Re: 30-year-old technology

Date:         25 Mar 97 03:38:08 
From:         Chuanga@cris.com (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
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In article <airliners.1997.752@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
C. Marin Faure <faurecm@halcyon.com> wrote:
>In article <airliners.1997.689@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Chuanga@cris.com (H
>Andrew Chuang) wrote:
>
>> A few days ago, I read a report in which a BA executive criticized
>> Boeing for shelving plans to build superjumbos.  Also, he suggested
>> that Boeing should have a all-new superjumbo design instead of
>> derivatives based on the 30-year-old B747 design.
>>
>> This is the first comment made by an airline that corroborated
>> Airbus's assertion of airlines' disinterest in Boeing's derivative
>> offerings.
>
>On the other hand, there have been many more statements from airlines
>supporting Boeing's decision to shelve for now any development of an
>airplane larger than the 747-400.  The latest supporting comment came the
>other day from Continental Airlines.

I don't think Continental's comment has much weight.  It has never been
a major B747 operator, and there is no indication that it will ever be
one.  It has even deferred the B777 order.  The simple fact is airlines
which don't have extensive network linking with East Asia will have little
need for the superjumbo.  Nevertheless, it's too early to judge whether
Boeing's push for the B777-200X/300X instead of the B747-500X/600X is
a smart marketing strategy or not.

Also, you failed to mention that many airlines have expressed
disappointment.  However, BA is the first one that I'm aware of to have
questioned Boeing's "archaic" technology.

In Airbus's latest market forecast, it is estimated that airlines would
need 650 A3XXs in the next 20 years.  Airbus says it sees a potential of
79 airlines (!!!) which will have a need for the superjumbo.  It's
interesting to see Airbus's current figure (of 650 superjumbos) isn't too
far off from Boeing's earlier forecast.  However, IMHO, the estimate of
79 airlines got to be a joke.

BTW, I saw an Airbus ad basically claiming the A330-200 is two decades
more advanced than the competition (i.e., the B767-400ER).  I guess
marketing people can twist facts any way they want to.  I believe the
launch dates of the B767-200 and the A330-300 are about seven or eight
years apart.

The A330-200 had a good year last year.  The new plane helped to revive
the stagnant A330 program.  It'll be interesting to see if Airbus can
sustain the potent A330-200 sales with Boeing launching the B767-400ER
with Delta's new order.