Você está na página 1de 1

Duellingtheduopolies

Newentrantstotheworldjetlinermarketstruggletotakeoff
May19th2012|TheEconomist

ITMAYwellturnoutthatpiloterror,orsomethingotherthanafaultinthe
aircraft, made a Russianbuilt Sukhoi Superjet crash into a mountain in
IndonesiaonMay9th,killingallonboard.Butthedisaster,ontopofrecent
reports of unreliability among the first Superjets to go into service, is bound to hinder Russia's ambition to
become a big exporter of modern commercial aircraft. And the Russians are not the only ones trying, and
struggling,todoso.
The Chinese, like the Russians, have spent years working on planes that, they hope, will muscle in on the two
nearduopoliesintheworldairlinermarket.Russia'sSuperjet,anditsChineseequivalent,theARJ21,aresmaller
regional jets, the market for which is dominated by Embraer of Brazil and Bombardier of Canada. The much
juicier market for fullsized airliners is currently divided between America's Boeing and the FrancoGerman
Airbus.Russia'sMC21andChina'sC919,alsounderdevelopment,arepotentialcompetitorstoBoeing's737and
Airbus'sA320.
TheSuperjet,whichhasbeencertifiedbytheEuropeanUnion'sairsafetyagency,wasbeginningtogathersome
interestoutsidetheformerSovietsphere,encouragingSukhoitohopeforsalesofperhaps40ayearby2014.
However,thefirstfourplanesdeliveredtoAeroflotofRussiahavesufferedrepeatedlyfrombreakdowns,leading
toflightcancellations.
China'sARJ21haditsmaidenflightin2008anditsmaker,Comac,wasduetostartdeliverieslastyear.Butthe
plane'scertificationbytheChineseandAmericanauthoritiesmayslipintonextyear.China'sC919issupposedto
haveitsfirsttestflightin2014butthattoomayslip.Comacisvagueabouthowmanyfirmordersithas.Atthe
DubaiairshowinNovember,Irkut,theRussiancompanymakingtheMC21,saidithad235orders,mostlyfrom
formerSovietcountries.Ittooisaimingforamaidentestflightin2014,butanIrkutexecutiveacknowledgedthat
hisfirmwasstillseekinganinternationalpartnertohelpitmarkettheplane.
ThentherearetheJapanese:Mitsubishimakessomechunkybitsforplanesbutaspirestosellacompleteflying
machineofitsown.However,itsMRJ,yetanothercontenderfortheregionaljetmarket,hasjustbeendelayed.
Itsmaidenflight,whichhadbeenduearoundnow,hasbeenputbacktolatenextyear.TheMRJissaidtobe
technicallyagoodplane,butliketheothernewcontendersithasfailedsofartogetacriticalmassoforders.
A similar fate, its rivals hope, may befall Bombardier, which wants to move up from regional jets to fullsized
airlinerswithitsCSeries.LastmonththecompanysaiditwasstilloncoursetodeliverthefirstCSeriestoairlines
in late 2013. It has more than 300 firm or tentative orders, and hopes to make 120 of them a year by 2016.
However, two early customersRepublic Airways Holdings of America, and Korean Airhave expressed fears
thatitisnotsellingwellenoughtoguaranteeitssuccess.Partlytoassuagesuchworries,Bombardierhasagreed
withChina'sComacthatthetwowillseektomaketheirplanes'cockpitsandothersystemssimilar,toencourage
airlinestoorderbothtogether.
Delays,breakdownsandevenaccidentsarenotunknownwhentheestablishedmakerslaunchnewplanes.But
theyhavearecordofgettingthemrighteventually,whereasthenewentrantscannotofferpotentialbuyerssuch
reassurance. Moreover, the industry's dominant firms are not just sitting back watching their rivals struggle.
Boeing and Airbus have launched, to great success, reengined versions of the 737 and A320, and Embraer is
likewisereenginingitsEJetregionalaircraft.
Sowillanyofthenewcontenderseverposeaseriousthreattotheestablishedorder?Althoughtheyarebehind
theRussiansonproducingaregionaljet,andlagtheCanadiansinturningoutafullsizedairliner,thebettingison
the Chinese, in the long term. Their government seems determined to succeed, however long it takes, and
undoubtedlyhasthemoneytomakeitsdreamstakewing.