The Wall Street Journal reported that Airbus is talking with customers about the prospect of a stretch of the Airbus A350-1000 (commonly referred to as the A350-1100) while The Seattle Times reported there are no customer talks.
Leeham News asked John Leahy, COO-Customers of Airbus about the A350-1100 on the sidelines of the closing Air Show press conference.
“We look at a lot of things,” Leahy said. “We’ve been looking at it but it’s not obvious yet it makes a lot of sense.”
“It would have 40 more seats and it might have a bigger fan on the engine. But the real question is, are we chasing something that’s not there a demand? “
“We’re now looking at, is the market shifting in their direction? If it is, then we should be looking at a straight stretch of the A350-1000.
The debate is still going on. I think we will have something by the end of this year or the beginning of next year as to whether we would do it or not.”
There is a large product gap between the A350-1000 and today’s A380. If Airbus stretches the A380to seat 50-100 more passengers as part of a neo package, this gap would increase, making the A350-1100 more desirable to fill this gap.
Leahy said a decision on the A380neo will likely come by the end of this year or early next yearalthough there are market expectations that a decision would come at the Dubai Air Show in November.