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Airbus Suspends A330P2F Program - More 767F Sales?  
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29691 posts, RR: 84
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 18923 times:
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Note: I didn't want to move the FedEx Confiirm Order For 27 767-300F + 2 777F (by PanAm_DC10 Dec 15 2011 in Civil Aviation) off-topic, so I am starting a new thread.

----------------------

This week FedEx signed an agreement with Boeing for 27 767-300F freighters as the start of their MD-10F replacement program. FX will need another 50 or so frames to replace the entire MD-10 fleet, as well as an eventual need to replace the A300 and A310 fleets, so Boeing can expect more 767 orders, IMO. Chances are also good FX will purchase 767-300ER passenger planes and convert them to freighters, as well.

Many (myself included) thought FX would purchase the A330-200F as it is a very close match to the MD-10 in many areas, while offering much better economics. However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision? And could it influence other cargo operators?

With the 767, a cargo operator can buy both new and converted, but with the A330, the only option (at the moment) is new. The A330 is a hot property at the moment, so Airbus doesn't have the incentive to deal that Boeing does with the 767, but even if it was not, a new A332F is going to be a significantly more expensive acquisition than a converted 763F.

Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work. He's told Airbus he won't buy new A330-200Fs and is now looking at the 767 freighter and has added to his 777 freighter fleet.

He's also pushing someone else to pick up the flag and Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero), a long-time Boeing aircraft conversion specialist, is said to be considering launching their own conversion program.

[Edited 2011-12-15 16:55:33]

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 18805 times:

Part of the equation is your confidence in your predictions. The larger plane would have been more efficient, but less flexible than more, smaller craft for rearranging cargo flow in the future. A DHL exec tried to explain their routing to me long ago, and that 30% smaller planes almost doubled the possible combinations worldwide. I almost hurt myself trying to follow him. The math that Fedex and UPS use would probably kill me.
I probably missed it in another thread, but how does 767 production rate look? I remember them talking about going to 2 a month, but that's starting to seem a little low after recent sales and the tanker win.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29691 posts, RR: 84
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 18749 times:
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Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
Part of the equation is your confidence in your predictions.

FedEx employees on this forum have said that FX management is/was very impressed with the A330-200F.



Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
I probably missed it in another thread, but how does 767 production rate look? I remember them talking about going to 2 a month, but that's starting to seem a little low after recent sales and the tanker win.

It's moving to two per month, but Boeing have said they can push it to three if necessary.


User currently offlineBoeingVista From Australia, joined Jan 2009, 1466 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 18692 times:

I don't follow your logic, why would the suspension of a P2F program mean more 767 sales, Airbus still sells the A330F, PAX planes last for 20 years at some point Airbus or a third party will launch a P2F program.

Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.



BV
User currently offlinecol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2087 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 18640 times:

Is Airbus decision also based on frame availability? The 330 frames becoming available soon must be the older ones (QR excluded of course). They are nowhere near the capability of the 332F, they would be dogs and some must be getting close to cycle and hour life. If you don't have the frames available, is it worth starting the project? I am sure it will happen, but maybe in 2, 3 or 4 years. I am also certain the conversion specialists would have been all over this if the market/units were available.

In the meantime, Boeing could ramp up production of the 763F..   


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29691 posts, RR: 84
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 18494 times:
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Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.

They bought new-builds to start, but they do have the option of adding conversions if they wish. FX is converting 757s and they are said to be interested in 777 conversions (if Boeing will lower the price). Many of us who felt the A330-200F was a solid new-build option for FX also assumed that Airbus was moving forward with their A330P2F program and would give FX the flexibility of both.



Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Airbus still sells the A330F, PAX planes last for 20 years at some point Airbus or a third party will launch a P2F program.

Yes, and ST Aero at least is considering doing their own thing, and Bedek has been kicking around an A330/A340 conversion for some time.

