Re: ATR-72's and Airbuses

Date:         13 Dec 96 04:26:02 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
References:   1 2 3 4
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>Nevertheless, it seems Airbus still needs government loans to build the
>A3XX.  Airbus predicted around 1,500 sales of the over-500-seat market
>to justify the launch of the A3XX, while others (Boeing, BAe, DASA, Rolls,
>GE, P&W, etc.) forecasted a need of 500-800 planes only.

Several weeks ago, an AW&ST article (p. 45, November 25, 1996 issue)
included a chart of the various manufacturers' forecasts for aircraft
in the 500-600 seat market, for deliveries thru 2014:

  Boeing		  470
  Airbus		1,380
    British Aerospace	  715
    DASA		  745
    Aerospatiale	  625
  McDonnell Douglas	  540

  Rolls-Royce		  500
  GE			  535

It's remarkable that the Airbus estimate is roughly twice the estimate
of each of the three largest partners in the Airbus consortium, and
those estimates are themselves significantly higher than those of any
other major player.  (GE may in fact represent the GE/Pratt alliance
which plans to build engines for these aircraft.)

>If Airbus's prediction of 1,500 sales is indeed way off (similar to
>their A330 forecast) ...

I heard somewhere (can't remember where, unfortunately) that the Airbus
estimate ignores the need for major infrastructure improvements at
nearly every airport likely to be served by these planes.  The more
modest forecasts from other manufacturers were said to reflect the
fact that these infrastructure investments would happen slowly at many
airports, and in some cases not at all.

If true, it appears that Airbus' forecast is wildly optimistic.  The
fact that even their partners aren't nearly as sanguine about the
500-600 seat market gives credence to this supposition.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills