Thu, Jun 15, 2006
Airbus: Is It Friday Yet?
It was the week that
was, but Airbus wishes it was the week that would just go away.
Already stinging from customer reaction to the company's announcement that deliveries for
its upcoming A380 superjumbo will be delayed due to wiring
issues, now one of the European Consortium's most
influential clients -- A380 launch partner Singapore Airlines --
has sent a very clear signal to Airbus... the kind with a lot of
dollar signs on it.
Just hours after a spokesman expressed Singapore's displeasure
over word of the new, six-month delay, the airline announced
Wednesday it signed on the dotted line for more than $4.5 billion
worth of Boeing aircraft.
Reuters reports the order for 20 787-9 Dreamliners includes
options for another 20.
While Singapore Airlines says the move is not related to the
news about the A380 -- the deal was in the works long before that
-- it is a remarkable blow to Airbus' hopes that it would sell
Singapore on the Dreamliner's competitor, the A350.
Singapore's CEO, Chew Choon Seng, was among those strongly
critical of the A350's design... which was likely the determining
factor in his airline's decision to go with the Dreamliner. The
A380 delay was probably just the last straw.
Of course... Boeing is thrilled.
"Boeing is delighted that Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced
its intention to purchase 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with first
delivery anticipated in 2011," the company said Wednesday.
"Singapore Airlines has a long-standing and well-deserved
reputation as one of the world's outstanding carriers."
The A350 is still mired in what will probably be another round
of design changes, as Airbus seems willing to heed the advice of
big iron customers, and go back to the drawing board. It's a move
that could cost the European planemaker $10 billion in the long
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