Page last updated at 05:43 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 06:43 UK

A380 'to benefit from oil prices'

EADS chief executive Louis Gallois talks to Nigel Cassidy about tankers, soaring oil prices and building planes in China.

EADS, the company that owns Airbus, expects to benefit from the high price of oil.

EADS chief executive Louis Gallois told the BBC that the rising oil price is pushing airlines towards buying new, more efficient aeroplanes.

"We have the most energy-efficient aeroplane in the world, the A380, the aeroplane of the future," he said.

But he conceded that there is a danger that airlines in financial difficulties might delay or even cancel orders.

"We are not seeing that at high levels at the moment but we are very vigilant," he said in an interview ahead of the Farnborough International Air Show.

US tanker deal

Mr Gallois was also asked about last Thursday's news that the US government has reopened a $35bn (17bn) contract to supply the US Air Force with refuelling tankers.

The deal had been given to EADS and its partner Northrop Grumman, beating a bid from Boeing, but the US said mistakes had been made when the bids were evaluated.

"It's not a potential loss - we want to win," he said.

He said he was confident that his tanker would still win the contract and added that the experience would not prevent EADS bidding for other contracts in the US.

"We have to be in the US - the US is the biggest market by far," he said.

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