aeropiggot
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Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:26 am

An article in tomorrow's aviation daily, gives the following details on the Qantas order. I believe that Airbus gave Quantas a great deal on the A350 to offset the penalties on the late A380 order. Otherwise why order 787/A350, 777LR/A345. Why fly such a mixed fleet? I would like my fellow A-netters, to analyze the rational behind such a mixed fleet order. Please see excerpts from article below.


"Qantas is expected to announce an order for 60 to 100 aircraft next month as part of its fleet expansion and renewal program.

The new aircraft will replace 24 Boeing 767-300ERs with a mix of 787s and Airbus A350s for use on medium-haul international, trans-Tasman and domestic routes. The 787 goes into commercial service in 2008, and the A350 will make its first commercial flight in late 2010.

Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon said that in the light of escalating fuel prices it is advantageous for the airline to acquire new aircraft as soon as possible.

The older planes of Qantas's 24 747-400s will also be replaced with the ultra-long-range variants of the 777 and A340-500s to operate routes to the U.S. and Europe. This order will be carrier's first since November 2000, when it ordered 12 A380s, six 747-40ERs and 13 Airbus A330/-200/-300s.

The airline's aging fleets of 21 737-400s and 11 737-300s are also up for replacement. Qantas holds options on the 737-800 and the Airbus A320. The carrier currently operates 26 737-800s, while wholly owned subsidiary low-fare airline Jetstar operates 23 A320s. -WD"
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BlueSky1976
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:35 am

Wow...
I'm guessing 787-3 for medium haul, A350-900 and 777-300ERs for long haul and 777-200LRs for SYD-LHR and SYD - USA routes... I doubt they will go for A340-500... Makes sense, since QF is pretty happy with their A330s as a long haul ships...

Edit: Now come to think of it... if QF goes for A350-900, watch for EK doing the same...

[Edited 2005-10-06 01:38:54]
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ikramerica
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:50 am

Wow, I'm guessing this is another bogus one, as QF said recently they haven't even received all the proposals, so if they are going to decide before getting the data, why bother asking for it?  Wink
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Ai

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:51 am

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard...I can see the A350, but the A345 makes no sense. Why the hell would any company order a plane when they are ordering the competitor which flies more people further at a lower cost? That's not A vs B, if you're ordering 777LRs, it's common sense!
 
aa777flyer
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:52 am

I think the 777 will look great in Quantas colours
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BAxMAN
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:52 am

Quoting Aa777flyer (Reply 5):
Quantas

Hehehehe
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:55 am

Quoting AeroPiggot (Thread starter):
six 747-40ERs

What the hell is a 747-40?

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
Wow, I'm guessing this is another bogus one

I think I have to agree...AeroPiggot, there IS no rationale behind that type of order. I don't care what kind of deal they got from either side, it makes no sense whatsoever to order such a mixed up fleet.
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:56 am

So they'll be buying just about every possible aircraft that's available.

I'd say this is nonsense.
 
Hamlet69
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:05 am

Quoting AeroPiggot (Thread starter):
An article in tomorrow's aviation daily, gives the following details on the Qantas order.

This is not the details of the order, but details of what's being considered. Please read more carefully.

The RFP was for 1) 767 replacement - 787/A350; 2) probabe ULR - 772LR/A345

While there is a chance that both the 787 and the A350 will be ordered (at this stage, the 787 would go to mainline, the A350 would go to AO or JetStar "International"), QF will not order both the 777-200LR and the A340-500. From all indications, the A340 is out of the running at QF.

Regards,

Hamlet69
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SthPacific787
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:07 am

Quoting AeroPiggot (Thread starter):
The new aircraft will replace 24 Boeing 767-300ERs with a mix of 787s and Airbus A350s



Quoting AeroPiggot (Thread starter):
24 747-400s will also be replaced with the ultra-long-range variants of the 777 and A340-500s

I can't help thinking the article should have read " Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s" and "Boeing 777 or Airbus A340-500s"
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sunrisevalley
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:14 am

Most of this is a direct quote from the press release of Aug.18 announcing the
RPF.
 
