Good post from Best Western. May I respectfully continue the following train of thought: "The only carriers ordering significant aircraft are low cost carriers and Middle Eastern airlines where money is not an issue." I don't know if it's fair to say money isn't an issue. Qatar Airways have openly admitted they're a vanity operation, but Emirates make a lot of money - their whole raison d'etre is to be part of an economy in the UAE that isn't dependent on oil. If they were a vanity operation they'd order two A380s, like QR
have. Instead they've ordered fifty. This shows the strength of the economy in Europe and Asia, the two markets EK
I think Boeing's real problem isn't that it's a bad time for airlines (things could be better, admittedly), the real problem is that Airbus have now had 20 years for their cockpit commonality and overall family concept to bed in, and now, there's very little room for Boeing to maneouvre. Every European airline of any note (with the exception of Ryanair) have Airbus planes, generally more than one type (at least, like Finnair, a fleet that runs from the A319 to the A321) and frequently a combination of shorthaul narrowbodies (A32x) and longhaul widebodies (A330 / A340). As Air France's 777-300 order proves, this is not a result of political pressure, either. Much the same can be found all over the world, from LAN Chile and it's affiliates, to Qantas (wait til their ops guys get a load of the numbers produced by the JetStar A320s; add the A330 and A380 and bye bye Boeing down under).
The other problem faced by Boeing is political - many nations (all of them except Israel) have been alienated to some extent by the last four years, and the prospect of another four. There is also the prospect of a highly volatile US economy and US dollar. So while there may not be overt political pressure from Paris or Berlin the way some Americans would believe, the fact is there are plenty of airlines who would make great customers for a 7E7 / A350-sized plane, but Boeing reps can't even visit them, let alone sell them planes: MEA
, Iranair, and here's one, right on the doorstep, that would probably snap up 15 planes: Cubana
. I'm sure there are many other nations who have been treated shabbily in recent times by The World's Only Superpower [tm] which will lean away from a US product when it comes to multi-billion dollar purchases.
just read this before posting, and I partially withdraw the 'bye bye Boeing down under' comment, the one move that has saved Boeing's bacon is the 777, and Qantas may yet buy some 777-300s, Airbus' Achilles Heel is the A340, which I don't think they've ever quite got right, compared to the A32x family, the A330 and the A380, all of which are (or gonna be) obviously cashcows for both manufacturer and hundreds of customers.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz