Decision on Airbus A350 launch up in the air

30th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 29 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of aircraft maker Airbus, will decide whether to launch the A350 aircraft, a possible competitor to Boeing's planned 7E7, on December 10, a spokeswoman for Airbus Industrie said Monday.

PARIS, Nov 29 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of aircraft maker Airbus, will decide whether to launch the A350 aircraft, a possible competitor to Boeing's planned 7E7, on December 10, a spokeswoman for Airbus Industrie said Monday.

But EADS, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, insisted it would not "necessarily" make a decision at its next board meeting on December 10.

The conflicting statements followed an EADS board of directors meeting in Paris Monday, which heard proposals about the the planned A350 aircraft.

An Airbus spokeswoman said after the session: "The (EADS) board fully supports the proposals brought by the Airbus management."

"Final decisions will be made at the 10th December regular board meeting." But an EADS spokesman countered that timeline.

"The board will not necessarily make a decision on December 10," he told AFP. "It will proceed with an examination of the matter."

Earlier Monday, an EADS spokeswoman had told AFP following the board meeting that directors had listened "with interest" to the position of Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard.

She added that a decision on the A350 would be taken "before the end of the year."

Last week both EADS and Airbus made positive noises about a launch of the A350 project.

EADS co-chief executive Philippe Camus said Wednesday he was "favourable" to a possible A350 project to develop a competitor to arch-rival Boeing's fuel-efficient 7E7.

"The A350 project is being studied, we have several options ... there are a certain number of good plans that have been drawn up, we are going to make a decision very, very quickly," he said.

And Forgeard said Tuesday he was "reasonably optimistic" on the chances for the launch of the A350.

But he would not be drawn on the investment needs of the new plane, which is based on the existing A330 model.

Previously, Airbus officials have indicated the new program could cost up to EUR 3 billion (USD 3.98 billion).

EADS holds an 80 percent stake in Airbus, with the remaining 20 percent controlled by British defence contractor BAE Systems.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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