I don’t normally have to watch what I’m doing while reading Richard Aboulafia’s monthly commentaries, but November’s might have been a good time to start:
The A350XWB-1000 has since lost some commonality, but has gained market appeal as Boeing keeps pushing out the 777-X, most recently to the early 2020s. But the -800 is best regarded as a practical joke by Airbus to test the theory that some airlines will buy any damn thing no matter how completely preposterous. Looking at the specifications, either the 787-8 or -9 should be able to outperform the A350-800 by a wide margin.
This month, Qatar Airways passed the test, as did Afriqiyah. Both switched their -800 orders to non-stupid versions of the A350, leaving behind just 92 orders for the smaller variant. This list includes five orders for Kingfisher, which Airbus keeps on the books for nostalgia and because Europe doesn’t have an SEC.
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about those two paragraphs — a lovely, heartwarming combination of snark, amusement, and barely-concealed hostility. It was great. I have diet Coke in my nose.