Aviation Daily on upcoming United order

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         28 Jul 95 02:53:21 
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The following appeared in Aviation Daily on July 10, p. 27:

    United may establish a competition betewen the Airbus A319 and the
    Boeing 737-800 -- neither of which has flown -- as it determines
    which of the aircraft to order.  The A319 is scheduled to fly in
    September, the 737-800 next year.

Minor nit -- the 737-700 is due to be rolled out in December of next
year, which means the -800 probably won't see its first flight until
the year after next.

The interesting part is the pairing of aircraft.  This is presumably
the upcoming order reported in the Wall St. Journal on May 22, and
noted in this newsgroup.  That article said the order was expected
to be for about 40 aircraft, including 15 large (180+ seat capacity)
twins, undoubtedly from Boeing.  (757, 767, and/or 777.)  The other
25 would be 100-150 seat aircraft.  All 40 were to be "replacements
for some older aircraft."  United said earlier this year that a number
of older aircraft would be retired by 1997 or 1998, including the
747-100, DC-10-10, and 737-222 models.

The AD report seems to conflict with the earlier reports on several
counts.  Obviously the 100-150 seat aircraft would be the 737-222
replacements.  A same-size replacement would be the 737-500, or the
-600 if United is willing to wait until 1998 to even start receiving
the new aircraft.

The A319 is bigger, comparable in size to a 737-300 (or -700), while
the the 737-800 is considerably bigger yet, roughly equaly or maybe
slightly larger than the A320.  They aren't direct competitors with
each other, and neither would be an obvious 737-200 replacement!

What it really sounds like is the A319 as a step towards a long-term
replacement of the current 737-300 fleet (same size), or the 737-800
as an eventual replacement for the A320 (again, same size, and on
leases that can easily be dropped wihtin several years for half of
the aircraft).  Is United playing hardball with Airbus and Boeing,
essentially offering each the chance to not only win a small order
but also begin pushing out the other company's products from United's
fleet?  8-)

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