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Posts: 4224
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 3:49 am

Losing And Order To The "enemy"!

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:16 am


Sometimes I think about how exciting is ( and was ) beeing an airliner salesman. I'm sure a lot of interests/politics/prices and other more complex deals involved when an airline have to order an airliner. We have now Airbus versus Boeing, before we had during a long period Douglas and McDonnell Douglas versus Boeing, before this we had Douglas versus Lockheed, that must have been something. I was just looking around and seaching about the time when the prop airliners where becomming obsolete and airlines had to migrate to jets. At that time I think it was a great time for airliners salesman and the orders where pumping quite fast, and I'm sure some airliners really where loyal to their manufacturer, but others really wanted the best airliner for their airline. If in some cases we saw quite a natural evolution:

KLM - DC-7C -> DC-8
SAS - DC-7C -> DC-8
JAL - DC-7C -> DC-8
UNITED - DC-7 -> DC-8
DELTA - DC-7 -> DC-8

Even some of these airlines operated the Douglas product since the DC-3 - cases like KLM, SWISSAIR, ALITALIA, UNITED, SAS or JAL ( from DC-4 on ). In the oposite way we see that for example airlines that had the Constellation/Super Constellation/Starliner family migrated to Boeing quite smoothly:

TAP - L1049G -> 707
AIR FRANCE - L049/749/1049/1649 -> 707
AER LINGUS - L1049 -> 720
LUFTHANSA - L1049/1649 -> 707
AIR INDIA - L1049 -> 707
VARIG - L1049 -> 707
QANTAS - L1049 -> 707
TWA - L049/749/1049/1649 -> 707

But we have some really great examples of an aircraft company loosing the order to "the enemy", lets see some really good examples:

SABENA - A true and genuine Douglas client since the DC-3, they had the DC-4, DC-6, DC-7C and when they have to migrate instead of going to the DC-8 they ordered the 707!!!! Why?

SAA - They also had most of the Douglas aircrafts, DC-3's, DC-4's, DC-7B's and they ordered the 707!!! Why?

AA - There's another great US airline example, they had DC-3's, DC-4's, DC-6's, DC-7's and then the 707!!! Why?

This is just a small exercise that I did, but I'm sure some of you know more examples of this. Please share it and perhaps we'll know why these airlines one day changed direction 180 degrees!!!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
Posts: 1449
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

RE: Losing And Order To The "enemy"!

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:26 am

A must-read for any airliner enthusiast: "The Sporty Game," by John Newhouse. This fascinating book goes into great detail about the epic battles between airframe and engine manufacturers for market share. The story of the comical, confusing, and ultimately tragic battle between the DC-10 and L-1011 is the main focus. A great read!
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.