Thursday, March 31, 2016

Five Hundred Days Later Airbus Struggles

It's been about five hundred days since the first A350-900 was delivered with Qatar Airlines. The Airbus record shows only 16, A350-900 delivered. During Boeing's first five hundred days it delivered about fifty 787-8's. This of course does not include Boeing's hiatus with battery fire and then shut down. A fair comparison for the two giant framers should go past another hundred days after had Boeing resumed post fire deliveries. This will come in another blog on another day.

Fig 1.

Airbus data does not illustrate a time period "break-out" for every 100 days, where Boeing data is accessible and does so. However, a straight line Airbus approach assumes about 5 units every 100 days until the last period recorded only shows one delivered A350-900. For the sake of illustration, during Airbus' first four hundred and seventy-two production and delivery day period it remains that it only delivered 16, A350-900's. While in a similar span of time, Boeing delivered fifty 787-8's.

It is also important to note, Boeing has a more complex assembly of technology applied to the 787. Airbus gave a technological forbearance and went with the current level of technology proven industry wide. Boeing took higher risks and still produced 50 787's during its first 500 days. Little press is given for the stark contrast between the two production giants.

Upcoming is the segment of Boeing 787 groundings. Where zero 787's were delivered during the 500-600 day time frame. However, Boeing regained its production prowess once the grounding ended and it regained its delivery pace. A complete comparison should include a 700 day delivery set absorbing the grounding and any Airbus improvements or stumbles within its delivery schedule. Even though Airbus is dependent on Zodiac seats for a timely delivery, Airbus is treating this delay as if it were like a Boeing grounding of its delivery schedule. Both air framers have suffered delays and mishap. All things being equal this becomes a measure of resolve over obstacles. Airbus falls on its own omission, "we are being so careful", when in fact they cannot resolve production setbacks.        

Below is an unabashed chart from Wikipedia showing the A350 delivery progress. Even though its un-official, since it does not come from Airbus, it is an excellent thumbnail sketch with all Airbus excuses, included for how Boeing and Airbus both delivered its product during each other's first 500 days in production. Boeing wasn't free of mishap during its first 500 days, therefore this side by side comparison in time suggest how each manufacturer was able to overcome initial start-up woes and Boeing's taller mountain climbed beat the Airbus hill by a wide margin.

Fig 2.