It’s become clear that Hawaiian Airlines is about to order 787-9’s from Boeing.
In doing so it will cancel the only current order for the A330-800neo, leaving Airbus with a white elephant.
The airline ordered the A338n after its initial order for the A350-800 was cancelled by Airbus when the type received very few orders. Most converted to A359’s, some to A330-900neos.
Hawaiian was never entirely happy with the smaller aircraft and Boeing felt it could muscle in and change its mind. It had extra incentive to do so.
The A330-800neo is a potential direct competitor to the middle market 797-X project. It has the same seat numbers and if anything, better range. It’s also going to be cheaper. Killing off the project by denying Airbus orders reduces the opposition and clears the way for the 797-X.
Boeing want to kill off the A330neo project wherever it’s been ordered. They launched an aggressive campaign to persuade AirAsia-X to cancel their order for Dreamliners but that didn’t work out with the airline deciding to stick with it, despite intensive Boeing lobbying at Singapore Airshow.
Boeing don’t have anything to compete against the A321LR and have made no effort to counter it. The victory of Airbus and Bombardier over the CSeries infuriated Boeing further and they now want to crucify the A330neo to clear the way for their own marketing and sales campaign, and start the 797-X on a large order high-note when it’s revealed later this year.