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A Little LOT Problem: Boeing Or Airbus?!  
User currently offlineKalakaua From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1516 posts, RR: 5
Posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5917 times:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/28/news/poland.html

International Herald Tribune
Polish air carrier faces delicate choice
By Judy Dempsey Friday, October 29, 2004

WARSAW When Poland's national air carrier, Lot, starts shopping for new aircraft, it will face one of the toughest decisions in its 75-year history: whether to buy European or American. The choice is no mere business matter, for whatever Lot decides, it is likely to leave Poland hostage to accusations that it has betrayed an ally.
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"We are just at the beginning of the process," Leszek Chorzewski, a spokesman for Lot, said this week. "The decision could be made in the first months of next year."
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The situation with Lot illustrates how difficult it is for former Communist countries and new EU members like Poland to build a future free of domination - be it from Moscow, Washington or Brussels - without engendering feelings of ingratitude that could affect everything from the flow of Western aid to the degree to which the Central and East European lands can overcome their past.
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At present, Lot uses only Boeing aircraft for its long-haul and middle-range fleets, with its oldest long-haul aircraft already 17 years old. Soviet Tupolev jets, used by Lot during the Communist era, have been phased out.
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Although there is nothing new about the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus, what makes the Polish tender special is the Europeans' desire to settle scores. They have not forgotten how the European military sector was squeezed out more than 18 months ago when Poland chose Lockheed Martin, the U.S. military contractor, for a $3 billion purchase to equip its air force.
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Poland bought the 48 American-made F-16 fighters at a time when it was involved in difficult enlargement negotiations with the EU and was enduring sharp reproaches from Brussels for moving too slowly to implement EU legislation.
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France, furious over the Lockheed purchase, suggested that the government in Warsaw was acting disloyally at a time when it should have been aligning itself much more closely to European industrial and foreign policy decisions.

continue article at http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/28/news/poland.html.


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43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12082 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5822 times:
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Who cares about betraying an ally. The key to an airlines success is to choose the aircraft/s that will suit the airline, not to please the unions they belong to.

User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1851 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

LOT wants to have the current long haul fleet replaced by 2006, according to the Polish edition of Newsweek. This rules out 7E7, but on the other hand Boeing offered a few 763s to cover for the time of unavailability... I personally would prefer A330-200 in LOTs colours...


All Hail Mighty Triple Seven, The MURDERER of the so-called "Queen"!!!!
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5638 times:

I hope LO buy whichever equipment best suit their needs for the price, without regard to political considerations. Politics has no rightful place in business.

User currently offlineBmiEMA19 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5627 times:

With them being part of Star now I personally think they'll go with Airbus. Given that most other Star carriers have opted for Airbus as replacement aircraft, ie bmi, United, US, Spanair

User currently offlineSn26567 From Belgium, joined Aug 2004, 131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5607 times:

First a small mistake in the IHT article. LOT did not have only Tupolevs (134 and later 154), but also Ilyushins 18 and 62 and Antonovs 24.

For the renewal of their fleet, I'm afraid that LOT is kind of hostage of the US and will buy Boeings, whatever Airbus may offer.

I agree with Zvezda that politics has no place in business, but don't forget that LOT is still government owned, and thus subject to political pressures.



ex-Sabena #26567
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5591 times:

It should be a purely economic decision. I know France does go out and push Airbus sales at every possible opportunity, and not in the most honest way either (e.g. offering a more open bilateral or more CDG slots), but that's wrong. Anyway, there's not a lot France can bribe LOT with anyway, now that Poland is in the EU.

It would be downright shameful if either side reproaches LOT or Poland whatever decision they take. They are the consumer, they have a choice, get over it.


User currently offlineTreg From Estonia, joined Oct 2001, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5580 times:

Are they privatized or not?

User currently offlineSn26567 From Belgium, joined Aug 2004, 131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5563 times:

Are they privatized or not?

No! They are a SA (a company whose capital is represented by shares), but most shares are in the hands of the government. Swissair used to own 30% of the shares, but the government bought this back after the demise of Swissair.



ex-Sabena #26567
User currently offlineTreg From Estonia, joined Oct 2001, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5521 times:

If it is government owned then it is obviously political decision. Therefore they should privatize the company first and only then start to look for fleet renewal...

Just my humble opinion...


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5485 times:

I agree with Treg in principle, but fleet renewal might be urgent. Privatization takes time.

User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5348 times:

So they only want to buy long-haul planes or also narrow bodies?

Actually they are introducing the E70 and retiring their 735, right?

Are they planning to replace all their 735 with E/=?

What happens to their 734?

How many long-hauls do they want to buy? Actually they don't have a lot of long-haul routes. I think their actual North American schedule shouldn't need more than 4 planes.


User currently offlineIowa744fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5284 times:

With them being part of Star now I personally think they'll go with Airbus. Given that most other Star carriers have opted for Airbus as replacement aircraft, ie bmi, United, US, Spanair

Hmmm....SIA, ANA, ANZ, Varig....


