Re: Why "IGW" instead of "ER", and other question about 777's...

Date:         09 May 97 03:29:00 
From: (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
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In article <airliners.1997.1045@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Roger Chung-Wee <> wrote:
>I would be amazed if the 777-300X will have so much range because
>Boeing would be shooting itself in the foot.  I understand that Boeing
>makes about $30m on each (expensive) 747-400, so why should it
>encourage airlines to go for a much cheaper option?  Remember, very
>many airlines that acquired the 747 did it for range rather than
>capacity, so I'd expect the smaller 777-300X to be hugely popular
>should the range be greater than the 747-400.

I don't think Boeing is shooting itslef in the foot.  IMHO, Boeing
plans perfectly for the growth of the B777 family.  The early B747-100s
and -200s have been in service for more than 20 years.  A replacement
is needed.  The twin-engine B777-300 is an ideal replacement (well, it's
the _only_ replacement product available now).  Airbus's timing to launch
the A340-600X now simply does not make sense.  The -600 will compete with
the B747-400.  The B747-400 is still too new to be replaced.  The
A340-600X may get some incremental market, but it will be a long time
before it gets the replacement market.  The B747-400 is simply too
well established.  In the narrow-body market, the demand is so big
that timing is less critical.  That's why the A320 family did quite
well even though it was launched a few years after the second-generation
B737 was launched.  In fact, in this market sector, the MD80, A320, and
the B737 all did relatively well in the late 1980s because the market is
big enough to support three competitors.  Thus, I don't think you can
apply the A320 experience here.

IMHO, Airbus's failure to have a twin-engine replacement for the older
B747s is very shortsighted.  With Airbus not having a true competitor
for the B777-300, the B777-300 can easily be Boeing's next milk cow.
I don't think Boeing needs to worry about the B777 as a potential
threat to its profitable B747 program.  After all, the B747 cannot last
forever.  Boeing needs a new profit maker to replace the B747, and I
think the B777 is the answer.  The B777 program in its seventh
year since the launch is a lot healthier than the B747 program in its
first seven years.  At this point, I can't see any reason why the B777
will not be able to continue to flourish.