British Air Blows Out Boeing

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British Air (BAB) gave Boeing (BA) a big order for its 787 Dreamliner–24 planes.

At the same time it dropped the 747 as its large long-haul plane and bought the A380 super-jumbo instead. The A380 faced a number of delays, and industry observers wondered it is would every fly.

The A380 is still untested as a work horse in commercial aviation. The 747 has impeccable credentials. And its new stretch version has already started to sell well.

So, why the contrarian move by BA? Perhaps it is to help itself and its neighbors. Airbus is in trouble. It is one of the industrial crowned jewels of the EU, And, Airbus has accused Boeing of getting US government help in R&D in complaints filed with the World Trade Organization. It claims that all of the Defense Department work it gets help Boeing offset its costs to build commercial planes.

Perhaps the purchase of aircraft is about to become more political.

Douglas A. McIntyre