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- 28/04/2010, 17:48 #1
La lucha entre Airbus y Boeing por IB
Lo he encontrado por aviationcorner y quizá ya esté posteado, aunque he buscado y no lo he visto. Aviso, es un tocho considerable:
MADRID -- One day last April, two model airplanes landed in the offices =
of Iberia Airlines. They weren't toys. The Spanish carrier was shopping for new
jetliners, and the models were calling cards from Boeing Co. and Airbus, the
world's only two producers of big commercial aircraft.
It was the first encounter in what would become a months-long dogfight
between the two aviation titans -- and Iberia was planning to clean up. Airbus
and Boeing may own the jetliner market, with its projected sales of
more than $1 trillion in the next 20 years, but right now they don't
control it. The crisis in the air-travel industry makes the two manufacturers
desperate to nail down orders. So they have grown increasingly dependent on
airlines, engine suppliers and aircraft financiers for convoluted deals. Once
the underdog, Airbus has closed the gap from just four years ago --
when Boeing built 620 planes to Airbus's 294 -- and this year the European
plane maker expects to overtake its U.S. rival. For Boeing, Iberia was a
chance to stem the tide. For Airbus, Iberia was crucial turf to defend.
Iberia and a few other airlines are financially healthy enough to be able
to order new planes these days, and they are all driving hard bargains.
Enrique Dupuy de Lome, Iberia's chief financial officer and the man who
led its search for widebody jets, meant from the start to run a real horse
race. "Everything has been structured to maintain tension up to the last
15 minutes," he said.
Throughout the competition, the participants at Iberia, Boeing and Airbus
gave The Wall Street Journal detailed briefings on the pitches, meetings
and deliberations. The result is a rarity for the secretive world of
aircraft orders: an inside look at an all-out sales derby with globetrotting
executives, huge price tags and tortuous negotiations over everything from seats
to maintenance and cabin-noise levels. The rivals' offers were so close that on
the final day of haggling, Iberia stood ready with multiple press releases and
extracted last-minute concessions in a phone call between the airline's chairman
and the winning bidder.
By that point, both suitors felt like they'd been through the wringer.
"With 200 airlines and only two plane makers, you think we'd get a little
more respect," said John Leahy, Airbus's top salesman.
Airbus, a division of European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co., reckoned =
it had a big edge. It had sold Iberia more than 100 planes since 1997. Mr.
Leahy thought last summer that he might even bag the contract with minimal
competition. In June he had clinched a separate deal with Iberia for three
new Airbus A340 widebodies.
But Mr. Dupuy made Mr. Leahy fight for the order -- and so enticed Boeing
to compete more aggressively. Then, "just to make things interesting," Mr.
Dupuy said, he upped the pressure by going shopping for secondhand
airplanes. These are spilling onto the market at cut-rate prices as the
airline industry's problems force carriers to ground older jets with their
higher operating costs.
Iberia is one of the industry's few highly profitable carriers, thanks to
a thorough restructuring before the national carrier was privatized in
early 2001. The world's No. 18 in passenger traffic, with a fleet of 145
planes, it has benefited by flying few routes to North America, where air
travel is in tatters, and by dominating the large Latin American market.
The Spanish carrier was looking to replace six Boeing 747-200 jumbo jets
more than 20 years old. It wanted as many as 12 new planes to complete a
10-year modernization program for Iberia's long-haul fleet. Based on list
prices, the 12-plane order was valued at more than $2 billion.
Iberia's Mr. Dupuy, 45 years old, a soft-spoken career finance man, first
needed to woo Boeing to the table. The U.S. producer had last sold Iberia
planes in 1995, and since then the carrier had bought so many Airbus jets
that Boeing considered not even competing. But in late July, Mr. Dupuy met
Toby Bright, Boeing's top salesman for jets. Over dinner in London,
according to both men, Mr. Dupuy told Mr. Bright that Iberia truly wanted
two suppliers, not just Airbus.
The Boeing sales chief was skeptical, and he recalled thinking at the
time, "You're running out of ways to show us." Having worked as Boeing's
chief salesman in Europe, Airbus's home turf, he had heard similar lines
from customers who eventually bought Airbus planes. So he wondered: "Are
we being brought in as a stalking horse?"
Yet replacing Iberia's old 747s with new 777s would be Boeing's last
chance for years to win back Iberia. The argument against Boeing was that
an all-Airbus fleet would make Iberia's operations simpler and cheaper.
Still, going all-Airbus might weaken Iberia's hand in future deals. Airbus
would know that the carrier's cost of switching to Boeing would require
big investments in parts and pilot training.
