EADS board to discuss Airbus A350 launch Thursday - source


PARIS (XFNews) - EADS' board will meet on Thursday to decide whether to support the launch of Airbus's A350 mid-sized jet, sources close to the company told Agence France-Presse.

EADS confirmed that a board meeting had been organised for Thursday but declined to specify the agenda or the location where senior executives would meet.

The A350 jet is intended to compete with Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner and would enter into service in 2010, two years after its US rival.

The chief executive of Airbus, Gustav Humbert, said last month that the company hoped to launch the A350 in the first half of October, but the decision must first be approved by the shareholders of parent EADS, which holds an 80 pct stake, and British group BAE Systems, which owns 20 percent.

The launch of the A350 threatens to escalate a row between the United States and the European Union over their respective aircraft manufacturers.

The US has complained that Airbus receives unfair state aid in the form of interest-free loans to cover development costs from the governments of Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The EU has accused the US of subsidising Boeing both directly and through military sales.

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