View Full Version : What is wrong with the BIG 'Bus?

20th Jun 2005, 02:25
Airbus stakeholder BAE Systems said the 555 seat A380 plane was being delayed by problems with systems developed for the world's largest airliner and that stakeholders were loath to press on with the mooted A350 until the bigger plane's problems were resolved.

Paris hosts the world's largest air show from Monday and the hefty A380 is expected to star.

But delays in it have prompted complaints from airlines and added urgency to calls for EADS, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, to sort out internal debates holding up appointment of its new co-chief executives.

"Some of the systems are not as they should be on the A380," BAE Chief Executive Mike Turner told a meeting of journalists late on Sunday.

He said sorting out those problems was key to moving forward with the mid-sized A350 given that Airbus engineers were already being stretched by the A380 as well as work on developing the A400M military transport plane.

"At the moment, we are committed to (ensuring) the reliability of the A380 and doing the A400M," said Turner.

Already Europe's biggest defense company and its top player in the US market, BAE is constantly asked if it might sell its 20 percent stake in commercial airliner maker Airbus, calls which have increased in light of the planemaker's recent trouble launching the A350 while rival Boeing stacks up orders for its new 787 model.

"If the day comes when we can get better value for our 20 percent stake, we'd sell it," Turner said.

He said the current spat between the United States and the European Union over aircraft development subsidies boiled down to two sides which do benefit from such state money, though he expressed surprise at the US stance on the topic: "I'm really surprised by how convinced they are that they are right."