bhxdtw
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Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:07 am

Just thinking..
Back in the day why did BA order the A320 family of aircraft when they had and have historically been a firm Boeing customer ? Wouldnt Boeing have offered them a good deal on the 737NG for the replacement of their original 737's and BAC1-11's etc ... so why did BA all of a sudden change to Airbus equipment ? Was the 320 a better deal cost wise and efficiency wise ?
I was just thinking as BA could have used aircraft such as the 738 and now possibly the 739 on routes that the 320's and 321's are deployed on.. Also.. and I am in no way biased.. but hasnt it been the case that the 737 line has continuosly been refreshed with newer and more frequent improvements over the last few years to create a better short to medium haul carrier ??
Maybe theres a logical and simple answer so if anyone can enlighten me that would be great..(like I say.. this isnt A vs B or anything daft like that.. im just curious to find out why.. )

Thanks !


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RobK
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:28 am

Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320? If so they probably got a good deal. They bought a whole load of Boeing's not long after anyway - the -400s!

R
 
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LTU932
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:46 pm

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320?

No, I believe that was BCal. However, AFAIK the deliveries of BCal's new A320s happened some time after the merger with BA (they were delivered with G-BUS* registrations).
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:12 pm

Its likely a large number of factors, some small some large. One of the biggest would be that 10 year period where the A320 existed and the 737NG didn't.
 
PM
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737N

Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:32 pm

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320?

No. Airbus had sold more than 1,800 A320s before BA bought any.

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
They bought a whole load of Boeing's not long after anyway - the -400s!

No they didn't. They bought their first 737-400s ten years before they bought A320s.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
that 10 year period where the A320 existed and the 737NG didn't.

No, that won't do either. BA ordered A320s in late 1998 - more than five years after the first orders for the 737NG.
 
A388
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:19 pm

Are you asking about the BA A320s they took over from BCal or the large A319 order BA placed themselves?

A388
 
Glareskin
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

Quoting BHXDTW (Thread starter):
why did BA order the A320 family of aircraft

Because it is a very good and economical aircraft. Especially before the NG came out.

Quoting BHXDTW (Thread starter):
when they had and have historically been a firm Boeing customer

Isn't that the case for almost all Airbus customers?
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scbriml
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:08 pm

Maybe, shock-horror, the A320 family was better for BA than the 737NG?  scratchchin 

I know it's a radical theory. yes 
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CRJ900
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:03 pm

IIRC the BA order for A32X in 1998 caused a lot of media attention, as the order was for up to 188 aircraft if all options were to be exercised. That was quite a blow for Boeing...

I chatted to some FAs while onboard a BA A319 a while ago and they said they love working on the A32X as the galleys are more spacious. A great aircraft family flying for a great airline. Everybody wins  Smile
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BA787
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:08 pm

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 15):
I chatted to some FAs while onboard a BA A319 a while ago and they said they love working on the A32X as the galleys are more spacious. A great aircraft family flying for a great airline. Everybody wins

Couldn't agree more. And I may be wrong, but as a passenger I find the A32S more spacious than the 73G. and a bit brighetr and airier.

BA787
 
TGV
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:00 pm

Quoting BA787 (Reply 9):
And I may be wrong, but as a passenger I find the A32S more spacious than the 73G. and a bit brighetr and airier.

So do I.
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
AA7295
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:05 pm

Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products.

With regards to preference, I think it is purely to do with how the airline configure their aircraft. The DJ B738's are 1000 times more roomier, brighter and quiter for that matter than the JQ A320. My preference goes to the 737NG, and it's much more attractive externally as well. I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

Regards,
AA7295
 
egnr
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products

I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The 'need' to purchase 'home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

If BA wanted to support local industry, it would currently be flying A306s instead of B763s, A321s in place of all B752s, A330s/A340s instead of B772s, A346s in place of B744s and would already have an order on the books at Airbus for A388s.

True enough, BA does appear to support the local aero engine industry with its preference of RR engines - almost always choosing RR when there is an engine choice and when RR is an option. The BA-ordered A320 family aircraft are IAE powered, and the IAE group includes RR. BA's first batch of B772s had GE-90s, but due to operational/technical issues, BA opted for RR Trents on all subsequent B772 orders.

The fleet planning at BA is done on a purely 'what is best for BA' basis. BA's studies have found that the A320 family suits their operations better than the B737NG; that the B772 suits them better than the A343/A333, etc.

Ironically, back in the 1970s, (still government-controlled) BA was evaluating the A300, DC10 and L-1011 for it's short-medium haul widebody requirement, and the airline's preferred choice was the A300. But, the UK government exercised its power and forced BA to select the L-1011 to help out struggling Rolls-Royce.
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SEPilot
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:29 pm

It probably comes down to money; in 1998 Boeing was at the height of their "arrogant period" and did not really take Airbus seriously. Airbus probably offered them a much better deal. As to the airplanes themselves, I have reached the conclusion that they are as indistinguishable as any two competing airliners can be. The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view. From everything I have seen (not having first hand knowledge) the operating economies are about as equal as can be expected. It's really the airline equivalent of Ford vs. Chevy-it's more personal preferences than real differences.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:48 pm

I worked for BA at the time, and although information filtering down to the shop floor was sparse, I remember that there was little to choose. Just before the announcement we were certain that it was going to be B737, and then suddenly it was A319. Price was the final factor, and Airbus needed BA at that time more than Boeing did.
 
EI321
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products.

No, good effort though.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
My preference goes to the 737NG, and it's much more attractive externally as well. I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

 boggled  What comunist era aircraft resembles an A320?

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
It probably comes down to money;

Or technical superiority.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view.

Its not the only one. Its noticibly quieter and more comfortable.
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
No, I believe that was BCal. However, AFAIK the deliveries of BCal's new A320s happened some time after the merger with BA (they were delivered with G-BUS* registrations).

 checkmark 

BA inherited it's first batch of 320's from the aforementioned BCal merger. The rest, they say, is history.
 
AA7295
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:29 pm

Quoting EGNR (Reply 12):
I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The 'need' to purchase 'home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

Well they don't have to, but I'm sure it has something to do with it. After all BA is privatised, but they are still accountable to the British public and the British government, just like QF is to Australia.

Isn't it ironic that you deny this argument, but airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, and TAP Portugal have all ordered predominantly Airbus equipment, while all these airlines are based in countries where Airbus has manufacturing facilities. Come on, you can't seriously say it has no bearing when these airlines purchase aircraft.

Regards,
AA7295
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:36 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

Are you sure you really saw A320s? It's not like any classic Russian built aircraft type looks similar in any way to the A320...


PH
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SkyyMaster
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:43 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 15):
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
The A320 is slightly wider, but that is the only real distinguishing characteristic from a passenger's point of view.

Its not the only one. Its noticibly quieter and more comfortable.

90% of the travelling public could not tell you the difference between a 320 to a 737 to a DC9 to a TU134....well maybe that last one is a stretch. It's only us devoted a.net geeks that get down to such specifics  Smile And by the way, I disagree, IMO I see very little if any difference. Much depends on how the individual airline outfits the aircraft as far as seats, etc.; as for noise levels, they are very negligible to me, and I've flown plenty of both models.
 
JAL
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:58 pm

Maybe because the 737NG hasn't been launched yet.
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flyboy_se
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
Isn't it ironic that you deny this argument, but airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, and TAP Portugal have all ordered predominantly Airbus equipment, while all these airlines are based in countries where Airbus has manufacturing facilities. Come on, you can't seriously say it has no bearing when these airlines purchase aircraft.

I dont know where in his post did you read that he is denying that argument. Please re read it carefully.

Quoting EGNR (Reply 12):
I highly doubt this had anything to do with the decision. British Airways is not a government-controlled or influenced airline, and has no obligation or anything to gain politically by purchasing Airbus products instead of Boeing. The need to purchase home-grown' products evaporated at the airline's privatisation.

If BA wanted to support local industry, it would currently be flying A306s instead of B763s, A321s in place of all B752s, A330s/A340s instead of B772s, A346s in place of B744s and would already have an order on the books at Airbus for A388s.

True enough, BA does appear to support the local aero engine industry with its preference of RR engines - almost always choosing RR when there is an engine choice and when RR is an option. The BA-ordered A320 family aircraft are IAE powered, and the IAE group includes RR. BA's first batch of B772s had GE-90s, but due to operational/technical issues, BA opted for RR Trents on all subsequent B772 orders.

