767X falling behind?
I have noticed that some airlines have selected the Airbus A330 as replacements for their Boeing 767 fleets. I know that politics are involved in one way or the other in some of these cases, but I think many of these Boeing 767 operators have choosen the Airbus A330 because Boeing delayed or failed to meet customer's demands on its Boeing 767-400ERX programme as of yet. Some of the airlines operating the Boeing 767 have opted for the Airbus A330 because there is no airliner in its category. The Boeing 767-400ERX was intended to compete directly with Airbus' A330. For some reason the current Boeing 767-400 does not appeal to current 767 operators. Therefore airlines only have one other option which is the A330.
The A330 appears to have a better performance than the Boeing 767-400. Boeing may loose more 767 customers if they don't react to the market's demands for a similarly sized "improved" 767 version. KLM has opted for the Airbus A330 which does not fit in KLM's all-Boeing fleet. It's just not economical because the Airbus A330 is a totally different aircraft. Although I think that politics does have an influence on airline's decisions, especially within the EU, I also think Boeing is falling behind with its Boeing 767X programme.
There are many 767 operators worldwide. Besides the U.S. airlines, we have KLM, British Airways, Japan Air Lines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Qantas, and some chinese airlines who may announce plans to replace their 767 fleets. Some of these already have ordered or shown interest in the A330 rather than the 767X. Asiana and Eva Air have choosen the A330 because they could get a better deal than Boeing even though these airlines are 767 operators with Eva Air having no experience with any Airbus aircraft type. British Airways still has a large fleet of 767-300's which will need replacement soon. Boeing could be the favourite manufacturer for British Airways, but they must come up with a final decision on the 767X programme which they haven't done yet. Airbus can get a key order which could make Airbus more attractive as an important aircraft supplier for British Airways. KLM will probably order the Airbus A330-200 while KLM has been a loyal customer to Boeing.
I still think politics also have a say in KLM's order because of the fact that the Netherlands also supplies aircraft parts to Airbus through Stork Industries. If KLM was truly all-Boeing they would not have ordered any Airbus aircraft, but they will. Boeing is falling behind with Airbus leading the way with its A330 family and getting a bigger slice of the 767 pie.
What are your thoughts on this?