Why The Widebody Market Will Remain Weak For Years | 为何宽体机市场将持续多年疲软

Airbus A350-1000
Credit: F. Lancelot/Airbus


The widebody market had been slow for years even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Airbus had to terminate the A380 program, and Boeing will end the 747 soon. The current crisis has made an already difficult market even worse for the two manufacturers, threatening the viability of programs and offering a much less optimistic outlook even for the long term.


Airbus has reacted to the crisis by slashing production rates. Monthly A350 output is now down to five aircraft, from what was 10 at peak times. A330neo production also has essentially been halved to two aircraft per month. Many analysts have suggested the cuts have not been deep enough.


Priorities are shifting within the widebody segment. At some point, Airbus had considered stretching the A350 further to have it compete head-to-head with the Boeing 777-9. Now even the A350-1000 is looking marginal, just like the largest Boeing twin.



News is not much better for the 777 program. The combined 777 and 777X rate, slowing to just two per month from the current five in 2021, looks likely to remain for some time. Boeing also has accepted that the target date for service entry of the 777-9, the first variant of the 777X family, has now slid to later in 2022 from 2021—at least.

波音首席执行官戴夫•卡尔霍恩(Dave Calhoun)表示:“波音777X与任何其他开发项目一样,都存在可能影响进度的内在风险。虽然我们继续推动该机在2022年投入使用,但具体时间最终将受到监管机构规定的认证要求影响。”

“As with any development program, there are inherent risks that can affect schedule,” CEO Dave Calhoun says. “While we continue to drive toward entry into service in 2022, this timing will ultimately be influenced by certification requirements defined by the regulators.”