25 March 2014

Airbus´ dilemma with the A330neo and A350-800

Although Airbus remains publicly ambivalent about its willingness to develop a reengined A330, a growing sector of the market is voicing support for the move.
Speaking at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (Istat) Americas 2014 conference, CIT Transportation and International Finance President Jeff Knittel says the A330 “is at a crossroads, and we think Airbus needs to make some decisions.”

Airbus remains unmoved by the clamor, at least on the surface. Commenting on the speculation over prospects for a new engine option (neo) variant, Airbus Senior Vice President for Leasing Markets Andrew Shankland says, “There's a lot of discussion on the A330neo, but not in Toulouse”. Airbus sees “the A330 going on with new developments for a long, long time,” Shankland acknowledges. “We are always analyzing everything including re-engining —but you shouldn't take that as a sign we plan to do that.”

CIT sees the A330neo as a fundamentally viable prospect because it fits into a niche that enables profitability in the 250-300-seat market on shorter ranges where the longer-range optimized A350 and Boeing 787 families might be penalized. “The A350-800 is not as efficient as they'd like, so they need to do something,” says Steve Mason, CIT vice president for aircraft analysis. “The obvious one is to reengine the A330, and, from an Airbus perspective, it may be the biggest bang for the buck.”

Mason also says the reengined A330 and A350 markets are not necessarily the same: “We see them as segments that don't overlap too much. The important thing is that Airbus act quickly.” Failure to move swiftly and make a launch decision within the next six months or so could cause Airbus to miss the launch window. “That would damage the business case,” Mason says.

Airlines including AirAsia and Delta Air Lines have already expressed strong support for the proposed reengining. “There is a huge need for a small widebody,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson said. “We really need Airbus to step up and reengine.”

Not all lessors are in agreement over the case for the A330neo, however. Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman and CEO of Air Lease Corp., appears highly skeptical. “We don't believe it is rational for us to take the A350-800 and the A330neo. Airbus has not made that decision at a senior level and, if they do, I believe the focus going forward will be on the A350-900 and further enhancements to the A350-1000,” he said. In the mid-2000s, as head of International Lease Finance Corp., Udvar-Hazy was influential in forcing Airbus to redesign the A350 with a wider fuselage. “I don't see the A350-800 surviving if they do the A330neo,” he added.
Based on the article “Momentum Movers. Airbus is 'at crossroads' for the A330's future, says key aircraft lessor” published in Aviation Week


  1. ide like to see the airbus a350-800 spent more money on and phase out the airbus a330 the aircraft is 20 years old. time to say bye bye. please bring in the airbus a350-800

  2. The difference between the models in A350 family should be about 20% (like A320). A350-900 is 315pax. In this case A350-1000 should be around 378pax (one frame longer that current -1000 with more pax and cargo). Thus A350-800 should be around 262pax (one or two frames shorter the current -800) with LR version and with much more lighter Regional.

  3. why not put a scaled down wing on A350-800….325 sq meters instead of 443? and new optimized engine. it ll make it much lighter and efficient than 787. should make a better investment than A330neo. I don’t understand why A350 fuselage wall thickness is 14″…787′s is 11″…777x’s is 9″ thick that means 3 to 5 inches of extra cabin width from the same fuselage!!