Fri, Mar 09, 2007
Good News For Beleagured Planemaker
What once was old, is new
again... and that's definitely good news for Airbus, which won its
first firm order this week for the redesigned A350 XWB midsized
airliner, from an old customer.
The Associated Press reports Finnair converted its nine orders
for the first iteration of the A350 -- which won't be built -- to
the XWB, and added two additional orders as well. Those are the
first firm commitments to the upgraded plane, which was announced
in July of last year and officially launched in December.
"We are particularly honored by this mark of confidence from
Finnair," Airbus COO John Leahy said, adding the orders amounted to
"an endorsement of the new A350 XWB program."
After the past couple weeks, Airbus will take any endorsements
it can get. The European planemaker is dealing with worker response
to announcement of the EADS-mandated "Power8" restructuring
program, calling for cuts to 10,000 jobs and the closure or spinoff
of six plants. As ANN reported, workers have
taken to the streets in France and Germany in protest.
Finnair also ordered a combination of seven new A330 and A340
widebodies as part of the XWB deal. Leahy is reportedly still in
negotiations with airlines holding the remaining 93 outstanding
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