10 December 2012

A350-800 not to be cancelled but A330 improved to maintain 787 under pressure

Airbus said it will stick with the smallest variant of its A350 XWB family to provide a challenger for every version of Boeing’s 787, even after launch customer Qatar Airways switched to the A350-1000 bigger model.

Scrapping the baseline plane would leave Airbus vulnerable to the similar 787-9, Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said in an interview.
A350-800 key changes vs 900. Courtesy EADS Global Investor Forum

Airbus’s older A330, which won some earlier competitions against 787, doesn’t have the range to combat the 787-9 and even the 787-8, Leahy said, adding: “For the longer range you’ll need the A350-800.” 800 A330s have been sold since 787 launch and there is a A330 take-off or landing every 25 seconds, with 99.0% reliability.

Airbus is meanwhile looking at increasing production of the A330 to 11 aicraft a month, up from 9.5 now and 10 next spring, Leahy said. A330 orders continue arriving to Airbus headquarters.

Based on article “Airbus to Stick With A350-800 Even as Airlines Favor Bigger Jets” published in Bloomberg.

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