EBACE: Boeing, Airbus bicker over ‘misleading’ claims on business jets

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Airbus and Boeing devoted part of their news conferences to accuse each other of spreading false information.

Boeing's conference came first and included several presentation slides correcting what it considers to be misleading Airbus marketing claims about the 737-based Boeing Business Jet.

Boeing refuted Airbus claims that the BBJ's cabin height is lower than that of the A320-based Airbus Corporate Jet. BBJ president Steve Taylor said Airbus did not sell 11 VIP derivatives in 2011 and the BBJ is operated under both private and commercial certification.

Only a few minutes after Boeing's press conference ended, Airbus Corparate Jets vice president commercial Francois Chazelle hit back.

"Why are they being so defensive?" Chazelle asked.

Taylor claimed that Airbus started the row last month by making erroneous statements at the ABACE event in Shanghai, China. Chazelle countered that Boeing was the instigator.

"They started this in Shanghai," Chazelle says. "I was busy closing deals."

Airbus also defended the accuracy of its original claims. Boeing argues that Airbus counts three orders for military tankers in its 2011 sales numbers for business jets, but Airbus flatly denies that.

"I can categorically assure you there are no tankers in our 2011 sales," an Airbus spokesman insists.

Taylor also attacked the performance of the ACJ, claiming that a BBJ's higher maximum take-off weight allows it to carry more fuel. This means the BBJ, with an equivalent interior, has a 700nm (1,296km) range advantage, Taylor says.

But Airbus points to published performance data, showing only a 200nm range advantage for the BBJ compared with the ACJ.