COC and DOC Part II

Airbus offers a "A320neo Fact Sheet on it's website for download here.
Apart from one obvious typo - the A321 is mentioned as the 2nd variant to become available, but that has changed to the A319 as the 2nd family member recently, there are a few "facts" - or claims- on that sheet that compare cash operating costs compared to today's A320 and the fuel burn of the A320neo with the B737-800W and the CS300. These can be compared to my assumptions made in a recent blog entry called "COC and DOC".

First claim: A320neo has 8% better cash operating costs than today's A320.
Fact check: In the recent blog entry I assumed 9.5% better cash operating costs for a fuel price of $3.00/gallon - 7.5% from lower fuel burn and about 2% from lower maintenance costs. With oil prices in the range of $3.20 as of today, cash operating costs are more like 10% better - so Airbus is not overly optimistic with the 8% assumption.

Second claim: A320neo has 16% less fuel burn per seat than the 737-800W.
Fact check: Assuming 15% reduced fuel burn per trip through the sharklets and the new engines and three more seats, the overall improvement in fuel burn per seat is (153/150)*15%= 15.3%.
If Airbus says that the A320neo is 16% better in fuel burn per seat than the B737-800W it implies that the A320 today would be 0.7% better than the B737-800W. I assmued they are on par, but I guess a difference of 0.7% does not really count.

Third claim: A320neo has the same fuel burn (per seat is obviously meant, though not stated) as the CS300.
Fact check: Let's assume 153 seats on the A320neo and 130 seats for the CS300 in a comparable cabin layout and the same seat pitch. This is a difference of 17.7%, so the fuel burn per trip can be 17.7% higher for the A320neo in order to have the same fuel burn per pax.
A report from AirInsight (The Business case for the CSeries) from last year has some fuel burn numbers. Without knowing exactly how accurate these are and also keeping in mind that AirInsight assumed 158 seats from the A320neo, let's have a look at them:
For a 500nm mission, AirInsight gets a fuel burn of
  • 805 gallons for the CS300
  • 910 gallons for the A320neo
The absolute difference is just 13%, so that the fuel burn per seat would be even lower for the A320neo. For a longer misson the relative difference should get a little bit larger though.

But a larger aircraft should burn less per pax anyway -so although the claim is OK as a fact, it only shows that the smaller CS300 is a step ahead - and the A319neo cannot compete on a per seat basis as it is comparable in seat capacity but a lot heavier.

Bottom line: Airbus is not making any false statements here -  but the facts presented are no new and eye-watering arguments...