July 23rd, 2011

The shooting and bombing

Православни икониSo, yesterday evening, shortly after the bomb went off in Oslo (which looked very much like Oklahoma b.t.w.), our television networks were full of semi governmental (in this case, instituut Clingedael) or self proclaimed experts “explaining” the logical choice of “Islam terrorists” to do this and there (the prime minister’s office), given that

  • Norway was the only NATO member assisting in bombing Libya
  • Norway’s response in the Danish cartoon issue
  • etc. etc. etc.

Not a word about the issue of small but violent extreme right wing groups in Scandinavia.

Well, they were right. It was the work of a religious-conservative extremist. Just the wrong faith for this eh? Dang.

Note: I am sorry if this feels disrespectful to the victims and their families. It  is not. I am so terribly sorry  about this sickening event, whoever did it and for whatever motives. It is just the convenient “Moslim terrorist” knee jerk response by the politicians and even the “experts” that seriously rubs me the wrong way.

Disclaimer: I am an atheist. Not sure if it matters re. my opinion. Just saying.Православни икони

July 22nd, 2011
July 20th, 2011

The Crazy Order

Today, American Airlines announced their long awaited order for the narrowbodies, and nobody saw this one coming. Short background. In the mid late 90′s American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Continental Airlines entered into a deal with Boeing that basically said: If you (AA/DL/CO) order all aircraft types for which we have at least a competing product with us, we guarantee you not only a great price, but also darn good delivery slots. When Boeing later wanted to acquire McDonnell Douglas a few years later, the European Union forced Boeing into not being able to enforce said contract due to it being perceived as being anti-competitive, but nothing withheld AA, DL, CO or Boeing to simply continue the deal without enforcement. AA remained a loyal Boeing-only airline. So did Dl and CO, until they merged with Northwest and United respectively, who were both already operating Airbus aircraft.

After the huge problems with the 787 and to some extent the 747i in terms of promised delivery (and for that matter, the A380), airlines faith in OEM’s to actually deliver on time has melted away rapidly, and therefore, imho, part of the value of said contract. Mitigating that risk is only possible by diversifying ones OEM’s. And this is what happened today. Despite all the broo ha ha that “American will NEVER order anything but Boeing”, “If it ain’t Boeing, I am not going”, they ordered a stunning 260+365 Airbusses and 97+200 Boeings (see below for the breakdown). The Boeing part is slightly more vague, as the actual model offered (737 with new engines) has not been approved by the board yet as far as we know. I really feel for the guys in Seattle (less for the ones in Chicago btw) because it seems to be a royal slap in the face.

Now in all honesty, there is a lot more to this order than the above, so allow me to just add a few oneliners:

  • What helped was actually Airbus offering the better airplane  (google 320 NEO).
  • What helped was probably a very intricate financing deal. Airbus is known for pulling that sort of thing off, and AA is financially NOT in good shape. I don’t think Boeing was feeling comfy with all that exposure.
  • >50% (probably MUCH more) will be US manufactured (think engines and avionics), so it is good for the US economy either way. And Airbus might open that factory they had promised for the tanker deal they eventually lost anyway.
  • We (the Europeans) buy a lot of Boeings, Air France (yes them) and KLM (my home patch) especially. Don’t come crying to me.

Fair deal I think. Congrats to AA, Airbus AND Boeing.

ps: yes, I know a few readers are chiming for the home team, and that is great. So am I. But even more, this is, whatever one thinks about it, a major shift in this industry and we’re talking billions and billions of dollars.

Edit: The actual numbers are in layman’s terms:

OEM-model Firm Option Intended Intended Option (?) Sub total Delivery notes (ex options)
Airbus 32x classic 130 130  20-35/yr 2013-2017
Airbus 32x NEO 130 365 495  10 in ’17, 20-25/yr ’18-’22
Sub total Airbus 260 365 625
Boeing 737NG 97 40 137  20/yr, 2013-2017
Boeing 737RE 100 60 160  20/yr, 2018-2022
Sub total Boeing 97 40 100 60 297
GRAND TOTAL 357 405 100 60 922


An Airbus A32x “classic” and a Boeing 737NG is what you’d fly in today.

A NEO is the big hit of the moment really. It has sold close to 1000 over 1200 units, and will be available in a few years

An  “RE” is a non-existing designation, but is the Boeing equivalent of the NEO. It is not defined nor authorized for sale yet. AA promised to be a launch customer IF Boeing commits to building it for this one, read: get ‘m cheap but with the usual early production quirks. (but will not be the launch OPERATOR)

Good grief.

Edit: few more words about the late 90′s deal. Some typos

July 19th, 2011

The last of the scumbags

My country has been involved in the balkan war in a weird way. The mass-murdering in Srebreniza and the inability of the troups (under UN command) to do anything about it has left rather serious wounds. On the other hand, we house the The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

A few weeks ago, Serbia arrested Ratko Mladic and send him to the ICTY. This morning, Goran Hadzic, the very last on the wanted list of the tribunal was arrested and will be in The Hague soon.

Added: he is being flown here as I write this (Fri 7/19)

A good thing. These people are the worst. They commanded the execution of thousands of people, mostly innocent civilians. War criminals like that should be caught and sentenced.

More on the nest: They got him