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Air NZ goes plastic!

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Air New Zealand have just signed a deal with Airbus. This will see them move to a one aircraft fleet for their domestic and short international routes between Australia and New Zealand.Well I never! X(At this rate, I might have to fly Qantas some more!More info in this offical press release.http://www.airnz.co.nz/mediacentre/pressre...22025&pid=12001

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Well, you know what they say- buying Airbuses is often a sign the airline is in bad shape...

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Hmmm, surely being in bad shape would be keeping hold of your old rubbish rather than replacing a fleet !?!

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I should clarify...Many airlines opt for Airbus when they are in financial trouble because they are able to get them for very cheap prices (they are government subsidized, after all). These prices are so low that it is cheaper for them to not renew the leases on their existing aircraft (Air NZ may not lease, I'm not sure).Take a look at a few: USAirways, barely afloat, recent purchases: a319s on the shuttle route, a330s for long haul. Air Canada recently announced it would move to an all airbus fleet, and it is reporting losses of millions of dollars. When I think of Swissair and Sabena, all I see are airbuses...Who's profitable? Take Southwest and Westjet, who use all Boeing fleets. The 737-200's may be old, but the are tried, tested and true. The NG variations are improvements on an already strong aircraft.

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I could understand that if they weren't in use in the US - since I am sure if the "purchase cost" was subsidised surely Boeing would be lobbying like crazy to stop it (and I would have thought they have the weight to do something)?? Or are they and I have missed it ??

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Hello all,Hmmm, Airbus haven't received any subsidaries for years now, andparticulaly not anything that goes near the overpriced gvmntcontracts Boeing has access to.There is really no way to be seriously efficient with old fuel andmaintenance guzling aircraft. Therefore when you attempt to reshape,you do it with the better option: Modern and efficient aircraftsuch as new Airbuses. The keyword however is "new Aircraft".The attempt at comparing airline efficiency with aircraft operatedin this particular context is frankly feeble. If your operationsare not very good, no particular type can safe you, it can howeverbe instrumental in a restructuring. Fly safe,-Niels

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Hi Gazzareth,I don't think we've missed anything here. Boeing would surelyhave complained if any such event took place, and they havewith good reason been fairly quiet about that issue the lastfew years.With Regards,-Niels

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hmmm perhaps there would be more Airbus downunder....Qantas is getting A330s perhaps at the end of this year ????

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Air New Zealand is in quite a lot of trouble finacially. They posted quite large losses this year, they are looking to their pilots to sign an agreement to stop wage increases for one year, however the pilots won't have a bar of it.I can see how a one a/c type fleet for most flights would be benificial, lower maintainance costs, the pilots would have the ability to swap from domestic to short international flights etc.And it means Air NZ gets brand new aircraft which they haven't seen for some time. Shame they didn't go with the B738.

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Actually the latest thought on this order is that besides the A320 being as good a product as the B737NG (you may not like to hear that!), Air NZ is fighting to keep independent of the prowl of Qantas to take a stake in the airline. It is thought that this is a defensive measure as QF has just gone NG with its short haul fleet and taking a controlling interest in an airline with an AB fleet might deter them. Air NZ had been in trouble financially but have begun to turn things around recently.The writer above writing that Airbusses are chosen by airlines in trouble does not stand any test and no obvious imperical evidence or connection exists for this. US Air ordered ABs as a business decision well before the present problems, as did NWA, FF, and a host of others. UAL too went AB because of a business decision (and the fact that Boeing were not coming up with a competing product when they requested it), and all are reported to be very happy with them.The above point above about the subsidies is true but both these companies are so important to their respective countries and to worldwide trade negotiations that inevitably they get some subsidies, concessions from their Governments. BTW the US Govt has recently expressed interest in the A330 Tanker as an alternative to future B767 tankers...how about that.ShezP.S. BTW I am a Boeing fan. ;) I like the big ABs though...the A330 is the quietest thing I have flown :(

