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Airbus poised to corner Boeing with the new extended A220 variant

WASHINGTON — Developing a new commercial plane is a costly and time-consuming process that requires a lot of technical expertise, and there is no guarantee of success, as demonstrated by the Airbus A380, which was only produced for a short period of time. The iconic superjumbo couldn't earn back the $20 billion it cost to develop before it was discontinued in 2019. This is why the aerospace industry nowadays prefers to modify, lengthen, and redesign existing models at a much lower cost… ( More...

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C. W. GRADY 52
Boeing should have left Bombardier alone, but the guys in the 3 piece suits said to shut 'em down and so came the lawsuits and tariffs and the like. Airbus bought Bombardier, renamed the CS line to the A line and the rest is history. Oh, and the guys that made that mistake have retired, resigned or been fired. Boeing is now struggling without anything to compete with the A220 and, ..... well, as they say, 'Payback is a bitch'!
James Eaton 19
absolutely agree with the above sentiments. It could very well be that in the past Boeing had resorted to similar practices and got away with it....
The finance guys aka "bean counters" nearly ruined Rolls Royce Jet Engines a few decades ago before a light came on somewhere and common sense prevailed.
As Churchill once said (and I paraphrase): "those who do not know history are fated to repeat it."
Douglas Winkeljohn 0
Santayana I think, not Churchill, But otherwise as valid a statement today as when he said it.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

cyberjet 12
Spoken like some like someone who has nothing of substance to offer in rebuttal, so shooting the messenger is all you have.
btweston 0
Ironic, I think, that you idiots always sound exactly the same.
Bill Simpson 30
Boeing decided to let Finance run the company. Engineering, and their soul, are stored in a closet in Everett.
Chris B 19
A220 is a fantastic aircraft for passengers. Roomy, quiet. I'm told by a 737 Max Pilot, that it's a bit of a sports car to fly and makes the 737 feel slow especially in climb performance. It certainly gets up to FL41 very quickly.

If you get a chance to fly in it, take it.

Airbus we're lucky to snatch a fully approved aircraft up "cheaply".
HP Baumeister 2
lucky or smart?
Chris B 1
Lucky that Boeing effed up their relationship with Canada so badly. Here's another piece detailing how the A220 fell into Airbus' lap.
Jon Duncan 20
The last two airplanes, 737 Max and 787, Boeing certified were grounded for significant periods of time. Didn't happen to Airbus.
SkyAware123 7
You can put lipstick on a 737, it's still an old plane
Perry Ramsey 6
It's worse than just being an old plane, it has a fundamentally flawed configuration that can't be fixed. The short landing gear precludes putting a modern engine under the wing, which was the genesis of the whole MAX debacle.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a pan-European consortium is more nimble than Boeing. (Well, unless you are pan-European, in which case the smell of blood in the water must be exhilarating.)
If a LEAP-1B isn't modern, what is?
solamich 3
My airline and others had serious incident with an A330 pitot tube icing issue shortly after purchase yet these events were ignored. Even after the Air France crash A330's aircraft were allowed to fly. New A380's developed numerous spar cracks yet continued to fly during the "strengthening process". Some companies are immune and have a much less auora of media bashing. Politics.

