View Full Version : Boeing versus Airbus (not again!)

21st Feb 2004, 23:53
Airbus and Boeing trade swipes over big-plane versus small-plane strategies

Canadian Press

Saturday, February 21, 2004

In Canada, Airbus has made major sales to Air Canada, the insolvent Montreal-based airline that is restructuring under bankruptcy protection. The Air Canada fleet has 46 Airbus A319s. (CP)

HONG KONG (AP) - Rival airplane makers Boeing and Airbus traded jabs Friday over jets that have never even flown, highlighting sharp differences over whether the future of commercial aviation lies in superjumbos or smaller models that can fly faster.

Airbus is set to roll out its massive double-decker A380 in 2006 and boasted that last year the huge plane had already outsold Boeing's jumbo 747, the biggest jetliner in the skies for several decades, by almost 9-1.

"They had the flagship of the 20th century. We believe we have the flagship of the 21st century," John Leahy, chief commercial officer at Airbus, told an aviation conference.

Questioning the idea that bigger airplanes are better, Boeing executive Randy Tinseth said the average size of jets in key markets has been shrinking as airlines offer more flights at different times to better accommodate passengers. Tinseth touted Boeing's planned 7E7 "Dreamliner" - a smaller jet that can fly faster with greater fuel efficiency.

Speaking to the aviation forum, the two giants of global airplane manufacturing were gearing up their sales pitches for the Asian Aerospace 2004 air show next week in Singapore. Such events frequently turn into colourful debates between U.S.-based Boeing and Europe's Airbus.

Tinseth, Boeing's director of product and services marketing, said airlines could fly three of the 7E7s, carrying more people and using less fuel, than one of the big Airbus models between Hong Kong and Singapore, a top regional business route.

Leahy countered that the smaller Boeings would have to fly "wingtip to wingtip" to get that many passengers in the air during peak travel times, and added that crew costs, maintenance costs and other expenses would be higher.

Airbus projected that passenger traffic will soar in coming decades and Leahy said "we're not going to do that in little airplanes."

Leahy said Boeing's 7E7 appeared to be a copycat version of the medium-sized Airbus A330, with a slide show that superimposed diagrams of one jet on the other, making them look quite similar.

Boeing says its airplane, which does not yet have an initial customer, will be more passenger friendly, with bigger windows and slightly wider aisles and seats than other planes. The company has said the 7E7 probably won't enter the market before 2008.

Boeing and Airbus have been battling for market share in the global aircraft sector for years. In Canada, Airbus has made major sales to Air Canada, the insolvent Montreal-based airline that is restructuring under bankruptcy protection. The Air Canada fleet has 46 Airbus A319s.

However, the No. 2 carrier, WestJet Airlines of Calgary, flies only Boeing aircraft. By the end of 2005, WestJet expects to operate a fleet of 63 aircraft, of which 48 will be the next generation of fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 jets.

© The Canadian Press 2004

22nd Feb 2004, 01:10
The "DREAMLINER" Just a Dream ah!
Anybody know how much faster the (paper) 7E7 is projected to be
than the (real) A380?

Top Gun Europe
22nd Feb 2004, 16:04
Considering all Boeing's are faster than those snails of the air, it won't be hard for the 7E7 to be faster than the A380!!!!!!!!!!

22nd Feb 2004, 18:16
And Boeings are better climbers than buses.

22nd Feb 2004, 19:44
As far as I know, the A380 its going to cruise at .86.

22nd Feb 2004, 20:11
How fast is this Boeing 7E7 going to be anyways? and what kinda range???


22nd Feb 2004, 20:22
nooluv... Anybody know how much faster the (paper) 7E7 is projected to be than the (real) A380? That's an interesting observation you are making here... because as far as I know... neither aircraft has flown yet... and thus the A380's performance "estimates" are just that... estimates...!

Both aircraft have different marketing strategies... and it will be interesting to see which is the most "attractive" aircraft for the various airlines and markeds... but when all that is said... my hat off and all compliments to Airbus for launching this airplane... :ok:


22nd Feb 2004, 21:22
Is the scheduled 380 test flight still on time?

Midnight Mike
23rd Feb 2004, 01:51
Well, as far as I am concerned both the A380 & the 7E7 are both dreamliners, last time I checked the skies, I have yet to see either aircraft. The fun part will be once these ladies do take to the sky, will they fly as promised, remember the problems with the MD11 or the MD90.

23rd Feb 2004, 09:42
Is the 7E7 currently in production, like the A380? I thought the "Dreamliner" is still on paper, whereas the A380 is well along the way to having the first completed ... ?

23rd Feb 2004, 13:27
The 7E7 is not in production yet. They just picked Washington state as the construcation site.

23rd Feb 2004, 15:08
A lot of good points so far, but I couldn't see any comments about slots at the busier airports. Isn't that one of the A380's selling points ?

Pics of the first A380 fuselage section are impressive !

23rd Feb 2004, 18:55
7E7 will cruise at approx M0.85 i.e. pretty much the same as most Boeings and as planned for the A380. Boeing had originally proposed building the "Sonic Cruiser" which would have cruised at about 0.95 but airlines said they wanted more economy not speed. Boeing has said that the technology proposed for the Sonic Cruiser when applied to a conventional cruise speed aircraft will reduce seat mile costs by about 20% when compared to B767-300ER and A330-200. It remains to be seen whether this wil be the case. Boeing are presently canvassing for launch orders for the 7E7 and it is likely that these will come from Japanese carriers. Formal launch targetted for mid this year with first deliveries in 2008 i.e. 2 years after the A380.

The "either A380 or B7E7" arguments are about as sensible as "either B747 or B767" would have been i.e. pointless - there's likely to be room for both types to sell in adequate numbers.

23rd Feb 2004, 20:35

Nice to see a sensible post on this issue


23rd Feb 2004, 20:41
You only fly as fast as the jet that is 20 minutes in front of you through Africa!:D

24th Feb 2004, 04:24
planecrazi - simple point says it all

24th Feb 2004, 04:35
Well...unless you're 2000ft higher than the one in front. Service ceilings of the two types?

24th Feb 2004, 04:47
OK kids, stop arguing. Everyone knows that Boeing beats a "Bus" hands down. Even those who say the "Bus" is better know deep down inside that they would rather fly/ride a Boeing. The future will show that the 380 was a big mistake.
Remember you heard it here first:cool:

Ignition Override
24th Feb 2004, 14:42
Our Airbus pilots say that they have some A-320s with modified FMCs/MCDUs. They are supposed to be a bit more user-friendly (i.e. cross 50 north of DQN at FL 240...).

Some who have first flown the 757 (or another FMC Boeing) then the A-320 tend to prefer the logic of the Boeing. They say the Boeings are much more logical, and not just the FMC. Those whose first automated aircraft was the 320 have a better impression of the 320's MCDU etc.

I'm trying to be detached and objective. I have never been trained on any Airbus-would not mind it one day when I'm tired of "flying" and could be senior.:)

24th Feb 2004, 15:28
Boeing is a pilots plane -> it can actually be flown by hand.
Airbus, on the other hand, is not suppose to be flown by hand, after all they placed the stick in the side so the pilots would have more room for their trays :-) The philosophy is just different.
Probably good planes but different...

7E7 in 2008; can't wait to see that bird flying.

25th Feb 2004, 13:26


"Airbus and Boeing trade swipes over big-plane versus small-plane strategies."

Does Airbus really believe they can continue to build aircraft of mamoth dimensions! Is there no limit?

Structures of such mammoth size are subject to the laws of physics. A mass of these dimensions will not accelerate easily with abrupt wind shear forces. When unable to accelerate and dissipate the applied forces thru motion, the aircraft absorbs the kinetic energy in the structure. e.g. The TWA 800 accident. The structure was hit broadside (80 degrees) by aircraft wake turbulence. A 13.5' section of the keel beam was torn out of the structure, PRIOR to the explosion.

Once again the NTSB, by covering up the real cause of the TWA 800 accident, has eliminated evidence that could have been used to prevent further accidents. e.g. AA 587, extended aircraft separation standards behind a B-747 "Heavy"! And now the
A-380, what problems can be forseen?


26th Feb 2004, 07:24
Does Airbus really believe they can continue to build aircraft of mamoth dimensions! Is there no limit?

What about the An-225?

26th Feb 2004, 15:35
Isn't everyone missing the point here?

Now that Boeing have a worthy opponent in the airline industry, this is leading to new designs and new ideas. This is something aviation is crying out for, especially in the wake of Concorde's retirement.

Regardless of whether you think Boeing or Airbus produce the 'best' aircraft, surely everyone can see that a bit of competition is a good thing. Now all we need is a third major player to really shake the tree.


26th Feb 2004, 19:30
well said Regor!

27th Feb 2004, 03:28
7E7 will cruise at approx M0.85 i.e. pretty much the same as most Boeings
What is the normal economy cruise mach nos. of the B737 (old and new), the 757 and the 767? I thought the A320 series cruise of .78 was similar to the narrow bodied Boeings, give or take .01M.

27th Feb 2004, 10:37
From an economic point of view the people to ask are Cathay.

They published a background paper that compared the 777 to thier A330s.

There conculsion: the airbus is about 60m USD cheaper but the Boeings are more economic. The cross over occurs at 6 years the the Boeings are cheaper. Airbus's business plan gets you over time but they discount the upfront price.

Interestingly the Cathay average MELs per flight for Airbus aircraft is 10 the average MELs per flight for Boeing are less than 1.

Having said this the economics of one airline pilot and engineering type are huge to small companies but less so to large companies who reach are critical mass of about 24 aircraft.

A start-up company would definately favour the cheap aquisition costs and pilot training simplicity of Airbus.

Ignition Override
27th Feb 2004, 13:32
Yawn: does anyone have objective comparative training costs for a pilot on a narrow/widebody Airbus versus a similar-size Boeing, other than where the training is heavily subsidized by the manufacturer? Does either "type" require a much higher cost percentage, i.e. 20% or much more, for two groups of pilots with the same overall levels of experience?

It is just a straight-forward question, folks.


29th Feb 2004, 01:28
Earnest, the ECON cruise speed depends on the cost factor the company uses and the wind direction and velocity. The average ECON speed would be .75 for the B737-300/500 and .78 for the B737 700/900. The B767-300 does about .81
and the B777 has about .84. This is then for no wind standart optimum cruising level.


29th Feb 2004, 03:11
There are a myriad of arguments as to who builds the better airliner, but there is a clear divide in relevancy of opinion, the foundation of which is why are you in the thing in the first place – i.e. are you fortunate enough to get paid for what you enjoy doing, (lets not get into the merits of the poor pay or clueless management) or do you pay to “go by air”

I read with great interest the debates of a “real pilots aircraft” versus the latest technology employed to “take the strain” (if you live in the UK you may recall the old phrase – “let the train take the strain” and look at the bloody mess that’s all in now!) but what is clear here is that the argument persists mainly between pilots who have not flown both types.

The performance characteristics of the various aircraft are never really debated and although reference is made as to why an airline would buy or has bought a certain type, almost all are immaterial to the debate, after all it is you Ladies and Gentlemen who ACTUALLY fly the aircraft. Just because it delivers more for less does not make it a good aircraft to the pilot, or does it?

I am interested in why in your experience/opinion YOU think one is superior to the other, I can read the manufacturers own web site or read from the report and accounts as to the economics of specific types of aircraft. There is no hidden agenda here, just a respect for professional opinion.

Now before anyone gets excited about my views, (and I fully respect the fact I am a guest on this forum, I only ever get to sit between the first and last rows in the cabin, my office is on the ground, not in the sky) I have been fortunate to fly in most (western) modern airliners. Although I pay for the privilege of flying, I am rarely able to select the type of aircraft I travel on, but, were I given the choice then for many reasons I would travel Boeing. I have no factual evidence as to superiority other than they are generally faster (over a 12 hour flight that does make a difference to me) and offer greater passenger comfort. Specifically, the 777-300 is at the top of the list, it is quiet, comfortable and quick – it is also a stunning aircraft, it looks as capable as it clearly is, whereas the A340-200/300 looks like it stole its engines from the Avro85 and climbs like one too; but how do you answer the question posed in the title of this thread, answers please…

29th Feb 2004, 07:44
How boring!
Twelve yearold kids do a lot better than you lot on this willy-waving exercise on airliners'net.
Just my very humble opinion.

2nd Mar 2004, 07:55
I think that most of the men & women in this world are more interested in how long it can stay up for, not how quick it reaches/desends from altitude?! True??? Safety is another issue!!!