But there are operators of older DC-series aircraft that are significantly more expensive to operate and only getting more expensive as fuel prices and spares costs rise. Boeing can offer them a new-build 767 if they want the most capable airframe or a converted 767 if the value proposition of a new-build is not there.


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 17997 times:

On the older A330s there was an issue with the floors? Could that have impacted conversion costs? Also, is the inventory of older 767-300s larger than A330s?

User currently offlineneutronstar73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 17525 times:

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):

The reason is cost and flexibility. If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f, and the 763f is cheaper, more flexible, and available, then what do you think they will buy? A 777f may be too big, 757f too small, and the A300 is old and busted.

Best plane for the job is easily the 767 because it is the right size, and is available. Qatar was already yapping at Airbus for not getting on with the passenger to freighter conversion A330, and has already said he will change his mind to the 767.


User currently offlinecol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2087 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 17263 times:

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
and the A300 is old and busted.

Maybe you should call DHL and let them know, they just ordered another 5 conversions for a total of 18. Also EADS are still converting many old and busted 300's.


User currently offlinejonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 17094 times:

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision?
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work.

Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere? If not quoting, where are you getting that Airbus has suspended a programme that is still under discussion?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...verting-a330s-to-cargo-planes.html


User currently offlineebbuk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 16688 times:

Quoting jonathan-l (Reply 9):
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision?
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Airbus' decision has honked off QR's Akbar Al Baker, who'd signed an agreement with Airbus to convert 15 of his A330-200s and supposedly had positions booked at Airbus EDW for the work.

Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere? If not quoting, where are you getting that Airbus has suspended a programme that is still under discussion?

Yes I too was surprised with the confidence of Stitch's assertion. I didn't know the decision was made. I am sure in time, Stitch will provide his link and save nine posts asking him the same thing?


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2497 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 15524 times:

Quoting ebbuk (Reply 10):
Yes I too was surprised with the confidence of Stitch's assertion. I didn't know the decision was made. I am sure in time, Stitch will provide his link and save nine posts asking him the same thing?

AFAIK the A320P2F has been officially stopped, but I know of no official communication about the A330P2F, although it is widely assumed to be de-facto dead as well.

Whether officially cancelled or not, the reality is that there is total uncertainty over Airbus P2F programs, so the positive effect on 767 sales should be there either way.


User currently offline4tet From Spain, joined Sep 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 14749 times:

Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

R.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3709 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 14636 times:
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I haven't come across a press release either, but Leahy did say they had better things to do.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...=mro&id=news/avd/2011/11/17/05.xml
(see last paragraph)

Quoting col (Reply 8):
Maybe you should call DHL and let them know, they just ordered another 5 conversions for a total of 18.

Could that be part of the reason for the delay in the A330P2F program? EADS EFW seems to have been getting quite a few A300 conversion orders lately, maybe they don't have any position available within the foreseeable future for A330 conversion.

Either way, it is a question of if, not when. According to EADS EFW, the A310P2F program is dwindling down due to a very tight availability of frames with enough economical life left to justify conversion, and the supply of A300s in similar condition should be tapped out around 2014 or 2015. With the A320P2F program officially on ice, they'll need something else to keep busy.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12042 posts, RR: 47
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 14598 times:
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Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 3):
Fedex bought new build freighters so P2F didn't come into the equation.

It does if you're expecting to end up with a mix of new-build and conversions. It wouldn't make much sense to operate new-build A330s and converted 767s.

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f

There's no evidence that purchase cost was a factor in FedEx's decision. I also regularly see claims that Airbus gives its planes away.

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
and the A300 is old and busted.

Tell those operating it and still taking more.   



