TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Scott Jagow: Boeing has delayed the test flight of its wonderplane, the 787 Dreamliner. The 787 is still supposed to be delivered on time to airlines, but regardless, Boeing’s European competitor Airbus must be happy about this, I would think. Let’s bring in our European Correspondent Stephen Beard. Is that true, Stephen?
Stephen Beard: The Germans have a word for it: schadenfreude, taking pleasure from other people’s misfortune. Of course, Airbus has been dogged by delays of its own, a two-year delay for its flagship project the A380. So knowing that the old rival could have similar problems is very much reassuring.
Jagow: Yeah but Airbus has had its own problems as you’ve said. So will they be able to capitalize on this?
Beard: Well it’s worth pointing put that actually Airbus has already benefited from this plane, the Dreamliner, which has created such a demand for this type of mid-sized, long-haul aircraft that Airbus is actually expected to sell a lot more of its rival plane the A350 as a result.
Jagow: But if the delays are more serious for Boeing, for the Dreamliner, how much of an advantage would this be for Airbus?
Beard: Oh a very much greater advantage. I mean if this test flight delay turns into a delivery delay that’ll be fantastic for Airbus. And here’s an interesting instance of how important the timing is here: British Airways is mulling over the replacement of its entire long-haul fleet and if Boeing gets the Dreamliner ready for delivery by 2010, BA will order the Boeing. If however Dreamliner is delayed until 2012, 2013, then the Airbus A350 is in with a very much better chance.
Jagow: All right Stephen Beard, our London correspondent, thanks for joining us.
Beard: OK Scott.
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