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AS Eyeing Airbus Planes?  
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13511 posts, RR: 62
Posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3991 times:
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As an employee for Alaska Airlines, I can attest that everything we've heard up to today has been "Boeing, all the way." The company has even talked about possibly acquiring B-737-800 equipment to replace the -400s in time.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw this posted at usaviation.com today:

On December 24, 2002, we received a letter from Alaska Airlines' Cathryn
V. Dammel, Staff VP Labor and Employment Law, informing us that the
Company "...desires to establish a rate of pay for Airbus aircraft to
include A318s, A319s, A320s and A321s." A copy of Ms. Dammel's letter
is attached. On January 6, 2003, your MEC officers met with George
Bagley, Executive VP/Operations, Gregg Saretsky, Executive VP/Marketing
and Planning, and Kevin Finan, VP/Flight Operations. At this meeting,
the Company explained that although it has not made a firm decision to
acquire Airbus equipment, establishing rates of pay for these aircraft
would be helpful in developing the Company's business and fleet plans
and in dealing with aircraft manufacturers.

The MEC Negotiating Committee is meeting this week to review the
Company's request. Former Negotiating Committee members who
participated in last year's negotiations concerning a rate of pay for
the B737-900, the Chairman of the MEC Training Committee, and MEC
officers and staff also are taking part in these discussions. The
Company has agreed to provide necessary trip drops in order for the MEC
to hold a special meeting on January 13-14, 2003, to formulate a
response to the Company's letter.

The MEC welcomes the opportunity to work with the Company to reach an
agreement that promotes profitability and enhances the career
expectations of all Alaska pilots. Please remember that any time
negotiations take place, the communications structure your MEC has put
in place is the most reliable source for accurate, "spin free"
information. We will keep you informed as these discussions proceed.

Thank you for staying informed.



So here are my theories:

1. This is just the company's way of getting their negotiating chips in order before talking to Boeing about new aircraft.

2. That maybe, juuuuuuuuust maybe, those rumors about merging with Frontier aren't as far-fetched as we've all thought.  Nuts



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
75 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

We've all learned from the EasyJet Airbus order that anything is possible.

It seems odd that Alaska Airlines would buy Airbus, but hey anything is possible.

Maybe they'll get some old DC-3s one day and refurbish them!  Smile

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineN743AS From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3920 times:

Well all good things must come to an end. The good thing I speak of was Alaska's "commitment to Boeing products". Yes it's true Alaska is looking at the Airbus and they are more than likely to come onto the property now that Management sent out a letter to the pilots asking to negotiate pay for the A319/A320/A321. It must be getting bad for Boeing when the hometown airline buys from your rival.


HASTA



If the airplane is one piece, don't cheat on it...ride the bastard down! -Ernest K. Ghann
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3908 times:

What exactly is the reason why Alaska is even considering Airbus?

Is Airbus offering an offer they can't resist? Is that the case?

Or does Alaska feel it's time for a change?  Smile

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5790 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3876 times:

Maybe a little payback to Boeing for moving the corporate headquarters out of Seattle?  Big grin





"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3863 times:

LOL FATFlyer. They may be it!  Smile

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3861 times:

I hate it when I make typing errors.

I meant to say "That may be it!"

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3777 times:

How about A330s for long haul flights ? That may make sense .


Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

I suspect the only reason AS would get an Easyjet-type give away the store deal is if they offered Airbus entry into a geographical area or service type they are weak in. Easyjet and possibly JetBlue got good deals because they are low cost carriers and Airbus didn't have any real penetration into that market when those deals were made. I suspect USair and Northwest are getting really good deals on A-330s because airbus widebodies(especially that series) are not established in the US yet for passenger service.

Yet the A320s are in wide use in the US, by both traditional and low-cost carriers, so it would be pointless to offer AS an especially good deal. This would be especially true now, since Airbus has to sell the A-380 for so cheap. Even Airbus's subsidized pockets are not limitless.

A Frontier merger sounds believable to me. Very believable. Yet Frontier has been burned in one merger before (WestJet). And mergers cost allot of money in transition costs. So a merger anytime soon would have some problems.

I doubt moving headquarters ticked them off though, however. The job loss to Seattle is not really that huge - all of those big factories and offices are still there - it is mainly the executives that moved. And AS is big enough not to have any special loyalty to any particular city - at least not THAT strong a loyalty.

If we could bet, my money would be that they are tying to scare Boeing into giving them a better deal. Also it wouldn't hurt AS also to give the Unions good pay rates on an A/C type that will never enter the fleet anyway....that would be a good way to give the false appearance of offering a concession in negotiations.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16818 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3733 times:

Three possible reasons for this,

1.) just for comparative information to have on hand for any future negotiations between the company and either the pilots union (about pay raises) or with Boeing (A-320-737NG comparison).

