Airlines tend to buy aircraft in a growth patterns staying with a manufacturer, whether or not the next type of up-line model is not better than the competitions. In-essence, the commonality question becomes more import for fleet expansion or replacement than if buying 787-9 or an A-350-900 when you have a fleet of single aisle already supplied with trained ground personal, parts, and few pilots capable of stepping up to a different dual aisle model. The 1% -2% difference between wide bodies in competition doesn't play into the over-all cost of having a mixed fleet of both Airbus and Boeing Aircraft.
PAL is pondering buying the A-350. It also runs in numbers the A-320. It has retired its 747 fleet and needs long legs. What PAL has to consider, is whether the A-320 meets its future needs as compared with the Boeing MAX single aisle, before it orders the A-350 duo-aisle wide body. Boeing would like to flip the PAL fleet Boeing's way. It has to sell them, the MAX, in the future with an overwhelming argument before PAL could even consider the 787 wide body. It just easier for PAL to order the A-350 regardless of a line by line comparison on the 787 vs the A-350.
Boeing must convince PAL why the 737 Max is a sea change event for other airlines in the region, before the wide body sale can be completed. Here are Boeing's Talking point to that end.
- The 737 Max is a better fit for PAL.
- The 737 training expense for PAL maybe mitigated through aircraft price offerings and sweeteners.
- The timing for PAL/Boeing delivery could be made more appropriate for PAL's financing resources.
- The Boeing Advantage of dual aisle performance could be made relevant with Boeing's fleet change assistance.
- Competition is going to be other airlines which are flying Boeing in the region.
- The competition with wide bodies, world-wide, is the 787, the A-350 maybe close but no cigar.
Boeing has to work very hard for the wide-body sales of the 787 as PAL ponders Airbus and its commonality with the A-320. The Max discussion must be part of the deal in order it to work for PAL.