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btweston 2
Pro tip: Just stop.
Hans Björkman 2
Who told you they don’t fly? You are a uniformed American fox watcher obviously. I have been on 2 different A380 flying in December 2022. In the air from and to Dubai UAE.
HP Baumeister 3
Best airplane to fly - as passenger and pilot!
SkyAware123 0
easy now. get some meds for that TDS acting up.
Mike Reeves 2
The A380 flies OK. The 737 max nose dives
cyberjet -2
Someone has an addiction to down-votes.
John Brooks 3
I think with the current production backlog Airbus is going to have to show some kind of performance increase or it is just out of the game. Asking a customer to order a new aircraft when he has to wait that long to see his product is out of the question in today's market. Boeing on the other hand can easily ramp up and come to market in 5 years with a new 797 aircraft and make Airbus look second best if it wants to.
Joel Rugeno 7
I’m done with Boeing too, it’s corporate credo and it’s low morals that sacrifice safety for profit margins. Let them earn a buck by cheating the government with an old commercial plane unsuited as an Air Force flying tanker, I’m not stepping into their planes.
boughbw 3
Once again... how does having an unsafe plane help Boeing save money? Correct me if I am wrong -- but isn't having airplanes that are likely to crash actually a good reason for airlines to NOT BUY THEM? Is NOT SELLING PLANES a good business strategy for an airplane manufacturer? Please, explain it to me in simple terms.
James Leon 2
It's basic stuff really. Cost is always pitted against something else; comfort, serviceability, and among other things, safety. In the case of the 737 Max, Boeing pushed the balance too far in favor of cost, past a justifiable safety compromise into unethical and immoral territory. The bigger engines created an inherent instability, which demands computer controls to overcome, which demands a highly informed computer with redundant inputs, and demands specialized pilot training. Boeing lied to regulators about the significance of the changes to avoid the specialized training to make the plane more attractive to airlines. Boeing offered the plane without redundant AOA sensor input, to save money. And Boeing succeeded in saving money by producing an unsafe plane, that they knew was unsafe. To a simple-minded bean-counter, safety costs money and Boeing can't save money by making a plane MORE safe. Tesla, for comparison, is sacrificing safety for profits by removing sensors. It's not as bad as Boeing, but mostly due to the difference in speed, size, altitude, and number of people on board.
Peter Fuller 7
The squawked article portrays an A220-500 as a threat to the 737-8 MAX. The 737-8 is certified and in production; the A220-500 is a concept, yet to be developed, tested, certified. 737 monthly production rate of 31 is planned to increase to 47 by end of 2023. A220 monthly rate is planned to increase to all of 14 in 2025.

Even if the A220-500 looks to be a better airplane, it’s not “poised to corner Boeing”, as it is many years away from being a substantial market threat to the 737-8.
Christopher Whitt 13
Sure, nobody thinks this will happen tomorrow, but 737 is an ANCIENT design and we've seen the serious problems that caused. A220 is just starting its life and the point is Boeing can't respond to the strengths of A220 without a different aircraft; Max is already "Maxed" out. And a clean-sheet design is not even on the horizon.
Raymond Doherty 2
Only slightly more "ancient" than the A320.
Stephen Leftly 5
Airbus A320 first flight March 1984
Boeing 737 First flight April 1967

I don't know about you but 17 years seems pretty significant age difference to me. It will be 2040 before the age of the A320 is as old as the 737....
btweston 1
Oh, let him suck his thumb.
Dan Drimmie 1
The age design comparison was being made with the 737 compared to the A220 (not the A320).
SkyAware123 3
and? It's still a threat for Boeing. Not today, but definetely tomorrow.
C J 2
This sounds like Boeing logic!
boughbw 10
Boeing shot itself in the foot multiple times here. They ended the production run of the 717, which airlines vastly preferred to the 737-700. Boeing tried to partner with Embraer and even buy them, but failed at this when the MAX crashes occurred. A clean-sheet composite 717 would likely fit the bill and could not only compete against the A220, but also the lower-end A320s with a proven design (and a design where MCAS is not a consideration due to engine position). Obviously, the 717's larger siblings were the MD-80/90 series, so a stretch isn't so much of a stretch, pardon the pun. This leaves aside the catastrophic decision to end 757 production...
But... I'm not sure that Boeing is doing badly in waiting for clean-sheet designs at the moment. They have also paused the "Mid-Market" or 797 design in favor of waiting for the next technology advances, presumably in engines. On top of this, the MAX is doing far better in sales than anticipated only a year ago. The 787 sales are a pleasant surprise (United's massive order) as well. Taking a moment to consider what they want to do and how they want to do it is a good thing. After so much turbulence (much of it of their own making), really calculating the next step is profoundly important.
By contrast with Airbus, where the A220 and A320neos continue to sell quite well, the A380 is unexpectedly closing down, the A330neo has not sold well, and the only remaining bright spot is the A350, Boeing is not looking nearly as bad after years of debacles around the MAX.
This is what competition is about -- bettering your offerings to compete with your business competitors. Believe it or not, it appears to be working.
Peter Fuller 3
“They ended the production run of the 717, which airlines vastly preferred to the 737-700.”
Looking at the orders booked for both types shows the opposite, that airlines preferred the 737-700.

