Sir - Your discussion of the different results from Airbus and Boeing for new large aircraft assumes that the fall in the size of aircraft flying over the North Atlantic is demand-led (Flight International, 19-25 March, P29).

Could I suggest that US airlines' balance sheets a few years ago resulted in them being unable to afford Boeing 747s, thus forcing them to operate Boeing 767s on long-range routes, and that, therefore, the reduction in average aircraft size was caused by supply restrictions, rather than the other way round?

J Wallinger

Upton Grey, Hampshire, UK


-Sir - It was with great interest that I read that British Airways was warming to the idea of the Airbus Industrie A3XX (Flight International, 19-25 March, P11). Since it will be built in Europe and powered by Rolls-Royce, we should applaud BA's decision. But will political chicanery and commercial advantage preclude the aircraft's worldwide adoption?

Remember the Anglo-French Concorde. How many of those aircraft were expected to be sold worldwide? We all know why it did not sell; experts decided that supersonic flight would damage the ozone layer. Hence the aircraft did not reach a good potential market.

Does the same fate await the A3XX? What if another expert can prove that an extremely large aircraft flying at 37,000ft (11,300m) will disturb the swarming habits of the boll-weevil? How many potential sales would be lost, the premise being that the expert rather than the manufacturer is always right?

M Newman

Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK



Source: Flight International