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Qatar Airways Frustrated By Lack Of Airbus A350 XW  
User currently offlinePVG From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2004, 725 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10042 times:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-of-airbus-a350-xwb-technical.html

Interesting read!

70 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10036 times:

Quoting PVG (Thread starter):
Interesting read!

thnx!


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10025 times:

I'm thinking the last one got killed for a reason... so yah

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9985 times:
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Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 2):
I'm thinking the last one got killed for a reason... so yah

Which is why I tried to pre-empt those comments in my own post which this one just beat at FI - QR Principals Would Like More A350 Tech Info (by Stitch Jun 25 2007 in Civil Aviation).

Assuming the mods delete mine as a duplicate, I shall re-post the text here.

First, relevant quotes:

Quote:
Qatar Airways became the largest customer for Airbus's A350 XWBs at the show with an order for 80 aircraft, but has been frustrated by the airframer's tardiness in providing detailed and reliable specification and performance data for the new twinjet.

The Doha-based airline - which currently operates a large, all-Airbus fleet but is soon to add its first Boeing 777-300ER - retains its position as launch operator from mid-2013, but its chief executive Akbar Al Baker told Flight International he had been frustrated by the lack of detailed information that Airbus has been providing during negotiations: "For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design.

"We hope that now the purchase agreement is signed, we will be able to have a more detailed understanding of what specification choices are being considered by Airbus as the design crystalises."

Now, the commentary:

Louis Gallois has said that Airbus has issued contractual guarantees to its customers. And while it is true that the final design freeze for the A350 is planned for October 2008, this does not mean Airbus has absolutely no idea what the A350's specifications will be.

The A350 is not a "paper airplane" at this stage.

QR is not in a position of having no idea what the A350 will entail. Airbus has told them the plane will carry this amount of payload this distance with this fuel burn. They know the dimensions of the plane as planned, and while the final plane may be a meter longer or shorter, or a meter taller or shorter, Airbus is not going to suddenly make the A350-1000 85m long instead of 75m.

Now, why would QR make these statements in the first place? If you read it literally, it seems that QR just decided on a whim to order the plane because they liked how it looked, and now want to know how their new toy will perform.

To believe that is to do QR a great disservice. They may not serve 2000 cities with a fleet of 500 planes, but they are hardly some "fly-by night" operation throwing money around to try and impress the world. They have performed proper due diligence on both the 787 and the A350 and have decided that the A350 is the better choice for them.

I personally believe they said this because they want Airbus to know that they intend to play a strong role (not a commanding role and not a dictatorial role) in helping to define the plane. Airbus has held forums with potential customers to get a feel for what they want, much like Boeing started with their "Working Together" program for the development of the 777. As the largest customer for the A350 so far, as well as an original launch customer, QR is betting heavily on this plane so they want to be sure it will do what they want it to. And those goals should not be diametrically opposed to the goals of the other customers - past, present, and future. And all of those customers will themselves express input into the final design as Airbus moves forward to final design freeze in October 2008.

This is standard for every aircraft program. The 787 was not defined on Day One. Heck, only a few months ago they tweaked some of the performance specifications. And Boeing continues to try and work with customers who want more range and those who want more payload to find a "happy medium" between them.

I personally find nothing surprising nor alarming in this article or the statements quoted from QR officials in it.


User currently offlineFruitbat From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 550 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9914 times:

I was enjoying the first thread.....  duck 

Seriously though, does anyone who reads this forum seriously think that an airline does NOT demand performance guarantees and involvement in the design process when deciding to spend billions of dollars with airframers and engine manufacturers.........

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
Louis Gallois has said that Airbus has issued contractual guarantees to its customers.

And I'm certain that Boeing did (and does) the same with the 787.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I personally find nothing surprising nor alarming in this article or the statements quoted from QR officials in it.

 checkmark 



Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.
User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9633 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9822 times:
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Wow, there are some amazing quotes in that FI article.

"For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design. "We hope that now the purchase agreement is signed, we will be able to have a more detailed understanding of what specification choices are being considered by Airbus as the design crystalises."

