It is chocks away as Airbus scrambles its forces to respond to Boeing’s 7E7 project, with the announcement the A 330 is to be revamped as the A350, witha bigger capacity and longer range than the American competitor.
It will also cost more , three and a half billion euros as opposed to a previous three billion estimate, but Boeing may also be alarmed it is due to take to the air at the same time as the 7E7, in 2008. Airbus has also listened to its customers, who said they would be interested if it could beat the Boeing on capacity and range. On paper, the A350 wins on capacity, but not range. EADS, Airbus’s majority shareholder, says a completely new wing design will make the plane a world-beater, and it will be powered by new motors. Irish carrier Aer Lingus has already expressed interest in buying a dozen of the new planes. Boeing says it hopes for as many as 200 orders by the end of the year.