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Dreamliner duel: Airbus hits out at Boeing on 787

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has hit out at American giant Boeing saying its 787 Dreamliners were heavier, burned more fuel and were five years too late. Tushar Srivastava reports. Old order changeth? Jousting for Air India

india Updated: Mar 14, 2012 01:21 IST
Tushar Srivastava

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has hit out at American giant Boeing saying its 787 Dreamliners were heavier, burned more fuel and were five years too late.

State-owned Air India (AI) had placed an order for 27 Dreamliners in 2005 and deliveries were to start in September 2008. However, none has been delivered so far, prompting the AI board to let the government take a final call on whether to go ahead with the Dreamliner order or not.

AI management has also demanded a compensation of about $850 million from the Seattle-based aviation giant for the persistent delays. Boeing will showcase the Dreamliner at the India aviation air show in Hyderabad which begins on Wednesday.

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"Even when it (Dreamliner) does come it doesn't deliver on what it promised," Kiran Rao, executive vice-president, sales and marketing, Airbus told HT. "The airplane is heavier, burns more fuel and its five years late compared to what the airline (AI) originally wanted. So, if this is what they call meeting their promises it is a little surprising."

Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Boeing responded saying they had done everything that was promised. "No Airbus aircraft even comes close to the Dreamliner," Keskar told HT.

Rao said Airbus will stand by Vijay Mallya-controlled KFA, which has on order A380's, A350's and more than 20 A320's. "We are not in any great rush to cancel orders and will stand by them."