Seems if that is what they wanted they should have waited to sign., not the other way around.

With this information unavailable, Qatar Airways has had to define in detail what its expects from the A350 XWB by way of specification and performance and then make this a contractual obligation, says Al Baker. "This part of the airline's purchase agreement is larger than the document that currently serves as Airbus's interim specification," he says

This is incredible! Inmates running the asylum.

it "has not been encouraged by Airbus to participate in the development of the A350 XWB specification - we aim to change this".

Can this really be true? An 80 frame order for a plane still being developed and they haven't been asked to participate?!?!

Surely this is a typo and/or mis-quote?


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9802 times:

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
Can this really be true? An 80 frame order for a plane still being developed and they haven't been asked to participate?!?!

Well, since QR's contract gives them good prices and a performance guarantee, the only downside to them is that if the A350 Mk. VI is a bust, they will have lost time. This is time which could have otherwise been utilized acquiring the 787. If the A350 Mk. VI meets the contracted performance, then QR will be in exactly the position they wanted. However, time may be the most valuable asset in this scenario.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9802 times:

Well since there are 2 threads, and one is bound to be deleted I will repost this here.

Looking at their behavior since launch of the 787 in 2004, there is a striking amount of nonserious behavior on al Baker and company's part. Ordering the original A350 only to have the rest of the airline industry force the project off the rails for being insufficiently competitive suggests that they are not doing due diligence. And in the process they gave up a large number of early 787 slots. The shenigans around the 777 order at last year's airshow demonstrated a lack of maturity. The problem with this A350XWB order is that it has been complicated by the potential Qatari investment in Airbus/EADS, which may have pushed them to make the deal now for other reasons, including to help Airbus make a big splash at the Paris airshow. So the airline may in fact not know as much as they want to.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26993 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9795 times:

Hmm they were so frustrated that they ordered 80 of them !!! Hmm yeah figures alright  sarcastic 

Doesnt sound like the interview that I saw with the head of QR on CNN during the Paris airshow.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9761 times:
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Quoting N328KF (Reply 6):
Well, since QR's contract gives them good prices and a performance guarantee, the only downside to them is that if the A350 Mk. VI is a bust, they will have lost time. This is time which could have otherwise been utilized acquiring the 787.

And QR may still have 30 of those on order as an "insurance policy".


User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9746 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
QR is not in a position of having no idea what the A350 will entail. Airbus has told them the plane will carry this amount of payload this distance with this fuel burn. They know the dimensions of the plane as planned, and while the final plane may be a meter longer or shorter, or a meter taller or shorter, Airbus is not going to suddenly make the A350-1000 85m long instead of 75m.

But this is contrary to what SQ and ILFC said recently - the complaint was that they haven't been told about fuel burn.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 6):
Well, since QR's contract gives them good prices and a performance guarantee, the only downside to them is that if the A350 Mk. VI is a bust, they will have lost time.

Very true - and then there's the compensation, too, if there are further delays involved - as we have seen, issues of varying significance can crop up at any moment regardless of manufacturer. And didn't QR defer their A380's to grow their international routes? Doesn't sound like they are in a big hurry for their new planes.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9735 times:
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Quoting Khobar (Reply 10):
But this is contrary to what SQ and ILFC said recently - the complaint was that they haven't been told about fuel burn.

I'm sorry for not being clearer. Airbus has told those airlines, via performance guarantees, that the plane will burn "x" amount of fuel for a given payload and range. So while they may not know the actual numbers (and Airbus probably does not, either), Airbus is confident enough that it won't be worse then whatever they guaranteed to the airlines. And it stands to reason that those airlines believed that the guaranteed rate is "good enough" to place orders.


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9697 times:

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
"For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design.

Then why are they a launch customer. They could have so easily ordered 787s.


User currently offlinePygmalion From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 966 posts, RR: 37
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9625 times:

Maybe because they got a really good deal.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9625 times:
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Quoting EI321 (Reply 12):
Then why are they a launch customer. They could have so easily ordered 787s.

