Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A-380 is A Saturated order Book While The A350-1000 Wants The Table Scraps

How many more A380's will Airbus sell in light of its A350-1000 push? Qatar pushed back on the A-350 without cause, and is silent with an unannounced reason. Most think it’s business as usual for Qatar. After all they are known for leveraging Boeing into compliance from asserting customer preferences before delivery.

Evidently they (Airbus) must have made a deal with its customer, squeezing some monetary gain for Qatar. Where in return, it will zip it up and not say anything! Boeing couldn't foresee a Qatar hostage advertising scenario, before its first 787-8 delivery. Qatar made Boeing make it right or no delivery, plus they broadcast its displeasure, as if it were some kind of advertising junket using its displeasure concerning Boeing imperfections.

It proudly reports how exacting and conscientious they are over its aircraft. Once again it appears, Qatar has Airbus by the vitals between its fore finger and thumb in a pincher movement. It will squeeze more out of Airbus, as pride has a price in Paris.

Bloomberg News:

The infamous Airbus Hat-In-Hand surge in Airplane Wars

What is really happening is hushed money is paid in some kind of. "In kind payment" from the Airbus production line level? Where in Boeing's case it trusted everything, and it was good to go before Qatar played its cards. What is not known, is what cards does Qatar hold, a two of Hearts or Ace of Spades? The two of Hearts is a Boeing card, and the Ace of Spades would be something fundamentally wrong with the Airbus A350 offering. Qatar is holding its card tight to the chest. I always take the somewhere in between card, and I think it’s a well-played Joker on Airbus as they are fighting A380 order stagnation, and overly aggressive investment commitments for all its types, tempered by sales parity with Boeing. The investment analysis is simple, too many plates are spinning in the air at the same time as the 787 market presence grows beyond 200, 787 in service.

An industry rethink is occurring. It is filed under fickle next to the pickle.

  • Can the 777X straddle the A350 and the A380 conveniently?
  • Will the 787-9 and -10 make more market perfect fits than the A350 family?
  • Is the A380 in an Airport Pickle?
  • Is Qatar stalling on the A350 in its rethink?

That is enough questions for any press conference held in abstention. Here are some important general thoughts on these bullet points.

The 777X is of great concern for Airbus, once it takes to the air, and once its full metrics are validated. It will haul 80% of the passenger payload of the A380 but will fit in every major airport in the world. 

The 787-9 and -10 family will bisect the A350 market in pieces. Even the 787-8 has a Max capacity configuration for economy travelers going worldwide. The 787-8 carries from 291-335 passengers on week-end wonder routes. The 787-9 does that sensibly appointed. The 787-10 is a high density route maker with a 7,200 mile capability. Even though the A380 can go farther and carry more passengers economically. Only 10% of the world's route needs that kind of density and distance. 

However, the 777X can capture that 10% of the market without airport renovations at either end of the route. There is the major re-think airlines are undergoing at a crucial time for both the A380 and A350. The question remains which tool box do we want to own, Airbus or Boeing? Re-thinking is now critical for this important answer. The Qatar order delay may be more important than installing the right seat colors. It may be a prevent defense milking the order clock as it ponders the order log, before orders climb in the Boeing book.

Now for some important direct answers on the bullet points.

Yes, the A380 is in a pickle, because of its niche spot in the market, where it's reaching saturation, unless customers become more innovative for its equipment.

Yes, Qatar is playing the order clock and rethinking its positions and its airline strategy. Possibly many other airline companies are in the rethinking mode, as customer fickleness sets in. Better plans mean better profits is a common corporate model.

Qatar has sent Airbus a warning shot over the Airbus bow as is customary for this Airline. They are testing Airbus resolve for the A350, as well as buying time on the delivery clock. Money is not an issue, however, the Qatar fickle business is strong.

The pickle business is in that 10% slice of the market where the A380 lives.