Re: thoughts on the A330

From: (Robert Dorsett)
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Date:         30 Aug 95 14:12:47 
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In article <airliners.1995.1284@ohare.Chicago.COM> Jennings Heilig <> writes:
>	IMHO, the biggest reason is that it's not made in Everett, Washington.
>Say what you will about Airbus vs Boeing, airlines will make the smart
>choice when given two competing airframes.  Not to say that some
>boneheaded moves have not been made, but generally, political
>considerations aside, airlines will choose the best equipment.

I would tend to disagree.  A number of good books are available which go into
airline purchasing habits.  There are a huge number of factors to consider.
Even among airlines which are purportedly part of free-market systems,
airlines can base their decisions upon questionable criteria--consider
Trippe and the 747, for example, a relationship which arguably started the
fiscal demise of Pan Am.  Or the mere existence of the DC-10 (a cruddy
airplane, but relatively cheap to fly, so popular among operators).

When you consider the nationalized airlines, or airlines in less-developed
countries, political considerations clearly *do* enter into it.  Just look
at the hell BA caught when it selected GE engines, rather than Rolls-Royce,
never mind choosing a 777 over the A330.  Do you really think Boeing would
have the same opportunities in, say, Iran, Iraq, and Libya--clearly major
future export markets--as Airbus would?

And again focusing on the Middle East, there are many public statements by
airline leaders in the region to standardize aircraft selection on the basis
of parts commonality and other interests: again, *politics* enter into it.

And let's not forget how *our* politics can hinder export sales--Airbus
has national backing, and can promise to make up airline losses if the
airplane does not deliver.  For a long period of time, the US government
could have cared less, and even had political factions in power during
much of the 80's who would have viewed such failures as acceptable within
the global market.

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation