Singapore Airlines has become the second key Airbus customer to say publicly that the European plane maker has not done enough to make its planned A350 jetliner competitive with rival Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner, the Wall Street Journal reported. The chief executive of Singapore Airlines said he believes that Airbus should have countered Boeing’s proposed new fuel-efficient airplane with an all-new airplane of its own, according to the report.
Chew Choon Seng, chief executive of Singapore Airlines, was quoted as saying in an interview in Zurich that he believes that “having gone to the trouble of designing a new wing, tail, cockpit” and adding advanced new materials, Airbus “should have gone the whole hog and designed a new fuselage. ”
Singapore Airlines expects in early May to announce a major order for widebody jetliners.
Chew’s comments, along with those last week from the chief executive of leasing giant International Lease Finance Corp, are adding to increasing pressure on Airbus to return to the drawing board at a time when the plane maker is already facing delays on its double-deck A380 airplane program and slumping sales of its four-engine A340, the Journal noted.