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Saudi airline cancels $5.5 Billion in Boeing 737 Max Jets- buys Airbus instead

edited July 2019 in Off-Topic
Airbus Poised to Overtake Boeing This Year
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing Co. lost a deal for 737 MAX jetliners in one of the first tangible signs the crisis around the plane could shift business to European rival Airbus.

Saudi Arabia’s "flyadeal" airline said on Sunday that it would buy up to 50 Airbus A320neo planes, the direct rival to Boeing’s MAX that has been idled globally in the wake of two crashes within less than five months.

The deal between the discount arm of flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp., or Saudia, has a value of more than $5.5 billion, based on Airbus list prices that don’t include industry-standard discounts.

The airline, which was launched in September 2017 using Airbus A320 single-aisle planes, last December made a commitment to buy the MAX. The deal came only weeks after a MAX, operated by Indonesian budget airline Lion Air, crashed, killing all 189 aboard. The Saudi commitment for up to 50 MAX jets had a value of $5.9 billion before industry-standard discounts, Boeing said at the time, but it was never formally concluded.

Flyadeal couldn’t be reached for comment about why it abandoned the MAX. The airline said it would receive the first A320neo—a more fuel efficient model than the Airbus plane it now operates—in 2021. The jets are part of an order of 100 aircraft Saudia and Airbus announced last month at the Paris Air Show, the aerospace industry’s flagship event where big plane deals typically are announced.

Boeing’s MAX deliveries have been frozen since about mid-March following a second crash of one of the jets, in Ethiopia. Similarities between the two MAX crashes sparked global safety concerns. Boeing’s plans to fix the plane have encountered delays. Boeing now hopes to submit the fix to regulators in September to get the fleet back into airline service.

Analysts estimate it could take several years to get MAX deliveries back on plan. Hundreds of planes are sitting idle with airlines, more have been built but not yet delivered and Boeing also slowed MAX production in April, effectively delaying future deliveries to some customers.

Boeing used last month’s gathering outside Paris to announce a blockbuster order for 200 MAX planes from British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA . It was the first deal for the planes in months and widely regarded as an important vote of confidence in the MAX by a globally recognized carrier.

Airbus officials have played down the idea the Toulouse, France-based plane maker would win business from Boeing’s woes. Airbus is mostly sold out of A320neo jets until 2024. But the flyadeal arrangement shows the plane maker can find ways to satisfy nearer-term demand.

Airbus is poised to overtake Boeing this year as the world’s largest plane maker after the U.S. aerospace giant cut 737 production rates.

The preceding is a lightly edited version of the Wall Street Journal article.

Comment: It's nice to see that our Saudi ass-kissing is paying good dividends.


  • Companies based on engineering hardware should never forget that at the core it's about engineering hardware.
  • edited July 2019
    You don’t suppose the Saudis have been reading our discussion board the past few months ?

    Here’s the original thread from last May. I’m grateful to so many who contributed so much to this thread. Reads like a damned encyclopedia on the 737 / 737-Max and related problems. Thanks to everyone.
  • Right you are, @hank. At this point, if I got on a 737 Max I'd be constantly thinking of those weirdly hanging engines, not a thought I'd welcome.

  • "Saudi Arabia’s "flyadeal" airline said on Sunday that it would buy up to 50 Airbus A320neo planes, the direct rival to Boeing’s MAX that has been idled globally in the wake of two crashes within less than five months.

    It's nice to see that our Saudi ass-kissing is paying good dividends."

    Really? BA apparently put out a product designed to operate at 30,000 ft (an airplane) which was defective in one or more ways, resulting in the deaths of 2 planeloads of human beings. BA is now apparently, belatedly, performing due diligence to fix the problem. But those planeloads of people are dead. Our governing agency (the FAA) whose job it is to regulate/oversee BA seems to have been "in cahoots" initially in claiming BA was not at fault --- contrary to what other country oversight suspected, and have now been proven correct.

    I think the Saudis are despicable barbarians generally. But in this case, their airline regulators are making the right call. OTOH, BA seems to have put "profits ahead of people" in this affair, with a "wink wink" from US regulators.

  • Many years ago I was on a business flight with a software manager who was working on a fault tolerant system. While we were waiting in the plane still at the gate, it seemed the entire 767 was momentarily shut down for a reboot. He remarked to me something to the effect: that didn't give him nice warm fuzzy feelings.

    Ever since, I have wondered about the quality/reliability of the software in these planes.
    (Picture the pilot going: where are those ctl+alt+del keys?)

    Reading about the problems in the N. Carolina plant leads me to wonder about any Boeing jet, or at least any jet assembled there.

    Apparently some workmanship issues were obvious enough that years ago Qatar Airways stopped taking delivery of Dreamliners unless they were assembled in Everett, Wash.
  • Ragheads never had a solid deal with Boeing, never. They are good at blowing smoke from what I understand. If they have a confirmed deal with Airbus so be it.
  • edited July 2019
    Gary said:


    Says the guy hiding under the white hood.
  • edited July 2019
    Charles said:

    Companies based on engineering hardware should never forget that at the core it's about engineering hardware.

    yup! everyone wants to "code" these days. "women who code" is a conspiracy. 20 years from now they will have no jobs. Because most "coding" is of the crap variety for crap applications which will not need to be coded. I'm talking about business applications here. Most applications do not need re-coding, but new "management" comes with "new ideas" and blasts the "drawbacks" of the previous application which is now "legacy" and has to be re-written with new technology since "we should be come like google and amazon". All of which ends up costing more and does only shows benefits in powerpoint presentations which everyone excepts because after all that's their freakin' job!

    You can't do this s*** with real engineering. Certain things can't have "apps". And we shouldn't. Let's please wipe our own a**. No robot is touching me.

    "Engineering", "Analysis" (notice I didn't capitalize the first 4 letters this time), and otherwise "Intellect" is of short supply these days. Most "coders" (sic) will fail IQ test. Anyone wants to prove me wrong, just do it. Try making IQ of 120 a criteria for employment in IT industry. When every company calls themselves a "technology company" we are seeing the end of the world. IT (sic) has already started.
  • msf
    edited July 2019
    There's a difference between glitzy UIs or tinker toy "apps" on the one hand, and mission critical applications or systems software on the other. When it comes to the latter, management is usually very reticent to change. Hence we get creeping featurism, spaghetti code, and gradual increase in entropy.

    These conservative inclinations of management provide part of the explanation of why "70% to 80% of UK plc business transactions are still based on Cobol" (as of a decade ago, The Guardian), and "In the US, around 80 percent of in-person transactions and 95 percent of ATM swipes are based on programs written in COBOL" (TheNextWeb, 2017).

    See also:

    Few developers like maintenance. They'd rather build something new, of course using the technology of the day. Still, the selection of the appropriate modern technology should result in a better product.

    Deciding the path to take is, or should be, a balancing act, a weighing of the risks of a new design and implementation against the gradual decay of an existing code base. What I've told others is to take the time to understand the existing system (note: "system", not "app'). Then make changes. If you still can't figure out how it works, tear it out and start over. Don't guess and make quick fixes that you hope won't break something somewhere else.

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