Alitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4787 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7295 times:
Airlines buy what works best for them. In some cases there is political influence, in others, its preference.
Alitalia for example prefers to fly Boeing aircraft on long-haul. This is a combination of performance, reliability, experience and preference. They do however fly Airbii on their local/short-haul routes.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13556 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7211 times:
One factor is tradition within an airline. If a company was a heavy Boeing buyer, then continue to buy Boeing. Sometimes the need of an airline and available models may be a factor, like when Airbus came out with the A300 series, long before the B767. Executives whom make buying decisions may have a strong preference because of past experience or connections to Boeing. Pilot experience/training at a given airline may be a difference. Air France is in the home of Airbus, but yet they continue to buy Boeing models (a new 777-300ER is in final prep for delivery) for use on certain routes. Delivery timing of an a/c of needed specifications may be a factor, like the delay on delivery of 737NG's may make several airlines consider A318/A320's as may get faster delivery. Most a/c today are leased rather that bought directly by an airline, so the decision is made by the leasing co's, not as much by the airlines themselves. Exchange rates of money, financing costs and banks/financial companies lending also add to the mix as to A or B choice.
TW741 From Austria, joined Sep 2004, 479 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7210 times:
I do think the decision between Airbus and Boeing has also other factors based on the difference between US travelling habits and European habits (and beyond)
Short to medium routes:
Pax travelling with checked-in baggage - not too many in US but usually a lot in europe since fewer same day returns.
Airfreight carried by airlines - common in Europe - only small extent in US.
The A319/20/21 has a container loading system for quick loading/unloading baggage which is good for intra-European routes but not necessary for US short trips. Unloading a B737 manually - pulling out 100 bags and suitcases and 1 or 2 tons of cargo - is time consuming. For this the small Airbus family saves on groundtime considerably.
When an airline has already the smaller Airbus Babies it is good to have a common line with A330/340 as supplement. Saves on crew training, maintenance, ....
Still there is substantial number of Boeing customers in Europe also for the short haul segment. Charter airlines, LCC´s - the need for quick turnarounds is not that big and they do not carry airfreight or airmail. Also they often fly to destinations where you dont have highloaders to get the containers out. Furthermore you soon losse control where your ULD´s are. So for the charter/LCC airlines the 737 is a good choice within Europe.
Best example: OS group - Austrian mostly Airbus (plus a few elder MD´s) - Lauda Air as the "leisure" part of the group - all Boeing. OS recently ordered another 738 for NG. And not to forget - the 777 for the Far east schedule flights.
For all other terms I fully agree with Starlionblue as listed in reply 5.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7155 times:
The original post was very innocent......but I feel a major A vs. B war coming on and lets try to avoid it.
So many factors are involved in purchasing aircraft, remember how expensive an airliner is, and a major order runs into billions of dollars/euros, so the desicion is a huge one and I do not personally think that politics or country of origin are a major factor in the decision making process. Remember that a huge amount of content in Airbus airliners comes from the US, and a huge amount of content in Boeing airliners comes from Japan, China and other far off lands, so its not nearly as simple as America vs. Europe as some may suggest.
1. The most important issue is the aircraft's mission.....an airline buys the types that is needs. Also keep in mind that decisions are made by what is available at the time that the order is being placed - the 737NG is great, but if an airline made its narrowbody fleet decision before that type was launched, the airline may have looked to Airbus.
2. Money, price, terms, support packages.....all of the financial stuff is a very key factor and often the deal maker or breaker.
3. Delivery times......manufacturers do not have airliners in inventory, and it takes a long time for a fleet of aircraft to be delivered. If Airbus cannot deliver a fleet of A320s to an airline within the time frame desired by an airline, they may buy Boeing instead for that reason alone.
4. Leasing companies influence airlines.....if a large lessor has several of one type available, the airline may go on to order the type as well.
5. Commonality - msot airlines stick with one type for a specific mission, we dont see many carriers flying the 340 and 777 side by side (although AF does, for example) and we dont see many flying the 73G and A321 (but SAS does).....it depends on economics and fleet size.
6. Tradition - certain airlines are long time customers of A or B and prefer their products.
7. Politics - of course politics are involved and politicians will stick their noses into situations where they do not belong - billions of dollars/euros in orders and thousand of jobs are at stake, politicians will take notice.
8. But remember, carriers worldwide want both Boeing and Airbus, and Embraer and Canadair to stay in business. All Airbus or All Boeing fleet propoganda is nonsense.....only if the manufacturers all stay in business will new and more effecient and more advanced products become available, and only if all the manufacturers stay in business can the airlines negotiate and obtain aircraft at market prices. You can be sure that Lufthansa, which flies more and more Airbus aircraft, takes a very serious look at any new product offered by Boeing and even CO, which is very pro-Boeing, studies what Airbus has to offer.
Paul777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6984 times:
LTBEWR, I agree with you! You got me thinking about this - Not too common an occurrence to see airlines switching manufacturers say 10 years ago, but it seems to be happening more often now. An airline (USAir/US Airways in this case) that goes from having a predominantly Boeing/McDD fleet to becoming a heavy user of Airbus aircraft due in large part to Wolfe coming over from United where they had a large Airbus narrow body fleet (IMHO).