In early November, Airbus and Boeing presented initial bids on their
latest planes. The four-engine Airbus A340-600 is the longest plane ever
built. Boeing's 777-300ER is the biggest twin-engine plane.
The new Boeing plane is lighter, holds more seats and burns less
fuel. The Boeing plane, with a catalog price around $215 million, lists
for some $25 million more than the A340.
Mr. Dupuy, whose conference room is decorated with framed awards for
innovative aircraft-financing deals, set his own tough terms on price and
performance issues including fuel consumption, reliability and resale
value. He won't divulge prices, but people in the aviation market familiar
with the deal say he demanded discounts exceeding 40 percent.
As negotiations began, Mr. Dupuy told both companies his rule: Whoever
hits its target, wins the order. The race was on.
Mr. Bright, who had been appointed Boeing's top airplane salesman in
January of 2002, pitched the Boeing 777 as a "revenue machine." He
insisted that his plane could earn Iberia about $8,000 more per flight
than the A340-600 because it can hold more seats and is cheaper to
operate. A burly 50-year-old West Virginian, Mr. Bright joined Boeing out
of college as an aerospace designer. He knew the new Airbus would slot
easily into Iberia's fleet. But he also felt that Mr. Dupuy's target price
undervalued his plane.
At Airbus, Mr. Leahy also fumed at Iberia's pricing demands. A New York
City native and the company's highest-ranking American, he pursues one
goal: global domination over Boeing. Last year he spent 220 days on sales
To Iberia, he argued that his plane offered a better investment return
because the A340 is less expensive to buy and is similar to Iberia's other
Airbus planes. From a hodge-podge of 11 models in 1997, Iberia now flies
five types, and replacing the old 747s with A340s would trim that to four
-- offering savings on parts, maintenance and pilot training.
Even before presenting Airbus's offer, Mr. Leahy had flown to Madrid in
October to make his case. On Nov. 18, he once again took a chartered plane
for the one-hour flight from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, to
Madrid. For two hours that evening, he and his team sat with Mr. Dupuy and
other Iberia managers around a table in Mr. Dupuy's office, debating how
many seats can fit on a 777. Those numbers were crucial to the deal
because each seat represents millions of dollars in revenue over the life
of a plane but also adds weight and cost.
Boeing had told Iberia that its 777 could hold 30 more seats than the 350
Iberia planned to put on the Airbus plane. Mr. Leahy argued that the
Boeing carries at most five more seats. "Get guarantees from Boeing" on
the seat count, Mr. Leahy prodded the Iberia managers.
At Boeing, Mr. Bright was eager to soften Iberia's pricing demand. His
account manager, Steve Aliment, had already made several visits to pitch
the plane, and in late November, Mr. Bright sent him once again to protest
that Iberia didn't appreciate the 777's revenue potential. Boeing
desperately wanted to avoid competing just on price, so Mr. Bright pushed
operating cost and comfort.
On the Airbus side, Mr. Leahy also was feeling pressured because a past
sales tactic was coming back to haunt him. In 1995, when Iberia was buying
18 smaller A340s and Mr. Dupuy expressed concern about their future value,
Mr. Leahy helped seal the deal by guaranteeing him a minimum resale price,
which kicks in after 2005. If Iberia wants to sell them, Airbus must cover
any difference between the market price of the used planes and the
guaranteed floor price.
The guarantee is one of the tools that Mr. Leahy has used to boost
Airbus's share of world sales to about 50 percent today from 20 percent in
1995. Boeing rarely guarantees resale values.
Mr. Dupuy had wanted guarantees because they lower his risk of buying, and thus
cut his cost of borrowing. What mattered now was that the guarantees
also freed him to sell the planes at a good price. Early in the competition, he
suggested to both Airbus and Boeing that he might eventually replace all of
Iberia's A340s with Boeings -- and potentially stick Airbus with most of the
"If we didn't have the guarantees, the position of Airbus would be very
strong," Mr. Dupuy said in an interview. Instead, "we have a powerful
bargaining tool on future prices."
On Dec. 4, Mr. Leahy flew again to Madrid to try to persuade Iberia to
close a deal by year's end. Running through a presentation in Mr. Dupuy's
office, Mr. Leahy and five colleagues ticked off fuel and maintenance
costs for their plane. They asserted that passengers prefer the plane
because it is quieter than the 777 and has no middle seats in business
Mr. Dupuy then rattled Mr. Leahy's cage with a new scenario: Iberia
managers would be flying off next week to look at used Boeing 747-400
jumbo jets. Singapore Airlines had stopped flying the planes and was
offering to lease them at bargain prices.
