[UPDATE we received guidance on numbers from OEMs, changing the charts]
[UPDATE 2 rechecked the charts redid the charts to ensure equal seating]

We decided to take another look at the point of friction where the small duopoly meets the big duopoly. Looking at some payload, empty weight and the combining this with fuel and seat capacity we created this chart.

The choice of metrics is there to provide a mapping of the current solutions available, so this is not meant to assess the operational capabilities of a given aircraft, although it becomes obvious that Airbus and Boeing are correct in their assessment that the market is moving towards up-gauging narrow bodies and that it thus leaves Bombardier and Embraer to compete in a market that is not so much about growth as it is replacement.

2016-10-02_11-31-21Airbus has a problem with the A319neo, even with an increase in seating, the aircraft is heavy.  Airlines don’t want heavy.  Boeing has done a great job with the revised MAX7, making it a much more competitive offering.  It now offers 150 seats compared to 140 for the A319neo.

Looking at the new players Bombardier has done a good job of creating an aircraft to competing with the smaller Airbus and Boeing products.  The move by Boeing to 150 seats actually moves the MAX7 out of this field.  The same for the A319neo.   The E2 benefits from its much lighter airframe and offers 120 seats.  Almost certainly Bombardier is going to have to match or beat that from its baseline 110 seats to stay competitive.  However, the CS100 has a 3,100NM range compared to the 2,450NM for the E195-E2, so perhaps, one could argue these two aircraft are aimed at different uses.

So look what happens when we take the same chart and show either in the in-service fleet for the Airbus and Boeing aircraft along with orders for the next generation models and their new competitors.

2016-10-02_11-31-35Amazing, right?  Airbus and Boeing tell us the market has moved away from the segment and cite the low order levels as evidence.  Yet the big duopoly had 2,488 aircraft in-service as of 2Q16.  That is not an insignificant market.  Even if one argues that some operators are going to go upmarket, this will not be 100% of the segment.

If 25% of the market moves up beyond 130 seats, that still leaves Bombardier and Embraer with nearly 1,900 aircraft to replace with their more efficient right sized equipment.  Just as Airbus and Boeing had a great time selling into this segment, the small duopoly is also going sow and harvest.

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Addison Schonland
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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