Re: An unscientific survey (Airbus vs Boeing) [Long]

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Date:         18 Jan 96 14:50:31 
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References: <airliners.1996.7@ohare.Chicago.COM> <airliners.1996.20@ohare.Chicago.COM>

In article <airliners.1996.20@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Jean-Francois Mezei ( wrote:

> Since Airbus has about 30% of the market (approx), it should be expected that
> the "public opinion" might follow these numbers more or less. Hence, you might
> expect about 70% of airline employees to prefer Boeing.

30%-70%, where is McD?  They are not dead, yet! ;-)  Irrespective of McD's
market share, you have a very poor argument.  For example, BMW has a very
small percentage of the US automobile market (say, around 1%), does that
mean only 1% of the US drivers like BMW cars more than GM or Ford cars?  I
don't think so.  Also, pilots' like or dislike of a plane may have little
consequence on the market share.  At least the SQ pilots that I talked to
told me that they had practically no say in SIA's decision of ordering the
B777.  (BTW, the market share quoted is for recent sales.  There are about
1,000 Airbus planes, 5,000 Boeing planes, and 2,500 McD planes in service.)

> As well, asking a 747-400 captain for his opinion on the smaller Airbus planes
> is perhaps not 100% fair. Asking a 737 captain to compare a 320 would be more
> fair.

There is really no need for you to be so defensive.  Read the subject line
of this thread carefully, it's an _UNSCIENTIFIC_ survey.  Why is it only
fair to compare the B737 and the A320?  Why is it unfair to ask whether a
pilot like the A330 or the B747?  This question should actually favor the
Airbus, since the A330 is a newer plane than the B747.  In fact, I don't
think it is fair to compare the A320 and the B737, the former was first
designed in the mid-80's while the latter was first designed in the
mid-60's with early-80's upgrades.  The most ideal comparison would be
between the B777 and the A330/340.  However, I did not have the opportunity
to meet pilots who have experience on both, and I doubt there is a
significant population of pilots who have the said experience.

In my original post, I was merely stating the responses that I got from a
number of pilots and first officiers.  I didn't make any negative personal
comment of Airbus planes.  In fact, didn't I say my A330 experience as a
passenger was a positive one?  I tried to talk to non-American pilots to
avoid possible "nationalist" attachments some American might have.
Furthermore, I purposedly chose to fly an A330 so that I could at least
talk to one Airbus pilot.  To do so, I had to spend an extra US$200 (but
that's another story that I won't go into). In addition, I had to wait an
extra two hours at Taipei's CKS Airport to fly the CX A330 (I was lucky
because there was an unscheduled change of aircraft, otherwise, I might
have to wait an extra few hours).  I could have taken an earlier CX L-1011
flight or a China Airlines B747 flight out of Taipei.  If I intended to
bash Airbus, I would not have gone the distance to fly the A330.  It might
not have been clear in my original post that the CX A330 pilot's response
was not totally negative, after all, he did not say that he did not like
the A330.  However, his hesistation of answering my question whether he
liked the B747 or the A330 made me wonder.

Moreover, the SQ pilots (including two expatriates who had once piloted for
other airlines) that I talked to also had experience on a wide variety of
planes, namely, the B707, B727, B737, B757, B767, L-1011, DC-10, A300, and
A310 in addition to the B747.  Also, the ones who had previously commanded
the B757 and B767 seemed to like the 57 and 67 the most.  One told me that
the B757 was the most fun to fly, but he thought the plane was terrible for
the passengers because of its long and narrow cabin.

To tell you the truth, I expected the non-American pilots would have been
more positive towards Airbus planes.  Thus, I was quite shocked to find
the unanimous support for Boeing among the pilots that I talked to.  Also,
Malaysia Airlines' Chairman made a similar statement that pilots liked
Boeing planes more than Airbus planes in his announcement of MAS'
B777/B747 order.  Therefore, I don't think it's an European/American issue.
It's an Airbus/Boeing issue.