2.) They are looking at a takeover of Frontier.

3.) They are looking at a takeover of HP.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3719 times:

It must be getting bad for Boeing when the hometown airline buys from your rival

Kind of like AF continually choosing 777s over A340s?  Big grin


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25004 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3710 times:
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I'm trying - and failing - to imagine why Alaska (AS) and Frontier (F9) would merge.

It's two completely different cultures and two completely different fleets. F9's route map doesn't give AS much that it doesn't have already

I can see a code share maybe - AS on F9's Mexico services and F9 on AS's Alaska routes.

But other than that, I can't see what's in it for Alaska, other than a dozen gates at DEN, and I surely can't see what's in it for F9.

As a (small) shareholder in F9, I'd be one very unhappy bunny.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3704 times:

All I'm going to say is I hope a merger between Alaska and Frontier doesn't happen. It would mean a loss of a lot of jobs and the closing of Frontier's corporate headquarters, and of course the famous wild-life airline would disappear.

The airline industry becomes a little more dull. Less variety....

ConcordeBoy,

Air France operates both 777s and A340s.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13511 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3699 times:
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Mariner-

Alaska definitely wouldn't need Frontier for Mexico services. AS currently enjoys Mexican operations that dwarf anything F9 has.




"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25004 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3688 times:
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EA CO AS:

Oh, I agree. I've flown with AS to Mexico several times.

I'm simply trying to find reasons for a connection/merger/take over, and AS has said they'd like to fly from Denver to Mexico.

That talk died down when F9 started their Mexico routes. So a code share on Denver/Cancun would make more sense - to me - than a merger.

I doubt it will happen. But then I don't think a merger/takeover will happen, either.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13511 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3672 times:
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Mariner-

I definitely see your point, although a DEN-CUN codeshare wouldn't make much sense for AS and F9.

DEN-CUN passengers can go nonstop on F9. Why cut AS in on the fun when you don't have to?

Likewise, SEA-CUN passengers can have same-plane service on AS via LAX. Why connect them to F9 in DEN when you don't have to?

Codesharing to Mexico destinations on F9 via DEN would only make sense for QX, assuming they were to drastically increase operations there from places like GEG, BIL, BOI, etc. They are actually reducing their operations there, as the QX service to DEN hasn't taken off like it has for AS.

I know that at one point AS and F9 were discussing codeshare possibilities, but it just didn't make sense when all the options were laid out.

Here's my one reason for thinking a merger or buyout is a distinct possibility:

United Airlines.

UA remains Alaska's biggest competitor, bar none. They've battled them for years, and have done reasonably well so far.

UA is Frontier's biggest competitor by a long shot. They've carved out a great niche for themselves in the DEN market, and have thrived there.

Now that UA is on the ropes...why not join forces to really take over the West Coast?

A combination of AS and F9, while not perfect on paper, makes for a West Coast juggernaut that can handle just about any threat and thrive in the most competitive air market in the world.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25004 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3657 times:
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EA CO AS

Your points are all valid, but I'm still wary of mergers and take-overs. An alliance would be a different matter.

I first bought a few shares in F9 soon after the Westpac debacle - and didn't really expect the splendid results I've had.

That said, I see no point in AS and F9 being "enemies", and some sort of alliance could make good sense.

There's at least one other airline sniffing around F9 - JetBlue has been some "due diligence", but I'd be a tad wary of that, too.

Call me sentimental, but I'd like F9 to keep it's own, individual identity.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16245 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

On a semi-related note, I've wondered whether AS has considered some used 763's to start SEA/ANC-NRT flights etc? With AA just pulling out of SEA-NRT, maybe AS could grab the route authority?


Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineGotAirbus From Singapore, joined May 2001, 851 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3644 times:

STT757

3.) They are looking at a takeover of HP.


 Confused Please explain...

(gotAirbus?)



(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
User currently offlineUAL1837 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

As much as I had hoped for it, I never expected Airbus to be taking on Boeing to this extent.

User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13511 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3621 times:
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Mariner-

Agreed; an alliance would make more sense than an outright merger. Either way, WN and B6 will definitely have their work cut out for them in the West.


GotAirbus-

If I may interject, the "AS takover of HP" rumor had legs right after 9/11, but dropped off the radar a few months later.

The way management had worded it was really interesting. Something along the lines of, "Well, we're waiting to see how things go in Phoenix. We might have some VERY big opportunities there if things unfold the right way for us," etc.


