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Airbus Woes Continue

If you've been following the Airbus saga with half an eye, BusinessWeek has a brief but fairly complete overview of where they stand lately.

Paris Air Show No Party for Airbus

Obviously one brief article can't capture the whole scope of the story but Carol Matlack gets a few kudos for covering a lot of ground with relatively few words. It is very much worth reading.

Comments (10)

Hey Paul, were you intendin... (Below threshold)

Hey Paul, were you intending for "Paris Air Show No Party for Airbus" to be a link? If so, it's not a link. ;-)

<a href="http://www.busines... (Below threshold) It seems the front end does... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

It seems the front end doesn't match the back - 6 billion loss while we redesign. Oops.

And covering the aluminum frame with composite material... brilliant! - none of strength to weight of the all composite Boeing, but the weight of both.

Lipstick on a pig.

>Hey Paul, were you intendi... (Below threshold)

>Hey Paul, were you intending for "Paris Air Show No Party for Airbus" to be a link? If so, it's not a link. ;-)

oh frick, I'm an idiot... I forgot the = in the href tag and it blew sky high. sorry.

Airbus management has to sa... (Below threshold)

Airbus management has to satisfy a committee with discordant agendas; Boeing has to satisfy shareholders with a concerted agenda.

Paul,One of the Au... (Below threshold)


One of the Australian civilian aviation mags I read recently has the A380's break-even point moved up from 250 to 420 sales.

Last I recall, there were 153 firm orders for the A380, not counting the 30 or so orders for the freighter version that recently got cancelled by UPS and FedEx. Thanks to those cancellations (made because the company couldn't focus on a "new" project while the passenger version is so far behind its scheduled delivery date), there is no freighter project now, other than that which exists in the netherworld of company press releases.

My prediction: A380's commissioning woes will become a black hole that future investment funds (needed for the A380 freighter and A350XWB) will instead get sucked into and vanish.

As for backlogs, so what if Airbus has a 2,500 plane backlog? Having a huge backlog means nothing if your cashflow is dead. Just ask the old Halter Marine, Inc., of New Orleans. I think their backlog was over $750M when they went bankrupt in late 1999. John Dane, their former CEO, had a bad habit of building yachts and other boats that were unprofitable for the business, and the cashflow crunch eventually caught up to them.

The name says it all. From... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The name says it all. From it's conception Airbus intended to sell buses and it's business is also organized like a bus with lot's of people on-board for every decision. Boeing is a streamlined international corporation building liners that, like their ocean counterparts, transport people with speed and luxury. In reality there's not much difference for passengers, but the fundamental concepts of any business leak into their products.

It's not the aircraft manufacturers' fault that domestic airlines view their business has cattle haulers and passengers as livestock. Where's that passengers bill of rights? Can't the Democrats even pass something that popular?

Increased obstruction in th... (Below threshold)

Increased obstruction in the path, and increased viscosity, both decrease flow. What, Mac, is the matter with you? To maximize flow we must minimize humanity. C'mon, I'll resend you the memo.

>oh frick, I'm an idiot... ... (Below threshold)

>oh frick, I'm an idiot... I forgot the = in the href tag and it blew sky high. sorry.

It's ok, I've done things like that before too. Back to the topic at hand, it's unsurprising that Airbus finds itself in the bind it finds itself now. I don't know what it is about the big European aircraft manufacturers, but they seem to like to build giant white elephants that drive the company to the ground. When I saw the specifications of the A380 (although I would love to fly in one), I knew that they were at it again.

For a brief historical lesson, consider the Bristol Brabazon. This plane was built in 1949, and it was an unmitigated disaster. At the time, it required larger runways than were available, and even though it was huge, it could only support 100 passengers. Also, even though jet airliners were beginning to be produced, the Bristol Brabazon was an 8 radial-engined behemoth, that was obsolete by the time it would have entered full production.

I'm beginning to see similarities between the Brabazon and the A380, and frankly it's the sort of thing that seems to happen over there every now and then.

Try to say 'Spruce Goose' w... (Below threshold)

Try to say 'Spruce Goose' with your mouth full of saltines, D.






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