McDonnell-Douglas' MD-11 on Wednesday seemed to be the top favorite for replacing the 11 DC-10s on Swissair's intercontinental fleet.
Switzerland's national airline is to officially announce its choice today but predictions in the Swiss press said the new MD-11 will make it over the European-made Airbus A340.Sepp Moser, a leading Swiss aviation writer, predicted in a commentary in the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger newspaper that "barring the unforeseen" Swissair would again pick a McDonnell Douglas plane to succeed the DC-10s.
He said the financially troubled European Airbus consortium had "hardly a chance" of being awarded the contract but was likely to make a last-minute favorable offer that would give Swissair new leverage in bargaining with the St. Louis, Mo. company.
Mr. Moser said the A340 could be delivered only in 1992 while the MD-11 would already beavailable two years earlier. Also, he said, it would be known only next month whether financing of the new line was assured.