They may very well have if the rumors of them being behind the 30 UFOs is true.

It would be interesting if QR originally chose the A350 because it wasn't a CFRP airframe and they felt more comfortable with it being Al-Li at the time they chose it instead of the 787.


User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9633 posts, RR: 68
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9617 times:
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Why are you asking me? I was neither quoted in the article or the writer.

That is the problem with this place. Everyone wants to discredit by making it personal.

Why not email Akbar Al Baker, he is the one who the article quotes. He is also the CEO of Qatar Airways.


User currently offlineEbbUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9439 times:

I know some might question QR's pedigree and shrewdness in purchasing new kit but the kings of purchase are SQ and they've signed for 20 XWBs.

So do SQ know more than QR? Or is the information sufficient at this time so far away from EIS to make an investment? Discuss


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3205 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9398 times:

Reading the article, I hope Airbus takes into account this point from the Doha based CEO:

Quote:
but unlike its continued participation with Boeing in the detailed definition of the 787 and 747-8, it "has not been encouraged by Airbus to participate in the development of the A350 XWB specification - we aim to change this".

It would appear to me a valid point of concern.

Regards
MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9368 times:
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Quoting EbbUK (Reply 16):
So do SQ know more than QR? Or is the information sufficient at this time so far away from EIS to make an investment? Discuss

Airbus has said they will guarantee the plane's performance. If they don't, airlines get compensated the difference or they get to walk with no penalties. The A350's availability remains no worse then that of the 787's, including the 787-10 when Boeing is ready to make it available for sale.

SQ already has 787s on order with options, and rumors continue so does QR, so even if the A350 program stumbles, they're covering themselves. And with Boeing now saying the 787 is sold out through something like 2014 or 2015, it may be that other A350 customers have made private deals with Boeing to secure delivery slots around the A350's planned EIS to protect themselves, as well.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9368 times:

There was another thread about this article earlier today that "disappeared", dont know why, it was not any more brutal than most of the recent threads.

I find the entire situation concerning the Qatar A350 order very odd....how does an airline order 80 airframes of a new type and then go on to complain that they are ""frustrated by the lack of details"" available concerning the type? Why place an order if you are not satsified with the information being provided to you....because its fun to be in the headlines, have swanky parties, and be the star of the Paris show? While there are certain risks involved with ordering any newly launched type, and the airline must always rely on certain performance guaranties agreed to by the manufacturer, this article indicates that the current A350 situation goes beyond that standard. What is really going on?

The key questions is.......Are Qatar's orders for the A350 really firm? Or does Qatar still have the ability to walk away from the A350 without penalty if they are not satisfied with whatever details they are frustrated over concerning the airplane? Is this a firm order, or is it something else?

This story is not over yet, and its a very interesting one indeed.......Airbus' sales team is even more talented than any of us ever realized: they are have convinced airlines to place ""firm orders"" for an airplane that is not completely designed and for which key details are curiously unavailable. Pretty amazing. Now the question is what happens if the A350 cannot meet all of the targets and guaranties agreed to by the Airbus sales team in those ""firm"" purchase agreements with the airlines. Stay tuned.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30989 posts, RR: 86
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9324 times:
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Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 19):
Are Qatar's orders for the A350 really firm? Or does Qatar still have the ability to walk away from the A350 without penalty if they are not satisfied with whatever details they are frustrated over concerning the airplane? Is this a firm order, or is it something else?

Both. QR has converted their MoU to an actual order, but they ensured that the contract was written to give them maximum flexibility to adjust or cancel it as they see fit.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9261 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):

Both. QR has converted their MoU to an actual order, but they ensured that the contract was written to give them maximum flexibility to adjust or cancel it as they see fit.

Very well said.....so the question is:

Is a contract that contains provisions which grant the purchaser ""maximum flexibility to adjust or cancel it as they see fit"" a firm order?

The question is intended as rhetorical, we can discuss it for years getting into a variety of legal theories and case law that will support either side of the argument, this is a.net, not a court room.....the point is that Airbus has created a very interesting situation: they have firm orders for airplanes that are not really firm. And what are the implications of these arrangements? Only time will tell.

