Japanese manufacturers have decided against submitting bids to supply Airbus with large components for the new A350 twinjet, writes Brendan Sobie.

Tokyo-headquartered Airbus Japan says the airframer has not convinced Fuji Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to join the A350 programme as risk-sharing partners. The three companies are building 35% of the Boeing 787 and have indicated they do not have the capacity to also be suppliers for the A350.

Airbus Japan confirms Airbus “expects major Japanese companies will not bother being risk-sharing partners on the A350 like they have on the 787”. Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert told an Airbus-sponsored executive forum last week in Tokyo that the manufacturer is “very keen … to have Japan’s cutting-edge technologies on board the A350 in a bigger scale than [the 3% on] the A380, in which 21 Japanese companies joined”.

Airbus is now evaluating bids from potential first-tier suppliers on the A350 and has promised to outsource 5% of the aircraft to China and 3% to Russia.

In Japan, Airbus has been trying to catch up with Boeing, which counts Japanese manufacturers as its largest foreign suppliers and has won all recent campaigns at All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

Source: Flight International