13 Aralık 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 percent" 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 producers since the announcement of the A380 project. Airbus supported the case of bigger aircraft on major routes and feeder/de-feeder to/from hubs while Boeing supported 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 successful, but the real competition will begin in a year. On top of this, now there is another and new one discussion for the single-aisle, short to medium hall aircraft. 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 the B737 program or a new aircraft but not an announcement in complacency or ignoring the reality that Airbus is transferring 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, a Canadian producer, had announced its single-aisle low cost-high performance aircraft program years ago. Also, Embraer, a Brazilian producer, have already a similar program (E-Jets). Chinese, Russian and Japanese producers, are also in this game. Maybe they think that this is a game that they cannot win or will not 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 the following articles:
Boeing sees little sense in Airbus re-engine plan.

For more information about Airbus’ A320NEO, you may have a look at 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 a B787.

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

Update - Paris Air Show 2011