Northwest and Airbus: good news for A320, more bad news for A330

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Date:         29 Feb 96 01:24:22 
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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On Monday, Northwest announced an order for 20 Airbus A320 aircraft,
with ten to be delivered in 1998 and 1999.  Northwest's fleet already
includes 50 A320s with CFM56-5A1 engines.  (The announcement did not
specify Northwest's engine choice but it's unlikely that they would
switch to the IAE V2500.)

The agreement also included a five-year deferral of deliveries of 16
A330 aircraft, which had been scheduled for eight each in 1999 and
2000.  The new delivery dates are in 2004 and 2005.  More significant
was that the agreement, with Airbus and engine supplier Pratt and
Whitney, allows Northwest to substitute other products from the two
manufacturers.  Northwest apparently pressed hard for this option as
they are not happy with what they've seen of the A330.

Presumably the Pratt engines don't have to be on Airbus aircraft --
the A300-600 and A310 are the only other Airbus offerings which can
use Pratt engines, unless you count the A320 with V2500s from IAE, of
which Pratt is a partner.  It seems more likely that, if Northwest
were to convert the A330 order, they'd either opt for the A340 or more
A320s, while putting the Pratt engines on Boeing products such as the
747 or 757, which Northwest already has, or a 777 order should they
choose the 777 to take the place of their A330 order.

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
		|Work	kls@slac.stanford.edu
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