PlaneDane
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:15 am

Quoting N754PR (Reply 1):
Hey, another post from an American asking why anyone would ever buy Airbus... I'm shocked....

Ah yes, and we can be shocked by your post too.

That American you are referring to, simply wondered why any airline would split an order between brands to serve the exact same market.

It's a valid concern for economic and logistical reasons. A mix of 787s and Airbus A350s for use on medium-haul international doesn't make sense. It would have been smarter to go with either Airbus or Boeing, but not both.

Are you even capable of understanding that?
 
vv701
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:44 am

Surely this can only be another example of 'Do not believe anything that you read in the press.' I think we should all wait for a Qantas and/or Boeing and/or Airbus press release!
 
aeropiggot
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:44 am

Quote:
Hamlet69: This is not the details of the order, but details of what's being considered. Please read more carefully.

Hamlet, the article did say a mix of 787 and A350, which I understood to mean both, I now believe that the article could have been written poorly. But I do thrust Aviation Daily to be a very reputable publication.

Quote:
SthPacific787: I can't help thinking the article should have read " Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s" and "Boeing 777 or Airbus A340-500s"

I totally agree! That makes a lot more sense to me.

Quote:
PlaneDane: That American you are referring to, simply wondered why any airline would split an order between brands to serve the exact same market.

Thank you PlaneDane, I wish I had been more explicit.  Smile
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DCrawley
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:56 am

Quoting N754PR (Reply 1):
Hey, another post from an American asking why anyone would ever buy Airbus... I'm shocked....

Wow.. Right when I think I've heard it all, you had to go and say this. Guess what? I'm an American and I don't care what kind of aircraft they buy personally. Also, the person you are questioning is NOT referring to "Why are they buying Airbus?".. The person explains it very well and I think your comment was out of line in all aspects. Read to comprehend, not just go over words..

Quoting PlaneDane (Reply 13):
That American you are referring to, simply wondered why any airline would split an order between brands to serve the exact same market.

It's a valid concern for economic and logistical reasons. A mix of 787s and Airbus A350s for use on medium-haul international doesn't make sense. It would have been smarter to go with either Airbus or Boeing, but not both.

Well put..

-d
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777STL
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:57 am

Sounds like BS to me.

The only reason I could think of buying the 787 and the 350 is Qantas might be trying to diversify its risk in either plane.
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zeke
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:10 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
Wow, I'm guessing this is another bogus one, as QF said recently they haven't even received all the proposals, so if they are going to decide before getting the data, why bother asking for it?

RFP responses received last week.
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Sydscott
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:58 am

Quoting Thumper3181 (Reply 19):
Maybe people are wondering why they would split their order so much?

I don't see why they should be wondering anything considering no order has been made and QF hasn't even completed their evaluation process. This is a ridiculous thread arguing about speculation in a magazine.

If your interested in where QF is at with their evaluation process then this link should help.

http://finance.news.com.au/story/0,10166,16832623-31037,00.html

As you'll see from it they are still TALKING not ordering.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:25 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 18):
RFP responses received last week.

Right. So if they can decide this fast, again, why bother asking for it? If they were just going to buy both from both without spending any time considering, just do it…

in other words, the article is poorly written.
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NASOCEANA
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:44 pm

Why on earth would Qantas pay twice the cost to train crews to fly the same routes with two different planes!

Pick either one, and train crews one time!

Again makes no sense to have a mixed fleet which fly identical routes!

But I've seen crazier things happen before!
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toptravel
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:39 pm

Qantas's fleet is pretty much a mixed up bag at the moment and has been since they took over Trans Australian, 717/737/767/743/744/744ER/A330/A320and soon A380. If I were Mr Dixon I'd be working on getting rid of the clunkers and standardizing my fleet a little.
 
pilotdude09
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:59 pm

This is stupid why would qantas have such a broad range of a/c, this means engineers need to be trained crews need to be trained and all this is $$$$ that an airline needs.
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WINGS
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Ai

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:16 pm

Quoting Hamlet69 (Reply 10):

While there is a chance that both the 787 and the A350 will be ordered (at this stage, the 787 would go to mainline, the A350 would go to AO or JetStar "International"), QF will not order both the 777-200LR and the A340-500. From all indications, the A340 is out of the running at QF.