[Edited 2007-06-26 01:56:31]

User currently offlineThebry From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 375 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9206 times:
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Quoting EI321 (Reply 12):
Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):"For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design.
Then why are they a launch customer. They could have so easily ordered 787s

I think that's the question we'd ALL like answered. They were really hell-bent on buying the A350. Afterall, they've stood by their intent to purchase through all recent iterations of the A350 (culminating in what we now know as the A350XWB).

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 19):
I find the entire situation concerning the Qatar A350 order very odd....how does an airline order 80 airframes of a new type and then go on to complain that they are ""frustrated by the lack of details"" available concerning the type? Why place an order if you are not satsified with the information being provided to you....

It's just odd. Maybe they decided early on that they'd buy the competing Airbus product (against the 787) regardless of what final form it took. I've never written anything like this in a forum post before, but I'm inclined to wonder if they got an amazing deal ($$) they just couldn't pass up for firming their original A350 order, and adding more to it at the airshow. Dollars will go a long way toward smoothing over silly things like detailed specifications, etc.


User currently offlinePVG From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2004, 725 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9089 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 21):
Is a contract that contains provisions which grant the purchaser ""maximum flexibility to adjust or cancel it as they see fit"" a firm order?

I wonder if any of these firm customers have actually paid-up any cash against these orders? That would be the real test I guess.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9052 times:

Quoting Thebry (Reply 22):
Quoting EI321 (Reply 12):
Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):"For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design.
Then why are they a launch customer. They could have so easily ordered 787s

I think that's the question we'd ALL like answered. They were really hell-bent on buying the A350. Afterall, they've stood by their intent to purchase through all recent iterations of the A350 (culminating in what we now know as the A350XWB).

It think you might be correct.....what I also find interesting from the article is...

"adding that the airline was heavily involved in the previous definitions of the A350"....

.....does QR really know what they want? Ostensibly, It seems as if they believed the previous incarnations of the A350 were fine too.....which was obviously a gaffe.....



