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Personal Finance > Saving & Spending > Travel
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Airbus improves doors
graphic October 17, 2001: 7:08 a.m. ET

European plane maker sets cockpit door reinforcement, trumping rival Boeing.
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NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - In a move that pre-empts rival Boeing Co., Airbus is offering hijack-resistant cockpit doors on all its plane models, according to a published report Wednesday.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus said its reinforced door is not bulletproof, but consists of a heavier door jamb, door and new locks. The European company will offer the new doors free of charge on all its planes in service worldwide and they will be standard on all its new models, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a directive to airlines to reinforce cockpit doors by the end of the year. But U.S. carriers and Chicago-based Boeing (BA: Research, Estimates) are at a standstill on how the doors should be fixed, with Boeing acknowledging any agreements on permanent corrections still are six weeks away, the paper reported.

"There is no consensus on what our customers want," Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx told the Journal. "Nobody has decided what the standard is."

Boeing introduced a reinforced door design about two years ago, but airlines balked at the additional cost of the improvements, the paper reported.

Some U.S.-based carriers have gone ahead and made corrections on their own. Improvements on Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways include bulletproof material, with Alaska Airlines adding acrylic windows so pilots may observe activity in the cabin, according to the Journal.

Shares of Boeing dropped 15 cents to close at $35.12 Tuesday. graphic





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