The fleet planning at BA is done on a purely what is best for BA basis. BA's studies have found that the A320 family suits their operations better than the B737NG; that the B772 suits them better than the A343/A333, etc.

Why shouldn't TAP, Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France order predominantly Airbus aircraft?? I dont see anything wrong with that. Everytime a European airline orders Airbus , then it has to be some government involvement that forced them to do so.God forbid that it should come out that an airline ordered Airbus because they thought it suited them better.
But no, everybody knows Airbus makes crap and all airlines that order their planes are either forced, or they are getting them for free ( Sarcasm)
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dutchjet
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:03 am

Why does any airline make a decision to buy one type of aircraft over another?

Why did BA chose the A32X:

1. BA determined that the A32X family was a good airplane for the missions that it would be assigned to fly.

2. BA thought, for whatever reasons, that the A32X was a better choice for its needs than the 737/737NG.

3. BA was satisfied with the price and other terms of the deal offered by Airbus.

4. Airbus could deliver the airplanes pursuant to a schedule that was acceptable to BA.

5. The financial institutions that BA works with were willing to provide financing/leasing terms for the airplanes.

The same factors apply to BA's choice of the 777 (over the A330/340), the 767 (over the A300/310), the 757 and the 737 Classics (over MD80s). Yes, BA was a ""loyal"" Boeing customer for many years, but for the reasons set forth above, they went with Airbus for their narrow body needs.
 
Scorpio
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:10 am

Quoting JAL (Reply 20):
Maybe because the 737NG hasn't been launched yet.

The 737NG are the -6/7/8/900, and they've been launched for quite a while now...
 
jacobin777
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:11 am

....while I don't know the complete history of why BA purchased the A32X......I do know those A32X look lovely in BA colours... yes 


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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:25 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
After all BA is privatised, but they are still accountable to the British public and the British government, just like QF is to Australia.

Rubbish. BA is in no way accountable to the UK government - they are a private company, responsible only to their shareholders. So is Qantas. Both carriers rely to some extent on Government goodwill in the allocation of route licenses in markets where such routes are limited by bilateral agreement, otherwise there is no relationship between either airline and their respective governments.
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Tancrede
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:30 am

Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 21):
Why shouldn't TAP, Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France order predominantly Airbus aircraft??

 checkmark 

We could then come to the same question but to the opposite as why Ryanair did buy 737s instead of A320s?
 
radiogaga
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737N

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:28 am

Quoting Tancrede (Reply 26):
We could then come to the same question but to the opposite as why Ryanair did buy 737s instead of A320s?

Ryanair was given substantial discounts on 737s by Boeing after the 9/11 slump.

[Edited 2007-08-18 18:32:06]
 
columba
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:32 am

Quoting Radiogaga (Reply 27):
Ryanair was given substantial discounts on 737s by Boeing after the 9/11 slump.

They had already 737-200s and were copying Southwest which success is mainly based on flying one single type of aircraft the 737.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
BCAL
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):
Weren't BA one of the launch customers for the A320?



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 2):
No, I believe that was BCal. However, AFAIK the deliveries of BCal's new A320s happened some time after the merger with BA

British Caledonian (BCAL) was indeed a launch customer of the A320 and they ordered seven of the A320s with options on another three for delivery in the spring of 1988. BCAL merged with BA in late 1987 as a result of which BA took on BCAL’s order and hence the A320 family was introduced into BA’s fleet.

There was much controversy at the time as many people thought that BA, then primarily a Boeing customer, would cancel the orders. There were reports in the UK press at the time that a cancellation by BA would result in many redundancies in UK industries since British Aerospace (BAe as it was then known) was one of the consortium partners in Airbus Industries and was set to receive substantial contracts for building the wings of the A320. As well as British Aerospace other UK industries also were due to receive contracts for developing electronics etc for the aircraft, so the order attracted a great deal of UK press and political interest. After the merger of BA/BCAL Lord King of Warnaby, then BA chairman, was questioned whether or not BA intended to honour BCAL’s A320 order. Lord King’s reply was that BA was not only honouring the order, but was doubling the number of aircraft and options. I cannot say why there was a change of direction at BA but I think Sir Adam Thomson’s explanation in his biography gives some pointers.

