10/21/2017

The Bombardier-Airbus CSeries deal

I think it is not overstated when I say the last week changed the landscape of civil aircraft manufactures for years and probably decades to come.
The deal between Bombardier and Airbus that most likely from 2019 onwards lets the CSeries to be a majority owned Airbus product has the potential to influence how the product landscape will look like in 2030. And that includes the products that will be there and also that will NOT be there.
Let's image two things:
  1. Airbus and Bombardier decide to do the "simple stretch" CS500, meaning no changes to the wing, the engines, the landing gear and the Max Takeoff Weight. That would be a roughly 2400nm aircraft with about the capacity of the A320(neo), but with significantly lower empty weight and thus lower trip costs for the typical ranges of up to 800nm. The (official) launch could come by early 2019, after the expected closing of the deal. EIS could then be in 2022 or 2023.
  2. Airbus will adopt much of the cockpit and avionic technologies from the CSeries described here by Bj√∂rn Fehrm for the A320neo (+, ++ or whatever it is called then) and also scale the wing for an A322. Development of the wing could also start in 2019 with an EIS maybe 2024, leapfrogging the potential Boeing NMA.
That would leave Boeing with a big problem: they are in the middle of defining their NMA, or "Middle of the Market" aircraft. But with these potential developments from Airbus&Bombardier Boeing's B737MAX product line just would not be competitive enough. Boeing would have to react to that and instead of launching the NMA with an earliest possible EIS of 2025 they would have to focus on a B737 replacement first
Although a A322 would not be the perfect "Middle of the Market" aircraft it could take away to many sales from the Boeing NMA to let the business case look unattractive. And the shrinking market share in the mich larger traditional narrowbody segment would drain on the cash flow.
So this past week has the chance of really becoming a defining moment...

No comments:

Post a Comment