I think they should start with the 737. I don't buy the argument that it is as good as the A320. It is old technology and it does not allow cockpit commonality with other Boeing products (it was certified in the 1960s for God's sake! and no, this is not inconsequential).
Ever hear the expression that it is better to be thought an idiot rather than open one's mouth and prove it?
The 737-Next Generation, while maintaining much of the same configuration as its 1960s predecessor, is really a completely new aircraft, with new wings, new avionice, engines, and loads of other performance-enhancing systems.
Is it me or most of the new LCCs in the US have gone A320? Would you start an LCC with 737s today?
AirTran and Southwest are still dedicated Boeing customers, and AirTran started taking delivery of 737s just last month. Southwest is still an all-737 airline, with over 400 examples of the type.
How could they not see the advantages of the side stick in a cockpit environment (ask the pilots!)?
Many pilots have shown a preference for side-stick. Many have also shown a preference for flight-yoke. I don't think a statistical study has been done, but I'd bet the average pilot in the US prefers flight-yoke.
They should bet on new technology like Airbus did to challenge them.
Have you looked at the specifications for the 7E7...?
Now how do you challenge a player with positions as strong as Airbus in all market segments?
You mean the same market segments that Boeing has been working in for years? Let's see... How did Airbus do it? Better yet, how can Boeing do it better
First, I think that reducing lead time for aircraft orders is a principle goal for any manufacturer. Boeing has done this to some extent with the 717 and looks to be making improvements in that operation with the 7E7. Airbus has already done much of this. Part of the huge cost of selling airliners is the carrying cost of such a massive machine. If Boeing can reduce build-time across its supply chain, it can make more money than before.
Second, they need to be more aggressive in their marketing of the aircraft. I haven't seen a Boeing commercial on any of the news networks or during the Sunday morning news shows in awhile.
Third, Boeing should stop challenging Airbus on the subsidy issue. It only creates more anymosity between Europeans and Americans. Europeans don't even see the loans that have been given as subsidies (a question of semantics), so they should stop complaining and just try to sell aircraft.
Whatever Boeing next move is, it will be met with all the power of Airbus which is equal or superior to Boeing in all market segments at this point.
While it is true that Airbus has made significant progress over the past thirty or so years since it was created, let us not forget that Boeing has huge military and space operations that EADS cannot claim. Certainly EADS has military and space programs, but Boeing is much larger here. While Airbus has the lead in commercial aviation for now, it is a recent development. Boeing also has a name that resonates through history and has aircraft flying for the militaries of nations all over the world and particularly in the US. This creates some affinity for the company among pilots that will be difficult for Airbus to overcome.
Boeing's goal should be to sustain competition with equivalent or better products than Airbus like they do with the 777 and soon with the 7E7.
I couldn't agree with you more. That should be the goal of every company in a competitive market.
I also think they should stop complaining about Airbus subsidies because they are the ones needing subsidies now if they want to remain in all market segments. Without subsidies, they will let the A380 dominate the skies for the next 30 years or so (if this plane delivers).
Boeing is not going to take subsidies. If they do, it makes them look like hypocrites. Boeing should not
take subsidies, because it reduces their incentive to perform. Like it or not, people in general work harder when there is some kind of incentive to earn. Airbus had an incentive. It was similar to Pepsi during the Cola Wars: Beat Coke (or in Airbus' Case, Beat Boeing). For Pepsi, that was the Mission Statement, the Vision Statement, everything. If you wanted to know what drove Pepsi to do something, that was it. While I'm sure that "Beat Boeing" wasn't the only thing on the minds of the people at Airbus, I'm sure it was a huge incentive to them.
With the monopoly on the A380, Airbus will have huge profits on these planes and money will be pouring for R&D in Toulouse and Hamburg.
You're assuming that Airbus can sell the aircraft at a premium. Usually, no one can do this in a competitive market. If Airbus tries to sell the A380 at a premium, most companies will simply say, "Well, we could just operate the 747-400-Advanced instead. Sure, we won't get as many seats, but we can still fill the aircraft in the slow months..." Airbus will lower the price, and not make as much money. Besides which, as Boeing sells the 7E7 (and all their other planes), they'll be getting money for R&D, as well.
There is no way that a public company like Boeing can invest enough money to catch up with Airbus with the lead that it has now.
People used to say that about IBM after Apple took over the Personal Computer market. Now, IBM sells four times as many computers as Apple, and they are the #3 PC
producer. Other factors and other companies intervened, something that could easily happen to Airbus...
It mattered to Europe to be a player in the jetliners market and they acted accordingly. Now what will the US do?
The same thing we've always done and continue to do: Work our asses off. That's what we do. That's what has made the US such a powerful country. When we fall behind, we work hard until we're ahead. It happened in WWII. It happened in jets. It happened in the Space Race. It continues in a variety of industries and services today (though, with our risk-averse MBAs, it is not as frequent an occurence as before).
Okay, now that I've written something that sounds like a WWII propaganda flick, let me be serious: Even if Boeing fails in the Commercial Aviation market, someone else will spring up to challenge Airbus. It could be Cessna. It could be Embraer. Lockheed could throw its hat back in the ring. Even Mitsubishi might get involved. Who knows? What I do know is that the "King of the Hill" never stays King forever. Just ask the guys at Standard Oil, US Steel, or General Motors...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.