BCAL was seeking replacements for its ageing fleet of BAC 1-11s and the evaluation of aircraft types had been discussed by the board for a long period.

Quote:
The fight among the three manufacturers, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Airbus Industries, to gain the BCAL business had been fierce.

In the final analysis, behind the closed doors of the Caledonian House boardroom, the A320 won. It provided us with the best possible economic/operational formula through the 1990s and into the next century, with the most advanced technology yet proposed. It was the best option for the long term. The aircraft was geared to achieve exceptional productivity and fuel-efficiency, with costs per seat/mile 27% lower that the 1-11s they would replace.

Although an order for 10 aircraft might seem trivial today, in the 1980s it was a different ball game and all the manufacturers valued a BCAL order. This was because BCAL was privately-owned (unlike the majority of legacy carriers at the time), with no government pressure on how or where they invested. Their selection of aircraft was geared solely to the commercial and technical benefits of the equipment. BCAL’s choice said a lot about an aeroplane, they felt – and no one felt this more than Airbus. It was a very close race to the finish between the A320 and the 737-300, each extremely fine aircrafts.

Having inherited the order, BA must have been impressed with the A320s performance and economical/operational formula to order additional aircraft.
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AirNZ
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:39 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

I assume you are joking, right?

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
Well they don't have to, but I'm sure it has something to do with it. After all BA is privatised, but they are still accountable to the British public and the British government

What are your reasons for being so "sure"? On the contrary, you are entirely wrong in your next assertion. Irrespective of what you claim QF's to be, BA has no accountability whatever to the British public, and certainly none to the British government. BA are only accountable to their shareholders.
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
TGV
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737N

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
Isn't it ironic that you deny this argument, but airlines such as Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, and TAP Portugal have all ordered predominantly Airbus equipment, while all these airlines are based in countries where Airbus has manufacturing facilities. Come on, you can't seriously say it has no bearing when these airlines purchase aircraft.

Is it possible for you to accept the idea that if airlines order Airbus in some cases it is because these planes are more adapted to their needs?

You mention AF, just take a look at its fleet (figures from airfleets.com).

The narrow body fleet is now composed only of the A318/19/20/21 family (147 planes). The 737 have been phased out. Clearly, based on its operating experience, AF considered the A320 family was more adapted for them than continuing with the 737, even NG.

For the wide bodies the situation is different.

There are 19 A340 left in the fleet (down from 24/25 at one time if I remember well). Very sad from a passenger point of view as this plane is really more comfortable than the 777, but this is another story. And there are 16 A332, the A332 is usually recognised as a very good aircraft, so there should be a reason fro buying it.

The rest of the wide body fleet is composed of 25 747 (mainly 744) and 48 777. This makes AF the fourth 777 operator, after SQ, UA and EK, but (just) before AA.

So in total for wide bodies, AF Boeing fleet is more than the double of AF Airbus fleet. And this will not change in the near future, as more 777 will be added (Passengers and Freight). Only the A380 deliveries will modify slightly the situation.

It is really tiring to have always the same motto:
“if an airline buy Boeing it is because Boeing makes good planes, if an airline buy Airbus it is because they are obliged by their government / Airbus sells at loss/they will get slots in CDG-FRA-xxx / they don’t know what they do / etc.etc.”
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
Strathpeffer
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:56 am

Quoting BCAL (Reply 29):
I cannot say why there was a change of direction at BA but I think Sir Adam Thomson?s explanation in his biography gives some pointers.

I heard part of the reason BA kept BCAL's 320s was because new aircraft of that size were scarce at the time.

BA found itself DESPERATELY needing planes of that approximate size but Boeing, in the throes of coping with a recent orders bonanza, was unable to deliver in the required time frame. The leasing market couldn't come up with the right goods at the right price and so the A320s were kept and the 734 was ordered for delivery in the early 90s.

I think one of the A320s was in BCAL colours before being hastily repainted into Landor. I wonder if anyone has a picture of it? I'll bet it was pretty.

PJ
Another Technical Problem?
 
egmcman
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:24 am

Quoting EGNR (Reply 12):
True enough, BA does appear to support the local aero engine industry with its preference of RR engines - almost always choosing RR when there is an engine choice and when RR is an option. The BA-ordered A320 family aircraft are IAE powered, and the IAE group includes RR. BA's first batch of B772s had GE-90s, but due to operational/technical issues, BA opted for RR Trents on all subsequent B772 orders.

