jumpjet From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 354 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8919 times:
Without wishing to start an explosion of rampant xenophobia, can anyone out there answer some questions I have please? I was chewing things over in my mind this morning and was trying desperately to think of any Japanese airlines, (or indeed any branch of the Japanese armed forces), that are currently using or intending to use European equipment, i.e. aircraft or helicopters. I couldn't think of much, although I know ANA fly A320s.
Why might this be? Considering the asian market is massive for Airbus, the Japanese market must be disappointing for them. Might this be purely political or am I missing something? Or, is it simply financial, or how about the fact that European equipment just may not be good enough for Japanese needs?
Burkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4572 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8822 times:
Politics. Neither ANA nor JAL are really free to decide. The may decide which US type they want.
So it isn't disappointing for Airbus, it is just a given that Japanese large airlines have to buy American to slightly reduce the export inbalance with the US. Economy and state are the same entity in the machine Japan - otherwise the fact that the debth of Japan divided by its economical power are 50% higher than those of Greece would make Japan the real center of the crisis.
Rara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2444 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8757 times:
It will be interesting to see how Japanese airlines hold up against the A380, since all and sundry will operate the A380 into Japan, in the future even more so. Somehow the A380 seems a tough cookie to compete against, because it has the capacity to offer high-density, therefore cheap economy seats, and at the same time the space for cutting-edge premium cabins.
Does anyone remember the "A380 hub-to-hub versus 787 direct connections" game that Boeing and Airbus played early last decade, before everyone realized that these aircraft just serve very different markets? Japan really is an ideal playing field, because both ANA and JAL will try to counter the A380 with large 787 fleets. Exciting..
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2994 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8152 times:
Politics have little or nothing to do with this. Airlines from other incredibly close U.S. allies in East Asia (namely, South Korea and Taiwan) have been avid Airbus operators for decades, dating back to the earliest versions of the A300. American aircraft producers simply did a much better job of meeting Japanese airline needs than Airbus did. If you want to examine a[n Asian] country that explicitly ties its aircraft orders to politics, China would be a prime example - see link below.
Japanese airlines have been very keen for ultra high density aircraft for their domestic short haul routes. Boeing specifically tailored two versions of the 747 (first the "SR", based on the -100, and then the "-400D") with a number of structural and operational modifications for this purpose. Boeing later unveiled the high density 777-300, which has similar capacity of 500+ pax but is substantially cheaper to operate thanks to its two engines and single deck. Moreover, these domestic types enjoy(ed) full training and parts commonality with their long haul [much lower density] 747 and 777 counterparts.
Before the advent of ETOPS in the mid-to-late 80s, it was quite impractical to be operating two engine aircraft like the A300/A310 on long haul routes from Japan - most notably to Hawaii, which as we all know is a massive draw for Japanese tourists. This would be a major reason why the 747, L-1011 and DC-10 were a natural option over the Airbus types available at the time. Airbus was much more focused on the needs of regional and transatlantic operators back then versus transpacific carriers.
A lot of people wonder why the Japanese airlines didn't go for the A380, given their historic preference for the largest/highest capacity planes available and the pressing slot situation at both major Tokyo hub airports. I'm sure the high cost of the type was one factor - NH no doubt got a killer deal on the 787s as launch customer, and thanks to decades of steadfast loyalty obviously both JL and NH enjoy much stronger relationships with Boeing than Airbus. Fleet commonality is another thing to consider - the Japanese airlines have stringent training procedures in place that far exceed those practiced virtually anywhere else in the world, driving up the cost of new/orphan fleet types versus a few (Boeing) types that are ideally suited to domestic/short haul but also international long haul ops (they have dabbled with Airbus types like the A300 and A321 in the past, but recently retired the types to streamline the fleet). The A380 may not have been at all practical for domestic ops; for one thing the key ITM airport has a ban on four engine aircraft (those >500 seat 777s still get to use it, though). As for long haul, the Japanese airlines knew that the government was starting to open up HND to long haul/international flights. This weakens the demand for NRT, but flights to HND suffer from poor times and sometimes have to use airports like Taipei's Songshan that probably can't accommodate the type. So between a split Tokyo hub operation (this has always been a major problem, seeing as how it is much easier to reach most Japanese cities via ICN than Tokyo) and all kinds of inherent restrictions on domestic as well as international routes, I can absolutely see why the Japanese carriers didn't want to shell out the big bucks for the A380. It's not like they will ever get to utilize a consolidated regional AND long haul megahub like SIN, DXB, or FRA. If they were able to feed their long haul network from Tokyo directly from the domestic market, it would be quite another story...
So, I doubt politics was the reason (or at least a primary major factor) in determining Airbus's lack of inroads to Japan. In fact, if it was political the Japanese airlines probably would have ordered more Airbus types, seeing as how the E.U. is by far the largest market for Japanese exports these days. It simply has more to do with the fact that American producers have been making aircraft that better serve the needs of Japanese airlines. Only now, with the advent of Japanese LCCs, will Airbus really start to gain ground in the Japanese market.
jumpjet From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 354 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7439 times:
Many thanks to those out there who've thrown their hat into the ring with this one. It was a genuine question as I learn so much from this website and the forums. Thank you all for your knowledge and understanding!
Spirit AeroSystems (USA) makes section 41
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan) makes section 43
Alenia (Italy) makes section 44 and section 46
Boeing, formerly Vought Aircraft Industries (USA) makes section 47 and section 48
Fuji Heavy Industries (Japan) makes the center wing box, section 11
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) makes the main landing gear wheel well, section 45
I may have Fuji and Mitsubishi mixed up. But regardless, the Japanese make a significant portion of the 787.
[Edited 2012-03-06 19:17:55]
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
carpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 3042 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6126 times:
Jetstar Japan will operate A320s too.
Prior to 1985, probably a lot of politics was involved in aircraft purchasing decisions, but the government has no ownership in the airline industry at the moment (except the bailout of JAL but JAL is paying back the government for the loans).
NH, JL or any other Japanese airline will decide which aircraft type suits their needs. The 767, 777, & 787 have much more Japanese content, so they have been selected ahead of competing Airbus products.
In hindsight, it would have been interesting had NH taken delivery of the A340, which would have made the introduction of the A330 much more easier. I say this now because of the delays in the 787 program. Instead of taking deliveries of 767s and 777s, they could have opted for the more popular A330.
Also recent deliveries of helicopters have been mostly to European manufacturers. Bell had a significant marketshare previously, but this has eroded severely and Sikorsky is a niche player. Robinson do have a good share in the light segment though.
PM From Namibia, joined Feb 2005, 7274 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5974 times:
Quoting carpethead (Reply 16): NH, JL or any other Japanese airline will decide which aircraft type suits their needs. The 767, 777, & 787 have much more Japanese content, so they have been selected ahead of competing Airbus products.
Excuse moi but these two sentences appear to contradict each other!
Suiting an airlines needs and having a high Japanese content have nothing to do with each other.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7804 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2828 times:
Quoting airbazar (Reply 11): Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 9):Politics have little or nothing to do with this.
Yeah right. You don't think all the outsourcing and risk sharing Boeing has with Japanese companies, doesn't influence JL and NH's fleet decision?
That's economics, not politics.
If Airbus decided to move about 10,000 jobs from Europe to Japan, I'm sure the Japanese airlines would look stronger at Airbus products.
Quoting PM (Reply 17): Excuse moi but these two sentences appear to contradict each other!
Suiting an airlines needs and having a high Japanese content have nothing to do with each other.
Not really. One reason for the 'high Japanese content' is that Boeing is willing to modify, or basically customize, their designs to meet the requirements of the Japanese airlines. Airbus does some, but not as much.
But on a broader scale, for the Japanese airlines to have high domestic utilization, and to have strong tourism businesses, it takes a high standard of wage earners in Japan.
Ensuring that a lot of the money spent for new aircraft stays in Japan - to be spend by Japanese consumers, hopefully on Japanese airline tickets - is better business than sending those tens of millions of dollars to the United States or France or Germany to be spent - certainly NOT on Japanese airline tickets.