Posts: 910
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 12:16 pm

Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:07 pm

Hello Everyone. Last night I was on a flight from LAX-ORD on one of United's nice new Airbus 319s (arrived in March this year). After finally getting on the a/c we still had to wait at the gate for another 1/2 hour before we could get in line to take off. With the combination of wind problems @ O'Hare (30-40 mph) and the thick fog at LAX, the weather was not in our favor. The nice thing was that I was able to go into the cockpit and I talked with the 2 A-319 pilots while we were sitting at the gate. I asked them if they prefered to fly Airbus or Boeing aircraft. They both agreed that the "joy-stick" was easier to use than the steering wheel on Boeings. (BTW one of them was a former 733 pilot). They also said that it was easier for the airlines to opperate Airbuses because they hardly need to retrain pilots to fly different versions. For example, the other (non former 737 pilot) originally started flying 320s. It took under half a work day to be trained in the 319 because it is an almost identical flight deck. He said that it was just as easy to train to fly another Airbus flight deck (ie 330/340) since it is basiclly the same flight deck. So why aren't more airlines going towards more all Airbus fleets? They said it can take weeks for a pilot to learn to fly between a 737 and a 757/767. Do airlines like Lufthansa, Iberia, Swissair, Air France, TAP etc. that fly both 32Xs and 330/340s allow the pilots to one day fly a 319 and the next a 340. If there are any pilots that fly for airlines with fleets like this could they please comment.

I asked them whether or not United will end up getting the A380 and they said that "When the sales agent calls up United and asks them if they want it they'll say, 'No, we don't want any, but we'll take 25'" Do you think that United will take the Super Jumbo just to stay flying the biggest jet and be able to continue their reputation as the biggest airline in the world? That's what they seemed to think. Anyways sorry to make this so long. I look forward to reading responses to this...
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 1999 4:42 pm

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:16 pm


Flight deck commonality is a GREAT advantage to airbus aircraft. Airlines that operate the 319/320/321/330/340 can cut out of a lot of retraining items when pilots are making the switch from an A320 to, say, and A340. A great number of airlines are doing something called mixed fleet flying, where pilots are actually active on two different types of aircraft at the same time (usually A320/A330).

It's a great little perk..
Posts: 3035
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:23 pm

I spoke with some UA Airbus pilots in August, and they said that boeings are nicer to fly.
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 1999 4:42 pm

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:32 pm

Bitter Airbus pilots? *LOL*
Of course... everyone will have their preferences. I'm sure there are airbus pilots out there who'd rather be flying that old DC-3 they were on way back in the day! (actually... I'm related to one!)

Besides... the topic was "what airbus jets are easier for airlines"... so let's not shape this into a war.

Posts: 1111
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2000 4:03 am

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:47 pm

Most airline pilots that have flown both airbus and boeing aircraft tend to rate both of them very highly and at the same more than happily point out their shortcomings as well.The cockpit simalirity issue is rather complex and cannot be analaysed simply through aircraft to aircarft transition time.However most of the airline people i have spoken to say that the advantage is with airbus in this area.

Posts: 3372
Joined: Sun May 21, 2000 6:22 pm

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 6:32 pm

At least the Cross Crew Qualification offered by Airbus aircraft saves a lot of money. Swissair for exmple is said, that they will have a yearly cost reduction of about CH 50mio per year, when their pilots are trained to fly A320 and A330.

The operational advantages are for example less reserve crews, less trainings, and so on.

dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Are Airbus Jets Easier For Airlines?

Sat Dec 23, 2000 6:45 pm

I think Tygue has the right idea. A DC-3 cockpit is superior in design and function to anything coming out of Everett, Toulouse, Long Beach, or Hamburg.

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