BA fleet strategy - A350 & 787

Old Oct 30, 18, 9:22 am
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BA fleet strategy - A350 & 787

I know BA aren't alone (e.g., SQ) but does anyone have a good understanding of the strategy behind why some airlines, such as BA, plan to operate both the A350 and 787? What challenges do each solve that justifies both? Is this worth the extra cost of having a more diversified/less scaled fleet?
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Old Oct 30, 18, 9:27 am
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From my understanding its just a case of not putting all your chickens in one bag type theory!

Such as issues with the engines on the 787. Image if that was across an airlines entire fleet!
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Old Oct 30, 18, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by APUBleed View Post
I know BA aren't alone (e.g., SQ) but does anyone have a good understanding of the strategy behind why some airlines, such as BA, plan to operate both the A350 and 787? What challenges do each solve that justifies both? Is this worth the extra cost of having a more diversified/less scaled fleet?
They are very different in almost every aspect payload/range/size. The 787-8 that BA wanted to open up smaller routes is great for that but the smallest A350 (A350-900) is considerably bigger and more 777-200 sized. Also the A350-1000 is much bigger than the largest 787 and is destined for more 747 replacement and it has the range to match which the 787-10 doesn't have. The 787-9 would have been to small for this.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 9:40 am
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I would say, BA's Boeing787s is to replace its Boeing 767
While A350 is to replace Boeing 747s

However, if Boeing 777X were announced and delivered earlier, I would say Boeing 777X is more useful to A350
(1. For the uniformness of the fleet of all Boeing Widebody aircrafts
2. Boeing 777X has a greater capacity than A350)

I would suspect BA should purchase Boeing 777X
The question is when, how much and how many. (perhaps some maybe interested in what routes)
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Old Oct 30, 18, 9:42 am
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A 787 is smaller than the A350.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:01 am
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Buying aircraft is a game of brinkmanship.

For example, maybe sometimes Willie calls up Tom five minutes before the press conference and says "I want 2 billion off or the deal's cancelled" and Tom has to decide yes or no there and then. And it always pays to keep the other guy guessing, so buying from both suppliers can make sense in the long run.

But it's a dangerous game too. If one supplier refuses to work with you then the other knows they can ratchet up their prices. And if you as a supplier don't give the discount asked for, you don't know whether or not the buyer will go to the other guy.

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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:04 am
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Agree the A350 is designed to compete with the 777 family much more than it is to compete with the 787. I like the A350 but with the amount of 777's in the BA fleet then if Boeing get their finger out the a** with the 777X then it should be a win for them as BA can get good overall savings ( pilots/ crew/ maintenance). I think the A350 has a commonality rating to the A340 & 30 but as BA dont operate either that part is moot. The big savings will probably come on the maintenance side of things ( along with BA being able to demand a good 'off list price' discount for previous order history and potential order size) and whilst i'd like to see the 350 in BA colors the 777x is a much better fit
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:11 am
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In short they arenít really the same things.

The 787 is more of a 767 with longer legs hence it opens up all the new routes.

The A350-1000 is more of a modern day 777-300ER (although the latter still sells).

You donít see many new routes opened with the A350 while the 787ís been a game changer in that field.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
Buying aircraft is a game of brinkmanship.

For example, maybe sometimes Willie calls up Tom five minutes before the press conference and says "I want 2 billion off or the deal's cancelled" and Tom has to decide yes or no there and then. And it always pays to keep the other guy guessing, so buying from both suppliers can make sense in the long run.

But it's a dangerous game too. If one supplier refuses to work with you then the other knows they can ratchet up their prices. And if you as a supplier don't give the discount asked for, you don't know whether or not the buyer will go to the other guy.

But it's interesting that almost all the low cost carriers settle for just one manufacturer, and the legacy carriers tend to diversify only their long-haul fleets. I can't think of any carriers outside the US that still buy 320s as well as 737s.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
But it's interesting that almost all the low cost carriers settle for just one manufacturer, and the legacy carriers tend to diversify only their long-haul fleets. I can't think of any carriers outside the US that still buy 320s as well as 737s.
Turkish has an Airbus/Boeing short haul fleet.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
But it's interesting that almost all the low cost carriers settle for just one manufacturer, and the legacy carriers tend to diversify only their long-haul fleets. I can't think of any carriers outside the US that still buy 320s as well as 737s.
The LCC's need to put all their eggs in one basket to drive the price down, and the manufacturers are prepared to do so due to the volume that they buy. It hasn't stopped MOL talking about buying the A320NEO series in the past. I'm not sure if Qatar would qualify as a legacy carrier using your measure but they have ordered both the A320 and the 737, although the 737 aircraft are going to Air Italy.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:07 am
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Airframe purchases would also be considered in an IAG-world where there do exist the A340 for example. The shorthaul fleet were looking to standardise so they could move between 'brands' easily. The benefits of being able to right-size aircraft to route with different types across BA/Iberia/Aer-lingus would probably prove helpful in the future
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:23 am
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In size terms a 787-10 is roughly the same size as an A350-900.

For most of BAs routes there just isnít the need for an aircraft as capable as the A350-900. The 787-10 Is ideally suited to the 7-10 hour routes, with the longer range routes ultimately being performed by either the smaller 787s or the larger A350-1000s and 777-300s.

Itíll be interesting to see whether there will be any fleet rationalisation when the final 747 and eventual 777-200 replacement is announced.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:27 am
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Have no direct insight but the A350 is Rolls Royce powered which is similar to most of the rest of the widebody fleet. 777X is GE only.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
But it's interesting that almost all the low cost carriers settle for just one manufacturer, and the legacy carriers tend to diversify only their long-haul fleets. I can't think of any carriers outside the US that still buy 320s as well as 737s.
The LCCs typically operate short haul networks (Norwegian being I suppose an exception of scale) where missions are broadly comparable - the model is pack em in and if you cant pack em in, lower the fare until you do. (simplified for illustration of point)
For legacy carriers with extensive long haul operations and thus a range of mission types, there isn't necessarily a single frame that maximises the operating benefits (e.g. fuel, demand, frequency) across that range of missions. So legacies will operate long & thin, short & fat, medium & fat/thin, and even long & fat. All of which would be better served with a specific frame. So long as an economic fleet size can be justified for each type, then this works well.
It is no different to saying airline A has an all Boeing 777 longhaul fleet wheras in reality it may have 772/772ER/77W etc
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