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Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?  
User currently offlineBHXDTW From Eritrea, joined Feb 2005, 1088 posts, RR: 5
Posted (6 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10891 times:

Just thinking..
Back in the day why did BA order the A320 family of aircraft when they had and have historically been a firm Boeing customer ? Wouldnt Boeing have offered them a good deal on the 737NG for the replacement of their original 737's and BAC1-11's etc ... so why did BA all of a sudden change to Airbus equipment ? Was the 320 a better deal cost wise and efficiency wise ?
I was just thinking as BA could have used aircraft such as the 738 and now possibly the 739 on routes that the 320's and 321's are deployed on.. Also.. and I am in no way biased.. but hasnt it been the case that the 737 line has continuosly been refreshed with newer and more frequent improvements over the last few years to create a better short to medium haul carrier ??
Maybe theres a logical and simple answer so if anyone can enlighten me that would be great..(like I say.. this isnt A vs B or anything daft like that.. im just curious to find out why.. )

Thanks !


Joe  Smile

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3945 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10781 times:

Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320? If so they probably got a good deal. They bought a whole load of Boeing's not long after anyway - the -400s!

R


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 10696 times:

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320?

No, I believe that was BCal. However, AFAIK the deliveries of BCal's new A320s happened some time after the merger with BA (they were delivered with G-BUS* registrations).


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3321 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10606 times:

Its likely a large number of factors, some small some large. One of the biggest would be that 10 year period where the A320 existed and the 737NG didn't.

User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6840 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10550 times:

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320?

No. Airbus had sold more than 1,800 A320s before BA bought any.

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
They bought a whole load of Boeing's not long after anyway - the -400s!

No they didn't. They bought their first 737-400s ten years before they bought A320s.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
that 10 year period where the A320 existed and the 737NG didn't.

No, that won't do either. BA ordered A320s in late 1998 - more than five years after the first orders for the 737NG.


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9565 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10466 times:

Are you asking about the BA A320s they took over from BCal or the large A319 order BA placed themselves?

A388


User currently offlineGlareskin From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10365 times:

Quoting BHXDTW (Thread starter):
why did BA order the A320 family of aircraft

Because it is a very good and economical aircraft. Especially before the NG came out.

Quoting BHXDTW (Thread starter):
when they had and have historically been a firm Boeing customer

Isn't that the case for almost all Airbus customers?



There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12040 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10273 times:
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Maybe, shock-horror, the A320 family was better for BA than the 737NG?  scratchchin 

I know it's a radical theory. yes 



Hey AA, the 1960s called. They want their planes back!
User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9957 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

IIRC the BA order for A32X in 1998 caused a lot of media attention, as the order was for up to 188 aircraft if all options were to be exercised. That was quite a blow for Boeing...

I chatted to some FAs while onboard a BA A319 a while ago and they said they love working on the A32X as the galleys are more spacious. A great aircraft family flying for a great airline. Everybody wins  Smile



Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9777 times:

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 15):
I chatted to some FAs while onboard a BA A319 a while ago and they said they love working on the A32X as the galleys are more spacious. A great aircraft family flying for a great airline. Everybody wins

Couldn't agree more. And I may be wrong, but as a passenger I find the A32S more spacious than the 73G. and a bit brighetr and airier.

BA787


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9667 times:

Quoting BA787 (Reply 9):
And I may be wrong, but as a passenger I find the A32S more spacious than the 73G. and a bit brighetr and airier.

So do I.



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9550 times:

Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products.

With regards to preference, I think it is purely to do with how the airline configure their aircraft. The DJ B738's are 1000 times more roomier, brighter and quiter for that matter than the JQ A320. My preference goes to the 737NG, and it's much more attractive externally as well. I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

Regards,
AA7295


User currently offlineEGNR From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9504 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products

I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The 'need' to purchase 'home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

If BA wanted to support local industry, it would currently be flying A306s instead of B763s, A321s in place of all B752s, A330s/A340s instead of B772s, A346s in place of B744s and would already have an order on the books at Airbus for A388s.

True enough, BA does appear to support the local aero engine industry with its preference of RR engines - almost always choosing RR when there is an engine choice and when RR is an option. The BA-ordered A320 family aircraft are IAE powered, and the IAE group includes RR. BA's first batch of B772s had GE-90s, but due to operational/technical issues, BA opted for RR Trents on all subsequent B772 orders.

The fleet planning at BA is done on a purely 'what is best for BA' basis. BA's studies have found that the A320 family suits their operations better than the B737NG; that the B772 suits them better than the A343/A333, etc.