“….the catastrophic decision to end 757 production.”
Catastrophic?? 757 orders slowed to a trickle after 2001, so it made business sense to end production when no one wanted any more.

“…I’m not sure that Boeing is doing badly in waiting for clean-sheet designs…”
Agreed. As boughbw writes, better to wait “for the next technology advances, presumably in engines.”, meaning significantly better fuel efficiency than presently available engines offer. Trouble is, no one wants to take the first step: airframers want to wait until next-generation engines are available, engine manufacturers want assurances that there’s an airplane to justify the considerable investment needed to develop new engines.
solamich 2
Too bad Boeing was so quick to bury The Douglas brand the highly updated MD-95 and potential later successors. That was their mid 100 pax market that had a familiar presence and history. They should have learned with this line how to update an overhead panel as the 737 still looks like 1965.
21voyageur 3
IMHO, Boeing has no one to blame but itself for the A220-500 being set up as another nail in the coffin of its commercial operations. It is Boeing, via its bullying legal tactics at the time aimed at sinking a smaller company that had/has better technology, that basically pushed Bombardier into accepting Airbus's offer to buy it out. Guess what - karma comes back to haunt them. When the Boeing board allowed its leadership to neuter its engineering side and allow an unfettered commercial (ie: stock price and leadership financial incentives) approach to business, it set itself up for what we see today from that company. Can the commercial side ever fully recover to its former role as a global aviation leader? I doubt it. Perhaps too big to fail in the USA but would be a showdo of what they were. All IMHO.
Domingo Montoro 3
Well I’m done with variants . Had a chance to travel on the new airbus 321 variant to Europe last year because it was non stop( direct). worst decision and worst flt out of my 500+ transatlantic crossings. A single isle aircraft on a 7 hr + trip not my idea of enjoying the trip. Guess what I’m flying back across the pond and have gone out of my way to use an alternative this time( air bus 350 via another gateway. Never again in a 321Neo ever and a 221Neo? You have to be a masochist if they use this over the water.
boughbw 4
I'm not sure how it is your opinion is getting voted down. I'm with you 100%. I've flown to/from Brazil on the 757, 767, 787, and the 321. The 767 and 787 were just a lot more spacious because more people could choose to be up without bumping into each other over the 9+ hour trip. TAM's A321 was a nightmare -- obviously configured for domestic service, it was cramped (pitch) and the aisles were crowded the entire trip.
Domingo Montoro 2
On two isles aircraft you can get up and walk around and wonder on a single isle the traffic is higher and the sense of narrowness of a thin fuselage plane adds to the problem , there is no way you can get up and carry a conversation while standing up on the isle Or get up to stretch out , and the isle is condemn simply to walk to the washroom.
HP Baumeister 2
I don't get that "single vs twin isle" phobia: I VERY rarely ever set foot in the "other isle" on a twin isle flight.
So what's the problem? Emergency egress regs are the same for all aircraft, so no problem there.
There are plenty of 6+ h single isle flights "since forever" in the US and elsewhere, never heard anyone complain.
Please help me understand your problem.
Raymond Doherty 10
Single-aisle aircraft are claustrophobic sardine cans. For many the feeling of roominess is a huge factor. It's not a phobia. Also the long ones take forever to board and deplane, as I just experienced on an A321. I would never fly on a flight over 5 hours unless it was a wide-body. Just flew coach on a Lufthansa A340-600 and loved it.
HP Baumeister -2
A321 compares with a B 757 as far as seats, a 737 Max is pretty close- ever heard of claustrophobia there? Or taking forever to board? Give me a break
Stefan Sobol -1
There is the view amongst some people against flying on large airplanes as in "How can something this big stay in the air?!"
Kenneth Mino 7
It's hardly a "phobia". It's a matter of comfort and safety. A wide-body aircraft with a fuselage of 5-6 meters in diameter affords occupants with appreciably more headroom and elbow room than narrow-body aircraft with a 3-4 meter diameter. This makes a considerable difference to taller passengers and crew who occupy window seats, or who spend any time standing in a lavatory or galley. Long flights on narrow-body aircraft can be a miserable experience.
Joshua JUBRIL 1
They need to modify the A380 just like a330 to a330neo, there will be significant changes.
Domingo Montoro 1
John Eliopoulos 0
Yes, Boeing are quaking in their boots after the A380 fiasco.
btweston 0
Uh… you are aware that other people can see your comments, right?
Justthefacs 1
Amazing how there is one person with TDS. Really kind of funny in a sad way. Like a burr under a saddle.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

