Date: 09 May 97 03:29:00 From: Chuanga@cris.com (H Andrew Chuang) Organization: Concentric Internet Services References: 1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1997.1045@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Roger Chung-Wee <email@example.com> 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.