View from City Road: Airbus flies ahead of the opposition
Wednesday 30 June 1993
For the past 20 years Europe has been struggling to catch up with the US in the business of making airliners. Now the US is struggling to keep pace with Europe.
That much was not just implict in yesterday's confirmation from Boeing that it plans to launch a new family of 737 jets - it was bluntly stated.
Although it was inevitable that the 737, the world's biggest selling aeroplane, would have to be renewed at some stage, the reason it is happening now is that the Airbus A320 family of jets has been stealing Boeing's thunder, and its markets, with increasing success.
This steady encroachment was best illustrated last year when Airbus snatched a pounds 1.3bn order from United Airlines from under the nose of Boeing.
The A320 family is technically superior to the 737. It is also slightly bigger and faster and travels further. So it is no coincidence that the new generation of 737s will have increased range, seating capacity and speed, a new engine, greater fuel efficiency and lower engine emissions. Imitation is, as they say, the sincerest form of flattery.
Not that the Europeans have any cause for complacency. Firm orders for the A320 family stand at 817 whereas, at the last count, the 737 order book stood at 3,046. If Airbus can even begin to approach that record it will be doing well.
With demand for 737-sized jets forecast at 4,000 between 1997 and 2010, the market is clearly large enough to accommodate two manufacturers. But, as Boeing's announcement yesterday demonstrates, it can only get more competitive - which is good news for airlines and, ultimately, their customers.
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
iJobs Money & Business
£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...
£200 - £290 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Sales Performance Manager, Key Ba...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...