websanity 5
The Boeing 737 Max is based on a 35 year old airplane design. The US government had to rewrite the law because it doesn't have an appropriate EICAS system, which some pilots in the US have demanded. I mean, come on, its FMCs don't even have parity protection against data corruption; PERSONALLY I think it's a "bag of spanners" not an appropriate aircraft for the 21st Century. 787 777 different kettle of fish. Airbus played Boeing with the A320 neo variants and they won. Maybe with an A220 stretch they will play them again? What new aircraft will Boeing build next? Even they don't know it seems. More the worry, if you are a Boeing fan-boy or Airbus fan-boy, is what is flying in from the East. It will be years, but before long we'll be talking about the ABCs of aircraft manufacturers: Airbus, Boeing, Comac. Maybe the A220 stretch is aimed to the East not the West?
Hans Björkman 2
I flew on a Britania airways B737 in 1971 thats 50+ years ago…
Domingo Montoro -5
Same here, but that was a reputable aircraft and would rather fly the old version than the new Max.I value my life.
You might want to double check your math.
Raymond Doherty 2
The A320 design is 40 years old. Not sure when the design was locked down, but according to Wikipedia it was under development in the late 70s. The A320 program was then "launched" in 1984 with 96 orders from Air France.
First sentence, wrong (it's 55 years). Second sentence, wrong (it's a waiver to a new law that was never intended to apply to 737s). Third sentence, not sure what you're even talking about... fmc, like flight management, as in navigation? Max uses a GE system several others use. Parity? Parity what? Network? Standard ethernet. Memory? Maybe it uses ECC instead. Or not, but whatever since a flipped bit isn't exactly catastrophic. It sounds like something you just made up anyway. Fourth through last sentence are opinions the order sheets don't seem to agree with, but ok.
btweston 1
Airbus makes engines now? Learn something new every day…
C J 0
Right…they shut down on final into London. Educate yourself.
jwelder3 3
Rolls Royce engines problem (as distinguished from P&W). There, a bit of education for you. :-)
Mike Reeves 0
Read the reports, moron
21voyageur -1
Sorry sir, your national/political blinders are more than obvious to the extent that I wonder if you are simply baiting others. Please, let the data speak for itself. Let the families of those that passed on the Max8 speak as well. But somehow I doubt you are willing to listen to either.
Christopher Whitt -5
How many people died on an A220? How many people died on a Max8?

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Tony Kastrinakis 8
Amend that to: If it's Boeing, I ain't going" ;)
Markus Nieder 0
ScottCurtis777 1
"If it Ain't Boeing.... I Ain't Going"
Maybe when Boeing was an "engineering" company, before the MD bean-counters took over after the merger and proceeded to run the company into the ground.
Hans Björkman -6
The only people pushing Boeing is Americans. Its nationalism and hurt ego. Some companies like emirates refuse to accept Boeing made in the southern USA, assembled by drug addicts. Watch a fantastic documentary on YT filmed with hidden camera among the pushers in the plane factory.
Kenneth Irsay 2
Where is this documentary available?
btweston 1
BA LHR 777
jwelder3 4
Oh, you referring to the Rolls Royce engine fuel control problem...
wannabehocker -5
The A220 has this far been a really lousy aircraft. The BCS1 can't climb even if it's life depended on it. The BCS2 and 3 are slightly better, but not much. As much as Boeing deserves to be kicked into the abiss right now, the A220 will never be legitimate competition for the 737 - despite all the 737 issues
Domingo Montoro -3
Btw I really value my life and avoid flying the B737 Max as much as I value my life . Previous generation of the B737( the vacuum cleaner) a real workhorse and best aircraft ou there but the new variant ...mmmmmmm.
Roger Anderson 5
I flew the MAX 3 times in the last two months. Amazing ride, smooth, quiet, and I'm still alive.
Marcus Giddens -5
I have changed air reservations 2x in the last 10 months to avoid flying on of those death traps.
boughbw 3
I've flown the MAX twice. It's a fun ride. Safest ride in the sky after all the attention it received.


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