Re: ATR-72's and Airbuses

Date:         17 Dec 96 03:09:19 
From: (A. Deckers)
Organization: What organisation?
References:   1 2
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At the risk of reopening the subsidies can of worms...

In <airliners.1996.2767@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
	H Andrew Chuang <> wrote:

>          ...  In addition, because of Airbus's structure, Airbus divides
>all the workload amongst its partners and doesn't look for the most
>cost-effective subcontractors ...

Hmmm... this is a terrible generalisation. I'd go so far as to say that
it is plain wrong.

Yes, Airbus does allocate a large part of it's workload to partners on
the basis of "juste retour". However, Airbus sub-contracts a great deal
of work to companies all over the world (many of them in the USA, I might
add). I forget exactly what the numbers are, but I could look them up
if required (I am however starting my holidays on Sunday, so don't
expect an answer before the New Year). Furthermore, for some time now,
and I believe largely at the insistence of BAe, Airbus has also carried
out internal "competitive tendering" for some subassemblies. I believe
this is how BAe ended up making fuselage plugs for some of the Airbus

You also seem to give the impression that Boeing allocates *all*
subcontracts on a competitive basis. This is also missleading, if
not plain wrong. Think about the Japanese participation in some
Boeing programmes. Would anyone seriously argue that this was
decided on a "competitive" basis? Yeah, perhaps from Boeing's
point of view it made competitive sense. But that shouldn't hide
the fact that the Japanese government provides subsidies to Boeing's
Japanese partners. One of the reasons why Boeing got into bed
with the Japanese was to make sure they didn't get into bed with

And I'm sure we can all think of plenty of examples where Boeing
has gone into offset deals in order to sell airplanes (everybody
does it, including Airbus, of course). Such "sweeteners" are often

In summary, the situation does not lend itself to simple generalisations.
There's no point trying to portray Airbus as some sort of Evil Empire
and Boeing as whiter than white. It doesn't get us any further and I
wish we could all get out of this nasty habit. Lets face it: both
Airbus and Boeing would do *whatever it takes* to sell aircraft,
upto and including selling their mothers. ;)

Merry Christmas.
--          <URL:>