I'm looking forward to CASK/CASM comparisons with the 787-9. As soon as the launching is confirmed by Airbus, a war of economic comparison breaks out ...
I would expect the 787-9 to retain some advantage in operating costs, that could however be offset by lower purchase/lease prices. Of course, Boeing will announce new engine PIPs and claim the 787 remains far ahead of the competition ...
What AW is silent about is other improvements that could be introduced by Airbus. What about winglets ?
What strikes me in the Reuters piece is the assertion that "Airbus has not decided whether to go ahead with the re-engined version of its most popular wide-body model amid an ongoing internal debate about whether to continue to offer it with more than one choice of engine."
This assertion is said to be based on "industry sources".
So, if we believe Reuters, the decision to launch an A330 NEO actually depends on a choice between a single-source engine or multiple sources. Most observers believed all engine manufacturers would demand a single-source solution.
Sales of the A330neo, as the re-engined model is called, could top 1,000 planes and stretch production to 2030, said John Leahy
Mr. Házy [Steven F. Udvar-Házy, CEO ALC] said Airbus could sell 1,100 to 1,200 of the aircraft over 20 years. ... Mr. Házy said he'd prefer an engine choice. Having both manufacturers involved would expand the potential airline customer base since carriers have ties to different engine producers.
Airlines would want to get A330neo aircraft from 2018, Mr. Házy said. Production would likely be around 60 to 70 planes a year and then gradually drop, he said. Airbus currently builds 10 A330s a month.
Mr. Leahy countered that the A330neo would have the same cash operating cost as the Boeing 787-9, the version due to enter service this year which has a similar seat-count to the A330.
His comment refers to the A330neo in general, not to lessors. An engine choice will force the engine maker to compete and eventually lower the price, resulting in an even lower price for a complete A330neo airframe. And the cheaper the A330neo becomes the more it might sell.