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Boeing expects to defeat Airbus
Seattle Times ^ | Friday, October 28, 2005 - 12:00 AM | Dominic Gates

Posted on 10/28/2005 7:23:11 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative

Boeing is expecting a record number of commercial-jet sales this year that would put it ahead of Airbus for the first time in five years. The star prize that could seal the victory is an extraordinary order with a list-price value of at least $16 billion from Australian carrier Qantas.

During the next two months, Boeing and Airbus will wrestle fiercely to finalize several massive orders, including key contests over Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Dubai-based Emirates.

With the Qantas order, which may be awarded in stages that stretch into next year, the stakes go beyond the big price tag.

If Boeing wins the entire order, that will propel the 787 into the stratosphere of sales success, launch the passenger version of the 747 Advanced and introduce a new 777 variant with the longest range of any airliner.

Industry experts think Boeing may have the edge.

"If I were backing favorites ... I'd be inclined to have Boeing slightly ahead in the betting," said top Australian consultant Peter Harbison, who heads the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

Last year, Boeing won 277 firm orders, the highest mark since 2001. Scott Carson, the sales chief installed in December, vowed to top Airbus in 2005 orders.

For this year, the net order tally is already 649. According to a company insider who asked for anonymity, this month Boeing internally projected a final tally for the year of 965 orders.

The previous Boeing record was 877 orders, in 1988.

Qantas' board meets Dec. 7 to make an initial decision between Boeing and Airbus on the first slice of the order. Whichever aircraft maker wins will have an edge competing for the rest of it.

Internal documents obtained by The Seattle Times show Boeing's proposal to Qantas includes 45 hot-selling 787s. But the new jets are only half the order — the cheaper half.

The proposal also includes 20 new 747 Advanced passenger jets, 20 777-300ERS and five ultra-long-range 777-200LRs.

Boeing says it will likely launch the new 747 derivative in December. It is awaiting confirmation of key launch customers for both cargo and passenger versions.

Cargolux of Luxembourg is on board for 10 of the cargo jets, and Qantas would do it for the passenger version.

The small number of 777-200LRs is also a key piece of the Qantas order.

Boeing has a version of the 777-200LR in final flight tests that comes with an optional set of three auxiliary fuel tanks. That option may make the jet the longest-range plane in the world, surpassing the Airbus A340-500 already in service.

But Qantas wants an even longer-range jet so that it can offer premium nonstop service on the London-Sydney route.

While the existing 777-200LR could fly from London to Sydney nonstop, strong headwinds on the reverse path demand a refueling stop. Boeing is offering Qantas a modified version of the jet with six auxiliary tanks and fewer seats that could make the journey nonstop in both directions.

Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon has described such an unprecedented airplane as a "hub-buster" — one that could leapfrog Qantas over the Asian and Middle Eastern hubs of its major airline rivals.

Boeing is also battling Airbus over a Singapore Airlines (SIA) wide-body order.

SIA is considering 10 of the ultra-long-range 777s, 20 of the new 787s, as many as 13 747 Advanced jets in both passenger and freighter versions, and 20 to 30 standard 777s.

In the contest of the twin-engine 777s against the four-engine and therefore gas-guzzling A340s, the high price of fuel might tilt the balance Boeing's way.

And for SIA, again the ultra-long-range 777 could be key. The airline flies the A340-500 from New York to Singapore nonstop, a service Airbus heavily touts in advertising. SIA had five more of the Airbus jets on option but has allowed those to lapse.

"When we bought the A340-500, Boeing didn't have an aircraft to compete with it," SIA spokesman Stephen Forshaw said in an e-mail last month. Now, though, "We think it would be preferable to go back to the market and have a look at what's on offer."

If Boeing were to win SIA's new wide-body order, the airline might even switch out its current A340-500s with 777-200LRs, giving Boeing a tremendous public-relations coup.

