The A339s that were to have gone to Air Berlin are instead going to Rwandair to launch a KGL-JFK route, although they have a 242t A332 and a 242t A333; the A332 should have the range to reach JFK. As for these lessor orders; why are they not gunning hard for IndiGo with the incentive for earlier introduction? Airbus could also offer the ZB (collapsed) and IR (sanctions) slots to IndiGo as well.
I expect DL to change some A359 orders to the A339 as 77E replacements, deferring their order to get 251t A339s. After all, DL really only needs the 77L for ATL-JNB, and for that, I could see a top-up 280t A359ULR order in a sub-300 seat configuration.
Lufthansa (for Swiss) should be considering an order of 18-20 A339s as well. These would replace the A343s (which could go to Eurowings or Edelweiss as these frames are likely fully-owned) and the B77Ws (which would move to Lufthansa proper as B744 replacements in a 4-class configuration where they wouldn't be too much plane in Y - can Swiss really fill 270 seats in Y when that is more seats than their A343s had total?), and these could use the A333 seat map of 236 seats, which makes more sense for LX). The B77W was likely ordered as nothing else had the range to replace the A343s at the time.
Another entity to watch for is Thomas Cook, although they could take leased frames, as an option to replace their current wide-body stock (which is currently B763s, 230t A332/3s (fully owned), 233t A332s (dry-leased) and 238t A332s (damp-leased on the AirTanker AOC).
B6 could be intriguing, but I can't see them needing more than 12-15 frames...likely destinations would be: LGW, ORY, BCN, MXP, EZE*, GRU* or VCP*, and TLV*, all based out of JFK. (* - needs 2 frames for daily service.) (For that, 10 frames would be needed for daily service.) None would be needed at FLL, as every destination to LatAm is within A321LR range even at 200 seats. That said, I suspect B6 would want to take frames that are leased with an option to buy after 12 years.
On the Azul lease price, I have to wonder if the fact that HNA Group's partial ownership affected the lease price offered to Azul. Other airlines owned by HNA Group have frames owned by Avolon, a fellow HNA company now, but not when the leases were signed.
Newbiepilot wrote:Positive reinforcement
Why did Airbus go ahead and build a plane that no one wants to buy? Has there ever been a rollout for a jet before where the airplane had zero orders?
. It wouldn't do to have a model you were trying to sell continue to be pilloried in the specialist press without some forceful defense. Besides, it likely did not cost Airbus much to build as common parts ought to be readily available from the A339 test-campaign? The winglets look like the old prototype they initially showed and the whole frame presumably is mostly an empty shell (remember the 788 parade? - hyped to large orders tho.) Lastly, Airbus must've been confident about the A338
's business case going forward and built it fully convinced they'd use it for certification. And unless I'm badly mistaken, wasn't HI
's order still alive (admittedly in a coma) when Airbus rolled-out the glider in full house colors?
There is a market for low cost leases for widebodies, but who other than some rich head of state will buy the A330-800?
There might be a few odd airlines out there (who could not quite spring for the 787 for one reason or another) that need the A338
's range and not the A339's capacity --- if the price is right.
Also, a plane was needed to fill the gap between the A350-900XWB and the A321neo. Had the 251t MTOW A338 been announced much earlier and the A350-800XWB, chances are that the A338 might have had actual sales. Also, I see the A338neo as the basis for a freighter sized between the B763 freighter and the A359 freighter when that comes, competing with an eventual B789 freighter.