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Why No A330s In Japan?  
User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6849 posts, RR: 63
Posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18816 times:

Today I flew (on a Cathay A330-300) from Fukuoka to Taipei to Hong Kong.

At all three airports there were A330s everywhere I looked.

They are operated by...
*all three major Hong Kong airlines
*both Korean airlines
*both Taiwanese airlines
*the three biggest Chinese airlines
*the three biggest Indian airlines
*Singapore Airlines
*Malaysia Airlines
*Philippines Airlines
*Vietnam Airlines
*Garuda
*Sri Lankan
*Thai

In short, they are operated by EVERY significant airline in Asia east of Pakistan.

Except, of course, JAL and ANA...   

Of course, Japanese airlines and Japanese industry have close links to Boeing. But if every other airline in the region has seen the benefits of operating A330s, are JAL and ANA being pig-headed in refusing to join them?

62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18742 times:

With air traffic stagnating or shrinking out of Japan (it certainly isn't growing right now), I don't see the see need for A330-300s. A330-200s perhaps since they're similar in capacity to the 767s used by Japanese carriers, but IIRC, most Japanese 767s aren't that old (NH took some new ones in compensation for 787 delays).

It appears as though the Japanese carriers have the right sized equipment for their markets:
747-400Ds and 777-300s for Intra-Japan flights

767s (mostly) for Intra-Asian flights

747s and 777s for Intercontinental flights, and on some Intra-Asian flights.

767s make sense, especially since both NH and JL have 747s in their fleet; there is the benefit of having the same engines on two different aircraft (if powered by the same engine).

[Edited 2010-05-31 08:28:52]

User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30424 posts, RR: 84
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18701 times:
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Quoting PM (Thread starter):
But if every other airline in the region has seen the benefits of operating A330s, are JAL and ANA being pig-headed in refusing to join them?

Both have 787-8s on the flight line awaiting delivery within the next six months, so at this stage in the game I cannot see the point in them adding A330-200s.


User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18701 times:

Quoting PM (Thread starter):
*the three biggest Indian airlines

Not to nitpick  , but the A330's flying for AI aren't Air India's, and owned and operated by a different company.

All I know is that the NH 767's are new to brand new, so phasing them out in favor of the A330 now would be financial mismanagement. And indeed, the close and history-based relationship with Boeing is important as you point out.



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlineTommyBP251b From Germany, joined Apr 2006, 459 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18654 times:

Hi Everybody,

another reason maybe that there is no real exchange for the A300. I guess this type was flown by JAS and later JAL. It might fit their needs better on their high-density short-haul routes. An A330 might be uneconomically. LH also doesn't deploy its A333 on routes where their former A300 were flying on. They exchanged the A300 with the A321 which does not have the size.

Best Regards

Tom



Tom from Cologne
User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6849 posts, RR: 63
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18557 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
767s make sense, especially since both NH and JL have 747s in their fleet

The same could be said of Korean, Asiana, EVA, Air China, Thai, Malaysia, etc., etc. Some did (and still do) operate 767s. But they still saw the benefit of operating A330s.

Your own Qantas, with big fleets of 747s and 767s, also bought - and are still taking delivery of - A330s.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
It appears as though the Japanese carriers have the right sized equipment for their markets:
747-400Ds and 777-300s for Intra-Japan flights

You'll actually find more A300s than 747Ds and more 777-200s than -300s flying domestically.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Both have 787-8s on the flight line awaiting delivery within the next six months, so at this stage in the game I cannot see the point in them adding A330-200s.

I wasn't thinking so much in terms of going forward (the moment has passed) but might they not usefully have ordered, received and operated A330s over, let's say, the past decade?

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 3):
the A330's flying for AI aren't Air India's, and owned and operated by a different company

Fair enough. But they are flying in full Air India livery. It's hardly a stop-gap short-term lease.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30424 posts, RR: 84
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18258 times:
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Quoting PM (Reply 5):
I wasn't thinking so much in terms of going forward (the moment has passed) but might they not usefully have ordered, received and operated A330s over, let's say, the past decade?

