Here’s the next round in the continuing debate.
Bernstein Research published this chart detailing how Airbus and Boeing differ on the performance improvements they predict.
There is, of course, no way to know who is correct until the airplanes enter service.
We hear the A320 sharklets are performing better than advertised (Aviation Week actually reported this a while back as well). If the figure we’re hearing proves correct, the neo and MAX should have parity.
Boeing is delaying activating the 787 surge line in Everett (WA), while rework on the first 65 787s continues. Steve Trimble of Flight Global has this report. Meanwhile, Bernstein Research, in a note issued today, says the surge line will be where the 787-9 is produced and that the launch of the 787-10 is a near-certainty:
Boeing management described development work on the 787-9 as being ahead of plan at this stage. The 787-9 will go into production in 2013 on the surge line, where change incorporation is being done today on earlier airplanes. First delivery for the 787-9 is planned for early 2014. At this stage, Boeing also sounds optimistic about the 787-10. We have seen the 787-10 as a natural derivative, given the size of the wing.
But, success involves getting weight down sufficiently on the 787-9. Boeing appears optimistic on this
point, but we will wait to see progress. We are conservatively assuming first 787-9 delivery in late 2014. Although Boeing does not intend to announce a 787-10 launch until it is farther along on the 787-8, it appears that a launch is all but certain at this stage.
Bernstein also expects Boeing to deliver 595 aircraft this year vs 581 for Airbus, returning Boeing to the top spot as the world’s #1 airplane maker. With the 787 and 747-8 now being delivered, Bernstein forecasts Boeing will remain #1 through 2016, the outside of Bernstein’s current forecast.
ANA 787s: Market Watch quotes an ANA official saying the Boeing 787-8 is saving 21% in fuel over eh previous airplanes. The article didn’t ID the previous planes, but they were the Boeing 767-300ER. Note, too, that the initial 787-8s are heavy and with Rolls-Royce engines that don’t initially meet specs.
Airbus to benefit from Boeing: The latter is closing its Wichita operations. The former will likely hire some of Boeing’s soon-to-be-out-of-work engineers. Here’s the article. Note that former Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, who is now governor, was present garbed in Airbus colors. This is the same Brownback who couldn’t diss Airbus enough during the EADS-Boeing tanker competition. Now Airbus seems to be Brownback’s best friend.
China-EU showdown over ETS: China continues to refuse to comply with the European Union’s demand that carbon emissions information be provided. China, which already refused to firm up orders for 45 Airbus A330s, threatened to impound European airplanes if the EU retaliates against China’s refusal to comply.
Air Lease Corp to order MAX: Steve Udvar-Hazy, CEO of the lessor, plans to order the 737 MAX within the next few weeks. Boeing wants to firm up orders from ALC, CIT Aerospace, ILFC, GECAS and Aviation Capital Group by or at the Farnborough Air Show.