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John,I knew AirNZ were looking at upgrading the 737/67 fleet some time ago, I thought they were purchasing some nice new Boeing aircraft - what a fright. I`m not much of an Airbus fan either, it will also be interesting to see what happens between Qantas and AirNZ - they are still negotiating.That said, I am very proud to have AirNZ as our national airline - and I would hate to see it sink, which is "very" unlikely.Andy

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>Well, you know what they say- buying Airbuses is often a >sign the airline is in bad shape... Hardly. Frontier will be changing over completely to A319's in the next few years, and they're the most profitable airline in the US, with continually expanding routes and fleet. I think US Air is doing the same.Why? Economy and comfort. They're cheaper to operate and also have much nicer seats. I happen to like the Airbus fleet (well, most of them anyway, except for the 380 and 300/310's).Why do people (almost always American) immediately assume that Boeings are better? They're not. Airbus would have never stayed in biz if they were worse than Boeing. Both have to keep up, and right now Boeing is lagging behind the economy and price curve. Besides price, I believe Airbus still has the payment option, and Boeing still has the pay-on-delivery requirement.There are a lot of good reasons to own an Airbus, just like there are a lot of good reasons to own a Boeing.

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Hi All,At least some of the later comments (be it from Airbus or Boeing ppl)have been fairly informed and balanced. Thank you for that.It just offends me that someone might use potentially derogatory termsfor a very popular manufacturer in such a public and open forum, andjust because I am an Airbus fan doesn't mean I use harsh lingo whentalking about Boeing.Piedmont, Pan American, TWA. They hardly ever flew Airbus. Where arethey today?Whatever you fly, fly safe!(Actually, since Tom Allensworth flew home in a SAS 767-300ER, and Ialready have it, I'll probably replicate the trip)-Niels C.

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1) Since ANZ has given up Anssett Australia, the company has not so great financial problems.Ansett was loosing millions of $ everyday. But now.... 2) Composite is not plastic and Why put heavy metal in the air when composite is lighter and do not get rusty? 3) Airbus is not subsidized more than Boeing! 4) Boeing is subsidized by the pentagone with especially its tanker planes and all sort of research credits. 5) Air France which is one of the healthiest airlines nowadays use Airbus, as well as Lufthansa. Lan Chile and Iberia which are making great profits are buying Airbus planes. 6) US Airways bought its Airbus in '96 or '98 when it was making huge profits and when it was the most profitable US carrier. 7) If Airbus planes are cheaper....it is because their management was able to cut down costs. Please stop saying stupidities so as to give fake proof that your favourite aircraft maker is the best :-) Greetings Minos

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oook, I should have stayed on top of this one! :-lol1. "Composites": Boeings nowadays use them too, so don't jump on that so quick. And besides, the only rusty planes I have seen are in the desert!2. "Airbus is not more subsidized more than Boeing": Careful there, keep in mind the British, French, Germans, and Spaniards (can I say that?) are all backing the Airbus ;) That's a bit more than the American government. As well, the tight knit european community means some interesting politics when it comes to aircraft sales3. I'll skip that "pentagone" comment. The government funds lots of other companies: Lockheed right of the top of my head...4. All those airlines use many Boeings! 747, 767, 737... the list stretches. One might say the Boeings are making them profitable!5. US Airways the most profitable carrier? I've never heard that? Got stats? (as the colloquialism goes)6. "it is because their management was able to cut down costs" Huh? How do you figure? How do you cut down costs? Again, Got stats?Please stop saying stupidities so as to give fake proof - I couldn't have said it better myself :(Now for the rest of you!PanAm did buy some a320s before they went bust. So did Braniff. Interesting... no?USAirways is not in such great shape. I have CNN's news ticker on all day and each time I see airline stocks, they're red. As well, they have been asking the government for loan guaruntees, but have not recieved them as of yet.You may have a point with the Frontier example, but there's always an exception to the rule. They may just be prospering in a good market.I have large qualms with the whole fly-by-wire concept. I like Boeing's take on it- Pilot override fbw. But with Airbus, there have been several instances of the planes doing what they think is best, causing a crash. Remember the joke "What's the difference between a beaver and an airbus? About 20,000 trees a second." It came after an a320 crashed into a forest at an airshow (bad timing, eh?). I don't know where the link is, but an independent investigation was done and their findings were: -The Flight Data Recorder was removed from the scene by airbus officials. When returned, several seconds of data before the crash was missing. -The captain initially said that the aircraft did not respond to his commands for thrust. After he was jailed, he changed his story, and so did the co-pilot. Who jailed him? a FRENCH court, the same country who had billions invested in the airbus program. HUGE conflict of interest, no? -There have been many more reports of aircraft handling in unexpected/unwanted ways. You can find these reports on the various transportation authority websites.Folks, I'm not saying "I hate airbus because they're european." I love airbuses design, they are sleek and beautiful, and I love watching the a330's touch down here at Calgary Intl. However, I do have serious qualms about the safety of the FBW system. Several pilots I have talked to expressed the same concern.Lets have a debate, but please, keep it clean :-) (Minos, I'm looking at you!)

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Mike,>You may have a point with the Frontier example, but there's >always an exception to the rule. They may just be prospering >in a good market.It's actually because they are fairly small, expanding as their profits allow, and don't do the major airlines D&D (Double & Drop) thing. Plus they fly into markets that the larger airlines don't cover very well, with seriously competitive pricing and a single hub (Denver). The Frontier guys have been copping my GuardRail routes, I should have started an airline! :-lol>I have large qualms with the whole fly-by-wire concept. I >like Boeing's take on it- Pilot override fbw. But with >Airbus, there have been several instances of the planes >doing what they think is best, causing a crash.I keep hearing (reading) this, but it hasn't been true for years. Airbus has a pilot override switch. The pilot has full control when wanted - just like the 777. It was a major requirement before United Airlines bought them almost 10 years ago. After airlines demanded it after a Turkish Airlines A320 went haywire in something like 1990, and other airlines had the same issue, Airbus conceded and added the override to its production.The information you list is from 1988. There is basically little difference between the Airbus FBW and Boeing NG FBW, except Boeing opted for a yoke with more feedback than Airbus does.I am perfectly satisfied with the Airbus FBW systems and pilot override. So are my United pals.You can do a search on the safety record for the A320 and see that it is in line with the 737's, which is pretty good.So don't let old data influence you. Do some research and I think your fears will be allayed.(additional)Frontier just announced they will have their first loss next quarter. This is the first loss in over 4 years. It won't be a lot, and will be substantially less than the big boys.

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Fronier has my vote- I love spunky little airlines, and all trip reports I have heard involving them have been very positive :-)"Airbus has a pilot override switch"No. The "beauty" (I say beast) in the programming is that Alpha floor protection cannot under any circumstances be broken."You can do a search on the safety record for the A320 and see that it is in line with the 737's, which is pretty good."a319/20/21 series is ranked 7th overall in safety. The 727, 737, 757, 767, MD-80, and Saab 340 all placed ahead of it. You tell me- should an a320 have a better record than a 727, an aircraft designed 40 years ahead of it? Pretty shabby in my opinion. (stats @ http://www.airdisaster.com/statistics/)

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Mike,I know that site. The problems I have with it is:1) It doesn't give any reports from investigations and doesn't tell why the accidents happened.2) It's part of the "Fear of Flying" host, not a legitimate agency or organization.3) It launches boatloads of pop-ups and advertises its books on Fear of Flying and traveling, and whatever it's flogging this week.4) It is not endorsed by any civil aviation sources.You will also note that the Concorde has a rating of 19. It had one crash in 30 years. You be the judge.I know there is nothing I can say to change your mind, except to read the REAL reports on crashes and causes. The FAA has a nice list for the US. Count the number of Airbus crashes in the US.

