No decision on possible second A350 line: Enders

Berlin
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EADS has not embarked on any decision for a possible second production line for the Airbus A350, but acknowledges that success for the type might require more capacity.

Chief executive Tom Enders says that Airbus's chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, is "very bullish" over the prospects for the twinjet family.

But Enders plays down suggestions of a second line, stressing that there is "no decision" regarding a complement to the final assembly line in Toulouse.

"This aircraft promises to be a success," says Enders, who was speaking during the EADS annual conference in Berlin. The A350 backlog at the end of January 2013 stood at 592 aircraft.

Boeing has established a second assembly line for the 787, located in Charleston. But Enders says that, if there is a business case for a second A350 line, it will be evaluated.

Enders warns that the A350 is entering a crucial phase and that the aircraft programme is "inherently risky". But he says he is "looking forward" to seeing the first prototype perform its maiden flight "in summer".

Germany's government, he confirms, has not yet contributed a €600 million loan for development of the aircraft.

"It has not been paid," he says. "We are still in discussions with the responsible people in the German government."