Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sat Dec 12, 1998 6:31 pm

Recent events in the airline industry have led me to wonder what the future of Boeing and Airbus look like. It doesn't seem that positive for Boeing especially considering the recent job cuts, but also the fact that Airbus is now leading in orders this year. Airbus has 500 orders this year to Boeings's 480 as of 11/30 and this has slightly increased with the TWA order. I was wanting to hear some thoughts on what everybody has to think about the future of the Airbus-Boeing competition which defines the commercial airline industry these days.

I think that Airbus is winning in the narrow-body market with the A320 vs. 737NG and A318 vs. 717 since it has more orders in 1997 and 1998 in this category. I also believe that the A330-200, A340-500, and A340-600 are winning over their Boeing rivals (767-400, 777-300), but Boeing's strength lies in its 757-200, 767-300, and 777-200 which outsell their Airbus components. The 747-400 is not as much of a factor these days since its production has been cut to 1/month in 2000. I would say Boeing is winning in widebody aircraft where there is potential for large profits. But I see Airbus's agressive strategy paying off in the future as they expand to a complete product line of quality aircraft while Boeing is stuck in its complacency of not producing all-new aircraft (stretched 747's for example) and also their bad management. I think in as soon as 5 years, Airbus could take over Boeing in the number of aircraft delivered. If they launch the A3XX, I believe Airbus will definately take over Boeing's industry-leading position if they do not make a major misjudgement in this project. Looking to the far future however, I think Boeing has large prospects in space while Airbus is simply a commercial aircraft manufacturer. The way I see it is that Boeing will have some bad years in the near to medium future but in the longrun they have promise with new technology that will take us beyond the jet age.

What do you think?
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sat Dec 12, 1998 6:57 pm

I think Airbus beats Boeing with the single-aisle aircraft like the A320. The A320 it alot better than the 757-200. The A319 i think is also better than all the 737 models.

Boeing only beats Airbus in the Wide-body aircraft but the A340-500 will beat the 747-400 because of the A340-500 range. The Boeing 777-200 /-300 is the best aircraft ever made and Airbus will never really compete with that aircraft.

RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sat Dec 12, 1998 9:45 pm

The Airbus 330 is an ultimate competitor to the 777 series. Why do I say that?

I have travelled on both types of aircraft. A330-3H6? - 9M-MKY Malaysia Airlines MH 659 to Singapore on 24/5/1998, and Boeing 777-212 - 9V-SQC Singapore Airlines SQ 192 to Penang on 12/6/1998. From what I gather, the 777's engine is a very huge one (industry's largest for a commercial airliner) and in event of an engine failure during takeoff, the fan blades of the turbofan (mentioned earlier somewhere in this forum), which could be as big as the emergency exit could severely puncture the fuselage and cause plenty of deaths. It could also puncture the fuel line and cause a fire. I'm not saying this is not possible on an A330. This is possible on every aircraft. Just that the engines on other aircraft are not as big as the 777's. This is safety.

On flight 659 to Singapore, I was inside the cockpit and observed the captain's every move. He was just contacting Singapore Approach when I entered. And I realised that when he landed the plane in Changi, he did not touch any throttle or any sidestick. I only noticed that he flicked a few switches on the autopilot panel and the plane landed. The throttles snapped shut too during the flare. As I was inside the cockpit in the forward section of the plane, I understood that I would probably not feel any bump from the landing (or at least not the full impact). However, I did enquire with a few of the passengers in the cabin who told me that the landing was very smooth and they could not feel anything at all. Is this possible on a 777? (Maybe)

The A330's range is nearly 10000 - 11000km. This is comparable on the 777-200 and 300 I think. However, note that the 200IGW's range is 14,000km.The A330 also carry 290 passengers in 3-class configuration. This is nearly the same as the 777.

Although the 777 I travelled on had very huge economy class seats...the A330's cabin was comparatively comfortable and looked new.

I agree though that the A330 is actually a 767-class aircraft, it is also a suitable candidate against the 777. What do you think?
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 1:40 am

Mok Weng Lock,

The Auto-Land you assisted in the A330 Cockpit, is just similar to thousands I' ve already done in the planes i am flying, the B737-200 and B737-300.
None of those landings were equal, there are always factores that may influence, the touch down moment.
Comparing the 2 series of Boeing 737, the 200, has a better touch-down than 300. All this to tell you that, this is not the way you may not compare 2 planes through this way.
The best way you may compare 2 planes is to know their performance, and in this case Boeing has the best product. How much time does an A340 get to reach FL350 and compare with a B777, whats their mach in cruise? A340 M.79/.80; B777 M.82/85.


RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 1:54 am

Airbus may be winning now, but they still have a long way to go to catch up with Boeing's reputation and fleet size.
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 4:23 am

But what Airbus does'nt have is the 747;king of the commercial skies, going for them
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 4:51 am

I think that by now if boeing had left MD alone, MD would be buying boeing.
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777 engne failure

Sun Dec 13, 1998 5:30 am

I've heard a couple posts about what would happen if the 777 engine catastrophically failed.
The Boeing guys thought about that, too, and tried their best to equip the engine nacelle with a safety shield. There's some kind of space-age ultra-super-strong synthetic webing around the fan arc that supposedly will contain a failed blade. When I was watching a documentary on the 777, they had awesome test footage from the engine manufacturers. They shot all sorts of crap into the blades (rocks, dead birds, etc.) and even detonated bombs in the running engines to tear the blades apart. After seeing all those tests work, I'd feel safe sitting across from the nacelle (which I might have to---I fly one next week ORD-IAD).
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RE: 777 engne failure

Sun Dec 13, 1998 9:30 am

Boeing's current outlook is not great. In the long run though, they have the better aircraft. I have gone through their entire range of aircraft on a previous post. By the way, the A320 family is not beating the 737NG in orders on any level. As for the A340-500 vs. 747. It is a replacement for the "Classics" not a competitor with the 747-400.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 10:34 am

Boeing has always been the major leader in the commercial aircraft industry but I think that now Airbus is in better shape than Boeing, because they have less orders from Asian airlines than Boeing have and Airbus is selling airplanes to customers for cheap prices. A lot of Asian airlines have deferred or canceled their orders, most of the planes ordered are from Boeing. I think that the Asian recession is what affects jobs at Boeing the most.
Why did BA choose the A320 over the NG737? The Boeing 737 is by far the best selling jetliner in the world, OK I agree with that, but the A320 is also a great airliner and it is doing very well. A lot of airlines in Europe and even in North America are buying a lot of Airbus narrowbody planes, they love the A320 because it's very quiet and very comfortable inside. The A320 and all of its derivatives (319 and 321) are the widest narrowbodies ever built. The 737 has reached now 4000 orders but you can't compare that with the A320 because the A320 came out two decades later. In other words, you cannot judge the B737 vs the A320 in terms of orders received. I'm convinced that the A320 will have more orders that the 737 and will be the other best selling jetliner in the longrun. In two words, the A320 family will beat the 737 in terms of orders. That is the impression that I have. I don't know if you notice but a lot of airlines who have previously bought 737's are now choosing the A320 over the NG737's. Look at United, look at Lufthansa, look at US Airways,...
Now, regarding the widebodies, the 747-400 is the aircraft that has the longest range and passenger capacity. I wouldn't say that the A340 would compete with the 747 because the 747 is in a class of its own. The A340 is the opponent of the 777. If the A3XX becomes reality then it will compete with the 747-400. The 767 and 777 are very reliable airplanes, I absolutely are the A330/A340. But I think that Boeing will keep the 767 and 777 in production for a long time because they are reliable and efficient aircrafts for the North Atlantic operations (ETOPS). The 767 and the 777 are the best two airliners boeing has made. Boeing is still the largest airliner manufacturer despite the Asian recession but Airbus is doing very well in the short and medium haul narrowbody market, as explained above.
Conclusion: It's hard to predict whether Boeing or Airbus will become the largest aircraft maker because they both build great airplanes and the smallest one, Airbus, is now in better shape than Boeing. Boeing's widebodies are magnificient airliners but I'm convinced that in the far future Airbus will beat Boeing especially if the A3XX becomes reality and receives many orders. Airbus is doing great.
Ben Soriano


RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Sun Dec 13, 1998 12:34 pm

I totally agree AA727, that the A320 is going to receive more is definitely more comfortable than the 737 (even the NGs).

Pilots of A320/330/340 have agreed that the sidestick (joystick) is very comfortable and responsive and they feel perfectly comfortable...this i feel is one's personal preference and we should not compare the yoke and the sidestick and say that the 737 is better. Of couse, the 737 has other better areas than the A320 (like its shape). Personally, I think the 737 looks more pleasant than the A320.
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Mon Dec 14, 1998 11:25 am

I do not believe that the A320 will gather more sales than the 737. In my case, when I compare the 737 to the A320 I am talking about the NGs. The NGs have outsold the A320 family at a rate of 3 to 1*. Thats right, 3 to 1. The airlines that ordered the A320 over the 737NG were also ordering before the 737NG was in production, so therefore Boeing was behind the 8-ball. US Airways bought the Airbus family because they want to fly more to Europe and Boeing was suing them at the time the order was placed. United ordered the A320 over the 737 "Classic" family. That was what prompted Boeing to build the 600-900 series. How come nobody has brought up American's short haul decision or Delta's? What about Continentals?

* Source Aviation Week and Space Technology.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Mon Dec 14, 1998 5:10 pm

Don't forget that the NGs are *much* younger than the A320s. I realise that though many airlines are ordering the NGs, there are quite a number ordering the A320s too. Don't be biased against Airbus! (I don't mean to be rude)
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RE: Airbus-Boeing Future Prospects

Wed Dec 16, 1998 1:13 am

I am not being biased against Airbus. I am just stating the facts that the 737NGs are outselling the A320 family at a rate of 3 to 1. People are being biased when they compare "classic" 737s against the newer A320.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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