On the heels of this morning’s A330-200F announcement in Mobile, AL, I had an opportunity to sit down with Airbus North America Chairman Allan McArtor and Chairman and CEO of EADS North America, Ralph Crosby. We discussed a number of topics during the phone interview on both the commercial and defense fronts.
I started off with a question about potential growth in Mobile that went beyond just the A330 Freighter. Airbus is targeting 10 A330/A340 a month coming off the line by 2009 or 2010. In addition, they’ve said they also want 13 A350s per month in Toulouse by 2015. The last piece here is that Airbus has also said that they the A330 is a complimentary aircraft in the widebody offering and they, are going to continue producing the popular twin at the same time as the A330. The long preface, brought me to this question, is there enough room at Toulouse to assemble both the A330 and A350 at the pace Airbus wants, and if not, would the A330 passenger model end up on a final assembly line in Mobile?
McArtor felt it was an, “Interesting theory and…it was always possible.” He agreed that, “there would need to be additional capacity created for the A350 and long range A330/A340…and that [Airbus] hasn’t tried looking into it yet.”
I then asked about the status of negotiations with General Electric about bringing a second engine offering to the A350. This has been a sticking point for potential A350/787 customer Air France/KLM which requires all its aircraft to be powered by General Electric engines.
Mr. McArtor, started by saying, “We’re disappointed that GE hasn’t joined the program yet.” Adding, “We’re confident that issues are being worked through. It hasn’t happened yet, but we believe it will.”
When asked if the discussions were being held for a power plant for all variants or just the -800 and -900, Mr. McArtor confirmed that, “We’re looking at supplying an engine for all variants.”
Read the complete post at http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/2008/01/tanker-talk-with-mcartor-and-c.html
Mon, Jan 14 2008 10:22 PM
| Report Abuse