August 2012

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Point Counter-Point

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Some food for thought as we head into the weekend.

Image Courtesy Howard Pain

Boeing targets two-tier response to Airbus A350-1000 threat
By Stephen Trimble

The proposed 787-10, likely to be a 305-seater, "is a good product against the [777]-200, 200ER-class airframe", says Carson. "The 777-300ER is a little bigger and the 777-200LR has a little more legs so they could well co-exist. That will be part of the product and market studies that we continue to refine."

Carson also emphasises that Boeing believes the basic 777 airframe can remain competitive through the next decade with perhaps a "modest" refresh, focusing on engine and airframe technologies.

"There comes a time when you think about what you're going to do with the upper-end of that marketplace," he says. "We'll make some decisions about what to do with a major refresh, but we're not in any panic about that. We think its doing incredibly well in the marketplace right now."

Rather, Boeing still plans to hold off developing a new widebody in the 380-seat-and-above class market for at least 10 years, he said, adding such an aircraft would feature an all-composite airframe like the 787.

Image Courtesy Flight/Tim Bicheno-Brown
BA could eventually operate up to 30 A380s: Airbus
By Max Kingsley-Jones

Meanwhile, Leahy is feeling confident about Airbus's chances in phase two of the BA campaign to replace the bulk of its 747-400 fleet, where the A350 XWB is up against the proposed 787-10 and "777X" design study. The airline's chief executive Willie Walsh has said that he aims to reach a decision on this deal before the end of the year.

The 787-10 is "too small" so Boeing "is looking at what it can do with the 777 as the -300ER is not competitive with the A350-1000," says Leahy.

"We feel we have the right aircraft with the A350 and BA is leaning in that direction," he adds. Leahy does not expect Boeing to be ready to finalise its 777 development plans this year "unless it pulls a rabbit out of a hat".

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