The NYT is reading too much into Air China’s A320 order

Air China A321.jpgFirst up, let me say that the New York Times is one of my favourite newspapers. But when one of my colleagues brought this to my attention, I can’t help but think that the NYT put two and two together and came up with five.

Its conclusion that Air China’s order of 20 Airbus A320s has to do with China’s displeasure at Boeing due to the USA’s recent sale of arms to Taiwan is off the mark. Sure, it is unlikely that any Chinese carrier will order Boeing aircraft for a while until this bad cloud passes.

But these deals are not made overnight. The Air China A320 deal has been in the works for a while and was only confirmed yesterday. Surely, it is a bit of a stretch to say that Air China made the decision just over a week after Washington’s announcement?

This order is part of its fleet renewal plan, as is a 2008 order for 30 737-800s and 15 Boeing 777-300ERs that are due for delivery from 2011 to 2015. Now, if Air China cancels those orders, we could perhaps conclude that something’s afoot.

But the NYT is stretching it when it concludes that Air China’s recent order for A320s is to show its (and Beijing’s) displeasure.

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3 Responses to The NYT is reading too much into Air China’s A320 order

  1. Kinbin 13 February, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Concur that its probably in the works for sometime. That said, it really driven by economics. Pricing, discounts, economic barters and offsets are primary drivers. One could contend that the proportion of discount to cost given on a Hyundai would far exceed that of a Porsche 911 GT3, to make the final pricing appealing. Consequently, the sales volume of Hyundais would far excced those of Porsches.

    Entry level at less than US$10K, factory discounts, with 100,000 miles warranty, and payback on the payment if you lose your job within the first year makes Hyundai a high value proposition. Compare that with a US$120,000 Porsche. One would be hard pressed to squeeze anything out of them if there are a few “quarters” or chump change. Yet we aspire to own one for the appreciation of the technical marvel, and for the thrill and enjoyment of driving one.

    Airbus shall continue to sell more planes than Boeing. That will remain the new aviation world order.

  2. Aaron Robinson 23 February, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    You write that “the [New York Times] is stretching it when it concludes that Air China’s recent order for A320s is to show its (and Beijing’s) displeasure,” but one look at the photo shows that you are stretching the A320 yourself!

  3. Siva Govindasamy 24 February, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Haha, never said it was not an A321 Aaron!

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