Re: Continental to choose Boeing

Date:         04 Jun 97 13:04:01 
From: (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.1158@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Joseph Edward Nemec  <> wrote:
>I read in the WSJ this morning that Continental Airlines
>has tentatively agreed to purchase 40 Boeing aircraft,
>including 10 777s and 30 767-400ERs. I don't know the
>model of 777 that they have agreed upon.
>I want to give a hand to H. Andrew Chuang, who I believe
>pointed out that the deal was not yet in Airbus' hands.
>I was sure, after reading Continental's statements about
>the A330-200, that they would choose the European
>consortium to replace the DC-10s.

I won't take credit for this.  I was merely repeating what
I read on the web, more specifically, the Seattle Times.
Anyway, the order is not official until the contract is signed.

I do find Airbus has a habit of prematurely leaking aircraft
order information.  A few major ones that I can remember: Saudi
Arabian's fleet renewal plan (after a French miniter's visit
to the Kingdom), Singapore Airlines' B777 order, Valujet's
MD95 order, and Continental's B767-400/B777 order.  Boeing's
biggest blunder was probably last year's possible launch of
the B747X.  Give Airbus credit for succesfully convincing
airlines to withhold their decision.  Anyway, a person who's
in the business does not think the B777-200X/300X is a sure bet
at the Paris Air Show.  Will Boeing stumble again?   Let's wait
and see.

IMHO, the A330-200 is the most marketable line in the A330/340
family.  It certainly has revitalized the A330 sales.  However,
in two short months, Boeing will soon have firm orders for 51
B767-400s (i.e., after signing the contract with CO), a few more
than what Airbus has got in the past 20 months (not including
Asiana's pending order).  This got to be very frustrating for
the Airbus sales team, especially considering the fact that the
A330-200 has a 1,000nm advantage over the B767-400.  I think the
B767-400 range is quite adequate for US carriers for domestic and
trans-Atlantic operations. For European carriers, the A330-200 will
be the better choice, if the carriers intend to use the aircraft for
services to Asia.  For people who have read my posts, it's not a big
secret that I have been very partial to the B777 program.  I have
changed my mind slightly.  I still think the B777 will be extremely
successful in the Asia-Pacific market where the A300/310 used to
dominate.  In the US, the B777 will be mildly successful as an
international aircraft.  In Europe, unless Boeing can get KLM and
SAS (less likely) to order the B777, the A330/340 will not have a
hard time dominating the B777 in Europe.  South America is a market
which neither the B777 nor the A330/340 has been able to secure a
order.  It'll be interesting to see how they will develop in S.
America.  Nonetheless, most of the market is still in Asia-Pacific,
North America, and Europe.

The aircraft industry is supposedly to be in a up cycle.  However,
it has been relatively quiet in the aircraft order scene, especially
for Airbus.  Thus, I expect a lot of orders to be announced at the
Paris Air Show.  Airbus and Boeing will sure to have another round
of word fight.

>Any comments? Think Van Miert will blow a gasket?

Well, well, well.  Van Miert seems to be telling airlines that they
are not supposed to get better deals by signing an exclusive
agreement.  He doesn't seem to realize that airlines can pass
those savings to the consumers.  I guess consumers are not on his
mind; only Airbus is on his mind.