Odds and Ends: Revisiting a 757 crash; Boeing-WTO appeal due this week

Boeing 757 Crash: In 1996 a Birgenair Boeing 757 crashed into the sea, following discrepancies with the pitot tubes speed indications. This story revisits the circumstances.

Boeing WTO appeal: The appeal of the WTO panel findings that Boeing received illegal subsidies is due Wednesday. The EU filed a technical appeal to start the clock while the US Trade Representative filed a substantive appeal. Both sides will claim victory, in yet another round of what we consider to be a meaningless load of [stuff]. Our disdain for the WTO is well known to readers of this column.

Rolls-Royce: Flight Global has an interesting piece on Rolls-Royce’s product strategy.

90-Seat Turbo-Props: Flight Global also has an article on the engine development for the prospective 90-seat turbo-props.

COMAC C919: China’s aerospace authority, CAAC, has taken a hands-off approach to the design of the COMAC C919–a development that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the project.

Southwest Airlines: A blog item from Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News lists Southwest operations at hub cities–and what’s interesting is that Chicago Midway Airport is one of WN”s least efficient city from an asset utilization standpoint. Look at the number of gates-to-flights in the charts.

US appeal of Airbus WTO ruling aimed at A350, future of A320

There is been some perplexed reaction to the appeal by the US Trade Representative to the World Trade Organization that the USTR and Boeing claimed only a few months ago were sweeping victories in the complaint that Europe had illegally subsidized Airbus over four decades.

There shouldn’t be any confusion; the answer is simple. Say “A350″ and “A320.”

To be sure, the US won most of the important points it challenged but as Airbus, its parent EADS and the European Union pointed out at the time—and which we reported—the US failed to prevail on the all-important point that launch aid, per se, was illegal.

The US appealed this finding, as well as findings that certain financial aid provided by France for the A380 development was not illegal export subsidies. The US also has appealed this finding.

Here’s what Airbus said Friday in response to the US appeals:

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WTO Airbus ruling due Tuesday

Update, March 24, 10:15PM Central European Time:

The reaction to the WTO Final Report at the Aircraft Finance Conference is a Big Yawn, even among Americans here in the Geneva, Switz, venue. As one person with close ties to Boeing put it, “Nobody cares.”

At a briefing we attended Tuesday night about the final report, we didn’t hear anything that meaningfully changed our commentary below.

Original Post:

The Final Report on the US complaint about illegal subsidies to Airbus is due tomorrow (March 23), but it will remain confidential until sometime in April before a public version is released for all to see.

Partisans on both sides of the dispute are already lining up in pre-issuing statements and, in the US case, an orchestrated media campaign touting how dastardly Airbus has been.

Yeah, well, whatever.

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US questions China aviation subsidies

Here is a story we wrote for Commercial Aviation Online October 26:

The US Trade Representative (USTR) has filed a series of questions with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over national, multi-industry state subsidies in China, including the development of the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) ARJ21 and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) C919, the first serious challenges by China to Western airliners.

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