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Boeing & Airbus Polls

Sat Jun 19, 1999 11:23 am

I just read this on the AI site. I read just 2 days ago a hudge boeing calm that 77 of passengers in Europe preffered the 777 to the A340 family. I personally don't believe either of them! I think the average passenger probably can't tell the difference and wouldn't know what aircraft type the were in. I have included both recent press realeases below. The boeing one was realease on the 16 of june with no futher articles on the subject, and the Airbus likewise on the 17 of June. I personally like flying in both, and like airlines to have both.

Independent Polls Show Passengers and Airlines Prefer Airbus Aircraft

Airbus Industrie announced today the results of a number of independent polls regarding differences between Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Adam Brown, Airbus vice president – forecasting and strategic planning, said: “a variety of polls conducted over recent years has consistently shown that air travellers, airlines and financiers prefer Airbus widebody single-aisle and twin-aisle aircraft to corresponding Boeing models.”

Travellers polled in annual surveys conducted by the US International Trade Administration from 1991 up to its termination in 1996 voted the A320 as their most-preferred single-aisle aircraft in terms of cabin layout, seat comfort, carry-on stowage and aircraft noise.

80 airlines and leasing companies asked by the respected AirFinance Journal in its 1998 survey to rank a total of 50 aircraft types in terms of operational success, value for money, investor appeal, residual value and remarketability ranked the A320 comfortably ahead of the Boeing 737-800. This was confirmed by the same journal’s poll of 95 bankers involved in new aircraft financing, who put the A320 even further ahead.

To help in the definition of the projected A3XX very large aircraft, Airbus last year interviewed 1,200 frequent long-distance travellers in eight cities in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region on several aspects of the air travel experience, as well as their perception of the differences between Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The criterion most frequently cited by these experienced travellers for choosing a particular aircraft type was spaciousness; and this was exactly where they felt that Airbus aircraft are the best.

Interestingly, only seven per cent of the more than 400 European passengers interviewed that they would prefer a Boeing 777 for a long flight. This may be explained by the findings of the 1998 IATA corporate air travel survey, which covers more than 1,000 business travellers from three continents. 91 percent of passengers polled expressed a clear preference for an aisle or a window seat; a preference much better met by the A330/A340 high-yield cabin, where every passenger sits in a double seat adjacent to either a window or an aisle, than by the 777 where one passenger in seven is obliged to sit in a center seat without a window or direct access to an aisle.

IATA’s survey also showed that many business passengers will go to great lengths to avoid having to sit in a middle seat; 28 per cent of those interviewed said they’d be prepared to wait for a later flight if they could not get their preferred seat on their first flight choice.

Further strong endorsement of the popularity of Airbus aircraft is provided by the fifth proprietary study of 113 of the world’s largest airlines and leasing companies conducted by the giant US investment bank Bear Stearns. Among reasons given by these customers for “flocking to Airbus” are the wider cabins of the A320 family compared with the 737, and of the A330 compared with the 767.

John Leahy, Airbus’ senior vice president – commercial, said: “The ultimate test in any market is not what the manufacturers claim or the polls show, but how the customers actually vote with their own money. And here, the results are clearly in favor of Airbus.”
And from Boeing______________________________

Study: Passengers Voice Overwhelming Preference For Boeing 777
LE BOURGET, France, June 16, 1999 - A survey of nearly 6,000 European airline passengers found that the Boeing 777 twin-aisle jetliner was preferred by more than three out of four passengers who have flown aboard both the 777 and the Airbus A330/A340 airplanes.

The preference for the Boeing 777 held true for passengers flying in all three classes of service - first class, business class and economy.

The survey was conducted by six airlines flying long-range flights to and from Europe. Five of the participating airlines were European; the sixth a Middle Eastern airline with service to Europe. In each case, the survey was handed out by the sponsoring airline and contained only the identifying logo of that airline. Passengers were selected at random, using standard statistical procedures in order to ensure the validity of the results. Responses from passengers with potential conflicts of interest - those who worked for an airline, a manufacturer or a major supplier, for example - were discarded, a standard practice in market research.

"These results are spectacular," said Alan Mulally, president - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "But when you think about it, the results simply validate what we and our airline customers, working together, set out to accomplish - designing and building a 21st century jet that would be overwhelmingly preferred by passengers, operators, flight crews, cabin attendants and ramp attendants."

European Marketing director Helga Griesbeck, who released the survey results today at the Paris Air Show, said: "The fact that 77 percent of European airline passengers prefer the Boeing 777 over the Airbus products provides further confirmation of the validity of our patented passenger-comfort model, which we incorporate into the design of every Boeing jet."

Airlines conducted the passenger-preference poll both for their own purposes and on behalf of The Boeing Company, which coordinated the survey. Airlines helped shape the survey with questions that would elicit information to help the airlines improve passenger satisfaction.

In all cases, passengers were provided a list of 12 long-distance airplane models from among five manufacturers and asked: "On which of the following aircraft have you flown in the past two years?" For each model recently flown, passengers were asked to rate the plane from "Strongly Avoid" at one end of the scale to "Strongly Prefer" at the other. Differences in preference formed the basis for the survey results.

Boeing was interested in such a survey for two reasons:

To see how closely the results in Europe matched similar, annual, independent surveys of trans-Atlantic passengers
To test the continuing validity of a Boeing-patented mathematical model that can be used by airlines to provide a consistent level of passenger comfort, or by a manufacturer in designing airplanes passengers will prefer.
"The results so closely match those of the trans-Atlantic survey we rely upon that the results are almost interchangeable," Griesbeck said. "When you consider the global make-up of intercontinental travelers in all our surveys, these results tell us that we've found the right global formula for comfort."

The patented Boeing "Total Personal Space" formula is based on the key spatial factors that account for passenger perception of comfort: legroom, seat width, sidewall clearance, armrests and the availability of an empty seat next to the passenger. The formula accomplishes two primary objectives:

Helping Boeing design jets that passengers prefer
Providing airline customers a competitive advantage in the marketplace - especially on flights of six hours or more, where comfort plays a major role in passenger preferences for one airplane over another.
For long flights, airplane type and cabin environment contribute as much as 42 percent to an airline's image. Selecting the wrong airplane for a flight that requires maximum comfort can come close to negating an airline's otherwise excellent in-flight service and marketing plans, such as frequent-flier programs.

The Boeing Total Personal Space formula also provides guidance to mixed- fleet operators wishing to deliver an equivalent degree of comfort throughout their fleet. It has been used by many airline customers to "tune" their products to their marketing plans.

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