Photos has a very valid point when he states that BOEING has an attitude with certain airlines ""We are Boeing, airlines come to us".
In October 2001, I had a very interesting conversation with a Kuwait Airways employee of high repute and standing within the airline who informed me why KU
ordered 3-4 A 343s in the mid 90s and not B 777s as expected. His reason was that BOEING expected KU
to order the B 777s from them automatically without even approaching AIRBUS or looking into their A 340 line and were not offering any attractive deals/discounts etc.
Hence with the uncorporative and snobbish attitude shown to KU
by BOEING, the airline went ahead and bought A 343s as well. After a few months of this happening, BOEING went after their tails vigorously and managed to obtain a consolation order for 2 B 772IGWs. This story I got reconfirmed in the same way from another KU
employee so I guess its true !!!
Politics / foriegn policies play a very big part when it comes to an order of high scale and repute for either manufacture as well.
Examples : PIAs B 777 order + A 310 order + TKs A 320-321 order + ACs massive Airbus order + Saudias all Boeing/MD order etc etc
Airbus has also been accused by many aviation analysis and insiders for under cutting their prices more further than BOEING can especially on the A 320 family line to win orders from the Low cost airlines.
Though it was very logical for IB
to order A 346s instead of B 773ERs, Boeing did release a statement saying how cheap the A 346s were priced as this order was very keenly fought.
As for VSs A 346 order for 13 firm and 13 options, the official reason was that their pax survey revealed that 25% of their pax would go out of their way and fly a 4 engined plane than a two engined one.