Yyz717-

AS has been fearful of adding new fleet types for awhile now, which is why the potential for "Airbii" on the property has me scratching my head. Regardless, making the jump to a 763 just doesn't fit the company's style.

Boeing offered fire-sale rates on the B-757 awhile back, and AS definitely should look into that option, especially since Boeing really needs new orders for that line. AS could use at least 5 to 10 757s for their longhauls and high-density routes. Maybe now they can get past their paranoia about new fleet types and grab the equipment they need.




"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

jetBlue would have far more to gain from acquiring F9 than AS would.

I'm wary of the overall efficacy of the LGB "hub" for JB. The numerous noise complaints already seem to be an indicator.

A combined JB-F9 route network would be very strong E-W, and LGB would be extra gravy.

N


User currently offlineAsa_737 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

I was shocked when I first read this..but thinking about it I believe that Airbus might just work for AS..I think it would be a better fit overall..since they can range from 318--321...Also I can see a merger with F9 working...not HP..god help us if that happens

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 23, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

AS is a full-service airline, as is HP, right?

F9 is a low cost.

They're very different.

N


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13511 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3470 times:
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Gigneil-

AS, HP, and F9 all fit into a new category.."hybrid" carriers. They're all relatively low-cost, but are essentially full-service carriers (interlining bags, meals at mealtime, seat assignments, etc).