I don't see why not, but I expect neither airline is as ideologically bound to Boeing as some proclaim nor do I believe MITI handled their fleet RFP process, so I am left to conclude that operating the 767 and 777 combination fit their plans better than also adding the A330.


User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2731 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18202 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 3):
All I know is that the NH 767's are new to brand new, so phasing them out in favor of the A330 now would be financial mismanagement.

This is now. But what about then? Why did NH order 767s instead of 330s?



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2731 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 18120 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 6):
I am left to conclude that operating the 767 and 777 combination fit their plans better than also adding the A330.

What would made them so unique among the East Asian airlines?



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 17818 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 6):
so I am left to conclude that operating the 767 and 777 combination fit their plans better than also adding the A330.

Are we also able to conclude that a 73G/A320 fleet fits the airline's needs better than an A319/A320 fleet too?


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3158 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 17818 times:

Quoting UALWN (Reply 7):
This is now. But what about then? Why did NH order 767s instead of 330s?

Specifically in Japan, gate size at airports is an important issue. The wingspan of the 767-200 and -300 is 47.6 meters and fits the ICAO D-category for gate size. The A330's wing span is 60.3 meters, requiring E-category gates. Specifically in Japan, gate space at airports is limited and it's a major advantage to fit the D-category.

(gate sizes, see here: Aircraft Gate Size Category (by Kaitak744 Jul 11 2009 in Tech Ops) )

The 787-3 was specifically designed to fit exactly the D-category gates (D cat is up to 52.0 meters, and the 787-3 was proposed to have a wingspan of exactly 52.0 meters), explicitly aimed at Japanese carriers. The new 767-300ERs NH is receiving are part of Boeing's compensation package for cancelling the 787-3 project.

[Edited 2010-05-31 10:41:37]

User currently offlineFCKC From France, joined Nov 2004, 2348 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 17731 times:

Even if the 787 hasn't been launched , and no new technologically advanced plane at the horizon , Japan would have not ordered A330s , but would have ordered more 767s !
In one word : old technology rather than Airbus.


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 17481 times:

Quoting PM (Reply 5):
The same could be said of Korean, Asiana, EVA, Air China, Thai, Malaysia, etc., etc. Some did (and still do) operate 767s. But they still saw the benefit of operating A330s.

Your own Qantas, with big fleets of 747s and 767s, also bought - and are still taking delivery of - A330s.

I can't speak for all of the carriers listed, but Korean airlines have grown and expanded in recent years while Japanese airlines have retreated from some markets and adjusted service levels.

Don't get me wrong, NRT is a fantastic airport, but ICN is easier and cheaper to transit through to points and destinations in Asia. From what I know, the Korean market hasn't suffered like the Japanese market has (in terms of air travel), and the country hasn't seen a decline in population or international business.

Chinese airlines are government entities and order from both manufacturers and allocate aircraft to CA, MU, etc. TG, IIRC never operated the 767, and I don't think MH did either... both were Airbus A300/A310 customers that later ordered the 777.

As for QF, the airline has grown. Ansett disappeared (I don't remember if QF ever acquired aircraft from them) and we only have a few LCC operating domestic flights. Australia is a huge country that is sparsely populated. We don't have the infrastructure that Asia, Europe and the US has: high speed railrways and interstate highways to connect our cities. We still rely heavily on air travel to get around, even so when the economy was down.

QF retired its 747 classic fleet which played an important role in the domestic market, and needed something to fill the capacity void. The A330s operate domestic flights as well as to some international destinations and have been a huge part in establishing and growing the Jetstar arm of QF group. I'm not entirely sure what QF plans on using the A330 fleet for once the 787 join the fleet, I believe some will remain red-tails while others will be shifted to JQ operations.

The A330 was the more attractive aircraft of the two when QF ordered them. I'm not sure if QF was a 787 customer at the time of the order, of if it would have made a difference.

Quoting PM (Reply 5):
You'll actually find more A300s than 747Ds and more 777-200s than -300s flying domestically.

Indeed. 777-200s and 300ERs seem to be almost exclusively devoted to international operations.


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3158 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 17474 times:

Quoting FCKC (Reply 11):
In one word : old technology rather than Airbus.

