Airbus chief Noel Forgeard said the company is confident of overtaking Boeing's 787 with its planned A350, even though the former has an early lead with 237 firm orders. Airbus hopes to get 50 orders for A350 by the Paris Air Show in June, and another 50 by the year-end.
''It is a battle that will last about 20 years - like the battle that occurred between the Boeing 767 and the A330, which we won,'' Forgeard said.
The battle, however, is not limited to corporate boardrooms. National politics and bilateral ties have a significant bearing on airlines' decisions on new planes.
So days before the Air India's board meeting, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta visited New Delhi and said Washington-New Delhi relations would benefit if Boeing gets the order. Many saw this week's Air India decision as a balancing act in diplomacy. Air India's domestic counterpart, Indian Airlines, had earlier decided to buy 42 planes from Airbus. That decision had followed a visit by the French prime minister to India three years ago.
India's burgeoning middle class has switched from traveling by train to flying.
Airbus has disclosed orders at the Paris Air Show from carriers in Latin America and Asia for its A320 and A330 models. The orders restore the company's order-booking lead over rival Boeing, at...
Boeing and Air India celebrate the delivery of the airline's first 777-200LR Worldliner airplane, the first 777 from an order of 68 jetliners.
Boeing Co. plans to invest in a maintenance center and other facilities in India as its market grows there.