Re: airliner market analysis [long]

Date:         03 Mar 98 03:13:13 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <>
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H Andrew Chuang wrote:
> AE316/317 vs B717-100/200 (aka MD-95)
> Airbus has learned that it is very difficult to do business with
> China.  Airbus wants to build the smaller AE316 to compete with the
> B717.  The Chinese are interested in the bigger AE317.  The other major
> partner, Singapore Aerospace, is frustrated and is threatening to pull
> out.

If they would not succeed - and I doubt they can afford to do so - is there a
chance to see this baby-bus being built by AI with other partners. Just think
at Saab who has a lot of free capacity.

> As long as Boeing can keep the cost down, the B717 might be moderately
> successful.

In long term the AE31X should have the lead as it will be designed from
scratch. There will be the advantage of commonality with other members of AI,
especially the 320. But that doesn't make the 717 a bad plane, this airframe
has been very successful for over 30 years.

> A320 vs B737
> Anyway, the A320 seems to be doing even better this year.

The key to the success is that - in my opinion - the 320 family is now
complete. If the 320 would still be alone (no 321 and 319) it would be an
isolated solution and be far less interesting for airlines. This is also - in
part - why the MD90 and late 80 series failed, there were no smaller or
bigger derivatives. Strange as this was one of the reasons for the big
success of the DC9.

> Boeing cannot afford to lose British Airways' order!

This will be a very interesting one, apparently the order will be split,
although I doubt it.

> A330-200 vs B767-400
> As I have said so many times, the A330-200 revitalized the A330
> program.  At this time, the A330-200 has a small lead.  Boeing needs
> some Asian and European customers for the -400.

This should be a tough battle over the next years, the advantage of the 764
is that the 763 is well established, the 332 is however the newer design. So
far the 764 has only be ordered by US customers, see for more

> A340-500 vs B777-200X
> Both manufacturers are still vying for Singapore's order.

The SIA order will kick off either of those a/c. Also the choice of the major
japanese carriers will be very important and influence the NW decision.

> A340-600 vs B777-300X
> Hence, if AA and DL do show strong enough
> interest, I won't be surprised if Boeing gives Singapore a real sweet
> deal to kick off the program.

SIA will always get a good deal as they may 'really' launch the 345/6 or
772/3X. So far the commitments for the 345/6 don't include a really big order
of over 15 firm a/c.

> IMHO, the twin-engine B777-300/300X will eventually be one
> of Boeing's most successful widebody lines.

This is also my opinion, but there has been no order for the 773 for 2.5
years. This derivative will really start to be interesting if Boeing will
stop to produce the 744 which would be a direct rival to the 773X. I doubt
that the basic 773 will ever be a big success.

>  B747 vs A3XX
> Quite a number of B747 derivatives have surfaced.  The 30-year old B747
> will never be as efficient as the A3XX on paper.

Finding the financing for the 3XX will be the most difficult job for the
Airbus team. I doubt this will take place anytime soon.

You missed the A310 vs B762 market. There is still a (small) market for such
an a/c, but I doubt that the investment is worth it. I read that the 310NG
would get the engines of the 340NG. But again this is a niche.

My views,
Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg --