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Heavierthanair
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Future At Airbus?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:31 am

G´day

Once the dust has settled and heads have rolled with Forgeard likely one of those, it will be business as usual. Problems will be sorted out and a few years from now all is forgotten. The A 380 will prove itself in service like all other great aircraft out there, with a few more hick-ups in its early days of service that we A-netters can happily argue about. The A 380-800 will be followed by the -900, which will be complemented with the -1000. Hub to hub service will continue to be important and with traffic growing larger aircraft will be needed to serve those routes. So in my view the A 380 has a great future and I would not be surprised if Boeing will join the party some time in the future.

Surely there will be some orders for the 747-8 filling the void below the smallest A 380 model, but this will not in itself pose a threat to the A 380, though some airlines will go for the smaller aircraft or go with both the B 747-8 and A 380 models.

Where Airbus will suffer is in the A 350 / 370 size range where it intends to compete with the upcoming B 787 and likely even more so with existing and future B 777 models. Having previously lost credibility by coming up with ever new versions of the same thingy a little too often, likely due to internal politicking, led to the impression Airbus did not quite do their homework. As a result Airbus has lost substantial sales campaigns already. The present seemingly total management chaos at Airbus does little to restore confidence to potential customers. And this at a time when a new type is launched and you need customers to sign up for it.

It remains to be seen if they have their house together again by the time of the Farnborough airshow and show the world -the airlines- a strategy backed up by all at Airbus - technically and politically.

With EADS having lost value as a company, which likely is temporarily only, Airbus still has to live with reduced income due to the A 380 delays, come up with funding for the really all new A 350 / 370 and similarly for A 380 developments as well as a successor to the A 320. Whats that? 30 billion all together maybe, and all this financed politically correct without subsidies.

Quite a target.

I wish them luck - most people working there deserve it!

Cheers

Peter
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:41 am

I retain faith that Airbus is fundamentally a solid company, and I say this as a layman.

I've read about how carefully their scientists, engineers, and technical experts seem to design their aircraft, and looking at the record of recent air accidents, I do not see any pattern of major malfunctions attributable to Airbus.

As I say, I'm just a layman.

But I think that regardless of whether you're a Boeing or an Airbus partisan, and regardless of the management issues, you would have to consider that there is considerable technical expertise at Airbus, and considerable capability to turn out excellent large aircraft.

So, impressionistically speaking, not only do I wish Airbus well as a worthy competitor to Boeing, but I still retain a significant degree of confidence in its future. I think that Airbus will be around for quite some time, and I hope to see other great things from it in the future.

That said, my hopes for Boeing are even higher, and I want to see Boeing (which is larger than Airbus, in any event, considering that Boeing is a defense contractor and rocket manufacturer as well as a commercial airliner company) defeat the likes of not only Airbus, but Lockheed Martin, as well in its various endeavors. In this respect, NASA's recent selection of a high-powered rocket engine until now used exclusively in Boeing's Delta boosters for the former's planned heavy-lift lunar vehicle is very encouraging.

No company can win all the time. Boeing lost quite a bit before the last two years, beginning with the year that Airbus began outpacing Boeing in orders. Some of this was due to weak domestic demand after the 9/11 disaster, but part of the damage was self-inflicted (e.g., the tanker proposal scandal). And Boeing may lose some fights in the future. You win some, and you lose some. But I have a certain "hometown pride" in Boeing and its major partners (Pratt & Whitney, GE, etc.), and I think that it would be fair to say that I hope that Boeing regains its position as the world's largest manufacturer of airliners, as well. If last year was any indication, that distinction is on its way.

So, from my perspective: Good luck, Airbus, because I think you will live and thrive to fight another day; but, better luck, Boeing, because I think you're better still.

[Edited 2006-06-16 22:08:02]
What's fair is fair.
 
NAV20
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:40 pm

Quoting Heavierthanair (Thread starter):
Once the dust has settled and heads have rolled with Forgeard likely one of those, it will be business as usual.

Unfortunately heads are unlikely to roll in short order, because the company is not organised on conventional lines. Power in EADS is split 50/50 between the French and the German blocs, with all the Board members being political appointees, not business ones. If matters are left to the Board, one can predict that the French will press for Humbert to be fired and the Germans for Forgeard being fired - the likely result being stalemate for months.

I don't believe that the company can return to prosperity unless it undergoes a radical change in structure. Nor do I think it will re-organise itself. The only possible way forward, in my view, is for the true power-brokers - the participating governments plus Daimler-Chrysler - to step in urgently to set up a proper organisation run by one man reporting to a properly-constituted, independent board.

And that 'one man' should be the best man they can find for the job. Whether he is French, German, British, American, Swiss, Chinese, or whatever.......
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
airfrnt
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:04 am

Quoting Heavierthanair (Thread starter):

Once the dust has settled and heads have rolled with Forgeard likely one of those, it will be business as usual. Problems will be sorted out and a few years from now all is forgotten. The A 380 will prove itself in service like all other great aircraft out there, with a few more hick-ups in its early days of service that we A-netters can happily argue about. The A 380-800 will be followed by the -900, which will be complemented with the -1000. Hub to hub service will continue to be important and with traffic growing larger aircraft will be needed to serve those routes. So in my view the A 380 has a great future and I would not be surprised if Boeing will join the party some time in the future.

The problem with the A380 has very little to do with technical problems (yes other planes have massive teething pains, yes Airbus's unique (to be polite) political structure makes things more difficult.

It has to do with the fundamental market realities. The A380 is not as some of it's patriotic nay sayers would state a modern spruce goose. I think it's closest historical equivilent is the Lockheed L-1011. The technology is impressive, the size and scope and techniques used innovative. However the market doesn't seem to be able to sustain the demand to make the plane profitable.

The rule of thumb is that demand for a plane goes down as it's size goes up. Airbus takes advantage of this with it'sA320 family. However there are very few markets in the world that can fill a A380, and even fewer that would be able to sustain a A380 streach.

In addition none of the launch carriers are going to use the full capacity of the plane when they introduce it. If by some random magical miracle they do need more capacity, they already have it in the A380 without needing a streach.

Boeing's decision to stay out of this market is exactly why they are having the success they are having at this point. Airbus's decision to get in is why they are having this difficulty.

Quoting Heavierthanair (Thread starter):
Surely there will be some orders for the 747-8 filling the void below the smallest A 380 model, but this will not in itself pose a threat to the A 380, though some airlines will go for the smaller aircraft or go with both the B 747-8 and A 380 models.

It already is a threat, and it already is taking orders (in the freighter version) that might otherwise have been A380 orders.

You can say it's not a threat, but at this point every type of plane that threatens large hub concentrations (even if it is a CRJ) offers similar or lower CASM (the 787 and the 747-8) causes alarm over the prospective sales of the A380 because the market for the plane is not simply not there right now.

Now, is it concievable that somehow the entire last 20 years trend line might suddenly get reversed and the market might embrace a new huge widebody and de-fragment? Possible. The oil market has a lot to say about that. But Boeing appears to be better positioned anyways with the 787. The A380 requires a lot of feed into a hub (which needs more passengers, and goes up in priace with the cost of oil anyways) to fill the plane. It also needs a lot of Gas to get off the runway, 50% full or 100% full.

EK I think is seeing the market reality before anyone else and deciding to go for a mega-LCC and give up pricing control and margins for more seats.

Quoting Heavierthanair (Thread starter):

Where Airbus will suffer is in the A 350 / 370 size range where it intends to compete with the upcoming B 787 and likely even more so with existing and future B 777 models. Having previously lost credibility by coming up with ever new versions of the same thingy a little too often, likely due to internal politicking, led to the impression Airbus did not quite do their homework. As a result Airbus has lost substantial sales campaigns already. The present seemingly total management chaos at Airbus does little to restore confidence to potential customers. And this at a time when a new type is launched and you need customers to sign up for it.

I don't think the situation there is as dire as you make it out to be. Airbus could introduce a new wide body in 5 years, still manage to capture a significant portion of the recycle effort, and bring better technology to bear.

Quoting Heavierthanair (Thread starter):
With EADS having lost value as a company, which likely is temporarily only, Airbus still has to live with reduced income due to the A 380 delays, come up with funding for the really all new A 350 / 370 and similarly for A 380 developments as well as a successor to the A 320. Whats that? 30 billion all together maybe, and all this financed politically correct without subsidies.

That will be tough.
 
abba
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 3):
You can say it's not a threat, but at this point every type of plane that threatens large hub concentrations (even if it is a CRJ) offers similar or lower CASM (the 787 and the 747-8) causes alarm over the prospective sales of the A380 because the market for the plane is not simply not there right now.

It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the 787 and the 787 has a lower CASM than the 380. The only argument I have seen so far for this affirmation is some layman's speculations relating to "structural efficiency" and the engines (which people who seems to know what they are talking about claim can be changed to newer models quite easily).

Do you have a reference to some solid professional analysis supporting this claim?

Abba
 
PanHAM
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:37 am

Both M. Largardere and Herr Bischoff, Board Members of EADS, have told M Forgeard not to give any further interviews, in plain words, to shut up.

I would be more than surprised if M Forgeard's days in the company are not numbered. His chances to meet Alphonse Aurevoir in the next days are extremely good.

Airbus is a big company which encounbters some difficulties at the moment. They will learn the lesson and correct the mistakes, try to keep their customers happy and get their product line. They will learn from this, that playing the Nationality game is more than stupid in this world. They are pioneers, one of the first pan European companies and it seems hard especially for the French, to understand that Airbus/EADS is not French or German or Spanish, it is European.

If they learn thjis lesson from Forgeard's stupid remarks, they will come out stronger. After all, they are shuttling hundres of people very day between TLS XFW, BRE anmd I am sure that the cooperation works fine on the middle management level. From now on it must work on the top management level as well or we will indeed have a monopoly in 10 years or so. And that won't be Airbus.
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NAV20
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:37 am

Abba, since EADS just announced that, at best, only nine A380s will enter service in the next 18 months, do the finer details of its performance really matter any more?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
texfly101
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:29 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 3):
Boeing's decision to stay out of this market is exactly why they are having the success they are having at this point. Airbus's decision to get in is why they are having this difficulty.

Some have said that this was a strategic decision by Boeing to not compete in order to not tie up resources that were going to be needed for Y1 and Y2. It turns out that it was a good decision as both are progressing very well and will end up giving Boeing a dominance in both areas for some time. I have always said that while the wide bodies get all the glamour, its the narrow bodies that provide the cash flow to operate. The 737 replacement (Y1) is very much underway and when introduced against the A32x series, it might well be another 787/A330 story. Have Boeing dominate both twin aisle and single aisle and maybe Boeing stock at $90 is cheap.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 1):
I retain faith that Airbus is fundamentally a solid company, and I say this as a layman

I totally agree and I guess its as an insider since I work for Boeing. I believe that Airbus will right their ship, design competetive products that will make us sharpen our pencils and improve our products. They have always brought excellent products to the market, sometimes years after Boeing has introduced models, so there is a history of this. And remember that Boeing was in this exact situation just a few years ago, the A340 was outselling the 777, the A330 killed the 767, and the A32X dominates the 737. The Sonic Cruiser was being rejected by the airlines. I can remember articles from analysts talking about whether Boeing would remain in commercial aircraft or go the way of Lockheed or McD. Their upper management was in total turmoil, firings, resignations, governmental investigations, jail sentences dominated the news. Boeings stock went to $27 (bet everyone wishes they has bought a bunch then, right?) Does all this sound familiar? Have any parallels with today? So I say that Airbus does like what Boeing did, use their current situation to re-organize their management, make the hard decisions to introduce a new competetive product line, and come out firing. In five years, we'll see a different Airbus with different products, and they'll be working as hard as we are to keep up with their competition. As for me, I'll be retired, the first flight of the 787 will be my last time standing there watching something new take to the air. Its an incredible feeling and I'll miss it to some extent. And all you engineers, managers, and kids with dreams and aspirations can take it to the new heights and determine the future of Airbus and Boeing. That's my answer to the question of the Future of Airbus.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:55 am

Quote:
"One risk in this latest setback for the A380 is that it means EADS seeks more, not less, government funding," said Richard Aboulafia at Fairfax, Virginia-based consultancy Teal Group.

One unanswered question is whether the European state loans which Airbus taps for a third of its new plane funding will be forthcoming as Washington pushes for an end to the practice, now under review by the World Trade Organisation.

"A lot of this is now under the microscope. They can either truncate their development plans or trigger a trade war," said Aboulafia, referring to the risk posed if EADS and Airbus seek more of the government loans now under WTO scrutiny.

"Key risks to EADS comes from the U.S. dollar and further negative news flow on Airbus R&D (and) programme risk," said Deutsche's Fidler.

http://today.reuters.com/business/ne...=tnBusinessNews&storyID=nL13527944
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
chiad
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 5:12 am

The Future at Airbus will be just fine, as it will at Boeing.
I expect that the cycles, in where these two companies will be "on top", will be much shorter. Maybe around 5 years or so.
It seems to me that when Airbus and Boeing have fought their way up to become number one, with several new products, they kind of exhaust themselves and hope to "float" on their products by creating upgrades (A350, B764).
This works for a while but not forever, and probably shorter in the years to come.
Of course I could be totally wrong since it's only been one cycle involving Airbus.
What's going to be really exciting is what China can create. I wouldn't be too surprised to again see three manufactures of large aircrafts in the future.
If my predictions come true we'll have many interesting discussions here at A-net.
 
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mariner
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 5:24 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):
do the finer details of its performance really matter any more?

If one aircraft is going into servcice or twenty, why would the performance "not matter"?

I'm sure it matters to the airlines that have bought it.

mariner
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BoomBoom
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 5:33 am

Quoting Chiad (Reply 9):
It seems to me that when Airbus and Boeing have fought their way up to become number one, with several new products, they kind of exhaust themselves and hope to "float" on their products by creating upgrades (A350, B764).

Airbus' current problems are not the result of "floating" on their past accomplishments. It's because they overreached with the A380.
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
NAV20
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:42 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 10):
If one aircraft is going into servcice or twenty, why would the performance "not matter"?

Mariner, the topic is 'Future at Airbus.'

EADS has now confirmed that they will only be building and delivering A380s in penny packets. The numbers will clearly be too small to have a decisive effect either way on the key issue of Airbus' cash flow/profits over the next five years. And even if Airbus were able to sell more, they couldn't start building them before 2011 at the earliest.

I would submit, therefore, that the A380 question is now largely irrelevant to Airbus' immediate future; and therefore that there is no point in further detailed discussion of what sort of performance it may eventually turn out to have.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
redflyer
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:49 am

Quoting Abba (Reply 4):
It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the 787 and the 787 has a lower CASM than the 380. The only argument I have seen so far for this affirmation is some layman's speculations relating to "structural efficiency" and the engines (which people who seems to know what they are talking about claim can be changed to newer models quite easily).

Do you have a reference to some solid professional analysis supporting this claim?

Abba

It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the A380 has the lowest CASM. The only argument I have seen so far for this affirmation is some layman's speculations relating to "structural size" and capacity (which people who seems to know what they are talking about claim that there will be no problem filling the airplane).

Do you have a reference to some solid professional analysis supporting this claim?

RedFlyer
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mariner
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:55 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 12):
Mariner, the topic is 'Future at Airbus.'

Yes, I am aware of that.

I repeat - why do the "finer details" - your words, my quotes - of the performance of an aircraft that has sold in some numbers not matter?

I guess that if you are still maintaining that this is The End for Airbus, they don't matter.

To others, costs matter.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 12):
I would submit, therefore, that the A380 question is now largely irrelevant to Airbus' immediate future;

I would disagree.

mariner
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:02 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 13):
It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the A380 has the lowest CASM

The 787-10 will trump the A388 in CASM when launched, giving the largets 787 the lowest seat/mile costs of any long-haul aircraft.