Mr. Leahy chided Mr. Dupuy, saying that was "like buying a used car,"
where a bargain can easily backfire. Mr. Dupuy replied that sometimes
buying used makes sense because it offers the flexibility of other
options. The message: Iberia could dump its Airbus fleet.
Within Iberia, another debate was ending. Mr. Dupuy heard from his
managers the results of a yearlong analysis of the rival planes. The
Airbus was cheaper than the Boeing, and the A340's four engines help it
operate better in some high-altitude Latin American airports. But Iberia
managers had decided they could fit 24 more seats on the Boeing, boosting
revenue. And Iberia engineers calculated that the 777 would cost 8 percent
less to maintain than the A340. Maintenance on big planes costs at least
$3 million a year, so the savings would be huge over the life of a fleet.
Unaware of Iberia's analysis, the Boeing team arrived in Mr. Dupuy's
office on the morning of Dec. 11 with three bound selling documents. One
contained Boeing's revised offer, titled "Imagine the Possibilities ...
Iberia's 777 Fleet." Knowing Mr. Dupuy as a numbers guy, the Boeing team
peppered him with data showing passengers would choose Iberia because they
prefer the 777.
Mr. Dupuy told the salesmen their price was still too high.
By mid-December, Iberia chairman Xabier de Irala was getting impatient a=
nd wanted a decision by the end of the year. On Dec. 18, Boeing's Mr. Bright
flew to Madrid. Over a long lunch, Mr. Dupuy reiterated his price target.
"If that's your number, let's give this up," Mr. Bright said. Talks
continued cordially, but the men left doubtful they could close the gap.
That Friday, Dec. 20, Mr. Dupuy told Iberia's board that prices from
Airbus and Boeing were still too high and he would push the used-plane
By the start of the year, Airbus's Mr. Leahy, growing frustrated, arrang=
ed a Saturday meeting with Mr. Dupuy. On Jan. 4, the Iberia executive
interrupted a family skiing holiday in the Pyrenees and drove two hours
along winding French roads to meet Mr. Leahy for lunch.
Mr. Leahy spent four hours trying to convince Mr. Dupuy and a colleague
that Airbus couldn't offer a better deal. Mr. Dupuy argued that Airbus had
just given steep discounts to British airline easyJet, so it should do the
same for Iberia. Annoyed, Mr. Leahy said media reports of a 50 percent
price cut for easyJet were nonsense.
"You get Boeing to give you a 50 percent discount and I'll send you a
bottle of champagne," he told the Iberia executives.
Mr. Bright was frustrated too. In the first week of January, Mr. Dupuy
proposed visiting Seattle, where Boeing builds passenger planes. Mr.
Bright's reply: If Iberia was unwilling to budge, there was little reason
to come. So, when Mr. Dupuy said he would make the 14-hour journey, Mr.
Bright was encouraged.
On Jan. 14, Mr. Dupuy and two colleagues arrived in Seattle. In the
private dining room of Cascadia, a high-end downtown restaurant, they met
for dinner with the Boeing salesmen and Alan Mulally, the chief executive
of Boeing's commercial-plane division. Mr. Dupuy was impressed by Mr.
Mulally's eagerness and was pleased when he urged Mr. Bright's team to
find a way to close the gap.
The next day, the Boeing salesmen offered a new proposal -- including a
slightly lower price, improved financing and better terms on spare parts,
crew training and maintenance support from General Electric Co., maker of
the plane's engines.
When Mr. Dupuy left Seattle on Jan. 16, Mr. Bright felt Iberia was
relenting a bit on price and that Mr. Dupuy wanted to "find a way to do
the deal." Mr. Dupuy was also optimistic about striking a deal with
Back in Madrid the next day, he raced off to join Iberia's chairman, Mr.
Irala, for a meeting with Mr. Leahy and Airbus President Noel Forgeard.
Mr. Irala, a bear of a man who is credited with saving Iberia from
bankruptcy eight years ago, told the Airbus executives that Mr. Dupuy's
price target remained firm. When the Airbus men relented on a few points,
Mr. Irala yielded a bit, too, and spelled out Iberia's remaining targets
for Airbus. Mr. Forgeard said a deal looked possible.
As the meeting broke up, Mr. Dupuy was pleased. He felt that Boeing and
Airbus were digging deep. And no wonder. The world air-travel market was
sinking deeper, and fears of war in Iraq and terrorism had slashed global
In the next few days, the sales teams from Boeing and Airbus each huddled
to refine their offers. Both remained about 10 percent above Mr. Dupuy's
price targets. Each called him several times daily, pushing for
concessions. Mr. Dupuy didn't budge. On Jan. 23, he told Iberia's board
that both companies could do better. The board scheduled a special meeting
for the following Thursday, Jan. 30.
Energized by the Seattle meetings, Mr. Bright pushed his team "to go all
out to win this bid," and they worked around the clock. Mr. Bright phoned
Mr. Dupuy daily from Seattle and occasionally fielded his calls at 3 a.m.,
Pacific time. By late January, Boeing had cut its price by more than 10
percent after haggling over engine price with GE and financing with
leasing firms. The 777 was now less than 3 percent above Mr. Dupuy's
target -- so close that Mr. Bright asked for a gesture of compromise from
Mr. Dupuy was impressed by Boeing's new aggressiveness. But Airbus was
also closing the gap so quickly, he said, that he could offer no
concessions. To Mr. Leahy, he talked up Boeing's willingness to deal. "I
was just talking to Toby ... " Mr. Dupuy told Mr. Leahy during several
conversations, referring to Mr. Bright. Airbus improved its offer further.
On Wednesday, the day before the deadline, Boeing and Airbus were running
about even. In Seattle, Mr. Bright threw some clothes in his briefcase and
proposed to Mr. Dupuy that he hop on a plane to Madrid. Mr. Dupuy said the
choice was his, but what really mattered was the price target. That day,
Mr. Dupuy told Messrs. Bright and Leahy that their bosses should call Mr.
Irala with any final improvements before the board meeting.
On Thursday morning, Mr. Bright offered to trim Boeing's price further if
Mr. Dupuy could guarantee that Boeing would win the deal. "I can't control
Forgeard," Mr. Dupuy replied, referring to the Airbus president, who was
due to talk soon with Mr. Irala. Mr. Bright made the price cut without the
"You're very close," Mr. Dupuy told him.
Later, Mr. Forgeard got on the phone with Iberia's Mr. Irala, who said he
still needed two concessions on the financial terms and economics of the
deal. Airbus had already agreed to most of Mr. Dupuy's terms on asset
guarantees and, with engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC, agreed to limit
Iberia's cost of maintaining the jets. Mr. Forgeard asked if relenting
would guarantee Airbus the deal. Mr. Irala replied yes, pending board
approval -- and looked over with a grin at Mr. Dupuy, who sat nearby with
his laptop open. Mr. Forgeard acquiesced. Mr. Dupuy plugged the new
numbers in his spreadsheet. Airbus had hit its target.
That evening, Boeing got a call from Iberia saying the airline would soon
announce it had agreed to buy nine A340-600s and taken options to buy
three more. Hours later, Boeing posted on its Web site a statement
criticizing Iberia's choice as "the easiest decision." Mr. Bright said
later that he simply couldn't hit Mr. Dupuy's numbers and "do good
In the end, Airbus nosed ahead thanks to its planes' lower price and
common design with the rest of Iberia's fleet. By offering guarantees on
the planes' future value and maintenance costs, plus attractive financing
terms, Airbus edged out Boeing's aggressive package. The deal's final
financial terms remain secret.
At Airbus, Mr. Leahy was relieved, but he faced one last slap. Iberia's
news release crowed about Airbus's price guarantees on the planes -- a
detail Mr. Leahy considered confidential. Iberia's Mr. Dupuy said he
wasn't rubbing it in. But he had, he boasted, won "extraordinary
- 28/04/2010, 17:52 #2
Juee con lo que ha sido Iberia, por rachas hace tiempo predominaba los Boeing, ahora Airbus,... esperate que dentro de un tiempo no adquiera algún Ilyushin Il 96 o derivados.
- 28/04/2010, 18:11 #3
- 28/04/2010, 18:26 #4
- 28/04/2010, 18:28 #5
- 28/04/2010, 18:31 #6
Eso estaba pensando... 747-200's... Irala...
- 28/04/2010, 18:32 #7
Me da que puede ser que no todo sea Airbus de aquí unos añitos
A ver si vemos una flota más variada, con los 330, y otras bellezas por Barajas.
- 28/04/2010, 18:37 #8
Uy, acabo de leer que es algo que ocurrió en 2003
- 28/04/2010, 18:56 #9
no se si es muy offtopic, pero lo digo en este hilo, si no, derivamos:
cual creeis que es el mejor candidato para sustituir a los primeros 340 de iberia (1994)???
1- Boeing 787
2- Boeing 747-8
3- Boeing 777
4- Airbus 380
5- Airbus 350
6- Airbus 330
7- Leasing de varias hierbas a lo Air Atlanta
- 28/04/2010, 19:34 #10
iberia seguirá con airbus, entre otras razones, por una pura cuestión de costes de mantenimiento
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