So no, they're not at all different.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
25 Hkg82 : Yet another airline with an all-Boeing fleet possibly ordering Airbus aircraft. It's not surprising that management is considering Airbus since they'r
26 B757300 : Since when has Airbus had to worry about profit? When that is the case you can use both fair means and foul, mostly foul, to obtain your goals.
27 Post contains images EA CO AS : Hkg82- Wow, yet another diehard Airbus fan taking a swipe at Boeing! Imagine my surprise. Well, you can stop patting yourself on the back. AS won't or
28 N79969 : I hope AS does not opt for the 'bus.
29 Hkg82 : EA CO AS: Sheesh, so from my post you were able to deduce that i'm pro-Airbus & anti-Boeing? Read again or look at my history of posts. I just said it
30 EA CO AS : Hkg82- It certainly seemed that way, but please accept my apologies since that's apparently not the case. I also had you confused with another member
31 Racko : Just curious, Boeing sold 100+50 737s to Ryanair 45% under list price, so they don't care about profit aswell? Or is this just another "who cares what
32 Post contains images Hkg82 : EA CO AS: I had suspected that you might've had me mixed-up with Hkgspotter1. Yes, my post does come off as 'pro-Airbus' but that's only because I'm m
33 N79969 : EADS cares about profits-- but Airbus does not have similar pressure. Airbus can record accounting profits but operate at an economic loss which I sus
34 Airbus_A340 : EA CO AS, That was a unthoughtful post. Seems like you have something against Hkg82 and the way you labeled him as a 'diehard Airbus fan'...Don't you
35 EA CO AS : Airbus A340- Sir, if you'd bothered to read my reply to Hkg82, you'd see that I apologized to him for my post. If you want to label a post as "unthoug
36 Post contains images Hkg82 : Let's end this minor spat here please... (onto the topic) AS already have the 739, so this speaks volumes about the kind of offer Airbus can present t
37 Post contains links and images EA CO AS : Thanks Hkg82. Rather than bore you with a really lengthy post about Alaska Airlines, I'll include this link: http://www.alaskaair.com/www2/company/His
38 Hkg82 : Thanks EA CO AS! It certainly will! Hkg82.
39 Srbmod : The merger Frontier got burned on was with Western Pacific (WestPac) not WestJet. Frontier merging with Alaska is actually a logical step. Frontier al
40 Mariner : Srbmod: Sorry, I still can't see the logic. As I've said, it's two different cultures (F9 is one class, low fare) and two completely different fleets.
41 Post contains links and images Racko : N79969, the Boeing 777-300ER has a computer system which prevents tailstrikes during rotation. If the pilot pulls his yoke too strong, the computer au
42 Post contains links N79969 : Racko, I did not know that about the 773ER. Thanks for the information. But I don't think that example represents that much of a departure from Boeing
43 Heavierthanair : G'day Quote from airlinesafety.com Alaska Airlines, Flight 261, an MD-83, crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the Channel Islands, off of Port Hueneme
44 Post contains images EA CO AS : Gee Peter, thanks for dredging that up and opening old wounds. All of us at Alaska Airlines really appreciate that. Anyway, my thoughts are this is ju
45 Post contains images EA CO AS : Sorry Peter. I'm having a less-than-stellar day with my fingers hitting the wrong keys when posting! I meant to have that face be a wink instead of th
46 Maiznblu_757 : I used to think that the comments in the mid 90's that Airbus made (cant remember exact wording) in AWST about how they werent going to stop until Boe
47 Heavierthanair : G'day EA CO AS, I had no intentions to open any wounds. However, Boeing in the past has not been overly considerate towards their clientele if their o
48 Post contains images Airbus_A340 : EA CO AS, I'm sorry about that. When I was replying, your message was not there, so I had been replying to the first of your messages at an earlier t
49 Staffan : "Boeing's control system still relays pilot input to the controls. The Airbus cockpit still 'translates' pilot input into action." Since when is this
50 Post contains images EA CO AS : Airbus_A340- No worries; it's water under the bridge.
51 Post contains images AA767400 : A little off topic, but, what is AS's fleet at this moment? How many of each type do they have? And what east coast cities have been added, since I ha
52 Asa_737 : Alaska serves BOS, ORD, EWR, MIA, DCA, IAD as far as east coast cities go...rumor is 3 more cities are to be added this year...rumor is PHL, SLC, MCO
53 Wingman : In terms of Boeing not wanting to accept blame for any aircraft accident, I don't think any manufacturer likes to accept blame. I don't recall Airbus
54 N743AS : Alaska is looking at the Airbus to replace the MD-80's which for the most part are leased. The only reason Alaska still flys the MD's as of late is be
55 Gigneil : What all NAV toys does Alaska have that others don't? Obviously Cat 3b autoland for Seattle and Alaska... but what else? N
56 Asa_737 : This is posted on the employee website Weighing our options Alaska requests aircraft proposals January 9, 2003 Alaska Airlines announced today that it
57 Cloudy : Srbmod, "The merger Frontier got burned on was with Western Pacific (WestPac) not WestJet. " Tis true, sorry about the error. I got the two mixed up i
58 Gigneil : A320s have perfectly respectable field performance, many A320s are configured with more powerful engines than their 738 counterparts. A320s also have
59 United777 : It would be weird see Seattle's hometown airline having Airbus aircraft and Boeing Commerical Airplanes being built here too. Alaska Airlines is a gre
60 L-188 : I would love to see an A319 try to land at Dutch Harbor. Other then that, I don't see the A320 having a lot of advantages over the 737 fleet. I think
61 United777 : How big do you all think this is for Boeing for AS to just consider buying Airbus airplanes? AS has always had Boeing just except of course the Dougla
62 FLY777UAL : The AS letter said that they were looking for aircraft to replace their MD-80's and 737-200C aircraft. I don't know about you, but as far as I can see
63 Cloudy : A319s, for example, have nearly 700 miles greater range than the 73G. ---- The range difference in the main applicable versions (737-800 and A320): 73
64 Cloudy : Well.... 737-700: 3260nm A319: 3697nm -airliners.net bit more of a significant difference than I had remmbered. But still not mutch. Less than half of
65 L-188 : The 737-200C and the 737-200QC are the same airplanes. The only difference is if the seats are bolted to pallets or floors. I wonder if Airbus is will
66 Post contains images FATFlyer : Looks like several people misunderstood my comment about Boeing leaving Seattle. It was intended as a joke, that's why I included the smiley. Instead
67 777d : If Alaska decides to purchase Airbus products this would be a huge blow to the narrowbody products that Boeing offers. I believe Alaska is one of the
68 Gigneil : Cloudy- 437 is not less than half of 700. But I should have used 500 as a baseline, yes. The data for the A318 is woefully inaccurate. The A318 sports
69 Post contains links N79969 : Now in the open http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030110/airlines_alaska_airbus_4.html
70 Cloudy : Still, in range, the main applicable comparison is between 737-800 and A-320. The difference there is insignificant (125nm according to A.net). Genera
71 PSU.DTW.SCE : I wouldn't read too far into this information, this sounds a lot like hardball to Boeing. Airlines have seen the deals the Airbus has made with other
72 B757300 : I like how it says they might switch to Airbus in order to "cut costs". I guess when you are able to buy aircraft for next to nothing it really does r
73 TransSwede : SAS, for example, oparates both the 737NG series (-600, -700, -800) and the A320 series (A321). It's not beyond the realm of possibility.
74 Donder10 : How can you justify operating the A320 family and the 737NG family? That goes against all the current methods of thinking in the airline industry Well
75 Cloudy : Airbus(EADS) may be profitable but that does not mean that the commercial jet business is profitable. Ditto with Boeing. Both also make higher margin
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