Ironically, back in the 1970s, (still government-controlled) BA was evaluating the A300, DC10 and L-1011 for it's short-medium haul widebody requirement, and the airline's preferred choice was the A300. But, the UK government exercised its power and forced BA to select the L-1011 to help out struggling Rolls-Royce.



7late7, A3latey, Sukhoi Superlate... what's going on?
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9487 times:

It probably comes down to money; in 1998 Boeing was at the height of their "arrogant period" and did not really take Airbus seriously. Airbus probably offered them a much better deal. As to the airplanes themselves, I have reached the conclusion that they are as indistinguishable as any two competing airliners can be. The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view. From everything I have seen (not having first hand knowledge) the operating economies are about as equal as can be expected. It's really the airline equivalent of Ford vs. Chevy-it's more personal preferences than real differences.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3930 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9440 times:

I worked for BA at the time, and although information filtering down to the shop floor was sparse, I remember that there was little to choose. Just before the announcement we were certain that it was going to be B737, and then suddenly it was A319. Price was the final factor, and Airbus needed BA at that time more than Boeing did.

User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9380 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products.

No, good effort though.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
My preference goes to the 737NG, and it's much more attractive externally as well. I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

 boggled  What comunist era aircraft resembles an A320?

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
It probably comes down to money;

Or technical superiority.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view.

Its not the only one. Its noticibly quieter and more comfortable.


User currently offlineSkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9351 times:

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
No, I believe that was BCal. However, AFAIK the deliveries of BCal's new A320s happened some time after the merger with BA (they were delivered with G-BUS* registrations).

 checkmark 

BA inherited it's first batch of 320's from the aforementioned BCal merger. The rest, they say, is history.


User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9338 times:

Quoting EGNR (Reply 12):
I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The 'need' to purchase 'home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

Well they don't have to, but I'm sure it has something to do with it. After all BA is privatised, but they are still accountable to the British public and the British government, just like QF is to Australia.

Isn't it ironic that you deny this argument, but airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, and TAP Portugal have all ordered predominantly Airbus equipment, while all these airlines are based in countries where Airbus has manufacturing facilities. Come on, you can't seriously say it has no bearing when these airlines purchase aircraft.

Regards,
AA7295


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6643 posts, RR: 78
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9275 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

Are you sure you really saw A320s? It's not like any classic Russian built aircraft type looks similar in any way to the A320...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9206 times:

Quoting EI321 (Reply 15):
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view.

Its not the only one. Its noticibly quieter and more comfortable.

90% of the travelling public could not tell you the difference between a 320 to a 737 to a DC9 to a TU134....well maybe that last one is a stretch. It's only us devoted a.net geeks that get down to such specifics  Smile And by the way, I disagree, IMO I see very little if any difference. Much depends on how the individual airline outfits the aircraft as far as seats, etc.; as for noise levels, they are very negligible to me, and I've flown plenty of both models.


User currently offlineJAL From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 5078 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9074 times:

Maybe because the 737NG hasn't been launched yet.


Work Hard But Play Harder
User currently offlineFlyboy_se From Qatar, joined Feb 2000, 780 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9054 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
Isn't it ironic that you deny this argument, but airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, and TAP Portugal have all ordered predominantly Airbus equipment, while all these airlines are based in countries where Airbus has manufacturing facilities. Come on, you can't seriously say it has no bearing when these airlines purchase aircraft.

I dont know where in his post did you read that he is denying that argument. Please re read it carefully.

Quoting EGNR (Reply 12):
I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The need to purchase home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

If BA wanted to support local industry, it would currently be flying A306s instead of B763s, A321s in place of all B752s, A330s/A340s instead of B772s, A346s in place of B744s and would already have an order on the books at Airbus for A388s.

True enough, BA does appear to support the local aero engine industry with its preference of RR engines - almost always choosing RR when there is an engine choice and when RR is an option. The BA-ordered A320 family aircraft are IAE powered, and the IAE group includes RR. BA's first batch of B772s had GE-90s, but due to operational/technical issues, BA opted for RR Trents on all subsequent B772 orders.

The fleet planning at BA is done on a purely what is best for BA basis. BA's studies have found that the A320 family suits their operations better than the B737NG; that the B772 suits them better than the A343/A333, etc.

Why shouldn't TAP, Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France order predominantly Airbus aircraft?? I dont see anything wrong with that. Everytime a European airline orders Airbus , then it has to be some government involvement that forced them to do so.God forbid that it should come out that an airline ordered Airbus because they thought it suited them better.
But no, everybody knows Airbus makes crap and all airlines that order their planes are either forced, or they are getting them for free ( Sarcasm)



Let´s fly away
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9024 times:

Why does any airline make a decision to buy one type of aircraft over another?

Why did BA chose the A32X:

1. BA determined that the A32X family was a good airplane for the missions that it would be assigned to fly.

2. BA thought, for whatever reasons, that the A32X was a better choice for its needs than the 737/737NG.

3. BA was satisfied with the price and other terms of the deal offered by Airbus.

4. Airbus could deliver the airplanes pursuant to a schedule that was acceptable to BA.

5. The financial institutions that BA works with were willing to provide financing/leasing terms for the airplanes.

The same factors apply to BA's choice of the 777 (over the A330/340), the 767 (over the A300/310), the 757 and the 737 Classics (over MD80s). Yes, BA was a ""loyal"" Boeing customer for many years, but for the reasons set forth above, they went with Airbus for their narrow body needs.


User currently offlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 4981 posts, RR: 44
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8934 times:

Quoting JAL (Reply 20):
Maybe because the 737NG hasn't been launched yet.

The 737NG are the -6/7/8/900, and they've been launched for quite a while now...


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8934 times:

....while I don't know the complete history of why BA purchased the A32X......I do know those A32X look lovely in BA colours... yes 


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"Up the Irons!"
25 JGPH1A : Rubbish. BA is in no way accountable to the UK government - they are a private company, responsible only to their shareholders. So is Qantas. Both ca
26 Post contains images Tancrede : We could then come to the same question but to the opposite as why Ryanair did buy 737s instead of A320s?
27 Radiogaga : Ryanair was given substantial discounts on 737s by Boeing after the 9/11 slump.[Edited 2007-08-18 18:32:06]
28 Columba : They had already 737-200s and were copying Southwest which success is mainly based on flying one single type of aircraft the 737.
29 BCAL : British Caledonian (BCAL) was indeed a launch customer of the A320 and they ordered seven of the A320s with options on another three for delivery in
30 AirNZ : I assume you are joking, right? What are your reasons for being so "sure"? On the contrary, you are entirely wrong in your next assertion. Irrespecti
31 TGV : Is it possible for you to accept the idea that if airlines order Airbus in some cases it is because these planes are more adapted to their needs? You
32 Strathpeffer : I heard part of the reason BA kept BCAL's 320s was because new aircraft of that size were scarce at the time. BA found itself DESPERATELY needing pla
33 Egmcman : On the 777 the initial deal they sold it's Cardiff facilities to GE on the 320 family IAE offered a power by the hour option which BA selected.
34 Spartanmjf : Personally, I think that the TU154 and the IL86 are beautiful aircraft.....especially the 154.
35 Trex8 : and RR is a major stakeholder in IAE
36 SEPilot : I think the record is pretty well established that the 737NG and A320 are pretty equal on most measures. I have yet to see a convincing case that one
37 G-CIVP : The answer for the choice of Airbus over Boeing for the European fleet is quite simple, price (excluding the A320's BA inherited from BCal). Apparentl
38 Boeing74741R : That motto is out of date. If the UK Government obliged BA to do things, then it would be an all-Airbus fleet by now. And if Boeing's planes were tha
39 Jacobin777 : ...this sounds plausable as has been mentioned ad nauseam here that both essentially have the same capabilities. It boils down to who can deliver wha
40 Post contains images SKA380 : Of course the reason why they chose the A320 is because the 737NG is a gas guzzling aircraft.
41 AA7295 : QF and BA still do have relationships with their governments. Remember 9/11, which aircraft took Prime Minister Howard back to Australia from the US,
42 FlyCaledonian : BCAL, I don't think BA actually took up any options on the A320, as because as far as I'm aware BCal had ten on order and that's what was delivered t
43 AirNZ : But wait up, you're now changing your position.......you clearly stated completely wrongly that both airlines were ACCOUNTABLE to their respective go
44 AA7295 : When we taxied passed them, I then knew they were A320's, and my original post did say from a distance. You just conveniently missed that particular
45 VV701 : Others have already said it but I must add my voice. NO. NO. NO. BA is NOT accountable to the British public. BA is NOT accountable to the British go
46 PM : "hasn't"? If you mean "hadn't" then, er, it had - five years or more earlier than the big BA order of 1998. Maybe - but it took them ten years to do
47 AirNZ : Sorry, but I didn't 'conveniently' miss any point you made at all. Once again, another change from you here as you now state "when you taxied past th
48 GDB : Correct that it was just the better bet for BA all round. For some years, in the early 1990's, it was thought the ex BCAL A320's might be sold, as the
49 7LBAC111 : And US? And NW? And B6? Why did they buy Airbus? And why are SU buying both A and B? Man, you're deluded, over-simplistic ideas are not winning you a
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