Airbus to drop lithium-ion batteries in A-350 on reliability concerns

NEW YORK (AP) - Airbus is dropping lithium-ion batteries from its new A-350 plane because of uncertainty surrounding the technology that has led to the grounding of Boeing's 787.

The European planemaker said late on Thursday that it has decided to revert to nickel-cadmium batteries for the A-350. The plane is a wide-body jet rival to the 787 and is expected to make its first flight around the middle of the year.

Airbus says it does not expect the battery switch to delay the A-350.

Federal officials grounded the 787 last month because of problems with its lithium-ion batteries that caused one fire and forced another plane to make an emergency landing.

Airbus says the A-350 uses batteries in a different setup to the 787, making it unlikely that it would face the same problems.