On the 777 the initial deal they sold it's Cardiff facilities to GE on the 320 family IAE offered a power by the hour option which BA selected.
 
spartanmjf
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

Personally, I think that the TU154 and the IL86 are beautiful aircraft.....especially the 154.
"Nuts to the man in 21D!"
 
trex8
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting Egmcman (Reply 33):
On the 777 the initial deal they sold it's Cardiff facilities to GE on the 320 family IAE offered a power by the hour option which BA selected.

and RR is a major stakeholder in IAE
 
SEPilot
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:28 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 15):

Or technical superiority.

I think the record is pretty well established that the 737NG and A320 are pretty equal on most measures. I have yet to see a convincing case that one is "technically" superior or is significantly more economical. BA in 1998 had both types in their fleet, so as TristarSteve said, I think it came down to money. I have never yet heard a reliable account of a purchase decision between the 737NG and the A320 that was decided on any basis other than money where the existing fleet was not a major factor.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:31 am

The answer for the choice of Airbus over Boeing for the European fleet is quite simple, price (excluding the A320's BA inherited from BCal). Apparently Airbus was more competitive on price than Boeing. I have this on vey good authority as it came from a Boeing rep!
 
Boeing74741R
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:32 am

Quoting TGV (Reply 31):
“if an airline buy Boeing it is because Boeing makes good planes, if an airline buy Airbus it is because they are obliged by their government / Airbus sells at loss/they will get slots in CDG-FRA-xxx / they don’t know what they do / etc.etc.”

That motto is out of date. If the UK Government obliged BA to do things, then it would be an all-Airbus fleet by now. And if Boeing's planes were that good (in this case for BA's needs) then BA would have a huge fleet of 737NG's by now.

As others have mentioned there are many reasons as to why BA opted to order A320 over the 737NGs, and I personally feel that if the A320 was not capable of doing the jobs that BA wanted out of it (this includes the ex-BCAL A320-100s after someone coined them as a 'lousy' aircraft for BA) then they would not have ordered it in the first place, simple as! If Boeing and its followers don't like BA for this then tough.

I'm not saying that the 737NG is a bad aircraft and although I'm sure that if BA ordered that instead it would serve them equally as well, it would be unfair to attack BA for their decision to go to Airbus for narrow-bodies because the A320 Family has served BA well since the first examples was introduced into the fleet and will continue to do so for many years to come.

I wonder what BA Crew think of working on the A320 Family over the 737 families?
 
jacobin777
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:45 am

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 37):
The answer for the choice of Airbus over Boeing for the European fleet is quite simple, price (excluding the A320's BA inherited from BCal). Apparently Airbus was more competitive on price than Boeing. I have this on vey good authority as it came from a Boeing rep!

...this sounds plausable as has been mentioned ad nauseam here that both essentially have the same capabilities. It boils down to who can deliver what at which price(s) with what kind of incentives, etc...

For example, contrary to what many believe here, B6 didn't get their A320's at "rock bottom" prices..They paid $32-$35 million/frame. What they got was good m/x service, payments, etc.

....as is well known, FR got a great deal on their B737's......so it works both ways....
"Up the Irons!"
 
SKA380
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:46 am

Of course the reason why they chose the A320 is because the 737NG is a gas guzzling aircraft.  highfive 
 
AA7295
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:10 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 25):
Rubbish. BA is in no way accountable to the UK government - they are a private company, responsible only to their shareholders. So is Qantas. Both carriers rely to some extent on Government goodwill in the allocation of route licenses in markets where such routes are limited by bilateral agreement, otherwise there is no relationship between either airline and their respective governments.

QF and BA still do have relationships with their governments. Remember 9/11, which aircraft took Prime Minister Howard back to Australia from the US, a chartered QF 767 that was granted immunity from the air traffic shut down. The Queen and PM of England use BA aircraft to travel. When the British troops were kidnapped and trapped in Iran, BA's 757 brought them home.

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 30):
Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
I remember flying into PVG and seeing all these A320's from a distance, I seriously thought they were communist-era Russian built planes.

I assume you are joking, right?

