3. Boeing's Bungle
Wait a second. Forget we asked the question. We know it was the Dreamliner that literally burned Boeing in Japan. But still.
Airbus snagged its first wide-body jet order from JAL Monday, cracking Boeing's decades-old lock on the company with a $9.5 billion deal for 31 A350 twin-engine jets. The first deliveries of the A350, which can carry up to 350 passengers, are expected in 2014 with JAL expecting to start using the plane in 2019. Shares in Airbus parent EADS (EADSY) rose 1.75% in Paris on the victory, while Chicago-based Boeing slumped 1.7% Monday."Although we are disappointed with the selection, we will continue to provide the most efficient and innovative products and services that meet longer-term fleet requirements for Japan Airlines," said Boeing in a statement. "We have built a strong relationship with Japan Airlines over the last 50 years and we look to continue our partnership going forward." That's right, boys. Keep your chins up, your faces brave and your upper lips stiff. That's the smart way to react now that Airbus has finally established a beachhead in your long-held territory. Or, to be entirely truthful, that's the only way. What else can Boeing's brass do following the countless delays, fires and broken promises during the rollout of its 787 Dreamliner? We know what they should have done, and that's redouble their efforts to make sure JAL was kept entirely in the Boeing column. Retriple them if necessary! We're not joking. Boeing's management team should have bowed down to JAL executives 'til their backs were broken. And while even that may not have been enough, Monday's historic defeat makes it as clear as an azure sky that something desperate needed to be done to reassure their Japanese partners in the wake of the Dreamliner nightmare. Or should we say, in the wake of Airbus' dream scenario.