But Australia consultant Harbison warns that such a niche aircraft, useful only for a few very long routes, is unlikely to determine the outcome of an entire order. He speculated Qantas is almost certainly talking in terms of splitting its order, to get the best deal and "to keep everybody very keen."

Given the stakes, the manufacturers couldn't be keener. Airbus is pulling out all the stops to upset Boeing.

Chief salesman John Leahy could not be reached for comment Thursday; he's in Australia courting Qantas.

And next month, on Qantas' 85th birthday, Airbus will fly into Sydney the prestigious new superjumbo A380, a dozen of which are already on order for the airline.

Near Qantas' headquarters in Sydney, four new billboards promote the Airbus' new A350, rival to the 787. That's a response to a Boeing billboard a few months ago that showed flight attendants from the 11 Asia Pacific airlines that have ordered the 787.

Meanwhile, Boeing's sales force is busy all over the globe. Already announced 787 orders likely to be firmed up by Dec. 31 include 20 for Air India, 14 for Air Canada and 36 for several Chinese airlines.

Internal documents show unannounced prospects, too. Turkish Airlines is considering buying 20. Russian carrier Aeroflot may buy 15 or more.

GECAS, the aircraft-leasing arm of GE and the largest lessor in the world, is considering taking 15. Irish leasing company RBS Aviation is looking at 10.

Massive 777 orders are also on the table, including a proposal to sell 50 777-200ERs to Dubai-based Emirates at a list price of nearly $10 billion.

Airbus is offering the A350-900 against that jet and may be favored by Emirates. The outcome will likely be announced next month at the Dubai Air Show.

And before either Qantas or SIA, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is likely to announce a big wide-body order. The airline is weighing the 777 against the A340 and will eventually order up to 26.

Boeing is keeping a close eye on its rival.

By the end of September, Airbus had booked 417 firm orders, lagging Boeing by more than a couple hundred orders.

According to the Boeing insider, as of the beginning of this month Boeing's forecast for Airbus showed solid prospects of 705 orders and 178 more possible — giving a potential year-end order total of 883.

To get there, Airbus may aggressively compete on price.

An internal Boeing document includes a report from the sales field that Airbus in June was offering the A350 at only $85 million, just over half the list price.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 747; 747advanced; 777; 787; airbus; boeing

1 posted on 10/28/2005 7:23:12 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: COEXERJ145; microgood; liberallarry; cmsgop; shaggy eel; RayChuang88; Larry Lucido; namsman; ...

If you want on or off my aerospace ping list, please contact me by Freep mail.

2 posted on 10/28/2005 7:23:48 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Go Boeing :)


3 posted on 10/28/2005 7:26:49 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: jveritas

BUMP!


4 posted on 10/28/2005 7:31:13 PM PDT by Publius6961 (Liberal level playing field: If the Islamics win we are their slaves..if we win they are our equals.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Great news and exciting stuff!


5 posted on 10/28/2005 7:33:25 PM PDT by Brofholdonow
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To: Paleo Conservative
Looks like Boeing's bet on more economical aircraft vs the super jumbo-jets was right on time considering the radical increases in fuel costs.

The market has been turning Boeing's way for over a year now and I believe will continue to do so as long as fuel cost remain high.

Go Boeing!

6 posted on 10/28/2005 7:41:15 PM PDT by Jorge (Q)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Somebody needs to send an email to Quantas asking them if they understand that the Airbus has a fatal flaw*, being that is doesn't have the capacity to dump fuel in an emergency.
7 posted on 10/28/2005 7:51:03 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (* Anything French is guaranteed to have a fatal flaw)
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To: Jorge
Looks like Boeing's bet on more economical aircraft vs the super jumbo-jets was right on time considering the radical increases in fuel costs.

The market has been turning Boeing's way for over a year now and I believe will continue to do so as long as fuel cost remain high.

Go Boeing!

Yay! I was going to say the same thing. I remember when the decision was made to scrap the 747X and go with the Sonic Cruiser which evolved into the 787.

