Re: pre-Farnborough comments [long]

Date:         19 Aug 98 00:57:32 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <marcmsc*@cmdnet.lu>
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H Andrew Chuang wrote:
> A319M5/B717
>
> The likelihood of the A319M5 to
> be launched at the Farnborough Air Show is 50-50 at best.  IMHO, I think
> Bombardier and Fairchild/Dornier are taking the right approach in
> introducing jet-powered aircraft to regional operators.  That is, both
> companies are attacking from the low-end (50- and 70-seaters) while a
> larger aircraft is also planned.

I am pretty sure that the 728/528/928JET program will be a big success. They
have already 165 commitments from 4 customers and the commonality of the
bird, will give it's operators the same advantages as on a 320 or 737NG.

> Also, other than NW, there are not that many major
> potential 100-seat replacement orders.  Most sizable DC-9-30 operators
> (such as SAS, Continental, and US Airways) have already made their
> replacement decisions.  Most regional operators are not likely to take a
> big jump to fly 100-seat planes.  Thus, I think the potential for the
> 100-seater market is way over exaggerated.

Right, most 100 seat jets are replaced by higher capacity birds, the 100
seat segment being more and more taken over by the regional operators. Thus
the x28JET seems to be the right plane family at the right moment.

> A320/B737
>
> The spotlight will be on British Airways' narrowbody order.  It seems
> Airbus is a locked-in,

It looks like this one is for the 320, but as you state you never know ...
especially with BA ;)

> but until it's official, Boeing might still have
> a chance.  Personally, I don't think the lack of B737 delivery slots is
> an issue.  GE Capital has previously swapped A320 delivering slots when
> US Airways was unable to secure earlier slots because of pilot union
> problems.  If BA were to order from Boeing, GE Capital would no doubt
> play an integral role.  With or without BA's order, the A320 has proven
> to be extremely successful.

As of today (18-Aug) I have listed 278 vs 273 orders for the A320 vs
B737(old and NG) in the '98 orders summary at http://surf.to/orders. Big
A320 orders to be announced at Farnborough should include the BA order, the
Mexicana order and the follow-on LH order.

>  A330-200/B767-400ER
>
> The longer-range, more current A330-200 is out-selling the B767-400ER by
> a two-to-one margin.  Other than Delta and Continental, Boeing has not
> been able to secure any other sizable orders.

Correct, the ILFC order for the 764 covers only 4 ships and the initial CO
order has been reduced from 30 to 25. CO has ordered 772 instead.

>  American Airlines'
> decision to order the B777-200ER to replace the DC-10 is, IMO, a setback
> for the B767-400ER.

The problem with the 764 is that is half a 767 (design wise) and half a 777
(cockpit wise). This problem was highlighted by an AA official who qualified
the 764 as a new type of plane. I still feel that the 771 instead of the 764
would have been the better choice, even if seating costs would have been
higher.

> On paper, I think the A330-200
> should be an excellent fit for SAS which is about to choose a long-range
> plane.

There are several WB orders which should be announced at Farnborough : SAS
(replace the 763s) , BA (replace 10s and 763s), KLM (replace the 11s and
743s) , LH (replace the 300s), Iberia (replace the 742s).

Following are *rumours* which I collected from various reliable sources in
the industry. They may be wrong, but they have proven to be most of the time
quite accurate. So read my post with this comment in mind ... ;)

The SAS order will most likely be for the 332, the 764 has apparently been
ruled out. BA will choose again the 777 even if they may change the engine
supplier. KLM is tough but I got word that the 777 is out of the race, maybe
764 vs 332 with in addition some 346. LH will go for the 332. Iberia is
likely to choose the 346, the 777 would add a new type to the fleet. And of
course there is the ever lasting NW widebody order, but maybe they will keep
their 10s still some 20 years ;)

> A340-500/600/B777-200X/300X
>
> In the 300-seat category (A330-300, A340-300, B777-200A/ER), Boeing is
> doing quite well.  Recent DC-10 replacement order by American, and
> upcoming orders from British and potentially from Taiwan's China
> Airlines should make a good year for the B777, especially considering
> the fact that Asia, where the B777 heavily relies on, is in a serious
> recession.

Interesting to note that all 777 orders for this year (43) are from
northamerican operators. This will change with the BA order ...

>  However, if Boeing is unable to launch the B777-200X/300X in
> the near future, it will hurt B777's future viability.  IMHO, Boeing
> decided to compete in the 300-seat market because Boeing has a design
> that can replace the older B747s *and* compete with the original
> A330/340 (and MD-11).  Boeing has cheaply launched the B777-300, but it
> has a limited range capability.

The 773 isn't a big success and will never get one because it lacks the
necessary range. The last 773 order was in '95 and since then the total
orders have gone down from 53 to 47. Mainly conversions from the -300 to the
-200.

My views,
--------------------------------------------------------
Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg  mailto:marcmsc@geocities.com
WWW  http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/8803/
The DE HAVILLAND COMET website http://surf.to/comet
The AIRCRAFT ORDERS    website http://surf.to/orders