|Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 2):|
It is widely known that some airlines have 'Gentlemen's Agreements' with some manufacturers. AA is an example, as was PMDL.
just ordered the A321NEO.
In the end, decisions are made not by any individual, but by an entire team of analysts who pore over spreadsheets comparing this benefit to that drawback and double, triple, and quadruple-checking their numbers. For example: Airbus's plane burns more fuel, but Boeing's has higher maintenance costs. Airbus's carries more payload but Boeing's flies farther. They run these sorts of comparisons on the sorts of routes that they can predict for these types and make the decision that gives the best numbers.
It's obvious that there is some brand loyalty with certain operators, of course. It's apparent to anyone with eyes that US favors Airbus, while PMCO favors Boeing. Other carriers have been completely opportunistic, such as PMUA and PMNW, both of whom ordered and operated mixed fleets.
As for AS
, they are 737 operators exclusively. When it comes to the 737 vs. A320, the two families are equivalent in almost every way and my guess is that neither family tends to win orders based on merit, but rather on pricing from the OEM and also on commonality. For WN
, their entire business model revolves around the idea that their fleet is almost completely interchangable and that any WN
pilot can fly any of their a/c. Even taking new 738's was a pretty big deal for them, since it means that their aircraft scheduling just got a bit more complicated. For WN
to order the A320 would be a massive investment of time, labor, and training on their part, so Airbus would have to offer them a very sweet deal indeed. Probably so sweet that Airbus would lose money on it; which is why that hasn't happened.
also has political considerations, what with being located in Seattle...and stuff.