Airbus backs Boeing over Dreamliner, waits for findings
European airliner maker Airbus said on Thursday that it would see if any rulings arising out of the grounding of Boeing Dreamliner aircraft affected its new A350 plane, and gave support to rival Boeing.
US federal aviation regulators have issued a grounding notice, effective worldwide, for the B787 aircraft which has been hit by a series of electrical incidents.
Airbus head Fabric Bregier said: "I wish all the best to our colleague (Boeing)."
He said: "A plane is designed to fly. Even if a good 787 flies we have good solutions to face it. I don't bet on the difficulties of a competitor."
He said that Airbus would review any recommendations by US regulators regarding the grounded Boeing B787 Dreamliner to see if they concerned the new Airbus A350 plane.
Bregier noted the electrical problems which lie behind the problem at Boeing, but said there was no reason to change electrical systems being developed for the long-range A350.
The A350 is still under development and is due to make its maiden flight in six months' time.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the sales performance and prospects of Airbus, Bregier said that it was too soon to analyse any decision by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA has grounded Dreamliners because of incidents arising mainly from electrical systems and lithium batteries used in the Dreamliner.
Airbus itself was hit by micro cracks in the wings of its showcase A380 superjumbo plane last year, but says this problem is now behind it.
Bregier said: "In this industry both Boeing and Airbus give the same priority to safety."
Referring to the grounding, he said: "There is a decision of the FAA. This decision confirms again that air transport is probably one of the safest (methods of) transport around the world."
Bregier continued: "Of course if the FAA issued some directives and recommendations, we will study them very carefully and see if they might apply to the A350."
But he emphasised that Airbus did not use identical systems in its new plane and said: "Our electrical architecture has no reason to change. We are confident this design is robust as well."
© 2013 AFP