Air Canada chose the 787 over the Airbus A350 because the European twinjet "was larger than we wanted", says Robert Milton, chief executive of the airline's parent ACE Aviation Holdings. The carrier also favoured an entirely twin-engined widebody fleet versus Airbus's offering of a mix of twinjets and four-engined aircraft because of heightened concerns about fuel prices, swinging the decision Boeing's way. Boeing has also offered to take Air Canada's Airbus widebody fleet of eight A330-300s, 10 A340-300s and two A340-500s in exchange. Milton adds that Air Canada "will not be taking" the three A340-600s it still has on order. "In the event that we are not able to successfully market the A330s and A340s, which I do not anticipate, we do have the ability to have Boeing take them out," says Milton. This suggests Boeing is offering a similar trade-in deal to the one with Singapore Airlines, which saw the US manufacturer take the carrier's 17 A340-300s as part of an order for more 777s.

Source: Flight International