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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 17:11 GMT
Airbus 'to outsource A350 work'
Airbus A350
Parent company EADS has yet to give the A350 project the go-ahead
Airbus has refused to confirm reports it will outsource up to 50% of the work on its mid-sized A350 aircraft.

Reuters news agency quoted Airbus boss Louis Gallois as saying the outsourcing plan would go ahead if parent company EADS gives the project the green light.

Airbus refused to confirm the report, which said 1.8bn euros ($2.4bn; 1.2bn) of work could go to other firms.

The A350 has been plagued by funding rows. EADS is expected to hold talks to discuss the project this week.

"On the A350 our plan is to outsource 50% of the airframe production, which would allow us to hand over (part of the production) to partners participating in the development. We have started talking to candidates," Reuters quoted Mr Gallois as saying.

String of problems

However, a spokesperson for the planemaker denied any decisions on the project had been made.

She added that any news concerning the mid-sized plane would be announced when - and if - the project got the go-ahead.

Designed to compete with Boeing's forthcoming 787 Dreamliner, the A350 is expected to cost 4.35bn euros to develop.

The plane has been beset with problems - including a funding row between EADS and US rival Boeing.

Over the summer, Airbus also unveiled three new designs for the plane, while its wings were also redesigned.

Meanwhile, the firm's A380 superjumbo project has also seen major setbacks, as electrical faults led to delivery delays which prompted some customers to cancel their orders.

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