Airbus has by all accounts, lost a contest race with Boeing to sell wide-body jets to American Airlines [AA]. Boeing is now set to supply the 787 Dreamliner to the U.S. carrier, beating Airbus offer of A330neos.
Discussions with AA on the re-engined model of the Airbus smallest wide-body jet have now ended, according to Bloomberg on March 23, 2018, suggesting it was unwilling to match the price Boeing offered.
“In this case, the competition simply priced their aircraft lower than we were willing to offer,” Airbus said in a statement. “We look forward to the next opportunity to compete with what we know is a superior product.”
AA meanwhile maintains it has not made any final decisions on the aircraft order. “We are continuing to look at our wide-body options and are focused on making the right decision for American,” the airline’s spokesman stated.
General Electric, jet engines are expected to power the Boeing aircraft, beating proposals from rival Rolls-Royce, Reuters reports.
The U.S. carrier said in January 2018, it was considering the A330-900neo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as a possible substitute for a long forsaken deal for 22 of A350-900 twin-aisle aircraft.
The A350s themselves were to be a replacement for the carrier’s Boeing 767s and 777s that it is phasing out.
American inherited the A350 deal from U.S. Airways when it merged with the smaller carrier in 2013, but had put off delivery twice already, in 2016 and 2017.
In recent years, American has renewed its fleet with hundreds of new aircraft. According to industry sources, the airline is currently looking for about 25-30 wide-body jets, which would make a deal with Boeing potentially worth around $7-8.5 billion, Reuters writes.
Second-guessing the A330neo
Airbus updated its A330 series in 2014 with new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, but after an initial foray, the model has been struggling in the marketplace. The recently appointed Airbus sales chief Eric Schulz has made boosting sales of the aircraft a top priority for 2018, Reuters writes.
The latest setback comes weeks after Hawaiian Airlines dropped an order for six Airbus A330-800neos in favour of ten Boeing‘s 787, leaving that particular long-haul A330neo model with no customers.
Airbus is reportedly even considering a cargo model of the A330neo, which would also compete with Boeing – the leader in the global air cargo industry – and its popular 767 freighter.
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