Economical analysis of why the Airbus A330-800 is not selling well.
Airbus A330-800 in the designer’s presentation: the aircraft has not been built even for certification tests.
Airbus A330neo first climbed into the sky on October 19, 2017. It was a long version - A330-900, a neo-version of the A330-300 aircraft.
At the moment, the total volume of sales and deliveries of short and long Airbus A330 initial production is approximately comparable: 720 units of 290-seat A330-300 and 650 units of 246-seat A330-200.
But the picture changes, if you look at the latest period: in 2016 the manufacturer received orders for 16 “two hundredth” and 34 “three hundredth”.
In the neo generation, the gap is simply blatant: six A330-800 aircraft for Hawaiian Airlines (HA) versus 206 A330-900 units for seven carriers and three leasing companies. But why?
The first airbus A330-300 to enter service in it’s launch customer livery - the French Air Inter. Today this aircraft is in Brussels air fleet.
A330-300: large aircraft for not very long routes
The Airbus A330 was introduced in 1994 as the A330-300 with the French Air Inter as the starting user.
The range of the aircraft with 212 tons of maximum takeoff weight was 7410 kilometers. With this indicator, he practically could not compete with the best-selling Boeing 767-300ER, capable of flying more than 10,000 kilometers. The A330-300 was suitable for flights from Europe to North America - but no more.
The novelty was simply the “younger” sister of the A340-300 (over 12,000 kilometers and no ETOPS restrictions), and in this capacity it was quite possible to consider it successful.
ETOPS - Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards are given from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and mean the ability to fly over an unoriented terrain.
The first delivered A330-200 in service with Korean Airlines.
A330-200: not very large airplane for long routes.
But to combat Boeing, the European manufacturer revised the design, with the fixed wing reduced the length of the fuselage, increased the takeoff weight to 230 tons - and in 1998 introduced the first version of the A330-200, which was able to transport 240 passengers to a distance of 12,000 kilometers.
As a result, against the backdrop of the “three hundredth”, able to work only on medium-range lines, the sales of a truly long-range “two-hundred” were at a good level. It was able to go on the A340 routes, offering a capacity for 50 passengers less - but also at lower operating costs.
The A330-200 production line was active until 2016, producing about three planes a month. In 2017, there was a slowdown to 33 units, most of them - the military transport MRTT (Military tanker and utility transport). Having completed orders for the ceo-version (Current Engine Option), the manufacturer should launch the release neo, but the queue of buyers for it is not worth it. Six aircraft for Hawaiian Airlines moved to 2019 and 2020.
How did it happen that the share of the short version fell from 40% to 3% in just a few years?
The elder brother eats the younger
The first: A330-300, and even more so, its successor A330-900 significantly improved its performance.
“Three hundredth” now flies further 10 000 kilometers or is in the air longer than 12 hours. “Nine-hundredth”, presumably, even in the standard mass configuration will be able to overcome 11,700 kilometers.
Second: the versions do not differ much in operating costs.
The fuel efficiency
For comparison, choose a calculation for 4,500 nautical miles (8,335 kilometers). This is a typical transatlantic flight from the West European airport to the Midwest USA - one of the main niches for the A330.
We will accept the configuration of the standard salons: 246 seats for the A330-200, 250 seats for the A330-800, 290 seats for the A330-300 and 294 seats for the A330-900, and occupancy is 100%.
Overrun fuel let it be 5% (due to unpredictable weather conditions - mostly headwinds), wait for a landing permit - 30 minutes, and the remaining reserves - for a flight of 370 kilometers.
In this case:
- A330-200 will consume 50 tons of aviation kerosene,
- A330-800 will spend 45.5 tons,
- A330-300 will burn 54 tons, and
- A330-900 uses 49 tons of fuel.
If we take A330-800 per unit, then the cost figures in terms of per passenger will look like this:
- A330-200 - 112%,
- A330-800 - 100%,
- A330-300 - 102%
- A330-900 - 92%.
It turns out that the short “eight hundredth” loses to the long “nine hundredth” 8 percentage points of fuel costs per passenger.
The operation costs
If you compare all the expenses, you will get something like this.
There is no significant difference in the pay for flight attendants: in some cases, the number of crew will be one person less for short aircraft, but long ones easily overlap this saving by revenue from the sale of additional seats.
Fuel consumption in terms of one seat shows - as already calculated above - the advantage of long -300 and -900 by about 10%.
The cost of maintenance is almost identical: short and long aircraft have the same engines.
The maximum takeoff weight is close to them, and -200 even heavier than their long backup -300. This figure affects airport fees - and given the difference in roominess, the long versions are again cheaper for the same 10 … 13% per passenger.
Airbus A330-900 during the first flight on October 19, 2017
Total, with a flight range of just under 13,000 kilometers for the promised weighted up to 251 tons of variant, Airbus A330-900 “cannibalize” its fellow.
An average of 50 passengers more, a 10% gain in economic efficiency and a sufficient flight distance to serve all the routes of potential customers of the model do not leave the chances of the A330-800.
In addition to those rare cases where an additional 1500 kilometers of track are important - as for the main carrier of the state of Hawaii.
What you feel about not seeing Airbus A330-800?
- I don’t care
- Well, I feel a little bit sad
Based on an article from aeronautical.online
Photos were taken from the original article
Translated by Alexander Nikitin
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