Zvezda,

I completely agree with you that politics has no place in business. I just wish that there was some way that we could implement it. I figure that whichever way LOT goes, the decision will be largely political. Perhaps we will see a repeat of the THY order with aircraft from both companies. Perhaps a fleet of 73Gs, 738s, and 332s. Or perhaps a fleet of 319/320/321s and the 7E7 (with 763s until they come out) or maybe even the 777 (doubtful).


User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5230 times:

No one has suggested that they continue with larger Embraer variants and supplement them with Tu-204 and IL-96 aircraft. There is no chance in hell of that happening, but its a thought....

User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

7e7 or 332 seem most logical replacement.

if they want to replace in the coming yrs choice should be easy

however the recent f16 showed it is a ploitical thing

US military people openly expressed pride to have made the deal..



User currently offlineKonrad From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5077 times:

Actually the first 767 of LOT is 15 years old, the last one 7 years old only. They are all pretty much worn out, flying two 9-10 hour sectors per day (WAW-ORD/YYZ/JFK/EWR and return).

I think LOT will go for the A330-200 to keep its longhaul fleet limited to 4-5 aircraft with about 250 pax capacity. This fits their corporate policy which is extremly conservative. This is a polite way of saying that LOT has no expansion plan nowadays.

LOT has been biulding an east-Europe network starting from the 90s. At the beginning it was doing quite well flying connecting passengers between east-Europe (the Baltics, Minsk, the Ukraine etc.) and destinations in the West and in the US and Canada. Nowadays it seems that LOT doesn't even try to compete on these routes with CSA, Austrian, Air Baltic and others. CSA has been doing extremely well recently. Compare twice daily PRG-VNO/RIX/TLL runs, all served by 735/734 to daily WAW-VNO/RIX/TLL served by a mix of ER4/E70/AT7.

My personal opinion is that the only way for LOT to survive is to start a more agressive fight for the market share. To this effect I would rather see an increase in their U.S./Canada flights. This is the part of the market where they can compete with other "small players": CSA and Austrian. I think the 777 would make a better addition to the fleet as compared to 332 assuming they want to expand, not fold down. The 777 has a better cargo capacity which can be an advantage during the winter months - less pax, fly more cargo instead. Now to make this happen LOT needs to get its act together at the Warsaw airport to make it a true hub capable of handling large numbers of connecting passengers. This cannot be done now, the terminal is filled to the capacity, the whole airport seems to be badly organised. The long overdue Terminal 2 is to go into operation in 2006 only.

So for now the realistic scenario for LOT is A330-200 for long-haul. The classic 737s are also going to be replaced soon, the obvious replacement candidates being the 737NG or A320/319 series. Three of the 735s were already replaced by EMB-170 - another sign of shrinking and reducing capacity at LOT. It seems that except for premium routes like LHR/CDG most of the flying is now being done by the E70/ER4 mix with an odd 735 tossed in from time to time.

One other point: when LOT started buying Boeing aircraft at the beginning of 90s, and also recently, when F16 was chosen for the Polish Air Force the local politicians kind of expected that the contracts will be followed by American investments into the polish aircraft industry. Apart from some small deals like manufacturing of the 757 doors in Poland no large scale investments ever took place. I think that Airbus will have an advantage over Boeing if it can show plans of serious involvement in the polish industry.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5039 times:

Afay1, why not the E195? As for Il-96 and Tu-204, no I don´t think so...


User currently offlineBoeingBus From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1596 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5006 times:

"politics has no place in business"

True... but did you guys ever think that Airbus would have beeen 'groundbus' if politics wasn't involved? and that's not good...

Everything in life is political and some is based on good policy... so please don't ever think that politics will disappear or it's all bad. Politics does have a place in business... it just needs to be fair and sound.



Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5650 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4985 times:

I agree with Conrad on many points. However statement "This is a polite way of saying that LOT has no expansion plan nowadays. might be instead of absence of plan just reflection of reality. LOT's membership in Star along with many benefits also means that plans for expansion are subject to certain limits. LH and OS will not LO expand at their own expense.
Of course that with 40 million market at home and huge expat community in North America I'd see a great potential for that and fleet of 777s or 340s would be nothing inadequate.

I think it will be difficult for WAW to become a true hub since VIE has couple of decades advantage of being well-established long-haul hub. Let's not forget Austrian, a Star member, is based at VIE. PRG is getting close to VIE in number of pax handled, but mainly intra-European. OK and SV, KE are the only airlines flying long-haul to PRG.

No doubt politics will play its role in the decision-making. Unfortunately. There are thousands of Polish soldiers down in Iraq risking their asses for the sake of making the whole Bush's adventure look more legitimate and the US is not even willing to lift the idiotic visas for them or let Polish companies get some contracts down there. Way to treat an ally!!!


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

The B777 is too big for LOT.

The 7e7 will not be available before....too long !

The 767 is already an a/c of the past, even the B764.

The A333/332 seems the best a/c for LOT Long Haul operations.
On the other hand, they already operate a quite young fleet of B737 on their Short/Medium haul network.

A mix order of Airbus/Boeing would please everybody : Airbus (First order from LOT) Boeing (They don't appear as loosers ) and the Politics of both sides !  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8162 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

I also believe that it will be a split order. The race will be to see if they go a 7E7 with leased aircraft until delivery or a 350 with leased aircraft until delivery.