Good news and just in time for the next union contract to be negotiated in November. LOL!

8 posted on 10/28/2005 7:51:17 PM PDT by phantomworker (Seize this very minute... Boldness has genius, power and magic in it... Begin it now!)
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked
Somebody needs to send an email to Quantas asking them if they understand that the Airbus has a fatal flaw*, being that is doesn't have the capacity to dump fuel in an emergency.

Why would they need that feature?


9 posted on 10/28/2005 8:16:28 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative
I think that Qantas Airlines maybe the launch costumer for the 747 Advanced.
This is definitely Boeing's year.
Expect the launch of the 747 advanced after Qantas's board meeting on December 7.
10 posted on 10/28/2005 8:21:54 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Paleo Conservative

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/2406321/


11 posted on 10/28/2005 8:22:06 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: jveritas

"It is awaiting confirmation of key launch customers for both cargo and passenger versions."

Its a done deal. The cargo companies are very high on the 747 advanced since its possibility was annouced.


The combo of the 373, 747Advanced, 787, and 777. Its the total package. Boeing is primed to kick Airbust ass for years now.

Airbust A380 is going to end up one of the biggest busts of the commercial airlines industry. The 747Advanced is the A380 killer.



12 posted on 10/28/2005 8:25:11 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican
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To: Paleo Conservative

Good post!


13 posted on 10/28/2005 8:48:25 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: Paleo Conservative
I'll say this though: if Boeing does get QANTAS to buy the 8,000 nautical mile range 747 Advanced (which will likely be called 747-700), it could signal potential buy orders from Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines to buy the plane. That right there could effectively zap the momentum of the Airbus A380.
14 posted on 10/28/2005 8:50:23 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

Great to hear this.


15 posted on 10/28/2005 8:52:18 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: RayChuang88
I'll say this though: if Boeing does get QANTAS to buy the 8,000 nautical mile range 747 Advanced (which will likely be called 747-700), it could signal potential buy orders from Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines to buy the plane. That right there could effectively zap the momentum of the Airbus A380.

The longer range of the 747 Advanced would be more important than the capacity of the A380. The map below shows the ranges of the 747 Advanced and 777-200LR. The 747 Advanced could easily fly SYD-DFW year round. American Airlines could feed lots of passengers to that flight on their codeshare agreement with QANTAS. The range just makes it viable for Chicago at least east bound. The 777-200LR would be necessary for flights to JFK. The only possible way Airbus could justify an A380-700 would be to beat the range of the 747 Advanced. Even then they would need to target 9400NM+ to match the 777-200LR to have a viable LHR-SYD aircraft.


16 posted on 10/28/2005 9:20:13 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey hey ho ho Andy Heyward's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

http://www.boeing.com/randy/pdf/747AdvCard.pdf

"The 450 passenger 747 Advanced will beat A380 trip costs by a vast 19% margin and still offer lower seat costs. Consuming 14% less fuel per passenger than the A380."

http://www.boeing.com/news/feature/paris2005/assets/bca_pdf/specs/747_Advanced_Freighter.pdf

"Consuming 23% less fuel per ton than the A380DF"


Airbus wanted the biggest plane to brag about, well they got the biggest white elephant out there now. Bravo France.


17 posted on 10/28/2005 9:42:05 PM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican
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To: Proud_USA_Republican
Airbus wanted the biggest plane to brag about, well they got the biggest white elephant out there now. Bravo France.

Plus, the A380 won't fit in conventional airports and would need some structural modifications to the airport before it can land. I haven't heard that 747Adv needs any structural changes to the airport.

18 posted on 10/28/2005 10:01:39 PM PDT by phantomworker (Seize this very minute... Boldness has genius, power and magic in it... Begin it now!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

You are kiddng, right?


19 posted on 10/28/2005 10:04:16 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked ( .)
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To: Jorge

Agreed... I have long thought since the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner concept that Boeing was making exactly the correct move.

