Sunday, September 30, 2007

4 Engines 4 Long Haul Going The Way of The Edsel?

There's been a fair amount of palaver over the recently announced BA first chunk of the fleet renewal program order in which 12 A380 EdselLiners and 24 B787s were ordered.

Reuters tells us that the future of the B747 with BA may be no future at all, as BA is considering aircraft to replace a further 34 B747s in its fleet, and nowhere in the aircraft that BA are considering does the 747 show up. Rather, BA will look at the 777-300ER, the A350XWB IWannaBeLikeMikeLiner, and the as yet unlaunched B787-10.

If you're inclined to read the tea leaves (or the chicken entrails if you like) it suggests a tectonic shift in BA's view of what its fleet is and what it ought to be doing with it, and it does not sound like the marketing and traffic model that led to the improvident launch of the A380 EdselLiner.

It sounds a lot more like what Boeing has in mind and has been working on for the last fifteen years, and that spells heavyweight airplanes with two engines. It also seems to be sounding the death knell for "4 Engines For Long Haul".


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