Hey AA, the 1960s called. They want their planes back!
User currently offlineBoeingVista From Australia, joined Jan 2009, 1466 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 14110 times:

Quoting neutronstar73 (Reply 7):
The reason is cost and flexibility. If a company won't commit to the high cost of a new 330f, and the 763f is cheaper, more flexible, and available, then what do you think they will buy? A 777f may be too big, 757f too small, and the A300 is old and busted.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
They bought new-builds to start, but they do have the option of adding conversions if they wish. FX is converting 757s and they are said to be interested in 777 conversions
Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Many (myself included) thought FX would purchase the A330-200F as it is a very close match to the MD-10 in many areas, while offering much better economics. However, I wonder if Airbus' recent decision to suspend work on an A330P2F (Passenger to Freighter) program might have had some influence on FX's decision? And could it influence other cargo operators?

Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.



BV
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12064 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12994 times:

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 15):
Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.

But FedEx also ordered 2 additional B-777Fs, to be tacked on to the back of the deferred 11 B-777Fs. The B-767Fs that FedEx ordered will be mostly used for domestic cargo operations, and still give them the ability to be used on international operations if needed. UPS B-763Fs (along with their B-757PFs, B-747F/CFs, and MD-11CFs) hauled a lot of US Military cargo in the last several years, while the A-306Fs were mainly domestic ops because of the smaller range capability of them.

QR may have found a way to increase their cargo ops for almost no money if they get some used B-767-300ERs and convert them to F/CFs. This could allow QR to sell the 15 A-330s they wanted to convert by 2016, or so. With few if any used A-330s available, these QR airplanes could demand higher resale prices for QR. It could be the best of both worlds for QR, they still add converted freighters to their cargo ops and sell airplanes they no longer need from their pax ops.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29691 posts, RR: 84
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12677 times:
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Quoting jonathan-l (Reply 9):
Are you speculating on this or are you quoting from somewhere?
This article from May 2011 implied that QR and Airbus had signed an agreement to start converting their A330 at Airbus EDW to expand their cargo fleet and support their buy-in of Cargolux.

And this article in August 2011 stated Airbus was making the final preparations to start the program.

Airbus then announced at the Dubai Air Show they were not going to launch the program and AAB threw a fit (reports say it was part of the reason he delayed the A320neo + A380 announcement). He continues to chide Airbus over the decision.


Quoting 4tet (Reply 12):
Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

Boeing offers an OEM-option. It was originally with Alenia Aeronavali, but they're defunct, so not sure who does the work now.

[Edited 2011-12-16 06:57:23]

User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1492 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12584 times:

So how much work is really involved in converting a passenger plane to a freighter? Take out the seats, toilets and galleys, cover the windows, cut a big door in the side, add a fire detection systerm and you're good to go, no?

Must freighters be ETOPS certified?


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12064 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12393 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
So how much work is really involved in converting a passenger plane to a freighter? Take out the seats, toilets and galleys, cover the windows, cut a big door in the side, add a fire detection systerm and you're good to go, no?

Must freighters be ETOPS certified?

In most cases the main deck floor must be strenghtened or replaced. There are some other things like deactivating most of the side doors, but that pretty much covers it. Yes, frighters must be ETOPS certified too, they often carry couriors and sometimes extra crews. It use to apply only to twin engine freighters, but now it applies to all freighters, just as it applies to all pax jets. About the only aircraft that now a days do not need ETOPS are military aircraft (but many are ETOPS certified, or meet more stringent military maintenance standards).


User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2130 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 12369 times:

Quoting 4tet (Reply 12):
Do you think that Qatar would order a converted 767 to an Israeli company? They don't even want to fly over Israel to not give them money...

A lot of business is done with Israel via third party by several Gulf States. Saudi Arabia being a prime example. Money frequently talks louder than rhetoric. As for the flyover, I believe Israel has reciprocates overflight rights with countries that deny Israeli aircraft the right to use its airspace.


User currently offlinemachnumber From Greenland, joined Jul 2011, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 11760 times:

I have heard from many people that the A330F is just not a good rival for the B767F because of the cost/volume ratio. The A330 might be more efficient but much more expensive than the 767 and it doesn't have the space to compensate the high price.
I would be really happy to hear the opposite for the sake of the A330. Any idea?