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I knew right after I posted my response that those stats would go over someone's head.Airdisaster.com is one of the leading air crash databases. Just because they have popup ads means that they are not being paid under the table by a manufacturer.Here is another statistic from airsafe.com:Fatal event per Million flights:Airbus a320 0.38Boeing 737-300/400/500 0.29As well, if we compare the older airbuses with older boeing 737's, it's even more startling:a300 0.78a310 1.59737-100/200 0.52You will also note that the Concorde has a rating of 19. It had one crash in 30 years.I shall save others the embarrasment of making the same mistake you did. It's unfair to say that person A is as safe a driver as person B if they are in completely different situations. Let's say person A drives once a week to church, while person B drives every day to work and back in rush hour traffic. If they both get in one crash, who's the safer driver? Well, divide number of crashes by number of trips, and you'll find out. That's how these stats are generated.I have read the reports, I check the AVR every day. It only reinforces the fact that I would rather be flying a boeing!

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Mike,I have a couple degrees, one of which is in marketing. Statistics never get by me. ;-)Like I said, I doubt that anything I can say would change your mind. Fly what you like when you can, that's the way it should be. ;-)

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Well, let's just agree to disagree. In any case, no matter what you fly, it will get you there safely and comfortable (if you think sitting in a cramped, tiny seat is comfortable ;-))

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Mike,You should have been on the United 744's going to/from Oz before they got the message and made all the economy seats "Premiere" (actual leg room). Holy cow, 14+ hours in a sardine can! :-erksNeedless to say, even with United FF points, I didn't fly them trans-oceanic again. I still don't to Europe. Having leg room to stretch out and sleep is the most important thing, even over boatloads of FF points.This is the main reason I want faster, not bigger. Then it doesn't matter as much how much leg room I have.I've been flying the Concorde from Honolulu to/from Sydney in FS. 4 hours tops. Now THAT's the way to fly! :-lol

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:-)

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Hi,1) Iberia do not use lot of Boeing. Except a few 757 and old 747-200 that they will be replace with A340-600. (they are making interesting profits now...)2)At the time US Airways bbought so many Airbusesthey were not in bad conditions contrary to what you wrote in an earlier thread:Results: 1997 1998CONTINENTAL 385 383NORTHWEST 597 -286US AIRWAYS 1025 532UNITED 723 821AMERICAN 985 1314TWA -127 -121 (almost an entire Boeing fleet...)DELTA 934 1078All figures in Millions of $You can also check:http://www.rediff.com/business/1999/apr/24usair.htm3)European gov. do not help Airbus more than the US one help Boeing. Furthermore Airbus do not have all thoses credits and hidden subsidies the Pentagone is giving to Boeing for either odd or tricky research.4) The US gov.always says he is for fair competition, but when he needs to protect its products he does it... (seen in the recent measures for steel...)5)If you can sell an aircraft that uses more advanced technology at a better price than your competitor, it is that you have a better managmentand more efficient factories, also shown in the fact that Airbus do not fire thousands and thousands of employees at each airline crisis.6) Rusty planes are not only in Mojave. The famous heavy, full of metal 737-200 of Aloha Airlines without any top lost its top because it was completly rusty. Check any air disaster site to read this. it is worldwide known...And it was still flying.7) I won't answer this topic again because I am fed up with those childish discussions aimaing to give false proofs or questionnable proofs that your favourite aircraft maker is the best. :-)By the way I like Boeing as much as Airbus, so my mind is not biased. The one I prefer is Robin for its DR-400. :-) Greetings Minos

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>they are government subsidized, after allYou mean like Boeing? If anything, the INTEREST-BEARING LOANS (not subsidy) issued by various European Governments mean that subsidised less than Boeing; with it's defence arm catching everything that the US Government wants whilst using the military development work to prop up the commercial work (a la KC135 to 747).God, this Boeing v Airbus argument that seems to continually propagated by the insular "US is great, rest is crap" stuff is really tiresome.Paul

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.haworth/Fortress.gifVoted Best Virtual Airline of 2002 and Best CEO of 2002 by participants in the BIG VA Vote organized by FSPILOT.comVANF "Best" New Virtual Airline Awardhttp://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.haworth/saint_georgex1.gif

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