Air Transport World

Good competition. (provided by entry of Boeing 777 into jetliner market)(Editorial) (Editorial)

The entry into service of the Boeing 777 lays several important milestones: It completes the basic large aircraft competitive mix for years to come; it confirms the acceptance of ETOPS as not only a normal operation but an essential operation, and it is another welcomed point of price competition.

Absent some startling news from McDonnell Douglas, the 777 is the last totally new large transport the industry will see until a decision is made on the very big and/or very fast airplane sometime in the next century.

Until then, the airline industry's choices will be the current crop of big airplanes and reasonable variations on those themes. In an industry in which a single type of aircraft will remain in production for decades, introduction of the Airbus A330/340 in several versions and A321, Boeing's 777 and McDonnell Douglas's MD-90 in just a few years is an impressive flurry of activity and a major capital expense that must be recouped. …

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