Isn't that 5 words?

Besides that, there are reasons for the 767-300 over the A330:
1) The 767 fits D-category gates, important in Japan
2) The A330 has a greater cargo capacity, but for flying very short domestic segments, this functionality is hardly used
3) The 767 can turn around quicker than the A330-200, which was considered to be an issue for QF when flying the A330 on domestic routes, that used to see the 767 (see amongs others QF's A330-200's (by Qantaspower Jun 7 2004 in Civil Aviation) )
4) The extra range the A330 offers over the 767 is not needed for Japanese domestic ops (or even inter-asia ops) but the aircraft is more expensive nevertheless
5) Both NH and JL already had large 767 fleets, so fleet commonality could have well been an issue

Actually, I think that the A330-300 vs 777-200A is a more interesting comparison, than 332 vs 763.


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4250 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 17245 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
It appears as though the Japanese carriers have the right sized equipment for their markets:
747-400Ds and 777-300s for Intra-Japan flights

767-300's are the backbone for the JL/NH domestic markets. 772 (non-ER) and 773 (non-ER) are used on higher density routes only. The 744D will not be around much longer. Don't forget the large fleet of JL AB6 (will retire also this year).

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
747s and 777s for Intercontinental flights, and on some Intra-Asian flights.

JL and NH will retire the 747-400's from use within this year, so only the 777's remain for intercontinental flights.

Asian operations are also flown with B737-800's and a lot of B767-300ER's.

Quoting joost (Reply 13):
2) The A330 has a greater cargo capacity, but for flying very short domestic segments, this functionality is hardly used

Sorry? The cargo market domestically in Japan is rather important. But weight is not a problem on the short routes of course. Especially since Japan consists of more islands, the aircrafts become very important to transport goods in Japan, since distances by road are long.



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offline707lvr From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 17234 times:

Quoting PM (Thread starter):
But if every other airline in the region has seen the benefits of operating A330s, are JAL and ANA being pig-headed in refusing to join them?

I wouldn't have put it that way. Certainly JAL and ANA are using aircraft which fit their needs and don't see the choice as joining or not joining something.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30424 posts, RR: 84
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 16980 times:
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Quoting UALWN (Reply 8):
What would made them so unique among the East Asian airlines?

Market dynamics?

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 9):
Are we also able to conclude that a 73G/A320 fleet fits the airline's needs better than an A319/A320 fleet too?

That appears to be the case. As the 73Gs are delivered, the A320s appear to be moving to domestic ops.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 16340 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
That appears to be the case. As the 73Gs are delivered, the A320s appear to be moving to domestic ops.

I'm surprised so few other airlines have stumbled across this winning formula of A320s side by side 73Gs then.

No one is saying NH and JL are utterly bound to Boeing but they have always seem to have given them the benefit of the doubt.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30424 posts, RR: 84
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 16194 times:
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Quoting RJ111 (Reply 17):
I'm surprised so few other airlines have stumbled across this winning formula of A320s side by side 73Gs then.

Well there is now DL and UA...  

Seriously, maybe it's just the market dynamics are unique to the country. Japan has the land mass of the State of California, but over three and a half times as many inhabitants.


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3158 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14512 times:

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 9):
Are we also able to conclude that a 73G/A320 fleet fits the airline's needs better than an A319/A320 fleet too?
(...)
I'm surprised so few other airlines have stumbled across this winning formula of A320s side by side 73Gs then.

There are only few airlines that have chosen to fly the A320 and 737NG side by side. (so not by merging/buying other carriers): The ones I can think of:
AB
TK
SA
NH
SK

All seem to have specific stories, but all seem related to specific efforts from manufacturers to sell either plane, rather than operational preferences, or specific market conditions:
AB for example, ordered from both manufacturers to grow faster, and because both manufacturers were fighting for the order and offered good prices. SK is supposed to have had a very good deal on the A321 in a joint order with the A330s and A340s, and the 737-900 didn't seat as many people back then (before the ER-version). They also had 737NG, supposedly on a good deal too; later, they converted A321 orders to A319 when demand collapsed.

