Airbus takes on Boeing with A350 go-ahead

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 10 (AFP) - The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is to launch a new plane, the A350, that will challenge the future Boeing fuel-efficient 7E7, Airbus owners EADS and BAE Systems said Friday.

PARIS, Dec 10 (AFP) - The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is to launch a new plane, the A350, that will challenge the future Boeing fuel-efficient 7E7, Airbus owners EADS and BAE Systems said Friday.

The announcement came as the board of directors of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) was meeting in Amsterdam.

EADS controls 80 percent of Airbus and BAE Systems of Britain 20 percent. The decision means that Airbus is authorised to solicit orders for the aircraft, derived from the A330 model, which will be offered in two versions that are expected to be operational in 2010.

EADS and BAE Systems foresee a market for 3,100 mid-range aircraft such as the A350 over 20 years. The plane will have a capacity of between 245 and 285 seats.

"The A350 will strongly contribute to EADS' long-term business strategy and profitable growth," said EADS co-chief executives Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich in a statement.

"Moving forward with a new long-range aircraft is of great importance for the future competitiveness of Airbus' product range as a whole."

The overall cost of a new program could come to as much as EUR 4 billion (USD 5.3 billion), according to press reports.

Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard has said he would ask for reimbursable advances from four European countries - Britain, France, Germany and Spain - to go ahead with development of the A350.

The move would likely aggravate a US-European row over the legality of government assistance to Boeing and Airbus.

EADS shares edged up following the announcement, rising 0.52 percent in Paris to EUR 23.08 on a generally stronger market.

"We cannot make a judgment on the announcement for the moment," said one analyst from a European bank who asked not to be named.

"There are very few details, notably on financing, investment and financial impacts."

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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