I do believe the key phrase is "from a distance". PVG is massive and planes are everywhere. I still stand by opinion, I think the A320 is unattractive. And for the A320 VS B737NG, it matters completely on where you sit on the aircraft to determine how noisy the cabin is, and it also matters completely on how the airline configures the plane.



I'm not saying there is anything wrong with Airbus aircraft. I'm saying that the fact that Airbus aircraft draws technology and manufacturing from European nations is a factor in the deciding process as to why European airlines should purchase Airbus aircraft. There is nothing wrong with that. I made a point. Let's reverse it, AA, DL and CO all purchase Boeing made aircraft, made in the US, sure it's not the main and only reason they purchase Boeing aircraft, but it's down on the list. If a European/American airline is deciding between say B777/A340 and the airlines concede they are both fitting for their needs, what is wrong with purchasing an aircraft that supports local industry. Again, I'm not saying its the melting pot, but it is a deciding factor.

Hell, if Australia made jet aircraft, I'm pretty sure QF would be flying them, just like if the Chinese build widebody aircraft, no doubt their airlines will be flying them. It's about supporting local industry. Industries where your shareholders and stakeholders are located.

Regards,
AA7295

[Edited 2007-08-19 03:16:06]
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:14 am

Quoting BCAL (Reply 29):
British Caledonian (BCAL) was indeed a launch customer of the A320 and they ordered seven of the A320s with options on another three for delivery in the spring of 1988. BCAL merged with BA in late 1987 as a result of which BA took on BCAL�s order and hence the A320 family was introduced into BA�s fleet.

There was much controversy at the time as many people thought that BA, then primarily a Boeing customer, would cancel the orders. There were reports in the UK press at the time that a cancellation by BA would result in many redundancies in UK industries since British Aerospace (BAe as it was then known) was one of the consortium partners in Airbus Industries and was set to receive substantial contracts for building the wings of the A320. As well as British Aerospace other UK industries also were due to receive contracts for developing electronics etc for the aircraft, so the order attracted a great deal of UK press and political interest. After the merger of BA/BCAL Lord King of Warnaby, then BA chairman, was questioned whether or not BA intended to honour BCAL�s A320 order. Lord King�s reply was that BA was not only honouring the order, but was doubling the number of aircraft and options. I cannot say why there was a change of direction at BA but I think Sir Adam Thomson�s explanation in his biography gives some pointers.

BCAL was seeking replacements for its ageing fleet of BAC 1-11s and the evaluation of aircraft types had been discussed by the board for a long period.

Quote:
The fight among the three manufacturers, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Airbus Industries, to gain the BCAL business had been fierce.

In the final analysis, behind the closed doors of the Caledonian House boardroom, the A320 won. It provided us with the best possible economic/operational formula through the 1990s and into the next century, with the most advanced technology yet proposed. It was the best option for the long term. The aircraft was geared to achieve exceptional productivity and fuel-efficiency, with costs per seat/mile 27% lower that the 1-11s they would replace.

Although an order for 10 aircraft might seem trivial today, in the 1980s it was a different ball game and all the manufacturers valued a BCAL order. This was because BCAL was privately-owned (unlike the majority of legacy carriers at the time), with no government pressure on how or where they invested. Their selection of aircraft was geared solely to the commercial and technical benefits of the equipment. BCAL�s choice said a lot about an aeroplane, they felt � and no one felt this more than Airbus. It was a very close race to the finish between the A320 and the 737-300, each extremely fine aircrafts.

Having inherited the order, BA must have been impressed with the A320s performance and economical/operational formula to order additional aircraft.

BCAL, I don't think BA actually took up any options on the A320, as because as far as I'm aware BCal had ten on order and that's what was delivered to BA (5 -111s and 5-211s). The first aircraft was painted in BCal colours (and flew a test flight as such) and was due to become G-BRSA. Instead it was repainted before delivery into BA colours and became G-BUSB. The initial aircarft were based at LGW, but in October '88 moved to LHR where their bigger size was a good fit for BA between the 737-236 and 757-236.

