13 December 2010

Boeing vs Airbus ... again! B737NG vs A320NEO

Boeing cannot see any "compelling reason" to follow its European rival Airbus and offer a new engine upgrade for its best-selling single-aisle passenger jets, the US Company has revealed.

A keenly anticipated €1 billion plan Airbus announced last week to offer new engines on its A320 family of jets from 2016 would be costly and complex, said Jim Albaugh, head of Boeing's commercial aircraft division. It would only add "a few per cent" in financial benefits for airlines. "We certainly can't see a compelling reason to do it" he said in an interview with FT.
Well this is the second major disagreement between two major aircraft producer since the announcement of A380 project. Airbus was supporting the case of bigger aircrafts on major routes and feeder/de-feeder to/from hubs while Boeing was supporting the case of more direct flights between several cities, which perfectly in-line with ıts B787 strategy.

Today, this is still an open discussion. As long as B787 had several delays A380 looks like successful but the real competition will begin in a year. On top of this, now there is another and new one discussion for single aisle, short to medium hall aircrafts. When you consider the rising fuel prices and cost pressure on airlines Airbus' decision is wise.

Everybody was expecting a counter attack from Boeing. This could be announcing a major change in B737 programme or a new aircraft but not an announcement in complacency or ignoring the reality that Airbus is transfering its know-how from A380 to A320 and their B737 series will be old fashioned soon despite some make-up and development during the last few years.

On the other hand, there may be a strategy behind it. Bombardier, which is a Canadian producer, has announced its single aisle low cost-high performance aircraft programme years ago. Also Embraer, Brazilian producer, have already a similar programme (E-Jets). Chinese, Russian and Japanese producers are also in this game. Maybe they think that this is a game which they cannot win or it is not going to be profitable as it was in the past. B787 can easily claim its dominant role in the medium hall market in the future.

This is a very nice game to watch...

For more information about Boeing’s position you may read following articles:
Boeing sees little sense in Airbus re-engine plan

For more information about Airbus’ A320NEO you may have a look to Airbus corporate website or other aviation links:

As a passenger I find Airbus more comfortable but I also have a great ambition to be onboard of a B787.

Good luck to both of them! At the end of the day passengers and environment will benefit out of this competition ;)

Update - Paris Air Show 2011