"Up the Irons!"
25 Atmx2000 : Well SQ bought 20 789s, while QR bought 20 A358s. So maybe they do know something different. Perhaps SQ was determined to divide orders between Boein
26 Stitch : IMO, no.
27 Ruscoe : As has been stated here, and as I stated in another thread and had many a European breathing down my neck, if Airbus give performance guarantees then
28 Aminobwana : You are completely right. This is not a courtroom But a FIRM order, to be such, has to have specifications of its globality and main component, inclu
29 Shenzhen : This is interesting, and I did bring it up some time ago. I would appear that these days airlines place very large orders with Airbus, which seem to
30 MIT787 : Hey Fellow Aviation Fanatics...This is my first post...Rah! Rah! Rah! Please be nice to me. Even though I am a die hard Boeing fan, I am objective. He
31 Stitch : First up, the head of Airbus has said there are performance guarantees. And the head of QR has said they have written their contract in such a way th
32 Azhobo : This only goes to confirm my own belief, as stated in posts this week that what we had at this airshow was the mother of all fire sales. Thanks for t
33 Azhobo : Yes most likely firm in that they placed deposits. But I am sure the fine print is such that if Airbus sneezes they can walk away from this. And you
34 Aminobwana : Welcome, MIT787 I agree mostly with your analysis, but as for the waiving of the performance guarantees, STITCH has already commented Stitch: I notic
35 Azhobo : Yes most likely firm in that they placed deposits. But I am sure the fine print is such that if Airbus sneezes they can walk away from this. And you
36 Azhobo : I will have to disagree with you on this one. Reason they cant walk away in 2012-13, is that they will not have the needed aircraft. FOr an aircraft
37 PVG : Not desperate? See A380 for reference. Loads of money coming in from that program 7 years down the line and counting.
38 CygnusChicago : Yes, they are firm orders. Yes, deposits have been placed. No, they cannot walk away if Airbus sneezes Yes, some specifications are open-ended, inclu
39 Post contains images Azhobo : F I R E S A L E as stated in my previous post. CHEERS. HOBO
40 Azhobo : Yeah a tarrif. Thats it. On all 22 coming this way. HOBO
41 Rj777 : I think the airlines aren't the only ones. Some of us aviation enthusiasts could also be frustrated by this as well.
42 Ikramerica : This is one of the failures I have cited re: Leahy and his job performance. He plays a very large part in the A350 program fiasco for this reason. He
43 Azhobo : Yes this is the line that says it all. Just goes to airbus execs lack of credibility. When Boeing made a few astute comments about the A350 this past
44 BHMBAGLOCK : These don't quite make sense together. If you waive your right to compensation there is no guarantee. A tariff isn't always placed on the particular
45 Aminobwana : [quote=CygnusChicago,reply=39] Pls provide the supports of all your statements aminobwana
46 Aminobwana : I do not understand the term "sleight of hand" Sorry for my bad English Wny these not so firm orders have no options ? There are no way to count opti
47 707lvr : etc, etc. We don't know any of this, and that is the point of the entire thread. The rules have changed, the conventions have changed to the extent t
48 Mham001 : Exactly how did you come across this private information? Or should we assume it is nothing more than speculation on your part(and should have been p
49 MotorHussy : Yes, in a very cynical and biased kind of a way.
50 Abba : As described is how it normally is. You are the one who by claiming it is otherwise are in need of providing us some very solid documentation. Specul
51 SEPilot : My take on this whole situation is that Airbus was desperate to give the A350 some credibility, and to do that they needed to bag some high profile or
52 Abba : To sum it all up: The situation is pritty normal. Not much different from the introduction of other new designs.... Abba
53 SEPilot : The difference is the stakes involved. They are way higher than normal due to the situation that Airbus is in.
54 Stitch : And so Airbus will now repeat themselves? Offer the A350 at (or even below) cost to the launch customers, with contracts written that give the airlin
55 Post contains images Jacobin777 : ..neither do I.....
56 Aminobwana : Which is really the complaint of QR/Al Bakr and why he files it publicly ?? --------------------------------------------------------------------------
57 Shenzhen : Its very difficult to be specific about an airplane's configurtation before the vendors that will provide the different systems/avionics are even pick
58 Abba : ?? do you think that the Airbus crisis as of late is that much deeper than the crises Boeing was in pre-787? Different for sure. But Boeing's role as
59 MIT787 : I think both situations were "fundamentally" the same, management issues. The only difference I can between the two situations is that Airbus lost mo
60 SEPilot : Certainly Boeing was under a cloud before the 787 emerged, but nobody was questioning their ability to deliver on their promises (at least on the com
61 PVG : Why? From what you see and read in the press, does it really look like these guys have changed their M.O.? Not to me.
62 Travelin man : "For a launch customer we have been provided with remarkably limited information on the evolution of the A350 XWB design. "We hope that now the purcha
63 Stitch : I believe they have. They didn't just plunge forward with the "A330E" or even the original A350, but instead listened to customers who told them that
64 Mham001 : Im sorry Abba, but I've made no claims whatsoever about a confidential contract to which very few people in this world are privy. CygnusChicago made
65 PVG : I don't see it. I think that they tried it and when it got too hot in the kitchen they reverted back to: let's sign alot of contracts/mou's, get some
66 MIT787 : Is that what Airbus did? They listened to customers? I wouldn't consider being told that your product is inferior to your competition as they "listen
67 Post contains images Abba : So we agree. To say Airbus' situation with the 350 is unique is an overstatement. Speculations claiming that Airbus is in a situation where they are
68 Ruscoe : Well partially. If your program is going to flounder then it may very well be good business practice to provide performance guarantees, (based on rea
69 Azhobo : Most are supposing based on what they have been reading in the media, and that would tend to lead anyone without bias to conclude that Airbus gave di
70 Abba : What is the unique here? Did Boeing sell the 787 to its first customers without giving any sort of performance guarantees? I don't think that giving
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