Report: Planemaker Eyeing A Trio Of New Aircraft
Despite criticism over its initial
A350 project -- in fact, because of it -- Airbus is reportedly
looking to introduce not one... not two... but three new aircraft,
all aimed at grabbing a few widebody sales back from archrival
Citing industry sources, Reuters reports Airbus may provide some
hints of the new planes -- likely to be named the A350-800, -900
and -1000 -- at the 2006 Farnborough Air Show, which begins
"They are definitely looking at doing three," one industry
source told Reuters, with a second adding "Christian Streiff will
be responding to feedback from customers received over recent
months on Monday."
As Aero-News has reported
extensively, many believe Airbus went back to the
drawing board for its midsized A350 widebody, originally intended
to do battle with Boeing's upcoming composite 787. The original
A350 was soundly trounced in that battle -- with Boeing's
"Dreamliner" securing over three times as many orders as the
Sources say the largest, -1000 variant of the new A350 (which
could also be called the A370... aren't aviation rumors fun?) will
not just go up against the largest 787... but even Boeing's 777,
which over the past year has pulled away from Airbus' A330 and
four-engined A340 in the order book.
First deliveries of the new A350/A370 -- which were originally
meant to start in 2010 -- will likely slip to 2012, sources say...
with other variants following even later. That means that, for now
at least, Boeing still has a distinct advantage over its rival...
it can get planes to customers a lot sooner.
Which should mean that, to remain competitive, Airbus
won't just have to meet the 777/787 challenge with its new
planes... but exceed it. And that should mean the new
Airbus birds will be something to see.
Stay tuned. This is starting to get VERY interesting...