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Airbus Redesigns A350 To Compete With Boeing 787

Plane maker denies production delays for A350, as it unveiled a new interior for the midsize passenger jet to better compete with Boeing's fast-selling 787.

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- Airbus denied Tuesday that its A350 is facing production delays, as it unveiled a new interior for the midsize, long-range passenger jet that has been redesigned to compete better with Boeing Co.'s fast-selling 787.
Rainer von Borstel, a senior vice president of Airbus Germany, told reporters at the Aircraft Interiors Expo that the A350's straight side walls will provide more head and shoulder room and wider seats, to make it ''the widest cabin ever.''
''The A350 XWB cabin offers unrivaled comfort for long haul flights in its class,'' the company said in a statement. ''In addition, the larger pivoting overhead bins enable passengers to easily store their luggage close to their seat.''
Von Borstel refused to take questions on rumors the A350 was facing delays, but Airbus spokesman Tore Prang flatly denied them.
''The A350 is not delayed,'' Prang said. Airbus has said the A350 is expected to enter service with airlines in 2013.
Prang refused comment on news that France's market regulator has decided to initiate sanctions procedures and deepen its probe into market abuses at EADS, the French-German conglomerate that is the parent company of Airbus.
The regulator is investigating whether EADS executives and its main corporate shareholders -- Lagardere Groupe and Daimler AG -- sold shares because they knew that Airbus' program to build the world's largest jetliner, the A380, was running into delays.
Hamburg is considered one of Europe's and the world's leading aviation centers, and is known especially for its work in aircraft interior and technology design and manufacturing. Airbus has a major facility here, as do German airline Lufthansa and other companies working in the sector.
Besides the A350's new cabin, von Borstel said Airbus was also introducing a totally new aircraft kitchen concept at the show.
The kitchen, called the ''Spice Galley,'' was developed by the company with caterers and airlines. It offers lighter materials and collapsable carts that could save one ton of weight in an A380, generating revenues for airlines through fuel efficiency.
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