|Quoting EI321 (Reply 50):|
A350 aside for the moment, dont get me wrong, the 787 is a fabulous plane, but its no good if you plan to expand before 2012. Thats 5 years away.
Exactly. This deal speaks volumes to:
needs new widebodies - soon. Boeing doesn't have a product to deliver in the near future (B767 is not a serious option for EI
due to their current Airbus fleet) and 787 delivery slots are getting harder to come by with the potential for big USA carriers jumping in. Airbus can delivery A330/A340 class aircraft soon.
2) The second hand / lease market for A330 class aircraft is tight, so while EI
normally goes the lease route, in this case it makes more sense to take advantage of Airbus' need for new A350 XWB customers to squeeze the A330/A350 price down.
3) A large percentage of intercontinental Irish traffic is to / from North America, and Ireland is one of the closest European countries to North America. There's a reason the North Atlantic tracks call Gander and Shanwick. EI
doesn't need the range of other airlines - they are already smack in the middle of the North Atlantic (except for DXB
or if they go to Asia - not as high a priority as the North Atlantic) the A330 class is perfect. IIRC EI
was one of the first A330 class operators.
4) This order was not as large as expected, and I think that is a good thing for EI
. It keeps their options open, and in spite of those who would love to see mega orders for every carrier, one must applaud EI
for being fiscally responsible. It's better to order More aircraft as you need them than to have too many sitting around with no duties, or worse: running around burning expenses with little revenue (passengers)