Ultimately I think that whether EI
gets 777s or not will be determined by performance rather than comfort - and how much EI
wants to extend its long haul reach. There's really not a huge difference in capacity between the 772 and the A333, depending on how its configured. Look and TG
- probably 10% in the difference.
However, the big problem is whether EI
wants to fly directly to Asia. If it doesn't, yet, then the 777 is less important. YYZ
could easily be served by a 332 or 333, so that's not going to be a game changer. The basic question for EI
is, how do we shift 250-300 pax and a decent payload from DUB
, and back again. Unfortunately, the 332 is not the aircraft for this, even a high gross weight 332. The problem for the 332 would be on the return leg.
So, into that particular slot comes the 777-200ER. I'm sure that this point has been made clear to EI
by Boeing. I'm sure EI
would prefer the A340-300, as it would be easier to integrate into the current EI
fleet - same pilot corps, interchangeability with A330 on US routes, but of course, runway considerations rule it out.
777s, to my knowledge, aren't available until 2009, so if EI
really wanted to start to Asia, they could start with a 330 via somewhere in the ME. So, in conclusion, whether the 777 figures at all depends on EI
's route plans. I really don't think it wants to wait until 2012 to be able to operate nonstop to Asia. Frankly, I would be very surprised also if EI
were not getting "encouragement" from the govt to fly directly to Asia, either, since the govt has also produced an Asia strategy report, highlighting the importance of trade with Asia - and that begs the question too: why aren't they leaning on the DAA, because in all of this, THAT'S where the big obstacle lies.