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Confusion Surrounds A-3XX's Future

Wed May 31, 2000 8:46 am

Mixed signals from Airbus underscore the financial risks and challenges of the mega-transport project

Despite "expressions of interest" in the A3XX from six major airlines, Airbus Industrie partners canceled a meeting that was expected to authorize commercial offers for the proposed 481-686-seat aircraft.

It is unknown the real reason for the cancellation of the meeting, but Airbus says it is to iron out some minor issues. Some are questioning wheather or not Airbus has the orders or money to incest in the A-3XX, similar to how the 777X was questioned at first.

What really has Airbus on the edge is the fact that the new Boeing 747-500X has a greater range, similar capacity, and cheaper cost. What is also interesting is that the 747-500X will enter service in the 2nd half of 2005, the same time the first A-3XX is suppose to be rolling off the line.

It should also be noted that the "letters of interest" sent to Airbus by six major carriers are not legally binding documents, sales executives acknowledged. The airlines will not be able to sign an LOI until the plane is launched.

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