Airbus plays an interesting cardBy IAG | October 26th, 2010 | Posted in Aviation News | 1 Comment
Les Echos has a great story here. It appears Airbus is still interested in the NEO but wants to offset the risk by bringing in a partner. It seems Airbus thinks an NEO will require five years of engineering to the wing box and landing gear. This is because both the LEAP-X and GTF are heavier engines.
The risk of the NEO seems to be holding Airbus back. None of the items mentioned are insurmountable. However, the delays experienced with other programs have clearly left their mark. There is a real fear that extending resources is just too much. It may be that Boeing has come to the same conclusion.
However the decision to delay re-engine plans also carries a risk. Which is why the whole story is fascinating. If Airbus and Boeing decide to do nothing, they are essentially going to have to concede precious market share built over decades. Bombardier is going to pick up critical mass and then is likely to develop an even bigger version of its CS. The question facing the OEMs is this; what costs more, developing an NEO or doing nothing? In truth doing nothing needs to be qualified – it means doing nothing to current programs even as they start work on replacements set for 2025 to 2030.
If you give Bombardier a two decade window, what happens? Boeing seems to be willing to take the risk that they can close that gap well before two decades and hold off Bombardier in the interim. Airbus seems less certain about this and wants an engine maker to help reduce the risk and development cost. This is a clever strategy – but who are they wooing? Pratt & Whitney and CFM obviously. P&W has an engine but may not be so keen to invest in Airbus's program. CFM might be more interested but still has a long way to go to get an engine ready. CFM might have its hand forced though, it has an engine on the A320 and is exclusive on the 737. For them the risk is losing this status – does it have the resources Airbus needs?
In other news:
- A340s to Africa
- Delta delays 787
- Deutchse Bahn has plans
- IATA comments of September numbers
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