As BCAL mentions above, BCal ordered the A320 as a 1-11 replacement. When BA came to order it's 1-11 replacement (In a cascade programme that saw 737-236s moved to LGW and the regions) many thought that the A320 had a good chance seeing as BA had kept the BCal aircraft. Instead BA went with the 737-436. Orders and options were placed for 35 aircarft, though in the end BA only took 27. One thing about the order that may indicate why Airbus lost it was that BA could convert some of the aircraft to 733s or 735s if required, though this never happened. At the time the A320 was the only model available (The stretch A321 came next, followed by the shrink A319).

In 1998 BA wanted to replace the 737-236s in use in the regions, and also modernise it's EuroGatwick fleet. The A320 family won and the initial aircraft, A319s, went to BHX, then MAN, with later aircraft planned to go to LGW. At the same time BA intended it's LHR shorthaul fleet to consist of the 757, backed up by 767s and the 10 ex-BCal A320s. Then the Asian economic crisis took pklace, and BA under Bob Ayling decided to reign in capacity. The A319s were all switched to LHR to replace the 757s, and some 744 orders were cancelled in favour of 777s.

The first ex BCal A320s are now leaving the BA fleet, though some of the 737-436s ordered after then left a few years ago - only 18 of the 27 remain at LGW. Further 737s are set to go as BA takes delivery of additional A320s for LHR, allowing smaller A319s to move to LGW (Though probably the 733s and 735s will go first).


It's interesting to note that whilst BA kept the BCal order for the A320 (which became a massive success for Airbus) BA didn't keep the order for the MD-11. Instead it stuck with the DC-10 at LGW, and it's been suggested at one point would have taken additional aircraft. Even when the 777s came online, the DC-10 wasn't replaced straight away. Seems BA recognised the superior tri-jet from Long Beach before the MD-11s teething troubles became apparent.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
AirNZ
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:41 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
QF and BA still do have relationships with their governments. Remember 9/11, which aircraft took Prime Minister Howard back to Australia from the US, a chartered QF 767 that was granted immunity from the air traffic shut down. The Queen and PM of England use BA aircraft to travel. When the British troops were kidnapped and trapped in Iran, BA's 757 brought them home.

But wait up, you're now changing your position.......you clearly stated completely wrongly that both airlines were ACCOUNTABLE to their respective governments. There is nothing whatsoever in your above answer to indicate anything other than normal commercial agreements/enterprises. Also, Her Majesty does not exclusively use BA aircraft....it depends entirely on the destination and she has her own Queens Flight of aircraft.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
do believe the key phrase is "from a distance". PVG is massive and planes are everywhere. I still stand by opinion, I think the A320 is unattractive. And for the A320 VS B737NG, it matters completely on where you sit on the aircraft to determine how noisy the cabin is, and it also matters completely on how the airline configures the plane.

Once again, you're changing your position. Your key phrase is now conveniently 'from a distance'.......your OP clearly stated you thought they were communist-era Russian aircraft. May I ask how if, 'from a distance' they looked like communist-era Russian aircraft you were equally able to identify them as A320's? An A320 from any distance is still an A320., and no-one was questioning your opinion on their attractivvness.
Furthermore, I neither mentioned nor opinionated anything whatever about where you sit on any a/c, their noise levels or configurations.
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
AA7295
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:47 am

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 43):
May I ask how if, 'from a distance' they looked like communist-era Russian aircraft you were equally able to identify them as A320's? An A320 from any distance is still an A320., and no-one was questioning your opinion on their attractivvness.

When we taxied passed them, I then knew they were A320's, and my original post did say from a distance. You just conveniently missed that particular part.

Regards,
AA7295
 
vv701
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:58 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 11):
Could it be that BA wanted to support local British industry as it contributes to the manufacturing of the jet and other Airbus products.



Quoting AA7295 (Reply 17):
After all BA is privatised, but they are still accountable to the British public and the British government

Others have already said it but I must add my voice. NO. NO. NO. BA is NOT accountable to the British public. BA is NOT accountable to the British government. BA IS accountable to its shareholders. Its accountability to its shareholders is defined by UK Company Law and, specifically, the Companies Act.

Shareholders in British Airways plc exclude the British Government. More than 40 per cent of British Airways plc shares are owned ny foreign (primarily American) individuals and institutions.