TK and SA had both manufaturers fighting for the order, for SA there was also a managemnt change and a change of aircraft purchase philosophy.


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 13979 times:

Singapore Air got the A330-300s as compensation for the A380 delays, and did not buy the -300s but leased the a/cs. QA, prior to compensation, had a developing fleet of A330-200s and -300s for the legs and capacity of the a/c over the 767s. QA also had performance issues as well as customer service support issues with Boeing on their fleet of 737s, which drove them to consider diversification. Jetstar got A320s because of the 737 dissatisfaction. The overall better performance of the A330s made the a/c appealing for their growth needs. QA is also moving some of the A330s over to Jetstar to expand that service offering. The A330 was a major win for Airbus at QF because they were an exclusive widebody Boeing customer prior to the move. The a/c proved itself and the rest is history.

Other East Asian airlines replaced 767s a/c with A330s, and they were also prior purchasers of A340s. JL and NH never had A340s so they did not have the fleet commonality opportunities the other airlines leveraged. Having A340s made the choice easier for most, expect for maybe KA and Asiana. The Japanese domestic story is also important. JL and NH have used the 747 as their fleet backbone for years, driven by large domestic demand as well as competing with train service. The 767 fits well with their needs, they're new (also compensation) and they provided the range needed for the international and domestice needs. The A300s met JAS capacity requirements and the runs were short where the A330s were not designed to address. Finally, Japan has had no strong business relationship with Airbus to justify a greater investment. This has been an issue for years.

You can also ask why China has not purchased equal numbers of 767s and 777s recently, and the answer is politics.


User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2731 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 13593 times:

Quoting joost (Reply 13):

Very nice, but you forgot to mention:
6) The 330 offers superior fuel efficiency compared to the 767, thereby overriding points 1-5 above. If we were discussing 777 vs. 340 or 787 vs. 330, this argument would have been put forward by 9 out of 10 posters. Why doesn't it apply here?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
Market dynamics?

Meaning?



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User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30424 posts, RR: 84
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 13465 times:
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Quoting UALWN (Reply 21):
Meaning?

Meaning for whatever reasons, the A330 didn't fit NH and JL's route structure ex-Japan as well as other options.


Whatever the reason it was, I doubt it as simple as "it's an Airbus product, and NH and JL only buy Boeing products, regardless of fit to need".

It's why I do not agree with those who believe AF/KL will not buy the A350 because "they will only buy planes with GE power".

[Edited 2010-05-31 14:59:43]

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 13429 times:

Quoting PM (Thread starter):
But if every other airline in the region has seen the benefits of operating A330s, are JAL and ANA being pig-headed in refusing to join them?


When JAL and ANA bought 767's the A330 was not even on the drawing board.

Why would they replace the 767 with an A330 when it will be replaced by the 787 in the near future.


User currently offlineAirFrance744 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 13171 times:

Delta is a significant airline at NRT and they fly A333s and A332s in and out a lot.


