Airbus believes it is "100% on the safe side" with the A350 after making a decision to ditch the use of lithium-ion batteries in the type, following the Boeing 787's battery woes.
"I'm sure we are 100% on the safe side," says Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier at an industry luncheon in Washington today when asked to comment on the airframer's decision to replace the A350's lithium-ion batteries with nickel-cadmium batteries on production A350s.
Airbus announced the change in February, about a month after the 787 in-service fleet stopped flying worldwide following a grounding of the type by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Bregier says that the airframer believes the lithium-ion battery design of the A350 is "secure" but adds that Airbus made the decision to change the battery to be on the safe side.
"It's never good to have a fire on an aircraft and say you can contain it," he says, adding that this does not mean lithium-ion batteries will not return to the A350. Lithium-ion batteries could be used on the aircraft type in a few years, says Bregier.