Sunday, October 29, 2006

Qantas Signs Up:Savants Ask "At What Price?"

It was announced that Qantas, the Australian flag carrier signed a deal for 8 Airbus A380s last night. When this story broke, I was flummoxed and thought "No. They can't be that goofy." and refrained from blogging it.

Well. I was wrong.

But like everything in the aviation business, there's the Official Version and then there's What Really Went Down. We now have the Official Version.

What really went down probably went like this. It was make or break time for the program. What Airbus needed more than anything else in the world was a very public Vote of Confidence from A Serious Player. Qantas, being the canny players that they are, took a very big risk that the program will survive and prosper and lent their support.

I am sure that in exchange for this very public show of support at just the right time, there was a price exacted. What that price might be, is unknown and may never be fully disclosed.

However, as G. Gordon Liddy was known to have said "When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

This could be the breathing room that Airbus needs to get the A380 program under control and win back the confidence of the airlines. On the other hand it could be Captain Smith saying to the Titanic passengers "Hey....don't worry. There's the Californian, right over there."

Stay tuned.


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