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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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