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787-A380 news

Old 14th Feb 2005, 10:44
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787-A380 news

The 787 Gives Boeing an Edge Over Airbus
Three times more orders than its European riva's A380

Expansion (Madrid) 02/02/05
author: Miguel Angel Gavira
Copyright(C) 2005 Abstracted from Expansion in Spanish, Source: World Reporter (TM)



The North-American giant has 186 orders since its new plane was launched last April. At book price, the group will earn 22,3 billion dollars, 27.6% more than the European manufacturer during the same period.

Miguel Angel Gavira. Madrid

The North-American giant has 186 orders since its new plane was launched last April. At book price, the group will earn 22,3 billion dollars, 27.6% more than the European manufacturer during the same period.

Apart from its latest success in Japan, thanks to its order for thirty 737, Boeing is strongly committed to its new programme, the 787 Dreamliner. Yesterday, the European company announced a change of chairman to strengthen the Japanese market and appointed Glen Fukushima as the top executive in that country.

During the first nine months --the start of the 787 programme was in May--, there have been 186 firm orders for the Boeing plane. The figure is three times higher than the 62 planes ordered during the same period for the A380 programme, which was launched in December 2000.

This huge difference may be justified by the different size of the planes. The Boeing plane can hold between 200 and 250 people and has a book price of 120 million dollars. The plane that Airbus has opted for can transport between 555 and 853 passengers and costs 282 million dollars. Despite these differences, Boeing is ahead of Airbus in terms of earnings. With 186 firm orders, the North American group will win 22,320 million dollars, 27.6% more than the European one.

Despite the different business segments in which the two planes are operating, the comparison is important as both the 787 Dreamliner and the A380 are the two flagships and set the different strategies of the two groups for the future.

Boeing believes that the number of flights with direct destinations will increase during the coming two decades. According to the demand study that the company publishes every year, the market will request 3,500 planes of the same characteristics as the 787 Dreamliner during that period. According to the US giant, this segment of the market will represent 400,000 million dollars.

The Airbus theory for the coming twenty years is totally different, as it defends the flights to the large hubs or distribution centres to then end their trips with flights on small domestic routes.

In its last market report, the European manufacturer stated that it would need 1,250 planes within the very large category. 64% of this figure would be included in the 500 to 600 seat capacity, the same segment in which the A380 will operate. According to the company based in Toulouse, France, the A380 project will be profitable from 250 orders. At the end of 2004, 139 orders had been received.

The US company disagrees and estimates that the planes over 400 seats represent 4% of the total demand, which means approximately 790 planes. According to their figures, although the number of trips increased between 1990 and 2004, the size of the planes has decreased, a trend that contradicts Airbus's provisions, as the latter believes that the average size of the planes will increase by 20%.

In case Boeing has got their strategy right, Airbus will launch the A350 on the market to directly compete with the 787. John Leavy, the group's vice-president yesterday announced that they expected one hundred firm orders before the end of the year.


Another of Boeing and Airbus arguments for launching their new flagship programmes is the current congestion at the airports. The European group believes that the bigger the planes, the less traffic there will be in the airports, as the large capacity reduces the need to double the current facilities to deal with the increased demand. Airbus calculates that around sixty airports are ready to receive the A380.

Boeing does not share this idea either. The larger planes do not solve airports congestion. If that were the case, more Boeing 747s, the largest plane in the world until the arrival of the A380, would be used. However, during the last twenty years, the 747 takeoff rate from the thirteen busiest airports dropped or remained stable. Boeing also thinks that there are only a few airports ready to receive the A380, thirteen, and a further 39 are being adapted, compared to the 200 that operate with the 747.

Two different strategies for the coming twenty years

Boeing has opted for flights with a direct destination, a demand of 3,500 airplanes similar to the 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus believes that the market will request 1,250 planes for over four hundred passengers.

The American group says that the size of the planes is decreasing, while the European group believes that it will increase 20%

The start of the 747-400 was better

One of the reasons that Boeing gives to show that the A380 is not going to fulfil its provisions is based on the evolution of its best known plane, the Jumbo 747. The North American manufacturer believes that Airbus's estimates of 1,200 planes over twenty years are not believable, and it reminds that 1,349 units of the Boeing 747 were sold over the last 35 years. If we compare the first four launch years of the 747-400 (the latest version of the family) and the A380 programmes, the Boeing plane achieved 165 orders, 30% more than the 139 orders obtained by Airbus. In the two following years of the programme Boeing reached 399 orders. If the European manufacturer is to equal these figures, it will have to triple the current order figure. Boeing insists that these differences are even more important, if we take into account that the launch of the 747 meant doubling the passenger capacity of a commercial aircraft at the time.

The battle for the market

Evolution of the orders during the first nine months of each programme (1)

simulation of the income according to the catalogue prices, in millions of dollars

(1) The order of five 787 from Ethiopean Airlines, placed in February, is not included

Source: Prepared using Airbus and Boeing data
ferrydude is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2005, 10:49
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An article comparing 787 sales with A380 sales.

Oh dear. I don't normally join the "journo-bash" element here, but this time I'll lead the charge! Clueless numpty!

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Old 14th Feb 2005, 11:00
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This article wasn't written by a clueless numpty at all, it's far too well written for that ! It was written by Boeing PR.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 11:14
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and has Volvo sold more or less of its 38t refrigerating truck than Nissan has sold of its Micra ?

Would be interesting to know...

Ever heard of the expression comparing apples with apples ?

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Old 14th Feb 2005, 11:22
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Yeah, I'm no fan of Airbus, but that's some pretty heavy Boeing PR.

I love the "Three times more orders than its European rival's A380". Reminds me of the "World's Largest Iowa I-80 Truckstop"

3 Times more orders in the same period, well before production. Uhhh... so what does this prove?

No comparison either on the price tag or capacities involved.

Yeah, and last night I drank three times as much beer as I did whiskey. So the painful hangover I'm feeling today is because of the pint and a half I had, not the fifth.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 11:53
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I think that the interesting point not mentioned is that the last new B744 Passenger aircraft order was back in 2002. The recent orders have been for freighter versions.

You can read whatever you want into that butwithout the freighter orders, the B744 would be a dead programme by now.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 11:53
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Whilst it's obvious that the two aircraft are not direct competitors, they do embody the two totally different philosophies of the future of air transport, and therefore comparing their success will be a vital indicator of how our industry will eventually mature.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 12:02
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and therefore comparing their success will be a vital indicator of how our industry will eventually mature.
I totally agree........but a raw count of number of units sold clearly is not a true indication of the strength of their products or sales.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 12:13
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This industry will never eventually mature, it will always continuosly evolve, thats what so good about it.

As for the Boeing V Airbus stratagy it looks like both are right, some pax will hub to hub to dest whilst others fly point to point depending on times, availibility and cost, and it seems like there are enough pax flying at the moment to service both philosophies.

On a slightly different note, is it true the A380 will be mandatory autoland every time due very limited eng 1 and 4 ground clearance with tests showing the APs land it consistently better ?
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 12:17
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The two aircraft don't really define the way things are going in the aerospace industry when you consider that: -

Airbus had to build the A380 to allow it to compete with Boeing across the entire product range. If it hadn't then Boeing could have launched derivatives of the B747, this is harder to do against a new product in that area.

Boeing had to build the B787 because its B757/B767 are old and getting very few orders when compared to the newer Airbus A330's etc so it is in their interest to develop this area further rather than competing directly with the A380.

I believe that there will be a place for both aircraft types in the future market. The last few times I've flown into LHR I've been delayed circling over London for 30 minutes or so. More larger aircraft would mean fewer delays at these hubs which are mnot going to disappear. Additionally some airlines will develop some of their routes from regional airports and therefore need mid-sized aircraft.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 12:32
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Company PR is all very well. And if Boeing's PR team are placing Airbus-spoiling copy (like this one) wherever they can worldwide, extolling what they have got over the opposition's products, that is indeed their job. Yes, we here can spot the inconsistencies, but we are the knowledgeable 1% reading aviation articles in newspapers rather than the 99% general readership it is aimed at.