Hi Hamlet69, may I ask how you came to this conclusion? In your opinion why should we not expect the A350 in Qantas colours? Does it have anything to do you considering the A350 a second class product?

Quoting Toptravel (Reply 30):
Qantas's fleet is pretty much a mixed up bag at the moment and has been since they took over Trans Australian, 717/737/767/743/744/744ER/A330/A320and soon A380. If I were Mr Dixon I'd be working on getting rid of the clunkers and standardizing my fleet a little.

Well this seems to be working for Qantas. Just take a look at their profits.

Regards,
Wings
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Thorben
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:22 pm

I think they'll replace the 763s with A332s, the 747s with A346HGWs and the 737s with A32x, makes a lot of sense if you have A333s and A388s. For further expansion, I see the A350 coming.
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WINGS
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:27 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
I think they'll replace the 763s with A332s, the 747s with A346HGWs and the 737s with A32x, makes a lot of sense if you have A333s and A388s. For further expansion, I see the A350 coming.

Wow Thorben, what a nice list. But do expect to see B777 order from Qantas. I too would expect a follow on order for the A330 as a stop gap measure until they start to receive their B787/A350.

As for the A320 family replacing their current B737 fleet, stranger things have happend.

Regards,
Wings
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keesje
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:00 pm

I think a combi 788+A359 could work great, just like the A332+772ER proved a winning team for many airlines.

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
I think they'll replace the 763s with A332s, the 747s with A346HGWs and the 737s with A32x, makes a lot of sense if you have A333s and A388s. For further expansion, I see the A350 coming.

In that case we better pull the plug on a.net for 24 hrs to enable members to recover & redefine their view on the industry..  Wink
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NZAA
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:15 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 35):

Well said!!
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ClassicLover
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:13 pm

I feel like I've stepped into the twilight zone.

a) The A320s that "Qantas" apparently operate, are the aircraft of a wholly owned and seperately operated subsidiary to Qantas called Jetstar.

b) The Boeing 717s that "Qantas" apparently operate, are the aircraft operated by Qantaslink, an airline within an airline, and they replace the British Aerospace 146s presently in service with that airline.

c) I will eat my hat if Qantas replaces the Boeing 737s with A320s. They are still taking delivery of new 737-800s through to December 2005!

Quoting Toptravel (Reply 30):
Qantas's fleet is pretty much a mixed up bag at the moment and has been since they took over Trans Australian, 717/737/767/743/744/744ER/A330/A320and soon A380. If I were Mr Dixon I'd be working on getting rid of the clunkers and standardizing my fleet a little.

I'm sorry, but the QF fleet is actually quite well thought out. Boeing 737, 747, 767, and A330s.

As an aside, Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) became Australian Airlines, which was merged with Qantas prior to privatisation. It wasn't a take over, both airlines were government owned, one domestic and one international.

Now, to get back on topic...

You categorically will not see 787s, A350s, A340s and 777s all being purchased by Qantas. This makes absolutely no sense at all, and the airline doesn't have the money to be buying stupidly, which is what that would be.

The author of the article has got things wrong, in my opinion. It is possible that Airbus offered a better deal on A350s to offset the A380 penalties, but if it is offsetting a penalty, it's still Qantas' money.

Trent.
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zvezda
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Ai

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:37 pm

This article smells like deliberately leaked false information designed to negotiate prices down.
 
Geo772
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:20 pm

While I can understand operating the 787 and A350 side by side based solely on the fact that they are not quite in the same size category I find the idea of having A345 and 772LR in the same fleet really rather baffling. They are similar sized aeroplanes with very similar overall performance.
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Glareskin
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:23 pm

Quoting Geo772 (Reply 39):
I find the idea of having A345 and 772LR in the same fleet really rather baffling

ETOPS issues??
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keesje
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:24 pm

BOEING TARGETS QANTAS WITH MORE FUEL EFFICIENT SALES PITCH
http://au.biz.yahoo.com/051006/17/an79.html


"One of the things we want them to think about as they evaluate different (plane) choices is the importance of fuel efficiency," said Martin Bentrott, Boeing vice president and sales marketing and in-service support of the 787 program.