The basis of this estimation is industry accepted.

Quoting Chiad (Reply 9):
The Future at Airbus will be just fine, as it will at Boeing.

What I think people are missing is this really isn't the case. Why do people think that Airbus can just dust-off these issues and keep on rolling? Things have gone from bad, to worse, to terrible!

Until this week, Airbus seemed to be hitting a cyclical downturn no worse than what Boeing endured for a few years. Everyone pointed out that Boeing rebounded, and supposed Airbus could do likewise.

Airbus isn't in that boat anymore. Their issues are more pressing, they will consume more short-term resources, and they are routed more in poor leadership structure than engineering ability. All at the precise moment Boeing is making a huge move in the explosive mid-market niche.
 
okelleynyc
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:02 pm

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 11):
EADS has now confirmed that they will only be building and delivering A380s in penny packets.

How many aircraft will Singapore get next year (2007)? If they only get the ONE in December (2006) and none in 2007 or another very late in 2007, can they actually operate revenue service with only one aircraft?
Just give me my Vario, my Ozone Mojo and a gorgeous day of soaring.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:10 pm

Quoting Okelleynyc (Reply 16):
Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 11):
EADS has now confirmed that they will only be building and delivering A380s in penny packets.

That was NAV20's quote.
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
redflyer
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 15):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 13):
It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the A380 has the lowest CASM

The 787-10 will trump the A388 in CASM when launched, giving the largets 787 the lowest seat/mile costs of any long-haul aircraft.

The basis of this estimation is industry accepted

I was being sarcastic and simply throwing back at Abba his own assumptions. Perhaps I should've used one of those emoticons to get the point across  

[Edited 2006-06-18 05:14:50]

[Edited 2006-06-18 05:15:12]
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
NAV20
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 14):
I would disagree.

You'll have to explain how the A380 can possibly contribute to Airbus' survival, starting from here. On the face of it it can only make a substantial negative contribution.

In any case, Mariner, we're neither of us young. It would be an exaggeration to say that, in our respective lifetimes, we've seen more aviation-related firms over-reach themselves and go under than we've had hot dinners, but it's close to that.  Smile

I suspect that you know as well as I do that the immediate future for EADS/Airbus is almost certainly a long, boring process of government-sponsored 're-structuring'.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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mariner
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:43 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 19):
I suspect that you know as well as I do that the immediate future for EADS/Airbus is almost certainly a long, boring process of government-sponsored 're-structuring'.

Even if should prove to be true, I don't have a problem with it.

I try to avoid claiming to be able see the future, though.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
abba
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:59 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 13):
It has been repeated here on a.net again and yet again that the A380 has the lowest CASM. The only argument I have seen so far for this affirmation is some layman's speculations relating to "structural size" and capacity (which people who seems to know what they are talking about claim that there will be no problem filling the airplane).

Do you have a reference to some solid professional analysis supporting this claim?

No - I do not know which aircraft has the lowest CASM. That's why I keep ask people who claim to know what they base their knowledge on. The arguments I have heard so far either in support of the 380 or in support of the 787/748 is indeed equally unsatisfactory.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 15):
The 787-10 will trump the A388 in CASM when launched, giving the largets 787 the lowest seat/mile costs of any long-haul aircraft.

The basis of this estimation is industry accepted.

If what you say is in fact industry accepted there must sure be someone with the necessary knowledge and skill who had bothered to make a thorough analysis of the matter on paper for us to read. Or do you consider yourself such an expert?

BTW how do you know that this estimation is industry accepted?



ABBA
 
NWDC10
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:29 am

It seems like a "leap frog". A comes out with an a/c then B comes out with something better, then A rolls out somethng better than what B last rolled out etc. Robert NWDC10
 
abba
Posts: 1382
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RE: Future At Airbus?

Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:34 pm

Very much so indeed! And good for us - the traveling public - that it is like that!

Abba

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