Airbus sees no demand for bigger A350 for now


TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – Airbus (AIR.PA) is not planning a larger A350 jet and will focus on developing existing versions of the widebody aircraft, an executive said on Tuesday. Last summer, the European planemaker shelved tentative plans for a bigger A350 that would compete more directly with Boeing’s (BA.N) new 777X plane currently under development. “For the time being there are no plans. We don’t see the need,” Marisa Lucas-Ugena, head of A350 XWB Marketing, told Reuters in Toulouse. She did not say what could create demand for a larger version. However, she added that while the A380 – the world’s largest passenger jet – fills the need for high density routes, there was still a “huge gap” between that model and the A350-1000, the largest of the A350 family. Slideshow (4 Images)Lucas-Ugena earlier told reporters that Airbus remained focused on its existing A350-900 and A350-1000 jets. The A350-900, which was originally marketed for 317 passengers, now holds 325 in standard layout. The A350-1000 seats 366 passengers in a typical arrangement. “We are extremely well placed on that part of the market with these two airplanes,” Lucas-Ugena told Reuters. The A350-1000 was launched to compete against Boeing’s 777s in the up to 400-seat market. Boeing is aiming to deliver the newer 777x version in 2020. Lucas-Ugena was speaking to reporters ahead of the first ever A350-1000 delivery to launch customer Qatar Airways. The Gulf carrier has ordered 37 A350-1000s. (GRAPHIC: Boeing and Airbus earnings – Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark PotterOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters