April 26, 2005


Air India to purchase 50 new Boeing jets
(The Associated Press, 4/25/05)

Air India announced today a $6 billion order for 50 new Boeing jetliners.

State-owned Air India said it would purchase eight 777-300 long-haul jetliners, 15 737-200 medium range aircraft and 27 787s — Boeing's newest jet, the Dreamliner.

The announcement came one day after Air Canada said it would purchase up to 96 Boeing jets.

Air India spokesman Jeetendra Bhargava said the board had reviewed purchase proposals from both Boeing and rival Airbus SAS before making a decision.

Earlier this month, Boeing's senior vice president of sales Dinesh Keskar said his company had offered "comprehensive and competitive bids" for the planes and last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta visited New Delhi and said relations between the United States and India would benefit if Boeing gets the order.

It's too faint praise, but Mr. Mineta is surely the best Transportation Secretary we've ever had.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 26, 2005 3:38 PM

And what evidence is there that Underperfomin' Norman had anything at all to do with this? On the other hand, Transportation is one of the more useless supernumary Cabinet positions so your praise is quite faint.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 26, 2005 4:40 PM

AOG - Mineta may not personally have been that significant, but it's clear that the Airbus vs Boeing competition is now a France/Germany vs U.S. competition, and both sides are linking all kinds of government policies to which aircraft vendor is patronized. With the revelation that France was basing tsunami aid and tariffs on Airbus purchases, this is a reasonable response for us. The competition has been going on behind the scenes for a while - thus the 3+-year holdup of approval for the Indian Airlines Airbus order is probably due to U.S. pressure.

Mineta making the trip to India was just for emphasis. This is a Bush policy.

Posted by: pj at April 26, 2005 4:55 PM

Mineta's policy on not profiling passenger interviews has been ridiculous. On that point alone he's incompetent and damn lucky, so far.

Posted by: Genecis at April 26, 2005 8:59 PM


It's worked.

Posted by: oj at April 26, 2005 9:37 PM


Yes, but you just reinforce my point. The only positive effects you can put in the Mineta column are ones where he's been a wind-up doll for President Bush. Hardly the stuff of greatness.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 27, 2005 12:32 AM

Why not? What is getting a bureaucracy to do what it's asked to do if not a signal achievement? How many cabinet secretaries have achieved it?

Posted by: oj at April 27, 2005 12:39 AM

For the same reason that when a homerun is hit, we don't praise the bat.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 27, 2005 9:27 AM

You praise the manager?

Posted by: oj at April 27, 2005 9:30 AM

I usually praise the pitcher.

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 27, 2005 9:37 AM

Mineta does not have responsibility for airline security anymore. TSA is part of Homeland Security. In other words, conservatives can stop obsessing on Mineta.

After Bush v. Gore, he, as a Democrat and Clinton appointee, took a cabinet post from a man who "stole" the election. Bushes don't forget such things. Conservatives in general should do likewise.

Posted by: Bob at April 27, 2005 10:46 AM