Of course as a British registered company BA, like all other British registered companies including the German domiciled airline, Air Berlin, has to obey British company law primarily as defined in the Companies Act passed into British law around twenty years ago (and since amended) by the British government. In so far as it is essential that British Airways remains a British owned company if it is to benefit from existing and any future bilateral air agreements, British Airways plc's Articles of Association include a special arrangement. This arrangement would immediately come into force if the actual foreign ownership of British Airways' shares exceeded 50 per cent. For every ordinary share in excess of 50 per cent owned by non-British individuals and institutions a special new share with no rights to participate in BA's profitability would be issued to an identified fully commercial British financial institution. This mechanism (which does not involve the British government in any way) ensures that British Airways remains a 'British' company even if foreign individuals and institutions owned 100 per cent of the company's issued ordinary shares.

For the foregoing reason BA continuously monitor foreign ownership of their shares. They also publish the appropriate figure as at 31 March each year in their annual report.

So while many other non-American airlines (which all have to be 75 per cent owned by Americans under US law) are either privately owned or have substantial government share holdings and so are susceptible to come under either their government's influence or control, this is simply not possible in the case of any British Airways.

So when BA announce their imminent long haul aircraft order we can expect an A-net chorus of 'government influence' if it includes Airbus aircraft and/or Rolls Royce engines and 'American influence' if it includes Boeing aircraft and/or GE engines. But their decision must be taken purely on commercial grounds comprising the product offering and its cost. If it is not their shareholders can and probably would take the company to court.
 
PM
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:15 am

Quoting JAL (Reply 20):
Maybe because the 737NG hasn't been launched yet.

"hasn't"? If you mean "hadn't" then, er, it had - five years or more earlier than the big BA order of 1998.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 29):
Having inherited the order, BA must have been impressed with the A320s performance and economical/operational formula to order additional aircraft.

Maybe - but it took them ten years to do so and in the meantime they ordered 737s. (But an excellent post - thanks.)

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
PM of England

"England" doesn't have a PM.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
the fact that Airbus aircraft draws technology and manufacturing from European nations is a factor in the deciding process as to why European airlines should purchase Airbus aircraft

"should"? Well, so much for free trade. So, European airlines "should" buy Airbus and US airlines, presumably, "should" buy Boeing. I glad it doesn't work like that. But maybe you mean "do" and not "should". So how do you explain the almost 4,000 A320s that have been ordered outside of Europe. Perhaps we can assume they were bought because it's a good plane. If we accept that premise then why shouldn't BA, AF, LH, IB, etc. had bought it for the same reason? Why drag in "accountability" to governments and political or commercial pressure?
 
AirNZ
Posts: 544
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 44):
When we taxied passed them, I then knew they were A320's, and my original post did say from a distance. You just conveniently missed that particular part.

Sorry, but I didn't 'conveniently' miss any point you made at all. Once again, another change from you here as you now state "when you taxied past them"......which you never happened to mention before.
What I'm getting it is that many of us have noticed that you have a habit of making a Post but, when challenged/contested regarding it, start changing and enlarging the detail from the original statement. Makes it very difficult (and amusing) to have a frank and open discussion that way.
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GDB
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:21 am

Correct that it was just the better bet for BA all round.

For some years, in the early 1990's, it was thought the ex BCAL A320's might be sold, as they were an Airbus cuckoo in a largely Boeing BA nest, excepting legacy types and those from other airlines.
But they never were of course.

Do not assume that even if BA were start owned, or had it been for longer, that this would have affected BA fleet choices, certainly after the 1960's this was no longer true.

There was no political or industrial pressure to go Airbus, this is an idea from an imagined world, one that seems to have a difficulty in accepting times have changed, that not all EU governments are the same if they ever were all like is imagined, (and explain AF's 777's, 747F's, LH 737's and pending 747-8's to name a few?)
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Why Did BA Order The A320 Family Over The 737NG?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:14 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
I made a point. Let's reverse it, AA, DL and CO all purchase Boeing made aircraft, made in the US, sure it's not the main and only reason they purchase Boeing aircraft, but it's down on the list

And US? And NW? And B6? Why did they buy Airbus? And why are SU buying both A and B?

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 41):
I'm not saying its the melting pot, but it is a deciding factor.

Man, you're deluded, over-simplistic ideas are not winning you any credit whatsoever. I suggest you consider quitting studying business, because if this is an example of your business acumen, then god help Australian industry....

7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.

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