Flown over 115,000 miles and I'm only 19!
25 UALWN : But I guess the point of discussion is what are these reasons? What makes them unique? Actually, ANA ordered their latest 767s in December 2009!
26 Stitch : Someone up-thread noted that many Japanese airports have gate spacing constraints and the A330 just won't physically fit side-by-side while the 767 c
27 UALWN : And someone else noted that plenty of airlines operate 330s in and out of Japan. Sure. They wouldn't need to fly 333s on domestic routes. They could
28 carpethead : That applies to int'l gates such as at KIX & NRT. However, at domestic airports that JL & NH operate out of that is not the case. The basic p
29 474218 : And they ordered there first in 1981?
30 Stitch : As carpethead noted, those carries fly to NRT and KIX, which are designed to handle primarily international traffic and have terminal layouts to matc
31 vin2basketball : A serious thing that we're not considering is that JA operates the majority of Int'l routes ex-Japan and they don't have the kind of cash necessary fo
32 CFBFrame : Not just a management change, but an open order with Airbus that could not be canceled. The A320 order may have been tied to the rock bottom deal SA
33 PM : All 19 of them?! Some "compensation"! Quite a few never did operate 767s: Cathay, Singapore, Thai, Malaysian... Actually, rather few. Again, this was
34 CFBFrame : Now you're making me work. Philippians had 340s, SIA had 340s, CP had 340s, China Eastern had 340s, CI had 340s, Air China had 340s, EVA had no 340s,
35 474218 : All of them so far!
36 Post contains images PM : Good! Philippians had 340s (Philippines Airlines ordered A330s and A340s at about the same time.) SIA had 340s (They had got rid of their A340-300s b
37 Stitch : I understand a number of the "second class" airports like CTS and FUK and HIJ have limited international service so they must have some gates that ca
38 Post contains images PM : I'll thank you not to refer to three of my favourite Japanese airports as "second class"! I can't immediately recall the situation at CTS but at FUK
39 Post contains links and images deaphen : ahem View Large View MediumPhoto © Mike Moores
40 CFBFrame : Sorry PM- I used KA as Korean so I added them. As for Thai, didn't they have 340-600s before they got 330s? I thought we were really talking about the
41 UALWN : PM refuted this argument thoroughly in reply # 38. Uh? "Home carrier"? NH and JL are home carriers in Japan, just as KE and OZ are in Korea. The latt
42 joost : Why on earth are you asking for reasons, if you only want to hear your own opinion / perception (about political involvement) confirmed?
43 gemuser : Sorry CFBFrame, but that is utterly wrong. JQ got A320 because they WERE NOT B737s! JQ was never going to operate the same aircraft as QF UNLESS the
44 DocLightning : Because they (especially ANA) thought they'd have 787's by now. A lot of them!
45 gemuser : Congulations PM! You have reopened the "Why didn't Qantas buy B777s" thread under another name! How brilliant! The reasons I beleive are essentially
46 Aesma : I'm not sure friends is the right word, but I might be biased, I just saw on TV that baseball was a big sport in Japan, I had no idea.
47 UALWN : Come again? What are you talking about? I am asking for reasons, because I want to know the reasons. I happen to believe that the arguments in reply
48 Post contains images PM : Oh, I know, but it was CFBFrame who said it, not me. (I just didn't correct him 'cause it suited my argument. ) More seriously, the Jet A340s really
49 ha763 : Actually, the 767 is more fuel efficient than the A330.
50 Post contains links joost : Numbers show that on international routes, way more cargo is transported relative to the amount of passengers, than on domestic routes. Looking to th
51 rheinwaldner : Fuel efficiency is normally not understood in a way that makes the 767 look better than the A330.
52 Post contains images mandala499 : SQ was looking for something lighter than the 772 they have for shorthaul... As the cycles of the 772s used in shorter routes racked up, the timing o
53 Post contains links joost : It's not about quality, but about the classes as defined in the Japanese laws about airports. Airports are subdivided in 3 classes (1st class, 2nd cl
54 UALWN : In which parallel universe? Or rather, using which perverted metric? Why are airlines lining up to get their hands on 330s, and not on 767s?
55 RJ111 : The 764ER is probably cheaper per seat than an A332 on a short route or one with a small payload.
56 joost : How many airlines use A330-200s on a regular basis for routes under 3 hours flight time? And how many airlines are using 767-300s for those shorter r
57 Post contains images Stitch : Not sure if you're a Japanese citizen, but if you are, might I suggest you contact your Representative and Councilor since the Airport Law (passed as
58 Post contains images PM : Well, I'll be damned! I'm a frequent flier at a "second class" airport. Boy, how does that make me feel?! Very far from it. I hold two passports - UK
59 UALWN : It might be. Yet, 37 764s have been sold (none in Asia), vs. 573 332s (almost half of them in Asia). If I'm allowed to include the 333 in the count,
60 Stitch : Well we can continue to speculate all we want, since nobody seems to know for sure why JL and NH didn't buy them. If they really will only buy Boeing
61 Post contains images joost : I can't forbid you to consider the 333 But I specifically mentioned the 330-200 as the discussion is about the 767-300ER vs the A330-200. The A330-30
62 AADC10 : Part of the reason for all Boeing fleets is the legacy of the 1980s economic boom. Because of the huge trade imbalance with the U.S., the Japanese air
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