The trouble is I get the feeling that Boeing themselves are actually starting to believe it, and rather than cater to the long distance mass market they really think it really has dissipated from what led to all their 707/747 sales in past decades. Part of this myopia is that it has indeed fragmented for US carriers, and whereas passengers used to congregate at say JFK for transatlantic flights they now have options through Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, etc on intermediate-sized aircraft like 767s and 777s. But this is principally a US-only feature. The rest of the world has retained trunk routes and seems set to continue, or where new carriers such as Emirates through Dubai have come on to the scene they are able to generate A380 loads themselves.

As US carriers don't seem able to afford an intercontinental aircraft betwen them at present, it's a poor alternative to take.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 13:32
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The idiot that wrote the quoted article (and one or two posters here) appears to believe that in future airlines will have the choice only between the A380 and the 787, and that all A320s, A330/40/50s, B737s, B777s and (for now) B747s will disappear from the market!

Even if those two types were the only airliners available, they would not be in direct competition! Jeez...
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 15:52
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The drug culture is no place for amateurs.
First off, Boeing claims 186 commitments, not firm orders.
Second, it's a bigger aircraft.
Third, the original 747 and 747-400 weren't launched into slumps (dot.bomb, post-9/11).
I hope the writer of this piece at least got a good lunch out of Boeing PR - washed down, as it was, with Kool-Aid.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 16:01
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"On a slightly different note, is it true the A380 will be mandatory autoland every time due very limited eng 1 and 4 ground clearance with tests showing the APs land it consistently better ?"

Eh... No ! If you think about it, not every airport or runway has an ILS, and even those that do cannot always guarantee serviceability. Without such a landing aid, the autoland is definetaly not going to be "consistently better" !
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 16:41
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Sounds to me like some people are falling over themselves to look foolish in the race to journo-bash.

Firstly the reporter - in the opening paragraph - is comparing the difference in INCOME derived by Boeing and Airbus. That's nothing to do with comparing aircraft models.

Since it's the financial income which is all-important, not whether you're selling 787s, A380s or bananas, the reporter is quite justified in making the comparison.

In fact, he doesn't appear to compare the two aircraft at all. Quite the opposite - the piece seems to focus specifically on the differing strategies of the two companies and the way each has addressed their own idea of the way the market will go.

But there's no teaching some folk...
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 17:35
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Why is the B787 so often referred to as the competitior to the A380 when they have so little in common?

In terms of size the 787 will be competing with the A330 -and if we're comparing numbers, there are a good many hundreds of those actually flying the skies, while they have yet to finalise the design of the B787 far less cut any metal.
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Old 14th Feb 2005, 17:40
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Coupla things.
As I noted above, he compares Boeing's 186 to Airbus' number in the same time, but the numbers aren't comparable.
Airbus has been pretty rigid about announcing only two things on A380 - firm orders and MoUs that are firm orders without the fine print (frinstance, the financing might not be finished). So far, all their MoUs have gone firm within a few months; there are no old, dead MoUs. Some airlines have announced A380 options but Airbus doesn't list them.
Boeing has announced orders, options and MoUs and lumps them all together. That was Just Not Done in the past, and Boeing was the first to point the finger at competitors who made their orderbooks look big in that way.
Firm orders for the 787 stand at 56, 50 of them from ANA.
There's also the "it isn't how many, it's who" question. Where's Virgin? Singapore? Lufthansa? Even BA? Low cost carriers? Lessors? Major alliance leaders? The movers and shakers of the airline industry have not signed up for the 787.
Not saying it won't succeed, but you can see why the propaganda machine is going full blast right now.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 08:51
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Hi... My first one

I think that the 74 is dead!!

Mr. Boeing has bin keeping her on lifesupport by scrapping MD11F and denying operators chance to buy 777F.
But size is not dead. Lowest seatmile cost is obtained today with 777&340 and not with the biggset bird available. ergo! when 380 comes online next year, size will come in fashion again.
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Old 15th Feb 2005, 10:53
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787? . . . er . . I don't think they ARE going to cut any metal!


Even Boeing don't claim that the 777 has lower seat-mle costs than the 744 (depending upon configuration) and the A346 doesn't come close. And the 74 dead? I'd put money on Boeing launching the 747Adv by mid year. We'll see.
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