Mr Bentrott and a team of technical staff have flown in to Sydney from the US for a two day briefing with Qantas.


I think one other thing Mr Bentrott might think about is taking his customer seriously.. this is QF, not Primaris.
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:42 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 41):
I think one other thing Mr Bentrott might think about is taking his customer seriously.. this is QF, not Primaris.

What the hell does that mean?
 
NYC777
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:05 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 41):
I think one other thing Mr Bentrott might think about is taking his customer seriously.. this is QF, not Primaris.

the fact that Boeing has been cleaning Airbus' clocks this year in orders certainly menas that they are taking their customers very seriously. Given Airbus' anemic response to the 787 and the A380 delays, I think Airbus has to take their customers more seriously and listen to them for a change.
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Amy
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:10 pm

Quoting N754PR (Reply 1):
Hey, another post from an American asking why anyone would ever buy Airbus... I'm shocked....

Where did you get that from? Stop trying to turn every thread that mentions the names Boeing and Airbus into some kind of war. It's SO DULL.

The point is, why would Qantas order similar aircraft from both manufacturers.

I have to agree, that doesn't make much sense.
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ClassicLover
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:20 pm

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 40):
ETOPS issues??

I wouldn't think so.

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
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keesje
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:38 pm

Quoting Amy (Reply 44):
The point is, why would Qantas order similar aircraft from both manufacturers.

- Because a combination of different aircraft types could make the best mix to fit network requirements?
- Take the best of both worlds?
- Keep playing them out against each other (independency, dual source policy)?

My question : why would Qantas buy all aircraft from the same manufacturer?
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luisca
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:44 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 46):
Quoting Amy (Reply 44):
The point is, why would Qantas order similar aircraft from both manufacturers.

- Because a combination of different aircraft types could make the best mix to fit network requirements?
- Take the best of both worlds?
- Keep playing them out against each other (independency, dual source policy)?

My question : why would Qantas buy all aircraft from the same manufacturer

Yes, you can order for example 787 and A345, or A350 and 777, or 787 and 777 or, A350 and A345. BUT NOT 787 and A350 and 777 and A345, that is what doesn't make sense.

You shouldnt have 2 planes with the same operational capabilites becouse this restricts your flexibility to move the planes around your system.
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JAM747
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:48 pm

There are other airlimes that have a very diverse fleet of both Boeing and Airbus such as Air France and Tai Airways. There is probably some reason for the apparent 'method to the madness' senario which make it works for them. Maybe depending on their route structure one type makes sense over the other in some cases but not all. Could it be that Qantas is able to maintain different types efficiently because it shares maintenance resources with other carriers on the routes it flys to?? Does any one know if this is a possible reason for having a mixed fleet of competitvely close types?
 
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:49 pm

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 9):
Quoting N754PR (Reply 1):
Hey, another post from an American asking why anyone would ever buy Airbus... I'm shocked....

I guess your just another ignorant on here who generalizes as if all Americans live on fast food and drive Hummers. Chill out and Get a life!

Are you reading my mind?!  

Quoting Keesje (Reply 46):
My question : why would Qantas buy all aircraft from the same manufacturer?

Get a better deal, perhaps?  scratchchin 

[Edited 2005-10-06 15:58:09]
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N328KF
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:57 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 46):
My question : why would Qantas buy all aircraft from the same manufacturer?

Simple: They are not EK.
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akelley728
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:02 pm

Quoting Toptravel (Reply 30):
Qantas's fleet is pretty much a mixed up bag at the moment and has been since they took over Trans Australian, 717/737/767/743/744/744ER/A330/A320and soon A380. If I were Mr Dixon I'd be working on getting rid of the clunkers and standardizing my fleet a little.



Quoting WINGS (Reply 32):
Well this seems to be working for Qantas. Just take a look at their profits.

