In the last days there are again reports that Boeing and Airbus are accusing each other to start a price war in the narrowbody sector. Boeing argues (more or less between the lines) that Airbus started the row by selling the A320neo without a premium and by that gaining market share (at least in terms of sales) and that Boeing would not let Airbus gaining more than 50%, indirectly saying that they would fight back by cutting prices. Airbus argues that Boeing cuts their prices in campaigns where the B737NG stands (at least theoretically) against the A320neo (campaigns with deliveries between Q4 2015 and Q4 2017), as was the case in the Delta Airlines campaign last year.
In one of my last blog entries I wrote about the backlogs of the A320ceo and the B737NG and that Boeing needs to secure at least another 500 orders for the B737NG to bridge production between the -NG and the -MAX. In fact it is even more than 500 as there would be a gradual production ramp up of the -MAX and ramp down of the -NG. As these additional orders have to be won against the A320neo rather than the A320ceo (given that Airbus left some delivery slots open between EIS of the A320neo and EIS of the B737MAX, we have to expect a fierce pricing battle between Airbus and Boeing for orders with deliveries between these two dates. Boeing earlier said that the -NG would be produced for a long time together with the -MAX. This seems a little bit overoptimistic as of today.
Caught in the middle here is Bombardier with the CSeries. Production for 2013, 2014 and most of 2015 might be sold out, but what for the rest of 2015, 2016 and 2017. Bombardier can probably nothing better than taking part in that price war, hoping that delivery slots both at Airbus and Boeing are sold out until the end of 2017 as soon as possible. Bombardier in no way can win in that price war - they can only drive down margins for the big two where the campaigns are for the lower end of the narrowbody sector.