787 systems less mature than A330: Leahy

Hamburg
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Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy says that the systems on the Boeing 787 are less mature only when compared to the airframer's A330 family of aircraft, clarifying his earlier comments on the new aircraft.

He explains that the A330 can operate similar routes with the same number of seats, comparable fuel burn and a higher dispatch ratio than the 787, on the sidelines of the delivery of American Airlines' first A319 in Hamburg today.

"We can actually beat the economics of the 787 with the A330," says Leahy.

Boeing claims that the 787-8 reduces fuel burn per seat by 20% compared to the 767, while the General Electric GEnx-1B engine alone offers a 10% fuel burn reduction compared to the engines aboard the A330.

The A330-300 entered service in 1994 and the -200 in 1998.

Leahy was reported as saying that the 787 "does not have mature systems", which would result in significant maintenance and cancellation expenses for airlines as it matured, at a delivery event for the 1,000th A330 earlier in July.

Airbus will continue to produce the A330 for "at least another 10 years" and could continue beyond that based on demand, says Leahy.

He says that all aircraft go through a "teething" process when they are first introduced, when asked about the recent issues with emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) on the 787 and the aircraft's lithium ion batteries.