Friday, February 11, 2011

The Game Is Texas Hold 'Em

The game is Texas Hold ‘em.  The players are Airbus, Bombardier, and Boeing.  The dealer lays down the first card: King of hearts.  The A380.  The king of the skies.  It’s a beast, and it’s flying passengers.  Airbus smiles, thinking he’s already got this hand won. 

The second card, the Queen of hearts.  The 787, still waiting to fly passengers for the first time.  She’s beautiful, but not considered useful to many yet.  Airbus looks over at Boeing, sitting stoic, then glances to Bombardier, who is eager to play with the big boys.  The fight is now on, who will win the 70-150 passenger jet battle.

Bombardier looks at his one card and raises the bid.  He knows he’s got a secret card, the C-Series.  With confidence he goes all in.  Airbus looks on with shock, could Bombardier really be that confident?  But Boeing sits, and waits.  Airbus pushes in more of his chips, and looks to Boeing.  Boeing tosses what he needs into the pot.  He smirks and says, “How about a new engine for the 737?” 

Airbus looks at Boeing with a sense of power.  The next cards are passed out.  Bombardier can only watch as his cards are laid out.  The other players know what he’s got, and it’s not looking great. 

Airbus quickly picks up his second card.  He smirks, and watches as Boeing picks up his card.  Boeing shows no reaction, and Airbus knows he’s going to win.  “I’m all in, I’ve got the A320neo.”  Boeing glances at Airbus, and then matches Airbus’s bet. 

Airbus doesn’t know what to do, but waits for the last card.  The dealer passes out the last cards.  Airbus arrogantly looks at Boeing and says, “Fold, I’ve already got orders.”  Airbus lays down his cards, he’s got three Kings. 

Boeing holds his cards in his hand.  “Afraid to show them, Boeing?” Airbus smiles as he pokes at Boeing. 

Boeing starts talking as he lays down his cards.  “We’re going to build a new airplane.  Our customers will wait for it.”  His hand, a Royal Flush. 

Airbus gazes in awestruck wonder. 

A few months ago I wrote a post entitled “Why Boeing needs to re-engine the 737, and why they shouldn’t.”  In it, I said that Boeing has a lot more knowledge to create a new airframe that could save airlines billions per year in fuel savings, while providing a better customer experience. 

This is just what Boeing is doing.  As we approach the first flight of the 747-8i, we now eagerly await the 797.  A plane that will redefine comfort for short haul and regional service.  If you don’t believe me, wait and see.  Boeing is recreating the golden age of air travel. 

But hey, I’m just some guy who likes to look at airplanes, so what do I know?

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