Regards,
Wings

Qantas' profits have more to do with having little or no competition in the Australian market, then operating a diverse fleet of aircraft.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:04 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 46):
- Because a combination of different aircraft types could make the best mix to fit network requirements?
- Take the best of both worlds?
- Keep playing them out against each other (independency, dual source policy)?

1. This is correct and is why any airline has different aircraft types in their system

2. No, that's just silly. You don't buy the "best" product from each manufacturer or the newest just because it's cool.

3. Airbus and Boeing will compete against each other regardless. It's the way things are.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 46):
My question : why would Qantas buy all aircraft from the same manufacturer?

Why did Qantas fly an all Boeing 747 fleet from 1979 to 1985? It suited their requirements.

Looking at the past history of Qantas requirements, it is highly improbable that they would order both the 787 and the A350, or both the A345 and the 777. Dixon and his crew are a sensible team and have kept Qantas in profitability despite SARS, terrorism and September 11, and you can be rest assured that they WILL NOT order both of the competing types.

They'll order the best aircraft for them, and I am still saying it will be a 777/787 order.

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:05 pm

Quoting AKelley728 (Reply 51):
Qantas' profits have more to do with having little or no competition in the Australian market, then operating a diverse fleet of aircraft.

Sorry for the immediate next post - but this is wrong, wrong wrong wrong.

DJ (Virgin Blue) compete with Qantas domestically and presently have 30-40% of the market share. I'd hardly call this "little or no competition".

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
manni
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:09 pm

Meanwhile there are 10 orders for the A350 wich are unanounced. Perhaps QF did order the A350.  Wink
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keesje
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:41 pm

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 52):
it is highly improbable that they would order both the 787 and the A350



Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 52):
it is highly improbable that they would order both the 787 and the A350, or both the A345 and the 777.

To general IMO. The 787-3 & A359 have little overlap, same as e.g. a 200 seat A345 & a 350 seat B773ER.

We are talking a possible combination of various variants here.

Likely on the table are

- foreseen network requirements / scenarios /simulations,
- current fleet planning
- a wide range of associated HR issues / restrictions / conditions
- a variety of new fleet combinations made up of :

787-3
787-8
787-9
787-9 stretched

A332
A333
A358
A359
A388(R)
A389

B772ER
B772LR
B773ER

A345
A345HGW
A346
A346HGW

and probably both the the 737NG and A320 single aisle families.

All these type with there own characteristics / conditions.
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ikramerica
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:50 pm

Quoting Manni (Reply 54):
Meanwhile there are 10 orders for the A350 wich are unanounced. Perhaps QF did order the A350.

That I doubt. There are plenty of airlines around the world who could take 10 A350s.
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manni
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:54 pm

"There are plenty of airlines around the world who could take 10 A350s."

Absolutely truth Ikramerica. Good, you finally see the light.  Silly

And indeed, 10 seams a bit less for the airline QANTAS is.
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Slarty
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:56 pm

Quoting Geo772 (Reply 39):
I find the idea of having A345 and 772LR in the same fleet really rather baffling.

Maybe Boeing can't deliver enough 777s in time? Sometimes you need to go with second best.
 
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RE: Qantas To Announce Order For Mix Of Boeing, Airbus

Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:57 pm

Firstly, Qantas is technically privatised but still has to liaise very closely with government. If they were influenced not to place all their orders with an American manufacturer, to the detriment of relations with the UK/Europe, it probably wouldn't be the first time. When they ordered their A380s they also placed some orders with Boeing.

Secondly, they have a low-cost carrier, Jetstar, and are planning to expand it into the international holiday traffic field. It could make sense to equip them with some Airbuses (especially since Airbus may offer some pretty keen prices, to offset the compensation which one expects will otherwise be payable on the A380).

Thirdly, I believe that they have a fair few ageing shorter-ranged 747s - the A346 could make a sensible replacement for some of those, if the price is right.

Nevertheless, I would expect the bulk of the orders to consist of 787s and 777s. I would not expect them to commit to any A350s this far out from any definite performance data and delivery dates. And if they buy a ULH aircraft, I reckon it will definitely be the 772LR rather than the A345.
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