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What Will Boeing/Airbus Do About The Larger RJs?

Fri Aug 24, 2001 4:39 am

Boeing and Airbus are starting to get competition from Embraer, Bombardier, Fairchild-Dornier and to some extent BAe/Avro. They're starting to build aircraft that goes above the magic 100-seat mark that used to be reserved for Airbus and Boeing. After the CRJ-900/928JET/ERJ-190 it'll only be a matter of time before the RJ manufacturers build large aircraft, infringing on A320-family/737 sizes.
Now, Airbus and Boeing could just sit back and say "well, our aircraft are better and we are well established with airlines." But complacency could be their downfall, as happened to Boeing throughout the 70s-90s. So, what can Airbus/Boeing do about these larger RJs? They could start their own range of RJs, starting small and building up, but this seems unlikely as neither will really want another large new airplane programme at the moment (although, the Boeing/Illushin deal might being about a succesful RJ).
The advantage of the CRJ-900/928JET/ERJ-190 is that they have comonality with SMALLER aircraft, which will be immensly useful for opeartors who are building up their services and who already have the smaller RJs. In comparison, the A318 is handy for those who have the LARGER A320-family aircraft, and the 717 is a bit of a MD-freak as it doesn't have any comonality with anyother modern aircraft.
So, would Boeing buy out any of the regional manufacturers? Bombardier is probably too big for either of them to takeover. Fairchild-Dornier could be a possible Airbus candidate, especially with its links with Germany. Avro/BAe-whatever could also be another Airbus candidate, with Embraer possibly being a company Boeing could take over.
Whatever happens, Boeing and Airbus are going to have serious competition in the large-RJ catagory.

I hope this rant isn't too ambiguous and i welcome all of your comments!!  Smile
Your bone's got a little machine
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RE: What Will Boeing/Airbus Do About The Larger RJs?

Fri Aug 24, 2001 4:51 am

Well I'm no aviation expert but I think it's safe to say Airbus and Boeing are pretty safe right now. Each of them has designed a 100-seat aircraft, the B717 and A318. The smaller companies, even the most successful, don't have the right stuff to go in to large aircraft making. It's a hard job and I imagine it's very difficult to start a large aircraft manufacturing business.

777236ER is right that some manufacturer may step up to the challenge. Just look at the troubles a young Airbus company had but they've come a long way. We'll just have to wait and see.
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RE: What Will Boeing/Airbus Do About The Larger RJs?

Fri Aug 24, 2001 5:14 am

Going to take a while to get going though, for instance CRJ 70-seaters have been certified for over a half-year now, and there are just a half-dozen or so actually in service (though probably another dozen'll be, before year's end). 90-seater's still several months away even from certification, and anyway both of these --except for the window-raise and ever-so-slight ceiling clearance increase-- are still the same old 'stretched bizjet' cabin form-factor, as guy said in the ARJ vs. CRJ thread yesterday, as always. So not like there's anything really special coming up here in comfort, just basically airline-side seat-mile cost lowering, and expanded fleet capacity flexibility, with the extra seats in the new planes.

The 'deluxe' comfort upcoming NG RJs from Embraer and Fairchild-Dornier, they're both barely getting stitched together --actually Dornier has barely gotten started-- they won't even see first flight for yet several months, so certification not for another couple years. And the 318's about at the same stage. Though certification I imagine won't be nearly as lengthy in its case.

Even so, so much can happen just to the economy as a whole during the next couple of years that it's kinda hard right now to say where the competitive preferences are going to be once all these planes have seen a year or two's service, with the public appreciation, operating cost and reliability numbers starting to come in. Long time ahead before it's even remotely clear where the divide will be, in this currently-quite-big, RJ-to-smallest mainline equipment gap!

(and meantime maybe some reworking of those scope clauses, among the big carriers. Who knows)

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