"However, there is no denial that the 767-300ER has been a major underperformer in terms of sales since the introduction of the A330-200."
You have to realize that the 763ER and A332 do not
compete! They serve very different roles, and one is not better than the other. Yes the A332 is very successful, but the majority of the airlines who purchased this a/c did not even consider the 763 because it did not fit thier needs. That does not mean the A332 is "better".
Most of its sales now go only to major US and Japanese carriers with 50 plus fleets of the type where the introduction of the 332 is not feasible for technical and political reasons. You name me one major non-US or Non-Japanese carrier which has bought big numbers of new 767-300ERs in the last two years. I think you'll find some difficulty!
Hmm, Hainan Airlines has ordered 3 763s with intent to operate 10 more 763s. CO is a newcomer to the 767. Cameroon Airlines could have certainly gone for the A330, but chose the 763. Balair is operating new 763s. And there are a few more airlines currently evaluating the 76.
Despite what you argue, the 332 and the 767-300ER do compete in the same market, mainly transatlantic routes.
They do not. The A330 is best suited for smaller national airlines which do not operate a high long range frequency, and need the large capacity of the A330. For example SR, SN, EI etc. The 767 is best suited for airlines with high frequency operations, which need a very flexible aircraft which can operate both long range routes and shorter heavy regional routes. For example any major US airline with a heavy domestic and international network. The 767 is also good for smaller carriers, examples are Uzbekistan, which just ordered 2 more 763s, LOT, Malev, etc.
"In regard to flights to South East Asia and the US West Coast, the 767 may be able fly there from Europe. It has the range. But as it approaching its range it has to sacrifice its payload of passengers and freight. Essentially, the airline cannot sell valuable seats and freight."
You are right, but both A330 and 767 are not designed for the ultra-range routes you mention. The range difference between the 763ER and A332 is not much, so both aircraft would suffer from payload restrictions.
"My point is, if you are going to pay good money for an aircraft, you would hope to be able to maximise your money out of it. Given that prices are roughly comparable why would you buy or lease the worser performing aircraft.
"worser performing aircraft"? I suggest you take a look at a performance data book.
"Having said that, I don't know of any airline that operates 767-300ERs from Europe to SE Asia. SAS does fly them to Bangkok, but only with one stop to Singapore. However, they are replacing such "timeless" aircraft with A340s and A330s. How dare they given it uses such modern 1970s avionics. Yes, the 767 first flew in 1980. Its development started in 1977. The aircraft is no longer in its prime! Accept it."
Yes, SAS is reaplcing the 767 with the A330 due to the fact that cargo is such a big income in Europe. 1970s avionics? You don't know much about the 767. The 767 has been quietly updated over time as such advances occur. And the latest advance came, thanks to the 777, it's new LCD cockpit. Anyway, there is nothing ancient about a CRT cockpit. So I take it you are saying the CRJ is outdated too? The CRJ uses CRTs. No, the 767 is not currently in it's prime, but all a/c experience what I call a "dry-period", when there is not great demand for a type due to the fact that there is a substancial number of that type on the market. It has nothing to do with the aircraft itself. The A330 too will experience a dry period. Once the earliest 767 are ready for cargo conversion, new 767 orders will come in. You know, Boeing does not just spit out 76s for the hell of it
"The truth of the matter is that FBW offers much more than just a joy-stick cockpit. All mechanical componants are replaced with wire. It leads to significant weight reduction and other benefits like less maintenance of hydraulic components."
Yes, FBW has it's advantages, but it certainly is not the greatest thing since the jet engine. I would like to see some data that shows how "significant" the weight reduction is too. I know of a few aircraft which were developed in the past 10 years without FBW. That's why I like the 767, because the pilot actually flys it
"You sound like you have been reading a bit too much mid 1980s Boeing literature. If FBW does not sell aircraft, why then did Boeing use it on the B777 and 737NG."
Well, for starters the 737NG does not have FBW, and look at how well it's doing. It was a good idea that Boeing incorporated FBW into the 777, such a large a/c needs FBW. Boeing certainly made me happy by taking FBW and making it different, a way I certainly think it's the future of FBW.