The balance between the two will show which way Poland is leaning in terms of alliances.


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4286 times:

I don't know if you guys heard this, but pilots from LOT said: "if CEO doesn't resign from the post, they will go on strike".
The reason for this action was, that LOTs CEO already made plans to replace entire Boeing fleet with Airbus airplanes. Pilots didn't like it and stated that this is simply "wasting" of money. Company is in very bad shape and CEO is ading another nail in the coffin.
Boeing has offered LOT to refurbish, and maintain long haul fleet (for fraction of the regular price) if they order 7E7. First aircraft would join the fleet in 2008. And right now there is a conflict between LOTs pilots and management.

Amen,
Rafal


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5650 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks ago) and read 4249 times:

Pilot unions flexing their muscles and trying how much they can talk into running of the company is not the case of only LOT.
If the situation is indeed as Lindy describes, then it's almost perfect carbon copy of CSA's situation 2 years ago. At least when it comes to pilots vs. management relationship. Militant pilot unions CZALPA acting like there was no post 9/11 crisis no SARS, which CSA survived just fine and manged to even slightly expand. They demanded more than 100% increase in pay like there's no tomorrow and threat of strike was avoided literally at last minute. The unions eventually managed to bring down the previous rather conservative management and we'll see how the new guys will cope with their demands since new contract is negotiated as we speak.


User currently offlineFLYSSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7401 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4145 times:

Pilots are in charge and paid to pilot planes. Not to run airlines and decide which a/c they should buy or not.

User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 23
Reply 24, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4118 times:

For those of you who think politics should have nothing to do with business- you are right.
For those of you who think politics HAS nothing to do with business, guess again.

A major part of businesses these days, both aviation and not, is pure politics. It really sucks, but it's true. Someone asked me what was the most different thing about working for an airline then I thought it would be, and I simply said "The politics".

Also, pilots DO make some difference in what an airline orders.

France, furious over the Lockheed purchase, suggested that the government in Warsaw was acting disloyally at a time when it should have been aligning itself much more closely to European industrial and foreign policy decisions.

I have a feeling France is going to cry foul whenever Boeing gets an order from here on in.. Not starting an A vs B war, but just my opinion.

Chris



Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
25 L410Turbolet : I have a feeling France is going to cry foul whenever Boeing gets an order from here on in... Chris, I think both Airbus and Boeing are equally guilty
26 Leskova : Chris/Airlinelover - if you're, as you state, "Not starting an A vs B war" but just expressing your opinion, then you might not want to express your o
27 Post contains links KEESJE : I think it is good to realize even the Netherlands export/imports more to Poland then the USA. Germany is by far the most important import/ export par
28 Codeshare : Layoffs in LOT are a fact. Apparently about 300 or so of crew are set to go. LOT want to cut costs heavily. I agree with those saying pilots should fl
29 Danny : A LOT of confusion and misinformation here. 1. Government never bought back 30% of shares that were owned by Swissair. Whoever is in charge of ex-Swis
30 Flying-Tiger : @ Codeshare: The F16 selection had to do with quite a few offset deals requested and granted to Poland by the US/US companies. This had quite an effec
31 Danny : No offense Flying-Tiger but should we (I am Polish) remain farmer's country because that would be good for Germany? There is 19% unemployment rate in
32 JoFMO : I agree with Danny. LOT doesn't have a lot of routes where they need airplanes bigger than an EMB190. With only a few medium-sized aircrafts in need t
33 Codeshare : @Flying-Tiger: what does the F-16 offset have to do with Germany? France and Sweden/UK should be more dissapointed, because their offer wasn't accepte
34 L410Turbolet : The F16 selection had to do with quite a few offset deals requested and granted to Poland by the US/US companies. Anyone with more insight: How many o
35 DIA : Everyone should read Lindy's info in Reply 21 again. To me, that's where the story is at this moment in time. . .nothing more or less.
36 Flying-Tiger : At least two deals for two large commercial vessels to be built at polish shipyards as part of these offset deals have so far materialized. Need to lo
37 Magyar : Danny wrote >> There is 19% unemployment rate in Poland and every investment (especially in technology) is badly needed.
38 L410Turbolet : Magyar, I agree with you... to a certain extent. However, buying aircraft purely based on criteria of politics makes no sense and leads nowhere. It wo
39 Ariis : Konrad, as far as I know, the US investment that should have followed the buying F-16's was actually part of the signed deal, so it is not that politi
40 BlueSky1976 : Ariis, 777 in LOTs fleet isn't going to happen anytime soon - at least for as long as they have "We won't fly to Tokyo, because Lufthansa flies there"
41 Magyar : L410Turbolet, I did not say that aircrafts should be bought solely on political basis. But we all know that there is politics involved, no matter how
42 Konrad : Ariis: I totally agree with you on the A330 vs. B777 sentiment. My point in favor of B777 was that if LOT wants to survive as something more than anot
43 Sllevin : I suspect that LOT will end up taking some of the last 763's to be built by Boeing. The 763 has excellent economics (especially as LOT uses them) and
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