Re: UA A321 ?

Date:         05 Oct 98 00:26:41 
From:         Evan McElravy <evanm@penn.com>
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>Totally agree.  If you check the B737 order history, for most part, the
>first generation had not been a big seller for Boeing and was trailing
>the DC-9 by a good margin.  In 1978, all of a sudden, sales of the
>aircraft picked up dramatically.  I don't think it's a coincidence that
>Deregulation in the US took place in the same year.

Agreed: the 737 was nearly cancelled by Boeing brass on three occasions. The
DC-9 was a much greater seller (and for good reason, IMHO).

>MD updated the DC-9 by stretching it (i.e., the MD-80) and was only
>mildly successful in the market place.  Boeing updated the B737 and more
>than made up for the mis-sized B727 replacement (i.e., B757).
>Nevertheless, in retrospect, by leaving the 150-seat, trans-Continental
>sector open, Boeing did allow Airbus a huge opportunity to move into the
>single-aisle market.

Only by comparison to the 737 was the MD-80 "only mildly successful." 1,200
sold is hardly a mild success. Does this mean you would consider the 757 to
be a flop?

>Thus, comparing the second-genration B737 and the A320 is comparing
>apples and oranges.  They don't even cater to the same market (but
>there is some overlap).  The third-generation B737 is a more direct
>competitor of the A320.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this argument doesn't wash. The
A320 was designed to be an all-around versatile aircraft to replace aging
727s and snag orders from the 737 and, more importantly, the MD-80. The
original A320 was a little large for that task and AI produced the A319.
Just becuase an aircraft has superior perfromance doesn't mean it is an
apples and oranges comparison. Remember that the MD-80 had greater seating
capacity and range than the 733 (150/3,014sm to 126/ 2,500sm). The 737-700
was a "catch-up" aircraft, albeit a damn fine one.

Evan McElravy
evanm@penn.com