Airliners negotiate a deal to buy an Airbus aircraft and then they negotiate a deal on engines to be fitted on the aircraft. To completely different things. Sure there is a limited choice of engines. Just doesn't make a difference. Airbus does not manufacture the engines, it is NOT an Airbus product.
If I buy a computer from Dell, and a screen from the home depot or whatever other store that has nothing to do with Dell, one has got to be a big fat idiot if one blames Dell if the screen fails to work. And this is actually the situation here.
I know how airlines order their engines, but the fact that there is a limited choice of engines of course
makes a difference.
This isn't you going out and buying a monitor that "has nothing to do with Dell". This is you going out and buying the monitor that Dell told you to
. They said, "These are the two options you have. Both monitors are produced by our approved partners and we've tested and certified these monitors, and only these monitors, with the use of our PCs". If the monitor they tell me to buy fails you can be damned sure I'm pointing a finger at Dell. Certainly they're not getting most of the blame, but you can be damned sure they're taking some of it.
Sure, the fact that you bought it from someone else mitigates some of the intangible damages, but it absolutely does not absolve Airbus of responsibility. Airlines don't go out, pick some random engine, and say "Make this work" and stick Airbus with doing the best they could per their demands. Airbus selects
manufacturers they wish to allow to produce engines for their aircraft and then tells airlines
what engines they
have tested, qualified, and certified to work with their
aircraft. The fact that the purchase is separate is only done for the purposes of legal indemnification it doesn't absolve them of any reputation damage that may occur if there were ever an issue with one of their chosen engine partners.
I spend billions a year of one of the largest companies in the world's money. I often do so on extremely expensive capital items similar in cost to aircraft. These goods often require that I source associated items from other sources per the recommendation of the primary manufacturer. They
have qualified this other companies products and I take their word that the product is at least
as good a quality individually as their manufactured product will be. If that sub-component were to fail, I of course have no legal recourse with the manufacturer of the entire assembly, that's precisely why they have me source and contract out the sub-component individually. But if you think I'm not going to put some blame on the part of the OEM for recommending a poor component and/or supplier and that it won't likely impact my future business decisions, you're fooling yourself. And you're really
fooling yourself if you think the people who ultimately use the parts I source give a flying fart about whether or not the subcomponent that failed was from some manufacturer other than the one whose name is written on the side or some separate party. They, logically and reasonably, blame the guy that's up front and center without the least regard to the fact that the part that failed was sourced separately from a different supplier. That's why these manufacturers, and Airbus and Boeing alike, don't just choose engine partners all "willy-nilly", it's a huge
deal for them primarily because if they choose one that can't deliver or delivers poor stuff it reflects at least
as badly on them as it does the other guy.