21 September 2014

How Airbus is supposed to compete with Boeing in the widebody market (2/2)

In the article published by Cranky Flier, there is a good analysis and comparison between Airbus and Boeing´s strategy in their portfolios for the long haul, widebody market.
Let´s continue with the comparisons.

Source: © Airbus

777X vs A350
Here’s where the biggest issue lies in the Airbus portfolio. Boeing has decided to go forward with the new 777X, and that will be its big widebody twinjet. The -8 will seat 350, about the same size as the A350-1000. But the -9 will seat 400. This gives Boeing a bigger airplane to which Airbus has no answer. Of course, the 777X will be a derivative of the original 777 design so it’s not likely to be the most efficient option at 350 seats.

Source: © Airbus

The A350-1000 should be a rock star in that regard, but if you want something moderately bigger, Airbus has nothing to offer. Just look at Emirates. The airline has canceled its order for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s. Then it turned around and ordered 35 777-8Xs and 115 777-9Xs. Emirates, like a lot of airlines, wants to have a mix that skews toward bigger jets. Airbus didn’t have anything to offer in that area.

There’s been plenty of talk about Airbus moving into an A350-1100, and that would compete. But none of that is official at this point. It also remains to be seen if the A350 can be stretched that far and still be an efficient airplane. It wasn’t designed to be that big so there could be some real structural changes required to make it work.

Source: © Airbus

747 vs A380
Up at the top end of the market, we still have the A380 and 747-8 lumbering along. At this point, both airplanes are in production so they should try to sell the heck out of them. But they should realize that there’s a limited shelf life for both. Further development efforts should go into smaller airplanes.

In the end, we have two manufacturers with good options. The only thing that really seems to be lacking is an Airbus twin that can compete with the new 777-9X. If Airbus develops the A350-1100, that solves that problem. Then both manufacturers will have pretty much every tool they need to appeal to nearly every airline. And airlines will be happy to make them beat each other over the head as part of the negotiating process.

Based on the article “Airbus and Boeing Finalize Their Future Widebody Plans and One Looks Better Than the Other” published in Cranky Flier


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. There are lots comments about airbus' gap in the 370 to 550 seat segment.How come nobody is bothered about boeing's lack of a versitile aircraft in the 280 to 407 segment?...787-10 lacks range 777-8 has too much of it (adding to seat mile cost)..airbus has a330neo a350-900 a350-1000

  3. 1) The 787-9 seats 280 in a 3 class arrangement and has the range of 8,300 nm. 2) The 787-10 is not a long haul aircraft therefore it does not need the range. It picks up where the 787-9 leaves off. 43 more seats for 1300 nm less range. The market from 350-400 is changing. The 77W is the best option for this market at the moment and continues to be. People say that the A350-1000 is going to take over this market (Airbus strategy) but the sales numbers for the A350-1000 don't match the numbers for the 77W's in service. In fact with 169 or so orders on the books, the A350-1000 is not what airlines want for a 77W replacement.

    Of all the Airbus models you presented, the A350-900 is the best. The A350-1000 does not seat more than 350 passengers and the A330 NEO is only available because the A350-800 turned out to be a dud. So from 351-400 where do you go?? 777-9. So yes, Boeing does have versatility.

    1. Airbus and Boeing are highly competitive in the wide body segment 250-350pax (including A350-1000, B777-300ER and B777-8X). But in this segment the new weapon is just being prepared (A350-1000, B787-10, A330neo, B777-8X) and we have to wait a few years for the result. Today it is known that both Boeing and Airbus earn a lot of money here.

      Segment 400+ is a different issue. There exists only as the Jumbo (mini B777-9X, old B747-8I and maxi A380). In ten years B777-9X will kill B747-8I. A380 will survive only as the NEO (maybe with -900 version).
      Both B777-9X and A380neo require lot of orders from specific operators like Emirates and Qatar. Without them Jumbo will not exists in the future. 286 orders for B777X and 318 for A380 is not the peak of dreams (200 for B777X and 150 for A380 is from Emirates and Qatar).

    2. The 777x and the A380 do not require lots of orders from specific operators like EK and QR. EK, EY and QR order large amount of planes because of the way there are positioned geographically. If you wanted to go anywhere on the map with one stop, DXB and DOH and your best connection airports and where is Dubai and Doha? Need I say more? The 777x is killing the 748i right now honestly. The A380 will survive but only because EK plans to use it like WN uses the 737. Also don't forget the A380 has been flying for 10 years and has 318 orders. The 777x is still on paper and has 286, so far. By the way, LH, CX and NH have ordered the 777x so its not just EK, QR or EY specific.

      In closing, 200 777x for EK sounds like a lot but they also have 129 flying right now with another 52 on order. This not counting the 200 777x order placed last Nov. Airbus needs EK to fly the A380. EK can cry and beg as much as they want but if EK keeps ordering the A380 like they are, Airbus will see no need to spend more money into a model that is selling just fine, even if it is just with EK.

    3. Jet.Fuel.773-er
      u missed my point...wat I meant was the huge gap between 787-9 & 777-9...take a look at orders
      787-10......139 324seats
      777-8.........42 350seats

      A330-900...124 310seats
      A350-900....547 315seats
      A350-1000..169 369seats

      thats 181 orders for boeing vs 860 airbus...between 280 to 407 seat...I m afraid this gap will keep on increasing if boeing doesnt do anything