Airbus Says It Will Not Cede The Business To Its U.S. Rival
There's a major behind-the-scenes tug-of-war going on between rival planemakers Boeing and Airbus for a $15 billion order from United Continental Holdings ... and right now sources say Boeing is winning the battle.
Reuters reports that the inside sources are currently giving the edge to Boeing for 180 narrowbody jets, though neither Boeing or Airbus would comment on the negotiations. One source who did not want to be named said that it was likely that a deal with Boeing would be announced fairly soon, but with a "wink" to Airbus that they would be getting some of the business later this year.
Many of the merged airline's executives were affiliated with Continental before the merger, and that carrier had an exclusive deal with Boeing.
Bloomberg had reported that Airbus had withdrawn its bid for the business,but RBC Capital Markets Aerospace Analyst Rob Stallard told Reuters "any deal is not over until it is signed."
Boeing hopes that a major deal with United could offset a big win last year for Airbus, in which the European planemaker ordered 460 A320neo airplanes shortly before declaring bankruptcy. American had previously flown an all-Boeing fleet.