Keep in mind that time that Boeing purchased 17 Airbus A340 jets? Sure – this truly occurred! Happening over 20 years in the past, this fascinating piece of aviation historical past may not be frequent data to everybody. Let’s rediscover the story and the way it all occurred…Singapore Airways had used the A340 extensively for its long-haul companies. Photograph: Aero Icarus through Wikimedia The Boeing 777-200ER, initially named the 777-200IGW (for ‘increased gross weight’), was launched within the mid-90s. Trying to set up this system and construct up gross sales, Boeing noticed large potential for enterprise with Southeast Asian service Singapore Airways.Nonetheless, the airline was considerably content material with the A340-300s in its fleet that have been filling the identical function. Thus, Boeing simply wanted to discover a strategy to persuade the airline to strive its new product. It got here up with a sensible method of doing so.Again in 1999It was mid-June 1999, on the final day of the Paris Air Present, when American plane-maker Boeing introduced a deal to buy 17 Airbus A340-300s from Singapore Airways. This daring transfer was made in an effort to sway Singapore Airways to purchase 10 of Boeing’s new 777-200ERs.In line with The New York Occasions, Boeing had truly agreed to purchase the planes years prior, in 1995. This was when Singapore Airways had positioned its massive order for 34 of the 777s with choices for 43 extra.Airbus wasn’t pleased with the deal – a response that appears fairly comprehensible.Singapore Airways will retire these controversial 777s sooner than anticipated resulting from present occasions. Photograph: Singapore Airways“[This is] an act of desperation…We’re preparing our counterattack at the present time…I don’t want to predict what our response will be.” -John Leahy, Senior Vice President and Industrial Director of Airbus (1999) through New York TimesThe New York instances goes on to report that Leahy stated that airways had requested Airbus to do the identical factor as Boeing: Purchase up the 777s in order that new A340s could possibly be bought. He had downplayed this observe, saying, ”We can not make a great enterprise case for doing that, and we at all times assumed our competitor couldn’t make a great enterprise case both…”What occurred nextNews sources are scarce when masking simply precisely how Airbus responded and retaliated with Boeing’s transfer. We have been capable of finding a single publish on a FlightAware message thread commenting on the aftermath of the Boeing deal. The person acknowledged that Airbus thought-about the Boeing-Singapore Airways-deal a violation of truthful commerce practices. In addition they famous that retaliation got here within the type of an promoting marketing campaign that claimed that 4 engines have been safer than two.Whereas it’s tough to say if the advert marketing campaign was a direct results of the 1999 deal or just to curb the rise in recognition of the Boeing 777 (versus the Airbus A340), we will say with certainty that there was certainly a marketing campaign.With the 777’s rise in recognition, Airbus launched a marketing campaign to guard its A340 program. It tried to persuade airways that 4 engines have been higher than two. Photograph: Getty ImagesIn 2002, Boeing wrote an article that reference’s Airbus’ marketing campaign to persuade airways that 4 engines have been higher than two. On the 2002 Farnborough Air Present, Airbus stirred the controversy with “a colossal billboard” on the fringe of a runway that learn, “A340 — 4 engines 4 long haul.” The article goes on to say that related full-page advertisements appeared in air present magazines and each day London newspapers.Apparently, Airbus officers argued that the advertisements weren’t about security. Nonetheless, business consultants disagreed, saying that they urged twinjets just like the Boeing 767 and 777 weren’t as protected or dependable.Regardless of the precise intent was, the marketing campaign backfired barely because it angered airplane engine producers, who voiced their disapproval of the advertisements run at Farnborough. David Calhoun, president and chief govt of Normal Electrical’s GE Plane Engines, stated the next to The Wall Street Journal:“We are vehemently opposed to what Airbus is doing here…An ad like that is the last thing this industry needs right now.” As a aspect notice, if that title sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of Calhoun is now Boeing’s CEO.In the long run, the Boeing 777 and its two engines gained the battle in opposition to the Airbus A340. Photograph: Getty ImagesA battle Airbus couldn’t winWhile Boeing’s gross sales tactic with Singapore Airways was considerably unconventional, the transfer from quad jets just like the A340 to twinjets just like the 777 is one thing that has taken place everywhere in the world. Looking back, it seems prefer it was a battle that Airbus was destined to lose. At the least the decline of Airbus’ A340 has since given strategy to the success of the A350 and A330neo traces of plane.Do you know about this Singapore Airways deal previous to studying this text? Tell us within the feedback.