There's a lot of 737's and 757's out there, along with a lot of aging A320's and such. The 787 is a needed replacement for hundreds and hundreds of aging aircraft, on hundreds of short and medium routes.

But the icing is that it is far cheaper to fly than whatever it replaces. The airlines *need* this plane.


20 posted on 10/28/2005 10:10:31 PM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked
Somebody needs to send an email to Quantas asking them if they understand that the Airbus has a fatal flaw*, being that is doesn't have the capacity to dump fuel in an emergency.

Actually... lots of the smaller jets don't have the ability to dump fuel. As I understand it, that's usually a feature on the heavies.

The smaller jets can still land safely (weight-wise) with a full fuel load, right after take-off if they have to. But the big heavy jets can carry more fuel weight on takeoff than they can safely land with. So... they need to have the ability to quickly dump the fuel weight if they have to return to land right away after take-off.

I stand ready to be corrected by any pilot-freepers if I'm mistaken about this, but I think that's why there's a difference between them.

21 posted on 10/28/2005 10:20:23 PM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

By the way, I think the 777-200LR in QANTAS configuration will probably be something akin to what Singapore Airlines did with the A340-500, namely a roomy Business class and roomier "premium" Economy class seating only. This will mean about 220-230 passengers maximum per plane, with around 36" seating pitch in Economy class and 48-50" seating pitch in Business class with seats that fold flat into beds.


22 posted on 10/28/2005 10:41:42 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: Ramius
My hubbie has worked on numerous military aircraft and he states that all of the military jet have the capacity to external jettison fuel tanks and/or to dump fuel. I doubt that a Cessena ora Piper has the ability to dump fuel
23 posted on 10/28/2005 10:41:46 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked ( .)
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

Well... sure... jettisoning external tanks is one thing.

But the charge was that the A320 was somehow unique in that it was not set up to dump fuel from its main tanks. While I love Boeing over Airbus as much as the next guy... I'm not sure it is a fair rap. I'm not sure that it is true that other smaller jets like the 737 are set up to dump fuel either.

Somebody explained it as being more a matter of weight than about fire in a crash. There are maximum safe takeoff weights, and maximum safe landing weights. The heavy jets like the 747 can take off with weights that are far in excess of what they are rated to land with. The difference being fuel. They can carry enormous amounts of fuel that they have to dump if they need to turn around and land right after takeoff.

The smaller jets, like the 737 or the A320, have safe landing weights that can still include a full load of fuel, and therefore they don't need to dump it in order to be within weight limits for landing.


24 posted on 10/28/2005 11:12:36 PM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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To: Ramius
The smaller jets, like the 737 or the A320, have safe landing weights that can still include a full load of fuel, and therefore they don't need to dump it in order to be within weight limits for landing.

Then the question is why last month in LA with the Airbus with the nosegear problem did they feel the needed to burn off fuel before landing... either you need to get rid of fuel weight for safety reason or you don't and if you have to get down fast you don't have time to burn it off (say if you lose an engine)...yes I know that it been stated that there is no need to be able to dump fuel weight for safety reason before landing but that does no seem to be consistent with what happen, they burn the fuel off before landing... so what gives?

25 posted on 10/28/2005 11:37:35 PM PDT by tophat9000 (This bulletin just in:"Chinese's Fire Drill's" will now be known as "New Orleans' Hurricane Drill's")
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To: tophat9000

Again... I'm not a pilot... just making a logical guess...

In LA the airbus with the bad nose wheel had something to gain by being as light as possible when they landed. The lighter they were the slower his landing airspeed could be, the longer he'd be able to run down the runway on the main gear, and the slower he'd be going when the nosewheel touched down.

So... he went ahead and circled around and burned off some fuel to lighten the plane. It was an option they had, and they did it.


26 posted on 10/29/2005 12:05:09 AM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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