Final Word from Monday, May 24, 2004

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was in Prague last week to try to convince ČSA to acquire more Boeing aircraft. ČSA plans to lease 12 new airplanes by 2008 and wants to make a decision between Boeing and Airbus by the end of July. Boeing has three strikes against it. First is the perceived technological advantage that Airbus now enjoys. Second is the political dimension. The CR has joined the EU and is under pressure to "Buy European." Third is the bad reputation Boeing made for itself at Aero Vodochody. Even if the first two factors could be overcome or explained away, it's unlikely that a state-owned company would be allowed to buy from a supplier that's involved in a nasty dispute with another part of the government. ČSA will be happy to use Boeing to get better terms out of Airbus, but the decision on this one seems easy to predict.


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FS Final Word