Glad we are not getting into heavy Airbus vs. Boeing discussions!
Sebring From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6973 times:
Air Canada not being European or American has always been a bit of a belwether.
It bought the A320 because Boeing stopping making/updating the 727-200 - a real mid-sized transcontinental aircraft in North America - and only had the 737-300/400/500 to offer, a plane with less than true transcontinental range. That generation of 737 was conceived for customers like Southwest and American, the former into short stage lengths (especially back then) and the latter married firmly to hub and spoke. AC's only Boeing alternative with transcon range was the 757, which was just too large most of the time. Along comes Airbus with the A320, a mid-sized, fuel-effiicient, advanced technology aircraft with true transcon range. It was a no-brainer. Once it had the A320, the A319 became an easy decision, and you can see how AC flies that plane, using it even on sectors like Toronto-Bogota or Montreal Los Angeles. These are six-hour flights!
It took Boeing years to rectify its mistake by bringing out the 737NG with the desired range/efficiency characteristics.
The airline's decision to buy Airbus widebodies reflected a combination of size, range (AC was just getting into transpacific flying in a bigger way), good delivery dates and VERY AGRESSIVE PRICING. Once it had the A340-300, the 330-300 became a natural addition. AC has even been able to partially withstand nationalistic forces, for while it does fly some Canadair regional jets, and likes them on truly regional circuits, the bulk of its order for larger regional jets is going to Embraer because AC management just loves the EMB-190 and how it fits into AC's North American marketing strategy.
So mission, availability and price are very big factors. Where the aircraft has been manufactured has not mattered one iota. I can assure you that AC is quite capable - even likely - to order Boeing again. CEO Robert Milton has given the 7E7 a lot of praise, just as he has been an enthusiastic buyer of the EMB-190. Again, the longer-range variants of the 7E7 fit AC's longhaul intercontinental growth strategy much better than any 777 or Airbus product, and AC is likely to pick the 7E7 as its replacement for older 767s unless Airbus floors it with both its aircraft offer and its pricing.
StickShaker From Australia, joined Sep 2004, 777 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6831 times:
..."Politics - of course politics are involved and politicians will stick their noses into situations where they do not belong" ...
Political interference is usually restricted to state run airlines where governments seek to influence purchases for political reasons. Such interference is very rare in western countries with free market style economies.
Political interference can also come from the suppliers side. After the 1990 Gulf War the US government lobbied Saudi Arabia to purchase Boeing rather than Airbus aircraft for the state carrier - the logic was that US (and allied) forces had sheltered the Saudi's from an Iraqi invasion and that it was the least the Saudi's could do in return to purchase American aircraft.
Cant remember what the outcome was.
Alessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6817 times:
Politics, surely El-Al wouldn´t go all Boeing if there was no politics involved,
same reason no arab country will buy the B717, since large part of it is built in
Price is important, 2nd hand value is also important. I think planes that aren´t
made anymore lose their 2nd hand value faster than planes that are still made,
that´s my own opinion.
Spare parts prices are also important, also service (B777 got 2 GE90s, worlds biggest engine, this has caused head-ache a couple of times where B777
got stuck because it couldnt find someone to ferry replacement engine in
time, nor equipement to replace it).
Engine availbility also important, if there´s only one engine manufacturer
availble like GE to a certain airplane model, I think it can be a disadvantage.
Eugdog From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6793 times:
It is quite natural for airlines in europe to be more favourable to Airbus then Boeing all other things being equal. These airlines are subject to considerable government pressure and their government would expect them to buy Airbus.
Aerospace is a very high profile prestigious industry so there is huge temptation for political interference! High profile jobs are at stake as well!
I do not why Boeing bothered submitted a bid for the Iberia order - how could Iberia possibly order Boeing (unless they make MUCH better planes) when Spain is major contractor for Airbus.
Political interference also exist in the US - many congressman have complained about US airlines ordering Airbus but it is obviously at a less amount as evidence by the large Airbus orders from US Airways and United (lucky Airbus!). The nature of American politics makes it hard for politician to force airlines to buy Boeing. Moreover airlines in the US, despite being heavily protected against foriegn competition, do not have the national prestige as national flag carriers in the US.
Petertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3494 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6600 times:
Why does one airline buy Boeing and another Airbus. Why does one trucking company buy Mercedes and another DAF. Why does one taxi company buy Mercedes and another Ford. Why does one person buy a Skoda and another Volkswagen...
The reason is always the same. Because it is the best option for them. And what may be best for one person or company, may very well be worst for another.
There are just too many variable to just be able to say that plane A is always better than plane B (or other way round). The range, the capacity (passenger and freight), engine choise, availability, maintenance, spare parts supply and of course the money. If Airbus gave Southwest a killer deal, Southwest would change supplier. Likewise, if Boeing gave Jetblue a great offer they would go for it.
It is true that in aviation politics play a more important role than in for instance trucking. But nonetheless for most western airlines this will not be the deciding factor despite what some people would like you to believe.