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Airbus chief says Boeing Dreamliner problems will not yet affect its new A350 design

posted 17 Jan 2013, 05:37 by Mpelembe   [ updated 17 Jan 2013, 05:37 ]

Airbus president says that both Boeing and Airbus prioritise safety and that battery problems which have plagued the Dreamliners will not yet prompt aircraft redesign.

TOULOUSEFRANCE (JANUARY 17, 2013) (AIRBUS) -   Airbus president Fabrice Bregier told a news conference in Toulouse on Thursday (January 17) that safety concerns over batteries in rival Boeing's Dreamlineraircraft will not yet prompt a redesign of its own planes.

Bregier described safety as 'paramount' to both companies, after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded Boeing's newest commercial airliner on Wednesday.

Since then EuropeJapanQatar and India joined the United States in grounding the 787 Dreamliner passenger jets while battery-related problems are investigated.

As to whether the safety issues may affect Airbus' future A350 passenger jet, Bregier said that all current safety conditions had been satisfied.

"Regarding the batteries, if it is about that, first of all we went through discussions with certification agencies, both EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and FAA, and they seemed at that time very happy with the selected architecture of our aircraft. Second, of course, if FAA issues some directives and recommendations we will study them very carefully with them and see whether it might or not apply to the 350," he said.

He added that a redesign was unlikely until they receive additional information.

Airbus plans the maiden flight of its A350 carbon-composite airliner by mid-year. The new plane will also use lithium-ion batteries -- made by France's Saft Groupe.