Airbus confident of avoiding Boeing battery issue
BLAGNAC, France (AP) - Airbus said it was confident its planes would not encounter the same technical problems afflicting archrival Boeing's 787s, even though they use the same kind of batteries that have this week raised security concerns.
The company may nevertheless be affected eventually, experts say. If investigations show that authorities had approved parts for the 787 that turned out to be deficient, Airbus may face tougher tests when it tries to launch a new plane this year.
Boeing Co's 787s have been grounded by governments around the world, including in the United States and Europe, because of fears the airplane's lithium ion battery system was unsafe. The batteries in some cases swelled and leaked, creating a fire hazard under the cockpit, where they are stored.
Airbus's new A350 wide-body jet, a rival to the 787 that will make its first flight around the middle of the year, also uses lithium ion batteries, but in a different setup. That means it is unlikely to face the same problems as the 787, Airbus said.