel price at current level, they found out they could easily get 9-abreast seating on the 787.

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 34):
How did the A340-200/300 improve? By developing the A340-500/600? Not improvement that is replacement.

Did not they offer the A340-300X as an update?

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 33):
Who is he trying to fool? The folk's on a.net? Surely the airlines see through these false claims. Doesn't this damage his credibility with them?

Leahy is a very consistent and clever person. He has stated that he could sell more A350 and A380 if Airbus could produce enough.  Wink One either love him or hate him for these statements.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
saturn5
Posts: 308
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:44 am

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 40):
Leahy is a very consistent and clever person. He has stated that he could sell more A350 and A380 if Airbus could produce enough. One either love him or hate him for these statements.

He is a buffoon. I recall his earlier statements when Airbus enjoyed clear advntage in all market segments. Frankly it doesn't speak very well about Airbus for having someone like that on its team - his bad-mouthing of Boeing (he moderated his tone a bit after the 787/A350 saga) was always in extremely poor taste. I never heard anyone from Boeing using the same language. And many things he said before are now coming back to haunt him. I don't consider him very clever, maybe he is consistent in his stupidity. Big grin
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting Saturn5 (Reply 41):
And many things he said before are now coming back to haunt him.

What a great segue for this article:

Sound bites can come back to nip Leahy
http://www.leeham.net/filelib/ScottsColumn041806.pdf

[Edited 2006-04-22 00:52:22]
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
aeronut
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:41 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:54 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 38):
I think the real reason is that Airbus is incapable of mass producing a CRFP fuselage at a reasonable cost.

That may be true, but it remains to be seen that Boeing is capable of producing a CRFP fuselage at a reasonable cost.
 
OldAeroGuy
Posts: 3928
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:15 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 39):
I don't think it was even anything that complicated. If the public statements of Leahy are any indication, they were arrogant, assumed Boeing did not do their homework, and would simply put together a Boeing version of the A330...So they underestimated Boeing's intentions and capability from the start. Usually when you underestimate your opponent you lose...

Another possible reason would be the resources (people and money) tied up in the A380 and the understanding that it would be difficult to find more of either to create an airplane that would match Boeing's intentions.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
Cruiser
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:08 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:49 am

Quoting Aeronut (Reply 43):
That may be true, but it remains to be seen that Boeing is capable of producing a CRFP fuselage at a reasonable cost.

Boeing has already produced many of the sections for the 787. As a result, I am sure that they have a handle on the manufacturing costs, and furthermore, these development costs will be shared with the partners.

James
Leahy on Per Seat Costs: "Have you seen the B-2 fly-by at almost US$1bn a copy? It has only 2 seats!"
 
aeronut
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:41 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:08 am

Quoting Cruiser (Reply 45):
Boeing has already produced many of the sections for the 787. As a result, I am sure that they have a handle on the manufacturing costs, and furthermore, these development costs will be shared with the partners.

How can you be sure??? I worked for a major airframer for many years and was very surprised to learn how difficult it was to actually make revenue exceed expenses plus amortized devlopment costs. Time will tell...and even then you truely never know how successful these programs are financially.
 
saturn5
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:49 pm

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:17 am

Quoting Aeronut (Reply 46):
how difficult it was to actually make revenue exceed expenses plus amortized devlopment costs.

So..? This is true for anybody who is in this business regardless if they make airplanes from aluminum, carbon or wood. It would be inconceivable to me that a company like Boeing would not have a good handle on manufacturing costs and risks - they "played" with those composites for many, many years now.
 
gregtx
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:36 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:19 am

Boeing, expends a portion of the developement cost with each fiscal quarter...as well as recouperating a portion with each airframe.

Their expenditure is more marginally weighted toward quarterly expenditure, whereas it is 'per airframe' with Airbus or the former MacDac (back in those days....).

This fundamentaly makes it easier for them to assign cost and potential profit for the program more readily (and easily adjustable) than Airbus.

It's no big deal...just different acct. methods.
 
SEAPlane10
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:38 am

RE: Airbus Will Not Be Rushed On A350 Decision

Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:41 am

Quoting Saturn5 (Reply 41):
Frankly it doesn't speak very well about Airbus for having someone like that on its team - his bad-mouthing of Boeing (he moderated his tone a bit after the 787/A350 saga) was always in extremely poor taste. I never heard anyone from Boeing using the same language.

I agree. If you juxtapose Alan Mulally and John Leahy, and decide which one you would want representing your company to the world...I would pick Mulally any day!  Smile

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