Friday, June 22, 2007

News From Paris UPDATE 4

Fairfield is just as I left it, and I came home with a raft of good stuff for a modest price.

Bloomberg reports this morning that Singapore Airlines converted 20 options for the A350 and has another 20 options in the hopper. The options dated from July of 2006.

In other more problematic news from the Seattle Times, General Electric and Airbus failed to come to an agreement to develop an engine for the A350. At this point the only choice for potential operators is the Rolls Trent XWB.

GE is offering the GEnx for the -800 and -900, but Airbus wants GE to develop an all new engine in the same thrust class as the GE90. John Leahy has said in no uncertain terms that there ain't going to be a GEnx equipped A350, period. Of course that's always subject to change depending on what the customers tell Airbus they want.

It would cost GE about $1 billion USD to develop the engine Airbus wants and it would put GE in the position of competing against itself because it is the sole source on the B777. Every sale might be one they don't least that's the story.

Pratt & Whitney are not in the picture, and I'm not sure they ever were. There's a slim chance the Engine Alliance could offer a version of the GP7200 now an alternate for the A380 but that would require that both GE & P&W sign off on the deal.

However, the entire picture changes with the deconstruction of the dollar, right? Everything has a price.

Mr. Gallois said earlier this week that A350 structure would not be built in the states-period, implying that if Spirit wants a chunk of this project it's going to have to buy one of Airbus' Power8 castoffs in Europe. I think we're all interested in a little horse trading, and this sort of transatlantic 'cooperation' doesn't do the KC30 project's chances any favors.

We DO talk to each other here.

As much as I respect the pronunciamentos of Popes John Leahy and Louis Gallois, in the words of the immortal Chuck Culver, "Everything is budget driven. Everything."

Don't count anything out just yet.


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