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Head of commercial sales John Leahy said negotiations for the A350 are being conducted with several airlines.
He said: "We are in final talks with several companies. We'll have more than 100 firm orders in the order book for the A350 to announce at Paris.
"This is an all-new aircraft. Since December we improved width, range, seat costs, economics. We changed the aircraft three or four times in the past 90 days. We achieved an eight-tonne weight reduction through the use of new technologies. Sixty per cent of the A350 structure is in advanced materials."
Originally posted by longbow
The confidence is good thing, especially if your aircraft is more expensive and less effective than 787.
Airbus has again revised its plans for the A350, turning it from an A330-derivative to a new widebody in the face of rival Boeing's success with its 787.
After first saying the existing A330/A340 family would suffice to compete with the 787, and last year amending that to projecting a mere derivative of the A330, the aircraft will now undergo a more dramatic transformation--a new development at a higher price. About "90% of the part numbers are going to be changed" over the current aircraft type, says Olivier Andries, A350 program manager.
All New A350?
Airbus's A350-9 version would seat 259 passengers. The A350- 800 model would seat 253 in three classes, flying 8,560 nautical miles. That compares with 245 seats and range of 6,670 nautical miles in its existing A330-200.
Airbus said the higher seat count, which it got by moving back the rear bulkhead and crew rest area further back, will give the A350 17 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than its own A330- 200 and 4 percent better efficiency per seat than the 787-8 model, which seats 223.
Airbus's bigger A350-900 model would compete with Boeing's 787- 9, with 259 seats flying 8,300 nautical miles, and Boeing's 777- 200ER, which carries 301 passengers 7,700 nautical miles, as well as replacement plane for DC10s, MD11s and Airbus's own A340-300 models, Leahy said.