User currently offlineHamlet69 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2703 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 11696 times:

Quoting BoeingVista (Reply 15):
Looking at the small print of the FX order they actually deferred 11 777F deliveries between 2013-18 and took 27 767's for delivery 2014-18 so this order looks like it was engineered to look like a competition while saving FX's Boeing deposits. It had very little to do with buying the A330 and less to do with P2F conversions. Just spin.

  Ummm, where in the world did you get that from?!? Yes, FX delayed delivery. But with proper notice (which FX gave) companies rarely, if ever, pay money for merely delaying delivery of frames. It happens all the time. I can think of a dozen, just for Boeing, just within the last few years.

"FX's Boeing deposits" were never at risk, and thus there was no need to "engineer a competition" - which I assure you, was real, intense, and lasted for well over 18 months.


Hamlet69



Honor the warriors, not the war.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11255 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
It use to apply only to twin engine freighters, but now it applies to all freighters, just as it applies to all pax jets.

Not so.

"Three- and four-engine freighters are exempted from the new ETOPS rule."
Source: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer...rticles/qtr_2_07/article_02_7.html


User currently offlineiceberg210 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11254 times:

The other thing is with the delays is somehow I don't think Boeing had all that many issues with Fed Ex delaying out the 777F's. 777's are flying off the shelves and having a few more slots open earlier for 777-300ER's etc I'm sure is a very welcome thing for Boeing. Regardless of how you think the A350 will stack up to the 777 I think we can all agree there's plenty of opportunity to produce freighters later in the production cycle, and if I were Boeing knowing that Fed Ex is going to take all those planes, it's just a matter of when, I'd be thrilled to have some earlier slots to tempt potential 777-300ER buyers with. Seems like a win win for everyone, Fed Ex gets to better tailor deliveries to their demand, Boeing gets empty slots to juggle folks into, and the 767 get's it's biggest order since UPS ordered 27 a few years ago.

The 763F seems to be hitting it's stride at the perfect time, where Airbus has (to be honest a great problem to have) a problem that the A330 is in high demand anyway, so there's not a whole lot of conversion ready frames, nor is there much reason to discount ones coming fresh off the production line, when others are buying up A330's pretty regularly. Maybe as the 787 comes in that'll change, but then again who would have thought the 767 would be garnering new orders at this point either.... Point is seems to me for Airbus not to hand the freighter market even more to Boeing they'll need to find some solution to the availability problem. Airbus is a tad a victim of their the A330's success here, Boeing has a very low cost line, that can be ramped up at least another 50% (2-3 a month) and even then I can't imagine 767 slots are all that hard to come by. It's in Boeing's best interest to run as much as they can through that line, so they can probably pull off some very nice deals on the 767, as well as having the 763BCF option hanging out there as well. You add that to commonality with the 757 that's being converted in droves, Boeing has some very serious advantages in the market that will make things an uphill climb for Airbus for at least a few more years... Once you see A 330's getting retired in favor of the 787 350 things will change some, but with the variety of 767's and 777's that could well be retired in the next few decades, Boeing should continue in my opinion to have a decent edge in the freighter battle...



