Sunday, May 21, 2006

Qatar Airways A350 Order in Play

It is reported today that Qatar Airways, which placed a substantial letter of intent/order/commitment for the A350 is now rethinking the wisdom of such a move, in view of the tizzy surrounding the A350 program at Festung Airbus. It seems because Airbus is giving unmistakable signs of dropping the present iteration of the A350 design and going to a clean sheet of paper, le grand slippage in the schedule (now predicted to be two more years) is going to cause some problems.

What kind of problems, you ask? Simple. The airlines have new airplanes worked into their route models long before the first aluminum is cut, and they start selling tickets shortly thereafter. So if someone says "Oops! Sorry about that, old thing. It'll be a couple more years until we can even think of working on your order!" you've got to get worried real big, real soon, even if you are on the government teat like Qatar and Emirates and the rest of the crew that's singlehandedly supporting the A350 and A380 programs at the Toulouse Fuhrerbunker.

That's the kind of problem that causes a buyer to lose faith that the seller can come through-and it's just the loss of confidence that Airbus does not need right now, for the sake of the worker bees if nobody else. I've been through an aerospace downsizing and it's not a pretty sight.

As a side note of interest, one of my pals has earned a week in the doghouse over at for calling Toulouse the Airbus Fuhrerbunker, and he's also informed me that they've decided that the term "Whalejet" to describe the A380 is also not welcome.

Well. Let's all bend over and be politically sensitive to a bunch of sniveling whiners, shall we?


At 8:17 PM, Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

A cartoon character called, "The Brain" is an apt nickname I've taken up for the WhaleJet.


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