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No Airbus alarm over Boeing's Dreamliners

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 02:14

Jan.17 - The number of Boeing 787 Dreamliners stuck on the ground is swelled as Poland becomes the latest to stop them from flying and rival Airbus says it's watching developments carefully. Joel Flynn reports.

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Poland's main airline is the latest to ground its fleet of Boeing Dreamliners. It adds its name to a list that includes Japan, Qatar, India and the U.S. Now most of Boeing's state-of-the-art 787s are out of the sky - the last place the manufacturer wants to see them. And they could also be facing legal action as a result. Tomasz Balcerzak, is deputy chairman of LOT. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) LOT DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, TOMASZ BALCERZAK, SAYING: "We are of course analysing our contract with the manufacturer Boeing and gathering data concerning the costs generated by the irregularities. And of course we will be filing a complaint to the manufacturer Boeing in due time." The Dreamliner was heralded as the next generation in commercial airliners. But problems with its batteries are the latest in a string of technical issues. In the past 18 months it's suffered from fires, brake problems and even cracks in the windscreen. The U.S. manufacturer still managed to outsell its rival Airbus last year. The European manufacturer has just reported a 43% drop in orders, surrendering its crown as the world's largest planemaker. Airbus's carbon-composite A350 - due to make its maiden flight in the summer - may be affected if regulators order battery changes to the Dreamliner. But the company's CEO Fabrice Bregier says he's not worried. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS PRESIDENT FABRICE BREGIER SAYING: "Regarding the 350 electrical architecture, we don't see any reason, at least until we get additional information, to change our design." Earlier in the day Bregier also said he wasn't concerned about orders. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS PRESIDENT FABRICE BREGIER SAYING: "We are growing a lot in China, in Asia and the Middle East and this is why we have recruited for the last two years, 10 thousand highly skilled people largely in Europe and in 2013 we will add another 3000 to them." The waiting time for a new Airbus is years ahead. Industry sources say that means there's little chance of airlines cancelling orders from Boeing just yet.

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No Airbus alarm over Boeing's Dreamliners

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 02:14

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