Plunge Pontificates

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Blow to Airbus

Being a person who has flown his whole life on just about every commercial jet known, I have become a huge fan of Boeing. Boeing's jets are amazingly well thought out. Now, I've never been on a jet that is comfortable in the cattle car section (coach), but every other part of the plane just seems so well done. I can't stand Airbus. I avoid them like the plague and will go out of my way to not fly on a plane built by Airbus. So, I was pleased to read the following.

Japan Airlines wants smaller aircraft and is not interested in the new superjumbo Airbus 380, the carrier's incoming chief said.

Asia's largest airline wants medium-sized planes so it can prioritize shorter-distance flights, particularly to China, chief executive-designate Haruka Nishimatsu said.

He ruled out for now buying the double-decker Airbus 380, the world's largest passenger airliner which debuts later this year with Singapore Airlines.

'As we are in a time where the aviation business has become more volatile due to geo-political factors, it is an iron rule for us to move to smaller aircraft to minimize risk,' he said, referring to the drop in air travel after the September 11, 2001 attacks and Asia's SARS epidemic in 2003.

'Also considering high oil prices, fuel consumption increases dramatically in long-distance flights,' he told reporters. 'If large planes fill up, it would be alright but otherwise the fuel cost becomes a risk.'

Both Japan Airlines (JAL) and domestic rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) buy nearly exclusively from US giant Boeing Co, the main rival of Europe's Airbus.