Air India slams Airbus for Boeing allegations

6th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

NEW DELHI, May 5 (AFP) - Air-India said Thursday that it would complain to European aircraft giant Airbus Industrie for crying foul over the state-run carrier's decision to buy 50 long-range jets from US rival Boeing.

NEW DELHI, May 5 (AFP) - Air-India said Thursday that it would complain to European aircraft giant Airbus Industrie for crying foul over the state-run carrier's decision to buy 50 long-range jets from US rival Boeing.  

Jitendra Bhargava, spokesman for Air-India, said the carrier would make its "deep unhappiness" known to Airbus for alleging that its board had been soft on Boeing when awarding the seven-billion-dollar deal in its favour.  

"We will be letting Airbus know about our deep unhappiness with the way they went about making unfounded accusations against Air India in the media," Bhargava told AFP in a telephone interview from Bombay.  

The board of state-run Air-India on April 26 awarded a contract for 50 long-range Boeing aircraft after a year of intense lobbying by both companies for the deal. The contract is subject to federal government approval.  

Bhargava added that "speculation in the media ... regarding us suing Airbus (on the matter) is a little far fetched and incorrect."  

The Times of India newspaper carried a front page story saying Air-India had sought legal advice and was planning to take Airbus to court for running a "disinformation campaign."  

Airbus said it was denied a chance to offer a wider variety of aircraft choices while Boeing was able to sell its B787 Dreamliner which is still under development.  

It also urged the Indian government to probe Air-India's decision, order a new tender and questioned Boeing's delivery schedule.  

"We are not disappointed but astonished. We were not given fair and equal treatment," Airbus vice president Nigel Harwood said after the contract was awarded.   Air-India also described the Airbus demand for a government probe into its board decision as "outrageous."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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