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

From:         "Nicolas E. Murat" <vis@elaine47.Stanford.EDU>
Organization: Stanford University
Date:         22 Jan 96 04:40:36 
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
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On 10 Jan 1996, Jennings Heilig wrote:

> All I can say is, Boeing has been building airliners since 1956.  Airbus
> is a committee (at best).  Boeing listens to it's customers, Airbus
> treats them like it's the customer's privilege to buy airplanes from
> Airbus.

Saying that Airbus treats its customers like it's a privilege to buy
Airplanes from them is a little unsubstantiated. Especially if you do not
seem to ever have to have worked with them (sorry if I am wrong). Using ONE
2nd/3rd hand account story from Fed Ex is also not a strong criteria.

As a matter of fact, Airbus does as much as it can to accomodate Fed Ex.
The A300 and A310 budgets have been completely slashed as those models
are not requiring any further development and will be replaced in the
near future.  This holds for almost all the airlines, EXCEPT Fed Ex.
Because of the growth in air freight carriers, Airbus regards Fed EX an
important customer and has gone head over heels several times to accomodate.

In the incident you describe below, I do not think that Airbus purposely
decided to paint the planes a different scheme just to spite Fed Ex.
Stupid mistake that sure did annoy FDX - granted. But it is no example of
how the corporate philosophies differ.

In any case - I am sure that one can find a Boeing horror story somewhere
as well (I know a couple myself). This is just like the people who want to
boycott every other airline because they lost their luggage once.


> The reason I say this is that an incident was told to me by someone in
> engineering at FedEx in Memphis.  Airbus was asked to dispose of the old
> shade of Federal Express purple when FedEx changed color schemes about
> two years ago.  The new shade is considerably darker.  Not only did
> Airbus not dispose of it as asked, but they continued using it
> (incorrectly) on the new paint scheme!  As if that weren't bad enough,
> they shipped a large quantity of it up to Hamburg where some of the A310s
> which were being converted to freighters were being painted!  The FedEx
> people in Memphis were more than a little miffed at Airbus over that one.
> This just points out one of the differences in corporate philosophy.  I
> have nothing to do with either company, but I feel *much* better getting
> on a Boeing airplane than an Airbus.
> Jennings Heilig