Erik Berg (Foster's is over but never forgotten)
25 Stitch : The A330-200F is an excellent replacement for the DC-10-30/MD-10-30 freighter. It offers the same volume (475m3 vs. 470m3), it will lift the same pay
26 bikerthai : The the rare times when a delay would cost money would be when the plane has already started assembly and swapping line position is not possible or v
27 BoxBoy : Both manufactures were told to bid on new build as well as converts. FDX has been very frustrated with the 757 third party conversions. As a result, t
28 BoxBoy : P2F was the LARGEST part of the equation. The fleet replacement will ultimately be greater than 100 jets with the bulk being P2F. There was still a c
29 USAF336TFS : While I do not disagree with anything you've said, the fact remains that, so far, sales of the A330-200F have been lackluster at best. FedEx, UPS and
30 par13del : Another side of this story could also be that FedEx signed up to Airbus A380F and got dusted, had to turn to Boeing and the 777F, but FedEx still wen
31 seabosdca : How is this different from Boeing apparently being unwilling to engineer the 767-400F?
32 par13del : It's not, the real question is whether FedEx was asking for a 767-400F, assumption being what it is, FedEx probably went after the A330 because it wa
33 474218 : Lets see: - Jack and shore the aircraft so the airframe is in the neutral state and will remain that way throughout the conversion process. - Remove
34 CFBFrame : I'm not sure Airbus had a initial plan to make the A330 a cargo plane? The first frames were very different from the current frames and the A300 was d
35 Revelation : Interesting, I hadn't heard this before. That doesn't bode too well for the conversion industry. A single source fleet hasn't kept WN or FR from gett
36 Post contains images lightsaber : The issue with the A330P2F (and A320P2F) is the high resale value of the airframes. Heck, the A330 is worth more in parts than an freight airline woul
37 CFBFrame : I thought ST Aero in Mobile, Al was doing the conversions? They are the same guys that do quite a bit of the conversions for widebodies in Asia and o
38 cmf : Or Airbus was smart enough not to promise things they would not be able to deliver...
39 BoxBoy : Good point. We speculate, but we really never know the facts from behind closed doors. You have reminded me of my business school days. We were prese
40 neutronstar73 : Perhaps u can show me where Fedex is buying more A300 freighters, or a huge demand for the A310 that has a backlog like the 767. Ill wait. Perhaps a
41 BoxBoy : I believe it was initial growing pains that are mostly worked out. Unfortunately it was during these growing pains that FedEx got their first taste o
42 XT6Wagon : There is also the demand for passenger frames driving up the price for new build freighters. If the 787 and A350 production rates are achieved this s
43 Post contains images Stitch : Intrepid Aviation secured a stupendous deal on their 20-frame A330-200F order in 2007, but with the demand for the passenger model, I cannot believe
44 SSTeve : The Seattle Times today: So. They're keeping the MD-11s on longer sectors, and replacing the MD-10s with 767s for domestic flying. Sounds like MD-11 r
45 scbriml : Of course it's more expensive - the more capable plane always will be. I said that the higher purchase price of the A330F wasn't a factor in FedEx's
46 XT6Wagon : It likely was *THE* reason for the 767 buy. The 767 was far cheaper per cubic meter. Which given FedEx's normal freight density is what limits a plan
47 Post contains images lightsaber : Which ironically will build confidence for freight airlines that the type will maintain economy of scale for a long time... One issue for Airbus will
48 USAF336TFS : I can't help but think this whole thread reminds me a bit of the U.S. Air Force Tankers controversy. Airbus pundits claiming their offering was more "
49 SEPilot : I suspect the real factors in Airbus suspending the P2F program is a combination of a lack of enough suitable (i.e. cheap) airframes plus a lack of en
50 neutronstar73 : No, you didn't say that.
51 jonathan-l : This thread turns out to be interesting but the premise of it is wrong. Airbus has neither launched nor suspended an A330 P2F programme. If it were t
52 frmrcapcadet : This could inpart be another case of the smallest plane that will do the mission may be the more desireable. And as a prior poster mentioned passenger
53 col : My previous reply was regarding your comment about the A300 being old and busted, here I will remind you. So I informed you in a light hearted manner
54 Post contains images r2rho : Makes you wonder if Airbus shouldn't have stopped the A300 line back in 2007... of course, back then nobody could predict the huge success of the A330
55 lightsaber : What a difference 4 years makes in perception. Who expected the delays in the 787, 748I, and A388 to be of the magnitude they are combined with about
56 wrenchon727 : The wing span on the A330 was a major factor in a replacement a/c for the MD10. The cost involved in moving tether pits & fuel pits at the hubs an
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