OPINION: Why new models are good for airline industry

Compiling Flight International’s annual World Airliner Directory – the first part of which appears in our 24-30 October issue – is often a repetitive task.

Little can change, save for the numbers of orders and deliveries, particularly on mainstay programmes like the Airbus A320 or Boeing 787.

But each year there are new arrivals, with the inclusion of the CRAIC CR 929 – to give it its full name – a signal of clear intent from China and Russia.

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Oliver Santa

And there are the departures too, or at least those programmes which are nearing the end of their production runs, with the 747-8 sadly falling into this category.

Then there are those aircraft which, on examination of the backlog data, appear to have a large question mark hanging over them. Airbus has at least two of these in its portfolio, with the single-figure order totals for the -800 variants of both the A330neo and A350 raising doubts about their continued development.

Now, with the acquisition of the CSeries programme, a third model can be added to the list: the A319neo. Sales of the 124-plus-seater were already insipid before Bombardier’s competing CS300 was added to the line-up; at only 47 units, and its prospects are unlikely to improve as a result of the new alliance.

Of course, next year’s edition may show no change at all, but – aside from the likely absences – the odds are good that a new Boeing will be added to the list.

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