Odds and Ends: 737 MAX development cost; another range boost for A330
737 MAX: We did this story last week on the development cost of the Boeing 737 MAX.
A330: Airbus is going to boost the range of the A330 to make it more closely match that of the Boeing 777 and 787, according to this story.
Fill ‘er up: Here’s a scary story about a goof in aerial refueling of a Boeing 707-based JSTARS.
Delta eyes US Airways: Delta Air Lines is considering making a bid for US Airways even as US Air considers a bid for American Airlines, which Delta is also doing. US Airways once made a hostile bid for Delta. So what’s going on?
First, we think a US-AA combination would have a much better chance of gaining regulator approval than DL-AA. The latter might work, but at what cost? Regulators would almost certainly demand divestiture of assets for anti-trust reasons.
But a combined AA-US would be much stronger in the US Southeast, where DL has its Atlanta hub and US has a Charlotte hub. US is the weakest of US legacy carriers while AA has a weaker management but inherent strengths that would make a combination more formidable than US alone–particularly with Southwest Airlines taking over AirTran at DL’s Atlanta hub.
While we think there also might be some anti-trust issues with a DL-US combination, they’d certainly be less than DL-AA. We think DL’s talk of a combination with US is defensive and perhaps designed more to block a US-AA deal than it is to have a happy marriage between DL-US.