LONDON – It remains clear that the rumored A35K/Delta order strongly reflects the sales momentum Airbus has had with the A350-1000 over the years. Welcome to Editor’s Corner.
Editor’s Corner is a series of opinion pieces by AviationSource Editor-in-Chief James Field, who will give his (perhaps controversial) take on all that’s going on in the aviation industry.
In case you missed the last 25, feel free to browse them before continuing to read this article:
- Editorial Corner #1: Industry not ready for summer 2022 demand
- Editor’s Corner #2: JetBlue’s bid for Spirit Airlines will change the dynamics of US airlines
- Editor’s Corner #3: Boris Johnson’s damage to aviation sector is another reason for quitting
- Publisher’s Corner #4: PLAY will transform the market with a post-pandemic advantage
- Editorial Corner #5: Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Detriment Causes 777X-Based Replica
- Editor’s Corner #6: Qantas’ plans for the future will overturn negative times
- Editor’s Corner #7: The P2F market is racing…
- Editor’s Corner #8: O’Leary Seeks Another Cheap Boeing Order
- Editorial Corner #9: Crisis in Ukraine: Aeroflot’s Turkish Airlines A350 Snap-Up might have something to do with a red carpet…
- Editor’s Corner #10 – Ukraine Crisis: Donors Won’t Win the Battle Against Russia
- Editorial Corner #11 – Spirit Airlines is slowly changing its mind…
- Editor’s Corner #12 – India’s Air Cargo Market is Booming
- Editor’s Corner #13 – Video footage of RedAir Flight 203 highlights the dangers of carrying luggage during an evacuation
- Editorial Corner #14 – The Spirit-Frontier-JetBlue merger battle will be remembered as a mess
- Editor’s Corner #15 – Flyr, Norse & Norwegian get opportunity to capitalize on SAS woes
- Editorial Corner #16 – The battle between Airbus and Boeing will escalate at Farnborough
- Editorial Corner #17 – My predictions for Farnborough were good…
- Editorial Corner #18 – Why are airports and airlines battling chaos when the government is to blame?
- Editorial Corner #19 – Manchester Airport has solved its chaotic period – but improvements are needed…
- Editor’s Corner #20 – Ukraine crisis: Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s return to Russia was a mistake from the start
- Editorial Corner #21 – More Than It Seems, UAE-US Codeshare
- Editorial Corner #22 – Israel banning Boeing 747s will have a massive impact on cargo operators
- Editorial Corner #23 – Amid their chaos, Qantas takes the fight for Air New Zealand
- Editor’s Corner #24 – Russia’s airline industry heading for a nose dive
- Editorial Corner #25 – The fall of Doncaster represents the start of regional collapse
With Delta rumored to order Airbus A350-1000s, this clearly highlights strong sales momentum and interest from the carrier following its strong start with the -900 family.
However, there seems to be more to it than meets the eye, especially with the Airbus debacle over Qatar Airways.
Either way, this will be another potential major order for Airbus’ long-haul program, and the possibilities with it could be endless.
Delta: Strong success with the -900
Delta Air Lines has had great success with the -900 variant of the A350 for some time now, placing it on the busiest routes.
With the airline potentially wanting to order 20-1000 copies, that wouldn’t be much of a surprise, especially from a passenger capacity standpoint.
Depending on what they want to do with the -1000s, it will be interesting to see, if the order is confirmed of course, what kind of destinations they will serve with the guy.
Skeptics say there is a reason for the potential -1000 order, and it makes sense…
Bottomfeeding of the Qatar Airways debacle?
With Qatar Airways’ remaining A350 orders dropped following legal proceedings in London, this frees up delivery slots that other carriers can take advantage of.
Qatar has a mix of -900 and -1000, some of which have yet to be delivered. With these delivery slots vacant and other airlines unwilling to order more in the wake of a global recession, a bottom feed seems to be happening.
Delta has always been known to broker big deals at a lower price, so it could be the same with Airbus. Scherer, the Airbus sales chief, will probably also want to get rid of these delivery slots.
So either way, it seems like a win-win for Delta right now.
Project Sunrise: Could Delta do the same?
The -1000s open up the possibility for Delta to delve deeper into the ultra-long-haul market, especially through the additional fuel savings ULRs would add.
When the order is announced, it will ultimately be interesting to see what kind of seating configuration Delta wants to offer with these aircraft.
A higher seating configuration would indicate higher-density routes, with a more respectable number indicating distance from its bases in New York and Atlanta and the like.
With Qantas already having good success on its ultra-long-haul 787 Dreamliner flights, as well as expanding its fleet into ULRs as well, it would also make sense for Delta to do the same, and could trigger price wars. fiery in the future.
ULRs could be the next USP…
If Delta opts for a more ULR-based approach, this could be the next Unique Selling Point (USP) that Airbus could push with the A350, especially when it comes to reaching far-flung destinations.
It ultimately depends on whether Delta will join the Qantas bandwagon on this, as it will then start to show a very slow trend in demand for ultra-long-haul travel.
With the benefit of no layovers, this is something consumers may choose to board in the future as consumer choice and preference has changed more recently over the years due to COVID .
However, with the global recession rocking many carriers, these deliveries may not occur until we reach a point where the economy has recovered. Everything is up for grabs at this stage.
Overall: The -1000 is the conclusion of its fleet renewal plans…
It remains clear that if this order goes ahead, the -1000 will be the finalization of the airline’s fleet plans.
Delta has placed numerous orders over the past two years, including for A321neos, A220s, A350-900s and the Boeing 737 MAX more recently at Farnborough.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see where Delta aims to take the fleet, as well as the important question being: what will they do with their A35Ks?