Well, if you are an airline like Air Canada flying over 65 widebody aircraft, from 762 to 345s, the timing is great. Nothing like having two aircraft manufacturers competing for a multi-billlion-dollar fleet renewal and expansion program AC
is contemplating for the end of the decade. Airbus has shown that it can overcome any inadequacies in design or performance with very aggressive pricing. AC
's two 345s cost $87 million apiece, which is the same AC
paid for its 343s several years ago, and with the appreciation of the Canadian dollar, those 345s actually cost less in C$ terms. That's about the price Boeing is probably flogging a 200-seat 7E7, and not necessarily the long-range variants. It's maybe two-thirds of what AC
would have paid for 777s, and maybe half. AC
's president noted in a new book he just published that Boeing can be obstinate and unbending as a supplier. Milton's mentor, Hollis Harris, switched to the Airbus widebody because Boeing wouldn't delay delivery of six 767-300s AC
had ordered just before the onset of tough economic times. While I wouldn't dismiss Boeing chances of getting AC
's big order, I think AC
is thrilled to have Airbus in the room to create a real competition.
In fact, I believe most airlines feel the same way.