Northwest to Purchase Boeing 787s?

The WSJ is reporting (sub req’d) that infrequent purchaser of aircraft Northwest will buy up to 18 Boeing 787s, representing a major snub to Airbus.  Northwest is the European aircraft maker’s third largest customer, and I’m going to guess that Airbus thought they had the inside track on this one (especially since Northwest already flies A330s, which are similar to the 787.  Actually, the as-yet-unlaunched A350 is most similar to the 787, but the A350 is just a more economical version of the A330.  Whew.)  Boeing, after several years of watching orders flow to Airbus, has had a great week between this order and Korean Air Lines’ order for the 787.  Could it be that airlines actually want an economical twin engine aircraft?  Could Boeing have actually created a new product that airlines want?  Could be.  Keep in mind that Boeing basically only currently produces the 737 and 777—the 717 line has been shuttered, and it has no new orders for 757, 767 or 747s.

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