09 January 2010

Farewell 787-3 I hardly Knew You And Also..

Boeing has finally agreed to shut the door on the short range 350 Pax 787-3 aircraft specially designed as a Japan only aircraft for JAl and ANA. ANA formally changed its orders to the longer range 787-8 yesterday.

This also frees up some resources and may indeed spell the end of another Boeing Model - the 777.

With the A350-1000 making inroads the formerly Seattle based manufacturer now has to decide whether to develop the 777 eating 787-10 or stick with two competing products. My guess at this stage is that the 777 lifecycle just got one heck of a lot shorter. Boeing cannot afford to run 4 product lines. It should rationalize on 3 really 2 mass produced lines Narrow body 737 and 787 and a boutique product the 747.

With Boeing now almost certainly going to do another model refresh to the 737 (geared fan) rather than the brand new build aircraft predicted the overlap between the 777 and the larger 787s is too great. And which way will Boeing go, a larger 737 or a smaller 787 to plug a gap or two?

Interesting question. In the mean time Airbus has a more flexible product line with the A318 to A321 and more growth possible out of the 321.

I do believe that we will see both players rationalize around 2+1 models with the Jumbos being boutique hand built products and just 2 lines - widebody and narrow body.

But watch out below... here come the new planes from Bombardier and Embraer not to mention China and Japan.


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