Re: 1998 1st half order update

Date:         06 Aug 98 23:22:39 
From:         "Antoin Daltun" <>
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Airbus flexibility v. Boeing

It used always be assumed that Boeing had much more flexibility about
moving production rates up and (especially) down than Airbus because of
US hire and fire policies, a large mobile labour pool in the US and
generally less bureaucracy than in Europe.

When I was at Aer Lingus, we signed contracts for A330s at Christmas
1993 and the first aircraft was in service in May 1994 after  an
extensive modification programme (including moving from 9-abreast
high-density short-haul to two class six/eight abreast long-haul with
different seats and galleys). It was also the first Airbus operation by
Aer Lingus, the first A330 ETOPS operation and the first A330 operation
into North America.

While the mod programme was largely sub-contracted out to Deutsche
Airbus, the whole programme was almost incredibly fast. A subsequent
transfer and re-configuration of an Air Inter aircraft was also
expeditiously handled.

The comparison with Boeing's lead-times on fairly routine B737/B767 mods
was very impressive.  I particularly remember an issue when doubt arose
about toilet tank capacity on a fairly high density B767 on long-haul
sectors.  Some improvement on their part was certainly called for.  The
B737NG problems are reminiscent of difficulties with the B747-400

Antoin Daltun