Airbus will reveal plan for super-jumbo: Aircraft would seat at least 600 people and cost dollars 8bn to develop
Saturday 04 June 1994
Jean Pierson, chairman, said the four-engine, double-decker aircraft, codenamed A3XX, would seat at least 600 people, compared with fewer than 500 in the biggest Boeing 747. It would cost dollars 8bn ( pounds 5.4bn) to develop and will be designed to challenge the American company in a market sector it has monopolised for 25 years.
The Airbus board decided last week to go ahead with preliminary work on the A3XX. 'We intend to discuss it with selected airlines after the Farnborough airshow in September,' Mr Pierson said. British Airways has already said it wants a super-jumbo for busy routes such as London-New York, arguing that larger aircraft are the only solution to growing airport congestion. Japanese airlines are also believed to be interested.
Airbus and Boeing have been working on a joint aircraft, the Very Large Commercial Transport, but airbus has suspicions that the American company is playing for time, hoping to preserve the 747's monopoly as long as possible. Boeing is working on an enlarged version of the jumbo, the 747X, which could satisfy some airline demand. It would, however, require a newly designed wing, which would make it more expensive than previous upgrades.
A decision on the joint aircraft will be made at the end of next year. 'Our first choice is the VLCT, but if that doesn't happen, we will have to react,' said Charles Masefield, Airbus's commercial director. 'Like Boeing we are double hedging.' He said the market analysts doubted there would be sufficient demand for more than one aircraft.
The A3XX would be larger than the 747X: a stretched version could probably carry 800 passengers. 'Our advantage is that we can leapfrog Boeing,' Mr Pierson said. Smaller versions would be designed to take business from the bigger 747s, while the bottom of the jumbo market would be attacked by enlarged versions of the current top-of-the range A340. But analysts point out that the A340 is being outsold by the new Boeing 777, and that Airbus would have a tough fight.
Mr Masefield said the aircraft would have to be at least 20 per cent cheaper to run than the 747- 400. 'It is no good spending dollars 8bn for a 10 per cent cost reduction,' he said.
Mr Pierson said the super- jumbo is much more likely to go ahead than the other aircraft of the future, the so-called Son of Concorde. 'As long as a supersonic aircraft is not authorised to fly over land, everybody's dreaming,' he said. 'I am not spending one dollar on this plane.'
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...