Boeing and Airbus to share pounds 5bn BA order

BRITISH AIRWAYS is preparing to share out a pounds 5bn aircraft order, one of the largest in commercial aviation history, between the two arch rivals, Airbus Industrie and Boeing.

The four-nation Airbus consortium is favourite to win a pounds 3bn order for up to 100 short-haul jets to enter service on BA's regional European routes.

As a consolation, the airline looks like selecting the twin-engined Boeing 777 for a long-haul jet order worth up to pounds 2bn. The purchase could also bring in engine orders worth up to pounds 500m for Rolls-Royce.

BA may confirm the giant orders at the Farnborough Air Show next month, but airline sources indicated yesterday that there might be an earlier announcement.

BA is expected to order about 60 aircraft from the Airbus A320 range both for the main airline and its European subsidiaries, Deutsche BA and Air Liberte. Options are likely on a further 60 aircraft.

This would be the first time BA has bought direct from Airbus and a major coup for the consortium in which British Aerospace has a 20 per cent stake. The aircraft will be powered by either V2500 engines from the International Aero Engines consortium, in which Rolls has a 30 per cent stake, or by the CFM56 of General Electric and Snecma.

The order for 777s could involve up to 30 aircraft. If Rolls is selected as the engine supplier, it would be a double bonus. BA's existing fleet of 777s are powered by GE90 engines. It has 18 in service and a further 11 on order.

When the order was placed seven years ago, Lord King, then BA chairman, controversially decided to opt for an American-powered aircraft to meet its future wide-bodied needs rather than a British-powered Airbus, the A330.

As a result BA is one of the few leading airlines which has no Rolls- Royce Trent engines in service. Selecting Rolls would mean that BA's fleet of 777s would be powered by two different engines.

Industry sources said BA could still justify this on economic grounds since the latest versions of the Trent have greater power and thrust than competing engines, extending the range and payload of the new 777s.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings